weekend wrap: pumpkins and peppers and more

It’s the weekend, which means it’s time to get grateful! 

Like I said last week, I want to start a gratitude practice. Here’s what I’m thankful for this week:

  • fall…It’s September, which means a lot of my favourite things are fair game…sweaters, boots, scarves, pumpkin spice at Starbucks. Did I mention this is my favourite time of the year?


  • migraines…I have come to realize that my migraines are actually a sort of a “Slow the f*ck down” pause message from my body. This week, when my foot started to feel a bit better (yay!), I dove into workouts and running errands full force. By Thursday, I woke up with a migraine and a reason to take a morning off to chill and relax.
  • possibility…I keep coming back to this inspirational cheese about the gift of uncertainty. Grad school orientation week left me feeling disoriented (what classes am I taking? how am I ever going to get to the point where I could write a thesis? what am I doing with my life?) but rather than continue to stressing hard about it, I’m reminding myself that if I had all the answers, things would be boring. If a masters wasn’t challenging and new and thus confusing, I wouldn’t be doing it. nothing
  • peppers…A friend of mine at the gym is always posting updates about her garden bounty and has pretty impressive abilities in the kitchen. She’s been kind enough to invite me and another gal from the gym over to make salsa with her this weekend. I am really excited–a major reason I want a house is so that I can have a walk in closet garden where I can grow my own food, but in the meantime, generous friends are giving my inner martha yet another outlet!

salsa making

That’s it for this week…

World, thank you!


Mondays can be marvellous!

Mondays can be marvelous and they should be marvellous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

No apologies




“Accept everything about yourself–I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end–no apologies, no regrets.” 


-Henry A Kissinger

Another day down…where did this week go?

I started my morning with breakfast and shopping. I bought more shoes — this time two pairs of boots. I know it’s only August but when I can find boots for $30 a pair, I’m in. Gosh I need a bigger closet!


egg scramble with mixed veggies and potatoes


I bought this. And a quilt. Bring on the new bedroom…must. start. apartment. hunting!


We also made a pit stop at Starbucks and got the car washed…a girl needs her caffeine!







this is fun


We were home by a late lunch time. I had a life coaching appointment–it was bomb and inspiring and you know there’s a post coming about it–and then went to the park for a workout.


My mom met up with me there and brought my gramma’s dog, Duke. He was great company during my Tabata fun.



We played on the monkey bars once I finished and even went on the swings. It’s been so long since I just hung out with my mom — very fun and very funny when she wanted off the rotating thing (I bet it has a name but I have no idea what) but I wouldn’t stop it. FYI, making your mom throw up is mean–but pretty entertaining! Also entertaining was when a girl walked by with a sheep. There’s a photo on my mom’s camera but it’ll have to wait…but it was just a casual afternoon walk with her sheep, apparently. She wasn’t phased by us but we thought it was just the funniest shit…bahhhhhhhh!



After the fun in the park, we were hungry so it was dinner time! I made pork chops, zucchini, and asparagus. With some salad and then a bit of tomato sauce, I had a weird but tasty mix (the fam also had spaghetti!).


Dessert today was more Reese’s. And after a lot of thinking about such a small thing, I’ve settled on this: I like chocolate. My mom likes it, my grandma likes it, etc. We were talking about health bars and the stuff that people eat when they’re trying to get healthy (shakes, meal replacement bars, etc.) and it came to this: me saying that those things aren’t really all that healthy–REAL FOOD would be better. So it’s alright to eat chocolate, froyo, beer, etc. and to own it. And not to be stupid about the fact that these things aren’t actually fuelling me — they’re just tasty. I do a pretty good job of eating plenty of real food and I’m definitely working on doing better daily so rather than beat myself up, I’m just going to give myself some props for getting real about this all.

Hence the quote of the day I started with today. Rather than try to make excuses, why not just own it? It is what it is–whatever it is. 🙂

20120823-205601.jpgIt’s hard to believe how quick this week (especially today!) has gone by. We’re packing up early tomorrow so I’ll be back in the great white north (ha ha ha) soon. Maybe it will be boot weather… 😉

What are you sick of apologizing for? What would happen if you just owned it?


Start it right


Morning! I’m feeling particularly accomplished this morning.

I had three boot campers with smiles (or something like that) on their faces this morning, including Bee whose blog, Bee Goes Bananas, I’m sure you’d love if you aren’t already a reader!

After bootcamp, I decided to go for a morning run. It’s not uber hot out and I was feeling energized and pumped up (I guess my girls’ awesomeness rubbed off on me), but I was also feeling hungry so I had a quick energy gel and then hit the trails.




…and then the trails hit me.

It’s not as bad as that looks but I was dirty. I hustled home and to prove that there might have been blood and sweat but not tears, I snapped a photo. Girls don’t sweat, they glisten…remember?



If this isn’t a good look for me, I’m so shit out of luck because I  glisten like a pig every time I work out! I think this morning I probably did about 5 or 6 miles (we ran in our bootcamp workout–the one I posted yesterday) but I’m not sure since my garmin was dead and I frankly don’t care.

I refuelled with last night’s yogurt plus some kamut puffs and a banana. It was yummy, but it got yummier when I threw in some almonds and some chocolate soy milk. Oh hey, creating it as you go, you’re delicious!  The hungries I felt after my run are just proof that cardio = working up an appetite. All of a sudden it’s seeming kind of weird that people start working out and training for marathons and triathlons and all that to LOSE weight. I eat MORE when I train — not only physically do I need the extra calories but I definitely justify some things (i.e. the chocolate in this break) based on the workouts I do. Hmmmm…thoughts?! I think it was in Gary Taubes’ book that I read something about this whole phenomena…about how silly it is that we take up endless endurance exercise to lose weight when people also work out in this way in order to “work up an appetite” for instance if they have a big dinner to look forward to. Very interesting. Still, I loved my run this morning, I like riding my bike, and I enjoy swimming…so since that’s not my motivation I’m not crazy, right? 🙂


Now it’s time for me to get organized and get down to business on my writing! I promise myself not to blog ALL DAY LONG but that doesn’t mean I won’t probably get distracted reading blogs and all that fun stuff…oh well! I have this spare time, I might as well enjoy it. Starbucks here I come. 🙂 After my life coaching session, I’m going to hit up a yoga class since my workouts are done for the day. My main goal: stay upright, since I have a knack for falling over these days!

Have you ever bailed on a trail run? Did anyone see? No one was around when I fell so I had to laugh at myself instead of having the pleasure of providing entertainment for someone else!
What do you do with free time? 


Feeling good, on purpose

HAPPY MONDAY! That’s an extra happy Monday, which tends to follow awesome weekends.

Golfing yesterday was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. It was sunny but no too hot, the company was good, and we won’t talk about the score.


Amanda, Justin and some sweaty crazy girl.


Sweetest rental clubs EVER.

After golf, I had the quickest/easiest dinner ever because I wanted to go to yoga. The morning class reignited my love for getting my zen on and I was just itching to get back to Yoga Shack, so I figured that anything I was going to do last night could wait until today in favour of going to Dave’s power flow class.


Turkey jerky, apple, and cheese = quick, easy dinner. MIA: vegetables 😦

When I got home from the class, which was awesome and of course involved my favourite song in savasana (it must have been meant to be–seriously!), I mostly read blogs and my Oprah magazine (which went all the way to and from Virginia unopened) and ate bon bons.

Oprah has a knack for inspiring me, as cheesy as that might be. This issue was filled with quizzes, which I used to prompt some good old journalling. I had been thinking a lot lately about defining my purpose. No big deal, right? Alysha mentioned hers to me on Saturday post-race because she’s been working hard at her life coaching certification and I was so impressed with the confidence that she had. I read some posts about purpose and talked to some pretty inspiring people and realized that I’m lacking that direction and could probably stand to at least attempt at defining what I want. So what came to me yesterday after writing out some of the answers to the quiz in the magazine about what is “fun” for you flowed pretty easily onto my journal page (I’m not good at talking things out but when I get to writing, stuff just flows) and was something like:

I am here to serve as a real life example of living healthy and to use my own personal experience to launch a career and a life of inspiring, enabling, and coaching others to find their own best possible definition of health. 

There are two things I have to explain in there:

  • “real life example” — I have room for real life things like days away from training, like meals that aren’t perfect, like hitting bumps in the road and dealing with them as they come. Sometimes coaches and teachers seem like they’re living in an alternate reality where bad things don’t happen and where everything is easy and then it’s hard to relate to them. Lucky for me, I live in the real world and I like challenges. 🙂
  • “living healthy” — Notice that “living” comes before “healthy” since to me, the only way to be healthy is to live. The only reason to be healthy is to live. Sure, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have much. But if you don’t want to live a little while you’re here, why bother being healthy? So you can get to your grave in one happy piece at 15% body fat with a six pack? OK, have fun with that. I’m going to be going on some adventures while you work on your biceps. Keep flexing at yourself in the mirror while I go out and get some real life fulfillment.

More thoughts:

  • My talent for writing is something that I’m working on turning into a skill and using it to communicate all of these things–the principles of healthy living, the lessons I’ve learned, the people who I’ve encountered and their own messages–that’s where I find myself getting into a “zone”. Blogging might be a hobby, but there’s a reason why I keep doing it.
  • Teaching fitness is a nice part time job, but it has never felt like work. Interacting with people is what gives me the sense of connectedness on a daily basis–either personally or as an instructor/trainer. I see myself coaching in some capacity–whether it’s fitness, racing, yoga, nutrition, wellness, life–and being a leader, teacher, etc.
  • I want to work on my public speaking ability because being able to talk about my own experiences is something I hope to do. Having struggled through an eating disorder, I can pinpoint a bunch of people whose speeches have empowered me and inspired me to take another step forward. Jenni Schaefer talked about the step from “in recovery” to “recovered” and my life coach, Jennifer Schramm, talked about her four step recovery and how she got to awesome. Both of these women seriously changed my life in a one hour span–and that’s powerful!
  • Your dream career doesn’t have to exist, you just have to be willing to create it. There’s not really a secure job in this world–you might as well be insecure in a job that you absolutely spring out of bed to do. I have a feeling that if your career serves your highest, it really won’t feel like work. My plan is to work towards this unconventional idea for a while and if I am miserable and bankrupt and in trouble in five years, THEN I’ll settle. Teacher’s college has been appealing to me because it’s something to do and it’s something secure-ish. But it isn’t calling my heart out and I haven’t applied in the last two years even though I could have, so I don’t think I should go now. Doing a masters in kin is somewhat appealing, but ditto. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no. If I can turn down Columbia, my dream school, for Journalism because I trust myself and my intuition enough to know that a master’s in journalism isn’t necessary for the 75000 price tag and all that jazz, I can say no to settling for conventional.

  • Creating your own vision for your career is just the first step. What else could you make amazing in your life? I want to go on adventures all the time — travel lots and do active things. I want to have nice things but I want to live simply. I want to use my money on things that I value — experiences and high quality things (food, stuff I need, etc.) and all that good stuff! 🙂
  • Nobody is going to stop you from being awesome, trust me. Most people are too busy living mediocre lives to care. If someone’s in your way, it could be jealousy, but I think what’s far more probably is that if you live on a big scale, you’ll inspire people. Once I interviewed Tina from Carrots n Cake and she said to me, “There’s plenty of room at the top.”–this really stuck with me. Someone who has made it to a high level and is living her passion essentially telling me that I’m allowed to do the same and am entitled to being just as successful? Holy canoli!
  • Stop asking for permission. You’re supposed to be great. Nobody really cares if you DON’T go for it — whether you’re scared or you don’t know how or you aren’t sure you’re allowed to. It’s entirely up to you to care.  At the end of the day and the end of your life, it was ALL up to you!

  • My plan — could I be an endurance coach? a personal trainer? a wellness coach? a nutritionist? a life coach? a yoga instructor? a motivational speaker? a fitness instructor? a professional blogger? an author of books? a guest on the Today Show? A magazine columnist? All of these things? YES, YES, AND YES. Whatever floats my boat. Someone who changes the world? THAT TOO!

I think I’m done–for now! Today’s been a productive day after all and it’s only 10:30! Before this cheese-fest, I tackled that laundry head on, cooked up some food for this week, and made a list of things to get done for the week. It feels good to be organized, nice to be at home, and AMAZING to have defined all that stuff I just shared with you guys.


Kamut puffs, banana, coconut, walnuts, and soy milk for breakfast.


Obvs you needed this selfie. New shirt!


Home sweet home!


Now I’m going to use all this positive Monday energy to get to work on my freelancing assignments and fitness planning! Bootcamp and spin tonight are something to look forward to and I might make a little pit stop at the mall in between appointments today if I’m feeling it…

Do you ever just explode with inspiration? 
Are you a golfer? 
Do you have a dream career or are you creating your own?

Do what you can

Do you ever get wrapped up in all or nothing thinking? …cuz I do and it was even getting to the point where I didn’t want to share my day today because I didn’t think I could really do it justice.

On the surface, it was pretty normal

  • Breakfast:


  • Bootcamp:

warm up


20 minutes: as many rounds of 20 each

  • squats
  • pushups
  • lunges
  • step ups
  • tricep dips
  • situps
  • leg raises
marathon abs
  • Getting caught at Starbucks (haha, Breanna I am sorry for photographing this but it was too perfect to pass up):



  • Lunch (more sausage–Alex you’ll appreciate this!)


  • Snacking:




  • Dinner:


  • Driving to Sarnia

But I also had two big awesome things that I know are worth blogging about, even if I can’t do ’em full justice yet.

One was my life coaching session, the other was a visit to Gainsborough Family Chiropractic. You’ll probably think I went because I fell off my bike, but the truth is I went more thanks to all the run ins I’ve had with Dr. Kreso–who I think might spend more time at Starbucks than I do and whose suggested By Design Americano (with heavy cream) was pretty delicious (as photographed above) and Dr. Rachelle, who came out and kicked ass at one of my bootcamps last week. You might remember the impromptu pep talks/discussions that I mentioned that got me thinking. Or maybe you clicked on the Life By Design podcasts that I keep linking to (I’m making my way down the archives). Anyways, all of it led to me realizing something: I want more and I deserve more. And that’s the same thing that I’m realizing via my work with my life coach.

Keeping this short and to the point, I am seeing a lot of parallels in my life and starting to make some shifts. Example A was my decision to start working with my life coach and realizing that you don’t need a problem to have a life coach. Unlike earlier in my eating disorder recovery, where I was very focused on my issues and my problems and on fixing things, I work with Jennifer with a very positive attitude. Regardless of whether I’d had an eating disorder, working with her would be empowering, enlightening, and AMAZING. I look at it this way — when wanted to go past “okay” and “better” and “in recovery” points to “RECOVERED!” “ALIVE!” and “HEALTHY!” I started working with a life coach instead of with a therapist focused on the negative stuff (I’m not discounting therapy, BTW).

Similarly, I am starting to see the light of doing something for your health before you’re in crisis. Yeah, I don’t have a specific injury right now. My hip nags, my knees hurt sometimes, and all that stuff I try not to whine about too much. But if you’ve been reading for a while, it’s actually rare for me NOT to be nursing to something, as much as I try to respect the “Listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream” advice that someone passed along to me. And I often turn to physios, chiropractors, acupuncture, massage, etc. to “fix” the stuff. But something has been on my mind after the hip injury this year: WHY? And am I good to go? How do I know it’s not going to keep recurring or coming back in another form. In other words, I want to be proactive. I want to make sure the way I’m training and treating my body and taking care of myself is right before I get hurt or before I hit a crisis point. So going in today had nadda to do with my fall (though I feel like a train hit me for some reason today so a rest day was awesome and watching my participants work at bootcamp, I felt grateful, not guilty!) but everything to do with me taking a step in the right direction and owning up to the fact that what I’ve done in the past hasn’t worked. It’s been the wrong balance, it’s not been enough of some things and too much of other things, and it’s time to address that!

In other words, it’s okay to want to be better without having anything wrong. 



Love it!  Need more examples? There are a few where I’ve failed in the past but see myself making progress, as random, petty, dorky, whatever as they are:

  • My dishes: I used to let them pile all the way up in my kitchen before I’d put them away. Now I have a habit of just putting the dry ones away before I do the dirty ones. Genius.
  • My laundry: I struggled with this one forever. Seriously, it’s like I don’t have the gene that makes you care about having to wear your ugly clothes if it means not doing laundry. It’s kind of like a game when you have to sort through a huge pile of clean but unfolded and unsorted clothes to find a sports bra, right? Wrong. Another spot where you just have to take care of things before they get out of hand.
  • money and bills
  • My car: The day all those lights came on was a sign from the big guy, I’m sure. Actually, I’m sure it was just a signal that you can’t neglect things and expect everything to work. Maintenance. Before things break down.

Essentially, the post-recovery gem in this is that I realized something: we don’t need to be wrong to want to be better. There are more applications of this and it’s further reaching than it might seem. The more I think about it, the more I see how thinking the opposite–that we need to have something wrong or an issue to address in order to try to improve or to ask for help or guidance–has held me back or brought me down. Whether it’s creating a problem via self-sabotage (bingeing, gaining weight,  spending too much money, etc.) that’s obvious or just living a small life, this is a belief worth busting.

Give it some thought: we all deserve to be as awesome as possible. That entails working on ourselves whether we think we need work or not. Why settle? Mediocrity? Pffffft! You’re better than that. We all deserve all the happiness and health in the world–not just to NOT be sad or sick. Remember my mention of the analogy of getting married to not get divorced? Or to go into business to not go bankrupt? And how stupid it sounds? (Those were Dr. Kreso’s words, BTW). It’s all similar. We don’t live just to survive…or we shouldn’t!

Even if you’re awesome, you can be more awesome.

And that brings me back to those podcasts and the conversations I’ve been having (and I’ll say it one more time: I am NOT drinking the kool aid):

“Nobody ever died from being too awesome.”

So I think this all calls for some Cheryl approved cheese:

And one final word: do what you can. But you can always do more!

Where are you settling for okay when you could be better?
Do you relate to any of the things I mentioned?
Have you listened to those podcasts yet? 😉


Old and new


Reasons why I’m smiling:

  • sunshine
  • plans for a bike ride this afternoon
  • seeing a friend last night at spin class
  • it makes people think I’m up to something…

Still no internet at my apartment = an excuse for spending the morning at Starbucks. I was going to go to the gym and try a core class but to be honest, I would rather save my energy for the ride this afternoon and since my hip feels tight (not painful, just weird and unnerving because I’m a worrier), I’m just erring on the side of extra recovery.

And I had stuff to do…like finishing the Human Kinetics Advanced Exercise Nutrition course I registered for ages ago to get myself rectified as a fitness instructor/personal trainer. I wrote the exam this morning (online) and besides getting 2 questions/50 wrong, I have no complaints. I emailed the results and my up to date first aid card just now and I cannot wait to cross this off my to do list (it’s been on there for wayyy too long!). Yay for productivity.

Also yay for last night’s dinner–a pasta mix with kale that needed eating, turkey sausage, onions, and garlic. A little bit of butter and some parmesan cheese instead of sauce made for perfection on a plate!

This sat surprisingly well during my spin class! I also loved the playlist (which I kind of threw together just using songs I wanted to hear) and seeing an old friend (it’s been too long!).  Like I whined, I am apprehensive about my hip. During some of the standing climbs, things felt extra weird (my lower back is tight too, which makes sense). At the expense of being one of those people who complains too much, I’ll stop now. I foam rolled last night and I took the time to do my physio exercises for 10 minutes first thing today. 10 minutes. So pathetic that I’ve been too lazy to do them lately…PRIORITIES! Why was I saving them for bedtime when I would inevitably want to skip them and fall asleep? Silly.

When I got home last night, I was seriously uninterested in my usual yogurt snack. I was really interested in my leftover turkey, but I went with a snack of tuna instead because I really want leftovers today…

I mixed in half greek yogurt and half mayonnaise and threw some red pepper in to spice it up. I used to eat tuna as a snack every damn day and I was so sick of it for way too long…but when your mouth starts watering at the thought of something + you are legitimately hungry, I say go with it, even if it’s something weird or for me, something I thought of as an ED-approved behaviour (i.e. since ED said it was okay, I kind of during recovery said that I shouldn’t have it. silly! back to yesterday’s thoughts).

When I went to bed, I took some medicine because my throat’s been sore since I got home this weekend. I slept for about 9 hours (bliss) and then got up and started my day off with another bowl of oats. Breaking out of the cereal rut, one bowl at at time. This time I added an apple, raisins, walnuts, and brown sugar plus soy milk. Yum. I read Katie’s oatmeal ideas shortly after and wished I’d been MORE creative. The good news is I get to eat breakfast every day for a really long time, so there are plenty of opportunities to get creative and delicious!

After my morning spent working on that course and doing all kinds blog reading (I’m going through withdrawal, a little, because it’s not the same on my phone!) and drinking a ton of coffee, I ate a quick lunch (an almond butter, sprout, and carrot sandwich with extra carrots on the go) and now it’s time for me to head to an appointment! I’m hoping to meet up with a friend this afternoon before my bike ride. Tonight is a staff meeting at the gym so I’ll be busy busy and tomorrow I should have internet again. All will be right in the world.

And just an FYI, we’re 230 days from Christmas. Had to throw that in there…

What are your favourite oatmeal toppers?
What are you counting down to? 

Short and oh so sweet

Well, I am home from my trip to Toronto.

It was short, and as you saw, oh so sweet! Lots of wine, lots of chocolate, lots of catching up.

I thought I’d be exhausted after the double dose of spin I got into in the morning–yeah, I’m hooked again on spin classes! There’s a reason why I became an instructor and bought a bike in the first place, and I’m remembering it this week. Also, there was one of my fav instructors back after having a baby so staying for her class after a seriously sweaty and awesome one by another really awesome teacher’s was easy. 🙂

The drive to Toronto was easy too–I had company from Mel and Nina, which made it fly by!

When I got there, Bonnie and I headed for massages. Like something out of Austin Powers, but awesome. It’s tradition!

Our friends who are in Toronto for chiropractic school joined us for a long overdue reunion, dinner, and wine!

With the wine drinking and awesome company came a really amazing conversation. The kind that makes you want to smile for the next few days (I’m in perma-grin mode, despite a hangover). We talked about a lot but some questions really struck awesome insight:

  • What holds you back/has held you back?
  • What does your life look like in 10 years?
‘Twas awesome. I’m realizing more and more how cool the people in my life are and how this happy, positive wavelength I seem to be riding is contagious (or I’ve just been ignoring the fact that it’s out there until now!).
I blame it a bit on buying this book for Bonnie for her birthday (on Angela’s suggestion)–“Four regular guys on a mission to complete a list of ‘100 Things To Do Before You Die’ and to help and encourage others to go after their own lists.”
You know we ate this up!
It also sparked my own mental summer to do list, which I started today as I drove back to London (after breakfast, of course).

Sneak peak of the summer 2012 (epic?) to do list, which I think will be worth a page of its own on here:

  • feed ducks – starting it off with a bang 😉
  • go on a roller coaster
  • beat everyone up a mountain on my bike
  • bike to sarnia
  • watch a sunrise
  • sleep under the stars
  • do a mud run
  • write for a new magazine
  • trail run
  • go on a road trip
  • meet someone famous
  • do yoga on the beach
  • try long boarding
  • go to an outdoor concert
  • eat something I grow
  • bake with flour from Arva – it’s close and it’s supposed to be delicious!
  • go sailing
  • go boogie boarding 🙂
  • ride a century
  • ride a tandem bicycle
When I got back to London (after two pit stops and a snack), I met up with friends for a swim! We did about 2400m, which felt okay (considering Bonnie and I got only a few hours of sleep after talking our hearts out at bedtime!).
After the swim, I was ravenous. Repeat of yesterday’s turkey sandwich, loaded with sprouts and tomatoes (I’m craving veggies)!


This afternoon I spent at Starbucks, working away on a freelance assignment and trying to sort out the continuing education credits I need to get this month to keep my fitness certification current. Progress!

Now it’s nearly time for me to head to yoga with my friends!

How’s your week going?
What’s on your summer to do list? 

When all else fails…


I woke up needing a distraction.

A little background: things are awesome, my hip is en route to healing, I feel like I’m getting my life together and heading in the right direction, I feel more connected with my friends/family than ever (even though I miss a lot of people terribly, I feel really loved and supported right now), and when I look at where I was a couple of months ago, I can see how much progress I’ve made.

But today is Around the Bay, and I was supposed to be running that 30km this morning.

I’ve written about jealousy on my old blog, and I think it’s worth reminding myself that the feelings of jealousy I have right now are because I WANT to have done the run and achieved something so epic myself. It doesn’t mean I have to take it out on my friends (who ran SO WELL and are AMAZING for doing it), or on myself…but, for some reason, I have spent all day beating myself up (for not getting enough work done, for having a messy kitchen, for eating too much of this and not enough of that, by stuffing my face with everything from oatmeal to nut butter to pumpkin to grapes to kale chips<–all healthy things I intended to eat, but for some reason felt the need to overeat on top of the portions I put on my plate) and trying to get myself out of this funk.

I tried a bunch of stuff that usually works:

  • going for a bike ride –> but I don’t feel like myself on the bike. I feel slow, I feel apprehensive, and I feel out of shape.
  • talking to a friend –> multiple friends tried to remind me of very true things, and while they did help a little, I’m still sitting her bummed.
  • getting out of my apartment –> even with the sunshine, I feel so whahhhh.
  • pouring myself into an essay –> and one that I feel like writing, at that. Sure, I’ve gotten work done, but my mind keeps jumping back to things.
  • wearing something comfortable –> my leggings feel tight. Is that even possible? they’re spandex! And I feel like I’ve given up since I had to put another pair of jeans away because they’re uncomfortably tight.
  • going to starbucks –> but to be honest I’ve spent most of the last 24 hours at three different locations, and I just want this essay to be over with so I can do yoga or lay on my futon instead.
  • reminding myself that this will get better –> but when?
As you can see, I’m trying. Trying, trying, trying. It was so helpful to read Kate’s post about feeling out of sorts with her own injury earlier today. I love this girl’s comments, her honesty, and her tweets, but hearing her say some of the stuff I’m thinking made me realize that it’s not just me. It’s easy to think that I’ll never get better, but there’s no way I’d think that about Kate or about anyone else working through an injury.
I’d never call a friend stupid for not being sure about what they’re doing with their life. Or what their eating or not eating (vegan? ethically raised meat? what about dairy? am I gaining weight from all of this? does it matter if I’m eating in line with my beliefs?). Or for anything…so why is it OK for me to do it to myself?
This is turning into one of those “I think I’m going to have an epiphany” moments.
The only thing I can do is keep going. Yes, it blows that I haven’t ran for 12 weeks. Yes, it sucks that I have been overeating a bit and still hang on to some of those emotional munching habits that I know aren’t serving me. Yes, I am probably a bit out of shape. No, I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with my hip but I do know what I need to do.
And I am willing to do it. I’m not going to lie–I’ve kind of been half assing it with my physio. 5 minutes of foam rolling is enough. Those planks don’t really matter. And with other things. It’s okay to pick at that dried fruit at night. It’s alright to leave your assignments til the last minute. It’s okay to skip stuff cuz you’re “too stressed”. It’s fine to stay in because you feel gross. etc. etc. Nope, it’s not. 
Regardless of whether or not I’m “bigger” than I should be. Regardless of whether or not I’ve wasted some time and made some really misguided decisions. Regardless of whether or not I’ve been mean to, mad at, or taken things out on myself OR other people, I don’t have to be this way. Yeah, this is cheesy, but every day is a chance to recreate ourselves. If I want to be that girl who is sure that she is an athlete, that she deserves to be happy, that is fun and prioritizes people, that gets good marks and is proud of them, and that admits that she doesn’t know everything (in the words of Jillian, if you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough). I know when I start to live with that kind of integrity–trusting myself, following through on the things I intuitively know (that standing over the fridge eating nut butter isn’t eating for fuel or nourishment, that running when my hip hurts is counterproductive, that exercise is meant to make us feel better and more energized, and that doing something (i.e. an essay) imperfectly is better than getting nothing done because you’re holding out for perfection), things will fall into place. Since weight is an outcome and not something to be controlled, that’ll just happen. I have this feeling regardless of whether I get bigger or smaller, I’ll feel better in my body. Since happiness comes from doing and not from being or having, I know I can start on this right away.
I’m done ranting!
I’m leaving my photos wordless again (it’s a portobello mushroom burger and a pumpkin smoothie with almond butter spoon, kiddos).






How do you deal when you should be running a race?
Have you ever read Kate’s blog (cuz you should)?
What is one thing you wish you could change about the way you act/live? <–deep, I know.


Gimme a break

I don’t need a break any more…I need to get down to work, but I’m clearly prioritizing and getting you guys caught up before I get down to busy.

Yesterday after class I went to a meeting with my TA about this big term paper I am writing for next week. I felt MUCH better after. I have an idea of where I’m going with it, at least, and am actually a bit excited to write it! I know if I give up the perfectionism I’m so prone to and just get started, I’ll have a draft soon enough. I’ve got lots of background information, tons of ideas, an episode (the season 13 premiere) of The Biggest Loser and I’ve been paying attention (sorta) to my sociology prof…so analysis, let’s go! It’s kind of cool   nerdy when you actually want to write an essay, don’t you think?

I went to yoga yesterday afternoon. It was WEIRD, but WEIRD can be good. Not your typical power class, not that challenging in a physical sense, but for me the class was a step outside of my comfort zone, and Sabre got through to me with her anecdotes/ideas again. She was talking about challenging yourself, about how people often look around to see what a pose will look like instead of just doing it (to see if they think they’ll be able to), and I distinctly remember her saying something like

“In your life, see where you find challenge. And try to think about that challenge as an opportunity. And then go after it.” 

I told you Sabre’s the best!

After yoga I went in my stinky-ness to Joe Fresh at the far far superstore. And I got a migraine while I was there. Which means there was no way in heck I was driving home, so I took a cab and paid the 30 dollars to get back to my apartment. I slept for a while, woke up, cooked myself dinner…”Fish and Chips” (salmon with sweet potato and kale chips — topped with cranberries and maple syrup), worked on my project, ate an apple (exciting), and slept again.


As you know, migraines frustrate me but they’re definitely a sign that I was too stressed. Usually when I start to relax, they hit me. That means I need to destress on a regular basis…easier said than done!

This morning I woke up and had a normal breakfast even though I felt so out of it from the medicine and the migraine and the weird sleep (I read about migraine hangovers for the first time today and I definitely think I have one). Then I went to get my car and to the pool. I was starving so I had a Kashi bar — haven’t had that many lately, and it was either stale or just crunchier than I’d remembered and not my fav — and then swam about 2500m! I was glad Angela drove me to get my car and even gladder she wanted to swim so I had some external motivation to get to the pool (no tri club friends or cute boys forcing me there ;)!).


After coming home and having leftovers in a salad for lunch (soooo good!), I made up my mind to go to the shower! I made the drive and saw friends I haven’t seen in a long time. This was my first baby shower. So many “aweeees” 🙂 and Lori is ADORABLE all the time, but as a pregnant woman she is even cuter, if that’s possible! I miss my Sarnia friends a lot and it was really nice to see some of them, even if it was (too) short but sweet! There were cute baby shower games and tons of food.



snacks of choice...plus some hershey kisses (I should have known better than to eat lunch BEFORE an Italian baby shower!) 🙂


After the shower, Tanya and I spent a few hours at Starbucks (same study spot, different city), chatting  and “doing work”. I probably could have gotten more done on my essay, but at least it’s in progress and I really miss my friends, so the quality time was worth it! I saw some other familiar faces too, which is always a bonus. Besides my hair, there’s been  lots changes since I was home at Christmas (the last time I saw most of my friends).



When I came back, I threw together a quick dinner that I really can’t call a recipe but that is probably going to be a new fav 4 ingredient base for all kinds of delish: almond butter (all good recipes start this way!), quinoa, spinach, and chick peas. Don’t hate it, just try it. And report back.


Tomorrow is Around the Bay, and it’s been almost 12 weeks since I got hurt. I’m choosing to send all the good vibes in the world to the people running tomorrow and remembering that I am at least starting to feel better! Not to mention, think of all the insight that’s come out of this hip issue!?

My goal for the night is to do as much of the other things on my to do list besides my essay as possible. My goal for the week is to keep smiling, and to put things in perspective. I’m going to finish this essay and I’m not going to fail it. I’ll probably do better than I think. I often get incapacitated because I feel overwhelmed by big tasks or by a ton of little ones, but if I just do one thing at a time and remember that my best is all I can do (and that stressing = migraines = sucks), I might be better off!

Have an awesome night. 🙂

How are you spending your weekend?
What’s the best random bowl you’ve thrown together in a while?

Have you ever been to a baby shower? What’s your favourite game? (I liked guessing how big her belly was with ribbon–I was close!)