I’m very excited to be featuring Susan from The Great Balancing Act today! Despite a terrible arm injury this past February (read her “About” page to get the whole story), her positivity and motivation to keep working out and keep herself strong is inspiring, to say the least.  Susan has also had a successful weight loss story and is now a certified personal trainer and nutrition and wellness specialist! The way that Susan has followed her dreams and accomplished so much despite the roadblocks is nothing short of amazing!

Susan, I wish you the best of luck with your arm recovery! If anyone can get through it, you certainly can!

1. Tell us a bit about your blog?

To put it simply, my blog follows my life but with a focus on food, health, and fitness, with some extra things thrown in for fun! I started blogging in January 2009 at the now defunct Trying For A Tri blog about my journey to my first triathlon. My favourite topic is FOOD! I love taking food photos, be it of recipes or restaurants, and I love weaving a story around them in a post.

2. If you were stranded on a dessert island and could only have 5 foods, what would they be?

1.      Peanut butter

2.      Pita bread

3.      Apples

4.      Chocolate chip cookies

5.      Boiled eggs

Hm. I think I just described 85% of the food I eat.

3.  What are some of your favorite workout moves?

As a personal trainer, this is a question I feel very strongly about! I think everyone needs some form of cardio capacity. Plain ole’ jumping up and down is the best judge of that (I’m thinking jump rope and other forms of torture).

In terms of strength training, there are the almighty ones like the squat, plank and push-up. BUT, I think those are also some of the hardest ones. I’ve worked with so many people who do them incorrectly because they’re not yet strong enough to execute them properly. They’re actually advanced moves!

So, my dummy-proof moves include step-ups, hamstring curls on a ball, boat pose, push-ups on an incline, lateral shoulder raises, and reverse fly.

4. What kinds of food are stocked in your fridge right now?

I must always have:

  • Apples
  • Baby carrots
  • Egg whites
  • Whole grain bread
  • Yogurt
  • Nut butter
  • Canned tuna
  • Almond milk
  • Chocolate
  • Oatmeal

Again, kind of boring foods, but they’re what keep me tick-tocking! (I just made that phrase up) If I have those foods on hand, I know I have enough food to happily last me a while.

5. As someone who has overcome a huge injury, what are some of your tips with learning to deal with an injury, especially as an athlete?

LET. GO. Seriously. I know a lot of injured athletes, myself included, who set goals for themselves during recovery. Run a race by this date, be back on a weight training program in this many weeks. Do not expect to be back to your regular fighting form in no time, because it may never happen. You gotta learn to roll with the punches. You give up almost all control when dealing with an injury, and it’s really important not to set yourself up for failure.

With that said, it’s important for your sanity and healing process to remain positive too. Just know you may never be the same person again, both inside and out. And that’s okay!!

6. Besides healthy living, what’s another important part of your life?

Hmm… well I don’t talk about music a whole lot on my blog but apart from healthy living it’s the other aspect of my life I am most passionate about! Before my injury, I could play guitar and bass guitar (someday I’ll twist my wrist enough to do it again!), as well as harmonica, drums, piano, and voice. I’ve dabbled in several bands and solo efforts over the years.

As far as my taste in music, Top 40 makes me want to jump off a cliff. I’m mostly into heavier stuff like punk and indie rock, but when the mood strikes I really love some indie pop and folk too. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Social Distortion, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys (seeing them in the summer!), We Are Scientists, Klaxons, Hey Rosetta, and many many more.

7. If our reader’s could only read one of your blog posts, which one should they read and why?

Welllll, I do have a Top Posts page for any of you wondering ;)

But I I’d go with this one: 10 Ways to Live the Life You’ve Always Wanted

I wrote it last summer after having just moved to Toronto. I suddenly found myself doing the things and being the person I always dreamed of. It took a lot of brave steps for me to get there, 10 of which I summed up into one post. Even though I’m no longer in Toronto, I think it was just another step (the 11th!) in becoming the person I want to be today.

And there you have it! Thanks so much to Allison for having me!!

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