“The Slump” and My Saving Grace

I have something of a confession.

Before the accident that broke my arm, I was going through a bit of a “workout” slump.

I know this is a pretty common occurrence, but what made mine notable is that it lasted for almost a year.

Ever since leaving my much loved gym in Fredericton last April, working out has been a challenge. More of a challenge than it was in the past. Before, I legitimately loved exercise. Working out was my favourite time of day. I had to consciously limit my workouts to 60-90 minutes, otherwise I’d just want to keep going. I had the proverbial fire in my belly about exercise. I mean, it’s why I quit my blossoming career as a radio reporter to become a personal trainer.

And then it just went away. After leaving Fredericton, I stayed with my mom in Moncton for a month. I felt like I was dragging myself to the gym for mediocre workouts every day. I blamed it on my newfound unemployment making me lazy. Or the fact that the gym there didn’t have my favourite classes or lifting equipment.

When I arrived in Toronto in July, I immediately found work as a personal trainer. This had to get me excited about exercise again… right?


It turned it into work. I’m not talking about my sessions with clients, but about my own personal fitness. After a long day of training, the last thing I wanted to do was stay at the gym an hour longer to get my own workout in. Training on the same equipment I worked on made it feel less fun. Not to mention, the gym was far away from where I lived, and getting there was a real hassle when I wasn’t getting paid for it. I hardly ever went to the group fitness classes at my gym because peak class hours coincided with peak training hours.

When I injured my arm six weeks ago, I admit, I was a little relieved by the prospect of not feeling pressured to work out. The only reason why I have consistently exercised during this extended “slump” is to maintain my health and fitness. Because that’s what a personal trainer is expected to do.

It has been 10 months of bored workouts + 6 weeks of complete rest and I am finally, finally, starting to feel enthusiastic about it again. I feel like setting fitness goals again. Like following a training program. Jeez, I could even sign up for a race! I’m starting to get a bit of a smoulder in my belly again. I know it will be a while yet until I’m back in my full fighting form. But I have a lot of hopes for things I’ll be able to do this summer. Activities I’ll be able to do outdoors in the Maritimes – even with my rehabbing arm. First step is getting the okay to run again. I’m going to bug my surgeon about it again tomorrow!

Anyways, it is with this that I bring you my final Toronto brunch.


I only just heard of Saving Grace after it made the #3 spot in BlogTO’s latest Best Brunch in Toronto list. I’d already tried the one and two spots, so I had to round out the top three!


Saving Grace is this reeeeeally small place in Little Portugal. So small they make you wait outside for a table because there’s no room for people to stand in the doorway. It wasn’t that big of a deal on the spring-like day we were there. But that’s not cool in the dead of winter.

We arrived there at 10:30am not knowing it opens at 10am. We had to wait for the first round of brunchers to finish up before we were seated. Rookie mistake!


I of course ordered a coffee right away as my eyes glazed over considering both the brunch menus.



Gah! Fish tacos? Savoury french toast? Poached eggs on lentils? ROSEMARY MAYO??


Roomie Megan went for that last one. More specifically the Old White Cheddar Sandwich: tomato, avocado, lettuce, rosemary mayo, toasted whole wheat raisin bread w/ greens & potatoes.


Roommie Jocelyn went for the two poached eggs with toast, potatoes and greens.


Me? After gathering my wits, I decided on the Corn Pancakes with blueberry maple syrup & breakfast sausages.


Real bits of corn! These were actually very light and not too sweet. Nothing like the dense cornbread I’m used to. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet.


I did love the combo of corn + blueberries. The maple syrup with cooked blueberries was divine.


And breakfast sausage!! I love breakfast links. Preferably when smothered in a healthy dose of ketchup.


I ate the whole darn thing and didn’t even feel that full. Perhaps it speaks to how light the pancakes were. Or maybe it’s just that I’m ready to go pro with brunching ;)

I’m working on a personal Best Of Brunch list and a Best Of Toronto list for next week. But you can always find a list of restaurants visited under the Restaurants tab!

See ya tomorrow with a doc update and some sweet treats ;)

Posted on March 24, 2011, in Restaurants, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Oh, man. I just wrote about being in a slump yesterday, so I empathize big time.
    I hope I don’t have to break any bones to get out of this!

    • I think it was actually the six week break that broke it. And not just the usual week off. I’d been going so hard for so long, working out stopped feeling like something I “wanted” to do but something I “had” to do.

  2. It’s nice to know you are human with exercise too. I feel like I was in a slump this last year and I am just now catching my stride and relishing in it. It’s euphoric! You’ll get back there!

  3. the panacakes and final brunch look wonderful :)

    and thanks for the full story and full reveal on the workout slump. we’ve all been there. You, have the courage to blog about it. Thank you!

  4. I’ve been in a workout slump for a long time due to my knee injury/hectic schedule and general exhaustion. I decided to take some time off and see if it works for me. (I’m still doing some walking, weights but nothing like I was doing before.) Once my schedule gets a little less hectic, I’m thinking of signing up for something new like yoga to see if it helps me! It makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone with the slump.

    As for brunch, I’m seriously 100% jealous. L.A. doesn’t have enough brunch spots. California is seriously lacking.

  5. sometimes, our minds and bodies just need a bigger break from workouts, until we find enjoyment in them again. Like for me, I never have motivation to work out during winter. But in summer, I can’t wait to jump on my bike and ride for an hour or two, or go for runs in the sunlight.

    All your brunching makes me jealous :(

  6. 1. that brunch looks incredible – I want to try every dish! :)

    2. I think everyone goes through times like that where the enthusiasm fades and we just need a break. Sadly, mine happens every winter :) It’s just so cold here that I cannot do anything outside and we can’t afford a gym membership and we don’t have a treadmill, so I take that time to “hibernate” and do other things.

  7. I didn’t know about your slump! It does happen to everyone, though you must have been pulling your hair out with 10 whole months of it. Interesting what you said about your passion then becoming work after you became a trainer. That’s one reason why I decided not to become a trainer at a point where I thought I did want to be one. But you do have the passion for training others, so that’s wonderful. Good luck at the docs!!

    • That’s why I wanted to start my own training & wellness business. I LOVE working one-on-one with people, but I’m not crazy about the gym environment.

  8. I’ve been in a slump for over year. Not mentally but physically. I want to work out but I can only do regular workouts for about 3 weeks before I get sick. It’s been this way every since I got mono. My doctor says she has seen this a lot where people just never truely recover after mono. It’s very frustrating and honestly makes me feel a bit like a loser.

  9. Hey girl – I feel ya on the working out where ya work deal. I joined back at another gym just because of that reason! I get to work out anonymously again :)
    Glad you’ve got the workout fire going again!! <3

  10. Interesting, I hadn’t thought about that part of training/using the same gym before- I’m sure a lot of trainers get frustrated with the monotony! That brunch menu looks fantastic- I love that there’s brie in so many items. It’s one of my favorites. :)

  11. Isn’t it funny how the Universe works in mysterious ways? I have a similar story:

    I trained for Hood to Coast for a year. I was fully focused and committed to running and racing and training. By the time Hood to Coast arrived, I was completely burned out. Of course I was excited about my race, but I also was planning on immediately training for a Half Marathon right after HTC.

    The idea of not having a break after HTC was overwhelming but I wanted to run the Vegas Half. I “had” to do it.

    Guess what? The Universe changed my plans. I ran HTC then started training for Vegas, injured my ITB and had to stop running for 2 months. It really was a blessing in disguise. It gave me a clarity I never would have gotten had I kept running.

    I missed running, I was angry and depressed and sad. Then I started lifting weights. I lost a bit of weight, changed my body, changed my burned-out workout routine and am actually grateful I got the break from racing!

  12. I can totally relate to this, Susan! I don’t know where my spark for fitness went, but it just turned into a chore. Now that Marshall is working out with me, it has helped a lot. It is definitely a task to keep that momentum going. It’s nice to know that even for those (you) surrounded by fitness (both of your jobs) it can still be a struggle to get your ass in gear.

    ANNNYWAY.. i love you.

  13. i totally feel you on the slump. i’m currently in one myself. i have to drag myself to the gym and force myself to eat right. years of working out like a fiend finally got to me i guess and now all i want to do is eat pizza and drink beer. i know i should step it up cause summer is coming, but at the same time i could care less. hmpf.

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