Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! My name is Therese and I’m a 32 year old woman living and working in Toronto, Ontario. Life’s Tasty Adventures is a blog about good food, good health and a great life!
Up until about four years ago I lived my life the way most people in North America (and beyond) do: I didn’t care what I ate, barely moved, went to work, came home and repeated the process the next day. In essence, I wasn’t living, I was existing.
How It Started
Fresh out of a relationship and back living on my own in a town where I only knew my family, I spent a LOT of time alone. I knew I needed a change. I was at least 120lbs overweight and working at a part time job I disliked, in debt and trying to pay the bills. I was unhealthy, had very low self-esteem, had a negative attitude and was afraid that I’d fail at every turn. I would dream of my life being so different. A life where I was miraculously thinner, successful at a job I loved with lots of friends and a man that loved me above all others.With all of this down time I began to journal and listened to a lot of self-help podcasts. What I learned from these were two important things: 1) I got to where I was not because of the things that happened to me in life but because of how I chose to deal with them. I spent many years blaming others and situations for my problems when, in reality, it wasn’t them, it was how I chose to act with those people and in those situations. I was where I was because *I* had gotten myself there. No one else was responsible. 2) Only I could become who I wanted to be. I couldn’t sit around waiting for opportunities to happen because opportunities rarely happen to people who sit around on their butts all day. If I had gotten myself into the place I was, I could get myself out of it.
This realization was so incredibly powerful (both exciting and terrifying) that I immediately decided that I wanted to make it my life’s mission to help others discover their own power as well. I immediately put my notice in at work and on my apartment and asked a friend if I could move in with her and her then fiancé in Toronto where I could get on my feet.In April of 2007 I moved to Toronto. The plan was a baby steps plan of sorts, it was to get a day job that gave me a salary and benefits so that I could hatch out a plan in the evenings to get on the path of helping others.
I managed to find a job in about a month and moved out of my friends house into a small apartment in September 2007. Because I didn’t know many people in the city I STILL had a lot of alone time! But I used it wisely, I started exercising more and began making healthier food choices. I had finally realized that no one was going to get rid of this weight other than myself! I had decided about a year and a half prior that I would like to run a 5k race. Even now I can’t tell you why. I think I had just decided to take a chance, I was sick of the way things were going and saw the problems many of my family members were having due to weight and health problems and knew I did not want that. A little seed must have been planted deep within me and I just wanted to see if I could do it. But with all the changes I had made in other areas of my life, it was put on hold until I moved to Toronto.
I had decided that I would aim for the Run for The Cure 5k in October 2008. Since I didn’t know how to run, I needed to learn so I started off walking! I walked around the block, each week extending my distance further. After a few weeks I started adding small bursts of running between lamp posts, signs, trees, anything. By the time winter hit I was putting in three days of walk/runs a week. I took a break over winter however, I couldn’t afford a gym membership and didn’t have outdoor clothes. When March rolled around I surprised myself by realizing I was still motivated so I got back outside again. With the support and encouragement of my best friend (who just so happens to be a runner), I quickly made the walk/runs more consistent. In May 2008, I officially signed up for the 5k. In June I bought a book about running (“Running for Mortals” by John ‘The Penguin’ Bingham and Jenny Hadfield) and began to follow their 5k learn to run program. Each week I began surprising myself by running longer and walking less! I remember when running for 5 minutes at a time was a HUGE stress on me!
At that time I also joined SparkPeople! It’s an amazing website to help people learn to lead healthier, happier lives. I started up a blog and began to document my running journey as well as my weight loss journey. By that time I had dropped 50lbs by moving a little more and scaling back the junk food and processed food.
I ran my very first 5k on October 5, 2008 and I will never forget it. When I saw the finish line and sprinted towards the end I started crying. Never in a million years did I EVER think I would get to that point.
This race was more than just me getting to an end. I had never before made a goal and gone through with it. I knew that this was different, this was the dividing point between the old me and the new me. I wept tears of sorrow for the person I was and wept tears of joy for the person I was becoming.
January 2012 sees me 90lbs less than when I started. I have since run several more races including more 5ks, 10ks and I even ran my first half marathon in September, 2010. Moving has become not just routine, but a necessary part of my life.
I have a much better grasp on food and how it plays in my life. In doing so I have become mentally healthier because I now actually DEAL with my problems instead of pretending they don’t exist and eating them instead. I still use SparkPeople and track my food intake because even after three years I’m still getting on track with portion sizes. I spent my whole life eating crazy portions that I still find myself sometimes eating too much for no other reason than that it’s in front of me. It’s been a slow learning process but it’s been in taking it slow and being patient that I have come as far as I have.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE food. I believe in food. I believe in whole foods, clean food. I think about food all the time! Since becoming a vegetarian in 2006 I have learned not only to cook but to LOVE cooking. I figure if we have to eat for the rest of our lives we might as well learn to do it WELL. There’s nothing I love more than to see the end result of something I’ve made. I love finding new recipes and learning the processes of it.
So where does this leave me? Four years ago I was unhappy, unfit, unhealthy and a lot more un’s. Now? I’m happier than I have ever been, I’m fitter, healther, better able to manage my relationships. I finally love myself and due to this have been able to find a man that loves me too.
This blog is the beginning of that decision I made to help people find their own power and in so doing, help me to keep growing, changing and further become the person I know I am.
Thank you for being a part of my journey!