Going with the Flow

Hey blog friends!! Wow, is it just me, or does it feel like a while? My blog schedule is all screwed up. But really, it’s only been since Monday!

Here’s what I’ve been doing in the interim:


Asking the hard questions.

I got to interview former Canadian New Democrat (NDP) leader Ed Broadbent after he gave a speech called “Inequality and Poverty.” I really like interviewing retired politicians. Wish I could say the same about the ones still in office :P

How about some eat highlights

There was some yogurt with a Kashi blackberry cereal bar crumbled on top.


I see a lot of my fellow bloggers do the “crumbled bar on yogurt” technique. It’s something that never occurred to me before – it’s delish!

There’s been a lot of salami and cheese sandwiches.


One of my favourite things about eating red meat again is that there are many meals, like this one, that take me back to my childhood. Salami on pita with some melted cheddar cheese was something I ate a lot as a preteen. (back when I could eat half the kitchen and blame it on a growth spurt).

Laughing cow cheese on pear.


This was uh-mazing. Is there anything that laughing cow doesn’t taste good with?

Flat waffles (aka pancakes)

The usual protein pancake recipe (found under the Eats tab) Dipped in a mix of almond butter and syrup.


A “controlled” yogurt mess.



As far as flavoured low-fat yogurts go, Source is my favourite. The ingredients aren’t the best (it has Splenda), but the price is right. This is a new product to me and I just had to try it. I liked it :)

Oh, and I’ve been stuffing things with leftovers to the point of explosion :P


Same stuffing I used in red pepper the other day. Except this time I put it in a squash I picked up at the market. I gotta say, I liked it better in the squash! My tastebuds just go crazy over squash, they can’t help it ;)

As far as my sickness, I wouldn’t say I’m better, but it’s at least progressing. Hoping it doesn’t decide to linger for too long!

Now onto other things…

Going With The Flow

While reading Diane’s post today, I realized that I am a very rigid person. I’m good at making decisions for myself, and creating plans, but when it comes to changing them, I freak out a little.

I want to talk about this in terms of taking a rest from exercise.

Today is day 4 of no exercise for me. This break was unplanned. I hurt my hip in the gym on Friday. From past experience, I knew it could turn into something a lot worse if I didn’t lay off it until it was 110% better.

In the past, this would have bothered me. Even though I’m not training for anything (yet! got a half mary in May!), I still schedule out all my workouts for the week on my Google Calendar. I put a lot of energy into that plan, making sure I fit in all my runs, weight sessions and favourite group classes around my ever-changing work schedule.

When I first started doing this, I would get really anxious when something would come up that would change or delay something in that schedule. Going out of town, or a shift change at work, would throw me into a tizzy of figuring out how I would fit it all in. As a university student, I worked really hard not to let my hectic school, work and social life get in the way of my gym time. That meant I was sometimes too strict with it.

What I’ve learned since training for the triathlon, and taking time off from hip injury #1, is that sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

That’s not to say you can blow off whole weeks of exercise because it’s “too cold out” or your favourite TV shows are on :P It just means, when life happens, it’s okay to skip or change a workout.

More importantly, when your body starts giving you clues that it needs a rest – take it!! There’s a fine line between being too lazy and too tired to work out. It’s up to you to learn the difference, and listen to your body when it needs a rest. Learning to pick up on your body’s clues is more important than the perfect training plan ever will be.

I think the mental aspect of it is just as important. Even if there’s nothing wrong with your physical state, sometimes we just mentally burn out from all that activity! It’s okay to take a few days off just to kick back and rejuvenate. It’s worth it just for the enthusiasm and dedication you’ll have upon your triumphant return to the gym.

My number one rule is always that it’s better to take a day off so I can put the extra effort in the next day, rather than just half-ass it because I’m hurting or don’t have the energy.

So why bring all this up? I suppose because this week, instead of letting the coloured boxes in my Google Calendar dictate my decisions, I went with the flow. I listened to my body, which was both hurting and sick. I took a mental break, and didn’t feel an ounce of guilt for lounging around, or even not changing my eating habits to reflect that. Hopefully my body has had the chance to heal, I know I’m already getting anxious to return to my favourite exercise classes!

Ironically, I’m going to a BodyFlow class tonight, which will be a gentle mix of tai chi, yoga and pilates. Tomorrow, I’m going to test the waters with a 3 mile run. I woke up with a Charley horse in my calf muscle last night, which is strange for me, as I usually get them as a result of too much activity. I think it was my muscle saying “Okay! I’m ready to work now!!” :P

Questions of the day:

1) Have you ever been set back by an injury?

2) How often do you take a rest?


Posted on October 20, 2009, in Health, Lessons Learned, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Ugh. Injury setback is the story of my life. My plantar fasciitis is so bad now I can barely do traditional cardio. It put a major dent in my mentality and I have yet to muster up the motivation to workout. So I’ve been… um… resting… for… like two months now?

  2. okay that’s really making me want to try stuffed squash ASAP!!! Yes, I’m currently set back by an injury, although it’s more longterm. It’s VERY hard for me to just let it go and “go with the flow”!

  3. I am glad you are letting yourself go with the flow. Schedules are great, but sometimes they lead to more stress than the stress they are trying to relieve!

    I rest when I need to, but normally I am more conscious of how I feel when I am working out knowing to not go all out. I leave some on the table during workouts that I don’t leave on race days.

    I swear we are on the same vibe length. I had laughing cow and pear with lunch (although on a separate item) and protein pancakes for breakfast!.

  4. I haven’t been resting much lately because of bootcamp, but in a way it’s been nice because I can see know that before, I was probably just lazy sometimes when I skipped workouts. Physically I’m doing ok, but mentally I am def getting burned out from exercise so I’m glad my program is almost over. I haven’t totally figured out how many days of rest I need, but it’s seeming like i”m doing well on 6 days of exercise and one day of “active rest.” Sometimes I workout in the morning and after work, lately, and that’s getting to be too much so I’m not sure if I’ll keep that up. Great post! Good for you for listening to yourself and honoring your body.

  5. I have been set back by an injury and I admit it was hard. For me though, it was a foot injury so I began biking and swimming. It turned out to be good because then I learned that I enjoyed those exercises too.

    I always take one day off. I really try and listen to my body. If it tells me to rest then I do – because I know that’s it is a real need and not just me being lazy!

    Great post!

  6. I really loved this post! First because the delicious food (and I’m glad to see someone else who enjoyed artificial sweetners today :) ) And secondly because the exercise thing really spoke out to me! Sometimes I force myself to exercise because I feel like I’m being lazy. But in reality maybe I just need a rest! I usually take 1 day off a week.. sometimes 2!

  7. I am dealing with an injury now–a bad case of plantar fascitis like Leah mentioned above (waves at Leah—I can relate) My doctor told me no exercise and I can’t even walk (I am actually in a walking boot for it). I was really anxious at first about it but realized it is what I need to do for this to hopefully heel. I went from being very active to only being able to do upper body weights.

    Prior to this I found I did best with 2 rest days per week. Definitely took me a while to get to that place where I was OK with taking days off but my body really responded so much better when I planned more rest and recovery time.

  8. I think resting when injured is a REALLY good move (or ‘not move’, lol) I have a hard time resting when injured and it just delays the recovery period, big time.

    My blogging schedule is funky right now too :(

  9. I’ve had my share of injuries, from my young gymnastics days til now, as a runner. I definitely have a tendency to “push through” pain, which is a practice I am trying to get over! I need to be better at giving my body a rest when it needs it!

    mm, pancakes… :)

  10. I’m dealing with a foot injury right now and it is so, so, so super tough to keep myself from being too active. I know it needs to heal and letting it do that now, rather than later, is the best thing I can do. But it drives me crazy, too, to sit still!

  11. Look at you! We should call you Susan Walters ;)

    I know it’s hard to go against your schedule, trust me, I do, but it sounds like you really do need the rest time. I am really proud of you for recognizing that despite your workout-aholic tendencies ;)

  12. I lOVE that picture of you interviewing–so professional! This was a great post. I’m pretty rigid when it comes to exercise, too. Although I’ve managed to loosen up on my eating habits, I can’t even remember the last time I did NOT exercise at least 5 times a week. I should bookmark this post to reread the next time my body is yelling at me to chill out! Thanks susan. You are always lovely :) xoxo

  13. Check you out, Miss Reporter!! You look super focused and into it :)

    The exploding dinner and those protein pancakes look delicious. I really need to remember to try protein pancakes one of these days!!

    I’m glad you brought up the point of going with the flow. When I was still training in my sport, there were no ifs, ands, or buts when it came to the sport. I had the stomach flu and the first thing out of one of my trainers mouths was, “so are you still going to insert-sport-here.” It’s hard to break the mentality of ALWAYS doing a sport/working out no matter what but once you do, it makes your life much easier.

  14. I am injury and illness prone! Right now I’m dealing with plantar fasciitis so exercise hurts a lot. I am trying to ignore that, which I’m sure is a great strategy! ;p A few weeks ago I um broke a chair (hangs head in embarrassment) and my hip has been giving me trouble off and on since. I had to rest a few days for that one. Awhile back I had to take a month off all activity because I got mono and right now I’m dealing with another bout of shingles so I took a couple of rest days and starting last night I’ll be doing lighter activity than usual for a day or two.

  15. Forgot to say I love your interview picture! You look so professional!

  16. susan…love you! i think you have some wonderful perspectives and we are so hard on ourselves sometimes, for what purpose? life is meant to be enjoyed, lived and experienced. a week without exercise is NOT going to kill you in the long run…sometimes it is the best motivation to get back on track!

    love you and the interviewing skills – my very first interview ever was with the mayor of madison, and i broke a picture frame in his office! my second one was with george takei…aka sulu in the original star trek! memories :)

    • Bahaha Holly, your comment made me laugh. I have had some train wreck interviews as well! The most famous person I interviewed was Corey Haim a la Lost Boys fame. But I’m sure meeting Sulu scores you some major points with the Trekkies :P

  17. When I first read this post, I was a bit “whatever” in that I’m a VERY RIGID person when it comes to my food and exercise. (I’m working on that…) Even though you can take breaks and be okay, that didn’t mean I could. See, I have to push myself to the point of destruction, because…huh?

    No, I don’t. Although I hear it all the time, you are so right in that sometimes you just have to go with the flow. And by flow, I mean, well…life. I also prioritize exercise above everything else, and that’s quite screwed up. I am consciously trying to rest much more and realizing that it won’t kill me. In fact, it can only make me stronger.

    Rock on!

  18. taking a rest is so important – not even just a physical one, a mental one. just shut the mind off and breathe.

  19. I think this post made it into my subconcious last night. I wasn’t really feeling like working out and my shin was kind of bothering me, but I went to the gym anyway. I got changed, got on the treadmill then something clicked and I got off and drove home. I didn’t want to push myself and my body was asking for rest. I need to listen more often.

  20. I am loving the VitaMuffins too, though every once in a while I get on that tastes dry and weird.

    Ever had the chance to interview Jack Layton? I had the chance to chat with him, as we’re in the midst of a by-election campaign here in Truro for the Colchester Cumberland Musquodoboit Valley federal riding now that Bill Casey’s resigned as MP and working in Ottawa for the province instead – since the NDP just won over Nova Scotia in a landslide at the provincial level, the NDP are really hoping the same break-through might occur for the federal riding, even though it’s traditionally a Conservative riding. Bill Casey’s landslide win as an Independent last time was the first time such a change has occurred. Anyway, Jack is really quite personable and interesting in-person. Shorter than I thought though, haha.

    He’s going to be back here I think next Friday.

    Michael Ignatieff is somewhere around the area today and tomorrow with his Liberal candidate Jim Burrows.

    We’re told Prime Minister Harper won’t be stopping into the area because, ‘He’s busy managing the economy.’ < – – Snarky much… yes.

  21. Such a pretty photo of you doing the interview!

    Great post. I’ve been guilty in the past of doing too much exercise. I’ve definitely learned to cut back- but usually only due to one injury or another. I’ve had: back problems, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbows, sprained ankle, bum knees and now a torn rotator cuff that may require surgery. The longest I’ve ever taken off was 8 days and I survived and actually thrived :-)

  1. Pingback: Going with the Flow – Food Edition « The Great Balancing Act

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