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Body Love

Woo!! T-G-I-F!! This is an especially exciting weekend because my mommy is coming to visit! She arrives Friday evening and staying until we get sick of each other :)

I pre-wrote some of this post, so I’m going to keep the food rambles to a minimum. I just got back from an evening out with the gals from work and it’s waaaay past my bedtime!

Started the day off with my new favourite cardio sesh at the gym. 35 minutes of intervals on the elliptical – 1 minute sprints followed by 2 minutes recovery at varying levels. Then 10 minutes on the rowing machine and 10 minutes on the stepmill. I don’t know why but my heart rate was mega high today!! I maxed out at 179 (91%) which I typically only do in races or really fast training runs – not on the elliptical!

Refuelled at the office with smoked salmon, laughing cow, mustard, capers, onions, sprouts, lettuce on an english muffin.

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And an orange :)

Lunch was a beast of a salad.

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Tossed in some canola oil + red wine vinegar and topped with leftover Spinach, Ham and Ricotta Pie. The pie tasted awesome cold on top of the salad! Definitely deserves a remake for tomorrow.

Supper involved more ham because I have a huge chunk of it in my fridge I need to get through! For some reason my mind has been drifting to ham and cheese oatmeal so I made it for dinner.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 whole egg, whisked in while cooking
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 55g ham, cubed
  • 15g old cheddar cheese

Look at those creamy custard oats!!!

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Ohmygaaaahhhhthiswasgood. So, so good. I want it for supper again tomorrow too ;)

 

Now on to more serious matters…

I’ve noticed there are two kinds of food bloggers – those who are losing weight/maintaining a weight loss, and those who are in recovery from an eating disorder.

This has always fascinated me, that two people with seemingly opposite goals can be drawn to the other. While I’m in the former group – a weight loss gal – I know that I have a lot of readers who deal with disordered eating. Conversely, I read a lot of blogs written by those who are in ED recovery.

The obvious similarity is that our problems are problems with food. We eat too much, not enough, obsess over it, control it, and think about it all the time. But it has always gone beyond that for me. The things those struggling with ED write about often hit very close to home with me. While I have dealt with a few food issues, I have never dove deep into disordered eating. Any of my old struggles with food stemmed from a lack of knowledge, nothing deeper than that.

So why do I always read these blogs nodding my head in agreement? I know what it’s like to hate my body. I know what it’s like to find comfort in treating it badly.

I think this is something a lot of people can relate to, not just those who’ve suffered from an eating disorder.

In my REAL story, I say “I went to a deep and dark place, and for a brief moment, myself and my family had genuine concern I wasn’t going to come out.”

At this time in my life, I was suffering from serious anxiety and depression. I found comfort in my depression. I would wake up every morning, and instead of dragging myself through another day, I would cozy up to the awful feelings inside and stay in bed. I would often pull the covers over my head, wishing it was a hole I could just crawl into and lavish in my depressive thoughts forever. There were many mornings where I would collapse on the kitchen floor, crying hysterically to my mother who just wanted me to get up and go to school. I liked where I was in my miserable depressive state, and I stubbornly did not want to venture out.

I also found comfort in treating my body badly. I liked being reckless with it. I found an odd comfort in puffing back cigarettes, knowing they were slowly killing me. Yes, I ingested drugs, again liking how I felt when I was weak and helpless to their effects. I didn’t like myself, so why would I want to take the time to treat my body well? If anything, I wanted to punish my body.

This has been weighing heavily on my mind as I’ve been reading from a lot of bloggers recently about how they found comfort in their eating disorders. It just sounds so much like how I felt about my depression and body during my own darkest days.

So how did I get out of it? It was quite simple actually. My parents brought me to a psychologist who sat me down and told me straight up that I was responsible for my own depression and I was the only person who could get myself out of it. I don’t know what happened, but a light bulb went off in that moment. I realized I didn’t have to find comfort in my depression anymore, but I had the power and ability to crawl out of the hole I dug for myself. Only me. Just one decision.

The body-love took a lot longer to get the hang of. I don’t think that really clicked for me until I decided to lose the extra weight for good. I think part of the reason I was overweight for so long is because I didn’t love my body. During my weight loss process though, I woke up every day with a new confidence in my own skin. It wasn’t because I was getting skinnier, but I was getting skinnier because I respected my body enough to not treat it badly anymore.

So that is my story. My two take-home points are – only you can change your thoughts and state of well being, and your number-one relationship needs to be the one you have with yourself. Love your body, mind and spirit.

 

Question of the Day: What’s one thing you love about your body? One thing you love about your personality? I love my long, lean legs. I’m pushing 5’7” and most of that height is in my legs! I also love my simple personality. I’m a to-the-point kind of person. No drama, no extra fluff. Just plain and simple :)

There Are No Losers

It seems there are TWO winners today! First, the winner of my first ever giveaway.

Suspenseful hush….

…..

#35 – K!!!!!

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Congrats K!! Send your info to thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com and I’ll send you a free jar of hazelnut almond butter :D Thanks to everyone who entered too! It was a lot of fun to see new names come out of the woodwork. I’ve already got the wheels turning for my next giveaway :)

 

So, who’s the other winner?

ME.

Yup.

I quit my job today.

If you’ve been reading this blog recently, it shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise.

I’ve been working as a reporter at a local radio station. I report the news, covering events and writing stories on said events. Then, every Saturday and Sunday, I’m up at 4am to read the morning newscasts on air. I’ve been doing this job full-time since May 1st, but I did it part-time for two years prior while I was in journalism school.

Most people would be ecstatic to have a job in their field straight out of university, especially in this economic climate. However, during my last year in school, I realized my heart just wasn’t in the business anymore. It was wonderful to study, but I’m just not cut out to be a daily reporter.

I was actually offered my current job and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. The pay was crappy, but it was easier than having to go out into the real world and finally figure out what I want to do with my life.

But somewhere along the way, life escaped me. My friends disappeared, my boyfriend and family are in different cities, and it became just me and this job. Instead of opening doors, it started closing them. I don’t make enough money to live. I don’t work any sort of regular hours that would allow me to have a social life. I’m 23-years-old and I’m in bed at 9pm every Friday and Saturday night.

You may recall I made the decision to change that. A “five year plan” I called it. But as each day passed, it became more and more unbearable. The thought of getting out of bed, leaving the house, all seemed like too much for me. The person I thought I was began to dissolve, and even the smallest things no longer seemed like enough.

So instead of waiting for that perfect job to appear out of thin air, I’ve decided to just put an end to it already. Today was my breaking point. I was driving home from a lacklustre workout at the gym and realized my feelings over these past several months are more than just part of my natural emotions. I was spiralling out of control. Or as my mother put it, “unravelling.”

I completely broke down on the phone with my mom. I told her I just wanted to quit it all and move home. I moved to this city five years ago to be with a boyfriend, and the only thing that’s keeping me here is Chris. It seems I came here for all the wrong reasons and am now staying for the wrong reasons. At some point, Fredericton stopped feeling like my “home” and more like an ocean I was drowning in.

I have no idea what the future holds. I have 39 days left of my job, my last day being December 6. I want to stay on good terms with my boss and thought it wise to give plenty of notice. I may look for a part-time job until then to make ends meets, as that’s something that’s not happening right now. I’ll be looking for full-time jobs. In what city or field, I have no idea. I do know that I’m terrified to not have a plan. I’m scared to break my lease, move again, be broke, and feel like a failed person.

But I can tell you that the second I hit “send” on my letter of resignation, I felt an old piece of me come back. No matter where I am or where I end up, I promise to not let another minute pass me by. I will live life instead of “waiting it out.” I will not put the happiness of others before my own.

Most of all, I just want my mojo back.

Till’ next time…

-Susan
xo

Celebrating the small things

I just got back from a wonderful yoga class at my new gym! I’ve only ever done Iyengar classes before, so I was curious as to what it would be like. It was a class unique to our gym (rather than the pre-choreographed “Bodyflow” class). It was mostly Hatha style. Very light with a few tough holds and pretzel poses ;) Our instructor was awesome, very real and not intimidating in any way. We’ve got another winner at the new gym! :D

This was the view of the river from my new place when I got out of bed this morning:

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Just the inspiration I needed to make Belgian waffles. Yup! I splurged on a Belgian waffle press. Not one of the fancy spinning ones, but it gets the job done ;)

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I used my protein pancake recipe. In the blender went:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon

I topped them with fresh blueberries and a fake syrup/maple syrup mix.

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They came out so fluffy! The belgian press also works much faster than the small rectangular one my old roommie had. Makes having these on a workday much easier :)

I had more delicious food for supper…

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Another reason why I love my new place! Unlike my old top-floor apartment, it’s in a basement. So even though it was 28 C today, I could still use the oven! Those aren’t fries, but an Yves veggie chicken burger cut into slices for fun dipping into plum sauce. That corn you see up there was the best I’ve had all season. I baked it in the husk for close to 30 minutes. I don’t have any salt or pepper (got lost in the move somewhere) so I just ate it straight up. So good! Corn is so sweet and juicy, there’s no reason to dress it up. I’ve learned my lesson.

I’m also all out of dark chocolate, so dessert was another great bite-sized sweet.

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Dates! Stuffed with almond butter. I buy small soft dates because they’re cheaper. The big medjool ones are $12 a carton!!!

And look what the lovely (hilarious, inspiring, smarty pants, etc) Janetha sent me!!!

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Made. My. Day Week. It should come as no surprise that the way to my heart is with food. Especially when that food is protein packed ;)

Most excited to try the cinnamon flavour!!

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Thanks JB!! You’re the bestest!! :D

 

You may notice a huge chunk of my workday is missing from this post. That’s because I was busy as hell. My boss had me covering four events between 9am and noon. Sometimes I get the feeling he does this just to see if I can actually get to them all. Instead of being annoyed by this though, I get inspired. I am totally up to the challenge.

Taking on challenges and stepping out of comfort zones is something I talk about a lot. I’ve been very open about my history with social anxiety and agoraphobia. I truly believe that what has allowed me to overcome my anxiety disorder is learning to challenge it on a daily basis. If I haven’t done something that sends a surge of panic through my body, then I haven’t tried hard enough for the day.

My love for exercise definitely stems from this desire to challenge myself. I love putting my body through the wringer and seeing exactly what it can do.

Part of challenging yourself though, is recognizing your accomplishments. You have to remember to celebrate the small things. Today, I made it to all four events before noon, and ended up with a million great stories for my radio station. I was proud that I accomplished something that almost seemed impossible.

So how did I celebrate? I went to a yoga class and challenged myself in a room full of strangers. For the record, people with social anxiety disorders do not tangle their bodies up while surrounded by people they don’t know. But this is just one of the many things I force myself to do on a regular basis, because in the end, I never regret it.

So in celebration of my small accomplishments today, I’m asking you to do the same! Tell me one thing you’re proud of that you’ve done recently. Something that challenged you and you overcame, no matter how big or small!

 

And to finish it all off, I want to give a shout-out to Brie. She’s one of the many wonderful people I’ve met on the internet through my weight loss process. She just started her own blog: The Fit Bride. She’s planning her wedding and loves weight lifting as much as I do! :D (and is damn strong to boot)

Okay, I’m off to get all my stuff ready before my long run tomorrow. Seventy minutes planned! Night night!

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