Trust Your Gut


Last night I laid out my running gear…

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for the 8km Re-Frigee-Eighter race!

My directions were printed…

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I had my customary Japanese Sencha green tea:

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Full with new tunes!

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Despite all of my delicious eats in Toronto yesterday, I woke up with quite an appetite!

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Pre-Race Oatmeal


  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 t vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt


  • Sucanat
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Cashew Butter

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The Sucanat melts when it is warm and it acts like maple syrup!

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Pure heaven!

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Game Time Decision

Despite what my BRAIN was telling me to do (run that race!!!!!), the little voice inside of me (aka the gut instinct) told me NOT to run the race.

Here is what my brain was rationalizing to me:

  • You need to run your first race of the year!
  • The weather is beautiful
  • You’ll feel great once you are running
  • You will have something fun to blog about
  • You need to prove to yourself that you can still race (??? lol…isn’t it weird what we tell ourselves sometimes?!)

And here is what my GUT INSTINCT was saying:

  • Your body feels off today and it might not be a good idea to race
  • Your hamstrings are still a bit sore from your strength workout on Thursday
  • You don’t have that URGE to race today
  • Don’t do it…there are plenty more races to run

At first, I tried to ignore my instinct. I thought I would be fine and there was no reason to doubt that I could race today. I packed up my stuff and prepared to leave.

But then I really started to think about it:

  • My stomach felt nauseous (this is actually very atypical of me before a race)
  • I was dreading the 1 hour drive to the race, sign up, drive home, etc.
  • My legs felt weak

When I think back about all of the poor situations I have gotten myself into over the years, it happened usually because I IGNORED my gut instinct. When I listen to the instinct it never fails me- ever.

Today I decided to listen to that instinct and not run the race, despite really wanting to.

I actually caught myself thinking about what others might think if I skipped the race (maybe they won’t think I am dedicated or that I am lazy?). Then it hit me how crazy these thoughts were! I shouldn’t do things because I compare myself to what others are doing, I should do them for ME and my current situation.

I went in to tell the Sleeping Beauties (Eric and Sketchie) and Eric mumbled half asleep, ‘I’m so happy you are going to be home with me.’ and proceeded to pass out. It was so cute. :mrgreen: I love my boys.

As I grow and learn more about myself, I realize how crucial it is to listen to my instinct. I also refuse to let myself feel badly for doing what is right for my body. I don’t think it is a coincidence that I felt this way yesterday and I felt this way today. I think my body just wanted a complete break from everything this weekend.

Do you try to be in tune with that little voice inside your head? Are there any times when you listened to it and you think it saved you from a poor situation- or when you didn’t listen to it and you got yourself into some trouble?

The example that stands out the most for me is my pelvic injury last January 2009. I got up before work and had a 3 mile planned run. I started to run despite feeling an odd pain in my groin area. The little voice said to me, ‘This is not cool, you need to get off the treadmill.’ but I ignored it, stubbornly, and ran those 3 miles. When I got off the treadmill, I could barely walk and was consequently out of exercise entirely for a full 2 months.

I also listened to my gut when I left my job and started up Glo bakery.

Moral of the story- use your gut instinct to your advantage, it is there for a reason. I think society sort of ‘trains’ women to ignore it- do this, do that, not this, not that- but I am certainly my happiest when I listen to my instinct.


USA Vs. Canada Hockey Game tonight- you are watching RIGHT?!? :mrgreen:

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{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

Anais February 21, 2010

I think it is SO important to listen to that little voice inside! It’s great that you actually heard it, too! I find that with myself it’s whispering so quietly that I often don’t hear it until it’s too late… At least you’re home today and you’ll get to enjoy your week-end!! :)


Molly @thevegandorm February 21, 2010

I’m watching the hockey game! So excited!

Obviously if you’re sick you shouldn’t race, but as a competitive runner for the past 6 years, I also suffer from nerves. Personally, if I didn’t run everytime I feel like it, I wouldn’t race! You’re lucky nausea is out of the norm for you – for me, it’s standard pre-race. Just goes to show you that every body is different!


Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 21, 2010

You’re the only one that can hear your inner voice, so you shouldn’t worry what others will think. You rarely (if ever) regret listening to what your gut is telling you. You can race another day!


Laura February 21, 2010

Thank you for this great post! I recently ended a very serious relationship all because of a gut feeling — one that got louder and louder over time. Now I strive to listen to my gut feelings about relationships, food, exercise, my career…everything! Our bodies know what they need and our hearts know what is best, we only need to listen!


'Dee February 21, 2010

Amen to listening to your instincts! I know exactly how you felt in terms of “what will others think”. That can sometimes be the most damaging thought of all! But it’s so important to pitch it right out the window and listen to your own voice instead.

I’m proud of you and I know you’ll be back running when you (and your body and your instinct) knows it’s time. Not that MY opinion matters, of course! Ha ha ha ha.

Good for you!


Julie @ Wearing Mascara February 21, 2010

Gut instincts are so important! Great post to bring light to this :-)


Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 21, 2010

GO YOU for listening to your gut! You are right, we should do what is BEST for us, regardless of what others might thing. Who cares? Your gut instinct is always right and no matter how hard it is, we should listen to it.
I learned the lesson the hard way, actually the same way as you. I had a run planned one morning and I woke up feeling sore…kinda off… I knew I shouldn’t run but I did anyway. And I crippled over in pain 1 mile in. And then it felt better a week later so I decided to try again, even having that little voice telling me it was a bad idea.. repeat of the last time but worse. Doubled over in pain and hobbled home. I ended up with a stress fracture :/ Haven’t been able to really exercise since Dec. You live, you learn!


Kristine February 21, 2010

Good for you for listening to your body. Just take the day off and rest and relax with your husband and Sketchie!


Rachel (suburban yogini) February 21, 2010

Well done for listening to your gut – it’s not easy but it is so necessary :D


Brittany February 21, 2010

I think it’s great that you listened to you gut and decided not to run the race. Who knows what could have happened if you hadn’t. I agree, trusting ourselves and not worry about what others will think/say is so important. I think it’s awesome that you shared this experience with all your readers.

PS I love sucant – it tastes and smells like molasses and it’s so yummy on oats!


Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 21, 2010

Have you read Blink? I haven’t, but from what I understand, the premise is about trusting your instincts.

I’m glad you skipped your race because you felt like it. I’ve found that racing in general produces a lot of anxiety for me. Especially the shorter distances. So, I’ve pretty much stopped running them. I never have a good race, and then I end up feeling bad about myself. I can run all I want on the roads near my home, feel good about myself, and have no pressure!


hepsmom February 21, 2010

Yes! I have read Blink and you are right. You really know VERY quickly what you should do. It’s about all kinds of decisions, impression, etc., but I agree with Lily. We take in/understand all kinds of information about our surroundings, bodies, relationships, etc. that we don’t REALIZE we are processing.

Good call for listening to your body!



hepsmom February 21, 2010

P.S. Blink, and all Malcolm Gladwell books, are OUTSTANDING and very interesting. Read them! :)


Colleen February 21, 2010

I agree! Blink was awesome and The Tipping Point was really thought-provoking. That reminds me, I need to check out more of his books!

I read somewhere the other day…if you don’t know what you want, flip a coin…when that coin is in the air you will know exactly what side you want it to land on. Now if I could just remember where I read that – haha.

It is important to listen to our bodies, that is an awesome quality to have, you should be proud Angela!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

No I havent but I would love to! Thanks for the book ideas :)


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 21, 2010

Good work!! Listening to my body and my GUT over my brain is something that is getting slightly easier the older that I get, but it’s still no cake walk. Sounds like you absolutely made the right decision– there will aways be other races, and you’ll rock them!!!


Mae @ OhhMay February 21, 2010

Thank you for this lesson. I love that Eric supported your decision. At my house the conversation would have gone “I’m not racing today”… “You lazy bum!!”

Your oatmeal looks so delicious! I used to hate suncant but I acquired a taste for it. Now it’s quite yummy! I’ll have to try it on oats.


Ashlei February 21, 2010

I love hockey! That should be a great game..I hope it’s on my cable so I can watch!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

I feel like a kid on X-mas eve :)


Katie @ Health for the Whole Self February 21, 2010

I think the fact that you listened to your gut instinct is really admirable. I’ve struggled to do so in the past, both in terms of exercise and life in general. In this case, it sounds like you took the path of “intuitive exercise,” basing your decision on the way your body felt rather than on some external standards. While intuitive eating gets a lot of press, intuitive exercise is just as important. Be proud that you honored yourself and your body today!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

intuitive exercise- what a wonderful concept!!!


Marcia February 21, 2010

Being a generally slow runner and not terribly competitive (except with myself), had the race been close by, I would have probably run it. Assuming, of course, that I’d pre-paid for it. I’m cheap.

I’m pretty sure I would not have driven an hour to run it, though, were I not feeling great.

My exercise philosophy is “go. If you really aren’t feeling well when you get there, you can walk or take it easy some other way.”

But again, that’s when it involves a 5 or 10 min drive, not an hour.

Good for you for listening to your body. If you’re the type to push push through the pain to get a good race time…you’re better of not going!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

Luckily I didn’t pay any race fee as I wasn’t signed up yet so it made the decision fairly easy.


Danielle (Coffee Run) February 21, 2010

I admire you for listening to your gut instinct. I’m good about listening when it comes to certain things, but exercise is not one of them :? Holding off on the race is probably a better decision in the long-run.

At least you had an awesome bowl of oats ;)


Maureen February 21, 2010

Absolutely I have never made a bad decision when I went with my gut. It is hard to listen to though when others input their opinions but I have learned to listen to my own. Congratulations for learning to listen to it at your age it took me a lot longer. It applies to all aspects of life, eating, exercising, relationships, career…always trust your gut :-)


Tammy February 21, 2010

Thanks for saying that! SERIOUSLY! I am learning to pay attention to my body and its cues after NOT paying attention, and like you, pushing myself harder and making something worse..I am now going on several weeks of limitations becasue of a hip flexor strain/tendonitis that I made worse by continuing to not listen to those cues..lesson learned. I’ve realized that somehow I expect myself to be able to “keep up with” someone else, because I should be able to do what they are doing..Truth is, I’m the one that has to live with my body! Trying to be likes someone else in this case is just ridiculous!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

well said:

‘I’m the one that has to live with my body!’


Kristin (whimsyville) February 21, 2010

Just another example of the good that comes from giving the voice in the back of your head some credit. Good for you, girl!


Estela @ Weekly Bite February 21, 2010

Listening to your gut is so important. It takes time to learn to trust it…

Have a great Sunday!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

yes it does take time and sometimes we have to learn it the hard way before it clicks.


Kelsey February 21, 2010

good for you angela!


Carbzilla February 21, 2010

Don’t ever feel like you need to run on MY account or anyone else who reads your blog. You do what you need to do! That gut may save your life some day!


Ameena February 21, 2010

Great decision to listen to your gut instinct! I didn’t a few years ago and I am still dealing with my knee injuries. And unfortunately my injuries won’t ever improve that much so I made a terrible error in judgment!

Enjoy your Sunday off!!


Lara February 21, 2010

Good for you! In time I have really learned to tune into my gut feeling. I have had two injuries this year (not exercise related) and have to really cut back on exercise and be careful. Listening to my gut has helped me prevent further injury and faster healing.

Please don’t ever feel like readers will think you are lazy. You are so busy and active in general. Always trust your gut, it has served you well these last few yrs.


Jane February 21, 2010

Way to go Girl. I don’t know how you to it all. It is so important to listen to your body and instinct….it never leads you down the wrong path.

Enjoy your relaxing day!!! It really pays to be good to yourself.



Jil February 21, 2010

Over time, I’ve learned that my gut instinct is ALWAYS right, and no one should tell or try to convince me otherwise. Unfortunately, I haven’t always listened to it, and that has made for some tough times — but you live you learn. Plus, I know that if I don’t listen to my own instincts my brother will be right there to TELL me exactly what my instincts are saying…especially in terms of guys I’ve dated…he’s always been right.

My standards for dating now include: going with my gut AND listening to my brother 150% … he’s always been right about them. Like…exactly. haha

P.S. Those oats look and sound amaaaaaazing!! :)


Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place February 21, 2010

good for you for listening to your body! I actually hate racing. I raced for 4 years in high school and found that I felt a million times better if I can without the stress of competition. Have a good day snuggling with your boys!!


Jolene ( February 21, 2010

I definitely listen to my gut instinct – it is always right!

That seems like a lot of liquid in your oats … do you normally put that much in? How do you cook them?


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

For a half cup of oats I always use 1.5-2 cup liquids…I like them very voluminous! I cook in a very basic way- throw everything into a pot and cook over medium heat. nothing fancy!


Kate February 21, 2010

Angela, you have such awesome questions! I definitely listen to my gut. Isn’t it funny how our minds are so powerful, but our “guts” are the “smart” ones?? :) I feel so strong mentally when I listen to myself. I’d rather other people think what they want about me instead of me doing something I really don’t want to do. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

great way of putting it:

‘Isn’t it funny how our minds are so powerful, but our “guts” are the “smart” ones??’ love that


BostonRunner February 21, 2010

I try really hard to listen to my gut. I’ve learned most of the time its right. I’ve actually made a last minute to skip a race too just because I was so run down that day and stressed out. I think you made the right decision!
I’ll definitely be watching hockey tonight! : )


Salah@myhealthiestlifestyl February 21, 2010

thats a great story. In college I played volleyball and I always had to push through the pain regardless if my gut was telling me to sit out or not…. ididn’t have a choice b/c I was getting paid to play EVERYDAY. However, now that I’m done playing I still workout on days that my gut is telling me to rest because its all i’ve known my whole life. This is a great post and i’m really going to work on listening to my gut as well!!


Becky February 21, 2010

Great post, Angela! While losing weight, I sometimes pushed myself too hard because I feared going backwards. I realize now that it is sooo important to listen to your body and your instincts, but I still need little reminders (like this post!) to do it. Hope you savor your day off and give your body what it needs, rest.


Lori February 21, 2010

Excellent post! It takes a lot to actually listen to your gut instinct and to comply with it. So many times we are not in tune with that little voice inside or at least how we feel. Thank you for the reminder to listen to our bodies!


Lizzie February 21, 2010

Over a year ago I had something weird going on with the underside of my foot. It was extremely tight and even stretching wasn’t helping. I had signed up for a 5K and got up the morning of the event with the continued discomfort. But I was as stubborn as the next person and got dressed, walked out the door and down the street to the subway . . . I got halfway there before the little voice shouted at me that none of this felt good. So reluctantly I turned around and went home. It turned out that I had just bruised my foot on a tree root (the trees a taking revenge on the brick footpath in our neighbourhood! :)), but even if it was just that, doing that race would have probably made it a lot worse. Same thing with my first 1/2 last year. My ankle was definitely not right and I made the decision with my trainer to opt out (bye bye $60!). As she put it – are you in this for the long haul? Then it makes no sense to put other races at risk just b/c you stubbornly want to do this one. I only wish I could hear that voice more in all areas of my life. I live with a lot of fear and I know it prevents me from truly living out my dreams and making bigger more positive choices for myself. Sounds like you made the right call on this one – but yummy oats, so not a total loss of the early start! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2010

love this quote ‘are you in this for the long haul?’


Lizzie February 21, 2010

I know!!! Seriously! She’s one of my inspirations . . she has 3 kids under 6 and runs her own training business and a fit mama’s exercise studio and somehow competes in regular races! But what she said made me think and having some time off has been probably better for me than I realise now – though the challenge has really getting back into the swing of things! :)


Stacy (stalios) February 21, 2010

This post really resonated with me today as I’m coming off of an injury and feeling a little under the weather. I have an 18km on the training calendar for today as part of my half marathon training. The stubborn person in me was all ready to just do it anyways, but my gut instinct was telling me to take another rest day. So that’s what I’m doing! Now I can have a pajama day with my kids and gear up for the hockey game. GO CANADA!!!


Ann February 21, 2010

Well done you: I imagine it probably took more effort and willpower NOT to race than it would have to go ahead and race (I know it would have for me!). I will also be listening to my gut and starting my own business later this year (I have to stay and work at my crappy job for a few months longer to save up money). Yay for guts!


Krista February 21, 2010

I used to force myself to go to the gym and run my usual 5 miles over the lunch hour 5 times a week because (for some reason) I thought that I *had* to. I could pretty much guarantee that on the days I ran that I wasn’t feeling it I would have a really upset stomach for the rest of the day. I finally did an overhaul on my attitdue towards working out and now only run when I feel like it. Other days I will hop on the elliptical or not hit the gym at all. With no guilt. It’s weird to say, but it’s so liberating!


Kim February 21, 2010

Love your inspiring posts!

I am learning to listen to my gut more. It’s a difficult thing to get used to.

Yes, I will be watching the game. I love the Olympics more than almost anything. Can’t wait for tonight!


Kris | February 21, 2010

I agree with you! You must follow your gut as it is your compass for life! It tells you what is good and bad…..I listen to mine all the time.

I get some STRONG gut or intuition feelings!

I am glad you stayed true to yourself today. Your body will thank you ;)



Tay February 21, 2010

Kudos to you for listening to your gut :-) That takes, well…guts!! There will be many more races in the future!


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