Posted by: saramcglothlin | August 11, 2012

It’s All About the Attitude

I started this blog at a time when I felt I was in the happiest place I had been in a while.  I finally have a job I love (after playing musical chairs at my company for the past 1.5 years), living in an apartment I love (with my best friend in the whole world), and dating a great guy (who was actually nice to me–>uncharacteristic).  I recently read about Integrative Nutrition on Eva’s blog, and it struck a chord.  The theory states that you feel and eat your best when the four major aspects of your life are in sync: relationships, career, spirituality, and physical activity.  Eva went on to say how she was in a good place in her life as all the pieces seemed to be fitting together.  At the time, I totally related to how she felt.  I have been through bad periods, which unbeknownst to me at the time, affected my relationship with food in order to gain some sense of control.

Both the good times and the bad make you who you are today.  I think Kelly Clarkson put it best when she sang, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Not only do I feel stronger, I feel more resilient, meaning that when life throws you curve balls, hopefully you are well prepared the second time to duck when the first one hit you smack in the head.  Circling back to my first point, I am now in a place where I refuse to ever go back to disordered eating, no matter how hard life gets.

I think what I am trying to say can best be summed up by the following fable:

A young woman was talking to her mother about a hardship she was enduring. Her mother took 3 pots, filled them with water, and put them on to boil. In one she dropped a raw carrot, another a raw egg, and in the third a spoonful of coffee grounds. After a little while, she pulled them out and placed them before her daughter. She asked her what had changed about each of them while in hot water. The daughter replied, well, the carrot was hard before, but now it’s all soft and easy to break apart. The egg was fragile before, but now it’s hard on the inside. And the coffee grounds, it turned the water into coffee. The mother said, you have the choice of how you react to hardship and trials. You can fall apart like the carrot, become bitter and hardened like the egg, or you can change the water around you into something better than before.

Humor me for a minute and think of the boiling water as your feelings, or more specifically sadness.  There are times when I have felt sad, allowing that sadness to become all-consuming.  There are also times when I have shut down, ridding myself of any and all emotion in order to feel numb.  Now, I am able to take that sadness, embrace it for a day or two (because I’m human), and carry on.  Just call me coffee.

Also when I am not feeling my best, I do everything I can to take care of myself:

  • I work out.  This morning I needed to blow off some steam, so I went to BodyStep because I knew it would kick my butt.  I was right.
  • I fix good, healthy meals:

Blueberry-Coconut-Banana Protein Pancake (usual recipe, I just added 1 T of unsweetened shredded coconut to the mix.  YUM!)


Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with 1/2 avocado, spinach, spicy mustard


Snack of frozen mango and peach slices with 0% Fage yogurt and almond butter


  • I surround myself with people I love doing the things that I enjoy.  Today for instance, I went to see Beasts of the Southern Wild with one of my best friends.  Seriously, watch the trailer if you have not already seen it, because you will soon want to!
  • I CLEAN!  Oh my gosh, it’s so therapeutic for me


See how it shines…



  • As for tonight…I believe another good, healthy meal is in order, followed by a good night’s sleep.

How do you handle hardship?  Are you more like the carrot, egg, or coffee?


  1. I really needed to read this today! When sadness hits me I’m more like a rock- letting nothing in or out. Eventually I crumble under the weight of my sadness and I’m more like quick sand- trying not to pull everyone down with me! But I’d rather be hot chocolate (coffee is too bitter)! I’m working towards ginding my happy place, but it is definitely a process!

    • I love the hot chocolate replacement! And I feel the same way about trying to let my sadness create such a negative energy around me; that only makes me feel guilty and sad! Trying to find something (anything!) positive in it all helps me to change my attitude about the situation, whatever it may be.

  2. Its pretty nuts how primary foods and what you eat go hand in hand, isn’t it? I never realized it until I went through IIN. Love this post, lady! I also love to’s the first thing I do when I wake up – totally therapeutic, like you said. Anyway, attitude IS everything. I am the Coffee, for sure… I always try to make something good out of something is just better that way 🙂

  3. […] been a little blue.  However, I do think there is something to be said about one’s attitude when faced with a bad day, bad week, major hardship, what have you. It’s not as easy as it […]

  4. I love this fable. As someone who also has wrestled with disordered eating in spurts throughout my short life I completely understand having to actively not fall back into it when things aren’t so perfectly aligned. You have the food part down so much better than me, though.

    • It’s definitely not an easy road of recovery. You almost have to have an “out-of-body” experience and look at yourself from the outside. Life’s too short to allow restrictive eating to get in the way of living your best life. Back when my disordered eating was at its worst (at a time when I was depressed I just didn’t know it yet), it made me 10x more anxious…a vicious cycle to say the least. While food is something to enjoy, it is nothing but fuel for your body to power you through your day (or Body Pump!)

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