Friday, May 30, 2014

Bootcamp, Self Esteem, and Body Image

Hey everyone,

Wow, what an incredible 6 weeks!  Bootcamp ended last night and I was filled with SO many emotions.  Last night we did hill runs, walking lunges up hill, and even walking/running backward uphill.  It was hard, probably my hardest workout ever during those 6 weeks.  I pushed myself and groaned and cursed but when the hour was up I felt SO accomplished!  I know many of the girls felt the same.  #FUManhole

Once I got back to my car after we finished training, I was overcome with emotion.  I was so grateful for the women I now call friends and for my Coach, Sandra.  These ladies push each other and cheer each other on, it is so heartwarming.  Thank you for that :)  I also felt so proud of myself (and this is hard to admit because I feel like I am bragging, but I think I need to get over that…), it was a very challenging workout and I paced myself but I never gave up.  I am learning with each passing day that I am strong, mentally and physically.  I can push myself further and harder than I ever thought possible.  I felt like nothing could stop me, I felt like a warrior.

They say that it is your mind that actually stops you from pushing past your comfort zone, not your body.  It is SO true.  My legs were shaking, my knee was tight, and my lungs felt like they might explode; but I was OK.  I could safely push on and give it 100%.  My mind was telling me I should slow down or take a breather, but I knew I was OK.  I guess I am learning to listen to my body, not just my mind. 

Joining Sandra’s bootcamp is easily one of the best decisions I have made on my Health & Fitness Journey.  I have truly learned so much about myself in the last 6 weeks and I am really looking forward to starting up again on June 17th!  I can’t wait to see what goals we can achieve over the summer!

Now, there is another thing I wanted to talk about.  If you follow me on Facebook you may remember I had a “Light bulb Moment” about loving your body.  This was all sparked by a Kickstarter video shared by Taryn Brumfitt.  She shares her story, which is all too familiar, about not loving her body.  It affects her relationships and social life.  Sound familiar?  It does to me.  She thought she was alone, so she decided to ask 100 women to describe their bodies in one word.  The responses brought tears to my eyes… wobbly, imperfect, stumpy, very average, not nice to look at, gross, disgusting, disgusting, disgusting…  Taryn realized that she had an even bigger issue on her hands.  She had a young daughter and she wondered how she would teach that little girl to love her body, if she didn’t even love her own.  She entered herself into a body building competition and achieved the “perfect body” but quickly realized that the outside is only half of the battle.  Nothing changed about the way she looked at herself or how she felt about her body.  It is just as much a mental change as it is physical.  She decided to start a movement; The Body Image Movement.  Taryn wants women to start loving their bodies just as they are right this very moment.  EveryBODY is beautiful.  It starts from within; you need to learn to love, embrace, and accept your body exactly the way it looks and feels right now.  That’s not to say you can’t improve the exterior by going to the gym or doing yoga etc.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is all up to you, but just remember that it starts on the inside first.  You can achieve the “perfect” body, but if you haven’t spent the time to love yourself, flaws and all, nothing will change.  You will still find something “wrong” with yourself. 

Her video really got me thinking, but it was the comments section of her video that truly lit a fire within me.  There were so many trolls saying that she was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle by telling “fat people” to love themselves.  It crushed me!  Everyone and everyBODY is deserving of love no matter what size, shape, colour, or gender.  Taryn was not suggesting that everyone throw caution to the wind and stuff their faces without regard for their health.  No matter what the scale says, you are beautiful and you should love your body. 

My journey has never been about reaching a certain number on the scale or a certain dress size.  I just want to be healthy and happy and have the outside match the inside.  I am getting there, one day at a time!  It is very exciting and I am having a lot of fun on this ride.  It is hard but it is so worth it :)  I love my body and I am so thankful for it.  I treat my body with respect now; I eat well, exercise, and have realistic expectations and goals.  This is a lifestyle change for me and I have never been happier!

If you take only one thing from this post, I hope it is this… You are beautiful, just as you are.  You don’t need makeup or Spanx to achieve it.  You are already beautiful.  Take a look at yourself and remove the cruel, judgmental lens.  Embrace the body you have, be grateful for it and love it. 


Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Bootcamp - May 6

Wow where do I begin!  Tonight was absolutely amazing.  We did some circuit work tonight and one of the things we had to do was pull-ups. Now, I will be the first to admit that those are not my strong suit. Sandra was with me every step of the way, but she made me do the work. She was there when I needed her but she wasn't going to make it easy. That's not her style. She teaches you to believe in yourself and have faith that you will succeed. My legs were shaking like there was an earthquake under my feet. I was terrified, but that wasn't going to stop me. I immediately thought of one of my Instagram posts - NO FUCKING LIMITS!  #GoHard

So that's what I did. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't a 10/10 but I did it and I am so proud of myself!  I knew deep down that I wasn't going to let myself fall. But it was very comforting knowing I had my coach right behind me. I could hear her whispering and encouraging me. It meant more than I can put into words. Thank you :)

I nearly burst into tears when so many of the bootcamp girls gave me a high five or said encouraging words to me. I was blown away by their kindness and support. Everyone is so quick to cheer each other on, it was heartwarming :)

Near the end of the night we were pushing the sled outside, one at a time and surprisingly I wasn't nervous at all. The old me would've been way to nervous to do the task and I probably would've purposely sucked at it as to not draw attention to myself. Twisted eh?  Nah not anymore!  I pushed that thing with all of my might and got a lineup of high fives when I was done!  It felt amazing!  I absolutely love bootcamp. I love the challenge AND I love making new friends!  I don't want this last part to sound sappy, but I have never had people cheer me on before. It's largely because I didn't do sports or anything as a kid so the support of a team feels absolutely incredible. Thank you ladies!  I hope I can encourage you just as much :)

My final fave of the night was looking at my palms and realizing I was getting my callouses back. I wear them like a badge of honour. I love them. They are a physical reminder of how hard I am pushing myself. I don't really care if anyone else likes them or thinks they are gross. They are cool to me :)

Tonight was really challenging but it was also so much fun. I had a great night and I cannot wait for Thursday :) I can't wait to see what other challenges I can face and accomplish!

I also posted another picture on Instagram saying that Fear is a Liar and it is SO true!  My fear used to hold me back in so many parts of my life. Fear is alike a little birdie in your ear telling you that you can't do it. But please don't believe it. Don't listen to your fear, it's all lies. If you want something and you are scared; that's ok!  Do your best, push hard. But never give up. Heck I even signed up for my first 5K on my birthday (June 14). Can I run that much?  No way!  Am I going to try?  Yes, absolutely!  I know I will walk a lot of it, but that isn't what matters. I am setting goals and demolishing them. I am saying yes when my fear wants me to say no. It is changing my LIFE. I have never been happier and I'm not even close to my goal weight or physique. Suddenly my body isn't what determines my happiness (I always used to think that I'd be happy when I was "skinny"). I decided to be happy by choosing to say YES more often.

If you can take one thing from this, please let it be this. You have one life - please don't let your fear limit how you live it. Say yes even when you are afraid (within reason of course lol) and start LIVING :) try something new. Do something you might normally shy away from. Soon you will realize that you CAN do it!  Whatever you put your mind to. You can accomplish :)