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New Year, Even BETTER you {Giveaway!}

Good morning lovelies!

How are you doing? I hope you had a great weekend. I got home from California early in the morning on Saturday and spent the rest of the day unpacking, grocery shopping, and getting a few other things done around the house that had been neglected before I left. It was a pretty crazy week in terms of travel and work so I’m happy to be home with my suitcase empty and in the storage room again!

My co-worker and I were only in Long Beach, CA for two days, and for the most part, it was an all-work trip. However, the weather was around 20 degrees C and mostly sunny (yippee!) and we ate like queens! I was in charge of scoping out our dining venues for the trip, and lucky for me, there was a Whole Foods near our hotel. We also found an amazing Thai restaurant across the street called Rocharin Thai Bistro that totally hit the spot on Thursday night. Here are a few foodie snaps (taken with my iPhone) from the trip:

Whole Foods lunch

Whole Foods fruit

Tom yum soup

Steamed veggies

Thai stir fry

Normally at these events, the food isn’t anything to boast about. However on this occasion, the caterers had me in total heaven! The fruit in California tastes SO much better than it does here at home. It felt so weird to be eating heaps of watermelon, honeydew, and strawberries in December but I certainly got my fill to make up for our melon-less winter months here in Ontario. As you can see from my face below, I was a very happy girl!

fruit platter

Moving away from delicious food comas, let’s have a little chat about personal growth today, shall we? I began drafting this post during the 5 hours I had to spare on the plane ride back home on Friday night. There were a lot of things on my mind at the time so I figured I might as well pull out my laptop and start writing about them! A magazine article that I’d read while standing in the airport with a title something along the lines of ‘New Year, New You!’ reminded me, once again, that we’re coming to the end of the year. My thoughts turned to all of the things that have gone on in my life in 2012, and the ways in which I’m a different person from the one I was in January.

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As I thought about this on the plane, the following highlights stood out:

  • I re-connected after 8 years with one of my best friends that I went to school with in the Middle East. She got married back in April and I traveled to Melbourne, Australia to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. We caught up with each other, I broadened my knowledge of a city in Australia I’d never been to before, and I accomplished one of my 2012 goals, which was to go for an amazing long run on the beach there.
  • I’ve (very nearly) completed my Health Coaching course with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and launched my health coaching business this past summer.

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  • I overcame some nasty running injuries including Achilles tendinitis and a sprained SI joint, all while training and running the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon in August. The result I achieved ended up far exceeding what I’d hoped, and throughout the process I developed more mental toughness, and a better connection with my body and the messages it sends me. I also got to catch up with one of my friends whom I’ve known since I was only a few months old, as well as my dad who lives overseas.
  • I started a new job at a new company, which although has similarities to my previous job, is much more high-paced and dynamic. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t mentally draining some days, but I am so incredibly glad that I made the decision to look for a new job because I feel as though I’ve grown leaps and bounds since I started back in September.

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  • I made a few other choices that have helped me to achieve a better balance, including the decision to scale back my blogging schedule to 3 times per week. Not only has this done wonders for reducing my stress levels (and again, I adore blogging but I’m sure other bloggers out there would agree that it can indeed be stressful sometimes!), but I’ve also found a lot more time for doing other things I enjoy like spending time with friends.
  • I challenged myself to new physical endeavours, including rock climbing and anti-gravity yoga.
  • I’ve established a good system of setting aside part of what I earn in an RRSP, and another portion in a tax-free savings account. One of my biggest priorities, among other obvious ones like family, relationships, and health, is to be financially independent and I’m glad that I’ve established a solid saving habit.

As I read the article in the magazine at the airport, I couldn’t help but become a little irked by the suggestions that we totally re-vamp our eating habits and ramp up the intensity of our fitness regimes. While I agree that these sorts of ideas can certainly be motivating, they’re often presented in such a way that involves making big changes come January 1st. If you’ve ever tried to break a bad habit or resolved to do anything major beginning at the start of a new year, chances are you’ve probably fallen off the wagon at least a few times. Big changes are tough to make and even tougher to sustain long-term. In addition to suggesting that we drastically alter our ways, magazine articles like this one I was reading can make us feel like we’re not good enough yet, and totally need to reinvent ourselves in order to be happy.

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So where am I going with this? Today I encourage you to think about the ways in which YOU have grown this year, and how you’ve become a better person. If you’re reading this, chances are you already pay a good amount of attention to your health, fitness, nutrition, and overall lifestyle balance. If that’s the case, there’s no need to go and create a NEW you, because you’re already pretty darn awesome! Sure, I’m all about self-improvement, but today, let’s appreciate ourselves for how great we are today.

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Need a little incentive to get the self-appreciation juices flowing? I’ve got just the thing for you. Remember last week when I announced that one of my December goals is to focus on giving rather than receiving? Well I want to give something to one of you, and my fantastic friends at Sport Chek would like to help. Up for grabs is a $100 Sport Chek gift card for one lucky winner to use however you see fit. If you smashed some crazy awesome fitness goal this year, like running your first marathon or even just running your first 5K, tell me about it and if you win, treat yourself to a pair of new running shoes. Maybe you’ve cleaned up your diet a bit this year and that has translated into a few pounds lost. Tell me your story below and if you win, treat yourself to a new outfit for the gym. Or, maybe you’ve just got some Christmas shopping to finish up and you could use a little extra help. Tell me about something you did this year that you’re proud of, and if you win, use the card to finish off your Christmas shopping…. Just remember to get a little sumthin’ for yourself too!

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Really quickly, here are the details:

  • MANDATORY ENTRY if you want to be eligible to win: Leave a comment below telling me something you’ve done this year that you’re proud of.
  • Additional optional entries:
    • Like Eat Spin Run Repeat and Sport Chek on Facebook (and be sure to comment below telling me you did)
    •  Follow me on Twitter and tweet something like: “I want to win $100 from @SportChek and @eatspinrunrpt http://wp.me/p1Y0xO-4kq #MyBetter

This giveaway will close at midnight on Thursday December  13th, and I’ll announce the winner on the morning of Friday December 14th. Anyone with a Canadian shipping address is eligible, since Sport Chek does not ship internationally.

Good luck!

Comments

  1. says

    angela, thanks for the giveaway!! (and thanks to sportchek!).
    i am most proud that i gave up gum chewing and diet coke drinking this year: JUST YESTERDAY was my diet coke-free 11 month anniversary (my goal) and i had…two diet cokes to celebrate. and realized i will not go back to drinking them! same with gum – chewed two packs on nov 10th, but i am not going back.
    congrats on the evolutions you introduced into your lifestyle in 2012 – isn’t it great how we can make changes and not remain static! who wants to be exactly as they were 12 months ago?!
    glad you had fun in san fran – my brother was there last week, too!
    i still wish we would get wf in waterloo!…

  2. Chrissy says

    Thanks to you and Sportchek for ‘paying it forward’ with the giveaway! I set a goal of breaking 25 min for a 5 k this summer and achieved it.

  3. Celina L. says

    This year I finally was able to SEE the six pack I’ve always strived for. It was made sweeter as I accomplished this during med school. I will always be proud of reaching my fitness goals during the toughest training of my life.

  4. Lindsay says

    I began the year training for my first half marathon – and enjoyed that so much I went on to compete in my first sprint distance triathlon, enjoyed that so much I did four more sprint distance tri’s and an olympic distance, and another half marathon. Now I’m ready to kick off 2013 with a full marathon and a half ironman! Roll on 2013!

  5. Sarah L. says

    I lost 12 pounds this year, overhauled my diet, got sooo much deeper into yoga, and started my PhD! It’s been quite a year :)

  6. Alex says

    This year I set the goal of placing in my age group at a triathlon. I not only did this but also won first place overall for my age group in the triathlon series! As someone who used to define herself as being ‘non athletic’ and had never ever won an award for doing something physical, this was huge! I’m really proud of myself and all the hard work I put into achieving my goals!

  7. says

    This year I wanted to get into the best shape of my life, and knowing myself, I decided to put some skin in the game (literally) so I couldn’t back out. So, I registered for a bikini competition in Vegas!

    I trained for 20 weeks, lifting weights 5 days a week and increasing my cardio up to two times a day as the show approached. I also followed a strict, clean diet and leaned out more than I have in my LIFE!!

    Then I competed! I got on stage in a bikini and strutted my hard work and effort in front of a panel of judges.

    I didn’t win a trophy, but I left that show with the biggest prize of all…. immense pride in myself for accomplishing something that was REALLY out of my comfort zone, and a strong healthy body that I plan to continue working on.

    2012 was a BIG year for me :)

    PS…I already like you on facebook :)

  8. Shawna says

    this was a big year for me! After a long time i thinking, i decided to DO IT- i joined weight watchers, lost 27 lbs and got back down to my healthy BMI. I also trained for and ran my third half marathon, and improved my time by a whopping 31:18 minutes! I also just ran the Burlington Santa 5k Saturday on my birthday and got another personal best, which I couldn’t have even envisioned at the beginning of the year. I never thought I could do a sub-30 and my time was 28:28 ! While I struggle to maintain my weight through this month, i KNOW i can do it when I think how far I have come since I started taking control of my health in May of this year!

  9. says

    Looks like you made some great progress with your goals— sometimes set backs are really what helps us grow. I am proud of the fact that I have switched to eating “clean” about 90% of my diet. No added preservatives or sugars. I have also gotten my exercise habits more under “control”… more “normal”. I do miss training through running, but it’s nice to not have the added pressure and enjoy some new fitness activities. Thank you for being a great M-W-F blog read :)

  10. Allison says

    This fall I raised a ton of money and ran my first 5K race for Run for the Cure! While I didn’t train for it as well as I wanted to and the race itself wasn’t pretty, I finished strong with my friends and am so proud of myself for getting through it. :)

  11. says

    Well, I’m not eligible but I’m still proud of myself for completing my first and second half marathon this year! :] Pretty big deals! Loved this post by the way- it is always a good thing to focus on our accomplishments and allow ourselves to be proud of them! Thanks for that reminder!

  12. Susan says

    I started my own blog this year … FINALLY! Something I had been wanting to do for a long time, and from the inspiration of bloggers like yourself, that I follow, I finally started my own.

  13. Serena says

    This year I finally reached my weight loss goal, after nearly 2 years of work and 30 pounds lost. One of the best things Ive ever done for myself!

  14. says

    I competed in a local crossfit competition and took 3rd. I increased my deadlift 1RM by over 50 pounds. I got married and DIDN’T prewedding crash diet. I DID, however, maintain a good schedule of eating regular healthy meals and exercising consistently. I got better sleeping habits (I no longer stay up at night watching tv on my laptop) and that’s helped me to avoid late night snacking :)

  15. Chris says

    One of my fitness buddies, and I won’t mention who, challenged me shortly after my Feb birthday, to do my age in un-assisted pull ups. Clearly, I didn’t do them consecutively, but I did finish them within the hour. I think it was 6 different sets in total. I even surprised myself. Not sure I could even come close today, but that makes for one heck of a goal for next year!

  16. Courteney Hamilton says

    I m am proud to say that I have finished high school on the top of my class and have finished my first semester of university with a B average :) All while really beginning to train for my first half marathon and finding that I simply love running! I also liked you and Sport Chek on facebook. Will be shortly tweeting as well :)

  17. says

    Hi Angela – thank you for putting on the giveaway. I converted to the Paleo Lifestyle in June which has translated to more muscle and less fat. Another huge accomplishment was running a personal-best half-marathon in 1:54:31 back in May. I was super excited about that race!

    I also have liked both your page and Sport Chek on Facebook.

  18. keira says

    I’ve gone and practiced yoga nearly every day this year, which has helped me so much in centering and grounding me:)

  19. sfbnurse says

    Thanks for much for the chance to win in this giveaway but also for your fabulous blog! I love reading each post so much, especially the recipes… mmmmm!

    My biggest fitness goal smashed this year was completing my first full marathon! It was the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever, ever done and I have to say that I am more proud of myself for finishing that run than anything else I have EVER done! I learned a lot about myself and my body and pushing limits (mental and physical!) when you have a goal in mind.

    All in all 2012 was an excellent year for me! Lots of running including the marathon and Seawheeze…. but am looking forward to 2013 with a new PB goal for the half marathon! Can’t wait to see what my legs can do next!

    Happiest of Holidays! Shannon

  20. Kristen says

    What a great giveaway! This year was one of my best yet. I finally stopped obsessing over food and exercise and started to eat when I was hungry and exercise to feel good and not just burn calories. It took me many years (I’m turning 30 next year), but this is the happiest I’ve ever been! And I actually lost 10 pounds pounds :)

  21. Amy M says

    Something I’m proud of accomplishing this year is self-publishing a book! This book was 4 years in the making and I’m so proud that I persevered and completed the book. The book is titled “My Dizzy Story” and is about a sudden inner ear illness that turned my life upside down. I recount my experience with this illness and the lessons I have learned along the way.

  22. Deanna says

    I ran the mudpuppy chase solo and learned about running paces this summer with my Garmin. I’ve been having fun experimenting with various paleo recipes and learned some good eating tips from our friend Leanne. In my spin classes, I’m teaching others about using a heart-rate monitor to increase your training results.

  23. Sophie says

    Wow, what an inspiring post! So true, and so clear!

    I am proud of my 2 new personal record half-marathon times, and just keeping fit and moving in general. It’s easy to look at someone and just compare, but putting forth work and effort to help yourself is much more rewarding.

  24. Jackie says

    I came across your site this past weekend on pinterest while browsing Health & Fitness and subscribed (to Greatist.com as well). I read the “Learn to Love Morning Workouts” post. One click to another I found an interest in spinning and I’m currently waiting for my new spinning bike to arrive. YAY!!!

  25. Rachel says

    I ran my first half marathon, completed my first sprint triathlon, and lost 20 lbs from cleaning up my diet :)

    it’s been a great year, but I’m looking forward to 2013!

  26. Christine says

    Hi Angela – what a great way to end the year!

    This year I learned a lot about myself. I have always had poor self image and it has been something I have struggled with throughout my life. This year I worked hard to see myself in a better light. I started taking better care of myself, but more importantly I started appreciating myself for who I am. I got engaged, became vegan, and started taking risks that challenged me. I am so happy with the place I am at now. I’m not constantly worried about my weight or how I am going to burn off calories.

    Liked ESRR & Sportchek on Fb and tweeted :)

  27. Colleen C says

    This year I got my business started and off the ground! It has been a long haul, lots of studying and learning. I had to go outside my comfort zone (I can’t stand networking events!!) I attended countless conferences and seminars…and…I did it. I am so proud – and scared – and overwhelmed – and happy!

    The goal for next year is to get off my butt and start moving on a daily basis. It is too easy, when you have a home based biz, to sit at the computer and work and NOT MOVE! So 2013 will see my business boom and my butt shrink!

    :-)

    Followed, liked, tweeted!

  28. Sherry says

    I ran in my first race – 10K. It felt awesome, even more so because I’d just turned 40 seven days earlier.
    I also discovered your blog which I really enjoy. Your monthly goals inspired me to start my own and I’ve also enjoyed many of your workouts

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