Flashback Friday – Being Healthy AND Social

Happy weekend everyone! Or, at least, I hope it’s a happy one :)

I got my day off to a good start with the Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones DVD.

It’s a 50-minute strength DVD, divided into seven circuits, going through about four moves two times in each circuit. Mostly made up of combination moves that work both lower-body and upper-body at the same time. It’s perfect for days like today where I want a low intensity workout. Although, it’s no walk in the park either. I was sweating up a storm and my shoulders are sore!

Only had 20 minutes for breakfast today so I went for one of my favourite quick n’ tasty morning meals.


Waffles! What else :P Nature’s Path maple cinnamon freezer waffles, topped with a mixture of cottage cheese, cashew butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Since I scorched my toaster oven, I had to make these in my full-sized oven. Still have to learn how to do that without burning them…

Morning snack at work was a banana and almond butter.

Except this banana gave me a tummy ache :( Sometimes they do that, I have no idea why…

I broke into my lunch at 11:30am. No point in waiting till noon if I already have a growling belly!


Tofurkey sandwich with the usual suspects: pickles, mustard, onions, tomato, spinach, side of baby carrots.

I ended up running errands over my lunch break, and what was supposed to be a quick stop at Shoppers Drug Mart turned into a $150 haul.

I never budget for beauty supplies, nor do I ever splurge and buy nice beauty items. So in celebration of being paid yesterday, I did! That hair straightener by the way, is a wireless one. While it’s a nifty gadget to have, I don’t think it’s the quality iron that I need. I may have to throw down close to another $100 to get a more solid one :( I hate spending money on beauty crap!

Afternoon snack was a stinky one…

I get so embarrassed eating boiled eggs in public. I had to apologize profusely to my officemate.

Dinner had more eggs – a smoked mackerel egg white scramble.


  • onions
  • sweet peppers
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • chopped chipotle
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • smoked mackerel
  • old cheddar cheese

Nomnom. The smoked fish/smoky chipotle flavour combination was a great one. Don’t know why I don’t do “spicy” with smoked meats more often!


Flashback Friday – Q&A Edition

As soon as I got tonight’s question, I knew I had to save it for a Flashback Friday post.

What was the biggest struggle you faced with your weight loss and maintenance journeys? Sorry if this is already asked, and if it is then feel free to ignore it. I know you have talked about in the blog in general, but I’m just wondering what the one hardest thing was. Thanks!


I suppose I’ve yammered on a lot about various struggles I encountered while losing weight and maintaining my 30 lb weight loss, but I’ve never picked out one aspect that I really struggled with throughout. For me, the hardest part was, and is, leading a normal social life.

When I first began my journey, I would say I lead a pretty active social life. I was in my third-year of university, had a solid group of friends and a boyfriend I hung out with regularly. Thing is, I really only did two things when I hung out with other people – drink and eat. I’d been able to keep my weight at a reasonable level up until that point by walking everywhere. But once I got my car, it all went downhill (or technically, “up-scale”)


This picture of me in Jamaica is probably 5 lbs below my highest weight. I was eating and drinking like I didn’t have a care in the world. Litres of draft beer would be consumed, with piles of nachos, and pieces of cake, all the while laughing and having a grand ole time with my friends.

Then I realized enough was enough, and I changed. The first course of action I took was giving up beer. At first, my friends laughed, as if it were some sort of joke. But I dropped close to 6 lbs those first three weeks without beer, which was motivation enough for me not to go back.

Then the peer pressure began, my friends would try to force it on me, or said I was being a party pooper. In all honesty, I felt like a party pooper too. Hanging out in a dark pub while people ate and drank what they wanted was no longer fun for me. I found myself obsessing over what I couldn’t have, and ignoring the conversations going on around me.

I also became very controlling over what I put in my body. About a month into my weight loss journey, I went on a trip up north with my family.


By this point, I’d lost around 15 lbs and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was on-track, and determined not to let anything throw me off. But this trip was probably one of the hardest for me socially. I had been learning about the nutritional value of all my foods, and found it very difficult to let myself go knowing what I was consuming. Back then, no one even knew I was trying to lose weight, so I’m sure they were all confused as to why I was freaking out about eating potato salad!!

I also felt out of place when I would make healthy substitutes in front of other people. I really wanted to be one of the normal people at barbecues who could gobble up sausages and buns with reckless abandon.

Instead, I felt like I had a huge target on my back for going with the healthier options.

Part of my struggle with this also came from the fact that I was a university student. Drinking on the weekends (okay, weeknights too) is just what college kids do. So not wanting to do those things made me feel very much like an outsider.


Then of course there was the fitness aspect of it. It took me a really long time to learn how to explain to people that I’m up at 5am to workout everyday. Or that I’m training for things like triathlons and half-marathons. 

Even now, trying to explain to friends, family and colleagues about my personal training aspirations is difficult.

I hate to sound like a broken record here, but the two things I’ve learned about having a “normal” social life while losing/maintaining weight is that it’s all about honesty and balance. I was never straight-up with people about my trying to lose weight. I’m sure my family and friends would have understood and been more accepting had I just been like “I don’t want to go to the pub tonight because I’m trying to lose weight, let’s do something else.”

In terms of balance, I should have loosened up on myself a little in the early weight-loss days too. I needn’t have been so strict in situations where I should have focused on the people around me, not the food being offered. Instead of saying “absolutely no beer,” I now have no problem with drinking a couple with friends every once in a while. It doesn’t really add up to much in the grand scheme of things. Same goes with exercise – it’s worth it to skip one early morning workout sometimes so I can have a late night out with friends!

I’ve also learned that having a good social life also important to my overall health. Perfect diet and exercise patterns aren’t the only things required to make me a happy person. I need more interaction, thought provocation, and whole-hearted belly-laughs to keep me thriving on a daily basis :)

And with that, I send all my bloggie friends a giant HEART!! <3


Thank you to Emily for showing the Valentine’s Day love (only 5 days late, not bad for Canada Post!). Now it’s my turn to give it back to all my readers :)

Lost catch-up beckons! Night night! xoxo


P.S. I’m still taking questions for the Q&As, comment or e-mail away!

Posted on February 19, 2010, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Thanks for answering my question. And I love how you included how you “grew” during the time and learned how to incorporate moderate treats in with social occasions. I have to say that was always my biggest struggle whenever I was dieting too. It’s good to hear how you dealt with it and how you honestly approach it now. :)

  2. I enjoyed your FF. I can relate to a lot of what you said as I did or am doing a few of the same things. Example this time around I have decided to go out the odd time with friends rather than say no because my food options may not be what I want.

  3. Glad you like the DVD! You’re too hardcore, though–easy workout! Psssht.

  4. Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    I can SO related to you on the social aspect of trying to lose weight. It wasn’t just ever a few drinks, it was a few drinks AND Dominos cheesy bread…

  5. Oh I love the brutal honesty, Susan. The part about hey let’s do something else rather than go out and eat bad food…totally agree! I have to gently say that to people when they dont understand why i cant/wont eat “just some cheese pizza”. Gluten + dairy = horrilbe tummy ache for days….kinda like you and raw brock :)

  6. WOW you are awesome. i also love how honest and REAL you are girl, thats something i really admire in people.
    THANK YOU for your input on my blog post! i LOVED reading it-you are so wise and i agree w. everything you said!!
    LOVE that egg scramble!! and i always love your waffle “icings”!!

  7. Hey Susan,
    A very enjoyable post, thanks for sharing your story in a bit more detail. I think the reason diets generally fail people is because they are waaay too strict with themselves, as you mentioned happened to you. Overnight they start controlling what they eat, exercising one hour a day and not going out r doing anything social: surely it’s impossible to sustain so many brutal changes overnight for more than a few days!!
    Thanks for your honesty, look forward to reading more Qs & As!
    Cee x

  8. That dinner is great, and I am the same with HB eggs!

    I completely understand where you are coming from, in my early days of weight loss, I was the exact same way you were. I wanted to remain social and still lose weight, but it was HARD- my weight loss took over my life AND my social life. It takes a lot to find a good balance, it looks like you have now!


  9. Love your story girl! Being at college as a healthy eater is harder than it sounds. I try to do what you found works-be honest. My friends now seem to “get” that this is the way I eat, and sometime they make fun of me for it when I order oatmeal at a pancake house, but it’s all in fun. It’s all about balance – and just like you I’m not going to sacrifice my social life or my delish food. We shouldn’t have to! *pumps fist*

  10. I don’t know how I ever lived without cottage cheese! Seriously!

    I used to get a lot of crap about my eating since I started eating healthy really young.. but now everyone has finally accepted it thank gosh!

  11. it can be hard to balance social life with healthy eating and exercise. ive definitely had times in my life where ive taken the healthy part to the extreme and neglected my social life. i have to say, i am very lucky though to have a group of friends who also love to hike, play games on the beach, and eat massive salads!!

  12. I really enjoy reading your blog. It helps give me insight to new recipes to try and ways to keep a balance with food. Question: I have heard mixed reviews about soy protein. What are your thoughts? – Em

  13. That was cute: downhill/ up-scale! :-)

    Ironic that you were lambasted by your friends for not drinking/eating junk, yet you felt uncomfortable trying to make healthy choices as you were trying to be very strict. As you said- it’s about balance. You have found a wonderful balance in your life. I’m still trying to find it- getting closer, just need to get to the point where my lifestyle isn’t too restrictive nor indulgent, and I am at a weight that I like. Not quite there, but inching forward :-)

    I have come to the point where I no longer make excuses for my “healthy” ways- people who know/love me know that I’m trying to maintain a large weight loss, so if I ask for dressing-on-the-side, so be it.

    Love seeing your old pics btw!

  14. ah! giving up beer was the biggest thing for me too when i was losing weight! people don’t realize that its a huuuuuuge influence on zee gut haha i know from experience :)

    cottage cheese & waffles? oh how i love

  15. Thank you for this post! I think that embarking on a lifestyle change makes you change in more ways than people realise- it’s not just losing 5lbs or quitting smoking, but changing so many things about your life and how you interract with the world. I also think it has a knock-on effect to things that can’t ever really go back to the carefree days… I guess we learn too much and we grow, and we look at parts of ourselves we didn’t know were there. If that makes sense.

    Bananas are like tummy medicine for me.

    I HIGHLY recommend the Good Hair Day straighteners- they were expensive when they first came out and I held off buying them, but think I ended up wasting more money buying cheaper ones hoping they would be good. Though my hair is a wild out-of-control monster at the best of times. I hate spending money on beauty stuff too, but my ceramic hair straighteners were worth it (ceramic are less likely to damage your hair too so you save moolah on conditioner further down the line :P )

    • Thank you for the hair straightener suggestion!! I was secretly hoping someone would have one ;) Yes, I’m learning that some things I shouldn’t cheap out on. I didn’t realize how crappy my current one is until I used a REAL one at my friend’s place last weekend. What a difference it makes!

  16. It looks as if we have the same idea of a low intensity workout. Her workouts are great!

    Apples do that to me somtimes. It’s like I get a sugar rush??

    Great flashback pictures!

  17. I think all of us who have lost weight have felt like it gets in the way of your social life at first. I think you are very right about trying to balance it (of course!). It’s okay to drink with our friends sometimes, but then maybe the next time lets all go for a run or a bike ride.

  18. Good for you for getting some beauty stuff! I just got my bonus in this past paycheck so I am alloting some money for that alone.

    I was the same way with food–especially in college…..eating and drinking and being merry I guess? :) I wish I could go back and slap myself and tell me back then to slow down, eat some veggies and not drink so much.

  19. Thank you for being so open and honest, Susan. It really is hard when you change a big commonality that you have with your friends and they don’t understand why. Peer pressure is a powerful thing.

  20. sooo.. the cottage cheese on your waffles made me gag. hey, i am just being real over here. haha. i still cannot grasp cottage cheese and sweet eats together, i wonder why?

    LOVE how you tied fbf into q&a. crafty girl!! and loved your ramblings on the whole thing. i TOTALLY am with you on how hard it can be to lead a normal social life when losing weight. totally.

    love your face. one more post and i am CAUGHT UP! maybe. probably not for long. haha

  21. Awesome possum, thanks for answering my question! Can’t wait to re-try protein cookie dough with a decent pro-powder.

    And, I can totally relate to the social thing; I’ve definitely become more isolated since I started watching my weight :(

  22. ive been lucky to be surrounded by people that were very supportive of what i was doing, but i have definitely still had my moments where i try to eat healthy in a room with other people scarfing down junk food. its hard. but you know what? i am me, and i cant change what i do just to please others. it is SO about honesty and balance :)

  23. If you are moving to Toronto you should wait and buy a straightener here. I found a guy who sells them for $40 – the CHI ones – brand new. I’m not saying it’s not a bit shady, but it’s a lot of money to save!

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