Conquer Your Fears


Swimming laps is FUN!

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But first, the winner of the 4lb Amazing Grass giveaway!

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Congrats to CARLY!!!

Carly said, “My turning point was when I got sick of being in a body I didn’t feel comfortable with. I didn’t want to be a the beach for another summer feeling the same crappy way. During the same time I also became completely inspired by reading your blog and so many amazing other health blogs! Watching these strong, confident, driven women made me realize that I am the same way and I can do it too! Thanks for all your inspiration Angela! icon smile   Conquer Your Fears p.s. I made my first green monster today!”

Carly, please email me ( with your mailing address.

For those of you who didn’t win, Amazing Grass is offering Oh She Glows readers a special 20% off discount code- just use ‘OHSHEGLOWS’ in the checkout!


Before leaving for the pool last night, I was so excited and nervous. However, once I put my new swimsuit on, I felt confident. There is something to be said about a new piece of workout gear for inspiration!

I had a few almost freak-out moments once we were there, in the flesh…

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1) Seeing a gross band-aid stuck on the garbage can in the change room.

2) Two minutes before 8pm, our swim was about to begin. I FROZE with fear. I was this close to saying to Eric I didn’t want to go in the water. We decided to sit on the sidelines for a couple minutes and just watch. I visualized myself rocking the laps!

3) Walking 4 feet to the pool without my flip-flops on. Ick.

4) Seeing a small white mystery object floating underwater, approaching me as I swam closer. I dodged it like a bullet and hoped that it sunk to the ground. Whew.

Here is what I ended up doing:

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I swam 750 metres (30 pool lengths) in 40 minutes. I took plenty of rest breaks and just took it nice and easy with no pressure! After lap 1, my body was in shock and I was panting for air. I found that I got used to it after a few laps and got into a nice rhythm. I alternated between the front stroke and breaststroke.

Question: If our pool length is 25 metres, what is considered a lap- 25 m or 50 m?

What I learned after Day 1:

  • The slow lane is our friend
  • Leave about half a length in between me and the person in front
  • Bring two towels. I only brought one towel and it got soaked before I even showered.
  • GET EAR PLUGS (many of  you mentioned this). I still have water logged in my right ear this morning. Anyone know any tricks to get it out?
  • Good goggles are essential. I loved my new goggles and they work great!
  • It really isn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be!
  • Peeling off a swim cap hurts
  • Bring a lock for the locker
  • Saunas feel amazing after a swim
  • A lesson would be very helpful

After we got home we were hungry and thirsty and each snacked on a Glo Bar:

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This morning my tummy was rumbling and I had a lovely bowl of Vegan Overnight Oats waiting for me! I love coming down to breakfast ready to go.

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After coming out of the fridge overnight:

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In this bowl: 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Powder, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 banana, mashed.

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My toppings included Nuts 2 You cashew butter (this brand isn’t as good as Artisana) and my Reduced-sugar maple coconut syrup.

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Oh this was soooooo good. I am absolutely hooked.

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I had it along with a fresh juice:

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I have come to the conclusion that I do not like celery in my juice! It tasted murky.

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With my creation (along with crazy bed head!)

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By the way, I am so proud of Eric!!

He did awesome last night. Especially for someone who has never had lessons before. We chatted about it more and I think he is now open to the idea of taking a lesson with me so I am going to look into it.

When Eric was a young boy, his class had to do 3 swimming sessions together. Well, Eric couldn’t swim and he got teased by all the kids! Him and another boy had to wear lifejackets to help them swim during these sessions and the kids teased them and laughed. He was so embarrassed because he couldn’t swim well.

He said ever since then he has disliked it and had no confidence when it came to swimming. I am so proud of him that he is conquering this huge fear of his. I am really trying to encourage him as much as I can and help build his confidence. I don’t want him to get overwhelmed, but just to take it one day at a time. He was really worn out and out of breath so I just encouraged him to take lots of breaks and get out of the water and drink water. I think that really helped him and he didn’t feel pressure to crank out a gazillion laps.

Today’s question- Were you ever teased about something as a kid that stuck with you for years? Did you ever find a way to get past it?

When I was young I got my share of teasing! One thing that sticks out in my mind was a boy who told me my arms were too big and muscular. This happened in grade 7 and it stuck with me for years and years. When Eric and I started dating he confessed to me that he loved my arms and thought they were so attractive. It took me YEARS to believe him and to start appreciating my arms for what they do for me each day.

Including BAKING, which is where I am going now for the next several hours! Eric is going to be working on renos today. After that we are going back to Swim & Sports to get some ear plugs. :)

Have a great Saturday!

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Heather's Dish) April 24, 2010

hurray! so glad you enjoyed swimming…i had to take a lesson as an adult, but it was one of the most helpful things ever. now i love swimming laps and can do it with confidence :)


Sana April 24, 2010

I got teased for having hair arms- I am Indian after all!! But now I get them waxed so no worries!

Major props to Eric for getting his swim on!


Jen April 24, 2010

Congrats on the swim! I used to be a lifeguard and we worked very hard to keep the pool clean. No worries, my friend! You can even ask to see the cleaning log and they can show you what they do to keep it sanitary by the hour :)

In 5th grade, I was the same exact height I am right now: 5 feet 5 inches. I was bigger than everyone and just as tall as my teacher! Everyone called me Jolly Green Giant and made fun of how tall I was. Not only was I taller, but I also began to develop much more quickly than everyone. I was the first to get zits, braces, and boobs. This has definitely stuck with me, and I am very insecure about being taller or bigger than other people. My husband is only a few inches taller than me, and although I feel that I am very confident in my own skin, I still feel a little self conscious wearing heels.


Meghan@traveleatlove April 24, 2010

I went to an awful Catholic school with awful gym teachers who favored the boys and ignored or were mean to the girls. As a result I hated sports, until high school when I met my amazing cross country coach. I was never fast, which is always in the back of my mind, but almost 2 decades later I am still running and healthy!


Katie April 24, 2010

Tilt your head to one side and pour rubbing alcohol in the clogged ear. Let it sit for a few seconds then tilt your head to dump the water out, into a towel. That usually works for me to get water out!


Kath April 24, 2010

We are both starting to swim!!!

My mom always put hydrogen peroxide in our ears when we were little.


Diana April 24, 2010

My best friend in elementary school decided one day to make fun of my toes. She said “Ew, you have SUCH long toes!” Which I do, but I never thought anything of it until then. After that I was crazy self conscious and I still am to this day about my feet!


Bec April 24, 2010

glad you had a great swim, I cant wait to read more about your training!


Kelly April 24, 2010

Aw you guys both rock for conquering your fears! I wish kids had any idea that what they say to each other has lasting effects! I was called “lion” in 7th grade because of my curly hair and I definitely tried to plaster it down for a few years after that haha. Now I love my curls though- so I guess it didn’t last forever :)


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman April 24, 2010

I’ve used the rubbing alcohol trick, too. It works. This girl Diana in my third grade class teased me for wearing this polka dot shirt and said I looked like a clown. I went home and threw it out and I still remember her and her bowl haircut to this day as the Mean Girl.


Marina April 24, 2010

Great job on the swim!
I love to swim, and I just don’t think about all the yucky stuff in the pool. I swim like a child, but I don’t care :)))
I was teased a lot, and I think it just made me stronger and more hardworking


Beth @fatbustermack April 24, 2010

shaking your head (even jumping up and down) helps the water get out. Glad you are taking swim lessons, it is such an important skill to have!

Growing up I was teased for being overweight. It is something that I’m working through, but I’m not there yet. Kids are just so cruel. I’m just glad I grew up before mass communication, I can’t imagine how twitter and facebook are used to tease kids these days.


Whitney April 24, 2010

Love swimming! You guys are getting such an awesome workout. Sometimes the best part of my day is gliding through the water. :) (BTW during short season, 25 is one lap.)


Danielle (Coffee Run) April 24, 2010

Awesome job on the swim! (Eric too)
I haven’t swam in years…which is kind of sad. I miss it!

Gah I don’t blame you for not liking the celery in your juice. I think it tastes gross in juice form, pureed form, and whole form :)


Jil April 24, 2010

Hooray for both you and Eric. I agree one of the worst feelings is bare feet on those tile pool floors – ickkkk. haha Once you’re in the water though (and away from floating mystery objects) I find that you just get in the zone. If I ever moved to a warmer climate and had access to my own pool year round – oh man…I’d be in there allll the time! :-D


Therese April 24, 2010

Wow! Great job, both of you!!! Doesn’t it feel awesome to conquer fears like that?!

I was teased for being overweight and I allowed it to get to me for many, MANY years (too long, actually). It’s only been in the last few years that I realized that I LET it get to me and used it as an excuse to not do certain things. Once I realized that I was able to let go and move on!


nut April 24, 2010

You and Eric are awesome. Seriously.
I buy the “Nuts to you” all the time…I like the pumpkin seed and cashew, sunflower, macadamia,,,so many !
Artisana is DEFINITELY better…but its hard to find where I live…and its deathly expensive, so a rare rare splurge.

I think I have been teased about a hundred things. Gotta let it roll off.


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 24, 2010

Thank you! I dont know about awesome but we defintely feel more excited about training after getting the first day over with! :)

Reply April 24, 2010

i was teased by other girls for being ‘flat chested’ and at the time i cried and cried and prayed for big boobies. now that im older i love having a small chest and im so glad theyre the size they are.

i think this happens to so many girls.. and at the time i was teased everyone was so crazy about padded bras. its nice to see that padded bras arent ‘in’ like they used to be.


'Dee April 24, 2010

This is so ironic, I got teased for the opposite reason – early developer! I got SO self-conscious because the boys would say seriously ugly things. Here I was this skinny little 11-year old reed but needing a bra. Awful. I asked my Mom to help me hunt for the kinds of teen bras that would flatten me out! I was very much a tomboy, so it felt HUGELY traumatic to me at the time. My mom would say things like “you’re just becoming a young lady” and I’d go “I don’t WANT to be a lady! I want to be a kid!”

LOL. I think for girls, the whole body image thing going through adolesence and puberty (flat, not flat, skinny, chubby, short, tall, you name it) is rough. Guess the good thing is that I toughened up and eventually the rest of me caught up, but I can easily understand how it can affect people for life.


Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 24, 2010

A lap is usually there and back, and a length is just there, so 50 is a lap, 25 is a length.

That bowl of oats look so GOOD!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 24, 2010

Thats what we thought but I wanted to make sure!! Thanks :)


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is April 24, 2010

I was always teased when I was younger for my weight, specifically my thighs! I have said it before, but I am so lucky that I learned to let that stuff roll off my back.

Congrats to you guys on an awesome job!!


Britt April 24, 2010

I always found that baby powder in my swim cap made it easier to get on and slightly easier to get off. Make sure your hair is in a pony tail under there. And the cheapo flimsy swim caps are really hard to get on and off – buy a thicker one :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 24, 2010

I think my swim cap was $3.50, lol. I’ll try the baby powder!


Camille April 24, 2010

I don’t know why but your oats look about 100x as amazing as usual today!
Have a great day!


Jenn April 24, 2010

Swim caps are no fun, they can pull. I always find wetting my hair first in the shower before hitting the pool and stretching to that bad boy usually helps with a less painful removing of the cap!
Or…you could buy one of the cloth caps. I use both and they both work well. I find I prefer the cloth one during time trials…less pressure headaches afterwards!
Good job hitting the pool and conquering your fears!!
Teasing…..yep, loads of it growing up.


Nicocle April 24, 2010

Oh boy. When I was in the fourth grade, my best friend convinced me to join dance with her. We took lyrical (it’s a combination of jazz and ballet) together, up until sixth grade when I decided I wanted to take ballet. The only problem is I have no grace whatsoever. None. And I was terrible at ballet but having no grace sticks out. Whenever the teacher would yell at me for not having a straight back or not point my toes enough, I would hear the whole class snicker. I’m pretty sure I only lasted three weeks in that class. Now, I play rugby in college and luckily that does not require much grace. However, once a week do do a three mile run around our campus to build up endurance. Occasionally someone will comment that I’m “lanky” because my limbs are so long. (I’m 5’10″) and it reminds me of my inability to be graceful. Now I’m able to laugh about it but it’s taken me a long time to get to this point! lol


Krystin April 24, 2010

angela — I swam for 16 years competitively….take your cap off underwater and it wont hurt your hair! also, there are silicon caps that dont hurt a BIT! they are thicker and slid off easier, but your hair wont hurt at all! hope that helps!


katie April 24, 2010

i second the notion of putting baby powder in the swim cap – and pay the extra money for the silcone one – totally worth it!


Lauren April 24, 2010

Aww, YAY to both of you for conquering your fears! :D


Erica April 24, 2010

Congrats on the swim! I just started following your blog, so I may have missed this, but do you sell your “Glow” bars?


Allison @ Food For Healing April 24, 2010

ive blocked everything out of my childhood haha. I had it pretty easy actually i’d say. Of course the odd thing, but nothing that really stayed with me.
i don’t think i could ever swim like that. I am too afraid of water


Brooke April 24, 2010

Put a capfull of rubbing alcohol in your ear, leave your head tilted so the alcohol stays in your ear for 30 seconds or so. Tip your head the other way and let the alcohol and water drain out on a papertowel. Hope that helps!


Triathlonbabe April 24, 2010

50 meters is a lap, 25 is a length. You two did awesome, way to go Angela on 750 meters for your first out! Woohoo!

Congrats to Carly for winning Amazing Grass and hey, thanks for discount to order, I was thinking I needed order one of the SuperFoods! Have you put together a variety pack again, yet? This might be something I missed or wasn’t paying attention…doh!

Hmmmm, teased…uh…yea. I have very curly hair and when I was a kid it was so bushy and frizzy, I got teased about it all the time and hair pulled…..ugh! So now, I wear it short spiky and thank God for flatirons!

Once again, congrats on your swim practice. I’m serious, go to to put together some good practices for you and Eric. Also, I bet Swim & Sports can tell you guys just where to find a good swim class.


Claire April 24, 2010

Congratulations on conquering your fear with swimming! It sounds like a great experience and finishing it off with overnight oats….mmmm!

I was teased for being so skinny and tiny but not too much because everyone else was growing up so fast around me. I hit puberty sooooo late and because of this never dated much, etc but I wasn’t made fun of for being small in high school, just felt embarrassed myself.


Rachel @ Suburban Yogini April 24, 2010

Oh man, when I was a kid I was so bad at gym. I have had spinal issues since I was born and I am also very uncoordinated! Ha ha. I couldn’t do cartwheels or roly-polies or anything and I got so teased about it. Hey what would they all think now I’m a yoga teacher! I have to admit though that when I was training to teach yoga the voices of my classmates laughing at me did come back to me. But I showed them in the end with my awesomeness ;) (plus, yoga cures everything!)

I have found in life that nothing is as scary as we build it up to be in our heads. I did something today I was dreading and it was actually fun!

btw your bed hair is cute :)


katie April 24, 2010

okay if i looked HALF as good as you in the morning then that would be amazing <3
when i was a kid i would get made fun of for my BIG FRONT TEETH! thankfully, braces saved that. praise the Lord.
happy saturday!


Wei-Wei April 24, 2010

Your bedhead is cute ;)

Congrats on the swimming! It must have felt amazing afterwards (endorphin high + the natural high from knowing you conquered your fears!) Some very astute observations made, indeed. Especially the 2 towels thing! I’ve swam so many times and that never once occurred to me. :P Oops!

Happy Saturday!


Leah April 24, 2010

I used to get swimmer’s ear and my doctor told me to make ear drops with a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. Then, when you get out of the pool, put a few drops in each ear and it will evaporate the water.


Run Sarah April 24, 2010

Congrats to you guys for conquering your fear! I actually prefer the softer caps made out of bathing suit material – they are easier to put on and to hold long hair!


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 24, 2010

I find celery makes juice a bit salty tasting.


Keegan April 24, 2010

Congrats on your first night out! You’re giving me the motivation to get back in the pool. I have some of the same gross-out issues! Plus, I hate getting into cold water, it’s fine once you get going, but that first couple minutes…torture!
Btw, what is the calculator program you used above? That’s really neat!


rebecca April 24, 2010

When I swam a lot I put vaseline on my face so that it would not dry out – I have sensitive skin. Also if you put baby powder around where your swim cap meets your hairline especially in the front it will stay put. I looked pretty hot with all that going on ( not)- but my skin did not dry out, and my cap stayed on. I loved swimming laps – try using a kick board and do that for a lap – and then use this block between your thighs it keeps your legs afloat and you can just work on your stroke with your arms. It also gives your body a rest put you are still working out. I would do a full swim lap, the kickboard, a full swim lap, the leg thing, and repeat. It worked for me. :)


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