Moments that make you go “a-ha!!”

Happy Monday! Or, er, Tuesday. Thursday? Crap, doesn’t matter when you’re reading this, you get my point! It’s a holiday week, I’m allowed to be chipper :P

I loved reading everyone’s goals for this week. There’s a good mix of people who feel they need to be mindful of their food and exercise this week, and another group who recognize it’s time to loosen up on their iron grip! I’m in the in-between group. Bring on the gravy and Bailey’s coffee, but keep the sugar cookies away from me please :)

I tried to recreate my turtle pretzels for breakfast this morning…


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 banana, cooked in
  • mini chocolate chips
  • peanut butter
  • pretzel pieces

I thought this was going to be uh-mazing, but it was just good. The pretzels got kinda soggy :\ And I missed the creaminess of custard oats!

I unloaded some cake balls and peanut butter cup cookies on my Starbucks co-workers today. For people who are surrounded by cookies and cakes all day, they went pretty quick! Had what’s becoming my usual drink of a tall Americano with four shots espresso, 2 pumps sugar-free caramel, 1 pump sugar-free hazelnut and a splash of soymilk. 

I was mega lazy this morning, and didn’t bother packing a lunch. Easy to do when I work seven steps from a Subway.


6 inch turkey breast on whole wheat, no cheese with mustard and all the veggies available. I was thinking that while Subway can be a good choice for eating out, I really shouldn’t make this a habit. Not only because it’s weirdo processed food – but this sandwich was five bucks! That shite adds up.

We were oddly over-staffed today and I got sent home early! Lost about 1.5 hours pay, but I also could have used the extra time in my day. I headed over to Sport Check to use the gift certificate my old co-workers gave me as a going away gift. Fiiinnaaally bought some long workout pants! Not only will they be great in the cold weather, but they’ll be added to my new “personal trainer wardrobe” I’m working on ;)

The second I pulled in my driveway, I saw a bright package sitting on my mailbox. I pretty much ran to get it and ripped it open. I’ve been anxiously expecting it!!!


Eeeeeee!!!!!! SO MANY GOODIES!!!! Sent my way from the lovely, hilarious, heavy liftin’, smoothie genius Deb. Thank you SO much Deb!!!! She remembered me saying I didn’t have hot water bottles on her blog a while back and sent two to me. Deb, these will pretty much keep me alive at my mom’s frigid house this week. Other goodies include Wonka Tinglerz, a Jordan’s bar (never tried, but love his muesli!) Primal Strips (can’t wait to try!!) Cocoa Roast Almonds, mini Chewy granola bar and a Japanese marshmallow candy. Even the marshmallow is fitting because y’all know I love me some fluff ;)

Even though I wanted to dig into my snacks right away (okay, okay, I had to sample the Tinglerz), I’m going to save them as emergency snacks for my trip home. I instead made up a snack plate.
 101_1513 excuse to eat almond butter ;) AB on half a banana, and then on two light wasa rye crackers with cinnamon and honey. But apparently my snack attack wasn’t over. I somehow ended up with one of these in my hand…


Gah! So good! I think these may be my favourite item I baked this weekend. Which is why I can’t wait till they’re out of my house :P

Dinner was leftover butternut squash soup.
Tonight’s version included herbed tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, 1tbsp peanut butter.

You see, I am slightly obsessed with the butternut squash + peanut butter combo. Holy moly, it was even good stirred into the soup! Try it!!

Getting off work early gave me extra time to get my chores done, which cleared up my schedule for yoga tonight!! I haven’t been to a Body Flow class at my gym in weeks. It was just what I needed. Yoga has an amazing ability to make me feel good about my body. More so than a sweaty session at the gym ever could.

For my evening snack, I blended together 3/4 cup cottage cheese, 2/3 cup frozen blueberries, stevia and cinnamon. It was a wonderfully thick and creamy snack.


That’s my yoga face. Not to be confused with my running face.


In honour of Deb, I felt it only made sense to answer a question she posed after I’d wrapped up Q&A week. But no question is a bad question, and hers is particularly good! So here’s your answer :)

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) Said:

I’m so behind on reading/commenting that I think you already answered your Qs. I do have one though if it hasn’t been asked: was there an a-ha moment that made you turn your life around from drinking/drugs etc to your healthy current self?

I’ve had a series of “a-ha” moments. My first one was when I was 16 years old. I’d been heavily into, ahem, “bad things.” One night, I watched a very good friend of mine get injured in a fight and I couldn’t do anything about it. That was my first notable “a-ha” moment. I never wanted to put myself in a position where I was that helpless again. After that, I stopped doing drugs altogether. I started doing better in school, hanging out with a solid group of friends, and my life almost resembled that of just your normal rebellious teenager.

Unfortunately, I still continued my bad relationship with food, smoking and alcohol. I moved in with my high school boyfriend when I was 18, and it was just a bad time for me. Kinda like these past few months since finishing university have been. Something in my gut was just telling me “you’re not supposed to be doing this right now.”

The high school boyfriend got ditched after I started university,and so did the smoking. Chris also entered the picture around this time, and my confidence took a nice little turn upward. Unfortunately, so did my drinking and eating habits. For the record, I cannot keep up with a 27-year-old boy in the beer or nacho department. However, I did not realize this until over two years later.

That a-ha moment came after several months of increased indulgence. Chris and I took a trip to Jamaica, and I continued the food and drink vacation once I got home. I knew my weight had skyrocketed. I had just gotten my first TV job and could see it onscreen every night. I was breaking down and buying sizes I’d never seen. But I’d resigned to the idea that I’d just always be a chubby person. I liked food and beer too much, so I just gave up in favour of that.

That is, until my roommate got a Wii Fit. We plugged it in one night after I’d downed two big Coronas (two litres!!). While setting up my Mii character, I saw my weight, and my jaw dropped. I knew I’d been gaining weight, but it didn’t fell real until I saw those numbers in front of me. That same night I put down the Corona. The next day I started looking up my calories online and writing them down in a little book. A couple weeks later, I found The Daily Plate and that’s when the weight really started falling off. I committed to doing 30 minutes of activity every day. Soon I was setting fitness goals and falling in love with it. And eventually I started taking pictures of my food and posting it on the internet! :P


Question of the Day: What was your food/fitness/healthy-living “a-ha” moment?

Posted on December 21, 2009, in Health, Lessons Learned, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. 4 shots of espresso?? You are my hero! I so need a cafe job.

    My aha moment was seeing the number 250 on the scale. Not sure why that round number hit me so funny. It’s not like I was hiding anything over 200 pounds. It took a while to get to where I am with some wandering along the way, but that sticks in my head as a defining moment for me.

  2. a FOOT-LONG subway is $5 here. But I guess our currency is different, so that seems about right for a 6-inch. I always thought it was cheap compared with other food you buy, though!
    PB in butternut squash soup? Wow. That’s brilliant. I’ll make sure to try that sometime!

    Oh, and my ah-ha moment: I won’t DIE from eating white unrefined carbs once in a while…Ah-ha!

  3. Oh, so much in this post Susan! First I’m thrilled that you like the goodies. I’ve been thinking about sending you water bottles for so long. And glad you like the edibles too. Those tinglerz are so yummy and so gone :-(

    Thank you for answering my question- more interesting stuff about you. You’ve come a long way- it’s impressive!

    Funny enough, I don’t really see it as an a-ha moment, but perhaps it was: I was talking to a girlfriend about a mutual friend who was always chubby. My gf told me that our friend had lost all sorts of weight with this program HMR and that she looked fab. So I figured, if she could do it so could I. And I called and joined. Funny though b/c I had joined every other diet program known to man, but none of them worked except this one b/c they taught us how to count calories and keep records. and of course encouraged 2000 cals of exercise per week at least.

    I sooo enjoyed this post- have a great night :-)

  4. Wow. I didnt know you were a drinker/drug user (former!) and also that you used to be heavier til I read your guestie on LAra’s blog. Why/how did I not know this? Probably b/c they’re not the kind of things you take a front page newspaper out for :) When I was younger, I was no stranger to drinking and partying. It was fun, but I am an old 33 yr old soccer mom now and those days are looooooong gone :)

    As for your eats. Brock with the soup. The turtle pretzles. Rockin!

    And Starbucks. I know you’ve mentioned this before, but if you were to get a hot beverage there, what would it be?

    And cold…not blended though. What would it be?

    I confess terms like latte,misto, americano, etc….they’re all coffee greek to me :) I like espresso shot in my coffee. and who wouldnt love a carmel machiatto full fat, full everything, but I order that stuff with soy and am confused about syrups, etc.

    Post idea for you: A starbucks tutorial! GOD I would be forever grateful! Syrups, lingo, milks, etc….


  5. yeah, subway def. seems like a rip-off when you can buy your own veggies and bread and make the same sandwich for $1.50

    I wish I had an “ah-ha” moment but everything was very gradual for me. Your story is really inspirational

  6. I have had a couple of aha moments..kinda like you.

    1. At 300lbs my aunt lost a bunch of weight with Atkins. Lost 50lbs

    2. At 250lbs I was walking around the zoo and saw fat couples with fat kids and didn’t want that. So I joined WW for about 8 years and got down to about 185lbs.

    3. Then I started dating an a-hole who thought that I wasn’t thin enough. I kicked it up into high gear on WW and got down to 168lbs. I.was.miserable.

    4. I gained 30lbs back and now teeter around 196. I want to get to a healthy weight range again for 175lbs. So 20ish pounds to go. My aha moment was looking at a picture of myself and’ve put weight on again and none of my clothes fitting.

    btw I did the daily plate and they said I should be eating 2400 calories…holy god that’s a lot of food–based on working out or 1600 if I dont’ work out..that makes sense

  7. im totally with you on the “any excuse to eat almond butter thing” sometimes i just eat oats FOR the pb! your oats always look AWESOME

  8. Turtle pretzel oatmeal? INGENIUS! Haha, I love your creations, they’re the best!

  9. Ah Susan, you make me wish I drank coffee again! Mmmm…I have to email you. I just saw something that you would pee your pants over. xoxo

  10. I’ve had pretzels in oats and was also disappointed at how soggy they got – I had to add them in a few bites at a time :( However, I LOVE the idea of turtle pretzel oats!

    Those hot water bottles!!! Life saver for cold winter nights! What a fantastic package! What a lovely yoga face!

    My a-ha moment? When I realized the benefits of drinking a lot of water – feeling better, more radiant skin, NOT being thirsty after drinking.

  11. Love your yoga face :D

    I loved that my pretzels got soggy in my oats… I am not a fan of crunchy foods. Your soup sound delish- I am in charge of picking the menu for Christmas day and was thinking a soup might be nice for lunch (we don’t do a huge traditional meal so light lunch, early normal-sized dinner). Hmmm.

    My ah-ha moments continue. Lots of moments where I’ve thought, “crap…I CAN’T keep going down this path”. My last trip to NY was a bit of a wake-up call when I injured my hip and saw how long it took to heal (#1 sign my body isn’t as strong as it could be) but the latest one was about…hehe, 20 minutes ago watching a documentary. Basically 2 journalists went on heavily restrictive diets- what was interesting to me was an interview with one of their bosses several weeks in talking about how much their personality and ability to function had changed. Brains need good food!

    • that sounds like it doesn’t answer your question at all… I assure you, it makes sense in my head!

      • Bahaha, Ellie, sounds like you need to go feed that brain of yours some carbs and healthy fats ;)

        Do you remember the name of that documentary? I’d love to see it! I tried out a high protein diet once and was MISERABLE. My brain and body were just not happy on it, and it wasn’t even that extreme.

  12. It’s been very interesting to read about your “ah ha” moment. I think sometimes seeing that weight flash in front of you can be what it takes.

    I am having an almond butter giveaway, thought you may be interested :)

  13. DEB is the shit. i love her to death and that care package she sent you is so nice! ah i love her.

    great answer to your aha moment. i think mine was slow going. i mean.. like one step at a time. first i stopped doing the real bad drugs… then stopped smoking pot.. then cut back on drinking. it wasn’t until i gained LOTS of weight after my injury that i realized i needed to do a complete overhaul of my lifestyle!

    cute photo of your yoga face! you’re gawjuss and i love you and i am sorry i went so long without reading blogs!


  14. what an AWESOME story :) you’ve come so far girl and that’s amazing!

    my ah-ha moment was somewhat or a whole lot less inspiriing haha i just came home from college freshie year and relized i had BLOWN UP and then just started my quest. boooring.

  15. My “ah-ha” moment came mid-way through my sophomore year (last year) when I was at a party and a very drunk friend who I hadn’t seen in quite a while said to me, “wow! You gained weight!” I had always been “the skinny” girl and knew I had put on some typical college pounds but that moment made me go “I should really do something about this.” She of course apologized profusely for her drunken rudeness the next day- but really, I should be thanking her for giving me the needed slap in the face ;)

  16. i don’t think i ever had a clear ah ha moment…mine was more of an awareness that was building and building, then suddenly i knew i couldn’t continue on and not do something. not take care of myself.


  17. Ahhh well I want a WII though I hope it doesn’t shock me….but I had a similar moment after being in Europe for work for 32 days I ate whatever, I hardly exercised, and I came home and tried on some jeans and I couldn’t button them, I was so bloated.


    But I am loving my workouts and eating (somewhat) healthy, so I am back on track!

    Happy Tuesday,


  18. I think my a-ha moment was my first doctors appt after I graduated college and I tipped the scale at 189. That was waaaay too close to 200 for comfort. I kicked it into gear and am now at 151, very comfortably!

  19. My ah-ha moment was standing on my doctor’s scale and got frightened for where I might end up. I honestly thought I could end up homebound or worse.

  20. I think my ah-ha moment was when I couldn’t eat a single thing without feeling sick. So I cut out everything and started all over again. I feel SO much better now.

    I just found your blog…it is really interesting! I am from Toronto but live in Los Angeles now. I miss Canada!

  21. turtle pretzels looks great!

  22. I loved your a-ha moments, because it’s so funny, it seriously happens in like a course of events like that, at least for me it did too! But I think some more a-ha moments, about life in general, are still to be had.

    Mmmm yes those pretzel turtle things look so good. I do not blame you at all. Your tweet the other day cracked me up, about your love of cooking, but NO DESIRE to go to culinary school- I was like damnn, what am I doing. I doo want to go to culinary school, but I’m hella scared.

    Love your yoga face! I hate cottage cheese, but that bowl looks really good.

    • Haha, girl you are meant for culinary school!!! Your passion for food is contagious! I just thought it was funny that my two passions are food and fitness, but for some reason I feel drawn toward the fitness field way more than the food one. We should team up – we’d be a killer combo ;)

      Speaking of tweets, one of yours made me think of something the other day. E-mail me your address, I’ve GOT to send you a small package in the mail that I know you’ll need ;)

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