Black Swan, Clear Tears

Today was full of challenges for Eat In Month for me.


I woke up a bit later than expected, but I couldn’t get breakfast on my way to work, so I made oatmeal instead and figured I’d just skip lunch. I usually work through it anyways. lol


I made pumpkin oats with rice milk this morning.


With a lovely spoonful of homemade almond butter on top. Mmm.


Once I got to work, I desperately wanted Starbucks. I was dragging a bit. But, instead I used the hot water at work to make some nice green tea. I won’t lie and say the tea was way better. I’m used to my Starbucks Mondays and will be happy to reinstate them once Eat In Month is over. On the bright side, I did however manage to save just over $3 by not getting coffee out. 🙂

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For lunch I had more pot roast leftovers. Later – PB WW toast.


Half a Cashew Larabar.


As an afternoon snack I had the salad I had prepared for extra veg. I also broke into a new salad dressing.


Organicville Sesame Goddess Organic Vinaigrette.


The dressing was a nice change up from the usual balsamic I have. In the salad: baby spinach, baby carrots, sprouts, and sunflower seeds.

Enter my next EIM challenge – dinner. I was meeting a friend at 7pm to watch a movie. I couldn’t leave work any earlier than 5:30pm today. I had 2 choices – rush home, rush through cooking and eat quickly before the movie. Or wait until much later to eat dinner. I decided on the first option and called hubby for reinforcements. I chose shrimp, squash, and cous cous (taking a queue from my post on quick-cooking grains) – all quick cooking food items. Hubby had the shrimp peeled and ready to go when I got home, so I was able to whip up this dinner in just under 15 minutes.


I kept things simple and cooked the shrimp with some grill seasoning. I sauteed squash and zucchini with onion and a drizzle of vegetable broth for flavor.


I jazzed up the whole wheat cous cous with some fresh parsley and sunflower seeds. They didn’t add much flavor, but they did add texture and made the side seem a little more special.


I packed some movie snacks – tortilla chips and dark chocolate. We didn’t end up eating either because the movie was pretty…stunning?


We saw Black Swan. There are few movies that can make you so uncomfortable or nervous, make your hands sweat, and make you fold your arms. Few movies have so much power or get so into your head. Black Swan was one of them. I think my friend and I were quite literally stunned by the end.

I debated whether I should tell you guys more about how the movie affected me, but figured…I already tell a lot of personal information here, so why not. I think I was shocked when I left the theater and got in my car, but on my way home, I couldn’t help but burst into tears. Nina’s character hit too close to home to me on a few different levels. No, I didn’t ever turn into a giant swan with wings. Rather, I think if you’ve ever seriously trained and been passionate for a sport, you may be able to relate to Nina’s character on some level, too.

As some of you know, I trained as a figure skater for roughly 10 years. Skating was my life – it was everything for a long time. At some point in my training, I was just like sheltered little Nina taking things so seriously, training too hard, wanting to be so perfect. At the most, I skated 6 days a week and twice a day on 2 of the days. I was eating, drinking, breathing and sleeping skating. When other skaters would show up 10 minutes before a session, I would show up an hour or more ahead and do off-ice strength training and jumping. And I’d stay an hour afterwards, too. I remember practicing particular moves or programs or jumps over and over and over again until they were perfect. Of course, they never were “perfect”. I was so hard on myself…just like Nina. I always wanted to be better and I was my biggest competitor. Since I had (have) stage fright, I rarely did skating competitions. Rather, I competed with myself every day, always striving to be better than I was the day before. That drive and that passion were so strong in Black Swan, I couldn’t help but be reminded of everything from my skating days – ups, downs, frustrations, failures, feelings, successes, and passion of it all. It’s really hard to explain unless you’ve lived it – to know what it’s like to throw so much of yourself into something.

There’s more, too, but maybe we’ll chat about it another day? RIght now you guys probably think I’m just being dramatic because I’m probably the only person who cried because of Black Swan. lol

The other movies that have made me cry are more typical – Titanic, My Girl, Romeo and Juliet, Marley and Me, Up.

What about you – what movie(s) made you cry?

44 thoughts on “Black Swan, Clear Tears”

  1. I have yet to see Black Swan, and I certainly don’t think you’re dramatic for crying! It’s amazing how our lives can be reflected back to us and the impact that can have. Thank you for sharing that peek into your figure skating time.

  2. I used to never be a crier at movies, but I find that as I age, the tears just start falling down like thunder. The first movie I had ever cried was The Lion King (just lost someone special), so that hit home. Marley and Me I had almost tears, and others where I got teary-eyed were eat, pray, love, and ps. i love you. Black Swan is def on my list of movies to see, I’ve heard so many great reviews.

  3. i’ve got to see the black swan now, it sounds INCREDIBLE. everyone is being effected by it.

    i love that you used veg broth to add flavor to your squash, i’m borrowing that idea.

  4. I saw it too and thought it was beautiful but as you said, I can’t begin to understand how competetive and tough that environment is!

    Lots of movies made me cry, I’m afraid haha! Let’s see: The Notebook, How to Train Your Dragon (yes, really), Up as well I think, the one with the moviestar dog.. Wall-E.. let’s just say most animated movies hahahaha. I’m a sap.

  5. I cried so hard during Marley and Me that I scared my husband! LOL. I’ve also been known to cry during Beaches, Steel Magnolias, My Girl, Step Mom, Up, and Toy Story 3 (ok, I am a sap).

  6. One movie that I cry EVERYTIME even when it’s on tv would be The Notebook!! Gets to me… although the other night I was watching Teen Mom and started crying! haha one of those emotional days I guess. I must see this movie and see what it’s all about!

  7. Don’t feel bad, I cry during most movies! 🙂 For some reason, none of the theatres around here are playing the Black Swan 🙁 I must live in a pretty square town.. lol

  8. I am definitely intrigued now and will put that movie on my list to see. I hate movies that make me cry mostly because I always like to come away from a movie happy or feeling good – that’s why I like comedies, action movies or happy ending movies. I figure it’s good escapism, no?

    Heck, even a sad commercial can make me cry. “Marley & Me” definitely made me cry !

  9. Wasn’t that movie INTENSE??? I thought Natalie Portman was awesome in it.

    My friend Kati and I went to see it together and at the end, we were like, “Whoa.” We really didn’t talk much about it because it hadn’t completely had time to sink in yet. Then we saw each other several days later and were all abuzz, asking questions about what we thought about the ending.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. That movie was incredibly intense. You are not silly for crying. I was in shock and awe the last 30-45 mins. I am surprised I didn’t pass out from lack of breathing.

  11. I had no idea you were a figure skater – my BFF from home was a skater for years & I remember her going through a lot of the stuff you described. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    The last movie that I REALLY cried at was (surprisingly) Gran Torino. I was seriously hiccupping and wheezing when that movie was over. My husband had never seen me cry that hard from a movie before! I think because of the emotional 180 that Clint Eastwood’s character did – what a sacrifice. It just really hit me hard for some reason. Oh, and The Notebook….but I think every woman cried at that one!

  12. I don’t think it’s silly at all! Movies that really hit home emotionally always make me cry – I can’t think of specific ones, but especially depending on my emotional state and whats going on in my life at the time, movies can really get to me. I never watch super sad movies when I’m alone and already in a “funk” for that reason.
    I don’t think I knew you did figure skating so intensely for 10 years – would love to hear more about that!

  13. We are so alike! I thought I was the only one who cried after Black Swan!I went to a school for the arts for drama…an environment where everyone is competing against eachothwr for roles and against themselves to be perfect. Acting is hard on your body in a different way than sports (just look at the condition mentally an phtsially Natalie had to be in!) so I always strived to embody each character and role I was given. I’d love to hear more about your story too! The movie was pure art reflecting a seemingly perfect reality.

  14. I loved that you shared your skating experiences!

    it’s a hard life…hard sport too!

    so much pressure.

    I cry at most every thing. we just saw Changling and I bawled…BAWLED thru the last half of it. I am still not over it. I want to see Black Swan. Good to know I need a box of Kleenex.

    Up broke my heart for sweet Ellie too. Gosh, I cried thru the end of Toy Story 3.
    big baby I am.

    so GREAT job on the EIM challenge, especially when it’s so easy to cheat when you are busy. Today is the day I am least prepared and the leftovers are gone so I have to roll up my sleeves and THINK…and hit the store maybe tonight!

    good for you!

    • Technically I didn’t need the tissues till I was out of the theater and in my car on the way home. lol 🙂

      Hope the EIM challenge is going well for you still!

  15. I have not seen Black Swan and most likely will not because things like that give me bad dreams!lol I do however TOTALLY get what you are saying about sports. I was a gymnast and practiced at LEAST 5 days a week for 5 or 6 hours at a time. I started gymnastics when I was three and IT. WAS. MY. LIFE. I had dreams about it until I was about 30 years old which means I have been dream free for only a few years! I do not regret being a gymnast but it has some major effects on a person when it is your life. I am glad you shared this part of BS because so far it has only scared me. This part of it sounds interesting. Thank you for sharing your past. It is always nice to know that there are others out there that have been through the same thing you went through. Have a WONDERFUL day:)

    • Hey Shorty – I totally know what you mean about it being your life. You live it and dream it. It’s all you can think about most of the time. I do miss skating…not the rigorous training part, but the skating, I do. Do you ever do gymnastics these days? I haven’t been skating in …wow, maybe over a year now? Sad.

  16. Isn’t it crazy how much money you can save by eating in?!
    I haven’t seen black swan—I resist the sad movies. I know they’re good, but I like happy endings! We just watched Spitfire Grill on Netflix—great movie, and unexpectedly sad. But also uplifting…that can help 🙂


  17. I cried watching the Swedish movie, Mother of Mine, this weekend. So much that I was stuffed up and am still stuffed up after.

    I was fascinated by Black Swan. As a mental health/healthy living blogger, it totally had me.

  18. Black Swan really affected me too. For most of my high school years I was obsessed with being perfect…perfect grades, perfect body, perfect boyfriend, everything. It got into my head like crazy. I can definitely relate.

    Titanic- I’ve seen it hundreds of times and still cry when Rose jumps from the lifeboat back onto the ship to be with Jack!

  19. Never be ashamed about the movies that make you cry. I once was caught by my hubby crying during the Toy Story preview. His response was, “you couldn’t wait till the actually movie to cry?” – haha!

    Moulin Rouge is probably the movie that makes me cry most, but I cry at most movies. I am that movie goer that gets way too swept away by the plot line. I love the drama of it all and am dying to see Black Swan!

  20. Omg, so Black Swan made you cry too? I seriously thought I was the only one! My friend who was watching the movie with me is a rather sensitive person but SHE didn’t cry. In fact, the looked at me and asked what was the matter. This is out of my nature, I’ve NEVER watched a movie which moved me like this. Not even Titanic. I didn’t understand why this movie touched me so much until I read your post (I only read the part about Black Swan though) after randomly coming across it on the internet. I guess it’s because I’ve always tried hard to be perfect as well, near perfect grades, perfect health, perfect fashion sense, perfect speech, willful and hardworking sportswoman, perfect personality, of tremendous help to others…yes, you can say I’ve tried very hard. Nina did something like that too. She didn’t have any other wish, just like me. She finally got it, gained recognition, only to find that she would not live to see the outcome. Scenes like this is really sad for me, when all turns out to be for nothing. Her smiling at the end really just amplified the impact that it had on me. Because that’s what I would’ve done. “Don’t be sad because it’s over, smile because it happened”

  21. I cried at the end of Black Swan, too, because I could identify in so many ways with Nina: the inability to let go, the all-consuming desire to be perfect, the parents who try to live their lives through me, my mental illness that stems from my need to, and inability to, be perfect.


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