Monday, September 17, 2012

FitBit Ultra

Hello everyone :)

 Today I want to talk about my FitBit!  This nifty little gadget counts my steps, flights of stairs, calories burned, and the online portion tracks my food and water intake, sleep quality and so much more!

This is like a fitness coach and dietician all rolled into one clip on gadget that is easily hidden under your clothes if you don’t want it to be exposed; and I guarantee you will have people asking questions about it!

The accelerometer and altimeter count my steps and stairs.  It gathers the information and wirelessly uploads it to my personal page!  I can also press a little button on the FitBit and I can see how many steps I have taken so far.  You can set daily goals for miles traveled, steps taken, stairs climbed, and calories burned!  You compete with yourself to beat your goals!  You can also compete with friends and family.  You earn badges with each milestone you reach: ie) first 25 flights of stairs, 10,000 steps, 50 miles etc. 

You can also use the online meal tracking system to ensure you aren’t eating more calories than you need.  If you say you want to lose 5lbs you will have a few options as to what approach you want to take: slow and easy, medium, or hard.  Hard obviously means lose it in the safest, yet fastest way possible.  It will then tell you how many calories you need to cut and how much exercise you need to include to reach that goal by such and such date!

The sleep tracker is one of my favourite features.  You set the stop watch before you fall asleep and it will track what time you fell asleep, how many times you woke up (or made significant movement), and how long you spent awake in the night vs. asleep!  I realized I was drinking too much water before bed because I was always up at 2am.  I stopped drinking 20-30 minutes before bed and the 2am pee breaks are far and few between now!  I just make sure to drink that water earlier in the day :)

It really just makes me more conscious of my movement throughout the day.  Working a desk job can sometimes mean sitting for really long periods of time.  Now I make sure I get up and move more to get those steps in!

If you want any more information please click here:


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Planning for Positivity

Hey everyone –

I am really struggling with what to talk about this month.  As you may know, I lost my best friend on July 2nd… My chocolate lab Cassius lost a very short and aggressive battle with an infection.  I will never know how he contracted this infection but it attacked his arthritic elbow and traveled to his brain in a matter of 2-3 days.  I have been a shell of a person ever since.  He wasn’t just a dog; he was my brother, my best friend. 

Then came the health scare… a few people know what I have been dealing with but I have really tried to keep this all inside because I have no idea how to fix it… I’m hoping in the next few weeks I will get my cardiac tests and brain scan results back from my doctor and we can go through everything and try to get my life back on track.  Until then I can’t train, I can’t get my blood pressure up too high, and I have to do my best to stay calm.  It’s frustrating to say the least. 

This has all happened in the month of July… it might not sound like a lot to some, but it’s more than I can handle. 

This makes me think of a topic for this months’ post… Planning for Positivity

For me, I need to find inner peace… I need to find a way to keep myself centered and calm.  So I have decided I am going to take up yoga and meditation.  I had thought of it before but really didn’t think there was a need.  Now I have a need, I must find a way to bring myself to a place of calmness.  I am the type of person who needs a plan.  I need to know how I am going to proceed… there is not one single “fly by the seat of your pants” kinda bone in my body.  I have to have a plan for how I am going to remedy the things in my life that are slowing me down.  Now that I have an idea, I am going to research different yoga studios and places I can meditate… what does meditation even mean? How do I do it?  Etc.  I cannot sit here and become consumed by my broken heart or my health scare.  I need to plan for the future.  I need to plan for positivity.  I have planned a trip to South Carolina at the beginning of September.  I am going to travel to different places this year and do great things in every place my toes touch.  I am going to bring more positive energy into this world!  Remember, even if everything is going GREAT in your life and things are better than ever, you can always plan for the next big thing :)

Always continue reaching for the stars, and when you are dancing among them, start reaching for something brighter :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Getting Through Challenging Times

Hey everyone,

 Monday July 2nd I lost my best friend; I lost my chocolate lab, Cassius.  It was so sudden; I didn’t really have time to process what was going on.  I just had to make a lot of impossible decisions, really quickly.  My heart was shattered and I didn’t know which emotion to feel first: Anger?  Why did God take him from me?  Sadness?  I wouldn’t feel his kisses or his wet nose again.  Or Guilt?  Did I make the right decisions?

 I didn’t know how to cope, I had never lost someone that I loved before.  I stopped eating and then I ate everything in sight.  I binged and then I starved myself.  I wanted to make the pain disappear and I wasn’t considering the long term effects of my behaviour.  Now I have an extra 15lbs to work with…

I’m trying not to be too hard on myself about the extra weight, I had a slip up but I am ready to get back on track and get closer, each day, to the body I deserve :)  And if you are going through something and you are falling behind on training or you aren't eating very well, dont be too hard on yourself.  Just do your best, that's all anyone can ask of you right now!

Heaven forbid you find yourself in a situation where your heart is shattered and you just don’t know how to cope; maybe you could try a few of these things… They are helping me stay away from destructive food behaviours…

1)      Talk with a friend or family member who has gone through the same thing or is able to understand your pain

2)      Write to the person or pet you lost.  Write them a final letter describing all of your feelings and emotions.  You have to get the feelings out so you can deal with them.  Sometimes you just need one more chance to tell your loved one how much you care.  *And depending on your beliefs, you are never alone, the person or pet you lost is always with you*

3)      Go outside.  I can’t tell you how much this has helped.  Going for walks around the neighbourhood or sitting on the steps in front of my house and just watching the breeze blow through the trees and the clouds moving across the skies.  Staying cooped up in the house just doesn’t help, even though I rarely want to leave my bed these days…

4)      Grab a water bottle and hit the gym.  I never wanted to leave my bed, but deep down I knew I had to get back into my routine.  I trained with Craig at True North Barbell Monday night and it was incredibly therapeutic!  I’m not SUPER strong (yet), but I can hold my own, and this reminded me that I am physically and mentally strong.  I can get through pain.  I get push myself through anything.  When you look at it, pushing through one more rep and pushing through one more day, really aren’t that different.  You have to dig deep and find the strength to go on.

I hope you never find yourself in a situation that requires any of the tips I mentioned above, but if you do, I hope they help. 

Today I woke up with a lighter heart and I am looking forward to training again on Wednesday.  Until then I will eat my prepared meals, drink lots of water, stay outside and take it day by day :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Count Your Blessings and Live Life to the FULLEST!

This week has been incredibly bittersweet for me.  I turned 25, graduated from university, and got myself a sexy little car!  On the other hand, a dear family friend was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and a co-workers father-in-law was in a serious car accident.  Bittersweet, right?  But I have learned something VERY important from all of the events this week.  You need to be thankful for every blessing!  Even if you aren’t religious, you can still be thankful for things, just replace “God” with whatever you believe in, or just omit it completely.  I have begun thanking God for just about everything.  When I hop in the shower I thank God for hot water and the fact that I even have clean water to shower with.  I always park at the back of parking lots, but now I thank God for two working legs that are able to carry me from the back of the parking lot to the front door and I thank him for the blessing of being able to drive a car.  You get the point. 

I saw this quote and it really hit home… “What if you woke up only with the things you thanked God for yesterday?”  WOW!  Makes you think, right!   I’m not saying everyone has to adopt this way of thinking, but it’s an eye opener, that’s for sure. 

I’m a believer in living your life to the fullest.  You only have one life to live, so you might as well make the best of it!  It is times like this that really remind me that life is WAY TOO SHORT and it can be taken from you suddenly.  You should make every second count!

My neighbours’ father is an incredibly wise old man.  He was telling my mother and I that whatever you put out into the universe is what you’ll get back.  If you choose to focus on your problems or constantly fear that you aren’t good enough, or not talented enough… That is what you’ll get.  But if you put positive energy into the universe and decide that you are going to work as hard as you possibly can to achieve your dreams and goals, you will succeed!  Success begins with you believing in yourself.  You can have people telling you “you can do it!” but until you believe it yourself, they are just words. 

Let’s say you want to compete in an event this year but you are nervous or wondering if you should bother… “maybe next year?”.  Shake your head and say I CAN DO THIS!  You might not even place or you might win the darn thing!

Or maybe you have decided that enough is enough and you want to get healthy.  Then you walk into the gym and feel intimidated.  Shake it off and say I AM GOING TO OWNNNNNN THAT TREADMILL!!!!!

No matter what it is, believe in yourself and push yourself harder than you’ve ever pushed yourself!

This past week I have realized that I haven’t been pushing myself as hard as I can.  *Now that’s not to say that you have to run yourself into the ground… I mean push yourself in a HEALTHY way!*  I did legs on Monday and I decided “OK! You are going to push it and work your ASS OFF!”.  Let’s just say the workout ended with my head in a toilet bowl *yuck I know* but I was determined to really push myself hard and guess what… I’m still feeling the effects of that workout and I LOVE IT!

SO… What I hope you get out of this blog post is that I want you to reach for your dreams, don’t be afraid of failure, be thankful for your blessings and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.  Failure can only teach you lessons and help prepare you for the success you will find in the future.  Put positive energy into the universe and envision yourself reaching your goals and blowing past them!

~ Kayla

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Food Prep!

Let’s face it… We are BUSY women!  Some of us are students’ writing papers and studying for exams.  Some of us are mothers caring for our families.  Some of us are business women pushing our careers forward.  We do it all!  Now and then the one thing that we can forget to do is take time for ourselves…  This is why it is so important to prepare your meals ahead of time!  I recently finished university (just a few days ago to be exact!) and I know how difficult it is to be a student eating on the go.  The salad bar is almost invisible next to all of the burger/pasta/dessert stations at school so it makes it really hard to make good choices.  The same goes for women who are working every day or those who are busy running after energetic little ones!  The saying goes “If you FAIL to PLAN, you PLAN to FAIL”… Meaning that we need to plan our meals and prep them ahead of time so we don’t have to worry about what we are going to eat or how we are going to find the time to make it. 

Sunday is my Meal Prep day… I prepare all of my chicken, veggies, and lean beef meals and package them up into Ziploc containers and organize them in the fridge.  I used to cook every single day, several times a day but I found I was constantly cooking and cleaning!  I didn’t have time to do anything else.  This saves me a lot of time and makes eating MUCH easier.  Plus there is less room for temptation… You know what I am talking about… It’s almost noon and you are starving, but you have a meeting/class/baby ready to go down for a nap etc. soon so you opt for something quick and easy… That tends to be junk food/Drive-Thru!  It is SO convenient, am I right?  Having your meals prepped and ready for you to heat and eat is pretty convenient too!  ;)

I find the most difficult time to get all of my meals in (I’m no pro… I still struggle!) is on day trips.  I would pack all of my meals and try to stuff them into lunch bags I had at home and I would walk out the door with 5 lunch bags and end up forgetting the car keys in the house because my hands were so full!  I recently purchased the 6 Pack Fitness Cooler Bag that holds everything I need!  (Here is the link…  There is room for water bottles, ice packs, Ziploc storage containers (it actually comes with 3 storage containers!), and SO MUCH MORE!  It is compact and the pink/grey colour combo is ADORABLE!  If pink isn’t your thing, not to worry, there is a black one too.  Now there is no excuse for not having my meals with me!  If only it had a microwave inside that magical little cooler bag!  (I will do a full review on the bag after I have tested it out!)

Two of my favourite cooking methods for prepping meals are poaching and roasting.  I poach my chicken because I find it cooks faster and stays juicier all week and I roast my veggies because all I have to do is pop them in the oven, or better yet on the BBQ!  Sautéing veggies is a delightful idea, but it takes more time and required more of your attention.  My FAVE veggie this month has been asparagus!  They are rather thin and tender right now so they roast up really quickly and taste fantastic with my poached chicken!  Another summer-time favourite veggie of mine is BBQ’d zucchini.  I slice it up lengthwise and grill it up!  It is delicious!  I am a huge fan of the BBQ :)

Food is FUEL and when your body has what it needs to perform, you are going to succeed!  So this is my challenge to all of you ladies out there… If you aren’t prepping your meals for the week, ahead of time, TRY IT!  It might seem like a lot of time to dedicate to one thing all in one day but I promise it will save you time and energy throughout the entire week! 


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ordering Food at Restaurants: How to Stay FOCUSED!

I LOVE going out to eat and trying new restaurants, new dishes, and enjoying the experience! However, it can be really difficult when you are following a meal plan, have food allergies, or are just watching what you are eating in general.  Nowadays restaurants are including Nutritional Information in their menus (or in a separate booklet) but they tend to leave things out or use teeny tiny font so you can’t read all of the information.  Don’t let this deter you from going out once in a while with friends and/or family.  I am going to tell you how to take the mystery out of the menu!

Use the menu as a guideline.  Don’t feel like you HAVE to order something directly off of the menu… get CREATIVE!  I will look over the menu to see what kind of veggies they are serving with their main courses but I always create my own meal.  For example, I might order:

-        A grilled chicken breast, no salt or seasoning (make sure you tell them this if you are avoiding these things)

-        Grilled or steamed veggies, no salt or seasoning

-        Side garden salad with a big slice of lemon to drizzle on top

This is generally what you find in a main course meal on a menu, just a “CLEAN” version.  No salt, seasoning, fatty oils/butter, dressings, sauces, etc. 

Most restaurants will have no problem with these requests!  Creating the same thing over and over again can feel a little robotic, so the chef(s) might even ENJOY making your special request meal!  I have had a few “is this girl serious?” looks when ordering like this but I don’t let it bother me.  It’s not like I am asking someone at the 7/11 to grill up a chicken breast for me!  If the restaurant is able to serve chicken and veggies smothered in sauce, they can make a clean version just for you and you don’t have to feel bad about it!

Now, if the problem is your company… Everyone is ordering all of the things you can’t eat… Stay strong!  Maybe you will inspire one/some of your friends to eat healthier and order something better the next time you all go out together!

Bottom line is: you can absolutely make healthier choices when going out for dinner at a restaurant; you just have to get a little creative!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Be Inspired: Creating Your Own Motivation

I have a post from a while ago with some of my favourite motivational/inspirational pictures and videos; what I didn’t realize is there is motivation around me, all the time!  April 14th I attended the 2012-GNC Festival City Stratford Championships with Sandra and Sheryl to cheer on friends and get a firsthand look at what the world of competing is all about!  It was a fun evening and I learned a lot; mainly that motivation is everywhere… You just have to look for it.  That may sound like a weird thing to walk away from the event with, but I was so inspired by the men and women competing, it’s all I could focus on!  I left the event with my mind made up: I was going to look at the world and find at least one thing that motivates me each and every day.  It can be looking at motivational picture quotes on the internet or talking to people at the gym who I am motivated by and others who I can motivate. 

I believe that if you GIVE someone what you NEED; you have in fact planted a seed.  This will allow you to reap the benefits later on!  I talked to a new member and she was quite nervous about participating in a class and it made me remember my first day at the gym.  I thought for SURE I was going to stick out like a sore thumb because I thought only athletes trained there.  But World Gym is filled with people of all different ages, shapes, and sizes!  After talking to her for a few moments she said, “OK I think I’m ready to go in there now… thank you!”  It felt great to help someone!  A few days later I received a really nice compliment and that pushed me to train harder!  (Compliment = Motivation!)

Motivation can be found anywhere; you just have to open yourself up to seeing it.  I was always the kind of person that needed a push, mainly because I was scared to try for fear of failing.  Nonetheless, I’ve come to understand that you need to be your own source of motivation and inspiration.  You can’t expect it from other people all of the time.  Once I realized that, I was able to fill myself with more motivation and inspiration than I knew what to do with! 

Another great way to keep yourself motivated is by creating a Dream Board or a Vision Board.  You can include goals, pictures of people that inspire you, quotes that lift you up, and so much more!  Then you have everything you need in one place.  Keep your board in a place that you can easily access when you need a little boost.  Maybe you aren’t seeing any results at the gym (things ARE working, it just takes a little time for things to show up sometimes) and you are getting frustrated… or maybe squats are really challenging for you (insert whatever you find challenging here…) and you don’t know if you will EVER get any better at it (you will, trust me!)… You can refer back to your Vision Board and look at the picture of the body you want to have and are getting CLOSER to having with each and every workout! 

Believe me; I need a lot of inspiration to say no to the cheesecake… So I know a thing or two about this topic!  I promise you that you will feel so GOOD and so PROUD of yourself when you are filled with motivation and your feet hurt from kicking so much @$$ ;)

So get out there and start flipping through magazines and cutting out pictures or quotes!  Start motivating others and helping them achieve their goals!  And as cliché as it sounds, stop and smell the roses… You might just find yourself inspired by something beautiful :)


Saturday, April 7, 2012

First Impressions: BeautyStrong

Hey everyone!

This past Monday was the first time I had tried BeautyStrong and I loved it so much I wanted to do a little “First Impressions” post about it!  It is not part of my nature to be a cardio lover.  Some people just love running and it makes them feel free and reduces their stress.  I happen to be a clock watcher.  I watch the seconds tick by… There is nothing enjoyable about cardio for me and I figured that was just the way it was going to be and I would have to live with it!  Well, I was wrong.  Straight from the BeautyFit website, here is a blurb about BeautyStrong:

“BeautyStrong™ is the breakthrough pre-workout supplement developed by the researchers at BeautyFit®. Designed for the serious female athlete, this pre-workout powder delivers dramatic results every single time you train! After just one workout, and with just one dose of BeautyStrong™, you'll never train again without it! BeautyStrong™ pushes your workout past the next level, beyond your threshold and your breaking point. When you're aching to stop because the burn's setting deep inside your muscles, BeautyStrong™ allows you to push yourself further than you ever thought you could. Of course the harder you train, the harder your body gets. Period.”
Some of the key benefits include:
  • Enhanced Endurance: Contains ingredients to support prolonged endurance including Beta-Alanine, which has been shown to stimulate muscle strength, power, recovery, force output, and support increases in lean muscle.
  • Delayed Muscle Burn-Out: Provides key ingredients for resisting muscle fatigue so that you can focus on developing a hard, sexy and muscular physique!
  • Leaner, Harder Muscles: BeautyStrong™ contains vasodilating ingredients that support blood flow and nutrient delivery to the muscles, resulting in leaner, harder, more vascular muscle pumps with every workout!
  • Explosive Energy: A strong woman has a strong body! Our innovative formula prevents fatigue and increases energy, volume and force output for maximum workout results.
  • Increased Focus: Improves focus, physical performance, reaction time and coping with bodily stresses!

That is EXACTLY what it does.  Usually about ¼ of the way through my cardio I am already begging for it to be over, I have to play with the speed and incline just to get me through the session.  When I took BeautyStrong I STARTED off on the speed and incline that I usually spend 30 minutes working up to!  I was focused and determined.  I didn't even look at the time until I was almost done!  I was so pumped and ready to run! (err.. jog..) But you get my point :)  I dare say I actually ENJOYED my cardio! 

They say that your body will not fail you; it is your mind that makes you think you have reached your potential.  That is so true!  I would listen to what I thought was my body telling me I had to slow down, but really it was just my mindset.  BeautyStrong really pumped me up and helped me get through those tough moments.  I actually kept increasing my speed and incline throughout the cardio session… Not ONCE did I slow down!  This may not sound like anything special to you, but coming from a self-proclaimed cardio non-lover this is HUGE! 

More importantly, I didn’t feel like I was “on something”… What I mean by that is, I didn’t feel shaky or jittery.  Some pre-workout drinks I’ve tried in the past made me so jittery I felt awful.  BeautyStrong just made me feel like Rocky about to enter the ring (insert crowd cheering here)!  Another thing that I think is important to share is BeautyStrong does not “mask” any pain or “woah that doesn’t feel right” kind of feelings.  I felt 100% before, during, and after my cardio.  To be honest, I felt 110% after my cardio! 

If you are looking for a pre-workout drink than this is absolutely one you should consider!  It tastes FANTASTIC, the price is on point, and it really works! :)

If you have any questions or want to know a bit more about my first impressions, please email me!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Importance of Setting SMART Goals!

Setting goals for yourself is very important and can really help you achieve your “end goal”.  If you say “I want to lose 50 pounds” but don’t set any goals in between, you put yourself at risk for a very long, unfulfilling journey.  That’s not to say you won’t achieve your goal, you absolutely can!  But setting smaller goals in between really helps to keep you motivated and on point!  Now, there is a method to the madness of goal setting… you can’t just say “I’m going to lose a lot of weight and gain a lot of muscle”.  You have to be more specific!  That is where the SMART system comes in.  

*Note: There are many variations of S.M.A.R.T., this is just what I have chosen to use!






Specific Goals – your goal needs to include things like what you want to accomplish, what are the requirements and constraints, what are the specific reasons for this goal… etc.

Specific Example: “I want to lose X lbs of fat and gain X lbs of muscle and I plan to do so by joining World Gym and working out 3 days a week”

Measurable Goals – your goal needs to be measurable.  This can be measured in pounds, inches, days, weeks, months, hours… etc. 

Measurable Example: “I want to lose 5 pounds in one month”

Attainable Goals – make sure that your goal is reasonable.  If you said you wanted to lose 100lbs in 3 months, or prepare for a big show in 2 weeks, or something like that, you are not as likely to succeed.  It might be better to start with smaller goals; this will also keep you from feeling like the end is nowhere in sight.  Losing a large amount of weight is a daunting task, so breaking it up into smaller goals makes it more manageable! 

Attainable Goal Example: “I want to lose approximately 2 lbs a week until I reach my end goal” *Note: weight loss isn’t always that simple, some weeks you will go up, some weeks you will stay the same.  This is JUST an example.

Realistic Goals – make sure your goal is realistic… you wouldn’t expect someone to finish med school in a month, so don’t expect yourself to move mountains in the blink of an eye.  That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have high expectations because you absolutely should!  Pushing yourself and seeing what you are really made of can help you achieve your goals!  If your end goal is to lose 100 lbs make sure that the goals you set for yourself look something like this…

Realistic Goal Example: “I want to lose 100 lbs in one year and I will do so by losing approximately 8 pounds per month.”

That doesn’t sound so daunting, does it?! 

Timely Goals – make sure you have a timeline!  If your goal is just to get in shape… eventually.  There is nothing to push you to get to the gym RIGHT NOW!  You might feel like you can do it tomorrow, because there is no deadline.  So make sure you are specific about WHEN this goal needs to be accomplished by!

Timely Goal Example: “I will accomplish my end goal within one year and I will do that by achieving my “along the way” goals every month!”

Goals are so important and you can achieve every single goal you set out to accomplish if you make SMART Goals!  I know that when I first decided to get in shape I only thought of the end goal and it seemed SO far away.  So far that I wondered if I'd EVER get there.  So I decided to make smaller goals, ones that I could achieve in less time and they would help push me along.  Who wouldn't want to celebrate their way to a better body?!  Make the seemingly IMPOSSIBLE.... POSSIBLE!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Resisting Temptation

Hey everyone!

Today I’m talking about temptation!  You’ve all been there before… You are at an event, business meeting, or a night out with friends.  Temptation is everywhere!  Most recently, for me, I was tested while out bowling.  There were about 20 people; all very hungry and "in need" of beer and snacks.  Being the event coordinator, I had to take care of it!  I knew that my almonds wouldn’t make everyone happy so I went to the snack bar and ordered up 5 pizzas, 2 platters, and 6 orders of chicken tenders for everyone to share.  Then I saw them… Mozza Sticks.  In that moment they called to me, they said “come on… just ONE bite!”.  I thought FOR SURE this was it, all hell was going to break loose over these Mozza Sticks.  I brought the food over to the table and made sure I sat away from it.  Somehow, it ended up right under my nose.  People moved things around and the gooey cheese was right in front of me.  I pushed it away and decided to reflect on the past 2 months and how far I have come.  I thought to myself, “Kayla, you have worked so hard to lose just over 50 lbs… WHY would you ruin that now?”.  It was really hard to say no, especially when everyone around me was eating without worrying about what went in their mouths.  But I did it and I felt SO strong and SO proud of myself after.  Once I gave my head a shake I realized that I didn’t even WANT those Mozza Sticks.  They aren’t good for anyone and they certainly aren’t what I need.  I was able to then sit back, enjoy my almonds and cheer for everyone that was bowling. 

I believe that temptation is everywhere, all of the time; it is only during our weaker moments that we notice it.  That day I had just been to the chiropractor for my ribs (I popped one out of place and it felt awful!) and as soon as I sat in my car after the adjustment, I popped it back out.  So I was in pain all night while everyone was stuffing their faces and having fun bowling.  I can admit it, I was having a little pity party for myself and that’s when I noticed the Mozza Sticks.  It took a lot to say no but I did and I am so glad I did.  I was able to shake off my bad mood and focus on the positive of the night; temptation did not get the best of me.  I was STRONGER!

The moral of the story here is, you are in control of today.  You control how the day ends; it can end with guilt or it can end with celebration!  Cravings and temptations are strong feelings but you are STRONGER!  I love this quote...

The satisfaction of giving in to temptation is very, very short lived.  But the satisfaction you get for saying no to temptation is incredible.  Always keep your goals in sight and make the right decisions today, so you can celebrate all of your tomorrows!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Overcoming Obstacles

Hey everyone!

First I must apologize for being so absent this past month, it has been … hectic.  This post might read more like a diary entry but I think it is important to be open and honest, it keeps me accountable.

I guess I’ll just jump right in!

February was not my favourite month so far this year… February and I got off to a bad start and the negativity lasted the entire month.  School is stressing me out big time (it is my LAST semester!), I hurt my knee (it’s already kinda crappy… I’ve got Osgood-Schlatter Disease), and my already sensitive hormones were completely out of whack.  I’m really trying to focus on the positives while I deal with my hormonal imbalance, but it’s challenging.  I’m most disappointed by my lack of weight loss this month… I’ve stayed the same and it has really bummed me out. 

School… I have always had a love/hate relationship with school.  All I can say about it is I am glad that I went to university and I am glad it is almost over.  I really believe in education but holy moly it stresses me out!  I’m not even going to go into detail about this one or we could be here allllllllllll night.

Knee… My stupid knee really pisses me off sometimes!  I haven’t been able to do a real leg day all month.  My knee aches and I get these pains that feel like ... well, the best way I can describe it is, you know the feeling you get (if you have sensitive teeth) when you drink or eat something really cold?  Its that sharp pain and then it slowly fades away… That’s what I feel in my knee after cardio or sometimes it’s the reason I have to cut it short.  I started going to physio again but just didn’t have a good feeling about her.  I didn’t feel like we had a real plan or reason for this pain.  So I’m going to my RMT (registered massage therapist) this Tuesday; she should be able to help me out!  I am really hoping I can get this sorted out so I can get back to doing leg days!

Hormones… Oh hormones… I have always had a “sensitivity”, I guess you could call it, to any fluctuation in my hormones.  Well this past month has been the worst I’ve ever felt when it comes to those pesky buggers… I would cry at the drop of a hat, take something to heart and brood over it for days wondering what that person meant by it, and so on… it was mentally exhausting!  I went to my doc to see what I could switch my BC pill to (that’s the culprit… as soon as I started taking it my hormones went BONKERS), so we shall see what it is like next month!  I am optimistic!

You may be wondering what the point is or what my message is here and I guess you could say that the point I am trying to make is, we all go through ups and downs and sometimes those “downs” are pretty hard to dig yourself out of but you have to!  Obstacles are a part of life and you have to figure out how to get around them!  I love the saying “fall down 7 times, pick yourself up 8 times”.  It is so true!  You cannot let anything keep you down.  Not an injury, not stress, nothing!  There were times I wanted nothing more than to stay in my bed all day but I got my ass out of bed, got ready, and went to the gym.  I felt SO much better after I worked out.  Cortisol is a nasty hormone that your body releases in response to stress; it will linger if you don’t get rid of it even after the stress is gone.  So going to the gym after a stressful event is SO important.  You need to rid your body of that stuff; you will be SO glad you did. 

This month I really pulled back and hid in the shadows for a bit, hoping that nobody would ask about my progress… If they had I was sure I’d burst into tears!  However, this weekend I really had an “Aha!” moment and decided that I can’t beat myself up over the events of this month.  I didn’t plan for it to be such a stressful month and there is nothing I could’ve done to prevent it.  So I just have to work with it instead of trying to resist it. 
When I am stressed I avoid food, so today I cooked up all of my chicken and lean beef meals for the week and packaged them up.  This way, I can just run to the fridge and reheat my meal instead of pulling out the pots and pans and cooking up the whole meal right then and there.  I am choosing to be PROactive, rather than REactive.  I am also choosing not to be so critical of my weight.  That’s not to say I’m not paying attention to the numbers, I just mean that I’m not going to be upset with myself about the lack of change (tomorrow is a new day and I will work even harder to make that change happen!).  Sometimes there are lulls, sometimes there are ups and downs and that is OKAY. 
Here is a picture quote that really helped me this month (thanks Alyssa!):

It may have been the month from hell, but I came out of it a better person.  A stronger person.  I know that I can learn from my weaker moments and rise above them! 
Even if you don't relate to these particular "stressors", just sub one of your "stressors" in place of mine.  Maybe money is tight right now and it is stressing you out.  You can still apply this way of thinking to your problem and help yourself get through it.  Maybe you fell off the wagon and regained some weight and are feeling defeated... Just pick yourself up and get to the gym.  Learn from your mistake (maybe you binged, maybe you stopped going to the gym, etc.) and be stronger this time. 
Someone very wise often says something that never made sense to me... in fact it was kind of annoying LOL "just try harder"... If you can't do a push up... just try harder.  If you can't finish that rep... just try harder.  But in all honesty, it's the only thing you CAN do.  If it didn't work out for you the first time, that's OKAY, just try harder next time and you will get closer to success!

I leave you with this quote…

 “I've come to believe that all my past failures and frustrations were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” - Tony Robbins

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken Chili

I was looking for something to spice up my 2nd and 3rd meal of the day and I decided to use my chicken and make chili!  Here is what I did and it was DELISH!


- ground chicken
- 1 green pepper
- 1 small onion
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 clove garlic
- can of tomatoes (diced, whole, whatever you prefer)
- chili seasoning
- kale


- dice onion, green pepper, garlic and jalapeno; set aside
- heat a deep frying pan or pot
- drizzle some oil in the pan and add the onions and peppers; cook until onions begin to brown
- add garlic
- add ground chicken and cook thoroughly
- add tomatoes
- add kale
- season with chili, salt, pepper, whatever spices you prefer
- turn the heat down low and allow the chili to simmer

You can allow the chili to cook for as long as you want on low heat but I needed chili and I needed it FAST so I just let it simmer for about 10 minutes and then I devoured it!

Fast and easy chili!  Total time was maybe 30 minutes!  The kale adds a delicious little spin on chili and is SO nutritious!!!



Where I Began and Where I'm Headed!

I guess we have to look at where we started in order to envision where we want to go… So here ‘s where I started…

I kinda talked about where I started... but not really.  Opening up is hard but I believe that if I can help even just ONE person by sharing my experiences, it's worth it.

I was in a relationship that was not the healthiest and when I’m not happy, it shows.  I gained a substantial amount of weight and food was the only thing that comforted me.  It was a vicious circle; I ate because I was sad and I was sad because I was eating.  Then I decided to stop eating.  If eating makes me fat, not eating should make me skinny… right?  WRONG.  I gained more weight!  I was on a fast track to terrible health.  I decided I needed to take care of business so I removed myself from the unhealthy situation and started to deal with things… yes I’m talking about feelings!  It was grueling and I gained more weight because it was easier to turn to food than friends or family.  But eventually my emotions leveled out and I was able to think with a clear head.  This September I started my last year of school at WLU and I HATED how I looked and felt.  I decided to do something about the physical things now…  I went gluten free and sugar free and started working out more.  I was losing weight, inches, and gaining respect for myself!  The saying is cheesy but I really started to believe that my body was a temple and I was much more cautious and aware of what I was putting in it. 

Then came the dreadful exam period… When I am stressed I gain weight – mainly because I forget to eat or I try to live off of fruit alone. 

This is when Sheryl convinced me to make an appointment with Craig and start personal training.  I was beyond terrified to go to that consultation.  It would be the very first time I would have to tell someone how much I weighed.  The number is not grotesque but it is not healthy, nor is it where I want to be.  I couldn’t even say it, I had to write it down.  All Craig said was “OK!”  … I thought for sure there would be a “Wow, really?  Huh you don’t look like you weigh that amount.”,  “Well we have our work cut out for us.”, “This is going to take FOREVER… just so you know.”  But he didn’t say any of those things, he didn’t make any faces, and he didn’t make me feel uncomfortable.  I sat there thinking… “I’m really glad I decided to trust him…”

That is the most important part, I think.  You and your trainer need to trust each other and build some kind of relationship.  You need to know that your trainer has your best interest at heart and that you are a team working on this goal, together! 

That is what Craig and I have been doing and I am proud (a little scared but proud nonetheless) to announce that I have officially lost 50 lbs! 

I was able to lose 20 on my own from September to early December before I started with Craig and then I’ve lost 30 lbs with Craig in just 5 short weeks!  It is hard for me to see it sometimes, to be honest.  But the other day I had a major breakthrough and tried on a pair of jeans, just thinking I would see how far I had to go before I could zip them up… and they FIT!  I wore them out shopping that very day.  Nonetheless, I really appreciate when people notice it on me.  Like Dan, for instance, he saw me last week and said “Every time I see you, I see less and less of you!”  That made my WEEK!  I’m not fishing for compliments; I’m just saying that it means a lot when other people see the changes going on!

It feels incredible and I know it’s only going to feel better from here on out!  I’m not entirely sure what I want to weigh exactly, but I know that I want to be healthy, fit, and STRONG!  I don’t think a number means very much.  You could be 120lbs and STRONG or 120lbs and weak: same numbers but totally different body types.  I think I will just know when I get there!  Everyone has a part of their body that they want to focus on, not because it’s a problem area, but because it’s something they like.  For me, that is my back and upper body.  Something about a strong back and upper body just seems attractive to me.  I’ll put it this way… I want to be strong, but I don’t want to scare off or be bigger than a potential boyfriend hahaha!

I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me but I know a few things for sure: I’ll have my bubblemint gum, top secret body spray, lululemon, and AMAZING people along for the ride with me :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Makeup at the Gym

Hello ladies,

Im talking to just you this time… I am a self-proclaimed beauty addict and I love doing my hair, nails, and most of all… MAKEUP!  Nothing beats the feeling you get when you know you look good!  There is a time and a place for all of these things, though.  Nothing looks worse, or more out of place, than a woman at the gym wearing the same makeup she would wear to a club… or worse yet, she might actually  be wearing last night’s makeup from the club. 


I can completely understand wanting to still look polished and pretty, but just know this… When your mascara is running down your face because you are a hot sweaty mess, it’s not a good look.

Let me tell you what I think you should SKIP and what you can USE (if anything at all) from your makeup drawer when getting ready to hit the gym:


-        Blush (you are going to get naturally flushed cheeks anyway… you don’t want to look like a clown)

-        Lipstick (it’s really not necessary)

-        Foundation (you are going to be sweating!  Come on now!  The sweat and oils from your skin are going to cause the makeup to break up and get all splotchy… not a good look)

-        Eye shadow (it’s just too much to have your eyes all done up.  You want to look polished, not ready to party)

-        Mascara (this is in both categories: SKIP and USE)


-        Tinted moisturizer (this will make your skin look naturally glowy and healthy!  It will also lightly cover up any discolouration or pesky breakouts)

-        Lip balm/Chapstick (instead of lipstick you can use a balm which will give your lips a healthy shine)

-        Eyeliner (I would suggest a brown eyeliner that you can use really close to your lashes.  It will just give your eyes the appearance of fuller lashes)

-        Mascara (I decided to put this in both categories because you CAN use mascara, as long as you don’t go crazy with it AND make sure you use waterproof!  I have very light eyelashes, naturally.  So they tend to disappear on my face and I just feel self-conscious about it.  I like to use a brown mascara that just gives my lashes enough “oomph” so they are visible, but not “over done”)

Bottom line is you are at the gym to workout!  If you can go there with zero makeup on and feel confident, you are one step ahead of the rest.  No woman "needs" makeup… everyone is beautiful in their own way and you have to embrace what you have been given.  Makeup can certainly highlight or emphasize your favourite features but just remember that it isn’t the makeup that makes you beautiful… it’s just you!

Now, if you are saying “OK I get it… I don’t need all the makeup, but I still need something that’s going to make me feel pretty!” I say this…

-        Paint your nails!  (A pop of colour on your nails will make you feel put together!)

-        Do something cute with your hair *within reason* (if you usually do a messy bun, try a pony tail… or if you want something totally different, try a braid!  French braid, side braid, fishtail, rope braid… you name it!)

-        My personal fave is having really cool running shoes.  Mine are hot pink and yellow and not a week goes by without someone saying “Hey!  Cool shoes!”

I used to wear makeup every single day… (school, work, going out etc.) a full face of it!  From the primers and shadows to the lipsticks and false lashes.  It takes a long time to put it on and a long time to take it all off!  Since starting at the gym I have really limited my makeup routine.  Even if I am not going to the gym I still find myself putting on my tinted moisturizer instead of foundation and my brown mascara instead of my intense black.  I am starting to feel that inner beauty make its way out :)

No Makeup, Makeup Look:

- Apply tinted moisturizer to face and neck
- Lightly apply brown eyeliner and smudge between your lashes, this will give your lashes a fuller look!
- Apply waterproof brown mascara (OPTIONAL)
- Apply a lip balm (you can use a tinted one too if you like, but try to keep it natural looking)
- Grab your shoes and you are ready to hit the gym!

So the next time you are about to head to the gym just remember all you need is a big smile and your running shoes; leave the lipstick at home!
I hope you enjoyed this post and I will talk to you all very soon!