Guest Post: Embrace It!

27 Jun

Today’s guest post is courtesy of Jaime from Embracing Balance. She’s working on walking the very fine line between healthy and happy, and I’ve got to say, she’s doing a fantastic job at it! Plus, she’s a fellow Canadian, and I love seeing little bits and pieces of home in every post. Enjoy!

– C

· Hi, my name is Jaime and I love cookies!

o Thankfully I also love fruit.

· and cheeseburgers.

o and salads.

· and decadent dinners out on the town.

o and cardio (*cough* OK, love might be stretch on that one).

· and sitting on the couch staring at the tube.

o and yoga.

As you can see there is quite a need for balance in my life.  Way too many of the tasty things are bad for us.  Way too many of the fun things are bad for us.  There is a necessity for finding tasty and fun things that are good for us too.  Turns out balance is achievable…we just have to step out and look for it!

No one says give up those cookies or decadent dinners (every girl needs a quality date night once in a while…and I don’t know about you, but ordering a fluffy salad at a fancy restaurant just doesn’t seem right to me) but the old adage about doing things in moderation truly is the way to go.  Bake those cookies!  Just make a small batch so the whole plate isn’t tempting you. Then tomorrow eat a salad! 🙂 Go for that dinner, but maybe hit the gym first to earn your fabulous meal!

We all struggle with cravings and sometimes they are hard to ignore…but I can tell you is that there is balance to be found.  If you deprive yourself completely you’ll never find that happy, healthy place most of us are looking for.  When one of those days hits take the time to step back and think about it. What can you do to conquer that craving? Is there a healthier option that would curb the desire? or can you be extra healthy for the next two days and really enjoy that treat when you’ve earned it?  or maybe you’ll hit the treadmill and burn up those extra calories and savour every bite of that well-deserved meal?

Whatever your options may be, the point is there is balance out there for all of us. We just have to get out there and embrace it.

Thanks to Carly for asking me to pop by Live Laugh Grow for this post.  I hope you enjoy and take a trip over to my little blog at Embracing Balance and say hello!  🙂


Guest Post: Positively Slow

25 Jun

Today’s guest post is from Kepa, also known as The Fat Lazy Guy(no-more). Kepa has lost over 280 lbs., and did it all by his terms, keeping it simple. The thing I love about his blog is that he truly shares his life, from how he eats an apple to the foods he’s itching to try during his road trip in America this summer. He also plays a mean guitar!


Carly asked me to write a post for her blog as she’ll be away. She said it should fall into live, laugh, or grow (or all three). My first thought was, “I have absolutely no idea about any of these things!” And I’m still struggling. I guess this could fall into live and grow?

One thing I’m trying to learn to do in my life is accept positive things. I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I find it hard to take a compliment. If someone compliments me it’s because they’re obligated to, or they’re just being nice. They’re trying to make me feel better because it’s so obvious that the opposite is true, but it’s kind of them to try.

What about when you give compliments? Do you mean them, or are you just saying it because you’re obligated, because you’re trying to make someone feel better? If you’re like me, you value honesty, and you’ll say things because you mean them.

So what are we now operating under? A double standard. We say things because we mean them, other people say things because they’re just trying to save our feelings. That’s kind of a crappy way to paint people, right? It’s almost a holier-than-thou attitude.

But chances are our friends, the people we like who are telling us these things, we like them because they have similar values to us, or values we like. They’re probably honest people like us, too. And if people we don’t know are telling us nice things, how can we read their minds and discover their motives? We can’t.

Say a friend told us that they thought we looked hideous today, they didn’t like what we were doing, and they hated the sound of our voice. We would be hurt. We would take what they said to heart. So why can’t we take the POSITIVE to heart too?

I’m trying to rethink things. Slow things down. Stop going to my automatic response and instead take everything in to account. I have to realize the person telling me nice things is honest. They would give me constructive criticism if I needed it. They wouldn’t lie.

Maybe that’d help you too?

Guest Post (Kinda): Overcoming a Family of Dieters

24 Jun

This is a guest post, but not one of mine. Rather, it’s a guest post that I wrote for Mish, which posted on Eating Journey on April 27th, 2010. It’s much more raw than I usually can bring myself to write, and I’ve had a hard time putting all out there over here. Since I’m currently in the Holy Land and living outside my comfort zone, I think that I can share this now.


I don’t remember much of my childhood.

I can’t tell you what I wore on my 5th birthday, the name of my best friend in 2nd grade or my first trip to Disneyland. In fact, I can’t really remember much of anything before my 10th birthday. Except that I can remember my now-divorced parents having a fight over butter pecan ice cream in the middle of the night.

I can remember my first taste of a fat-free, sugar-free, taste-free baked potato chip.
I can remember the first time I understood what being “fat” meant.

I don’t remember much, but what I do remember is the food. Not the occasions that involved food, or the times spent around it, but the food itself.

You see, I come from a long line of amazing cooks, but also one of dieters – folks who just couldn’t achieve their ideal, no matter what diet they tried.

My mother, grandmother, father, aunt, cousins – name a diet, and I could point you to which branch of my family tree had tried it. Bubs, my grandmother, who made the most amazing kugel, spent years and years on Weight Watchers, losing and gaining and losing and gaining the same 10 pounds. My dad, an amazing marathoner, would have weeks involving pepperoni and mushroom pizza (well done, thin crust) and a pint of haagen-daz every night. Other weeks would be spent on the cabbage diet, eating only bananas and skim milk on day four, and being “allowed to stuff” himself with as much cabbage soup as his heart desired.

At some point, food became both the enemy and the prize; it was good or bad, and I was eating either too much or not enough. The word “diet” became almost like my imaginary friend, keeping me safe from being fat. As long as I was dieting, I felt good. People were nicer to me. After all, I was trying.

And I tried; I tried Weight Watchers, Butter Busters, nutritionists, fat camps, calorie restriction, Atkins, and even one where my dinner consisted of two 1/2 pound hamburger patties, 2 cups of white rice, and one cup of broccoli. Every night that I went to sleep with an empty stomach, my soul felt emptier still, and so I looked for ways to feed it. Not through activities, hobbies or friends, not through learning or playing. I filled my stomach with what I missed most: food.

I ate often and in secret.

A couple of boxes of chocolate here, 4 hamburgers there. If I was alone, you could bet that I was eating, and if I wasn’t alone, I was thinking about being alone to binge. I ate for every moment I surpressed, every calorie I was denied, and everything that I wouldn’t let myself feel. I was numb, dragging through life. I went from being hungry all of the time to not knowing what being hungry felt like. The years and binges flew by, and I went from being a sad, chubby kid to being a clinically depressed and dangerously obese adult.

And guess what?
I still wasn’t full, and my soul was emptier than ever.

Even at my worst, I wanted to be better. I wanted to be fun, loved, happy and free-spirited. I wanted to be skinny, and I wanted to be good. G-d, did I ever want to be good.
No matter what I did, no matter what I tried, I was never good enough, pretty enough or perfect enough. I dropped out of school, withdrew from my friends, abused my body, and abused my spirit. Because I just couldn’t be good.

I don’t know when it changed, when I changed and it all stopped being so black and white. I have a feeling it was the day that I met my husband, and saw that I could be loved, really loved by someone good. It may have been the day that I realized that size 26 was getting a little too snug, and I was 6 measly pounds away being 300 pounds.
Whatever it was, one thing was true: I was sick. Sick of the roller coaster, the yo-yo, the ride, the disease that was controlling my health, my relationships and my life.

So I did.

It’s 15 months and 75 pounds later, and I’m binge-free, working towards getting into a dietetics program, and married to the most amazing man who loves me no matter how much I weigh.

My life is piecing itself together, and for the first time in my entire life, I can look in the mirror and see a beautiful person.

And all it took was putting down the yo-yo, dusting the dirt off of my shoulders, and choosing my future over my past.

I move more, eat less and am finally, FINALLY full.

Guest Post: Baby, I was BORN to run. . .

23 Jun

Today’s guest post comes from Alison of Foster Fitness. Not only is she known for her hysterical and insightful recaps on popular shows such as The Biggest Loser and Dance Your A** Off, but Alison is maintaining a loss of over 60 lbs., AND is an ACE certified personal trainer. She’s beauty, brains and brawn all rolled into one, and I can always count on her to light a flame under me when things don’t go my way, workout-wise.


I am super pleased to be a guest on Carly’s blog.  I “met” Carly when I started the C25K app in December.  I read via Twitter that she was having some problems starting the program, and I wrote to her to tell her we could do it together!  Add to that she lives in Huntington, West Virginia, home of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and a cyber friendship was born!

It’s amazing how a simple app can open so many doors.  I stopped doing the C25K challenge in January because it was TOO cold here in New York city to start trying to train to run.  What, was I crazy?  I kept imagining my lungs freezing and someone finding me on the side of the running path with onset frost bite.  I am being dramatic here, but running to me was hard enough- why compound it with January’s cold?

Running to me sets other athletes apart.  The ease of runners as they cruise past me, worn running shoes and assorted running event shirts, their speed and agility:  I want to be a part of that!  It took me a long time to convince myself that I wasn’t going to die while running.  I started at a boot camp a couple of years ago, running around the reservoir in Central Park.  I had to stop and walk several times, but I finally made it all the way around.  As the summer progressed, my body adapted and I found that I actually enjoyed running.  I was in a show in Florida during the winter months and was able to keep running up until I moved back to New York and stopped until it was warmer outside.  I don’t own a treadmill, so I got a little lazy.  I stopped.

Then I read about the C25K app for the Iphone and purchased it, hoping that it would put me on the right track.  I have never participated in a race, and I was hoping that this simple app would give me the courage I needed to actually sign up for a race and participate.  I would finally be a runner!

Last night I ran through Central Park.  It was misty and cool, the sun nowhere in sight.  I ran through the trees, and could smell the strong scent of earth, grass, blossoms on the trees.  The only sounds were my feet on the pavement, my breath, and the other runners as we passed each other.  I didn’t need the validation of the race:  I KNEW I was a runner.  I felt like a runner.  I am officially the athlete I have always wanted to be.

Guest Post: On Growing + Blogging

22 Jun

Today’s guest post is courtesy of none other than Mara from Medicinal Marzipan herself! Not only is she a truly gifted writer, but as the woman behind Body Image Warriors, Mara promotes, instills and encourages truly unconditional self-love, positive body image and learning to live an authentic life. In short, she’s just plain awesome, and someone everyone, male or female, should have in their life. You can check her out over at Medicinal Marzipan, or on Twitter.


On Growing and Blogging

by Mara Glatzel

The thing about being a “grower” is that it is sometimes hard to settle down and relax, because there is always something more that you can be doing, someone better that you can become, or some way to improve upon your behavior. I was a very therapy-ed child. My parents took me to therapy first because they were certain that I was going to suffer from negative mental health repercussions due to their separation, and then subsequently to improve my relationship with my mother. I was taught to punch my little fists into pillows when I was angry, to use “I” statements to describe how I was feeling, to talk it out when I had a problem.

Despite the therapy, I think that maybe I was also just born this way, with the drive to be better, smarter, more developed. I always had an uncanny way of observing my faults, and wanting to improve upon them. For the most part, this is an aspect of my personality that I admire, however, I do acknowledge that it can be complicated at times.

Growing is important, but cutting yourself some slack and loving yourself as you are is also important. A person cannot exist in a constant state of growth, because attempting to do so can keep you from living your life on a daily basis and really enjoying the things around you. Taking a break from self improvement, and recuperating some of your energy, can allow you more longevity in accomplishing your dreams as well, as you are allowing yourself the chance to make mistakes and take things slowly.

There is no reason to attempt to figure everything out and conquer the world today. Take your time, learn from your mistakes, have fun with the process. This is important for all people, but it is especially important for bloggers! If you don’t make mistakes and learn from them, what would you have to share with other people? How would you be progressing as a person? Mistakes are endearing. Mistakes are honest. Within my own life, and my blog, I value honesty above all else. When I look at myself and my life, I no longer demand perfection, but I do demand honesty. That is why I work my hardest to blog about all of the off days too – the days where I don’t love myself very much or feel very good about my body, the days when I am depressed, the days when I think mean and hateful thoughts – because those days are all a part of learning to love myself more and grow into a better person. No one person has it all figured out, so don’t forget that we are all human and all doing the best that we can.

What do you think? How learn to love yourself and your faults? Do you have any advice?