Posted in Uncategorized

Preparing For a Healthier Summer

This is not going to be a quick guide about how to look hot on the beach.
This is going to be a simple guide about how to maintain, and potentially even improve, your health during the summer.

I know that as the weather gets warmer most people tend to get busier with their social life, BBQ’s, lounging at the cottage, and therefore tend to let their healthy habits fall by the wayside.

I know this, because I am one of those people. I love enjoying my time in the sun with family and friends. However, I know that my long term health depends on what I do consistently, rather than just my habits in the winter. This does not mean that I always have to eat perfectly and get in all of my workouts every week, this means that I aim to make healthier options whenever possible, and just do my best.

It is possible to enjoy your summer while making healthier choices, therefore I decided to put together a list of the ways that I maintain my health and fitness goals even with the temptations of summer.

  1. Do something, anything, active every day.

This does not have to mean you go to the gym everyday; this could be going for a walk or a hike with friends, going swimming or playing water sports, or recreational sports/ activities. Just do your best to move as much as possible, as tempting as it is to lie in the sun all day, your body will benefit from more movement – even if it’s just short breaks from sitting. Plus the mix of exercise and sunshine will give you the added benefits from Vitamin D as well!

Remember, a body in motion, stays in motion!

2. Up your water intake

The majority of people are not drinking enough water as is, but as the weather gets warmer, people sweat more and water needs increase.

Aim to drink over 2L of water a day.

Not only will you be getting the added benefits of drinking more water (which is a whole other blog topic), but this usually leads to people decreasing the amount of sugary or alcoholic beverages they consume. Furthermore, more water will help to keep your body healthier and hydrated, and will also help to keep overall calorie consumption lower which can aid in either weight loss or maintenance.

3. Eat 5 servings of vegetables a day.

I know that during the summer it can be much harder to stick to a certain diet, and that sometimes can give people the “screw it, I’m just going to eat whatever I want and get back on track in the fall” mentality.

However, I don’t want you to let your goals or health fall completely off the tracks this summer. I want you to enjoy your summer, while making better choices. Remember, health is not about always being perfect; it is about making the best choices you can, while living a balanced and happy life. This means you do not deprive yourself, but you ensure that you are still giving your body the nutrients it needs.

That is why I always make it a rule to eat 5 servings of veggies a day, no matter what else you may be filling your body with, you know that you still got in your vitamins and nutrients first.

If you are planning on going out for dinner with friends and don’t want to order the salad, just make sure you get your veggies in for lunch, or have some as a snack.

If you are going to a BBQ or a potluck, bring a vegetable tray, that way you know there will be healthier options you can chose from.

See how you can still enjoy your social life without treating your body like a garbage can?

Adding in the vegetables will not only ensure you are getting the proper nutrients in, but it also usually leads people to eat less junk foods because veggies will give you that full feelings.

That’s it!

Seems manageable, right?

All of these tips may seem very simple, however I guarantee you that if you follow them all to the best of your abilities they will make a huge difference.

Feeling and looking your best does not have to be complicated, in fact it is very simple; however, it does take consistency.

It is better to live your life following the 80/20 rule, doing your best and making healthy choices the majority of the time, but still allowing yourself to splurge or forget a workout every now and then, rather than living but the 100% or 0% rule, in which you feel that if you cannot be perfect you don’t even bother trying.

I hope these tips help you keep up with your healthy habits all year long, and as always if you ever have any specific questions please feel free to reach out!

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Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice

Intend to Have a Better Life

Every second of every day that you are awake is spent thinking; whether it’s the thoughts in your head, thinking about what someone is saying, thinking about what you’re going to say next, or reacting to a new situation, if you are awake you are thinking. 
So it’s safe to say that your thoughts have a large impact on your life. 
Did you know that the thoughts you think are actually shaping your life? 

Your thoughts can not only change the things you do in a day and how you react to the events of your life, but they can change the future and therefore the quality of your life. 
The more you complain, the more you look for the bad, the more you are going to see it. Furthermore, the more you look for the good things, the more you will start to see the good in your own life. 

Like attracts like, it’s not just me trying to be an optimist here, it’s science. 
If you are not completely satisfied with your life right now, or even if there are certain areas that you wish to improve on, this is great news! This means that you do not have to wait for something else to happen or change in your life, and you can actually start to have a better life, today. 
You might be waiting for something in particular to happen, and then you will be happy and enjoy your life, but it doesn’t work that way. If you want something that will make you happy you have to be happy now in order to get those things. 
This is not necessarily a change you can make overnight, but it is something that you can start working towards now.
I want you to intend to make your life better. 
What are intentions you ask? Intentions are essentially a plan. 

So basically I want you to plan to be happy.  

I want you to plan to look for the good in your life. 

I want you to plan to let go of the little things. 

I want you to plan to live an amazing life. 
Where to start? (I recommend getting a journal or something and making lists) 
Start by being thankful for all of the good that you already have in your life. Even if you don’t think you have a lot to be thankful for, I guarantee there are plenty… Where did you wake up today? Were you in a nice comfortable bed, in a home with hydro and running water? Do you have a family and friends who love and support you? How’s your health? You’re able to read, correct? You have the privilege of having some sort of device to use the internet? ….and the list goes on; trust me although you may not have everything you want you are blessed with some pretty amazing things. 
Then I want you to intend to only look for the good in every situation, as soon as something happens that you want to complain, look for something positive about it. If you look hard enough you will find it. 

Intend to only talk about happiness, health and prosperity; stop focusing on the bad news, gossip, sad events going on in the world, you will never leave a conversation feeling happier talking about those things. 

Intend to let it go; whatever is bothering you, whatever chip you have on your shoulder, something that you were hoping to happen that hasn’t, just let it go. I am a big believer in whatever is meant to be will always find a way, so if you don’t get what you were hoping for that means something better is coming your way, but you will never receive it if you spend so much time being upset and negative about whatever you didn’t get. 

Intend to be kind and give love to every person you meet. No, don’t make love to every person you meet, but give love; be nice, compliment others, show appreciation, be the first to say hello, smile at strangers. 
I do a lot of reflecting. 

It helps me see where I’m improving, what I have achieved, and usually helps me to change my mood and feel better. 
A little thing I like to do every week (usually on a Sunday) is to write out my achievements for the week, big or small, write down my goals for the week/ what I want to accomplish, and write down things that would make the week great. 

So even if I feel like I was unproductive this week, this helps me to refocus on the good, and plan for an even better week to come. 
Stop dreading Mondays, plan to enjoy your Mondays!
I could go on and on about intentions and reflecting, however I planned on keeping this short and sweet and it is already getting quite long, so I am going to come to a conclusion now (and maybe do more on this topic at another time. 
Be thankful & actively seek things that make you happy, or be the light that brings happiness to others, you will be surprised as to how good that makes you feel. 

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Months; 20 Pounds & Happier

This day last year I was anxious and excited as I was preparing to step on the stage for my very first fitness competition.

Since I have already wrote a full blog on that experience I will not talk much about it, but long story short, I did quite well and did actually enjoy myself.

As soon as I was done my competition I was all psyched for my “off-season” and to come back next year and aim for my pro card.

However, a lot has changed in my life since this time last year.

As an outsider looking in you may not really notice these changes, but as someone who tries to be very in tune with their thoughts and personal growth, I have noticed a huge difference. My outlook on life, the way I talk to myself, and my goals have all drastically changed.

Of course, there is the physical transformation with a difference of more than 20 pounds since I stepped on stage. But I am more focused on how far I have come mentally in the last year.

One of my goals for 2017 was/is to eat and exercise for the sake of my health.
To eat vegetables and a variety of whole foods, not to cut weight, but because I know my body will appreciate them.
To do cardio a couple times a week, not to increase my calories burned, but because I know my heart will be stronger for it.

However, one of my bigger goals for 2017 was to enjoy my life more, and make more memories
To be able to go on a spontaneous trip and not worry about getting all my workouts in for that week.
To be able to go to family dinners, BBQ’s or wherever and to just enjoy the food and fun, stress free.
To be more than just my body.

To some people this may seem ridiculous that I actually had to make this a goal, but for someone who is very driven and always feels the need to be doing something productive with their life (who last year had very strict goals and a strict lifestyle for the first half of the year), I knew I had to put it in writing.

Over the last 12 months I have learned to truly love the skin I am in, not in a conceited way, but in a ‘I know my self worth is not based on my body fat percentage’ kind of way. In a way that allows me to be happy and enjoy my social life, without feeling guilty or like it is going to ruin all my progress.

Over the last 12 months I have been focused on being more selfless, giving more to those around me and really paying attention to how I make others feel. Not to say that all fitness competitors are selfish, but you do have to be totally focused on you and your goals in order to do well, so it forces you to think about yourself more than others.

Over the last 12 months I have made more memories,  improved many relationships, and learned to see the wonderful qualities that I have on the inside, and I continue to keep this up.

Clearly, my physique is not the most “award winning” that it ever has been.

But I don’t care.

After you do a fitness competition, every single person who I have talked to, has said that they feel “fat” even when you are at a normal, healthy weight for a while… And I would be lying if I said didn’t feel like that, especially when I compare myself to pictures of my show.

However, I can honestly say that it no longer bothers me.
I can lift a heck of a lot more than I could this time last year.
I have more shape to my body.
I have a fun social life, and people actually enjoy spending time with me.
I am happy living the life a 22 year old should be living.
I am still relatively health conscious, but food and exercise are not all I think about.

** This is not to say that if you are young you are wasting your youth prepping for shows, like I said I am still super glad I did it and I learned a lot! Just make sure that you are ready for what comes after, prep is no way to live for the rest of your life and remember you are beautiful even when you are not stage ready. Furthermore, what good is a stage ready body or a bunch of trophies if you are miserable and lonely because no body wants to be with you when you are dieting? (No, I was not miserable and lonely – I actually had a lovely support system, bless their souls, but I know that I was not the most fun to be around.)

In the end I do believe that it is important to have goals, especially if it is necessary for your health and well being.

Just make sure that you do not let those goals totally take over your life, even if you have to lose over 30 pounds because your doctor said so, you can do that by making small, manageable changes.

Overall, what I’m trying to say is that the best accomplishments in life come from the inside, as cliche as that sounds, it’s true.
Trophies are awesome, but all they are going to do is collect dust, memories and relationships will last a life time.

The key to life is balance, and although I am still learning, I know that I have made huge leaps in my personal growth over the last year and that is an accomplishment in itself.

Is what you are doing now making you happy?
Are you living your life to the fullest?

If you are having trouble reaching your goals and/or finding balance in your life, talk to somebody about it!

PS – people don’t love you for your body (if they do, they’re not worth your time and deserve to be throat punched), no one else notices that extra 5 (or 20 in my case) pounds except for you, you will never be happy if your only source of happiness is reaching a certain goal weight, so go out and make memories, enjoy your life, now!