Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice, My Fitness Story

What You Think You Want (to be skinny) vs What You Actually Want

I’ve been there, thinking that if you could just fit into a certain size, or weigh a particular number that you would be happy.

Thinking that once I reach my goal and get “skinny enough” everything will just fall into place; I will enjoy my life, people will like me, that boy will like me, I will be happy and like myself….

However, that’s not the reality.

With that kind of thinking you will never truly be satisfied.

These kinds of thoughts lead to very unhealthy behaviours.

You start to realize that even though you reached what you thought was your goal weight, you’re still not happy, people don’t seem to like you more, you certainly aren’t happy with yourself, that boy still doesn’t like you, and you’re miserable.

So you start to think that you need to continue to lose more weight.

You think that this obviously wasn’t enough and you need to be “skinnier” in order to actually be happy and love yourself.

Is this starting to sound crazy now that it’s not just in your head and it’s written and all out in the open?

Does this sound like any way to live?

Continuously beating yourself up.

Feeling guilty over every piece of food you put into your mouth.

Thinking you need to wake up and run for an hour to burn off the calories from a night out with friends.

Forever hating your body.

No, this is no way to live.

It’s not healthy and it is never going to make you happy.

What you really want is to be healthy, to be strong, to be fit.

I know, because I’ve been there.

I’ve been at a body composition that I was uncomfortable with myself, I’ve been at a weight that I was very underweight – both I was not confident or happy.

Then, I discovered my own strength.

I became educated on weight training and proper nutrition.

I was soon increasing my weights in the gym, gaining muscle, becoming stronger physically and mentally, everyday.

When you are “skinny” you are not necessarily “healthy.”

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I wasn’t.

I had no energy.

I had no social life.

I looked sickly.

I was no fun.

I have never been as confident, healthy, happy and strong, as I am now.

30lbs heavier than my lowest weight in September of 2013.

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The number on the scale cannot tell you how your clothes fit.

The number on the scale cannot tell you how strong you are.

The number on the scale cannot tell you how much the people in your life love you.

The number on the scale means absolutely nothing.

You do not have to starve yourself and do hours of cardio to be happy in your body.

The way to a healthier and happier you is to find a way to make a full on lifestyle change, that will benefit your health in the long run, but that is sustainable forever.

People can never guess how much I weigh, because I weigh a lot more than I look.

I don’t get offended, or upset about the number on the scale.

I am not worried about what other people think of me.

I am proud of how far I have come, physically and mentally.

This new strength, and confidence came from letting go of what society thinks I should do and look like, and focusing on my health.

So take it from me, you don’t want to be skinny.

You want to be strong.

You want to be healthy.

You want to be happy.

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice, My Fitness Story, Nutrition/ Diet

How to Kickstart Your Metabolism 

The word metabolism is thrown around all the time;“I have a slow metabolism, it makes it so hard to lose weight”, 

“You are so skinny you must have a fast metabolism,”

“Eating every three hours helps speed up metabolism.”
However, most people don’t know what it actually means.
Metabolism: the energy required to maintain normal and life sustaining body functions (breathing, heart rate, body temperature, tissue growth -muscle, etc.) while at rest. 

In other words, your metabolism is the amount of calories your body needs in a day to survive and continue to function properly, it is related to the rate at which your body burns calories and how efficiently it uses the calories you feed it. 
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) doesn’t vary a whole lot in healthy people, with the exception of those who have an underachieve thyroid, however you can increase the energy needed to sustain your functions and how your body uses the calories you consume by increasing your lean body mass. 
Exercise actually changes how your body uses the calories you eat. 
Muscle is more “expensive” calorie wise to sustain than fat, 1 pound of muscle burns 50 more calories at rest than 1 pound of fat. Therefore, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle your RMR increases by an extra 500 calories a day!
That means by strength training and gaining muscle, you can technically “speed up your metabolism” because your body will need more energy (food) to sustain it’s functions, especially tissue repair and growth. Furthermore, when you strength train regularly your body will learn to store the food you eat (mostly carbs and protein) differently; what you eat will go to your muscles first because it knows that you will need them either for energy in those muscles in the near future, or to repair those muscles from a workout. However, don’t let that make you think you can eat whatever you want all the time, because there is a limit to how much glycogen (stored form of carbs) your muscles can hold, and after that amount your body will start to store it as fat. The good news is, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will be able to handle to either maintain your weight, or even lose weight! 
On the other hand, certain habits and behaviours can technically, “slow your metabolism.”
One of the hardest things on your metabolism is hardcore dieting, for a prolonged period of time. The reason behind this is that our bodies are very smart; when you are in a calorie deficit for too long your body believes that you are not going to be able to find food again for a while, so in order to survive it starts to “slow down your metabolism.” This means that your hormones will make you store more of the food you eat as fat for energy and will also decrease your activity so you burn fewer calories and don’t “waste for energy”. Have you ever noticed that when you are dieting for a long period of time your weight loss starts to plateau? Or that you feel very sluggish….therefore move less?

 This is why “diet breaks” and/ or a cheat meal are great, not only for your mental sanity while trying to lose weight, but also for your hormones. Cheat meals (not whole cheat days/ weeks) trick your body into seeing that you are not starving it and allows it to start burning more calories again.
In conclusion, the best way to help with a “slow metabolism” is to add strength training to your routine and make sure you are not dieting too hard, too long!

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice, Uncategorized

Being Just A Bit Better To Be Successful

Health and fitness is not supposed to be “all or nothing.”

It is a journey.

Yes, it can be good to devote yourself to something. However, you have to remind yourself that one little setback will not undo all of the good you have previously done. One mistake or slip up will not cancel out all the good choices you have already made. Eating one brownie doesn’t mean your whole day or week is ruined and that you should continue to eat the whole batch and a tub of ice cream.

Improving your health is about making little changes and slowly learning to be a little bit better than you were before.

Slow and steady really does win the health and fitness race.

As much as everyone wants to see instant results that is not only unrealistic and impossible, but it is not safe or healthy.

Anything worth having takes time.

Making a lifestyle change is hard.

It can be very hard.

But it’s not impossible, and it doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love and totally change your life.

It doesn’t take much to change your life, the most successful people will start small.

If you can get yourself to commit to one little change and be consistent with it, eventually you will see results. Plus, you will have a healthy new habit. After this small change is part of your new lifestyle you can add another one that might be a little bit more challenging, make that change a habit, see more results, and keep going until you are pleased with your lifestyle and health!

There are three major areas I look at when starting with a new client:

  1. Water – are you drinking enough? (Think 2-3L of WATER a day, less caffeine and alcohol)
  2. Protein – are you getting enough? (You should be eating 1 serving of protein at every meal, think 1 piece of meat, tofu, protein powders/ bars, cottage cheese, eggs, etc.)
  3. Vegetables – are you eating enough? (You want to aim for 5 servings of vegetables every day, and it’s best to include multiple different colour veggies for variety of nutrients)

Furthermore, being healthy isn’t about following all of these “rules;” don’t eat carbs at night, drink this cleanse, etc.

It is about consciously making the better choice.

For example, you start to make your lunch for work everyday and bring a water bottle instead of grabbing a burger and pop at the closest fast food joint.

Or you are at a potluck dinner with friends, you choose to fill your plate with mostly veggies and healthier cuts of meat instead of choosing the nachos and 8 different kinds of dip, then you proceed to have one dessert, because you don’t want to deprive yourself, but you have the self-control to have one and be satisfied.

Or you decide to walk your dog after work when you come home, instead of going right to the couch to binge watch Netflix.

Most people know what foods and habits are good for their body and which aren’t, but it can be overwhelming to try to change them all at once. So don’t get yourself all worked up thinking being healthy and getting in shape has to be a daunting and difficult task. Getting in shape and bettering your health is about continuously making better choices, but not totally depriving yourself, you still want to enjoy and live the life that you are getting so healthy for.

One step at a time, one choice at a time, can totally change your life.

As always, if you need a little more guidance or help with where to start and what choices to make don’t be afraid to ask!

Posted in Uncategorized

Letter To My 16 Year Old Self

Stop being so hard on yourself.

Forgive all of those people who have hurt you. It’s not their fault. Everyone is doing the best they can.

Be more compassionate, try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you judge or get mad.

Why are you in such a rush? Life is not a race. Learn to enjoy the little things and be content now.

Stop worrying about the little things.

And trust me, it’s all little things.

Start asking yourself, “what does this really matter?” when you get upset by something, if it won’t matter in 5 years, or even next month – then why are you spending so much time bothered by it?

Don’t worry about what other people will think, do what makes you happy; everyone else is already pre-occupied with their own lives anyways.

Being “skinny” won’t solve any of your problems; it won’t make you happier, it won’t make you feel “good enough,” and it won’t help you love yourself.

You will do amazing things, you don’t have to know how or what they will be, but you will. Just follow that little voice in your head and keep doing what you love. The more you are true to yourself and follow your heart the more you will help and inspire others.

Eat your vegetables, because they are good for you and help your body function better.

Exercise to be strong, healthy and for the fun of it.

Pick your friends wisely; find people who lift you up and truly want the best for you.

Be kind to everyone, if they don’t accept it, don’t worry, that’s their problem not yours.

STOP STRESSING, you are too young to stress so much. Everything will always work out the way it’s meant to, I promise.

Have more fun with your friends. Don’t forget about school, work and other responsibilities, but you will be more successful in the long run if you make time for fun along the way.

Start practicing patience and taking control of your emotions. Getting angry and being upset only really effects your life and well-being, if someone cuts you off or takes your parking spot and you get angry at them all it does is ruin your day, do you think they will even notice that you are so upset? No.

Stop complaining. Continuing with the aggressive driver above, if you allow them to ruin your mood, then you go and tell people about it, you are dragging out the frustration and bringing others down with you.

Learn to let things go. Furthermore, if you stop, take a breath and don’t allow some bad driver to ruin your mood. you can literally change the course of your whole day.

Be nice to boys, but not too nice. Always stand up for yourself and only accept treatment you would want your daughter to receive.

You will have good days and bad days, but most importantly, you will have great days. 

The difference between a happy life and a miserable life is how you look at it. Try to always look for the good, even in the bad find and celebrate the good. Everything happens for a reason, sometimes the reason doesn’t present itself right away, but it will eventually.

Find more reasons to be thankful and excited, because you have so many amazing things to look forward to. However, don’t wait for them to be happy. Start being happy and enjoying your life now.

Remember:

You deserve greatness.

You deserve to be successful.

You deserve to be treated like a Queen.

You deserve to be happy.

And don’t you ever forget it.

People will always see you how you see yourself, so walk with your head held high, a smile on your face, and bite your tongue when necessary.