Why do you that to yourself?!

The stairs at the Diamond Head crater, Hawaii

I’ve gotten asked this question many times. Heck I’ve even asked myself that before.

“Guess what? I’m training for my very first marathon!!!”

“Really? Why are you doing that to yourself?”

Talking about infomercials…“Have you tried Hip Hop Abs? It’s so fun!!”

“I love Shaun T! I just started Insanity!”

“What? Why would you do that to yourself?”

Coming into the office from the stairs… “Did you just take the stairs?”


“All the way from the ground floor?”


“Do you always do that?”

“Yep…you should take the stairs sometimes! It’s good exercise!”

“When I do, I only take it one floor….but why do you do that to yourself?”

The thing is, what is it that I’m “doing” to myself?

Is it the discomfort exercise can bring that I’m “doing” to myself?

Is it that I’m restricting what I eat that I’m “doing” to myself?

I can tell you what it is I KNOW I’m doing to myself:

I’m sacrificing very temporary discomfort in my fitness to get STRONGER.

I’m eating better and making better choices so I can feel better and have my body work better, the way it’s supposed to…

And, “feeling better” includes not overly restraining myself or avoiding having treats.

But, because I make better choices and I love the way I feel because I’m healthier, I don’t mind the discomfort and the better food choices.

I “do this to myself” because after you get over the discomfort, you find rewards:

  • A stronger self
  • A new definition of discomfort
  • A pushed limit
  • A newfound ease to doing those difficult things
  • A more confident self
  • A desire to “do this to yourself” more often
  • A healthier outlook
  • A new level of energy…

The list is literally endless. And until you “do this to yourself” and get over the initial hurdle of self-doubt and discomfort, you won’t really ever know if you could do it…will you?


Investing in my Health, Part 6

As I got older and went back to my love of running, I also went back to my my Mom’s passing. A lot of the feelings I think I should have felt after she passed were suppressed and well, I was just too young to either feel them, acknowledge them, and to know what questions to ask.

And I had SO many questions. I connected with cancer causes, did my own research, and talked to my biology and sociology profs and TAs about cancer issues, focusing many of my papers on things cancer-related.

I started to really realize how huge it was that this thing, losing my mother, in my early age, and her in her mid-forties, impacted my life. I started to hate it. I hated that my memories were vague, that I didn’t know her voice, and also often wondered if there were parts of me that were growing to look like her parts, only I had no idea what her parts looked like. A 5-year old doesn’t really focus on those things.

The biggest thing that bothered me was that kids everywhere were losing their mothers at age 5 too. It wasn’t just me. And so I decided that I wanted to do something about it. I decided to host a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society, and along with family members and close friends, and my boyfriend, we shed our hair for a cause.


I continued my research and got more acquainted with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. They answered so many questions and took interest in my interest to volunteer. They asked me if I was interested in being part of the Team in Training program, which honours and supports blood cancer patients through endurance sports. Having my eye on running a full marathon at some point in my life, I decided to go for it. I was going to volunteer, but I was also going to train. They equipped me so well with a great team, a mentor and a coach.

A Hero board that my siblings and I put together to share with my team who I was running for.
The morning of the marathon, decked out in Mom-Love and ready to rock.

Investing in my Health, Part 5

When I started dating my boyfriend (now husband), he was kinda grossed out by the fact that I loved vegetables and fish. He would sing “You don’t win friends with salad”, taunting me while I enjoyed my roughage, and would stare oddly at my plate when I’d eat fish. He claimed he didn’t want to eat something that looked the same as it did when it was alive. He was not a vegan.

I vowed to get him to not only start eating more veggies and fish, but also to love it. (He also vowed to get me to love Spam…20 years later, he’s still trying.) I’m happy to say I was successful…and sometimes he even gets excited when he comes home and sees that there’s fish and veggies for dinner.

Spam Musubi, one of the only ways I actually like Spam!

I loved getting him to eat better. I still do, although after marriage, they call it “nagging”.  *insert annoyed face here*

After we got married, people started making jokes that I wasn’t feeding him because he started shedding pounds. He wasn’t eating less, just better. It felt so good to help him make that change, to take better care of himself.

Investing in my Health, Part 2

The New Norm

The days after that, like much of this chapter of my life, are blurry. I have flashes of memories of her visitation in the funeral home and the actual funeral. But, the flashes I do have, I remember, not even like they’re yesterday, but like I’m living them in present time. The sights, the smells, the sounds…I relish the sensory capture I have of these moments because although they’re horribly sad, they’re also very important to me.

As sad as this sounds, because my Mom had been in the hospital for months before she passed, I didn’t really feel like it was a huge adjustment to live without her at home. But, I was also only 5, going on 6. We visited her site at the cemetery often and for years, I associated being in that place as being with her.

Continue reading “Investing in my Health, Part 2”