Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice

You are perfect. 

You are beautiful. You are unique, special and different from everyone out there and that is what makes us all perfect in our own way.
You matter.
Whether you are overweight, underweight, or in peak physical condition, you have no right to make a judgment on someone else’s body.
You have no idea what another person is going through.

What their goals are.

What their struggles are.

Why they are the way they are.

And that is none of your business.
Don’t ever tell someone they’re too small.

Don’t ever tell someone they’re too big.

Don’t ever tell someone they need to change their body. Ever.
Maybe they are trying to gain weight, but are struggling, or possibly they are recovering from an eating disorder and have already put on weight.

Maybe they are suffering or recovering from a disease or injury, and their medication or treatment is causing them to gain weight.

Maybe they are perfectly happy with where they are on their journey and your judgment could push them in the wrong direction.
Every body is beautiful. No matter what stage of your journey you are in, you are beautiful just the way you are.
Keep in mind that you can want to change your body and love it at the same time, it’s all a mindset.

If you don’t love yourself now you are not going to love yourself when you lose 20lbs. This is because you will always think that you can do even better and never be satisfied with your weight.
However, if you love yourself now, but have a mindset of wanting to better yourself and your health, then you will be happier and enjoy your journey more. This is especially helpful in keeping you motivated because if you are enjoying the process then you will be less likely to get discourage if the scale fluctuates every so often. This is also the best way to make your changes lasting and ensure you live a healthy life after your “goal weight” because you will be less likely to go back to old habits when you reach your goal.
I feel the need to say that you are beautiful even if you aren’t trying to change anything. I don’t want anyone to think that I believe people who eat healthy and exercise are better than anyone, whatever makes YOU happy is what makes you beautiful. Yes, I believe that everyone should take care of their bodies, but as long as you are happy & healthy then that’s all that matters. Everyone is unique and different and that is what makes us all beautiful.
Another thing I feel obligated to say is that I believe it is very important to acknowledge other people’s beauty, without envy. Never compare yourself to other people, find your strengths and what makes you special and embrace it! Yes you can admire others, and even use them to inspire you to work harder, BUT don’t make them your goal. Make your goal to be the best you that you can be.
Above all else, smile and appreciate the fact that you have a healthy body that allows you to do everything you do. And please, remember, keep your judgments about other peoples’ bodies to yourself, you may not mean any harm, but you have no idea how much something you say can affect someone.

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice, Uncategorized

Be a “Copy Cat” 

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Now, I don’t know many people who actually enjoy being “copied”, but why not?

It shows that someone admires you so much that they actually want to change their life to become more like you.
So if you admire someone and want to reach a certain goal or just do something like a role model of yours it would make sense that you would mimic them in some way, whether on purpose or not.

The people who inspire others are usually successful in some way or another, and most successful people have many of the same traits or habits.

They set goals.

They have a plan.

They are dedicated.

They work hard.

They stay focused on the end goal.

They continue to work hard.
To be like someone you will probably have to adopt some of their habits.

ACT LIKE THEM.

Do what they do
Just sitting there, wishing you were them or being jealous of the results they’ve achieved through their own hard work will not get you any closer to being more like them. In fact, it will probably push you further and further away because while you are either complaining or sitting in envy they aren’t even paying attention to the negative energy, they’re just putting in work. Most admirable people are so busy working towards their own goals that they don’t have time or notice what other people are doing, unless it will help them reach their goals.
The reason why most people don’t achieve their goals is because they are too busy wishing they were someone else and that these things would just happen to them, the way they just “happened” to the successful people. But, people who achieve true success are not lucky, they are driven and earn that success. The reason it may seem like luck to outsiders is because they don’t highlight the hard times and all of the blood, sweat and tears that got them to their end goal, probably because they were too busy putting in said blood, sweat and tears to tell everyone about it all. But just because you don’t see their struggle doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there.
Stop being jealous of other people’s success if you aren’t wiling to put in the same effort as them.
So when I say “be a copy cat”, I’m not telling you to go out and copy what they wear, or find out their favourite place to eat and die your hair their colour. No no no. I still want you to be your own person.
I’m telling you to copy their habits.

Put in the work and dedication that they do.

It may take some time but your hard work will pay off, as long as you stay focused and stop talking about other people and start focusing on yourself.
Trust the process and you will reap the rewards.

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice

Challenge Yourself 

Time for a a little tough love. Are you comfortable with your life?

Are you impressed with your life?

Ok, ok, good.

But, do you think that you could do better? Do more?

Well, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone.

Although staying the same usually feels safer or “easier” and most people are satisfied with complacency because you’ve already mastered it… But that’s it. You’ve already mastered your current routine, so how will you ever get any better? If you just keep “going through the motions” of your life you may be ok with that for a while, but one day you may wake up feeling bored and unsatisfied with your life.

But that doesn’t need to be the case.

Achieving goals, being healthy, attaining true happiness and successful relationships, don’t just happen. You need to put in some work and bring these things to you.

Whether it’s with work, a relationship, your fitness routine, whatever .. keep setting new goals and continuously aim higher.

One of the main reasons that people never improve is because they allow themselves to get comfortable, or they’re scared and stop trying to be better, they just become satisfied with staying the same.

Now, there is nothing wrong with staying where you are. Especially if you are already content with your life.

But you have the ability to be even better and happier than you are right now, and you can start by just aiming higher and then making a plan to reach those new goals.

It doesn’t even matter what aspect of your life you try to improve. You could challenge yourself with a work goal, a personal goal, a nutrition goal, or even a relationship goal. And once you see that you can improve just by doing a little bit more, you will gain a sense of accomplishment and with that sense of accomplishment you also gain confidence. After that you will see that you are capable of great things and hopefully continue to challenge yourself as you continue growing.

Next thing you know your whole attitude and outlook has changed. You believe that you can be better, you can do anything, and your life doesn’t have to stay the same.

So do some reflection of your life now. Are you being complacent? Or are you constantly improving and challenging yourself and your talents? Are there a few areas you want to focus on?

Start with one area of you life.

Seriously, pick one, now.

Ok, now wrote down three things you can do this week to challenge yourself or get closer to that goal.

Then, do those things.

And repeat!
Continue challenging yourself!

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice, Nutrition/ Diet

Think Your Way Thin!

Did you know that you can use your thoughts to control your hunger and think your way full.. Therefore, aiding in weight loss!** Warning I am going to discuss a study for a little bit here at the start, if you don’t care about it just skip to the bottom!

There was a study done titled, “Mind Over Milkshake” done by Amelia Crumb, who states that “labels are not just labels. They evoke a set of beliefs” and basically it looked at how our view of how satisfying a meal will be actually effects our hormones and levels of “fullness” after a meal.

In this study she gave half the participants milkshakes that were labeled “light, 104 calories, guilt-free and fat free”, and the other half got milkshakes labeled “indulgent, 620 calories,and decadenct.” But the trick is that both of the shakes were exactly the same having 300 calories.

At the end of her study those who consumed the “light calorie” shake had higher grehlin (hunger hormone that tells you you’re hungry) levels and those who consumed the “indulgent” shake had much lower levels, meaning that the “decadent, high calorie” shake left them them more satisfied on a physiological level.

The fact that both shakes had the exact same nutritional content but resulted in such drastic differences shows the huge effect of the brain on our bodies and our hormones.

Crumb also states that since our mind can control our grehlin levels that means that our mind controls our metabolism as well and that by thinking about our food in different terms we have the power to improve our metabolism!

When grehlin levels in the stomach rise it signals the brain telling it we need food and therefore slows our metabolism because it thinks we need to conserve energy until we find food again. So, when your grehlin rises and you combat it with a big meal, your grehlin then drops, which tells the mind you’ve eaten enough and that we can start to turn the metabolism up so that we can use the calories we just consumed.

OK, RONI. GET TO THE POINT. ENOUGH SCIENCE.

Ya, ya I know, this article is a bit more focused on the WHY – but I believe it’s important for you to know that when I give advice I am not making it up out of thin air!

“ SO HOW DO WE USE OUR THOUGHTS TO LOSE WEIGHT ALREADY?!”

Well, thanks for asking, it is quite simple!

Instead of looking at your food like it’s “bird food,” come in to each meal thinking fulfilling thoughts. One of the main psychological reasons why diets don’t work is because when we categorize our food as “diet” snacks, “low fat”, “sugar free”, or “light” we are going into the meal already believing that these foods are not going to satisfy our hunger. Start to focus on your food being nourishing, filling, satiating, pleasurable and full of nutrients and you will be surprised how different you feel after you eat!

Another point on controlling your thoughts to help control your waistline is to look at your habits. Did you know that certain habits can make you think you are hungry when you are really not. For example, do you always have a snack with your favourite TV show because you’re hungry or because it’s habit? Do you eat every 2-3 hours because you read that it would “rev up your metabolism,” or because you are actually hungry?

(Side note**Eating every two hours is actually not good for your body as you lose your real hunger cues and your body believes that it must be fed every 2 hours, out of habit. If you currently eat every 2 hours try spreading your meals out by 4-5 hours, the first week will be tough – trust me I went from eating every 2 hours to now about 4-5 hours I know – but you will get through it and your hormones will thank you for it!

Take control of your eating habits.

Stop eating because it’s just a habit.

Pay attention to real hunger cues, like your stomach growling and learn to enjoy every bite. 

Every challenge in life can be overcome by remembering one of my favourite lines, mind over matter.

Posted in fitness, Healthy Lifestyle Advice, Nutrition/ Diet

Health is the best reward 

Although the majority of people who walk into a gym are doing it for aesthetic reasons, everyone who comes into the gym, whatever the reason, is doing something wonderful for their body and health.
No matter what my clients primary goals are I always keep their long term health in mind when designing their program. Although any type of exercise is likely to improve your health, my job is to design a program that will get my clients to their goals, while also helping to optimize their health and ensure they are doing what will be best for them for the long haul.
Weight training, cardio, flexibility and balance training all have their place in an exercise program so it is important to find the balance that will help you get to where you want to be, will be sustainable for life,will benefit your health, and most importantly that you will enjoy.
I think too many people forget about the biggest reward of eating healthy and exercising, which is your own health. When you exercise and eat nutritious food, not only will you improve your health in many different ways (like lower blood pressure, decreased risk of disease, less aching joints, etc.), but you will notice that your body feels better.
When you start an exercise program, even if you do not lost weight, it’s important to remember that you are still improving your health. I also think it is important to point out that there are people who work out for reasons other than losing weight or looking good, some people truly do just want to feel better, stronger and live longer. Furthermore, after you make it a habit and not a chore you will actually start to enjoy exercise, and if you skip it or miss a few days your body will inform you through the way you feel.
I also feel the need to add that we are not dogs, you should not use food as a reward for good behaviour (especially when it involves being healthy and weight loss!!)

The best reward from eating healthy and exercising is the way you feel, next will be the physical changes, but if you feel the need to have a tangible reward – buy yourself a new workout outfit when you reach a goal, or go do something you never had the confidence, strength or skill to do before. I’m not trying to tell you to completely avoid tasty foods that may not be super nutritious, but don’t do it as a reward for a full week of good workouts and eating habits. That should be self-explanatory, learn to enjoy the reward of results.
So next time you step into the gym, yes keep your main goal in mind, but pay attention to how you feel after your workout. Notice the endorphin high, the sense of pride, the inner strength and sense of accomplishment – it’s basically an automatic mood booster!
In conclusion, whether you do or don’t change the number on the scale, exercise and healthy foods will change your life. Plus, the size of your pants doesn’t determine the amount of happiness in your life, your attitude and actual physical ability to enjoy it does!

Posted in fitness, Healthy Lifestyle Advice, Nutrition/ Diet

“I’m eating healthy AND exercising, why am I gaining weight?!”

HEALTHY FOODS STILL HAVE CALORIES.

JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE EXERCISING DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT.

Ok, maybe I shouldn’t have started with that because now this is going to be a very short post.

Just kidding! You know I can and will elaborate.

One of the main problems with people just trying to “eat clean” is that they think because they are eating healthy foods that they can eat as much of it as they want.

Wrong.

An avocado is super healthy right? Well did you know that 1 medium avocado has 170 calories & 26grams of fat.. Well sure they are healthy fats, but it doesn’t mean you need to eat the whole thing!

I could do this all day with healthy foods that are still good for you but, are high in calories and you would want to watch your portions.

Sure, if you eat foods that are more nutrient dense (refer to previous blog post on calories for more info on that) then you are more likely to lose weight because you will feel fuller and therefore most likely eat less calories.. but it’s total calories that accounts for change in body weight, not the types of foods, remember that.

Sadly, exercise alone will not always lead to weight loss… It can, don’t get me wrong, but not always.

There are a few reasons why you may gain weight when you start exercising.

The first is that you are gaining muscle mass, which is not bad weight to be gaining, but so many people notice that the number on the scale goes up and they let this discourage them and think their exercise routine is “making it harder to lose weight” *bites tongue so hard I thought it might fall off*. Remember, it’s always better to measure your progress through girth measurements or how your close fits than the scale.

Another reason you may gain weight when you start exercising is because you believe that since you started exercising the you can eat whatever you want.

Wrong.

Say you go to the gym, do an hour workout, then you treat yourself to a drink and treat at Starbucks … The problem here is that your workout will burn anywhere between 200-700 calories depending on how hard you are working, but your “reward” for exercising is going to be well over 500 calories. Therefore, your special treat just cancelled out all of the calories you burned with your exercise.

Now, if you don’t have any weight change goals and just exercise for fun or to be stronger, then all the power to you and your lemon loaf plus extra fluff soy frappaccino.

However, if body composition is a goal of going to the gym make sure your cheat meals are not as frequent as your workouts. I’m a firm believer in the 80/20 rule, but that’s 20% of “free” foods or whatever you want to call it, not 80%. If you eat back all of the calories you burn in a workout you won’t be in a calorie deficit which is necessary for

Another note worthy point is that as you strength train and increase your muscle mass, aka gain good/ healthy weight, you will increase your resting metabolic rate… which means that your body will be able to handle more calories. This is good news because this means that in order to lose weight you don’t have to eat extremely low calories!  Furthermore, this is another good reason to add strength training into your program whatever your goals may be, and to keep up with strength training even after you reach your goal to help maintain your body strength and composition.

So, if you start an exercise program and are displeased with the number you see on the scale within your first month, stop and re-evaluate your method and all of your other lifestyle changes you have made over the last month:

Are you strength training now? Could the weight you gained be muscle mass?

Are you out- eating your exercise? Do you need to change the way you eat?

PS- STOP OBSESSING OVER THE SCALE! You could be losing fat while gaining muscle (which per pound is smaller than fat), so stop fretting. You’re beautiful whatever number the scale says.

PPS – Consistency is key.

You won’t necessarily reach your goal in one month, especially if you goal is to lose > 20lbs. It takes time, hard work and dedication to change your body.

Stay with it, I know you can do it!