Going Glutton Free

Glutton: an excessively greedy eater

Synonyms: gourmand, overeater, big eater, gorger, gobbler

Yep...My eating habits once were synonymous with a gobbler. Let me paint the picture of a couple real life scenarios for you:

1) Husband and I decide we are going to order pizza for dinner. Obviously we get the deal that comes with two pizzas so we each have our own....we will have some for lunch we say. We crush the pizzas. Cinnamon sugar covered dessert for an extra $2...sure I'll fit that in there as well.

2) Movie night in our household. Can't watch a movie without snacks. Chips...mmm. Well for the price of the little bag I could get two big bags for $3. Those big bags are half air anyways. We each get our own fave kind of chips. Said family size bag of chips...crushed. Fingers covered in chip seasoning. Lick off said seasoning.

3) Gets ice cream thats really just "Modified milk ingredients, sugar, glucose, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, polysorbate 80, carrageenan and artificial flavour."??? Tummy is upset after bite four...5 minutes later scraping the bottom of said container. Should have got the bigger size.

Sound familiar at all?

Personally I don't think these situations are unique to myself and I have no shame to admit it. Food relationships are complicated from the get go.

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Think about it. Every milestone in your life. Happy occasions and even through the rough times...We reward ourselves with food to elevate our mood.

Birthday? Have a cake. Funeral? Skip flowers send cookies. Bridal Shower? Cake Pops. Showed up to work on Monday? Muffins and Cupcakes.

No wonder this behaviour so quickly translates into us thinking the idea of a great night is throwing on a onesie...binge watching til our eyes hurt while mindlessly shoving food in our face that provides zero nutritional value and we weren't even hungry in the first place.

You aren't alone.

I used to get excited for said nights. Especially if they could happen as a party of one. Husband away or has gone to bed early. Excellent...I can silently savour every crunchy bite or whatever the delicacy de jour was.

I was a glutton.

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Since starting my fitness transformation I've come to understand food in a way I never have before. I study menus and realize at a restaurant the majority of items often exceed what should be my daily caloric intake. I look at portion sizes and know a dinner plate filled with food is ludicrous. I think of 'all you can eat' and now ask...why is that a thing?

 I look at those items not in judgement toward others. A once in a while moment like this is fine. However, feeding ourselves like that in a repetitive manner is a recipe for health issues in the future. I'm not an ingredient snob by any means, but I'm certainly a lot more cautious over food that I can't read a single ingredient of.

Now I'm on the other end of the spectrum. Training for a competition with a tried and tested method that would often be referred to as bro science. My nutrition plan consists of very clean basic ingredients. Everything is measured to the ounce or gram.

This can equally become a disaster because it once again complicates the relationship with food. If you obsess and do that so long you can end up in a mindset that you don't even know how to properly fuel your body when your competition life is done. You can build a fear over consuming something not in the plan.

I can't say what this transition will be like for me for sure after September, but I hope I'll be as ok as I think I will be. My Coach will put me on a reverse diet where I slowly transition into what my maintenance calories should be. Staying stage lean year round. Not healthy. 

I started competing in bikini fitness mainly because I already loved the gym. I spent countless hours there because its a way I actually enjoy spending my free time. No...I didn't drink an excessive amount of pre workout magic koolaid that manipulated my brain into typing that. I genuinely love the feeling of lifting in the gym. Quite honestly as time has gone on I actually enjoy cranking my music and doing my cardio sessions. However, not in the length required this close to competition.

It's never really been about an obsession over a particular physique I wanted. Do I love the results? Yes. But I never saw anything "wrong" with myself to begin with when it came to looking in the mirror.

For me its about feeling strong. Watching my lifts get bigger and bigger. Being able to do a proper pushup. Pull ups! I started with assisted and now have no problems all on my own. It's been about the discipline. Knowing that I can enjoy "cheat meals"...but not in the gluttonous fashion I used to know. I understand that food is what fuels my body. What goes in is ultimately going to determine how well my body functions. I've used the example before, but it is the best one. Would you fuel your car with sawdust and crap? How well would it run. Would you expect it to travel the distance? Of course not...fill it with premium and its ultimately going to run at a premium. Your body is the same.

Overall I think most of us have a complicated relationship with food. However, in the age of social media and technology we have more information at our finger tips then ever before. You have to do what is right for you. I've been prepping and for me its not mentally waring to eat my lean ground turkey and veggies. I find it tasty and my meal prep simplifies an aspect of my life. I love that. For someone else that same experience would be torture. If it is...don't do it. You need to find what fits your life. You need to have moments of that glutton like enjoyment, but don't make it your source of entertainment. 

I fell into that for a period of my life and I know I didn't feel well. I napped all the time. My energy levels were so low and my productivity was poor. I also don't miss it. 

Learn about what fuels you. Try new things. Build a relationship with food you love and your body will love too. 

 

 

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:

JUDGE MY FITFAM

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.

LEAVE A SWEATY SOUVENIR

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

FORGO THE RERACK

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

PICK A SONG

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.

WORK OUT MY FINGER MUSCLES

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.

Mental Muscle Fluff

Hey you!

I've missed you. However, if you recall when I started down this journey...I'm an incredible procrastinator. So here we are several weeks after my last post and so much has been happening!

I feel as though I've had terrible planning foresight when it comes to my competition training. Who goes through June and early July in bulking off season mode! I'll explain in a moment, but first...

Its been a while since we've caught up so if you want to lurk the latest adventures I'm forever updating my Instagram:

Okay so let me explain what's been going on the last little while...

Basically I hid my ultra lean bod under raincoats and sweaters for several months throughout the winter, spring and up to May 6th (Kelowna Classic Competition Day). Then I had my pow wow with Coach Ondrej at My Trainer 365 and was like oh I want to compete again. How about Prince George for the Iron Ore Classic on September 30th. Poof-like magic he had the road map planned out and perfectly tailored for me. Which up until recently has included an epic amount of carbs (complex carbs mind you) and lots and lots and lots of eating. 

My Coach does NOT believe in dirty bulking.

Dirty Bulking definition from good old google search: For those of you not familiar with the concept, the idea of dirty bulk is simply to eat as much as possible, adhering to no real nutritional guidelines other than getting a boatload of calories down your gullet. There is no distinction between junk food and health food.

Clean Bulking again from my friend google: Traditional dirty bulking is like rowing a boat with one oar. First, gain some muscle and balloon with fat. ... Although you'll gain weight and size with a loose diet, you'll also get fat and compromise your health. Lean bulking takes time. A lot of time. Remember, the whole point of lean bulking is to gain muscle with minimal fat. 

My initial plan had 2 cheat meals a week built in and the rest was a calorie surplus meal plan filled with veggies/meats/and ample carbs. All good healthy foods and clean eats.

Overall I felt okay about my off season performance. Just okay. I nailed being consistent getting my workouts in...nutrition...so so.

 I let myself throw caution to the wind a couple times in Yukon. Mainly with outings that involved VINO...and headaches in the morning...so lets just say more than a glass. I never missed a workout...even when that involved cramming myself in the smallest space of my room at a remote fishing lodge. Krissy, why didn't you take your workout outside if there was no space you ask? Because I breathe deeply when I workout and I didn't fancy hoovering mosquitoes down my lungs. Now that I think of it though...I'm sure the extra protein wouldn't have hurt.

Kluane National Park- Yukon

Kluane National Park- Yukon

 

When July came around and I was starting to hit the beach more regularly that is when I started to feel mentally confused over the process. I knew I wasn't that far away from where I got myself to in May and I also knew that being that lean like competition isn't going to be the case all the time. However, I felt like I was wearing a muscle sweater of all the cheats and deviations that I had since competition. To be honest the biggest issue at that point was that between work travel and summer getaways Ondrej and I hadn't sat down for a solid check in. When that happens I start to feel the questions creep up in my mind. Do I look the way I should based on what he sent me? Am I on track for this competition? Am I gaining enough muscle? Have I gained to much fat? I realize that this does all sound so superficial. You need to remember that I'm training for a specific competition that isn't that far away. I'm very passionate for this sport and want to give every prep everything I've got. That is why having a Coach/Trainer is so important. Not only do they push you to your physical goals, but they guide you through the mental obstacles as well. Every single time I've had that mental muscle fluff in my head and I share with him when I have my in person check in....he always is like why didn't you text me. When they say 365 support...Ondrej and Andrea really mean it. 

As much as the mental questions can come into play sometimes its all a lot of fun.

 

Which brings me to my next discovery. Off season workouts are the best. Oh-my-goodness! So many personal bests when it comes to lifting. It is amazing what a well fuelled body can accomplish. I've felt stronger than ever before and it has just made everything more fun in the gym. Now that I've been going steady since January...(I actually just logged my 150th workout since the start of the year in my personalized Trainerize app from My Trainer 365)...I'm a lot more comfortable when it comes to trying new workouts. If I see a workout a fellow woman is killing and I'm not sure how it works..I'll just go up and ask. That is what the fitfam is for!

So as for how things stand now I'm 10 weeks from my next competition. I've told Ondrej not only do I plan on winning my class, but I'm aiming for the overall. I'm going to put everything into this prep. My carbs have just gone through their first big cut since off season. I'm feeling actually as though the eating is a lot easier since its not carb overload anymore. Ondrej is already laughing at me as he knows when I'm super close to competition and carb depleted I'm going to eat those words. I get one cheat meal a week so I still have the chance for summer social outings. I've also built in 3 days of freedom in my plan for when I go home to visit friends and family in Ontario late August. Always important to plan ahead!

So that's me in a nutshell. How have your fitness goals been doing since the summer started? 

 

 

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...

 

1 Week Out- An Open Letter to My Trainer 365

An Open Letter to My Trainer 365:

It’s the moment that insecurities are made of. I’m standing in a fluorescent lit room. It’s the heart of winter and my summer glow has long faded away. I’ve just ate my way through Christmas and forget the 12 days of Christmas…I indulged in the festivities during the pre and the post game of the holidays. I hop on social media and I’m bombarded with New Year New You reminders.

Now I’m just mad about myself. That resolution was sooo last year…or at least it was. Until it wasn’t anymore. Time and time again I had tried. I had promised myself it would be my most fit year ever. And then I broke that promise. And since the promise was broken I just dug deeper into the habits that got me in this situation in the first place.

When talking of the before. There was nothing wrong with that woman. But as someone who always seeks a challenge and more often than not follows through—it was frustrating. I loved the idea of working toward and earning the toned physique I envisioned, but the funny thing about dreams…they don’t work unless you do.

So 2017 arrives and its decided enough is enough. This is happening. I’m going to not only do the work, but I’m finally going to turn that bikini competition from talk…into action.

And before I knew it I was in that fluorescent lit room. Sports bra and shorts. Insecurities. That moment, a pure acknowledgement that this wasn’t happening on my own. I needed guidance, support and motivation.

So there I was standing in front of Ondrej Leipert. Standing face on. Picture. Turn to the side. Picture. Turn to the back. Picture. Silence. Analysis…

And then came the plan. Here is the thing about a coach and competitor relationship. They can’t do the work for you. They lay the blueprint, but it is your willpower that is going to determine if you get there.

This time next week I will be in Kelowna just hours away from the athletes meeting for the Kelowna Classic. I feel ready. This has everything to do with Ondrej Leipert and Andrea Leipert from My Trainer 365. (Talk about #couplesgoals by the way)

This has been a journey, but they have been by my side every step of the way. People hear about Coaches or trainers and immediately their mind goes to the money factor. Yes it has a cost, but let me tell you a couple things I purchased from them these last 90 days:

Self confidence, Patience, Mental Strength, Life Balance, Discipline, Self Respect

Think how many material things you've bought since January that don't have meaning. Think about gifts you got or gave for Christmas that are collecting dust. I invested in myself...

and all those personal gains don't even include the piece de resistance...

The results of trusting the process and the plan:

 

From a fitness perspective I feel better than I ever have in my life. I’ve learned so much about myself when it comes to discipline and setting your mind on something. We as humans are so capable, but our mind is often the one creating barriers and limitations. The process of competition preparation tears all of that down.

You work out even when you don’t want to. When you are working out you give everything even when it feels like you have nothing left. You eat clean even when surrounded by temptation. And not only do you survive that…you thrive.

I have cried. I have been frustrated. I have been elated. I have been nervous. I have been in physical pain. I have had some of the best sleeps in my life.

It is a whole mix of ups and downs.

As I stand 1 week from competition I have to say thank you.

Thank you to Ondrej and Andrea for getting me to this point. We don’t even see each other that often, but I’ve felt a tremendous bond over this common goal. I’ve had trust in you. I love your honesty. I love your passion.

It is amazing how much more of a workout you get out of a simple form correction. How each gram of nutrition you place in your body counts. Posing…well Andrea is simply one of the best at her craft. That woman is graceful…so much so that I feel like when Bambi first tries to walk on ice in front of her…but that’s okay. She has been wonderfully honest and that will only will help me prepare mentally for what is to come.

I owe so much to you both for getting me through this journey. I look forward to what is to come. Bring on the Kelowna Classic…and from there…this fitness story and personal journey is to be continued….

#workinprogress

Incon-SOLE-able

2 Weeks Out

I’m now officially 15 days away from competition. As I type this I realize that is incredibly close. To close for comfort. Lets face it not much about this process is comfortable.

I’ve had regular muscle soreness, pangs of hunger and to many egg whites to count. No matter how creative you get … egg whites are simply terrible. Unless its in a recipe for cake. I’m convinced my coach Ondrej Leipert of My Trainer 365 gets some semblance of enjoyment out of my overwhelming loathing for egg whites.

HouseWhite

For the most part though I’ve complained very little in this process. I put my foot down over one food item and ironically its one I liked...in the beginning. Fish…sole in particular. I was going about my prep and carb cycle happy as a clam…not eating clams of course. And then one day it was time for my fish meal…and it was absolutely gag worthy. It was like all of a sudden a switch flip and I hated fish.

So I texted Ondrej for help as to what I could replace it with…and like a good Coach he had my back and a solution in a jiffy. Then the joke was on me. I thought I had lean turkey in my freezer and then that night after singing to my husband with a little dance “I don’t have to eat fish”… I realized no turkey. No alternative prepped. I was all packed in for the night in my jammies. To hungry to go to the store. My husband was just sitting down to have his meal so I wasn’t about to ask him to get dressed and go get me something. So guess what I had to eat. Sole. And I cried. You could say I was incon-sole-able. In fact I don't have children, but I'm fairly sure my reaction could be comparable to an epic toddler temper tantrum or meltdown. Like the one a parent would leave the shopping cart at the grocery store and head to the exit with their screaming child. 

This is where I realize that there can be some irrational moments during the prep process. I realize there are much larger problems in the world than having to eat piece of fish. But Me…The woman who often sucks in her feelings in public…Bawled over sole in my tiny condo kitchen…over a little 120 gram piece of fish! Nothing like sobbing over spinach, cucumbers and lemoned fish.

Other than that I’ve been feeling really good. Like any competitor I have days where I look in the mirror and think... I’m so lean…where is the stage...I'm ready! And other days where I want to ask “is it frowned upon to wear a sleeping bag over my bikini for this thing?” Luckily my Coach prepared me for the rise and fall that is to be expected in these final weeks.

Another thing we’ve been discussing is post competition. Even when the competition is over…it isn’t really. I’m planning to do a reverse diet. This is the process where you take the time to reintroduce foods and let your body adapt to a more normal life. As I said in the beginning this prep process isn’t exactly the epitome of health toward the end or a sustainable way to live your life. Its an extreme. Its important to let my body adapt when this is done so that I can hold on to the fitness results I’ve worked so very hard for.

That means post comp I get the traditional cheat meal..and maybe a cheat breakfast…but then its back to the plan I get placed on. The same goes for workouts. There is no taking a week off the gym. To be honest I’ve been going fairly steady for about a year in total so I couldn’t imagine staying away for an entire week.

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I love giving insight to my competition prep, but I also love sharing with you my wishes for you based on something I’ve learned. As you know this process began right in the heart of #NewYearNewYou in January. I remember seeing the quote “3 months from now you’ll thank yourself”. I couldn’t agree more. I can’t believe the changes that have been made. Now I’m getting stopped in the gym almost every workout from regulars who have watched my progress. Words of encouragement. Others seeking advice. I won’t lie it feels great. It has all been a valuable lesson. I’ve wanted to do this for so many years. I’ve wanted to push my limits. Now I can see the proverbial finish line. The sense of accomplishment even 2 weeks out is tremendous.

So if you’re also teetering on your own goals and own journey…my best advice is start now. 3 months from now you will thank yourself. The beginning will be hard, but you will hit your stride and achieve more than you could have ever imagined. People DM me asking what my secret is…as if I’ve learned some sort of fitbod magic…but in the end it is so simple. Consistency. Consistency with your workouts and your nutrition. I believe in you. As soon as you start you’ll be a part of the #fitfam and in my experience that community will always have your back.

 

The Carb Conundrum featuring Guilt & Co

I aim to inspire people to embrace a lifestyle change that makes them happy and healthy. However, I know I'll never be able to do that without being completely transparent with you. I don't want you to ever think that this is a seamless journey that comes easy and doesn't have a few wrinkles embedded in it. So here we go...my worst 10 days of training for the Kelowna Classic:

The Carb Conundrum

Stupid things I've done during the last 10 days:

-Swiped my key fob for my condo repeatedly on the gym scanner wondering why the turnstile wouldn't let me in. Note to self condo fob is not a universal magical swiping device to grant entrance to all the places.

-Moisturized myself at the gym with a bottle of hotel conditioner not understanding why I was somewhat lathering over absorbing.

-Didn't understand why the sink wasn't registering my hands underneath it when it worked for the person in front of me... Turns out ...It was not an automatic sink and it had a lever.

-Tore apart my house frantically looking for my keys. It just made no sense as I had just walked in to grab one thing I had forgotten..how could they go missing so quickly? Keys were in the door.

Welcome to my carb cycling brain. It all started with a 5 day carb load filled with pizza and pasta. Now I'm on a rotation of 3 days very low carb and 1 day high carb. That one day is no longer filled with pizza/pasta, but plenty of brown rice. Generally this method is really effective for fat loss-especially in those tough places for women like the lower abs and beneath the glute. Now 25 days away from the Kelowna Classic every fine detail is being monitored to ensure I'm stage ready.

Kelowna Classic Prep

 

It wasn't just the diet that generated my now growing list of hilariously silly conundrums. I had a rough week last week. Essentially the worst week since I started my training. The training didn't suffer and the diet didn't waiver. It was more a mix of an emotional rollercoaster and exhaustion.

My family lives about 4200 kilometres away in Ontario. My Mom and Sister were coming for a visit. They were forewarned that even though they were visiting my lifestyle had to take priority. This is why I tell people often I'm selfish...and I know it. People always so no don't say that about yourself. I don't technically look at this selfishness as a bad thing. I take time for myself and fill it with something productive and it fulfills me. Ultimately it makes me a better person mentally. However...

Guilt & Co

This past week was a revelation week for me. If you feel like you're succeeding so much in a certain areas you are probably failing in others. You can't be everything for everybody. When it comes to training it is my highest priority right now...especially being so close to the goal. It takes up a lot of time and energy. It is all day every day. I need good sleep...I now eat 7...yes I said SEVEN meals a day...Cardio is 40 mins 5 times per week and weight training already soaks up a few hours. I refuse to fail in that endeavour. But lets not forget I have a full time job. One that I love and adore no less. So that can't suffer either. Not only does it pay the bills, but when you do something that you love you hold your work to the highest standard. So there are 2 solid commitments in my life. Which means something has got to give...and unfortunately that something lands at the hands of my friends and family.

My husband we will get to in a second, but first let me explain with my family that was visiting from out of town.

My family time is so limited now living so far away and it pained me to leave them during key moments to get my training in.

I decided to take them to Vancouver Island to experience Tofino. It is literally my favourite place in the world and I highly recommend that you place it on your bucket list immediately. We had booked a lovely rainforest cottage at Long Beach Lodge. I was so excited as nature always rejuvenates me...and I needed a boost. Plus we had our own private hot tub...yay for muscle soreness!

As soon as we arrived they wanted to go walk the stunning and expansive Cox Bay Beach. I wanted to see their faces when they saw it. You know that wonderful joy you get when watching someone experience something you love so much for the first time. But I couldn't. Naturally since traveling I was due for another meal and then had to hit their gym or else it would be so late by the time we could all go to dinner. So I had to make choices. Guilt. That is what I felt. They were so good about it, but in that moment I was recognizing that I was placing my training over my family. 

On top of that was the exhaustion. My husband had left for Mancation for a week in Cabo. Throughout the week it become exceptionally clear how much that man does for me. The support he has provided through this journey is unreal. As the week went on I realized just how much he has helped raise me up, get things done and live out this lifestyle. During his absence our poor dog Stella was upset that he left and got a case of the runs...which led to other complications no one needs to read about in descriptive verbiage. So I was up all night with her every 2 hours for 4 days. (Don't worry I wasn't neglecting a complicated doggy issue to avoid a vet bill. We knew what the problem was and lets just say we just needed to tweak her diet for a bit to firm up the situation. Sidenote: plain rice and canned pumpkin= puppy miracle)

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Sleep is so very important to training. Especially because to spend time maximum time with my family I had to get up at the crack of dawn to get it in. So I was lacking sleep, getting my training in and during the entire visit just felt terribly guilty that I wasn't giving all of myself to the visit.

I'm understanding more and more why many say that fitness competitions are such a huge mental competition. Dedication and commitment. Two words we throw around in adorable little quotes on Instagram. Well...there is a reason why I tell people I admire their dedication OR what an amazing commitment. Those words are heavy weights. It is not easy some days to be dedicated and committed to the goal...yet the only way to get the goal is to be dedicated and committed.

For the record my family had a lovely visit and they saw the magic in Tofino that I hoped they would. That's saying something as the one day they really really experienced why we get the nickname 'the wet coast'.

When they left my husband returned. A little something about me...I LOATHE crying in front of people. I've had a few rocky moments in my life and even within tragic loss I generally have a rule of thumb-shove the tears away and shed them on my own time...in PRIVATE. Yet my swolemate got back from vacation and I cried. Maybe it was the whole low carb thing playing on my emotions...but on top of that it was the revelation I had while he was away. I truly recognized the support system he was providing. The help with the meals, the emotional support...everything.

So to everyone who has helped me along this journey so far...whether it be a message of encouragement...checking in how its going...reading my bloggy ramblings. Thank you. I so appreciate you being a part of my journey.

 

 

The Truth of The Matter - 6 Weeks Out

I'm officially 8 weeks into my training with My Trainer 365 and I have roughly 6 weeks ahead of me. Its getting closer and closer to competition time and I can hardly believe that I'll actually have worked my way to being able to walk on that stage. I've really been enjoying the process. I know...if you've encountered me in the last couple of weeks you know I've ate the SAME THING since February 1st day in and day out. I'm a control freak though with a busy mind. I think I love it because it simplifies one aspect of my life. I never have to stare blankly in my fridge wondering what to eat. 

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There is something I want to address and that is progress photos. I attended an event recently when one of the speakers said, "I unfollowed all those crazy fitness people because I don't need that negativity.". The context of the comment was based on the connotation that it breeds jealousy and therefore the person sharing was aiming for that effect. 

First of all. Crazy Fitness People. Well I did just admit that I ate the same thing since February 1st...so perhaps there is some truth to the crazy...and sometimes I do feel a bit crazy dedicating myself to this process so I'll give you that one. However, breeding this concept of jealousy. Wow. Never the intention and I doubt it is for many people who share their fitness journey.   

Let me explain why I share and I imagine its also the reason behind many others who do.

First of all- Inspiration- social media is where I found mine. I had always had a love of fitness, but essentially just quit before I reached my end goal. Does this situation sound familiar to many of you? Probably because this is most of us. Sure we aren't all training for a competition, but that's not the point. No matter where you are starting with your gym/fitness goals (or where you may have left them behind) it takes motivation to keep going. Lets face it, there are a million reasons we can find to not go to the gym. Carving out that 'me' time for yourself is a task especially when you haven't built that momentum that eventually turns it into lifestyle. I've been standing on the edge of this competition process since LAST APRIL. So its taken me pretty much a year to get to this point. I didn't start my prep until January. It was through social media that I held on to my goal and said "I'm going to do this one day". I combed through before and afters, quotes, workout routines. It inspired me to not give up on what I wanted to achieve. I'm grateful to each and every individual that allowed me a peak into their lives to give me the push to go for it. When I share progress pics it is my aim to do the same. It has happened. I've had people message me for advice. Tell me that my progress has gotten them back to the gym. People sometimes text me just to tell me they went like a check in. That is awesome. Fitness has this infectious quality to it. We are all in it together and support is a beautiful thing.

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Second of all- Pride and Encouragement. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm not even ashamed to say it. I'm proud of myself. This journey I'm on is intense. 2.5 hours a day in the gym. Round the clock eating and food preparation. The only people in my life that truly understand what I'm going through are my Coach, my husband and anyone else who has competed. That's a small group that knows the entire rollercoaster I'm on. When at my suit appointment last weekend I was told (and not the first time I've heard this) that this process has actually broken up many relationships. The level of dedication is tremendous. You are literally strategically building your body to create shape and symmetry. So when progress starts to happen or an area you've been struggling with starts to take shape...you are excited and proud. Encouragement ties into this as well. The "#fitfam" is a massive community that also understands this level of commitment that is required. They know that social events are difficult because you can't eat anything served, but you also have to eat every 2-3 hours. They know that you worked a crazy day and even though you were up at 5am to fit in the gym you have to go again after dinner just to get that workout in. It's all encompassing. So the words of support we share in a comments section on a social platform can give that little bit of boost to get you through. To remind you of what you are working for.

So this is why I share-not to create a community of envy. Its about building a community of support, positivity, encouragement and inspiration. I would love to hear about your journey no matter what it is. I do believe in you and I know you can do it. You may be like me a year ago and just standing on the edge of that pool waiting to dive in...grab on to some inspiration and go for it. I promise you won't regret it and I'll be there to cheer you on just like you've supported me.

 

 

 

5 Simple Ways To Kick Start Your Weight loss Goals- Before Even Hitting The Gym

Let me preface this post by saying sadly there is no magical quick route to fitness goals. I've had a relationship with the gym since high school and I can say with certainty that results directly correlate to the amount of effort you put in.

That being said the process isn't something to be feared, loathed or get the perception that its such a monumental task that its unattainable. You are capable. You can do it. Remember its a mental game. As soon as you're all in, ready and putting in the work the change will happen.

You'll find a lot of people that perhaps are your inspiration for your own fitness goals often use the term "its a lifestyle". This is truth. Individuals you see with that shredded physique-its a second job that consumes every single day. The workouts are a big part of this, but the nutrition component is even bigger.

There are several sayings that become relevant:

A lot of people have reached out to me that are teetering toward a lifestyle change. They just don't know where to begin and it seems really overwhelming at first. There are some simple things you can do RIGHT NOW in your life to kick start your new lifestyle and get on your desired track.

1) TRACK YOUR FOOD: There are some amazing apps that will track what you're eating. My personal favourite is My Fitness Pal. I believe in tracking your food when you want change for a couple of reasons. First of all, it makes you more aware of what you're putting in your body. Some things you regularly consume may surprise you when it comes to caloric intake. It also makes you think twice when you are tempted to haphazardly snack throughout the day. Secondly these apps allow you to see all the nutritional information of what you are eating. This can help identify some areas that you are lacking or overdoing when it comes to a balanced diet. My first venture with a food tracking app was a real eye opener when it came to the amount of sugar I was eating. Trust me...sugar is hidden in a lot of foods you wouldn't even think of.

2) WATCH YOUR LIQUIDS: We don't necessarily think about what we are drinking in terms of our nutrition and calories. Guess what- your complex coffee order, soft drinks, smoothies, ice teas, beers and wines...it all adds up. The worst part is that you may be making choices that you think are healthy as the industry has such clever ways to use buzzwords that mislead you. Many smoothies are made with sugary ingredients. Just because your fave coffee place has added coconut milk or almond milk options...these do not mean the drink is healthy. One coffee place in particular had a coconut milk coffee beverage with such a smooth name I'm sure it fooled many. Well guess what, the mid size will add 200 calories to your day and 25 grams of sugar. That's 6 and a 1/4 teaspoons of sugar. Would you order a regular coffee and ask for just over 6 sugars added. On that coffee note...a large double double...may have you believing you're consuming 2 teaspoons of sugar. SURPRISE...if that is your go to you are adding 264 calories to your day, 7.5 teaspoons of sugar and 8 grams of saturated fat.  Maybe its not Monday vibes slowing you down to start the work week...your coffee may be the culprit. 

Water is your best friend. Your body needs it. During this phase of my bikini prep I'm drinking 3 litres of water a day. I can feel when my body isn't at appropriate levels of hydration. You know that it is what your body needs...if you own a garden or plants you're already proving the experiment. Life thrives when it has water-It dies or withers when it does not. Simple.

3) READ THE LABELS: Since starting my fitness journey to competition in January I have not had one meal that emerged from a box. Everything I consume essentially are ingredients I can read and pronounce. With the exception of many of my supplements. I'm well aware my daily dose of pre workout is not exactly a healthy product. If you are grabbing that quick snack start reading the labels really closely. We may pick something up and think hey...140 calories...that isn't so bad. Then you realize that is 'per serving' and the serving size is only 12 pieces of popcorn. The frozen food aisle in general is an area to be avoided. In addition gluten free, vegan, and organic...don't think the major food suppliers aren't aware that people associate these with a healthier lifestyle. Just remember gluten free, vegan and organic on a label-doesn't necessarily equate to a healthy choice.

4) TELL YOUR FRIENDS: There is always strength in numbers. One thing I find fascinating about fitness is that it is almost as contagious as the common cold. When one person in a group starts on the path...there are almost certainly to be more in the group that want to take part. Since the start of the New Year I could not be more proud of a couple individuals in my inner circle. I have a co worker with one of the most epic displays of inspirational dedication and a wicked collection of Sweatstagrams. He is feeling good and making huge strides towards his goal. Another friend has lost 20lbs since her WeightWatchers journey began. She is just making the transition from being solely food focused to incorporating exercise into her routine. I can't wait to watch her journey. Another friend started an 8 week challenge just before I started my competition prep. Its been great to have each other as cheerleaders to get through the work. We are all at different stages and we all have different goals. We all looked great before we started as I truly believe there is no body type ideal...we are all working toward what makes us happy and what feels good. So tell your friends as you can bond together to encourage each other on the tough days. You also need to accept that not everyone is interested in your journey nor wants to take part. However, sharing your dietary restrictions or gym commitments with them generally means they will respect that. My diet has meant extreme limitations since starting this. I've been blown away by the respect of others and kindness in helping me along. Its my journey not theres--but simple support goes a long way.

5) EAT OFTEN: Just like a car your body needs fuel. This fuel is food. If you put gunky oil and sawdust in your gas tank the car wouldn't run very well would it. Think about what you are putting in your fuel gauge to help your body through the day. In general North American portion sizes are way to big. Filling an entire dinner plate is the wrong way to go. The notion of starving yourself all day so you can eat a ton before you go to your fave restaurant- its not going to make you feel good. Small balanced meals spread throughout the day are the best way to go. I literally eat every 2-3 hours. In addition contrary to what most of us do your dinner should be the lightest meal of the day. Think about it- you're generally done with your heaviest activities...why would you load up on your heaviest meal right before bed?

These are easy steps you can incorporate into your life now. Always remember that slow progress is better than no progress when achieving your personal goals. Go get it!