Life: Some of the Worst things People say & ask. Whyyyy

You know those times in life when you’re left standing with a puzzled look on your face, crafting a delayed response to something dumb someone said a few moments earlier? Yesterday at the gym I found myself in this situation and it inspired me to write (rant) about some of the dumbest shit people say to others – without thinking first! And often to people they don’t even know!

WHY. Seriously. Why is it necessary to offer up an opinion via unecessary comment or question? I’ve had conversations about this with others before, so I know I’m not alone in my confusion. This really is a rant, but I hope it’s relatable and that we can all learn from it, because I know I’ve accidentally been “that guy” before. It does happen. But COME ON.


“You look tired.”


Ahaha, why, thank you! WTF? This is like going up to someone and saying, “hey how’s it going, you look like shit”. What purpose does it serve to point out to a person that they aren’t looking fresh? Extreme confusion. Quit saying this to people! Suggested response – “aww, you too.”


“What are you doing working on such a nice day!?”


What the serious F kind of question is this??? OH, well I originally had the day off but I saw how sunny it was so I came in. Hahaha are you kidding me? People have schedules and they don’t usually come with a special “great weather clause” to accomodate a sunny day. I also don’t know many people who are allowed to just up and leave their place of work when the clouds part. Jesus. In the case that someone is self-employed, they’re probably working because they’ve made commitments, or their business has hours of operation.


“Where’s Jamie? Did she move?”


I’m dead serious, people ask my colleagues this when I’m not at my place of work. She’s not here, so she must have moved. WHAT? LOL. Have they not heard of a day off? Do most people who work with the public work seven days a week, all day long, every single day of the year? I have nothing else to say about this. Oh, except that it leads me to the next one, which usually occurs at the grocery store or while running errands on a day off…


“What are you doin’ off work today?!”


People get days off sometimes. Or maybe I should say, “I’m just getting ready to take off, I’m moving.”


“Why don’t you have have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”


Hmm. Maybe this person you’re rudely cornering likes being single, hasn’t found the right person yet, won’t settle, isn’t looking, is asexual, is desperately searching, just got dumped or really looks forward to being in a healthy, happy relationship but it just hasn’t fallen into place yet? Go away. And, why does it matter!?!?!?!!!?!? I want to punch people who ask questions like this.


“What are you doin’ workin’ on the weekend!??”


Well, haha, I’d love to leave but then you’d probably be freaking out that the place is closed.

It’s the year 2018. I’d say the majority of businesses, or at least half these days, are open more than just Monday to Friday. At establishments that the general population (including the person asking this annoying AF question) expects to be open every single day, someone has to work on the weekend. No robots yet. Most employers don’t offer the luxury to be unavailable on the weekends. If they did, who the F would work? And please, don’t make the pity face. Working on the weekend usually means a day or two off during the week, which is amaaaaazing.

“You have really (insert unneccesary observation about someone’s appearance)”


Example from my experience: “You have really short legs.” Crazy, I haven’t noticed in the thirty-three years that I’ve been alive. Let’s estimate that I’ve looked in the mirror once daily for my entire life. Obviously it’s been multiple times on some days, and zero on others, like when I was a baby, but just to simplify, let’s go with 11,721 times. I’VE NOTICED. There is a very good chance that something noticeable about a person could be their biggest insecurity. Don’t.


“You’re not going to like that tattoo when you’re an old lady.”


First of all, how does this concern you in any way, idiot? It’s the 21st century; we, the people who get tattoos, are fully aware that they’re permanent. That’s the point. We are also fully acquainted with the fact that as living beings, days go by and we age, and our bodies, including our skin, change. We also do not care. Give your head a shake. Personally, I have no idea if I’ll be wearing tank tops and shorts in fifty years, but I’ll decide for myself when the time comes and I’m not going to ask anyone if they think it still looks “good”, whatever the hell that even means.


“So, you got married! When are you going to have babies?”


My personal favourite response, “never, I’d rather die” always gets a great reaction.

How do you know this person even wants kids? How do you know if they can have children?? Why would you assume that this person’s next item on the to-do list is to reproduce? Why do you think the person wants to discuss this with you? Maybe they had a miscarriage, abortion or hysterectomy yesterday. Maybe the thought of being a parent makes them want to barf. Why do you think children are what automatically follow marriage?? I could go on forever. THROAT PUNCH.


“Do you work here?”


HAHAHA. No, I’m just wearing this embroidered jacket/vest/apron/lanyard and name tag to pretend I work here and look cool.


And, the comment from a fellow gym member that got me writing this post:

“I’ll tell you right now, you’re gonna mess up your back stretching like that.” (Or any other remark lacking supportive, positive or accurate feedback)

Interesting. First and foremost, who asked you? Not me! Next, how do you know more about my body than I do?

For anyone who’s into yoga, you may be familiar with Supta Virasana, also known as sleeping/reclined hero pose. I am. The reason I’m familiar with this pose is because I’ve been doing it for about a decade, originally taught by certified instructors. I’ve also taught this pose for years as well, because I am a certified yoga instructor with over 570 hours of training. ALSO, I don’t have a “messed up back” from doing it. My back is problem-free and my body is very capable of all sorts of shit like running marathons and swimming, etc.

Unless someone is in a dangerious situation, asks for help, or is putting others at risk, it’s likely safe to just keep to yourself.

Supta Virasana. Fkn love this pose. LOL.


Let’s think before we speak. Besides coming across as a total idiot, sometimes questions or comments like the above can lead to things like self-consciousness, sadness, anger, embarassement, or simply put a damper on a good mood. I am NOT saying I’ve never commited any of these crimes. What I’m saying is that we can all do each other a favour by keeping our observations to ourselves, or before speaking, asking ourselves, is this remark:

  • helpful
  • supportive
  • constructive
  • positive
  • welcome
  • open-minded

Or, is it:

  • nosy
  • presumptuous
  • completely useless
  • insulting
  • intrusive
  • biased
  • judgy
  • annoying as fuck

Have a great day!! And good luck out there bahaha

Common things people Ask or Say to Runners..and some Insight!

Ask anyone you know who runs and they’ll tell you about the common questions or comments they get all the time from non-runner folk. It’s totally okay, why would a non-running-obsessed person know all about running-related topics? It gets a bit old though, especially when the question or comment is delivered in a negativish way, which happens more than you’d like to think.

Here are some of the ones I encounter the most, and my truthful clarifications. I’ve read similar articles to this, but many of them have been all sarcasm or cynical in style. These are just some real answers and comebacks to the curiosities of others that we runners don’t always have the time (or patience..) to explain properly.


“I can’t believe you have to PAY to run a race!”

Yep. It’s true. A running event, or any other organized event for that matter, has a TON that goes into it! There is insurance. Permits. Road closures. Participant shirts & medals, and often cash prizes for winners. Other swag. Volunteers, sometimes by the thousands. In big enough races, on-course entertainment! Often a huge race expo, and a venue to host it. Water, fruit, granola bars and sports drinks at the finish line. There are medical tents, emergency responders, traffic control, chip-technology timing in the race bibs, bags provided for gear check, tents for gear check, sometimes transportation back to the start if it’s a point-to-point course, and lots of other stuff I’ve likely forgotten to mention. So yes, we pay to race. But you can’t put a price on the pride experienced after crossing the finish line and receiving your bling!

“Don’t you get bored?”

Nope. Never, actually! Personally, I’m too busy looking around, sorting out my brain, taking in the surroundings and being happy that I’m sweating and that I’m not at work. Sometimes it’s really hard, and I’m thinking about how difficult the moment is, but it’s definitely not boring. As runners we might also be paying attention to foot-strike, breathing, arm swing, heart-rate, relaxing the shoulders, holding a tall posture and keeping the muscles in the face and hands soft. Oh, and then there’s the list making, singing, meditating without even knowing it, the self-talk while approaching a massive hill, the satisfaction of reaching the top. Rocking out to a new playlist. Feeling strong AF. Doing all sorts of math to do with kilometer splits and average pace. It’s different for everyone, obviously, but not boring.

“You’re going to wreck your knees!”

Oh am I? LOL. Do you go up to soccer/squash/football/basketball players, snowboarders and obese people and tell them this too?

For real though. I do as much cross training and strength training as possible to use other muscles and keep my joints supported and stable, and I work on my running form constantly to make sure something like a high impact foot-strike isn’t going to foil my passion! In 2016 alone I ran over two thousand kilometres, which isn’t even that impressive in the realm of running, but it’s still a lot of distance and I’ve never had a knee injury. If I did develop knee discomfort, I’d rest accordingly and see a professional to help correct the issue. And at the very end of the day, if my knees are worn out when I’m seventy-five from being super active earlier in life, there’s no way in hell I’m going to say “damn, I really regret all those endorphin-packed workouts that helped me live a happy life and have some of the best experiences EVER.”

“How long was your marathon?”

The marathon is actually a specific distance. It is officially 42.195 km, or 26.219 miles. People round it to 42.2 (or 26.2), depending on whether they operate in metric or imperial. A half marathon is half the marathon distance, haha. That’s right, 21.1 km or 13.1 miles.

There are many other race distances, for example the 5km, 10km, ultra marathons and tons of track distances like 100m, 200m, 1500m, etc. And of course, there are totally random distances and events like Ragnar Relays or the Skeena River Relay, but the marathon always has been, and always will be, 42.2 km.


“I don’t know how you do it, I can’t run.”

I can almost guarantee that you can! It’s totally okay if you aren’t interested, but I know you could if you really wanted to! Running isn’t something that most people just decided they wanted to do one day, hopped up and headed out for a ten kilometre rip. If you live where I live, come join us for the thirteen week Learn to Run clinic, and if you don’t live in Prince Rupert, look into a local running group that I can basically promise will offer a couch to 5 or 10km. Yep. Couch can be the starting point. These kind of programs are for absolute beginners and commence with jog/walk intervals that start off really short!

“I don’t know how you have time to run that much.”


I don’t necessarily have the time, I make the time. I get up hours before work because my day is better if I’ve run before my shift. Or, I blow off steam between getting off work and making something for dinner. No, I don’t have kids, but some of the most dedicated runners I know, or follow in the online running community, have children. Check out my friend Martina here, she is a mother of five boys and runs ultra marathons! (An ultra marathon consists of any distance longer than the marathon distance, usually 50km or longer, and is commonly run on trails or other non-pavement terrain.)

“Runners get a lot of injuries you know.”

Okay. So do hockey players, skateboarders, thrill seekers and people who like trampolines. Like I said before, myself and most informed runners work on strengthening the muscle groups that support the areas prone to overuse injuries. Cross training, weight and resistance training, plyometrics and simply creating variety in activity are things that athletes do so they can prevent injury as best as possible and not have to take time off from what they love.

“What place did you get?”

Hahaha. Very flattering to be asked this question, however the answer is usually something like “not sure” or “200th” if it’s a big race. For example, at the Walt Disney World Marathon, which was big, there were a total of 17,751 runners. I got 103/1525 in my category (F30-34), 534/9355 for all women, and 1976th overall. This was a great race for me! The people who win massive-scale running events are usually elite athletes. I got third in my age group once in a small race, out of three people 😉

You run so much, why do you go to the gym/yoga/hike too?”

Using the same muscles over and over again leaves the other muscles that aren’t being used to weaken. This is a common cause of running injuries, and I don’t want running injuries because then I can’t run. So I use all the muscles. Also, exercise is very addicting. It feels awesome to sweat, create your own high, crush goals and often do these things in the gorgeous outdoors. Once exercising becomes routine, it is no longer a chore, it’s a treat.

“I don’t know where you get the energy for that.”


When my alarm goes off at say, 5:30 am on a Saturday for long-run day, I (usually) don’t fly out of bed fist-pumping. I know, however, that I love how I feel once I get going. I also likely have a friend or friends to meet at a specific time and place. The energy comes from the run. During the week when that alarm goes off, the inner dialogue begins. “If you run now, you’ll have a wicked day AND you can do whatever the hell you want after work!” And then I am awake, feeling alive, happy, nice and more patient all day long. The energy comes from the run! If you’re more of an evening person, burn off every single annoying thing you dealt with or encountered all day long with your run and return home feeling good energy only.

“Do you actually enjoy it?”


We all ask questions about stuff we aren’t familiar with or don’t understand. It’s allowed. But, I encourage us all, myself included, to inquire with open minds and try our best not to make assumptions about another person’s chosen passion.

If I’ve missed anything that you’re just burning to know, email me from the contact page!

Spotlight on the woman who teaches people how to create their ideal lives, Suzanne Fetting!

Have you ever wanted to make a serious change, or set of changes in your life but you either don’t know how, procrastinate making them happen, or just simply ignore the feeling all together? Have you ever compared things about your own life to someone else’s and felt numerous forms of discomfort because you want your life to be more like what their’s appears to be? I highly doubt anyone can answer a straight-up “no” to these questions. I can’t, and for a VERY long time my answer was a straight-up “yes”to both.

I was doing the things above NON-STOP in my twenties but didn’t know how to create the changes I needed to get closer to being genuinely happy. I was a stick in the mud. At one point, I found myself in such an uninspired place that I started to actively search for help. Maybe it would show up in a self-help book, or an inspirational speaker’s seminar or a course, but I was ready for anything because I was so tired of feeling the way I did; shitty with no goals and lack of excitement for daily life. Can you relate to this? Finding yourself in a place that maybe isn’t even necessarily bad, but could be so much better??

Deciding I wanted to feel better was enough to get the ball rolling, because during some relentless Googling in 2011, I came across a “Women’s Confidence Workshop” being held by a woman named Suzanne at Trout Lake Park in East Van. The tag-line was Find your Inner Strength! I had no clue what this meant but I signed up for the Absolute Confidence workshop anyway because I was desperate for some improvement, in any shape or form. I’m so thankful that I did, beause I ended up building a relationship with the best role-model I’ve ever met in my entire life. Over the next six years, including today, she has taught and continues to teach me how to create the life I want. This blog post is to shine a spotlight on my friend, Suzanne, possibly the most empowering teacher and mentor someone could hope to find!!!

So far, this post is a bit vague. Yeah, of course most people have had low parts of their lives..and yeah, lots of people would like to feel better than they already do, and everybody would like to have a life they truly love. Duh. Let me tell you a bit about Suzanne.

Suzanne is a coach who helps people uncover things about themselves (good, and not so good things) that they may not know, or be very in touch with. Things like:

  • passions
  • core values
  • goals
  • self-sabotaging behaviours
  • beliefs formed about ourselves when we were little
  • people-pleasing
  • saying “no”
  • self-doubt

With her, a client works on strengthening the positive things, identifying negative things, and then figuring out productive ways to blast through barriers that are standing between them and absolute confidence in life. I’ll share the first testimonial that I wrote for Suzanne to elaborate a little on what I’ve already said. This was written in 2012 after working with her weekly for about nine months. Our sessions were on Skype for convenience, in case you’re thinking “well I don’t live in Vancouver.”

“Before hiring Suzanne, I was in the middle of a difficult emotional experience. Also, long before this particular situation, I had a low mood almost all the time and was living day to day worrying about the past or future and not enjoying the present at ALL. I had a lack of hobbies and passions and was totally unfulfilled with life. Prior to my work with her, I felt like I had no real purpose. It was like I was waiting for someone or something that would change things.

Developing confidence is important to me because it leads to finding your authentic-self. Working on this with Suzanne has taken me from where I was (the “dark place”) to where I am today, which is loving my life and enjoying everything I do on a daily basis, big and small. I know what I like and want, look out for #1 and feel fulfilled because she helped me uncover what excites and motivates me and what my unique gifts are. I was also able to finally give up the ways I allowed other people & my own thoughts to affect me negatively. Instead of waiting for life to change, now I make it happen by getting to know myself and creating opportunities. I actually feel really good nearly all of the time because I do things that I love and spend time with the right people. I’ve also learned to truly enjoy my own company which is really important, especially for someone who lives alone.

Working with Suzanne on a personal level is great. She’s welcoming and non-judgemental while always holding you accountable. She has great ideas and exercises and does a professional job running her business, always staying open-minded. The most important things Suzanne has taught me about are self-awareness, personal responsibility and how to really identify what matters to me most. My life is honestly different now; it was a major transformation and it’s not just me who notices. My friends and family also see that I have a completely different outlook and love life. I feel authentic and confident and every day is a good day.

If you’re thinking of hiring her, go for it. You will be amazed with what she’ll help you discover about yourself and the ways it will change the way you feel and live.”

So now you might be thinking, yeah okay well what does she teach people to make all of these great changes happen? Really good question with a very long answer, but I’ll try to be concise about the most important things I’ve learned from Suzanne and how she goes about coaching her clients.

Self-confidence, or a lack thereof, can be traced to the root of almost all personal successes as well as problems. This is not an exaggeration. Suzanne has shown me that the components of confidence, which include things like self-awareness, self-concept, assertiveness, belief systems, and personal responsibility are skills that can be learned and used to live the life I want and avoid most issues or challenges I face or used to face in daily life. Question: If you haven’t been taught how to change a tire, ride a bike, or cook a turkey would you expect to just magically know how to do these things? We, the adults of of today, are born in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The majority of us didn’t grow up with a mentor who specifically taught us how important it is to know and like ourselves, value our uniqueness and take responsibility for our own happiness, so can we really expect these things to be totally second-nature? Sure, for a handful of people these things may come naturally, but if you aren’t in that handful, don’t beat yourself up. Suzanne is that mentor.


An appointment with Suzanne is not like going to a counselor or therapist, it’s like having an exciting meeting with a friend who helps you crack open your brain, heart and soul and dig into the source of the issue(s) at hand. Need an example of an issue? Fear of going somewhere alone to meet people, going through a transition at work or home, doing things to please others before yourself, blaming someone else for your unhappiness, feeling you cannot be happy until you find a partner/have a baby/win the lottery or lose weight, fear of public speaking, saying you want to do something over and over but never taking initiative, believing things about yourself that aren’t true, feeling bored with life, not knowing how to stick up for yourself, etc, etc, etc!

After boiling it down together, she then provides the client with the tools needed to face these issues directly and learn to overcome them or manage them. That’s the homework. The sessions involve the investigation, and the homework is where the client takes responsibility and does the work; the reading, writing, monitoring, practicing and executing of the methods introduced during the session. It is up to the client to create new habits and make the magic happen under Suzanne’s guidance. And then report back to her! And when you do, she’s the most excited, supportive, enthusiastic person you could imagine having a personal discussion with.

Here are a couple more testimonials, also known as success stories, for you to read if you want some more examples of what Suzanne does for others! A very good friend of mine’s is here  and my own (more recent, from 2016) is here. I highly encourage you to read these. This woman is freaking unreal.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs

I wanted to write this post about Suzanne because she taught me how to create the life I want, just like I said in the title. She is the BEST. Everyone deserves to feel happy the majority of the time, and like they’re the boss of their own life. If you feel like you’re in a bit of a rut or need some assistance with things like prioritizing yourself, figuring out your passions, learning how to enjoy your own company, fear of “the unknown” or having more confidence in any area of life, think about connecting with her! Her business is something that I talk about daily to friends, acquaintances and complete strangers. I’ve had people ask me “how did you get so good at giving zero fucks?” and I just tell them, SUZANNE TAUGHT ME HOW. (She did’t call it that, though. LOL.)

She taught me the skills and wisdom necessary to create new habits and stop holding myself back from being the happiest and most inspired version of myself possible. It’s a good feeling! I want people to know that it is not necessary to settle for feeling less than wonderful.

One last note with respect to cost. Working on ourselves is an investment. It makes life better for the individual, but also for that person’s friends, family, partner and colleagues. Do you own an expensive pair of jeans, a snowmobile, electronics, go out for dinner sometimes, take a vacation occasionally or love to buy multiple pairs of sweet ass Nikes or RayBans? We spend our money on ourselves all the time. This is the same idea. It’s just not a garment, toy or glamorous trip. If you are feeling the slightest pull to contact Suzanne, DO IT!!!! Treat yo self!!! Or someone you care about! Or even just tell someone you know about her, because she’s the best and helps change lives ❤




Fueling Basics for New Runners

An old friend recently asked for some advice regarding what and when to eat before and after a run. She was referring to a ten-ish km distance, but regardless of whether you’re heading out for a twenty minute jog or your “long run” for the week, feeling hungry and low-energy isn’t fun, and neither is feeling bloated or crampy. Also, our bodies need fuel to do work and to recover from working, so heading out on an empty stomach, especially if it’s first thing in the morning, can lead to your body searching for energy that isn’t there. Some people perform and feel just fine running on empty for shorter workouts, but I like to feel energized and like my blood sugar is stable. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m no running guru, but here are some things I’ve learned over the last four years about what works for me and many others, and what doesn’t. And I’m sorry to tell you, but there will be days where the digestive system will be totally unpredictable and out of your control, but finding what works well for you 95% of the time is the best you can do.

Before a short run (under 60 minutes)

Think along the lines of a snack vs. a meal, and something low in fiber and fat

  • Small bowl of cereal
  • 1/2 white english muffin with jam or honey
  • a banana
  • make a smoothie, have 1/2 – 3/4 cup pre-run and save the rest for after!
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • peanut butter Larabar (mostly made out of dates)



You want something light that won’t weigh you down and that is fairly easy to digest so your body can start to use the engery shortly after you consume it. That being said, do your very best to avoid anything with a ton of sugar. If you spike up your blood sugar and then have it come crashing down, you can end up feeling light headed or totally burnt out. Finally, save the mostly-protein bars for after your workouts; they take too long to digest to be used for a pre short-run snack.

If you’re running in the morning, start with a glass of water since you likely haven’t had any for 6-8 hours. Morning or not, if it’s been a while since your last meal and you know you need food before your exercise, make eating the first thing you do in your run-prep ritual, this way instead of eating and then having to wait around to digest, you can give your stomach a head-start to break down your snack while you to get your running clothes together, get your hair under control if you have hair that needs controlling, brainstorm your route and gather anything else you might need like a watch, hat or playlist. Make sure to allow around 30 minutes between eating and walking out the door. For me it’s more like 20 minutes, but for someone else it could be 45. Try to be patient with figuring your body out.

If you know you’re going to be pushing your run to right around the 60 minute mark for the first time it’s a good idea to bring a small snack or an energy gel with you just in case. We are all different of course, but I find that if I end up on the road for a full hour, I start to get hungry towards the end of the run. A few things I’ve had as snacks, aside from the Clif shots or Power gels that I carry on long runs, include gummy bears, raisins and graham crackers.

Before a run > 1 hour

If you are planning to run for an hour or longer, the body needs fuel that will last a bit longer; something that you will digest a little more slowly. Peanut, almond or another nut butter is a good way to add some protein to your to easy-to-digest carbs. Some ideas…

  • bagel with peanut or almond butter
  • banana with peanut butter (good if you don’t want bread, or just like a vehicle for eating peanutbutter)
  • bowl of cereal with a banana sliced on top
  • toast and yogurt
  • small bowl of oatmeal with raisins



Notice how all of the suggestions are fairly basic and don’t have any bold flavours. When it comes to bread options, avoid nuts and seeds. Make it easy for your guts. Then, depending on the duration of the run you have planned, you’ll need to plan your mid-run fuel. If you’re running between 60 and 90 minutes, you are likely fine, but as I said before, until you know how your body responds to different durations of exercise, bring a snack or energy gel in case you start to feel hungry or low-energy before your run is complete. Read on for info about gels and other specific fuel for during the longest runs.

During a run >90 minutes

If you decide to build up to a weekly long run, especially if you’re training for an event like a half marathon, your runs will start to last longer than 90 minutes and you will need to keep reassessing your fuel requirements. Allowing yourself more time between eating and running is one thing that you might need to adjust for. If I’m running any distance that is going to take more than an hour and a half to complete, I’ll wake up 75 minutes before I need to leave the house. This gives me a 15 minute window to get up, drink some water, eat a banana and make an english muffin with jam or honey or a small bowl of oatmeal, and then I have an hour to get my gear together for the weather, my water and to-go fuel (usually Clif Shots or Power Gels) and do a decent dynamic warmup.


Energy gels and gummies made specifically for consumption during an endurance workout are mostly simple carbohydrates that are super easy to break down and therefore get into your blood stream quickly. It can take a fair ammount of experimenting to find out which ones you like and that agree with your gut, but there are tons of options. Another thing to keep in mine is that to properly digest and absorb an energy gel it needs to be taken with some water. Water is important on longer runs, so you should have it handy anyways in a situation where you planned to take an energy gel. Hydration and fueling for long runs and races is a topic in itself, so we will save that for another day since this is supposed to just be covering some basics.

What about Coffee?


COFFEEEEEE I love coffee!!! But it also might make you have to go poo part way through your workout!! Experiement carefully, but tons of runners have coffee in their pre-run routines! You’ll figure out how much time you need (or maybe don’t need) between coffee and running 😉

After your run

When you get home

  • rehydrate
  • commit to a good stretch of your hams, quads, calves, glutes and adductors
  • have another light snack
  • don’t loiter in your sweaty clothes

What you eat should have some protein in it for muscle repair and carbs to re-stock your energy, and you should be having this snack within thirty minutes of your workout! Try to use the duration and intensity of your run to help you decide how much refuelling you need to be doing. You do not need to eat all the food. Just give your body something to help it repair. If you’re hungry, eat accordingly. I like to drink a big glass of water and have peanut butter and banana toast, or if I’m in a rush, a least a scoop of chocolate protein powder shaken with water or almond milk. Chocolate milk is known (and has been studied!) to be one of the best things to have for recovery due to it’s ratio of carbs, protein and fat, but I save that for after >90 minute runs when I’ve burned more calories and have more recovering to do.


Starting out takes a lot of experiementing and since everyone is different there is no exact step-by-step guide. Some people barely eat anything before they run, they may not feel the need or maybe it causes nausea or cramping. Other people, like myself, get low blood sugar very easily and feel exhausted trying to run on an empty or near-empty tank. The digestive system can be mysterious. Bring toilet paper, and like I said before, try to be patient figuring out what works the best for YOU and your running. 🙂 Let me know what works (or doesn’t) for you!





Bell Let’s Talk – Joining the Conversation

Jamie: Today is Bell Let’s Talk day. If you aren’t sure what this is, it’s a Canadian campaign to help reduce and hopefully eliminate the stigma associated with mental health, and to promote care, access to care, workplace health and research. My friend Whitney and I have been talking about this today. She is the other author of this post, I am just too computer illiterate to figure out how to add her as an author.

Whitney: Bell Let’s Talk Day is an initiative that’s raised over $80 million for mental health programs since 2010 and is making major moves to create a stigma-free society – so amazing!  To learn more about how you can contribute, check out

Whitney: Sometimes we surprise ourselves in the best possible way, and this morning was one of those times. When I realized that today was Bell Let’s Talk Day, I knew it was my chance to share my story.  Jamie’s blog was the first platform that came to mind, since her transparency and bad-assery in general have been majorly inspiring to me lately.  I messaged her a few hours ago to ask if she’d be willing to hold a space here for me, and for the memory of my dad, and she was really into it! Thank you Jamie!

Here are Bell Let’s Talk‘s initiatives:

In September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk began a new conversation about Canada’s mental health. At that time, most people were not talking about mental illness. But the numbers spoke volumes about the urgent need for action. Millions of Canadians, including leading personalities, engaged in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle, with numbers growing every year.

As a result, institutions and organizations large & small in every region received new funding for access, care and research, from Bell Let’s Talk and from governments and corporations that have joined the cause. Bell’s total donation to mental health programs now stands at $79,919,178.55 and we are well on our way to donating at least $100 million through 2020.

Jamie: As a healthcare professional, plus being someone who has worked through multiple major depressive episodes as well as a history of anxiety and insomnia, this campaign means a lot to me, and I like to learn why it means so much to others who have been affected in totally different ways than I have. This is how we can become more open and more supportive to those who need it, regardless of if it is someone with a mental illness or someone who is part of that person’s support network. Driving the conversation to help reduce stigma and promote awareness and understanding is such a crucial step towards change.

I remember a specific period of time when I was very depressed, and the person I was dating at the time would say things to me like, “I’m not going to hold your hand every day of your life,” “snap out of it!” or “stop being so miserable.” I have tears in my eyes now from writing that, because anyone who has ever suffered from a mood disorder knows full well that all you want is to go back to feeling like yourself again. Reactions like that from others come from lots of different places; misperceptions, fear, frustration, total lack of understanding, impatience, the list goes on and on..

Did you know that all of these and more are considered mental illness?

Earlier today, Whitney asked me if I was familiar with Bell Let’s Talk and I was happy that someone I know and love was talking about it! Whitney is going to share her experience with you here on the blog. This is us joining the conversation.

Whitney: The piece that you’re about to read below was my part of a Partnership Education Presentation (PEP) put on by the BC Schizophrenia Society in 2014.  The BCSS is an organization that provides tools and support to people and families dealing with all types of mental illnesses, not Schizophrenia alone.  I won’t get into detail here about all of the amazing free benefits they have to offer, but please click the link or get in touch with me if you’d like to know more.

My name is Whitney and I am here to talk to you about what it’s like to be a family member of someone with a mental illness.  This is my first time speaking in public about this, so please bear with me.  

I feel fortunate to be here to share my story, and hopefully to help break down some of the stigma surrounding mental illness. While preparing what I wanted to share with you, I was having a hard time getting started.  I decided to start with the end in mind.  I asked myself what I wanted you to take away from this short presentation today.  These are the messages I came up with:

Mental illness is exactly that, an illness. Like so many illnesses, mental illness can be managed, but not cured.  It is something that many families, including my own, will always struggle with. Dealing with mental illness is a marathon, not a sprint.  If there is anything that I’ve learned over the course of this journey, it’s to celebrate each small step in the right direction, day by day, and week by week.

There are resources and there is hope.  Prior to becoming involved with the BCSS, I was not so aware of where to turn for help for both my family member and myself.  There are many advocates and organizations in our area who are eager to help those who need it.  I can’t stress enough how much of a difference these people have made for me over the past couple of years.

10 years ago, my father was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  Because of his illness, he cycles through periods of extreme mania (highs) and extreme depression (lows).  He must take a variety of medication each day.  His medication, despite it’s side effects, keeps him stable, somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, and he is able to carry on with his every day life. He is a great dad, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend to the many that know him.  

I was devastated when my dad was first diagnosed with Bipolar.  I didn’t know anything about it, and didn’t understand how long it would last or how we could make it go away.  His doctor explained it best to me, by explaining that my dad and his sickness are separate.  My dad is not his sickness.  When he is healthy and stable, he is my dad.  When he is manic and acting out in an irrational, scary and unreasonable way, that is his sickness.  This message has always stuck with me, and it’s something I must remind myself of often, even 10 years later.

Around 6 years ago, my parents divorced.  While they are still on good terms with each other, it was hard on all of us, and it was especially hard on my dad.  It was hard on me too, to know that he would now be living on his own.  Who would make sure he was taking his medication?  Who would make sure he was eating properly and looking after himself? Growing up, you never believe (or want to believe) your parents when they tell you that you’ll be looking after them one day.  My sister and I had to step up and become my dad’s advocates.

Every two years or so, when he starts to feel he doesn’t need them anymore, my dad goes off his medication.  From then on, it’s a slippery slope into a manic episode.  He stops eating and sleeping through the night.  He starts having coffee and smokes for every meal.  It’s scary for us because he loses track of time, his concept of right and wrong, loses contact with us and acts without any consideration of the consequences.  He often behaves in a way that puts himself in danger.  He can sometimes scare people, and at times like these, he scares me.  It’s an awful feeling to be scared of one of your own parents.  I remind myself over and over – my dad is not his sickness. He just has a sickness.

Through working with his healthcare team, reintroducing his medication, and at times, hospitalization, he eventually slows down and becomes somewhat stable again. What usually follows is a period of depression.  He goes from the highest high to the lowest low.  I find trying to help my dad cope with his depression can be frustrating.  It’s important to be patient, with him, and with myself.  One part of me wants to call and invite him out everyday, urging him to get out for a walk around the block or a cup of coffee, but the other part tries not to become a nag. No one wants to be nagged everyday, especially when they aren’t feeling like themselves.  It’s not easy to see someone so down, and to feel helpless.  It is at down times like these when I really try to focus on any positive improvements.  Sometimes just the fact that he returns a phone call or accepts a dinner invitation is enough reason to celebrate a nudge in the right direction.

I have learned a lot since my dad’s diagnosis.  I have learned a lot about bipolar disorder, the treatment options available, and a lot about myself.  I have learned what his warning signs look like – what to look for when I think he’s taking a turn for the worse.  I have learned how to be strong when I have to be, and how to ask for help.  I have learned that the ways that I deal with all of this are not always the same as my family members, and that’s OK.  We all deal with things differently and what works for one of us may not work for another.

Up until last year, I felt stressed out a lot when it came to supporting my dad and being involved with his health care. No matter how much I did, I always felt like there was more that I should be doing.  Then a friend saw an ad for a program called Strengthening Families Together, a 10 week program put on by BCSS for family members of those with mental illness.  Even though putting myself out there and registering for the program was completely out of my comfort zone, I am so happy that I did.  It was comforting to connect with other people in similar situations, and to share my own experiences in a place that felt safe and free of judgement.  I learned about local resources and coping mechanisms that I hadn’t explored before.  One of the most important things that I took away from the program was the importance of self care.  None of us are able to help care for another person if we are not taking care of ourselves.  For me, it was an eye opener and a chance to make some great connections in the mental health community that I would not have met otherwise.  I started to look at helping my dad as more of a responsibility, and less of a burden.

The tricky thing about mental illness is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  There is not a treatment that will work for everyone.  There is not a blanket cure.  Finding the right combination of medications or the right program and combination of activities for someone can be a long and drawn out process.  Many times it is trial and error.  Many times what works for them changes over time.  There are a lot of ups and downs.  As a family member, it can seem like forever when you are waiting for things to take a turn for the better, but the good days are worth waiting for.  

I know that there is only so much that I can do for my dad, and there are still many days that I wish I could do more.  I am starting to get more involved within the mental health community.  I am glad to have the opportunity to help dissolve the stigma around mental illness.  I try and take good care of myself, so that I am able to take good care of my dad.  Each day I count my blessings.  I am lucky to have my dad in my life, lucky to have a lot of support, and lucky to have the opportunity to keep growing and learning how to cope with all of this.  For me, one of the best ways of coping has always been sharing my story.  Thank you for having me to share my story with you today.

Whitney: My dad passed away in October, 2015.  I miss him every minute of every day, but talking about him keeps him close.  He taught me so much, forced me to live outside of my comfort zone, and being there for him when he needed me helped me grow in ways I never thought I would.  He definitely wasn’t perfect, but he was the perfect teacher in many ways. What I know for sure is this  – we all have mental health, whether we are ill or not – and we need to talk about it to understand one another.  If you or someone you love is struggling – you are not alone.  If you think no one cares, or no one can relate to what you’re going through – you’re wrong.  You might just not have found them yet.  Keep going.  Keep talking about it.  I’ve become a huge mental health advocate and there are so many ways to get help.  I’m here if you need someone to point you in the right direction. Jamie can put you in contact with me.

Jamie: Twenty percent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and basically everyone will experience in one way or another, indirectly, through someone in their family, a friend, in a relationship or a colleague. Like Whitney, I am am also an advocate for mental health. People do not want to be alone in navigating this kind of stuff. If you want to talk about it with me as a pharmacist and/or friend, acquaintance or stranger, please be in touch!

Whitney: When I first gave this speech, I was 28 years old, I was 8 months pregnant, I was struggling with my own self-care, and I honestly never thought I’d make it this far, especially without my dad by my side.  He taught me about unconditional love, the strength of community, and that it’s OK to ask for help.  He taught me the importance of showing your true colours, and that at the end of the day, everyone’s human.  Thank God for that.  Thanks Dad.

Some reasons why Alcohol is dumb and why/how I stayed sober at our Wedding

The number of people who asked me about booze and getting married, whether it was the curious question, “you’re still not drinking? that’s awesome! but what about on your wedding??” or the more accusational version, “you’re seriously not going to drink at your wedding?” was probably fifty or more.

I do get it, we live in a society that generally believes alcohol is mandatory to any kind of celebration. At a babyshower to welcome a newborn and possibly new parents, at weddings to celebrate marriage, and even at funerals when we memorialize a lost loved-one. It has become second nature that at social gatherings, alcohol is what people drink. I myself bought into all of that bullshit for well over a decade. Now that I’ve moved away from booze and the fake shit it claims to provide, and I have some time and experience as a non-drinker, I like to shed some light on the big picture of alcohol consumption just in case someone reading feels the way that I used to feel, which was trapped. It’s also a form of accountablility for myself. These non-drinking posts are not to preach or to convince you that you need to quit alcohol. Please take what you read and use it in any way that you can, or not at all!

Last summer, as my own wedding day was approaching and the questions about booze on the “big day” (I hate when people call it that) came up more and more frequently, it got me thinking about the specifics of what I’ve learned from Kate & Belle about why we think alcohol is required, and also why it shouldn’t be! Here are some of the main points that kept coming to mind and that helped me realize I definitely wasn’t drinking just because I was having a wedding and getting married to the coolest dude I’ve ever met.


  1. Alcohol is not why an event is fun, actually.

Try to think back to one of the most fun times you’ve ever had. For me, my oldest friend’s 30th birthday comes to mind. I believe everyone was drinking, yes, but when I break down all the reasons why this particular experience is way up there with the most fun times I can remember, the reasons are as follows:

  • about thirty of our most fun and hilarious friends were there, most of whom we grew up with and have very meaningful relationships with
  • we were at a really fun place
  • we were doing fun things like being weird af, singing, having a big fire, playing games and being competetive, doing gymnastics, taking great photos, listening to good music, naked stand-up-paddleboarding, and freeing the nipple
  • we had an amazing dinner
  • we laughed to the point of pain all throughout the day, evening and next day
  • we were all together because we wanted to celebrate our friend’s special day with her

Notice how wine, beer, vodka, whiskey or Hey Y’alls are NOT on the list! I planned to have a wicked time at our wedding because of all these types of reasons, minus the naked paddleboarding and freeing the nipple. LOL.

2. Alcohol shouldn’t be necessary to “tolerate” any situation

Some of the reasons we’re lead to believe that alcohol is helpful or necessary include: to relax or de-stress, to numb-out at an event we didn’t actually want to go to, to talk to strangers or people we don’t know or like, to have fun.

The last time I checked, spending time in situations that make me feel stressed, bored, uncomfortable or like I’m wasting my time are exactly that – a waste of effing time. Why put ourselves in these situations in the first place?


I hate baby showers. I think they are sexist, silly and always in the middle of the afternoon on a weekend. I don’t go, get day-drunk, eat too many triangle sandwiches with no crust, pretend to care about stuff that doesn’t interest me and then feel pissed off afterwards because I wasted a day off inside. I just don’t go. If I did risk going and ended up having a good time, it would be because of a good crew, great non-baby-related conversations, and lots of cheese, NOT because I pounded back a bunch of drinks (just like in the birthday party example from point number 1.)

Reverse kind of example

I love my friends, that’s why I’m friends with them. When we go out for dinner, I don’t “need a drink” because I am not in a situation that is boring, awkward or stressful. If I found myself out for dinner and thinking, “Damn I really need some alcohol for this boring/awkward/stressful situation,” I would need to question the who, what, where, when and why of the intimate dinner gathering I chose to attend. Especially the who.

If you feel like you need alcohol to put up with a family member, survive a work function, attend a wedding you aren’t sure why you got invited to, or to sing karaoke, maybe these activities just aren’t actually for you. That’s what I’ve learned, anyway.

At our wedding, we were surrounded with our favourite people in a great situation. Of course we were nervous, but isn’t that a good thing?? I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to be nervous at your wedding, it’s a form of excitement! If I needed booze at our wedding, what that would mean to me was that we planned a boring, shitty wedding or that I was marrying someone like Hannibal Lecter.

3. Alcohol-induced memory loss can happen regardless if the night is bad or good 

Alcohol doesn’t have the power to differentiate. It doesn’t know the difference between drinking to try to reduce stress or forget about a problem, and drinking to celebrate something positive. Imagine waking up in the morning from what was supposed to have been one of the more special occasions in life, and not remembering some of it! Some people start to have little intermittent blackouts WAY before things like crawling on the ground and barfing start to happen. Looking back, I can’t believe how many fun nights I’ve had (or nights I am pretty sure were really fun..) where I can’t actually remember everything that went down. Booze steals memories and experiences and I am really over letting that happen. I especially wasn’t interested in having blurry parts during the day I got to marry my favourite person.

4. Being sober = being present

Can you recall being at a party chatting with some acquaintance but not really actively listening to what they’re saying because you’re trying to see/hear what’s happening over in the kitchen. Or maybe you’re buzzed and just making meaningless small talk. Or maybe you’re taking drunk pics on Snapchat and not paying attention to what’s happening around you. I am fully aware that all of these things can and do happen to sober people, but it’s far more likely to be disconnected from the present moment when you’re guzzling liquor. With respect to wedding day, I didn’t want a super fun day that took quite a bit of planning and a fair amount of money to flash by and be over without experiencing each part of it fully.


Everything above applies to life, not just special occasions. I had eight months as a non-drinker under my belt by the time our wedding rolled around, but I still had to stop and think hard about why I wanted to stick with the non-drinking project. Reviewing these reasons allowed me to confidently say, “No.” when I was asked if I was planning to cave in and drink that day. Thinking about it now, I can’t even imagine drinking that day! I was exhausted, and not because I ran 30km that morning, but because it was an emotional day with a LOT going on. The next day I was able to go for brunch with a crew of my guests who came from out of town and I didn’t have the shakes, a pale face, blood shot eyes, nausea, anxiety or extremely low blood sugar. I got to enjoy a coffee without feeling like I was burning a hole in my stomach and eat my meal and actually enjoy it, and finish it. And I don’t look progressively worse in each wedding photo either hahahaha

If you have an event or occasion coming up that you know is going to be challenging, contact me and hopefully I can give you a few specific tips depending on what you have planned! Drinking doesn’t necessarily  = fun and sober definitely does not = lame. Trust me.

Bye for nowww

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