Have Fun With Your Health


Hello there!

Thanks for the great discussion on HIIT. I loved reading about all of you who incorporate HIIT into your weekly exercise routine! Who knew there were so many of you?! Awesome. I am so excited to play around with the training. The possibilities are really endless. And let me tell you, I have never had a runner’s high like that (in 28 minutes to boot!).

Now, as promised…


This week I will be sharing some of my favourite health tips that have worked well for me on my road to health. I thought it would be a great way to open up dialogue and get each other inspired to have a kick-butt Spring season (and beyond!).

Health Tip #1: Have Fun With Your Health!

For years, I did not nurture my health. I did not have fun with food, exercise, or my health. I basically succeeded at making myself miserable. I struggled with disordered eating and rarely took pleasure in food because everything about my diet was so strict, regimented, and rigid. All I ever thought about was how many calories or fat grams I had left to eat for that meal or day. Some days I would ‘succeed’ and some days I would ‘lose’, but regardless, every day was essentially the same- a battle against myself.

The same was true for exercise. It was all about squeezing in the most exercise I could in a day. I would walk at lunch, walk home from school, hit the gym, and attend softball practice at night. I have always loved being active and participating in sports throughout childhood, but somewhere along the line I lost the carefree joy that I got out of it. No longer could I just rollerblade for fun- I had to be thinking about how many calories I burned and how long I would make myself go for. I would do endless circles around the cul-de-sac on our street. Where I was going? I just don’t know…

After years of this, I finally figured out that this way of life was not sustainable long-term. I decided that I wanted to take pleasure in my health and stop this cloud of negativity that surrounded me.

I wanted my health, diet, and fitness to be FUN!

I wanted to bound out of bed in the morning and be excited about taking care of myself and my health. I wanted goals…positive ones.

It was not easy to just start to have fun with my health, do not be fooled. After years of fighting my body, I honestly didn’t know how to have fun with it. I had to learn how to ride my bike with training wheels again. I decided to put on some rose-coloured glasses and fake it ‘til I made it.

Over time, I discovered a passion for health and nutrition and I started to look at it in a new light.


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Here are a few things I started to do:

  1. Experiment with recipes and new foods

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2.    A lot of reading and research in the health field. Any chance I got in my undergraduate and master’s programs I chose health research!

3.    I asked myself what types of exercise I enjoyed and I started to do those more.

4.    I stopped counting how many calories I burned while working out and I focused on how exercise made me feel (amazing, proud, strong!) and what benefits it had on my daily life (tons!).

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5.    I read inspiring blogs and discovered that there were so many people out there who had a passion for health, just like me. So many people who overcame a lot and were now happy.

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6.    I found surrounding myself with inspiring and positive people made all the difference in my recovery and my passion for life.

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It has now been about 3-4 years since I decided to have fun with my health. There are so many things I want to try that I haven’t done before! I want to run more races (my next half marathon is on May 30th!), climb a mountain, skydive, scuba dive, and so much more. All it took was reframing the negative into something positive and seeing my health in a new way.

Is food, fitness, and health fun in YOUR life? What do you do to keep it fun?

Was there a time in your life when food and fitness was NOT fun?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how YOU make health fun in your life! I think that positivity is really contagious and through our dialogue we can keep each other inspired!

Coming up on Health Tip Week, I tell you what I eat once daily that keeps me on track (and no, I’m not talking about Green Monsters!)


"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."
– Martha Washington

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) March 15, 2010

I couldn’t agree with you more. In the end, we will all grow old and die. It won’t matter how many calories we ate or how many minutes we spent at the gym when we’re 80 years old! What WILL matter is the enjoyable experiences we had and what we learned from them.

Since coming to school and getting into a depressive slump, I’ve made it my mission to win back my happiness. I already follow many of your tips to live a happier life.


2 Angela March 15, 2010

Great post! Looking forward to reading all the comments to this!

I joined the YMCA when I was 18 because I had a crush on a guy that worked out there…and well, not only did it start me down the path of leading a healthy & active lifestyle, but that crush became my husband 10 yrs later!!

I think the most important way to make fitness fun is to shake it up every week! On Sunday night – I plan out my workouts & meals for the week. When I plan in workouts I include 2 runs, 2 yoga sessions & 2 weight sessions. If I have extra time for other cardio this is when I grab those magazines sitting on my coffee table that I haven’t had the time to read!


3 Lily @ Lily's Health Pad March 15, 2010

Living a health life is only sustainable if you keep it fun! Plus, if it’s not fun, it’s not really “healthy”! Stressors are rarely a good thing.


4 John March 15, 2010

Food and exercise is becoming more fun each day. To keep things fun I started playing badminton again and soon of course I’ll be able to golf again.


5 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] March 15, 2010

Yes – food, fitness and health is FUN for me : ) It wasn’t always that way – I struggled in junior high and high school – but now living a healthy life IS what makes me happy. I run races not to win, but to feel accomplished and strong. I’m a winner in every race : )


6 Jenny March 15, 2010

I made exercise fun tonight! I joined a runners club and ran at dusk in beautiful local neighborhoods.


7 Michelle @ SugarWand March 15, 2010

I used to look at running as punishment for eating too much. It was the thing I went to when I binged. I have now taken the stance that no matter what I am going to complete a 1/2 marathon. Even if it means I have to walk parts of it.

It’s been interesting as well cause I have been informally teaching yoga to the students who I live with. I have about 20-25 students coming each week and they’ve begged me for more classes. It’s so powerful to be teaching people something, enabling them to listen to their bodies and for them to be part of something that challenges them.

Having fun with food and really having fun with LIFE is where it’s at.

As always Ange, you’re such an inspiration.


8 Katie March 16, 2010

Food and fitness bring a smile to my face every day. I can honestly say that I have never finished a workout upset or depressed or unhappy. I LOVE everything about it!


9 Trail (Oven Aversion) March 16, 2010

I totally agree. Food, fitness, health all have to be fun and exciting! I have an absolute passion for all three and can’t imagine ever losing that love for it all.

Oddly enough, I would say that less than a year ago, I didn’t love it all. I loved the idea of being healthy and I loved food, but I hated exercise. Thankfully I’ve never had a problem with disordered eating or binge exercising, but I used to be a blob. I was thin, but I was sedentary. It all just seemed like too much work. Now I can’t imagine that, and I can’t really pinpoint when that switch got flipped. I’m just glad it did because this is so much more fun and enjoyable! :)


10 Rachel March 16, 2010

I am just now discovering what you found 3-4 years ago. I have struggled for years with “dieting” and disordered eating. Worst of all–the guilt for not being perfect. I felt that if I wanted to eat things that were good, my only option was to be fat and vice versa. It was a sick, twisted way of thinking, and I looked great but felt miserable.

After I got married in August, my husband and I moved to California from South Carolina. It was a tough move for me, and I got depressed and turned to food for comfort, which caused me to gain 10 pounds. Going from 125 to 135 made me even more miserable and home sick. I was disappointed in myself and so depressed.

After Christmas vacation, I came back to CA determined to live better. I tried the diet food deal for a month and then realized I could not live like that again. So, for the last month, I have worked hard to change my habits in exercise and in eating. I started a blog to keep myself accountable and to push myself to be more creative. Plus, my family and friends from home can kind of see what I’m up to.

Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and several other health/food/fitness bloggers. I finally feel comfortable with myself, and it’s a good feeling. I’m losing weight very slowly, but I feel MUCH better. Plus, I’m switching up my exercise routine to better fit my body and schedule. I only have 6 pounds to go before I’m back down to where I need to be.

Happy Blogging! Keep the tips coming!


11 Samantha March 16, 2010

How inspiring! Food is not fun for me. I still struggle from an eating disorder with little opportunity for professional help. But I’m working on it. :) And until then, I wear a LOT of elastic waist pants and hide my scale.

I DO have a LOT Of fun with activity. I love running and missed it so much…and have incorporated it back into my life to the doable tune of 20-25mpw. But I keep tons of variety out there…I scuba and free dive, surf (when I can), mountain bike, hike (my kids favorite activity!), do buckets of yoga…and whatever else feels good when. No longer do I force exercise or stress over a missed planned workout. It’s very freeing…AND FUN!


12 Janet (Pantry Bites) March 16, 2010

I love long walks with my dog while catching up on various podcasts. I also love BodyPump and the energy in the class. And what I learned with being consistent with exercise is to adapt to different situations. If you are on holiday and can’t do your normal exercise, don’t panic. Exercise does not always have to involve the gym.


13 Cecilia March 16, 2010

What a great topic! Exercise should be fun. I used to loathe strength training, but then I discovered free weights (I used to only use the machines before that) and now I love going twice a week.
A friend of mine once told me that I shouldn’t judge any type of exercise by what it does to my body, but rather by what it does to my face. If it makes me smile, then it’s good. I use that as my rule of thumb to this day.


14 Lauren March 16, 2010

I struggled with an eating disorder for a while. I learned to enjoy the feeling of being empty and hungry. One day my best friends (my college track and field teammates) confronted me and expressed their concern for my health. I have gained back the weight I lost from those unhealthy (and un-fun) days, but I admit that it’s still very hard. I still sometimes struggle with disordered eating, bouncing between eating too little and too much.

These struggles have helped me realize the importance of daily exercise. I’ve been a runner my entire life and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to run. When I tore my hamstring in college is probably when all of this started. My outlet, the thing I enjoyed so much, was gone. I couldn’t run and I was so afraid of becoming fat that I just stopped eating. Now, I notice that on days I work out I do not struggle with eating too much or too little. I eat very clean and I eat only what my body asks me to eat. When I don’t workout is when my mind gets the best of me. Although I still struggle, I feel that I am moving forward and am on the road to recovery. This blog has helped me in that direction. I know that my size right now is very healthy, but for so long I strived to look unhealthy. Readjusting my mental image of “healthy” is what I’m trying to work on.

Whew! It feels good to say that, er…write that, out loud.


15 Natasha March 16, 2010

I get such out of exercise, I always have. I struggle mostly with the guilt I feel on days that I don’t work-out.

I also still really struggle with food. I’m not a foodie, never have been. I have a fairly child-like approach to eating and cooking. I don’t mind experimenting on occasion, but I feel I know so little about how to eat a balanced diet. I also fear “normal” portion sizes, having restricted myself so much in the past.

Since reading health blogs I’ve realised how much I’ve been missing out on nutrient wise, and bit by bit I am making changes. It’s a tough road, but I hope to attain the kind of attitude you have for health and life. :-)


16 lindsay March 16, 2010

I love this post! I love having fun with exercise and trying new things. What I hate is that sometimes the amount of time we spend thinking about it and feeling we “have to” exercise. Trying new things helps keep me in perspective and in balance. Cheers to you Angela!


17 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is March 16, 2010

I couldn’t agree more – and the same goes for what we eat. If we don’t enjoy every single thing we eat, we could never stay on track!


18 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self March 16, 2010

I used to see healthy eating and exercise as PUNISHMENT. Basically, I thought I was too fat to have FUN; I thought I didn’t deserve it. So my food and exercise habits were extremely rigid and black-and-white. I thought eating vegetables and running were things I had to do to try to fit some stereotypical mold of who I should be and what I should look like.

It wasn’t until I ditched that mentality that I was able to discover that living a healthy lifestyle can be fun when you embrace it as a choice you’re making for yourself, rather than something you have to do to look a certain way. When I made food and exercise choices based on how they made me FEEL rather than how they made me LOOK, I was able to relax and enjoy it!


19 Angela (Oh She Glows) March 16, 2010

wow this comment hit home with me…I too never thought I was ‘good enough’ to enjoy things.


20 kim March 16, 2010

more fun in exercise has been the key for me, listening to when and HOW my body wants to move (e.g. run, dance in my room : ), etc). reading your blog gave me the courage to try heathier options (hello green monstah).

that HITT running is great. it is the closest exercise i have found that makes me feel like a kid. sprinting outdoors is AWESOME!! : )


21 sarah (the SHU box) March 16, 2010

lovely post! i’m totally with you — it’s not a sustainable lifestyle if you don’t ENJOY it (and even if it was sustainable . . . what would be the point!?!?)

fun parts of a healthy lifestyle:
— feeling good!
— training for races and finding ways to get faster
== trying new foods
— the community aspect

un-fun parts:
— comparisons and restriction
— ultra-perfectionism

i try to emphasize the first list and avoid the second at all costs! sometimes it’s easy to slip for a moment, but if i think about ‘the point’ of all of this, the decision is easy :)


22 angela @ a healthy fit March 16, 2010

Food hasn’t been fun for me for a while, but in Nov 2009, I decided to start changing that. I am trying to change my way of thinking about myself and how I view food. So far it hasn’t been easy, but usually the things that turn out to be best & most rewarding aren’t easy.


23 Lindsay March 16, 2010

Wow! Your post could not have come at a better time for me. I am in the position you were in. I’ve been fighting with myself trying to lose weight and it’s a battle. I always end up in this “giving up” mind set. It has always been amount the amount of calories I am having and somehow I always manage to go over and throw in the towel for the day.

About 8 months ago I started reading food blogs. I love them! I never realized how much food we can eat and still be healthy. I think my problem was that I was eating a small portion of a 100 calorie pack and just wanting more as opposed to eating a nutritious and satisfying snack. I was doing that for a lot of my meals throughout the day.

I am trying to find how I can enjoy food and not worry so much. I also want to find the exercise that I love. I have always admired runners. In my head I always think “I wish I could do that!” But what is stopping me?? Myself. I need to just go for it.

Your post this morning has really inspired me. Thank you.


24 Angela (Oh She Glows) March 16, 2010

that sums up my thoughts when i first started reading blogs too!

“I never realized how much food we can eat and still be healthy. “


25 Robyn March 16, 2010

Angela, your great…truely an inspiration and this page is so enjoyable to read! I can completly relate to a time where health and fitness were NOT fun and more stressful than anything…I too in the last 3 years have turned it around and focus more on the enjoyment and interest of health, food and fitness! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! Awesome work!


26 Christy March 16, 2010

Like the commenter above, this post came at a perfect time for me! I’m the mom of two young kids so life is fairly busy, and I used to use that as an excuse as to why I couldn’t put my health as a priority.

I’ve started reading lots of blogs about people who lost weight and are now leading a healthy lifestyle, and I yearn to be one of those people. I love reading new recipes, new foods, new drinks, new snacks….

I do this also so that I can be a good example for my children and teach them to grow up happy and healthy and to enjoy exercise, I want it to come second nature to my two boys and not be a struggle.

You have a wonderful way of words and I love all the inspiration, motivation & downright giddyness I get when I visit your blog.


27 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday March 16, 2010

I love exercising! When I don’t feel like doing it though, I will push myself to do it or I will find an alternative that involves exercise but is more likely to get me off the couch.


28 Jane March 16, 2010

I bought my first pair of real running shoes last fall, challenged myself to learning something new (karate), lost weight, and eat a healthier and more balanced diet. I re-evaluated my life and shaped it into a healthier one.

I beleived that exercise on a daily basis wasn’t for me. Luckily, I studied yoga for 11 years which kept me strong and ate a vegetarian diet. Going to the same class week after week got boring and I lost my zeal and love for yoga. I still study yoga but with a new teacher and practice at home daily.

A lot of inspiration has come from Angela’s blog. Thanks Angela….I have never felt better…fitter, stronger, had so much energy or been happier.


29 Heather (Where's the Beach) March 16, 2010

Great post. I try to keep food fun by trying new recipes all the time.


30 kalli@fitandfortysomething March 16, 2010

great post Angela! before i would out just because i had to now i really want to because it makes me feel “whole”
Have a great day!


31 Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen March 16, 2010

Great tips! I wrote about the very same thing today. I have found in my own life and with my clients that if stop fighting the way things are right now, embrace them all and do what feels great- health just tumbnles into our life easily and effortlessly.


32 Nicole, RD March 16, 2010

I couldn’t agree more! It’s so important to make health fun and never boring! I am always trying something new — at least 3 new recipes a week! I love it, it’s a hobby!


33 Paige @ Running Around Normal March 16, 2010

Awesome post, Angela! I was the same way – only exercising to burn calories. I grew up getting tons of physical activity from sports, and then when it became about weight, I didn’t get joy from working out and playing sports anymore, it was just about how many calories I was burning. It’s taken a long, long time, but now I workout mainly for the health benefits and for fun – not to see how many calories I can burn in an hour.


34 Banana March 16, 2010

You’re majorly inspiration, girl.

I’m just starting out on my having fun with health journey and it’s exciting to even begin to fathom that this thing I’ve been beating myself up about for years and years could actually become a positive part of my life.

Thanks for blazing a trail and sharing it with the world.


35 Keri March 16, 2010

Hi Angela,

I’ve been lurking around your blog for several days now, but this is the first time I’ve posted.

I really liked your post today. I too have struggled with disordered eating in the past, and it felt like every calorie was a war. I’m learning to give that up (I still count calories, but you’re helping inspire me to stop!) and I’ve learned to love exercise again. I finished my first marathon and half marathon last fall, and I have a half marathon coming up in May also!

Thanks for the awesome post and all the inspiration! You’ll probably see a lot more of me around here :)


36 Monica March 16, 2010

After six years of battling my body (counting calories/over-exercising) I have finally decided to be its ally (listening to my body/enjoying food/enjoying exercise). It is amazing how much happier I am when I am on its side. It hasn’t been easy, and there are ups and downs, but each day is better than the last.
Thanks for being such an inspiration. I relate so much to your story. So thankful to have found your blog!


37 Madeleine @ Notes On A Page March 16, 2010

Hi! I’m a fairly new reader, but I really love your happy attitude and fun posts, so I’m a frequent reader! Thanks so much for this post. There is SO MUCH negativity toward food and body image out there, and it’s so refreshing to read about someone who loves food and taking care of her body! Definitely inspirational and contagious!


38 Jolene March 16, 2010

I have a passion for health too, and I try to have as much fun as possible when it comes to food and fitness!!

Scuba diving is really cool!! I have been certified for a couple years now, and have done dives in Mexico and Cuba!


39 Kimberly Lee March 16, 2010

In college, I struggled with an eating disorder. Fitness/nutrtion became a prison for me — it was more torment than fun. However, I have learned to make my fitness about pursuing goals or doing new things. Since I have changed my mind set – I have ran a 5K, tried a variety of aerobic classes at my gym, and started lifting weights. Now, that I am recovering from the birth of my daughter, my fitness routine has changed to include long walks outside with the baby. I talk to her as we walk….I love it. I am doing something good for my body and bonding with my baby.


40 Lindsey March 16, 2010

I love your blog. If this is what recovery is, then daaayyyyaammm I want it. Wowzas.

‘K, here’s the thing. I still have a major mental block about exercising. I can’t separate the calorie-burning thoughts from the enjoyment of it. Mostly because I don’t truly enjoy it. I want to, but I don’t seem to KNOW HOW.

Argh. I want to know really, what people DO do to make their fitness FUN in their lives!!!! It’s like a gold coin I can’t find…….!


41 Angela (Oh She Glows) March 16, 2010

I think you need to find out what activities you enjoyed as a child…those activities are often clues as to what our passions really are. :)


42 Lindsey March 17, 2010

Thank you SO much for your reply. I wonder if you could ever know just how much you help people out!!! :-)

I blogged about this on my newbie blog, too. Hope you don’t mind. :-)


43 Annie March 16, 2010

So inspiring! Can’t wait to keep reading everyday tips :D


44 Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman March 16, 2010

That’s so important for me. If it’s not fun, I really won’t do it. I think on the food front, learning about various health foods and testing new recipes makes eating right more fun. I get the whole “I’ve never tried this before!” excitement. As for fitness, it’s easier to do when I’m enjoying it. That’s why I had so much fun when I lived in New Zealand but stayed fit. I did a ton of crazy activities like canyoning that were really physical but also a really good time.


45 Sophie @ yumventures March 16, 2010

Food and fitness used to me a chore for me when I was living in a disordered way. I would push myself on the elliptical for 45 minutes, never doing anything different but trying to lose weight. I hated food because I wished I didn’t have to eat it, and counted every calorie.

Then something changed my mind. I have changed up my exercise routine, I do body pump, my boyfriend is teaching me about strength training, I run now and have goals to be stronger and be able to accomplish more: running a 5k or lifting 5 more lbs, instead of looking at the scale. And I love it! I love seeing results that make me proud and happy, that I am taking care of my body so it can do more, not weigh less.

I also found a passion for cooking and started a cooking blog. I wanted to share my love of food and healthy recipes with people to show that healthy eating can be creative and fun! By making healthy living fun, I am now healthier than I have ever been before!


46 Morgan March 16, 2010

At the root of it your healthy equals your life! If you are miserable with how you keep yourself healthy, you are going to be miserable in life. It affects EVERYTHING!
It took me awhile to stop counting calories and just have fun! Sure, my weight fluctuates, and I get weird looks from some friends because of my food choices, but who cares?!? I’m healthy and happy about it! I have also been able to pass the torch to my husband who recently took charge of his own health, stopped worrying so much and has never felt better!
By the way, you should go skydiving and scuba diving. They are both amazing experiences!


47 Bella @ Stilettos on the Streetcar March 16, 2010

THANK YOU! It’s good to know I’m not the only one felt at odds with food/exercise. I overanalyzed to the point where I hated eating and hated working out. I never felt good after a work out. I felt guilty that I hadn’t done enough.

I’ve stopped counting calories. Recoring my eats keeps me on the straight and narrow, so I do count Weight Watchers points. For me, this style of tracking doesn’t create the same obsession that calorie counting did. Hopefully one day I’ll be more aware of my body and simply listen to hunger cues and make healthy choices. Baby steps to success.


48 Ameena March 16, 2010

I used to be just like you were…squeezing in exercise every possible second, counting calories…everything was so rigid! I feel so much better now that I’ve stopped doing that (for the most part). I am learning how to have fun!


49 Teri [a foodie stays fit] March 16, 2010

I make health fun by buying new cookbooks. My most recent favorite is “Clean Food.” And I keep health fun by doing what I enjoy for exercise so that I look forward to it. Right now, that’s teaching group fitness classes at the gym. but when I burn out on that, I won’t be afraid to slow things down.


50 Heather (Heather's Dish) March 16, 2010

i LOVE this tip because it’s so applicable to my own life! i used to be the same as you in regards to health not being fun (and sometimes I still am that way), but through the amazing blogging community i’ve been able to re-ignite my passion for health by seeing how other amazing women and men have fun with what they do! AWESOME tip miss angela :)


51 Tina March 16, 2010

This is a wonderful post!!! I completely agree that eating healthy, workouts, and everything else that goes into a healthy lifestyle have to be enjoyable. Otherwise, it isn’t completely healthy. I definitely had a time where eating “right” and working out was not fun. I trained 12 weeks for a fitness competition and had to track every morsel of food and workout at least 2-3 hours/day and was OBSESSED! I HATED it because I felt like it was no longer enjoyable. It has been hard to get back to a happy place with food and exercise. But I love life so much more now. Even if I am definitely bigger than I was then.


52 Brooke March 16, 2010

I struggled for many years with an eating disorder and have been struggling some recently. I have started to experiment with new recipes and trying not to count calories. This has seemed to help some and I am enjoying trying new healthy foods.
Great Post!


53 Lisa March 16, 2010

I’ve practiced several of Angelas points. I also go to a personal trainer who is very positive and motivating. I also love cookbooks and cooking magazines so I enjoy new and healthy recipes


54 Bronwyn March 16, 2010

Nice tips. That’s pretty much what I try and do every day for my health. :)


55 Lo-Jo March 16, 2010

I’ve always loved to exercise, so that’s never been much of an obstacle. But learning to “eat intuitively” after years of restricting and then years of binge eating is what I’m challenged with right now. Gotta love a challenge, I suppose! :)


56 Ashley March 16, 2010

Inspiring as always. I was never obsessed with being thin or with working out but both have always been on my mind. Well at least since undergrad in college. I feel like my exercise was never extreme and always balanced with strength training + cardio. I got a good amount of lifting experience from playing sports in high school, and I always tried to keep that part of the routine. Plus I had a meathead [haha] b/f in college [before chris] that was always at the gym. Anywho…I ate okay but definitely was caught up in “low-fat” “south beach diet” type things. I cooked a lot but a lot of the food was still coming from a box and I can’t tell you how many boneless skinless chicken breasts I ate. SICK! Once I got to grad school and started researching for my thesis on food + architecture I really started to learn SO much. I was hooked on FOOD research. I read Michael Pollan’s books + read about the Slow Food Movement, etc. My eating style has slowing changed over the past 3 years and I am feeling fabulous. Food + Fitness are finally FUN!! I’m not just working out to keep my weight in check and I’ve never loved food + kitchen experimenting more! To keep it fun with food, I try to incorporate a new to me food into my diet as often as possible. With working out I just try to switch it up. I’m currently swimming + biking, strength training 2x a week, and rock climbing at the gym with my husband. SO much fun!! Thanks for this post :)


57 Lauren @ Eater not a runner March 16, 2010

I love this post! Once I started exercising for fun (not as a chore) my life became soooo much better :-)


58 Katie O. @ Fit to Wed March 16, 2010

Great post! I love seeing progress in my fitness.. being able to run farther, faster; lifting heavier weights, etc. Another great motivator to exercise and eating well are the health benefits- I dropped 40 points from my cholesterol! Can’t beat health :)


59 La March 16, 2010

One thing my Pilates instructor always says before we attempt a particularly difficult or odd (because sometimes they’re just weird!) exercise is, “Remember, we’re just having fun!” At first I thought that was quaint but now I’ve really come to internalize it! I wouldn’t go to Pilates four or five days a week if I didn’t enjoy it already, so why not have fun with it? Now when I fall accidentally or mess up somehow, I kind of laugh it off, breathe, and try again. It’s HONESTLY fun for me to make mistakes so I can learn how to not make them in the future!

I’m trying to incorporate this attitude in correcting my disordered eating – I mean I’ve always liked to play with green smoothies and juices to see what kinds of colors I could make, but now I’m expanding that to challenge myself to make the MOST COLORFUL plate for dinner (because, I like colors), or recreate fun flavors in my salads, and it’s working out! I’m actually learning to l ove food again because I’m trying to enjoy it.

Great post!!


60 Angela (Oh She Glows) March 16, 2010

LOVE this quote:

“Remember, we’re just having fun!”

I think that is why yoga used to stress me out.


61 Cynthia (It All Changes) March 16, 2010

Even though I count what I eat and how many calories I burn I make it a total game. If I’m running I’ll go to the next 50 or 100 calories even if I’m done my distance. And I try to come up with recipes that give me more bang for my buck. I can’t eat a ton of processed stuff so I enjoy spending part of the day searching for food I can eat. It makes cooking fun instead of a punishment that I can’t eat certain things.


62 Monica @ Musings of the Granola Girl March 16, 2010

If you don’t keep a healthy life fun, you won’t sustain it!

To keep it fun I challenge myself by working towards goals: whether it’s a marathon or a bikini season tune up!


63 cara March 16, 2010

I love your insight here. I also am trying to focus on the fun with it. I joined an intramural soccer team to make fitness more fun. And it REALLY is.


64 erika March 16, 2010

I would do the samething -walk to work, go to the gym at lunch, walk home or go to the gym afterwork -it became tiring and prevented me from enjoying other activies becuase I had to work out every spare second. I would also watch EVERY thing that I ate – even good fats were off limits. I clocked when i ate how many calories – it became a second job. I have finally learned to get away from all that and go to the gym only four out of the five work days and do yoga on the weekends – i no longer stay away from good fats and don’t count calories anymore and if i have one small cookie I don’t feel the need to run 5 miles. I am one of the lucky people that actually enjoy working out so I have put the joy back into working out and taken the work out of it – so instead of working out – it’s joying out !


65 Lauren March 16, 2010

So inspiring! I must say that right now, I am at the ‘bad’ stage of my life. RIGID is my middle name. I am changing that though. Some days I am able to think clearly and show myself what I want in life, but some days…

I am growing everyday and I KNOW I will be where you are in your life right now VERY SOON!!!

Thank you!!!


66 Angela (Oh She Glows) March 16, 2010

yes u will!!


67 Linda March 16, 2010

When I was in my twenties I definitely had disordered eating. I was very active and ate very little. I was always starving and annoyed and this would lead to binging. . .big time. Now I’m 35 and am trying to stop the binge cycle. I eat a lot more than I did years ago, I eat a lot more whole foods and green monsters. (thanks to you) I am working on becoming a certified Anusara Yoga instructor, and while this is a very long process it is yoga that has really helped me to appreciate my body and health. Yoga is such a gift and I swear if I could marry Yoga I would!! :)


68 Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition March 16, 2010

Hey there! I TOTALLY agree with you! For myself- I realized I hate running. I’m always miserable and used to have working out. But when I dance or do Yoga I look forward to it and love it!!




69 Life Lite March 16, 2010

I never stuck with running when my goal was losing weight and counting calories. When I started running to feel better and to finish my first race it became a passion. I get totally antsy when I more than a day or two without running.


70 Angela (Oh She Glows) March 16, 2010

Thank you for such amazing comments…I got teary eyed! LOL


71 Jessica M March 16, 2010

Dear Angela,

I couldn’t agree with you more and only a few years ago, when that strain to lose those last few pounds was literally leading me to starve myself, I met with a nutritionist and let go of the perfection of “dieting” and calorie counting. Miraculously, my body found it’s way to a healthy size and I haven’t had to fight it. I wrote a blog about “playing out” rather than working out on my page and appreciate you bringing this up to your readers. We need to stop punishing ourselves into health.


72 Rebekah March 16, 2010

Inspiring as usual! I find it so easy to get caught up in all the numbers of health and fitness….calories in, calories burned, scale weight, miles run, etc and have been trying to let go of that and just live a life of passion choosing natural health options. I find that setting fitness goals with a nice reward keeps me motivated. For instance I set a goal to run at least 70 miles last month and if accomplished I could call to schedule a massage.

Thanks again for all your tips!


73 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 16, 2010

I completely 100% agree with everything you said. Not so long ago, i.e. up until 3 months ago, I did NOT have fun with food and exercise. like you said, it was all about calories. I did love running but I still focused on how many calories I was burning and what I could eat BECAUSE i went for a run… never mind that I was starving myself to death. And then one day 3 months ago, I pushed myself too far with too little fuel and the unthinkable happened… I suffered a stress fracture.
Since it happened, i’ve learned that it was a blessing in disguise. I have learned (am still learning) to get past my history or disordered eating. I love food and all it has to offer and most importantly, love helping my body and fueling it with good food. I am excited about life, for the first time! I still can’t exercise but you know what? I can’t WAIT for the day where I can. And it has nothing to do with calories! I’m excited about life and LIVING!


74 SoVeryFabulous March 16, 2010

Great tips, thanks! I definitely need to start trying new foods more often, or even new recipes. I find I make the same things over and over again and I’ve started to make more of an effort to make things out of some of the great cookbooks I have. I really like Veganomicon and Vegan With a Vengeance! :)


75 Juli March 16, 2010

GREAT post Angela!

I love it!


76 Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) March 16, 2010

I used to be just like you; NO fun with my health. I counted calories like a madwoman, I counted calories burned, I would restrict carbs, fats, eat a ridiculously unnecessary amount of protein and work out until I literally could not walk the next day.

Now, I have fun! I take it easy with exercise- I run 2-4 times per week when it is warm, I take frequent walks, I do yoga to my heart’s content. I am no longer restrictive with my diet. I eat what I am craving, and usually it is HEALTHY foods- because now I know healthy foods make me feel great! And when I eat something that is not healthy, I make up for it not by restricting, but naturally- because my body almost always craves healthy food after a big indulgence. I experiment in the kitchen and focus on having FUN with cooking/baking healthfully, I blog about it and LOVE the food blogging community, and don’t ever push myself to the point of exhaustion.

This is a great topic!!



77 Sara @ ActiveGal March 16, 2010

What a great post! I have to admit that I am going through this right now. Fitness and health have been far from fun for me for several years, and I am just now trying to learn how to have fun. I am using the techique of “fake it till you make it,” and it actually works! I also love reading blogs, like yours, and blogging myself which keeps me motivated and excited about my health!


78 Julie March 16, 2010

To keep fitness fun I consciously ask myself during my workouts “am I having fun?” and if not then “what can I do to make it fun?” Sometimes it is simple as cracking a smile, changing the song or skipping instead of running.

I also don’t worry about what others think of me while I am working out…like if I am doing lunges in the park or dancing a little on the gym treadmill :)


79 Allison @ Food For Healing March 16, 2010

i definitely try to be easier on myself when trying to eat right, i still have alot of bad days, and i am still counting calories (i seem to go nowhere if i don’t)
i am on my way to better health


80 Christine (The Raw Project) March 16, 2010

Great post and so true, I struggled with a lot of miserable rules and disordered eating in the name of weight management too. Going high-raw has been a positive journey to focusing on my total health and exploring enjoyable foods without the guilt and misery.


81 Rebecca @ How the Cookie's Crumble March 16, 2010

Food, fitness and health are my number one enjoyment these days, but it hasn’t always been that way for me.

I have struggled with body image demons since I was young. For many, many years I worked out because I had too! Because I was fat! I dieted because I needed to lose weight! I exercised because I felt I was not accepted the way I was. I’m naturally a tall, muscular woman. I’m genetically built thick and I spent years of my life torturing my body trying to become that skinny, slim girl.

Somehow over the past 2 years, I’ve learned to accept my body. I decided I wanted to take care of my body and love my body, because we’re going to be around for a looooooong time! I realized that I’m a beautiful, smart, and healthy woman! Keyword is healthy! Many people are not blessed with the health that I have and so I needed to take advantage of that.

I found activities I liked to do. I have always been a fan of yoga and pilates. Then I started running and taking advantage of the beautiful climate I live in. At first I couldn’t even run a half mile, but I kept at it… and then I could run a mile! and then I could run three! and then six! and now I’ll be running my first half in 3 weeks!

Now I love feeding my body the foods it craves and providing the exercise it desires! I’m not any slimmer than before, but I am happier and have never been healthier!


82 Ariane March 16, 2010

i hopped online to get a quick motivation to go for a run, and here it is! i’m trying to do exactly what you once did, make exercise and a healthy lifestyle a part of my life for the right reasons. i want to run because it makes me feel good, and i want to eat the right food so that i can have more energy and a healthier body.

there was definitely a time in my life where food & fitness were not fun. i was a competitive gymnast with overbearing coaches who criticized my body and everything i ate every day (which led me to rebel and binge all. the. time.) but now i get to do what i want, and i can choose to be healthy for myself and not to please anybody else, which feels great! :)


83 Katrina M March 16, 2010

i am definitely a long ways from where you are, but i’m working on it. i’ve struggled with my weight all my life, and for the past few years i’ve been trying to develop a healthy life but you know old habits die hard. i think i’m making progress though, and trying to cut myself a break. i’m trying HARD to focus on being healthy and exercising to make me feel better, rather than obsessing over the number on the scale. you are such an inspiration to me, and it’s blogs like this one which help the process.


84 Katy T March 16, 2010

Hi Angela
Just saw this article on cnn.com about the benefits/effectiveness of interval training. Thought you and your readers might enjoy it:


85 Cherie March 16, 2010

Love the Martha Washington quote, too true.


86 Cath March 16, 2010

Angela, I love your blog but I think your post today is my favourite ever! It is so inspiring to read about how you improved your health and fitness because I’m trying to improve mine – and the things you’ve listed are all things I enjoy and they’ve made me feel like I’m going the right way about it. Thank you so much, you have truly been an inspiration today!


87 Christina@Health-Foodie March 16, 2010

Yes, Health is so fun for me! Involving others (helping them, eating with them, exercising with them) makes it a thousand times more fun. That is why I am so happy to have started my blog.

Yes, it did not used to be fun. There was a long time where I was so unhappy and there were so many problems in my life, I did not even have time to worry about health. Also, if you hate yourself you don’t want to be healthy. You need to love yourself at least a little bit…to really care about your health.

I am so glad I am in such a good place now! :)

GREAT POST! Love your blog! You are the queen of blogging.

BTW after you posted about one of my articles, my stats skyrocketed! There is this nice spike now in my graph and every time I look at it I think: Oh yes, this is when Angela blogged about me! hahaha


88 Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind March 17, 2010

Oh, boy. There was DEFINITELY a time in my life when food and fitness were not fun (and by “a time” I mean five years).

The most important thing I do NOW to make it fun? Reading blogs like this one. (Corny, but I’m serious.) I would honestly say blogs (reading them, and later writing one) were, and are, the biggest factor in my recovery from an eating disorder.


89 Carolyn @ lovinlosing.com March 18, 2010

I find running races really fun and FINALLY enjoy running. Now if I could just get my body to stop crapping out on me.


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