Posted in My Fitness Story

My Decision to do a Fitness Competition 

For the longest time I have kept the idea of competing out of my head.
All I could think about was, “what would people think of me doing that?”, “it seems so vain”, “that takes a lot of commitment”, “what if I put in all that work & don’t win?”
And then I came to this place in my life that I no longer base my decision off of what people may think of me.
I’m not doing this competition to impress anyone (but myself…and my coach).

I’m not doing this competition so that I will be proud of my body.

I’m not doing this competition so that I will finally love who I am.

I’m not doing this competition because I think I’m better than others.
I’m doing this competition because I am very competitive and wanted a goal, something to work for.
I’m doing this competition because I LOVE myself and my body now,and I believe that I have the motivation and will power to really test my limits.
I’m doing this for myself & no one else.
I’ve thought about it for a long time, and I finally feel like I am in a place in my life that I can handle the process & ENJOY IT.
I’m making a vow right now to be the happiest competitor in prep, EVER!
I will do my best to stay focused on the end goal, instead of my hanger, so please feel free to remind me!
Anyways, I’m very excited for this & I hope to have the support of all my friends and family, because you all truly mean the world to me!

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Posted in My Fitness Story, Nutrition/ Diet

My “supplement” routine

Personally, I believe in fueling my body with real food. I don’t take many supplements because I like to get nutrients from whole foods, but some can be very helpful and almost essential for people, especially if your diet is lacking. A few people have asked me what supplements I take, so I thought I would share with you!
So everyday I take:
Super EFA’s (essential fatty acids) / Omega 3s

In our new modern diet, the fats that are mostly consumed are Omega 6s which cause inflammation in the body. And it’s not that Omega 6s are overly bad for us, but the imbalance between the two is what is causing the issue.

So many health problems now a days are caused from inflammation, so taking an Omega 3 supplement can help to get back to a normal balance of Omega 3s and 6s, which can help decrease inflammation.

Plus fatty acids are also wonderful for helping to regulate hormones and help your brain!

So chances are, you too, will also benefit from an Omega 3 supplement. Unless you eat 3 servings of fish a week, because if you do, then you are probably getting enough as is!
Magnesium/ Calcium

I read an article one day on 21 reasons why everyone should be taking a magnesium supplement. I’m not going to list all of those here, but I am going to touch on a few that show it’s importance… I’ll try to only say my favourite and not get too boring!

Magnesium helps with sleep because it has a calming effect on the body’s nervous system and relaxes the muscles.

Magnesium is important for athletes because it is crucial for the production of energy and is also lost through sweat, which increases an athletes needs for magnesium.

Magnesium helps with depression and stress because serotonin (the feel good chemical) needs magnesium to be made and function.

Magnesium deficiency speeds up the aging process.

Magnesium helps with fat loss and diabetes by helping to improve insulin sensitivity.

Magnesium helps prevent feelings of fatigue.

Magnesium helps regulate hunger cravings because the body needs it to absorb and use nutrients.

Seriously, there are so many more and it is just so helpful!

Vitamin D (only from Nov – March)

In the summer, when the sun is stronger there is no need to take a Vitamin D supplement because just 10-15 minutes in the sun can give your body enough for 2 weeks!

But in the winter you are a lot less likely to get the right amount of Vitamin D and that can have negative impacts on your health as well as your mood!

Vitamin D helps keep you healthy, protects your eyes, bones and skin, and also fights disease!
And that’s it!

To ensure that I’m getting enough nutrients I make sure I eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein sources.
Now remember, everyBODY is different. You may need more or less supplements than me due to certain health conditions, etc. But I just wanted to share with you all a bit of my routine since people always ask what I take!

Posted in fitness, Healthy Lifestyle Advice

More is Not Always Better

Exercise is one of the best things you can do in your day to help you feel and look your best… I’m a personal trainer, I make people sweat for a living, so of course I believe this. But I also believe that, just like anything in life, you shouldn’t go overboard.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which give you a natural high. Plus the more you exercise, the better you get, the more confident you get and the more you learn to enjoy it.
But then you start noticing great results in your body composition, you live for going to the gym for a good sweat session, all you can think about is your next workout, and suddenly, you’re addicted to exercise.
Don’t laugh.

If you aren’t currently a very active person you might think that I’m crazy, but I would never lie to you (ask my Mom, I literally can’t and never have been able to lie), but people do get addicted to exercise and it can actually be very harmful.
Whenever you start an exercise routine you usually start slow, maybe 2-3 days a week, for about 20 minutes, at an intensity that barely makes you sweat. And you do start to see results, yay! But then you stop seeing results, and get bored with your workouts, so you add in some more exercises and are in the gym for 40 minutes, 60 minutes, and what do you know you start seeing results again! So know you’ve realized, hey the longer my workouts are the better my body feels and the more weight I lose… This leads you to coming to the gym 7 days a week for an hour and a half, leaving barely able to move, but feeling accomplished, because you’re getting close and closer to your goal!
But, as you’ve all heard before, MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.
What happens at this point is your body is unable to recover from your workouts and you’re going back before you have had enough rest so your body just keeps breaking down and breaking down, never having time to repair.

This will lead to a feeling of being over-tired, mentally and physically drained, being sick more often and frustration because you are no longer seeing changes in your body composition or performance.
Now you’re thinking you need to add in even more exercise to keep seeing results!
WRONG!
This pattern will only end in one of three ways:

1. You hurt yourself because you are exercising too much and your body no longer has the energy for it, or you are just mentally not focused, or you are too tired to keep proper form and cause an injury that way.

2. You end up hating exercise again, totally lose your focus and go back to a sedentary lifestyle in which you are yet again unhappy and get further away from your goals.

3. You have read my blog (or have done research elsewhere) and now know that more is not always better when it comes to exercise and you can make changes to your routine so you can start seeing results again and go back to feeling amazing and seeing results from exercise!
So what do you do when you realize you have been over-exercising?
– TAKE A REST DAY!!

Not only should you take a rest day, but you should enjoy it. Maybe you decide to treat yourself to a massage, or sleep in and have a lazy Sunday morning, or go for a nice walk and enjoy nature.
– Change up your program

Start focusing on quantity of your workouts, not quality.

Chances are, if you are in the gym for over an hour and a half you are not working at a very high intensity. And if your intensity isn’t very high then you aren’t really challenging your body, which is one of the causes of not seeing physical changes in the way your body performs and looks.

So focus more on doing a fewer amount of more functional exercises in which you give it your all, than doing every single exercise you can think of with less intensity.
– Remember why you are doing it in the first place

Don’t focus so much on just losing weight and looking “toned” or “jacked”

Remind yourself of the feeling you get when you hit a new personal record in the gym, or the feeling of having more energy running up the stairs, or the feeling of waking up without back pain.
Main takeaways:

listen to your body

work hard in the gym, but refuel and rest well outside of the gym

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice

Why I love being a morning person & how you can become one!

Do you jump out of bed every day before your alarm, ready to have a kick ass day?
Do you want to?
I have always been a morning person, but this year I decided to make waking up early more of a priority and am very happy with how quickly I’ve changed each day. I know when I wake up and start my day on a positive note that the rest of my day follows suit & is more productive.
Now, I know that not everyone is as chipper as me, in the morning… And I also know that to those people us morning people are usually seen as annoying.

But wouldn’t it be great for YOU to be that overly happy person at work in the morning!

Just imagine it!

You walk in with a big smile on your face, feeling good & suddenly, so is everyone else!
So here are my tips to not dread the morning:
1. Be prepared!

The night before (especially when I have to be up for 5) I get everything I will need for work tomorrow, that I can, ready.

– setting out my clothes, packing my gym back, making my lunch, etc.

This ensures that I am not rushed in the morning!
2. Go to bed earlier!

Duh, right?

If you go to bed knowing that you’re only going to get 3 hours of sleep then of course you will dread the morning.

On the contrary, if you start your bed time routine and know that even if it takes you an hour to fall asleep that you will still get 7> hours of sleep, then you can relax, have a good sleep and feel rested in the morning.
3. Before you even open your eyes, have time to whine about being awake already, or complain, smile and say “today is a great day” and smile!

This may seem corny and lame, but just do it okay?
4. Start your day with the right beverages!

Have a nice cold glass of water before you have anything else. After a whole night of sleep your body is extremely dehydrated, your body will thank me for this!

Then, you can have your coffee, tea, or whatever other drink you absolutely love and ENJOY IT!

Yes, the caffeine may help you wake up, but I want you to truly taste it and enjoy every sip.

This will add a bit of joy to your morning and give you something to look forward to.
5. Have a delicious breakfast!

This is not only a great way to give you energy for the day, but this is also something to look forward to.
6. Set goals and follow your heart.

It’s a lot easier to wake up in a good mood, with a determined attitude if you look forward to each day.

I find that I am extremely excited for each day when I feel I have a purpose to fulfill and goals to work towards.
Stay passionate & chase your dreams, you will not only become a morning person, but an all day person!
Okay, I made that all day person thing up, but I stand behind the above statement.

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice

Handling Anger

Anger, not exactly the most admirable trait. And sadly, if you’re anything like me it can get the best of you some times.

I’m sure many of you are surprised to hear this, considering I am usually found with a smile on my face most of the time.
Part of the reason for my optimistic attitude is learning to recognize my frustration (and how usually silly it is), and how to deal with it properly.
Think about what makes you mad in the day?

– Hitting three red lights in a row?

– When you have to wait in line at the bank?

– If someone in front of you is driving really slowly?

– If your food takes long at a restaurant?

…Okay, so clearly a lot of my anger is based around my impatience, but hey, at least I am aware of it and am working on it ok.
But think about it, what difference does it really matter?

In the big picture of your life, what does it really matter?

Will the extra 30 seconds spent at red lights really affect your life that much?

HECK NO.

In fact, maybe that is Life trying to send you a message.

Maybe, this is life giving you a lesson in patience.
Instead of being mad about these things, take the time spent waiting and think about all the things you have to be thankful for. Think about all the things in your day that have been going well.

And when that fails, seriously ask yourself, “in the larger picture of my life,what does it really matter”

I can almost guarantee that when you do this you will feel silly for whatever it is you are getting so easily frustrated with.
Not only will this ease your tension, lower your blood pressure and decrease your overall stress, but it will change the rest of your day as well and most likely make you more pleasant for everyone else who gets to spend time with you.
Picture this, you start your day sitting in traffic.

You start to get super frustrated about the person driving in the fast lane going the same speed as the guy right beside him in the slow lane.

*takes deep breath, because that would drive me nuts*

Now instead of swearing or making obscene hand gestures you take a deep breath, relax, and just cruise along behind the obviously new driver. Take the extra time you have during your commute to imagine the rest of your day going smoothly and set your mind to an optimistic attitude so you have a great day.

Then, when you get to work, instead of complaining about the people who clearly don’t know how to drive, you change the subject to the fact that the sun is shining, it’s Friday, or that you got there safely. (Plus hey, maybe that guy saved you from a speeding ticket).

These slight little changes will change the rest of your day, so not only will you have an amazing day, but you won’t be the cranky co-worker who no one wants to be around.
Don’t let someone else control your life and make you miserable!

Of course you can’t control everything around you, but you can control how much attention you give it. And my advice to you is to give things that irritate you little to no attention whatsoever.
** When all else fails and you just need to get some anger out of your system because nothing else seems to be working go outside, or to a secluded area, and just let it out. Swear, kick things, punch a pillow, give yourself 5 minutes to just be in your emotions and feel the anger.

And then when that 5 minutes is over, so is your anger, and you can get on with your day.
** Another great way to deal with anger is to use it to fuel a super intense workout!

When you are angry your body naturally releases more testosterone (and yes women have it too) which increases your strength and will allow you to have a super workout!
And remember, in the larger picture of things, what does it really matter?

Don’t allow a tiny issue to effect the rest of your day, because if it won’t still be a big deal in 5 years then why should you put your health at risk by stressing about it now?