Category Archives: Random

An excuse

I’m just going to jump right into this:

Good fitness instructors are NOT the ones who sweat the hardest. They are the ones who cheer the most, connect with participants, and know how to keep someone’s energy up when they’re starting to get tired. They also tend to look really good in spandex, but it’s all relative.

So when I was so scared about teaching tomorrow’s spinathon without being able to do it all – as background if you’re brand new to my blog, I hurt my hip and was allowed to start with 10 minutes of easy spinning as of Thursday — no resistance – and to build up according to the physio. Fair enough. Nervous is one thing, but not willing to is another. I think of myself as a person who commits to things and sticks to them unless there’s a legitimate reason not to.

Here comes the explanation of another way this injury is giving me so much insight…back to my point. I guess I can see why teaching a class off the bike would be hard if you were a new instructor. I’m flashing back to a class about a month after I got certified, where there were not enough bikes and I was approached to give mine up but held firm in saying that I wasn’t comfortable with giving it up (at the time this might have been a combo of not wanting to “wreck” my work out and nerves about being off the bike).

I am cutting my younger, inexperienced self some slack here. I’m NOT cutting myself any slack right now, though. I’m really sad that I let this thought—They’ll think I’m too lazy to do it. They’ll wonder why I’m even an instructor when I look like this.—get to me. Uh, really Cheryl? Doesn’t that sounds like ED? So, after some whining, advice, and mustering up some resolve in myself, I came to this realization: this is just the kick in the butt I need to move forward with my instructing.

If I truly love to teach classes as much as I really do (and not just love the fact that I get to work out and own the playlist), I’d still be excited at this opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. I’m not alone in being scared to teach off the bike. In fact, I found this article about taking that scary step on—even the title says it all—“Unclip your pedals and take the leap: Teaching off the bike”. The article, which was written by an instructor who kept teaching but went off the bike as a result of a knee injury, listed some of the benefits for participants of teaching off the bike regardless of an injury or not:
♥ Making it [your] students’ ride—completely.
♥ Cueing with more than short sentences.
♥ Someone is watching them, all of them.
♥ Building [a] bond. (i.e. emotional connection)

Yupp, it’s about the students. It’s about the students. It’s about the students. I know that, time to prove it. The reminder I’ll be giving myself is that there is a huge difference between being injured and being lazy. I’d give my heart and a half to be able to do a spin class right now. I also know that I am not overweight, out of shape, or disgusting after this week off and that no one is thinking that. If they are, they are clearly fitter than me and should go spin on their own ;). This is a perfect kick in the butt to get better as an instructor, to prove that I teach for the right reasons, and to challenge myself.

These same issues (worrying about people thinking I’m too young, chubby, out of shape, stupid, [insert mean, likely untrue word here]) come up in relationship to doing lots of things I want to do. So this could be a big deal. Epiphany much?

How do you feel about fitness instructors’ appearance?
Do you care if they’re doing the things with you?
Do you care if they’re fit LOOKING?


Why I’m keeping the peanut butter

And almond butter, sunflower butter, etc.

Cue your background music for reading this post (and Barney is how I remember the song, so deal with this version):

So I can have lunches like this…


NOT for eating spoonful after spoonful of or sticking my finger in (if I offer to share, say no), which is what I feel like the last week or so has been.

I’ve read a lot of other bloggers talking about their struggles with peanut butter. Apparently we aren’t alone. Nancy Clark wrote a post about how we shouldn’t avoid peanut butter with Peanut Butter: A Super Sports Food. She says

Sunny Sea Gold (who wrote one of my fav books about E D recovery — Food: The Good Girl’s Drug) posted on her blog about keeping “trigger foods” in her kitchen, including peanut butter (which she says she does keep around but it wasn’t always that way) “Let’s Talk About Peanut Butter…“.

Today I had the urge to get rid of my jars. Last week I had a talk with the dietitian about how it’s okay to have nut butter twice in a day as a source of protein if it comes down to it. I realized I can probably find more creative ways to include some protein (and that it’s not really the best source of protein)…and that I am being really silly. When I have looked at what I’m eating, in terms of fat/carbs/protein, I’m not doing too badly, but I do notice that my fat intake is in the higher range of things. That’s fine and dandy but it’s not all coming from nuts. A lot of it comes from the cream I throw in my coffee, the cheese I add to stuff, the butter and margarine, salad dressings, etc.  I use.

What I realized is that to be healthier, swearing something off is not usually the answer. Instead, I can try to find healthier replacements and nudge myself towards them and I can be cognizant (my new favourite word, btw). Think sticking to a serving (or two) of nut butters and making sure I’m varying them (almond, sunflower, hazelnut, cashew anyone?), making it worth it (buying high quality foods like real cheeses, maybe organic options), and going for the real thing (choosing butter or olive oil over margarine, oil and vinegar over bottled dressings, etc.). Real food is where it’s at.

Getting rid of those nut butters would have been a step backwards for me. I’m glad I thought this one through and came to the conclusion I did. And had that delicious lunch featuring my almond butter.

Do you like nut butters?
Ever struggle with anything similar? Nut butter or other food – wise? How’d you deal? 


I need help…from YOU.

Hey guys!

So I am taking an online writing course and one of our assignments is to write a hypertext essay:

Write an essay (with intro, thesis, body, and conclusion) on any topic based on the readings (probably Bolter is more useful for this) and content of the course, approximately 5-7 double-spaced pages long (1500 words). It can be longer or slightly shorter—whatever you want to do and whatever it takes in your estimation to do the job well. This gives you a lot of free reign.

The difference between this and a standard essay is the inclusion of hyperlinks. I’m thinking I’d like to see a minimum of five links, but feel free to include more. The links need to go to different sources, so you’d have five sources. Let me know if you run into any difficulties, though the Web is so vast there should be no problem finding five sources on a particular topic. You may use image links or textual ones. This would involve your finding web sources relevant to your topic and working them smoothly into your paper.”

No, I’m NOT asking you to do my paper for me (remember when your mom used to build volcanos for you or “edit” your papers when you were a kiddo?). But I am asking you for help with what I think will make for an interesting topic that I proposed:

After doing research to write my last article for my portfolio — A Healthy Obsession —  on healthy living bloggers, I came to the realization that I had another story to write: food/exercise (healthy living) blogs are a major step in recovery from eating disorders for some people. I would like to present pretty much the alternative to the argument that originally sparked my interest (The Hunger Diaries article from Marie Claire).

For sources (besides this original Marie Claire article), I thought I could use a professional in the eating disorders field, bloggers who say they’ve been helped by blogging, and someone who says that they’ve been harmed by the blogs.

Do you see where I’m going with this? If you’re willing to answer a few questions, i.e.:
  • has blogging helped you deal with an eating disorder?
  • did you ever get backlash for blogging about food?
  • do you think blogs are harmful for those already dealing with an obsession?
  • etc.

… this is not a comprehensive list, and I am not going to send you generic questions
So if you’re a blog reader who it never occurred to think about eating disorders/food and exercise blogs OR if you are a recovering individual who reads OR are a blogger who has been helped or harmed OR feel like giving me five minutes of your time so I can have some sources for this thing, PLEASE let me know. I would be really grateful.

Laziest journalist ever — not contacting sources right off the bat! I am going to be in touch with a few people who I REALLY think could add to this — so check your inboxes! You can email me, send me a comment, or whatever!


Did your mom used to do your projects? be honesttttt!





Thought-provoking breakfast

Happy Tuesday.

This morning was the Hope’s Garden Eating Disorders Awareness Week Breakfast. It was an early morning, but I had a rough sleep last night so I was up earlier than early, starving, and I spoiled the breakfast by having my own before hand (I promise that I wasn’t “scared” of the breakfast being out of my control–that was the case last year but I’ve made progress, I was just literally hearing my stomach growl in the shower).

My date for the breakfast was Sarah, who I’ve not seen in a while because of my not running/being miserable. She reminded me that we don’t have to run to get together–and I realized how much I’m letting this whole thing get to me.

The speakers at the breakfast were a sociology professor, who talked a lot about the media and how there are so many contradictory messages–eat more but be thin, especially–and raised a lot of good points. We watched informercials, looked at ads, and got lots of information about eating disorders. Even though I’ve heard it before, it was good to hear stuff again. Specifically a reminder that eating disorders can come from a combo of environment and genetic backgrounds. I really think I was predisposed–I’m a bit OCD, I have an addictive personality type, and I am a perfectionist. I had some emotional stuff going on. The speaker also said that they can often arise at times when people want to feel in control. So true for me. Especially now, when I feel like so much is out of my control with my future and grad school and life, I don’t know if I’d be able to stay on the healthy path/not relapse if I didn’t make a conscious effort. So I’m proud of myself.

The other speaker was Maureen Shirreff, the North American Creative Director of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. I learned so much. Stuff I thought I should share:

  • Surprising self esteem stats (see them all here): only 4% of women would describe themselves as beautiful made me want to cry; I know so many beautiful women; I am trying to decide to describe myself as beautiful (leading by example) — it is not cocky or wrong to love yourself and your body, this is how it should be!
  •  this Evolution video that I haven’t seen in a  while but like:
  • this ad that Dove ran–when it’s kids, it makes me even sadder. no one should feel bad about themselves.

Anddd, for some reason I am crying. I feel so sad when I think about how sick I was and I am frustrated with myself today. As far as I’ve come, I’m still fighting with myself–I feel like I’ve eaten 1209102910 extra B L Ts (bites, licks, tastes…thanks Tara), should go work out before I teach (either swim or do something else), and just have a racing mind with the wrong things.

I’m going to try to organize my thoughts about this whole to swim or not to swim/workout guilt (even when I am feeling so strong) and put it all in a post, but I’m not there yet.

Awareness week is working. I’m thinking…

How do you feel about the Dove campaign?


February goals

In honour of Tara’s  post about her February goals, I am going to copy her be inspired and do my own version of a goals post for the month.

Food: Eat real food.

  • Go to the grocery store 2x per week so I have stuff on hand and don’t have to buy too much/throw lots away.
  • Prep meals in advance.
  • Pack meals.
  • Plan out what I’ll eat for the day first thing in the morning.
  • Try new recipes, especially from my new cookbook. I’m also loving stuff from Healthful Pursuit and The Edible Perspective right now. Bring on the variety.

School: Balance.

  • Do assignments at least a day before the deadline.
  • Stay organized.
  • Set myself up for success by printing readings and writing down what needs to be read.
  • Remember that marks aren’t everything.

Relationships: Build, maintain. 

  • Connect with people every day.
  • Realize that a text response can wait.

Career: Don’t rush into anything

  • Talk it out–look for advice and listen!
  • Consider alternatives and write down a few “back up” plans.

Personal: Calm down.

  • When I start to get stressed, take a break. Write it out–if I’m not in the mood to write about what I’m feeling, write about something else. Maybe use a prompt.
  • Breathe.
  • Do one thing at a time.
  • Watch TV. (haha, I’m serious!)
  • Rehab.

Training: Get better and get stronger.

  • Focus on pre-hab and fixing the issues that led to this hip stuff.
  • Come up with a training plan to ease back into things and to get to the starting line of my races injury free, fit, and happy.
  • Foam roll daily.
  • Work on core strength.
  • Focus on improving swim technique.


  • Environment is everything: I control what food I bring into my apartment. I control the state of my apartment (whether or not it’s a pig sty is in my control). I need to set myself up for success.
  • Mistakes are lessons: I may not be perfect, but everything I do “wrong” is a lesson waiting to happen.
  • We’re supposed to be happy: Enough said.
  • There is always time for friends: Homework, cleaning, and whatever else I feel like I “should” be doing mean nothing compared to quality time with people.
  • I can’t control other people: All I can do is control my reactions and attitudes and realize that what people do “to me” is likely not intended to hurt me–everyone has their own issues!

So there!

Andddd I have to add this in, cuz it happened when I logged onto Student Centre to apply to graduate–exciting in itself.

I’m in to my backup plan of Western’s Journalism program. It is SO early to hear — I guess someone up in the sky is looking out for me. To be honest this is stressful cuz it means those alternatives I’ve been thinking about need to get some consideration! I don’t know when I have to accept or decline from UWO, because they start in May I think it might be kind of early. I’ll obviously keep you posted!

What are you goals for this month?

I should be running

About two months ago, when I was just starting to see myself as a runner, I registered for Around the Bay — the big race — but also for the Hypothermic Half Marathon, which is this Sunday in Sarnia and is obviously not happening.

This isn’t the first race I’ve missed and I’m not that upset about spending the money or in the mood to whine about how I’m frustrated with this injury (you can read today’s earlier post for that)…I’m just trying to shift my focus from being miserable that I’m not running (especially since the weather forecast is friendlier than I ever thought a February half marathon could be) to using the spare time well.

Besides Kate’s amazing comments on all my rambles about my frustration with my aches and pains, I’ve found some other things comforting:

  • “The Bright Side of Injuries”  — reminding me that this is going to make me a better runner and even a better person when all is said and done
  • pictures and quotes, obvs:

  • selected words of wisdom from an anonymous source who has really helped me lately:

“This is the grown up world and it is so scary…Life is about growning up and dealing with your choice and correcting it as you go. It’s not about regrets and should have could have. It’s about moving forward each day.”

  • my friends and support system (online, face to face, etc.) — thank you

Realization: while I am an athlete and that is who I want to be and see myself being (and I know I will get back to this), I think you can tell it’s been a valuable learning experience here.

    Andddd I should pay attention in this classs.

Did this dose of cheese resonate with you?
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a silly injury?

    How do you shift your attitude? 

      You only get one

      Last weekend’s Crossfit: Strength Considerations for Runners was filled with good info (and lots that I wish I’d heard about earlier — maybe to prevent this hip injury) and I even took notes! There was some stuff I wouldn’t do, but whatever.

      While I don’t really think I’m into the workouts he suggested in place of long slow miles (only because I’m not going to go out and drag a tire or pull a sled for my workouts…let’s be honest), I do think it’s interesting! Tina at Carrots n Cake is trying out Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance while she’s training for a half…so I’m interested to get her take on it after the race!

      Anyways, the part that took the longest was the “Body Maintenance” aspect. Here’s what I think is worth sharing/what I wrote down and remember. We did a buttload (like way more than I am going to list) of stretches and talked about “making change” — and how to see that you’ve got to consistently do these things. We used how a squat felt/looked as an indication of how things can change how you feel. I was surprised with some of them, which are the ones I’ll list!

      • hip flexor with a doorway: basically, you do a low lunge but you keep your chest up, drop your ribcage down, and reach back for the door (or a rack) behind you to keep your upper body up … big time stretch
      • hip capsule: he talked about breaking up the calcium that builds up in the hip joint — regardless, i felt a good stretch (and some bad clicking that I can at least tell physio about) and it looked like this, except that he had us do it with our hips back (like over the ankle) and out in front and then moving front and back and he had us hold it
      • foam roller for calves and IT band: instead of just rolling over and hanging out on a spot, he had us go over til we found one, rolling from side to side too, and then hanging out there, had us rotate our ankles for calves OR bend at the knees for IT bands to “activate” the muscle (more like active release, and more painful but that good oh man this is working pain)

      This is the kind of stuff that takes time, can be boring and kinda painful, and that people don’t like to do. But it’s so important! He suggested (out of a long list of things you should be doing) to focus on 2 you really need work on plus one other random one of the things for 10 minutes three times a week to make change. Once you stop seeing gains from doing this, you can move onto three different things and do maintenance of those 2 exercises plus whatever other 2 you wanna focus on instead. That I think I could commit to!

       “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn

      It’s the same with physio have to make time for it and you have to be willing to do this. It’s about health and taking care of your body. Not about “getting jacked,” “burning calories,” or doing something “hardcore” 🙂 !

      Have you ever tried Crossfit?
      Do you foam roll?