Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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The Non-Plan Plan.

Good morning! How is everyone’s week going thus far? Mine’s been pretty quiet…my class on Tuesday and one of my classes on Wednesday were cancelled. The extra time off has been appreciated!

Something else for me to appreciate:

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The macadamia nut Kisses and the coconut M&M’s I won from Amanda’s giveaway a little while ago came in! I haven’t gotten to the M&M’s yet, but the Kisses are amazing. You know the cookies at Subway? Whenever I get one, my first choice is the white chocolate chip macadamia nut. Because chocolate and macadamia nut makes for a fabulous combo. Thanks love!

Speaking of good food, last nights dinner was the simplest, but most delicious dinner possible:

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A shrimp ring with cocktail sauce and a loaf of cheesy garlic bread, split between the boyfriend and myself. All I had to do with defrost the shrimp and stick the loaf in the oven for a few minutes – best dinner idea ever. Yes, I am obsessed with shrimp and cocktail sauce Smile with tongue out

Workout Plan…or Lack Thereof.

So in my goal post on Tuesday, I eluded to a new approach that I’m taking to my workouts in April.

Basically, I love working out and being active. Sitting on the couch all day, every day is not appealing to me in the least – I just get lethargic and antsy. The last year or so, I’ve been putting a lot more effort into weights over anything else, and I’m happy with the results I’ve gotten. I feel stronger and more accomplished fitness-wise than I have in a really long time.

But, I think my relationship with the gym needs some work.

Although I had never really thought of it in these terms before, I think it’s safe to say that in recovery, I became dependent on exercise. It was more comfortable for me to watch my food and calorie intake go up when I was hitting the gym and burning something off 5-6 days a week. If something got in the way and I wasn’t able to fit my workout in, I would panic. Although I knew it was unrealistic to think so, I was convinced that if I missed just one workout, I would gain five pounds instantly. Last spring, I was working overnights and still dragging myself to the gym, even when I was exhausted. Because I had a plan, and I couldn’t deviate.

Over the last 8 months or so, I’ve broken away from that mindset. I remember when I started doing Jamie Eason’s Livefit Trainer last summer, I laid awake for hours at night agonizing over the fact that the first four weeks of the program had me working out 4 days a week. And there was no cardio. After working out 5-6 days a week for years with at least 3 runs or treadmill workouts, I was absolutely terrified to cut it out completely, even for only a month. I did end up following through with it, and began to realize that I didn’t have to ‘sweat every day’ or anything of the sort – the body desperately needs rest just as much as it needs to be active.

I’m confident in saying that I have a much more comfortable relationship with exercise and the gym. I’m perfectly happy working out 4-5 days a week, and I take a complete deload every few months to allow my body ample recovery. In fact, I ended up taking all of my two-week Christmas vacation off from exercise and I enjoyed every moment.

However, thanks to this post, I realized a couple weeks ago that I’m still more reliant on the gym than I need to be. I’m a perfectionist at heart, so when I can’t stick to my planned workouts, I get a little bit of anxiety or guilt. When I’ve planned 20 minutes on the elliptical and I’m only able to complete 10 due to time constraints, I mentally beat myself up for not planning my time better. It’s frustrates me now to think about why I let that bother me so much. Why do I let a piece of paper dictate how much exercise is ‘enough’?

The truth is, I allow the gym and my workouts too much control in my life. When I got my class schedule in January, my first goal was to figure out when I was going to fit in my workouts. I was 15 minutes late to class a few weeks ago because I ‘had’ to finish up my workout. When I go back to my parents for a weekend, I make sure to pack my running shoes because I usually have a workout planned on Saturday or Sunday. If I’m tired and don’t really feel like going to the gym, I go anyways, because I had planned for it. When I need to make an appointment, I make sure it’s not between the hours of 10:00-11:00 am, because that’s been my gym time all semester. 

So, I need to break away from this mindset and give myself a bit more freedom when it comes to my workouts. So my workout plan this month?

No plan. Absolutely nothing. I will wake up in the morning and decide in the moment what my workout will be…if I workout at all that day. I love my heavy weights, so it’s likely that I’ll still hit the gym quite a bit. But now that the weather’s getting warmer, I may want to go for a run outside. Or take a walk on the trail around the river that’s near my apartment. I might stay in and stretch or do yoga…or plant my butt right on the couch. I will actually listen to my body, and not an obscure piece of paper telling me what I should be doing that day.

I’m starting to realize that I let my life revolve around my workouts, when really, it should be the other way around. I don’t know what’ll happen in May; I may decide that I like this approach and stick with it, or I might go back to following a plan (that I will allow myself more freedom on). We’ll see. But for now, I need to break away from the extra stress, guilt and anxiety that my workouts can cause. Perfectionism is stressful – when I broke away from that in my eating habits, I became a lot happier and carefree. I’m thinking breaking that mindset in my exercise will do the same.

<— What’s your approach to workouts? Planned or unplanned?

<— Anyone feel that they put too much pressure on themselves to complete workouts?

<— Favourite cookie? Oatmeal chocolate chip is another favourite for me.

 

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Who Do You Do it For? {VLOG}

Good morning!

So…I have a video-recorded rant for your guys. Smile 

Hope you enjoy!

If you can’t/don’t want to watch the video, or I’m kind of all over the place and you need some clarity, here’s the Cliffnotes version:

  • if you haven’t read this article on Thought Catalogue – go do so. Like now. Although I don’t think the author doesn’t quite get all the nuances and complexities of eating disorders down (although to be fair, that’s hard for anyone to do), he has a lot of great insights through watching what his wife has gone through.
  • Really focus on that last paragraph. It struck a huge cord with me, especially in regards to ‘fitspiration’ and similar trends popping up on Instagram, Pinterest and the like.
  • When I find myself getting down on myself for not having the ‘discipline’ to sculpt a six-pack or get myself down to an impossibly low level of body fat, I ask myself – who I would be doing that for? So random people on the internet/at the gym will be impressed? The people that would be most impressed with those feats are the ones that matter the least.
  • The people that matter most in your life are the ones that do not care what your body looks like. They will love you whether or lose 10 pounds, or gain 50. Anyone who puts that much value on your appearance does not deserve to have priority in your life.
  • Food is fun. Life is better with some chocolate thrown in there, as opposed to living 24/7 on the broccoli and chicken breast diet.
  • The next time you get down on yourself for not living up to a media-promoted ideal, ask yourself why. Who are you doing it for? The approval of strangers and acquaintances are not worth it. Your personal health is one thing, but health does not necessarily have to be what’s featured in a fitness magazine.
  • Priorities need to exist outside of the gym. I’ve had relationships become severely affected in the past by my need to stick to my schedule and hit the gym. Is it worth it? Absolutely not.
  • Basically: Do not think of yourself as any less worthy thanks to some ridiculous ‘fitspiration’ ideal. I’m not going to let it affect me anymore, and I think you should try to do the same.

Thanks for watching/reading!

<— What did you think of the Thought Catalogue article? Did he have it right?

<— Do you let yourself get affected by ‘fitspiration?’ How do you try and prevent it?


39 Comments

WIAW: Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Good morning! 3 things before I get on with it:

1. Thank you so much for all your comments on yesterday’s post. I always feel a little nervous and vulnerable posting stuff like that, but you guys remind me why I love this community so damn much. Thank for all your support!

2. A huge shoutout to my cousin Adam and his wife Melissa on the birth of their first baby! A boy born Saturday night – I can’t wait to meet the little guy.

3. I have my stats midterm today. Send me good vibes!

Yup – it’s that time of the week again!

So last week was Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Canada. This week, it’s in the States. Considering my own history, it’s no surprise that I do my best to spread awareness and offer support to those who suffer with ED’s.

London is home to Hope’s Garden, the only eating disorder resource centre in the area. It runs solely off of volunteers and donations – they don’t get any government funding whatsoever. Every year during EDAW, they host a breakfast at the Hilton Hotel to raise funds. Of course, I went last year and enjoyed it, so my mom and I purchased tickets again.

After getting up at a somewhat ungodly hour (registration started at 6:30 am) my Mom and I headed down to the Hilton. We checked in and we immediately headed over to look at the silent auction and draws.

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I was really hoping to win the Chil Froyo gift card, but no luck there (we will still hit it up sometime, Chelsea!)

It was planned so that the breakfast would occur before the speakers, so we headed over to the buffet tables. It was a fairly typical (but still delicious) fancy hotel breakfast spread – frittata, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fruit, pastries and cheese.

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I helped myself to bacon, the veggie frittata, fruit, and cheese (I have no idea what kind of cheese that was, but it looked intriguing. It was pretty good!). My mom and I also split a croissant. After breakfast and some opening remarks, it was time for the keynote speakers.

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First up was Julie Rochefort, with a talk entitled: ‘Becoming a Body Image Warrior’. Julie is a Registered Dietitian who focuses on obesity and weight discrimination. She talked about how the science concerning ‘healthy weight’ is flawed, and how weight isn’t the best predictor of health.

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The fact that this book exists (and is aimed at 6-12 year olds) is so, so shameful for our society. “Maggie” is bullied at school, loses weight by eating ‘better’ and exercising for hours, and becomes super-popular and a star soccer player. I had heard of the book before, but not in that much detail – WHY does this exist?! And really, what kind of lesson does this book teach kids?

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At the end of her presentation, Julie left us with this message, and I love it. I feel like most people approach RD’s because in their mind, getting healthier = losing weight. I loved hearing Julie’s mindset that we need to take ownership of our bodies the way they are supposed to be. She invited us to take a pledge to celebrate both our bodies and the bodies of those around us – real bodies, real people, no unrealistic expectations.

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Of course, my name is on there Smile (And oh my god, how do people walk in pencil skirts?! I felt like I could barely move my knees all morning).

The second speaker was Jan Pryde, who is on the Board of Directors at Hope’s.

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Jan is extremely passionate about the fight against eating disorders, because she has been watching her 26 year old daughter struggle for twelve years. She talked about the experiences she’s had with her daughter, climaxing when Jan carried her daughter threw hospital doors last June, at less than 60 pounds and blood pressure that was barely registering on the scale (I can’t remember the exact numbers, but it was something like 48/20). By some miracle, her daughter survived.

Jan was an amazing speaker, letting her passion for the fight against ED’s flow through her words. She discussed how eating disorders leave scars and battle wounds on our hearts, and how eating disorders become a battleground between the sufferer and the disease.

It was one of the most heart-wrenching, inspiring talks I’ve ever witnessed. Of course, she received a standing ovation, and when she brought her daughter up with her on stage…yup. Any chance of me getting out of there with my mascara intact was gone.

While I do not consider myself lucky for my own struggle with anorexia, I am extremely grateful that I was able to pull back when I did, as opposed to letting my anorexia continue to dig it’s claws deeper. Listening to Jan was a reminder that I am one of the lucky ones in the sense that I’ve escaped my struggles, but I need to keep fighting the battle on behalf of everyone who comes in contact with this horrible, harrowing disease.

Hope’s Garden does truly amazing work with ED patients – I know, because I reached out to them when I was ready for my own recovery. I attended their group meetings for the better part of a year, and through them found my fantastic therapist, who was absolutely vital in the process of my self-discovery. I don’t exactly have a lot of extra funds available for donating to charity (grad student problems) but I will always be happy to help out Hope’s Garden with my time, support and money. And of course, if you are in the area and you are (or know someone) who is struggling, I completely recommend turning to them – it was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

Of course, Jan’s talk brought to mind how extremely grateful I am for my parent’s support in my recovery – therapy ain’t cheap, and I can only imagine how scary it must have been to watch their daughter slowly wasting away, unable to understand why or how to make it stop. I love you guys and I will be forever thankful for all the love and support that you’ve always shown me, whether in my recovery, my education, my goals, and every other aspect of my life.

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And my mom makes a fantastic breakfast date Smile

 

But now that I’ve managed to make myself tear up…moving on.

Although I didn’t win the froyo gift cards, we cleaned up pretty nicely with the draws Open-mouthed smile

Prizes

That fig balsamic vinegar I’ve been using on my spinach salads lately? Courtesy of a gift basket from Olive-Me & Co, a specialty olive oil and balsamic store in North London. The balsamics I won are: fig , chili, and an 18 year old traditional. The olive oils: citrus habanero, Italian herb, and sundried tomato parmesan and garlic. I’ve tried most of them, and I have yet to be disappointed! I think I need to get a really good french loaf this weekend to really enjoy them. The prize also came with that cookbook, but I don’t use quinoa too often and I already have a similar one. So I forwarded it on to an aunt of mine.

We also got a HUGE giftbasket full of 3M stuff – tape dispensers, band aids, page dividers…

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And post-its…so many post its. (Amanda, I know you’re jealous Smile with tongue out)

So this post is already pretty massive, so a quick speed through the rest of the day’s meals:

Lunch

Lunch

Salad – romaine, bell pepper, chopped baby carrots, tomato, blackberries and chicken, topped with a tzatziki yogurt dressing. A slice of multigrain toast with butter on the side.

A small bowl of my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup.

Snack

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The Simply Bar in Cocoa Coffee – so I like coffee in dessert and in bar form, but just not in drink form? I think this needs to be my strategy to get myself to like coffee…

Dinner

For dinner, I was feeling inspired by Chelsea’s Turkey Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup. I followed her recipe, but I subbed kidney beans for the white beans and spinach for the kale. I also threw in a bit of dried basil.

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It’s pretty damn fabulous – I ate it for lunch every day afterwards Smile

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Palate cleanser…

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And a nighttime snack of cottage cheese, cinnamon raisin swirl PB, and chocolate chips.

So…wow, epically long. Hopefully you plowed through it!

<— Had you heard of “Maggie Goes on a Diet” before? Does it piss you off as much as it does me?

<— Tell me someone you’re grateful for.