5 Reasons Why You Should Workout This Week

A new week has arrived and that means a million mantras start to flood our social feeds. Motivation can be fleeting sometimes no matter how much we read. It can be especially difficult if we've had a long break from our fitness and nutrition routine or are on the brink of diving into a new fitness regime.

Motivation is something that is recommended daily so here are 5 reasons why you should go workout this week...That have NOTHING to do with how you look:

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  • MENTAL FLOSS: Sometimes we have things that get stuck in our minds. Perhaps its regular anxiety. Maybe its that thing you said in your meeting. You could have even lost your mind on Carol and now can't shake it off. Just like you should be flossing your teeth...the gym is a great tool to floss out the fluff in your mind. Working out helps you focus on the here and the now. It's a great way to get some mental clarity
  • HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY: For every minute of anger or sadness you lose 60 seconds of happiness. There is no time to waste! Had a bad day?...Get working out! Thank that beautiful flood of endorphins for that elated feeling post workout.
  • MENTAL STRENGTH: You feel like there is no way you have one more rep in you, but somehow the music is perfect and you push past it. You think you couldn't possible sprint one more interval, but you focus and do three more. The gym is not just about flexing those physical muscles. It's a place that proves what you are made of on a mental level. You quickly start to realize you're capable of more than you ever imagined. This knowledge applies to a plethora of things in every day life that will help you push through perceived road blocks or obstacles.
  • CREME DE LA CREME OF CREATIVITY: Many studies have suggested that exercise boosts your creativity. So next time you want to get brainstorming on your next project or come up with the solution that will wow your workforce forget Googling someone else's stroke of genius. Create your own and enjoy the buzz of ideas flowing while getting your heart rate up as well.
  • THE ZZZZ's THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF: I'm sooo tired...I didn't sleep very well. Find yourself saying that less and less with a regular workout routine. A National Sleep Foundation study found that 67% of regular fitness buffs have a great night sleep. So say farewell to having to douse yourself in lavender and count a farm full of sheep...that perfect nights sleep could be just one treadmill away.

#Preplife Survival Guide for Your Other Half

I have essentially been prepping for competitions throughout 2017. One of the most common questions I get asked is "How are you and your husband doing?"

You see, competing can be difficult on the relationships we have with those that we love most. In fact competition aside a lifestyle change can be very difficult for couples to go through. Especially, if there is only one individual going through the transformation. 

In fact weight loss and lifestyle transformations are often quoted as a cause of divorce and conflict for couples. Add in the stress of an actual competition with a rigorous and extreme exercise and nutrition plan...the results can be detrimental.

I feel so very lucky to have a rock of a support. I've been happily married for 5 years to a man that has been in my life for 50% of my time on this earth. 2017 has marked a huge lifestyle change for me and I couldn't have asked for a better swolemate. But don't worry. I'm not going to feed you some filtered lies. It hasn't been smooth sailing the entire stretch. The ups and downs have made us even stronger and I like to think we've learned a little something along the journey.


This is why I've compiled the #Preplife Survival Guide for your other half:

  1. Don't Touch The Meal Prep: This is number one for a reason. When in prep every meal is planned and calculated. Nothing can put a monkey wrench in a day more than coming in after the gym and finding that a meal is missing. Yes we will notice if even an ounce is gone. Reactions to this can range from anger to mega toddler meltdown mode depending on stage of cut. Remember if opening the fridge: When in doubt-Anything in tupperware is out.
  2. Time is Of The Essence: Epic cardio sessions, killer workouts and prepping meals is a time killer. Add to that a normal working life and the yearning to be a social human vs a hermit...free hours can quickly get cut. This can mean sometimes it seems like we don't have enough time for you. Please know we love you to bits and couldn't do this without you. Sometimes we get so focused on the goal we forget to let you know that. If that's happening please don't hold it inside. Plan a date or suggest a movie night. Make us make the time. Fave date advice that we did this prep: couples massage at a spa that lets you use their hot tub and pool facilities as a day pass after. Reconnect with the addition of soothed muscles. Perfection! 
  3. Hot Mess Express: So you get all ready for work. The work day is done and the sweat session begins. The version of you your significant other gets at the end of the day is the PJs on and messy bun activated mode. Please understand there is a ridiculous amount of showering involved when you work out this much. Putting in the extra effort to get done up is just not in the cards always after the long days. It'll be worth it when you get to sit there all proud on show day.
  4. More Mess From The Hot Mess Express: The all you can eat buffet is out and the all you can wash dishes and laundry is in. Whether its tupperware mountain taking over the kitchen or the new laundry basket art installation in the hallway...we know. And we can't help it. We will deal with it...however until the prep is done it is literally a rinse.wash.repeat situation. A little help goes a long way. Literally can't describe the heart melting moment of finding a batch of dishes put away or the laundry folded in its place. At the very least...if you don't have time to do it yourself just don't address the mess. We know. We got this!
  5. Be Our Cheerleader: The transformation process is just as much a physical journey as a mental one. We are going to have days that are totally ridiculous. Whether its a carb deprived brain that leaves their wedding ring at a tanning salon (happened!). Or days where we have made so much progress yet just don't see it. Even if it seems utterly ridiculous we sometimes just need an ear to listen or a word of encouragement. The tiniest gesture can truly make the most remarkable difference.

Lastly please know we so appreciate you. When I took first at the Iron Ore Classic one of my favourite parts was that my husband was sitting near the front row. As 2nd place got called and I was the last person left standing on the green line I felt my eyes well up with tears. Fine. It's an amateur show. It's not like I was getting my pro card. However, this was an amazing end to a 272 day journey to get to that stage. I could not have gotten through months of prep without my husband. He was the ultimate cheerleader. When I competed in Kelowna and I wanted to compete again...there were reservations. This meant altered versions of date nights...messy kitchens...time constraints. In the end all I received was support.

It was a magical moment to be able to connect eyes when they called my number-contestant 396.  In that moment it was like we were communicating the same message to each other, "WE did it!"

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5 Things You'll Never See Me Do When I Work Out

We all have different approaches to fitness. Getting out, moving and doing what makes you happy is ultimately the best formula for your health and success.

For me personally I find tremendous benefit both physically and mentally by going to an actual gym. I love it. It's my version of me time. Headphones are in, blood is flowing, weights are lifted-I feel strong and focused. I share this passion with many individuals, but we all have different approaches. I learn something from the fitfam every single day.

So I wanted to share some gym truths with you that I've discovered along the way. You may just find you are the same or learn something that may be beneficial in stepping up your game.


Here are 5 things you'll NEVER see me do when I workout:


Intimidated. This is the best word I can use for when I first stepped into the gym solo and started lifting barbells. Was I doing it right? Does this weight make me look weak? OMG I just fell off my bench! The struggle is real and we all start somewhere. I'll be the first to admit when I'm in the gym my regular smile all the time face disappears. I'm generally concentrating and envisioning the goal I'm working toward. That being said I try and give a little smile whenever I see a new face no matter what their fitness level is entering the gym. Remember we have all been there and we can all learn from each other. We have all decided to share our free time in this space and that is something to be celebrated. It takes conscious effort and choice to get that workout in...so even if my smile is absent know that I'm rooting for you. 

We all start somewhere. My first chest press was failure after 4 reps of 5 pounds...I kid you not. I've come a long way and have logged 170 workouts this year alone-strength is up-but knowing where I started is still like yesterday in my mind.


I've yet to see a gym that doesn't supply some method to wipe down the machines after use...Please...Just Use This. 


I know this may come as a shock...but there is no magical gym fairy following you around putting away what you use. I get it...a new vein or muscle is popping out so you got a little distracted in the mirror. I've been there. That being said-we all lead busy lives...we all have places to be...we could all work out a lot faster if we put things back where we got them.  On this note...most gyms actually label the free weights by number. The weights go back into place with their corresponding number. Got it...Good


Ok so I'm old school and most of the time I have a playlist on my iPod verses streaming. That being said no matter what method I choose somehow I can't find that motivating track when I need it. I also happen to instantaneously hate everything I've personally curated on my iPod. Sorry this rest break isn't ending until I find that perfect song to help me lift this up and put it back down 10 to 12 times.


Unplug and I promise you'll have a better workout. I get it that some of us are using fitness apps to guide our workouts or log our weights. I can deal with that. However, having a full blown conversation via text with all your friends telling them how you're at the gym...not helpful. Not just for people you are inconveniencing that may want to use the machine you're monopolizing. You are actually hurting your workout. An effective workout means connecting your mind to your muscle. A phone is going to get in the way of that relationship. Plus if you're really serious about training you shouldn't be on your phone. What other athlete or sport would it be acceptable by a coach to be texting away or scrolling through social while training-None.

No matter what you're training method is I hope that you're having fun while working toward those goals and gains! That really is the major key to success.

Myth Busted: Self-Care a Necessity not a Luxury

The importance of self-care. Just say yes.

I found myself in the heart of the summer with some time off I had to take. So I booked the vacation days and for the first time in my life. I planned NOTHING.

Messages have been coming in from friends saying “Happy Vacation”…what are your plans?


And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I can’t remember the last time I took time off with no plans. Especially having moved to Vancouver. Lately, when I have time off it is either spent flying home or entertaining a guest in Van. This is naturally fulfilling in its own way. Catching up with loved ones and with friends that I have so much history with. However, it never quite feels like vacation. It’s busy. It’s sightseeing. It’s dinners. It’s SCHEDULES.

Self-care is so important, but how many of us take a time out to indulge?

And no…taking time out for yourself does not include scrolling through your social feeds with a glazed expression on the couch glimpsing into the filtered world of each other’s lives.

I’m talking about taking yourself on that hike you’ve wanted to do, reading a book, lounging by the water, meditating, mani/pedis, massage…

How many of us have benefit packages from work that don’t get used! For example, a Canada health care study found only 27 percent of people with massage employee benefits use them…What?!

Now a huge rebuttal from most will be. Well…easy for you to say but MY life is SOOOO busy…I couldn’t possibly take time out for me. I’m willing to bet if you added up the amount of time you spend on social media and TV combined…you can carve out time for you.

Another rebuttal will be …easy for you to say…You don’t have kids. And I would say…hey now I love my four-legged fur child… but seriously…No I haven’t walked in your shoes, but I would hope you have loving family members or friends you could call upon to help you gain some quality time for yourself.

Because you deserve it.

Most people tend to constantly be living in the past or the future. That type of mindset is stressful. We can easily go through an entire day rushing from one thing to the next to the next…worrying about what is behind us or ahead of us…with none of those things we are rushing to adding any quality of life for ourselves.

But what if you only had this one day? Would you live it differently?

I activated staycation mode this week and it has been so refreshing. Not only do I get to spend time enjoying my city, but I’ve just simply operated on a non-plan plan.

Need a little self-care inspiration? Here are 5 ways to carve out some ever important YOU time:

Read a Book: Okay so you’ve had your long busy day and you’re climbing under the covers. Time to relax. Then you whip out your phone and start endlessly scrolling through your social feeds to catch up on what you missed in the last 5 minutes. Sound familiar? Ditch the phone! Pick a time in the evening to unplug your life. Put your phone on charge…and leave it. I promise you the world won’t come crashing down. Then grab your kindle and get down to that book you’ve been dying to read….Or if you really want the authentic experience…pick up an actual book. It’s amazing what our imaginations are capable of and it is such an incredible moment when you reignite that feeling of being transported to another world through written word.

 Meditate: I am self-professed the worst at this! Anytime I’m put in a position of group meditation my brain starts firing off incessantly. However, practice makes perfect. A great start for more mental clarity and mindfulness …. Carve out just 60 seconds …Just focus on your breath. In and out. Yep…us humans are pretty amazing aren’t we.

Roll it Out: The foam roller is an amazing tool that helps your body. Once you get in the groove it becomes a lot less painful and a lot more satisfying. Particularly if you spend any length of time working out your muscles will thank you. I’ve been so guilty of not stretching and I put my body through its paces. My Coach Ondrej at My Trainer 365 gave me a talking to about this as I’m missing out on tremendous benefits of my fitness as a result. The best time to roll will depend on your fitness regime. However, I’ve had several health practitioners say even if you just roll it out while you are watching TV your body will thank you.

Use The Benefits: Ok so I realize this doesn’t apply to everyone. I’ve had benefits and not through my career. One thing that annoyed me when I didn’t…is people who did and didn’t use them. Seeing an RMT or a chiropractor can give you such a different perspective on your health. Don’t wait to be in pain or something to go wrong to finally find the time to make the appointment. Do it now. When you have a car you get regular oil changes for a reason…generally it doesn’t just go into the shop when it falls apart…if you get it regularly maintained less goes wrong. Same principle here. Why would you treat your car better than you treat yourself? My Grandfather when he reached his late 70s used to say he felt like all his parts were on recall. He didn’t start exercising until after 75. He instantly found great benefits from it. However, I’m sure he would have rather maintained through his life so he could feel better for longer.

Just Be and Get Rid of the Guilt: So you’ve gone on that walk with your favourite tunes in your ear. You sit down on a piece of driftwood with your feet in the sea. And all you can think about is all the things you should be doing verses where you are. You start worrying about that thing that was said at breakfast. You begin to feel the anxiety creep up over that task you didn’t quite get done at work. Just stop. Just be. Give yourself permission to just enjoy your surroundings. It is so simple, yet how many of you have been guilty of the above. You don’t have to feel guilty for taking time for yourself to enjoy life. It’s a beautiful world out there…so enjoy it!

Even if you take just that 60 seconds to meditate today. Do something for you.

 Your body and your mind will thank you for it.






Get 'Summer Ready'...Why even bother

Remember "New Year New You"...Well now the new theme is "surprise summer is all of a sudden here, which means its swimsuit season." The calendars flip to June and beach season is upon us before we know it. I've actually already had a couple beach days here in Vancouver. Yay! I love the beach and have recently moved to the neighbourhood of Kitsilano to be even closer. 3 minute bike ride kind of close. There is some sort of joy that comes from staring at the water shimmering under the sun. (Despite the rumours yes sun does exist in Vancouver)


Something happens though when swimsuit season appears. A million advertisements prey on our insecurities and most of us quickly start strategizing in alarm that we aren't good enough to lounge around the sun and the sand. Almost all of us do this. I can almost guarantee that even the most fit individual you see knows of a flaw in their physique that they harp on. This is terrible. All we should be worried about is salty hair and sandy toes. 

I don't like the implication that summer ready means you aren't good enough now. We come in all different shapes and sizes. There are incredible options at the stores to "suit" every body....see what I did there. Ultimately your happiness is what is most important. Summer is all about creating those magical memories with friends and family that give you the warm and fuzzies on a cold winters night as you reminisce. 

To be honest out of all my summer memories you know what I don't recall for the most part. What I was wearing. What I looked like. No...instead I recall that time we found a retro hair crimper at the cottage and lived it up 80s style. The time the night sky in Tobermory, Ontario seemed to be filled with a billion stars. The time we ran down the streets of Blue Mountain for my friends bachelorette and embarked on absolute shenanigans. I recall a lot of laughs...sweet summer smells and a lot of smiles.


So my first bit of summer ready advice...don't stress. This season is far to fleeting to stress about where you are at in your fitness goals. I always remind myself...no one cares or thinks as much about you as you do about you. So that moment when you are over analyzing how you look in a swimsuit and thinking everyone is noticing that spot you aren't happy with. Guess what...they are probably busy over analyzing themselves giving no attention to that spot you're insecure about. It's a selfish thought, but holds a lot of truth. 

That being said obviously fitness is a huge passion of mine. Not as much in the results physically verses what it does for me mentally. It's the feeling I get to carry with me everywhere. For those that have started their journeys this year...you know the one.

So why even bother to get summer ready....

-It's a community. There are so many fun ways to incorporate fit in your summer. Whether its paddle boarding, hiking or a bike ride. This season offers so many ways to get your workout in that are a lot of fun. One of my fave activities of last summer was a build our own brewery tour my husband and I did. We designed our bicycle route and mapped out all the places we wanted to do some tasting flights. We got lots of exercise, although beer isn't exactly the epitome of health...


-Confidence. It's just plain simple. Getting up and moving makes us feel good. Especially after the season of binge watching our fave shows while cursing the winter weather from the comforts of the couch. There is a reason why there are those that post every gym visit or want to talk about the class they just did. It made them feel good. All of a sudden they want everyone to feel good. There is such a joy in doing something for yourself and that is exactly what a workout is. An investment in you. Ultimately this is going to give you a boost of confidence. This will shine on to those around you.

-Balance. Move over Thanksgiving and Christmas-Summertime is the real culprit. I don't know about you, but summer is always the biggest challenge for me when it comes to moderation. There are so many gatherings, BBQs, events and patios to be enjoyed. I've had years where that has dragged me down from a health perspective. Who would have thought that a pure diet of beer and BBQ burgers doesn't equate to a tremendous amount of energy. If you start thinking about your summer ready game plan now you'll be more conscientious when it comes to making your nutrition choices when those events stack up in a week. 

My best advice if being summer ready has been on your brain. Do it for you. Don't do it because you have an ideal you want to fulfill for anyone else. If you've been teetering on starting that routine or waffling on pursuing your goals than just go for it. The benefits go far beyond feeling strong...(although when I can carry all my groceries up the elevator to my condo in one trip...I'm pretty stoked) The benefits come from how you feel on the inside. For taking that special time to focus just on yourself and doing something just for you. 

As for what this summer beholds for me...Lots and lots of carbs!!! Woo. Complex carbs, but lots of them none the less. I'm starting my lean bulking with My Trainer 365 in preparation for fall competition. What on earth is lean bulking?...More on this in a future post. Summer is going to be a challenge, but I'm ready. Through sharing my story I've slowly been growing a pretty stellar chain of people on their own journeys...we are all going down different paths, but the bond is in the building. Building a lifestyle for ourselves that fulfills us and makes us feel healthy and strong.

Note: Should you be completely lost as to where to start on your fitness journey my trainers do online training at My Trainer 365. For the most part that is how I did my transformation. They have a great mobile app with your plans and literally as in their name-365 day support. Living in Vancouver I did have the chance to do bi weekly check ins in person. Fully transparent-I don't get anything for mentioning them. I just owe Ondrej and Andrea so much for changing my life that I always want to give them a shoutout. 

4 Days Out- 2 Truths and a Lie

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Lets play a game- 2 Truths and a Lie

I’ve wrestled an alligator

I competed on a swim team and didn’t know how to swim

I’ve lived in 3 provinces


The Lie: I've lived in 3 provinces. So far I've just lived in two. I grew up in Ontario and for the last 1.5 years I've resided in British Columbia. I'm absolutely in love with BC so I don't foresee myself departing the west coast anytime soon. The lifestyle is all about living in the outdoors 365 days a year. Add a healthy dose of mountains, ocean and palm trees...You quickly start to understand how we justify the hefty cost of rent out here.

So lets talk about the truths and how they relate to the fact that I'm 4 DAYS away from my first bikini competition the Kelowna Classic.

I've Wrestled An Alligator: I'm not sure if its because I had a milestone 30th birthday, but I've been practicing a lot of life reflection lately. I've come to realize that for some reason I enjoy building a life that is really uncomfortable. I actually thrive on these uncomfy experiences (actually peak week is terribly uncomfortable...not sure if I'm thriving as the only workout I feel like is the new napercise craze). I consistently seek out experiences that scare me a little bit. I'm a rare breed that loves change and navigating my way through it. Sometimes scary moments can get the best of me and that big alarm of mental intuition screams...I don't like this. Point in case when I found myself on a TV shoot in Orlando that required hopping onboard an alligator. No tape...skilled people around...but lets face it...there were waivers that had to be signed.

I was very very uncomfortable. My point is that competition time is days away. There are so many unknowns about the day for me. My coaches have of course prepared me....but as we all know..."you don't know until you know". So my mantra over these next few days will be ... you wrestled an alligator and survived... surely I will survive this first competition. A fellow competitor in a different division stopped me at the gym and provided a boatload of advice. (Fitfam for the win once again) Her main advice. You've worked hard. Don't look at anyone else in a comparative way. Just have fun...the work is done!

I competed on a swim team and didn’t know how to swim: Participation ribbons. Yes those were a thing as I was growing up...and I loved them. This is going to sound so ridiculous, but for some reason I really really loved participating. The problem was I was terrible at 95% of sporting activities. The only thing I've every won a trophy for in my life was for public speaking.

<----I relate to this scene in Meet The Fockers all to well.

However, it was never my parents glorifying the participating. I did that all on my own. In elementary school the swim team allowed anyone to join. They probably didn't envision that a kid would join that didn't know how to swim. Well...I did! Most of practices I had to use a flutter board. I still showed up to every practice. I still remember showing up to my first swim meet. Equipped with my swimming cap and goggles I was ready. Growing up in Toronto the crowds were quite large. I cheered on my teammates...most of which were incredible swimmers. And then there was me...I came in last in every heat....by a lot! Thinking of it now I'm sure it was entirely ludicrous to anyone who was watching. For some reason as a child it didn't phase me. I have a positive memory of the experience. Same goes for the softball team I signed up for. I was so terrible. Never hit the ball with the bat. Clearly I was placed way way in the outfield. I would just cheer on my team...so much so they called me "the cheerleader". (Which I actually was in high school and wasn't half bad). 

The participation parade extended throughout the curriculum of the physed department. Whether it was almost coming in last for the 100 metre dash...taking down the pole of the high jump...or bench warming...so many benches. For some reason I loved it...and amazingly enough the memories of all of this don't horrify me as an adult.

So now I'm 4 days away from a huge goal I've had in my adult life. To be the most fit I've ever been in my life. I've loved the process because I've been staring down the competition since I started. Myself. I've had to prove mental stamina, determination and push physical limits since January. Peak week. Carb depletion. There are days that you really don't feel great. Yet you still have to do the work. I have. I have not wavered from my plans. I haven't had a beer since January. I haven't had any wine for over a month. I didn't have a single Cadbury mini egg over Easter (that deserves a medal all on its own). 

When I hit that stage I'm going to give it everything I've got. However, there is some incredible competition that I'm up against. Participating in the Kelowna Classic was the ultimate goal. No matter what happens on that day I know I've already gained so much from this experience.

The support along the way has been incredible. Thank you to all of you who have followed along this challenging journey. The DMs of workout questions, the text message check ins and of course even just reading along here. It means a lot as even with Coaches it can be a lonely journey sometimes. You are so limited with how you can socialize, so many hours of free time become invested. You have all helped get me through.

Now ...lets do this...