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?

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Throwback Thursday: thoughts on Paleo, balance, and finding what works

This post has been on my mind for a while. I am going to use “Throwback Thursday” as the excuse for posting it now, even though my thoughts are still a bit scattered and I’ve got some apprehension about sharing…

Paleo didn’t work for me.

Before I started CrossFit and found out what Paleo, or Eat By Design, or whatever you’d like to call it, was, my eating was pretty balanced. I ate mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, (mostly lean) meat, nuts and seeds, and sufficient froyo with a smile on my face, and I’d been at a stable weight for a while, though I still didn’t have my period on a regular basis. I had been through my eating disorder, done a stint of vegetarianism (mostly because I read Eating Animals and got sad), and was in a super high stress state, but I was back on track—even if my body hadn’t totally sprung back to (hormonal) health just yet. Up from my lowest weight of 114lbs, I weighed a comfy 138-142lbs and when I look back at pictures, I think I looked healthy and athletic.

My half marathon, before anyone told me cardio was "bad." I ran it in 1:47 minutes.

My first (and only) half marathon, before anyone told me cardio was “bad.” I ran it in 1:47 minutes.

So what happened?

The “for me” part in “Paleo didn’t work for me” is important. I didn’t really do it right, but I did what I think a lot of people do. I also think the way in which I failed at “doing it right” is indicative more of the diet not being good for me more so than of me not trying hard enough, even if I’ve spent plenty of months telling myself I should just try harder.

When my bookshelf was stocked with The Paleo Diet, Primal Blueprint, The Paleo Solution, The Paleo Diet for Athletes, Practical Paleo, and Everyday Paleo, things changed. I told myself it wasn’t a “diet” in the traditional sense and that I was after health, which was true but I was also hoping for a six pack along the way and I certainly was not ready to gain more weight.

So, I started to make changes. I replaced the chicken, turkey, fish, and beans I ate with more and more pork, sausages, steaks and ground beef. While I did do a good job and managed to track down some free range organic sources on occasion, the vast majority of this meat was just from the grocery store.

When I ate grains, they were definitely not whole grains any more. The Paleo diet says white rice is okay if you train hard enough, so I ate more of it, usually with plenty of coconut milk and sometimes butter on top (FYI, this is delicious). But I also had the mindset that if bread was bad for me, I might as well have the white stuff, so I said farewell to the whole grain options I used to buy. French fries were healthier than a hamburger bun, right? Potato chips better than whole wheat crackers? If grains—or carbs, in my thinking—are bad, who cares about choosing well?

When I went for treats, I was never satisfied with a just a little. Dark chocolate became something like a food group for me, especially the kind of dark chocolate that I could somehow combine with almond butter, cashew butter, macadamia nut butter, coconut butter, sunflower seed butter, etc….I ate all the butters. And real butter! With a health halo around it, I started to put more and more butter on the sweet—not white—potatoes I ate. Without bread as a vessel, I’d find myself spooning nut butters right from the jar into my mouth. It’s good for me, right?

paleo desserts

I started to take heavy cream in my coffee. Formerly one to add milk and maybe a sweetener or spoonful of sugar, I thoroughly enjoyed the taste of the 30% cream and the looks on the Starbucks baristas faces when I asked them for the whipping cream to add to my highly caffeinated long Americano order (which is also delicious).

Some mornings, I’d crave oatmeal so badly that I would try to fake it. I’d microwave some combination of eggs, a banana, and almond butter. I remember worrying that I was having too much sugar and one day when I “caved” and ate two bananas, I was sure I fired up my fat storage and was doomed for diabetes. I’d make granola out of nuts to go on top of this, because the old recipe I’d used also included those oats, gosh darn it. Oats might not contain gluten, but they were still grains and everyone Paleo knows gluten and oats were probably bedfellows in manufacturing.

There were other changes, but I think you get the picture. I’d gone from what was defined as “conventionally healthy” to an attempt at a fad diet that I still think can be a fine choice—if you put in the time and effort (and moola!) to get the food from good sources, like eating meat, and are on top of food prep—that totally messed with what was a balanced approach. You have to know that I have an addictive personality and that as smart as I like to think I am, I can be easily persuaded. I took things to an extreme, and I used excuses like “It’s gluten free!” or “If I’m going to “cheat,” I may as well go big.” I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I also changed my exercise habits. I started to question whether or not “cardio” was good for me. I traded my daily swimming, biking, and running workouts for more and more time with the barbell. I loved the way I could focus on getting stronger. I also read things that told me that cardio was making me fat.

I hated this photo, but I was at least having fun with CrossFit. This was at a fun competition our gym did.

I hated this photo, but I was at least having fun with CrossFit. This was at a fun competition our gym did in the thick of my CrossFit as the be-all end-all days.

But I love swimming, biking, and running.

I love oatmeal.

I love chickpeas.

I love not feeling like I need to have a huge hunk of meat with every meal.

…I gained almost 30lbs in the process of switching my exercise and eating habits. I can’t blame CrossFit or Paleo, and I should add that I added muscle.

As strong as I feel when I am lifting a really heavy barbell, I still crave the feeling I get from going for a super long bike ride. Last year, I experimented with doing both. In the process, I found my body shifting a little more and I lost some of that weight (5-10lbs, depending on the day of course). Stepping back into the world of long bike rides and runs and dips in the pool, I found myself remembering some of the common sense nutrition notions that I used to ascribe to.

Back on the bike this year. One of my first rides of the year, in Colorado!

Back on the bike this year. One of my first rides of the year, in Colorado!

While I can’t blame the Paleo diet or the ideas about exercise that came along with it or the books or the people who exposed me to them, I can take responsibility for myself and my health habits. Instead of feeling stuck, I can work on shifting my habits and thoughts back to a healthier place. Those beliefs I picked up about carbs and grains and exercise were built. As sticky as they might be—because nut butter is delicious and sausage is amazing—,they can also be replaced—because feeling light and healthy and good in my skin is another kind of amazing.

So, I’m in the process. Today, I am “back on grains.” I eat whole grains as much as I can—quinoa, oatmeal, and rice are my favourites. I like bread and cereal, so I eat them and choose the whole grain options because I don’t think they’re rife with anti-nutrients anymore. I eat lots of fruit and plenty of vegetables, and I have less room for the meat on my plate. I still overdo it on the nut butters, but I’m working on it.

wrong road

I’m writing this because I think there are other people who have dabbled in Paleo or have given up something they love that makes them feel healthy and happy in the name of something someone told them would be better. I know that it’s hard to shift back—there’s still times when I think “how the heck did I eat that many carbs?!”—but it helps me to remember that I was happier with my body when I was eating all the carbs, and wasn’t thinking about them as a villain.

I hope your Throwback Thursday isn’t as intense as this, but I also hope that you take the time to check in with yourself and ask, about your health habits, that question I mentioned earlier this week: how’s that working for you?

Have you ever gone down the “wrong” road and wanted to get back to the fork?
What have you learned from trying diets or exercise programs that don’t work for you?

Splish splash and some smiles

Oh hey there. Remember how I decided to have a beer last night after calming myself down?

Well I had two.

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…and they were big. And I felt them.

Oh well! I had fun and when I got home some crackers helped soak em up.

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After a good night’s sleep, I did a bit of work this morning (it’s a miracle) after breakfast.

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oats, egg whites, apple, cereal for crunch, brown sugar, and some soy milk

I’m mostly working on my assignments and still haven’t studied. But that’s okay. Each thing is worth not very much at all I realized, which just made me feel even less worried!

Since there were thunderstorms this morning, my riding plans got cancelled. I decided to go to the pool instead. I looked on my daily mile and saw that it’s been a month since the last time I went–oops! In my defence, it was closed for two weeks of that month and I needed a break after all that swimming with my injury.

I had a snack to tide me over, but FYI rice cakes are mostly air so when you have two and feel hungrier, feel free to have three more as you head out the door. Note to self: throw down some almond butter with them next time!

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My swim was pretty good! I really prefer having friends to swim with but lots of people are racing/away/busy this weekend so I was on my own!

I’m not going to lie, I started to think about lunch partway through the swim so when I got home I threw together a quick salad with spinach, more turkey sausage, some goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. It was delicious but I got a bit of a tummy ache after. Weird!

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Now that I’m starting to feel better, the roads are looking dry and some of my friends are riding so I’m obviously choosing biking over books again and am gonna get my spandex on ASAP. Obviously in my world:

BLOGGING > BIKING (toss up) > BOOKS

And it kind of looks like I’m going to be “winging it” tomorrow, doesn’t it?

Do you like rainy days? What do you do with yourself if you can’t get outside?
What’s your favourite post-beer, bedtime snack? Do you crave salt or sweet or carbs or fat or what?  

Saturdays are for…

Swimming, shopping, and  smiling?

Sure, we’ll go with that.

This morning I left my cereal boxes in the cupboard and made a bowl of warm oatmeal with walnuts, banana, brown sugar, and soy milk. Note to self: eat more oatmeal!

Just before swim my stomach was growling so I downed a quick bowl of yogurt to fuel my workout, which was awesome! I had company and we did some fun stuff out of the box for us! Yay for working new muscles and giving up your ego (we even did fly, not our strongest but definitely worth doing!)

When I got home I was smiling but I was ravenous. I tided myself over with my second adora disk of the day (love) while I made use of the heftiest bunch of kale I’ve ever bought. Kale chips, anyone?

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They went perfectly with my ham and cheese sandwich with alfalfa sprouts. So much good on one plate!

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My afternoon was about coffee, shopping, and snacks.

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I even got to hear some vintage BSB when I was out and about!

And I returned some stuff to Aerie and came out with this awesome necklace…perfect much?

I also may or may not have been shopping for the finishings of a certain someone’s birthday present. I have a road trip on the agenda for this week so ya know, it might have happened!

How are you spending your Saturday? 

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? 

Things to do when you can’t sleep

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…NOT. I am stressed. I know this for many reasons including the fact that I can’t sleep. For someone used to going to bed at 10:30 and waking up at 5:30, being awake at 2:30 (I tweeted to mark the time) is not ideal. I tossed and turned for a while and finally got hungry enough to just get up. I admittedly had a real coffee later than normal yesterday, but I think my mind racing had more to do with not being able to sleep. Eventually, I unset my alarm and got up, snacked, and worked on my take home exam/essay some more. Things to do besides worry about not being able to sleep:

  • read blogs
  • write in your journal
  • embrace the opportunity to have a true “midnight snack”
  • research wild trips you’ll likely never be able to go on—or find one you actually want to try! (I am particularly drawn to the semester long treks through NOLS)
  • finish the draft of an essay you’re worried about
  • read a book
  • paint your nails
  • clean
Those come from experience. Enjoy.

My midnight snack of choice was a boring bowl of greek yogurt that got more exciting when I added a spoonful of peanut butter. I think there’s a saying that a spoonful of peanut butter makes life complete? 😉 20120410-073052.jpg I almost repeated my morning snack, which was similar—greek yogurt with honey, cocoa, and a few Mini Eggs. I think my thoughts just caught up with me at night because I was going all day and didn’t have time for them to sink in or swirl around my head. After my morning post yesterday, I ended up spinning at the gym before heading to The Gazette. I ran into Nina and ended up eating lunch (turkey sandwich with leftover kale chips). I love seeing her, but realizing we are almost done this semester and that she might not be here next year makes me uber sad and reminds me of all the other good friends who are going to be friends from remote locations after this year :(! I worked for a bit but I started to get really anxious about my assignments so I went to the library. I saw Ellen, who has a knack for making me happier, and sat in the less stressful cafe part of the library where eating my afternoon granola bar wouldn’t piss everyone off and where my stress levels wouldn’t increase by association. 20120410-073032.jpg Afterwards, I went for a swim! Luckily I had company, otherwise I’d probably have bailed. I did a short set with more kicking than was originally planned to save my shoulder a bit of stress. It really didn’t hurt much, just felt tight, so I don’t know what to do. I have a massage (for my hip, mostly) on Thursday, but I think I’ll see if getting her to loosen up my oh so stressed back/neck/shoulders helps things out. I also have physio on Friday so I can bring it up there too! After the swim, I had dinner with Nina (spinach salad with leftover sweet potatoes, salmon, cranberries, and pecans) and after arming myself with Mini Eggs, we met Angela for a night of studying at Starbucks. Studying with friends makes me more likely to smile and not to go into tunnel vision about “never finishing this essay” or about “having nothing to do in the summer”—common worries for me during the final stretch here! So, even though it’s kind of a stressful time, I’m trying really hard to spend as much time with people as I can and to enjoy the last bit of time here! I had a few “OMG I AM SO GLAD I’M COMING BACK NEXT YEAR” moments yesterday. Not only does taking time to see people and to just slow down keep me sane and make me happy, it also is important since the semester is coming to an end and I’m realizing how much I’m going to miss these folks. And, tear. 20120410-073036.jpg This morning I woke up a little full from last night’s middle of the night snack, sad that I missed swim, but ready to get on with my day. I started things off with a few of my favourite things: cereal, coffee, and blogging. It’s on to working on my exam, trying to make it to campus, spinning, and teaching bootcamp. Busy is better than bored! Do you get stressed when things end/change? What do you do if you can’t sleep? What kind of trip would you go on if you had unlimited money and resources?  

Maybe awesome

Random awesome…

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…I love love love magnolias. In March they’re an even awesome-er sight. It’s cold today but still, Spring is near!

This post is going to be random, and maybe awesome, too.

If you’re worried and want to read something certifiably—not maybe—awesome, check out this

  • an excerpt from Marion Nestle’s book that comes out next week (Why Calories Count)–>takeaway:

“Despite widespread concerns about the health and economic consequences of obesity on the one hand and undernutrition on the other, correcting calorie imbalances presents social and economic challenges that few countries are prepared to meet. Calories, therefore, affect societies in ways that are political as well as personal.

Calories, of course, derive from food. But calories are a convenient way to say a great deal about food, nutrition, and health. For this reason, and because calories are so poorly understood, we thought it would be useful to research and write about calories in all of their dimensions — personal, scientific, and political. And because we are both consummate “foodies” who derive enormous pleasure from eating, we liked the idea of using calories as a way to think about these aspects of food.

Let’s be clear from the beginning: This is not a diet book with a breakthrough scheme for losing weight and keeping it off. Instead, we try to provide an appreciation for what you are up against if you want to control your body weight in today’s “toxic,” obesity-promoting — or as we like to call it, “eat more” — food marketing environment [2]. We intend this book to give you the information you need to interpret food labels, diet claims, and your own reactions to this food environment. Knowledge, we argue, is not enough to counter the biological urge to eat or the subtleties of food marketing. But it is a powerful first step in developing weight-management strategies that work for your particular body, lifestyle, and food preferences.”

  • my latest article on Runners Feed about the benefits of going meatless…10 benefits. get on this. I expect to see plenty of clicks for this bad boy…

Anddddd, onto the recap.

Sometimes I feel like I’m swimming in yogurt. After last night’s post spin snack and this morning’s pre swim repeat (yogurt with a sprinkling of oats), I realized there was more yogurt in my (blurry) chocolate overnight oats, which I added a nanner to!

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Breakfast was awesome today because I got to have it with my friends at Weldon. We are getting excited for our road trip to Kingston this weekend for a triathlon at Queens. I am doing a relay with a friend (a speedy runner who I hope I can do justice in the pool and on the bike).

Now I’m plugging away at the Gazette. I just ate my lunch (spinach/artichoke hummus sandwich and a spinach salad with sprouts and sundried tomatoes) and am thinking about all the work I want to get done before bootcamp tonight!

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Monday’s munchies…

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This post is wildly disorganized.

Swim yesterday was good, my day was busy (though not with my essay, I did get my bike in for a tune up, replaced my broken spring jacket, and taught spin/did a 15 minute run without pain). My hip hurt after the fact and I iced it and got up for swim this morning even though I REALLLLLLY wanted to sleep in! We were supposed to have a staff meeting today so I had a short swim, but when I heard it wasn’t on, I finished up with some more swim (mostly pull) and did 2700m when all was said and done!

I’m pooped.

I’m frustrated that my hip’s not getting better. I finally have that appointment for my bone scan, though I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have an ultrasound instead? I am also going to a new physio on Thursday. This is getting ridiculous. 12 weeks! No answer!

My brain is like this post: in 1209102901 different places. This is not good!

I’ll be back, and hopefully my head will be screwed on the right way soon!

Monday madness

I wish the madness was the fact that my lunch and dinner were strikingly similar…

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DINNER: hummus and veg sandwich (plus tahini)

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LUNCH: veg and nut butter sandwich

Or that I had a seriously awesome massage today.

Or this Clif bar.

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Or that I’m about to leave to teach a spin class INDOORS when it’s honestly June-like outside (good thing I love kicking butts into shape regardless).

But nope..

It’s that I was reported today to the campus police for a parking violation that is pretty much out of the realm of things I’d fathom doing in my rav 4. Not to mention out of question since I have a parking pass.

Being called during class and told you’re being towed and that you drove over a soccer field and up a hill (see below) that I think is impossible to get up without a hummer will shake you up a bit. As will finding two parking tickets for things you didn’t do (I should pay A ticket for not exiting after swim and re-entering, but I will not just pay one of the ones I got since they say I drove AROUND a gate (which was open) and that I drove through landscaping and up a hill to get to the parking spot I have parked in all semester). We enter the building at 6am and luckily I swiped my card today when I got to swim. I am not arrested and my car isn’t towed, but I was off all day for it. Oh well. It gave the Gazette office some laughs when the other editors had to comfort me over the phone. “Cheryl’s on a hill…” It’s not a story I can really describe…just a bit ABSURD. RIDICULOUS also comes to mind. I’m not that lazy or that CRAZY to drive up a hill covered with trees.

20120319-183457.jpgAnd sigh*

I’m done ranting. I think I bawled to about 6 people over this today. Thanks for the hugs folks!

I’m off to the gym now–hoping for a mic that works and some eager spinners to make for a fun class.

1, 2, 3 and ABC

You’re about to learn more about me than you ever wanted to know…

Three Things I’m Looking Forward to This Week

  1. The exercise nutrition symposium this Saturday.
  2. Volunteering this weekend (hopefully) at a hockey game for Hope’s Garden.
  3. Warm weather! And rain! My favs.

Fun Fact Survey: A to Z

A is for age: 23. Kind of an in between age. I’m not at that quarter life crisis age, but I sorta feel like I already had enough life crises to earn a get out of the normal 24/25 one free card, ya know?

B is for breakfast today: pre swim = yogurt (greek plain, vanilla) with some crushed Kashi shredded wheat; post swim = shredded wheat, dried apples (new love)/raisins, and vanilla soy milk 

…ps I need coffee!

C is for currently craving: SUMMER! And RUNNING! My hip is bugging me (aching a bit) again…I think I need to back off! Building up the runs too fast is silly because I want to run allllll summer! This is another push to get in the pool more!

D is for dinner tonight: I was thinking falafel, but I’ve got to teach spin afterwards, so I’m thinking googling pre-spin dinner (or making something a bit blander) might be in order. Or I’ll take suggestions?

E is for favorite type of exercise: Triathlon! Yoga! So running, biking, swimming, yoga, etc. I like circuits if I’m doing weights and I wish I could add “core workouts” to this. I need some that get me going…

F is for an irrational fear: That I’m going to somehow open a car door by leaning on it or something while driving and fall out. I think it comes from a door opening when I was in preschool going to school while we were moving—I still remember it—but now I lock the door all the time.

G is for gross food: Goat’s yogurt. How can goat cheese be so freaking good but goat yogurt be so…sickening.

H is for hometown: I’d call it Sarnia, Ontario. But I was born in Westchester, PA and grew up near Cleveland! Now I live in London, Ontario!

I is for something important: Integrity. Living your word, being honest, and following your heart. Cheesy, I’m aware, but entirely necessary.

J is for current favorite jam: Wild Ones (Flo Rida ft. Sia). This one is on repeat and definitely got me through swim this morning! It makes me feel like summer, if that makes sense…

K is for kids: Not for quite a while. 

L is for current location: A desk in my classroom. I am not being bad, class doesn’t start for 8 minutes!

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Massage! I made an appointment for this afternoon—back to that aching hip and needing to stay on top of things!

N is for something you need: Water bottles! I think I lost 4 over the winter…the cheaper kind you use for biking. But now that spring has sprung and outdoor rides are happening, I’m going to need to get on this!

these are my favs!

O is for occupation: Student, freelance writer, fitness instructor, editor at The Gazette. 

P is for pet peeve: When people can’t put their phone down. When we’re out for coffee, WE are out for coffee. When you’re in class, at least TRY to stop texting for an hour. If you’re paying for something, talk to the cashier. When we’re out, you should probably make memories more exciting than the guy you were drunk texting all night.

Q is for a quote: I need to dedicate an entire post, page, blog to these. I love love love Quote Garden but a good google search helps me out in a pinch! The first quote I ever really remember loving (and the one I seriously consider getting tattooed across my side) is:

Other honourable mentions:
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” – Bob Moawad
“It isn’t necessary to know exactly how your ideal life will look; you only have to know what feels better and what feels worse…Begin making choices based on what makes you feel freer and happier, rather than on how you think an ideal life should look. It’s the process of feeling our way toward happiness, not the realization of the Platonic ideal, that creates our best lives.”

R is for random fact about you: I have a piece of lead (graphite?) stuck in my right calf. It has been there since I was six and it came from a realllllly sharp Christmas pencil that was sticking through my backpack on the school bus, through a pair of pants. Impressive, no?

S is for favorite healthy snack: sweet potato with almond butter! 

T is for favorite treat: FRO YO, best served with friends and hot fudge!

U is for something that makes you unique: 

V is for favorite vegetable: TOSSUP–spinach, squash, or carrots…or brussel sprouts?! 

W is for today’s workout: I did master’s swim this morning (2500m) before the sunrise. Tonight: CORE!  teaching spin! 🙂

X is for X-rays you’ve had: one of my foot, one of my hip — both just en route to referrals for better tests around sports injuries — luckily i’ve not broken anything KNOCK ON WOOD!

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Another tossup: awesome bike ride and seeing my friends at Sunday Funday!

Z is for your time zone: Eastern! I’m awful at knowing what time it is elsewhere…

Have you done this survey yet? Get on it!Happy Monday!! 

A swim and St. Patty’s

Warning: not my healthiest day.

But sometimes you have to have fun at the expense of eating enough veggies, don’t you think?

Yesterday morning’s time trial was…interesting.

I decided to swim a 100m and 800m race because I wanted to see where I was at the shorter distance and because the 800m is close to sprint triathlon distance so it’s a pretty good gauge of where I’m at and I wanted to know.

The 100m was awful. That’s the only word I have for it. I was pretty sure someone was going to jump in to save me, and I think I drank half the pool. I cried. Baby. Bad way to start.

Luckily my friends talked me down and I did the 800m just fine in 15:30. Not fast fast, but less than 2:00/100m is a good starting point for me! A lot of my friends did AMAZING so I have something to be jealous of aspire towards!

After the time trial, it was game on. No one really had plans but we decided to start at my apartment so of course there was snacks:

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To be honest I should have been hungrier but I felt off after the morning. There had been an early breakfast and a granola bar…but that’s not much for me. My lunch was drinks, pretzels, and m & ms and I’m not really going to be ashamed of that!

yogurt, all bran, banana, almond butter, honey 🙂

I spent the afternoon with my friends. We stayed out until about 9 and then the tired ones (myself included headed home)!

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I wish there was this kind of weather EVERY time we wanted to go out!!

I wish these people were NOT leaving EVER. haha.

My grilled cheese post-bar looks way more gourmet than it was. Maybe it’s cuz you can’t see the ketchup?

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I had a rough time falling asleep last night. Sadly my hip was bugging me so I think I got stressed, a bit worried about the fact that it’s coming to the end of the semester (goodbyes, assignments, and changes are getting closer), etc. etc.

Anyways, I had a good day and I’m not going to let worrying get to me!

Today it’s sunny, I’m all fuelled up, and I’m going to go for a bike ride! I’ll give my hip some loving later, hopefully heading to the gym after work at the gazette this afternoon. There’s also Sunday Fun day and loads of reading on the agenda… 🙂

kinda like apple crisp: warmed up apple, yogurt (vanilla, plain mix) a little bit of brown sugar/maple syrup (couldn't choose), raisins, walnuts, and all bran buds ... love me some fibre!

What’d you do for St. Pattys? Find any green beer?

Happy Sunday!