The Journey. The Challenge.

It's been a while. The last time I blogged I was on the brink of moving to my new job at CTV Vancouver and just embarking on my 12 week prep plan for the Vancouver Pro Show.

My two worlds were about to collide. Quickly co workers were going to become accustomed to the norm of me heating up pre prepped meals like clockwork. They would realize I would turn down all the offers of work snacks and quick lunches downtown. They would soon get used to hearing that my pre or post work plans typically involved being at the gym.

When prepping for a fitness show it's really just three key ingredients coming together. A goal. Consistency in taking steps toward that goal day in and day out. Lastly, discipline.

"It’s the discipline to work hard…
You know – NOT when everyone is watching.
But when no one is watching.
When the fans aren’t there.
When the coach isn’t there.
When it’s just you and your character.
The discipline to eat strong healthy foods, when you have other tempting options.
When those around you might not be so strong" - Fearless Motivation

So as many of you know I gave my whole heart to this prep. My discipline was unwavering. It was challenging as my entire life since I started competing a year and a half ago had changed. I had a new routine. New friends. New job. I hosted two back to back houseguests in my little 680 square foot condo at the heart of my homestretch of training. I refused to let prep result in being a social hermit so I went on brewless brew tours and dinner dates where I had already ate.

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To those not involved in the circle this may come across as a lot of sacrifice for one day. One day that involves 500 competitors. Where fierce competitors will be traveling in from around the world. One day where you could show up having brought everything to the table...and leave with nothing. Or do you really leave with nothing?

At the Vancouver Pro Show that was me technically. However, I can assure you I didn't leave that stage empty handed. I may not have left with a physical medal, but once again I've left prep with another 12 week crash course on the power of the human character.

You see once you go through this process you come to realize this empowering metaphor of life. That any goal you set can be achieved. When you make consistent choices day in day out that positively impact working toward that goal and remain disciplined to be consistent...You will get there.

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There is this incredible culture in this world of fitness that has learned that. Every single person who hit that international stage knows the battle. Knows the days they don't feel like it, but do it anyways. Throughout my day at the Vancouver Pro Show (very long day...Up at 3am Friday and went on stage the second time at 1230 am Saturday) I saw endless examples of sportsmanship, camaraderie and encouragement. It's a culture that celebrates pushing your mind places that allow your body to do great things. Every single person who got up on that stage has accomplished something that a sliver of the population will ever get up and do. One of the number one New Years resolutions involves incorporating a health and fitness routine. By July 95% of people have abandoned this resolution. The competitive fitness culture is yet another segment of the remaining 5% pushing things to the extra limit.

I don't say this in a superiority factor. We all have different motivators in our lives and ideals that we quantify achievements that fulfill us. I do feel though that any competitor has strength of character. The ability to identify choices we want to make to drive a path to our goal and follow it. I am amazed at the inspiration I get from this community daily. And who is the competitor you may ask? From copious amounts of tilapia to endless cardio to sobriety to no refined sugar...who are these crazy people that aren't being forced to live this way yet participate in the insanity that is show prep...

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They are nurses, doctors, police officers, lawyers, students (which I'm always so impressed because I know what I was doing in my early twenties), accountants, teachers and the list goes on and on. They are just normal people who share a passion.

I'm so happy to have incorporated this level of health and fitness in my life. I'm so happy to have joined in this community. My someday became this transformative journey to where I am now.

So where am I going from here now that one of my most challenging preps is behind me. Well I'll be honest the minute I was done my brain was like...I want to do it again! However, at this point I have decided to take the rest of the year off. I've done 36 weeks of strict show prep within the last 1.5 years. I want to get back to equilibrium over the summer and that starts with a reverse diet to a healthy balanced caloric intake. That said, I've discovered such a passion for health and fitness that I can't deny. So my next challenge is actually completing my personal training certification with Ace Fitness. I haven't crafted my exact game plan once I complete this, but no doubt I'll keep you posted. For now I've been enjoying soaking in more knowledge about how to build a healthy functioning physique and perhaps benefit others with this knowledge in the future.

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This post wouldn't be complete without some major thank yous. To every single person who has had to engage in a prep related conversation or smell cod at 830am in the lunch room...thank you. Massive thanks goes to my producer Derek at CTV who not only supported and motivated me so much through this process, but also popped in the middle of his day just to see pre judging. This meant so much and then he also generously let me use his nearby condo for a nap. We work so closely together at CTV and I'm just so happy to have met such a soul with a heart of gold. My husband Gavin is my biggest supporter. He has never doubted my crazy passions, ideas or pursuits and I'm forever thankful. My Mom who doesn't entirely understand this crazy sport, but nevertheless encourages me with unwavering love. My Coach Ondrej who responded to about 5000 messages during my toughest peak week yet. Beauty by Banakas for getting me glammed for show day and allowed me to have a 6am tan drying dance party in their salon. To every single person who checked in or has reached out in any way. I see you and I'm thankful for you. 

So I didn't get a medal. Yet I've woken up today feeling more inspired and motivated than ever. I'm so proud to have hit that daunting stage with incredible talents from around the globe. No one can take that feeling away. No one can take away the growth from the process. My passion has just been reignited after yet another epic journey to the stage. 

"It’s the journey.
The continued pursuit of growth.
The constant seeking of improvement. THE CHALLENGE.
That’s what makes life great.
That’s what makes a fulfilled life.

I didn’t come this far to only come this far!
When I get this GOAL: I’ll seek MORE. Not more things. MORE GROWTH.
Constantly pushing myself to be better.

I didn’t come this far to only come this far!
I came this far so I could be strong enough to go further!
So I would be good enough to push myself harder! I’m only getting started. This is just the beginning.

I AM proud of my achievements, but that doesn’t mean I’ll settle for them.
PROUD but NEVER SATISFIED. PROUD but FOREVER HUNGRY. PROUD and ALWAYS READY.
PROUD but PUSHING. PUSHING FOR MORE . PUSHING FOR GREAT.

A true winner doesn’t seek only the title. A true winner seeks GROWTH. A true winner seeks GREATNESS.
It’s the JOURNEY. It’s the CHALLENGE" - Fearless Motivation

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Road to Resolution - Be The 6%

I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Joti Samra this week for work. She is a psychologist. (Who happened to be the 'go to' on The Bachelor Canada btw)

She shared an intriguing statistic. By July, 94% of people will have forgotten or failed their New Years resolutions. That is the majority by a long shot. So why do we do this to ourselves year after year?

It's simple right. We want change. We want to grow. We want to improve.

So what's stopping us? Elaborate drum roll please...Ourselves.

This is where it gets tricky. Making changes in our life is hard. Even positive changes.

Lately, I have read a lot of posts resolution bashing. Essentially negating the entire practice as a ritual that does more harm than good to our wellbeing. There are some interesting and valid points, but I'll be entirely honest I don't agree.

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I'm a procrastinator and I'm fairly sure that is why New Year's resolutions are an effective tool for me. It's the swift kick I need to get me moving toward goals I want to achieve in the New Year. I find myself engineering action plans. All of a sudden ideas that have been hanging out in my brain begging to be brought to light finally get there time to shine. 

It is invigorating.

Imagine you journaled your life over the last year. The entire 365. Your journal was strictly sharing the simple activities, happenings and events of your day. How many climatic moments were there? How many adventures? How much happiness? How much accomplishment? If you were to weave those 365 days into a story...what kind of book did you write?

My fear for you would be that you may discover you pretty much wrote the same chapter over and over again.

Reflection is a beautiful tool and I'll tell you why. At any point you can make a plot change. You can add an unexpected twist.  This is where the joy of the resolution comes in. Perhaps look at it less like a mundane task you are going to force yourself to do and more like building your 2018 according to your goals.

From personal experience I'll tell you that it is an exceptional feeling ending the year off as the 6%. The small few that created a resolution and remained determined to stick it. I wanted to push my fitness goals to the next level and I managed to compete twice this year. I was honoured to take 6th at the Kelowna Classic and 1st at the Iron Ore Classic. It was not without help. I had my Coach Ondrej from My Trainer 365 and an endless amount of motivation from the #fitfam.

So if you're itching to craft that bestselling story for 2018 (we are talking about your life here just incase you haven't been following along with my metaphors) ... Here are some ways to help move you forward. My chat with Dr. Samra offered some great resolution inspiration:

Be specific- That's amazing that you want to get fit or actually write a novel. But break it down. You could say I'm going to go to 6 classes in January to kick start my workout routine or I'll dedicate 3 hours on Saturdays and complete the first two chapters by the 31st. Set some specific and realistic targets right from the get go.

Grab A Friend: Accountability is key. The American Society of Training and Development did a study that found you have a 65 percent chance of completing a goal if you've committed to someone. Even better if you have specific accountability appointments- That can increase your chance of success by 95 percent. The investment in a personal trainer makes a lot more sense when you look at it that way. It was certainly the step I needed to make in order to push myself forward.

Measurable: For every single person that has ever reached out about a fitness transformation one of my number one pieces of advice was take photos. These are a great way to measure your progress and ultimately motivate you even further. Another example of a measurable goal would be this blog. Last year I wanted to start one, but I was far from consistent. This year I have made the resolution to create two blog posts a week.

The biggest thing to remember as you enter the New Year is that you are capable. You can create and change your life in any direction you desire.

I read a great quote that really got me thinking...

You have a 1 in 400 000 000 000 of being born. Don't waste 2018.