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.

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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.

Posted in fitness, Healthy Lifestyle Advice, My Fitness Story, Uncategorized

You Are More Important Than Your Weight

*News Flash* no one cares about how much you weigh, other than you!

And that extra layer of love around your mid-section? I can guarantee you no one obsesses over it as much as you do. The only reason someone else may notice it is because you are constantly grabbing it and complaining about it.

Would you pick a friend apart like you do to yourself?

Hopefully not.

So why are we so quick to judge ourselves?

When did the number on the scale become such a topic of discussion, mainly anger and embarrassment, in our society?

I hear it all the time, even from people who don’t have much, if any to lose, that they think they “need to be 10lbs lighter” to be the right weight for their body.

Who says?

There’s a difference between needing to drop 30lbs for health reasons and thinking you need to be X pounds because some skinny fitness model weighs that – or because that number is easier to tell people.

There is almost 5 years difference in those pictures, and my weight is almost the same in both – in fact, I may even be a little heavier on the right.

Do you still believe your scale is the indicator of your self-worth?

I don’t believe in “goal-weights” because exercise doesn’t just effect the number on the scale but it changes where and how you body stores weight. The point of the picture is to show that the scale isn’t the be all and end all.

Every body is different. Every body is beautiful. Every body is perfect in its own way.

I have been many different weights and body compositions in between these two pictures, and although I am not currently the leanest I’ve ever been, I am happy and proud of myself and how far I’ve come; not just physically but mentally. It has taken me a long time to get to where I am, so I know it’s not a change you can make over night. However you can start to love yourself at anytime.

Go to a mirror, right now.

Then, say three things that you truly love about yourself.

At first this can be hard, but the more you do it the more comfortable you will get with this.

From now on try to replace every negative thought you have about yourself with at least 3 positive thoughts.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect,; I look at myself and could point out plenty of things I would like to change, my body image is still something I need to work on everyday. But each time I feel the negative thought spiral starting I try to remind myself of how far I have come and all that I’ve been through and everyday I get a little nicer to myself.

It’s true what they say; the most beautiful people are the happiest people who are confident and comfortable in their own skin.

Posted in fitness, Healthy Lifestyle Advice, Nutrition/ Diet, Uncategorized

The Magic Diet Pill

Have you heard of it?

The magic pill that you can take at night at wake up with a perfect body?

That’s because it doesn’t exist.

Sure, there are tonnes of “fat burners” and teas and crap that people will try to sell you as a quick fix to a weight problem. But don’t you think if there was one pill or trick that worked that everyone would already have their perfect body?

Stop looking for the easy way!

There is no easy way.

The only way to see changes in your body is to actually put in the effort.

The reason that the majority of the population doesn’t look like fitness models is because it isn’t easy.

Furthermore, unless you are being paid to be that lean, there is no need to look like that model on the cover of a magazine.

It’s actually not even healthy to look like that year round, which is why most fitness models and competitors take an “off season”, to give their body a break from being that lean and their mind a break from that lifestyle.

You don’t have to be “cover ready” to show that you exercise and are healthy. Yes, you will have to put in hard work if you want to change your body, there is no denying that – however, know that if you want to make extreme changes in your physique that you will have to make extreme changes to your lifestyle.

I want you to imagine someone who’s body you admire, even if they are some model/ athlete who you know nothing about.

Good.

Now, imagine what you think their “typical” day looks like.

I bet you are imagining them eating vegetables and exercising right?

So, what would make you think that you can look like that without similar habits and lifestyle changes?

Eating healthy and exercising doesn’t have to be punishment, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be that hard – but it does have to be consistent. The goal should be to live a healthy and active lifestyle 80% of the time; if you miss a workout or eat a bad meal 20% of the time it is not going to have that huge of an impact on your body and your health. But please, please, stop paying money for detox juices and pills just because you think it’s a simple way to lose weight.

The nice thing about making a lifestyle change is that for best results you should start small. Start with one nutrition habit, or adding in a little bit of exercise. The slower you make changes to your lifestyle the more likely they are to become a habit, the less likely you are to get discouraged and give up, and the more likely you are to see maintainable changes in your body.

Haven’t you ever heard that anything worth having doesn’t come easy?

Yes, it may be hard at first – change usually is, but I promise you it will be worth it!

** Having trouble figuring out where to start or what changes to start with? Just ask, I’d love to help you!

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle Advice, Uncategorized

Actually Achieve Your Resolutions This Year!

So, I had a long winded blog typed up on how to be successful and reach your goals this year… But it just continued to get longer and longer (surprise surprise), and I didn’t want to overload you all with information. Therefore, I decided to write a whole new and shorter blog to give you motivation and tips to reach your goals, while also providing you with extra time to start taking action now!

1. Make sure your goals are specific.

Yes, you can generalize to start- but make those goals specific – or else, how will you know when you’ve reached them?

Example: Change, “I want to lose weight”, to “ I want to lose X pounds or X inches off my waist.

2. Write them down.

This will help you know exactly what you are trying to achieve, and let you know when you’ve reached those goals. Plus if you keep it posted somewhere you can see it everyday then you will be reminded to work towards it and stay motivated.

3. Write down what you need to do to reach those goals.

Make a “to-do” list of what you need to do today, this week, this month, etc. to help you get closer and closer to your goal(s). Then keep writing new lists as often as you need to in order to stay on track.

Example:

Today:

  • make a shopping list of healthy foods to eat this week

Tomorrow:

  • go grocery shopping & cut up all fruits and vegetables

This month:

  • start walking 5 days a week for 20 minutes at a time
  • eat food slowly
  • look into gym memberships/ at home workout programs

…. as you keep achieving daily, and weekly goals you may not need to change anything, maybe you just re-write the same goals every month, or maybe you decide you want to try some things that take a little more will power and effort, but keep making lists!

4. Celebrate the little things

I’m not telling you to celebrate the fact that you made it to the gym 3 times this week with a burger, fries and chocolate milkshake. However, you should acknowledge the fact that each step you make to getting you closer to your goals is a step in the right direction and has taken some effort – and you should be proud of that!

Examples:

  • You make it to the gym 3 times a week for a whole month, so at the end of the month you decide reward yourself with a new gym outfit.
  • You eat 5 servings of vegetables everyday for a week, so you reward yourself with going to that specialty coffee shop you like and meeting a friend for a warm drink.

5. Be Realistic

This isn’t to discourage you from dreaming big, because that is not what I’m about! What I mean is that if you start small you are more likely to be successful, then when you reach your initial goal you can re-set your goals and strive for more every time you reach a new goal. However, by starting small and giving yourself plenty of time this will help ensure that you don’t get discouraged if you don’t see drastic changes immediately.

Of course there is much more that I could say about this topic, but these are just a few tips to help you get started and heading in the right direction to make 2017 your year!

Be patient, consistent and work hard, I know you can do this!

As always, if you have any specific questions please don’t be afraid to ask!

Posted in Nutrition/ Diet, Recipes

I Made Chocolate PB Protein Cookies!

Heads up, these cookies are delicious, addicting and fairly healthy… they do have sugars in them, so if you’re looking for a no sugar, gluten free cookie this recipe isn’t for you… they are dairy free, but that’s because I can’t eat it, however they are a simple, satisfying and good for your heart & soul. 

So here’s what you do: 

Get 2 1/2 cups of oats and turn it into oat flour. 

How to make oat flour…

Get 2 scoops of a generic chocolate protein powder (if you can eat diary doesn’t have to be vegan), 2 tablespoons of sweetener of choice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. 


Then mix all of those in a large mixing bowl. 


Next measure out 1/2 of a generous cup of peanut butter (or any nut butter you like) and 3/4 cups of honey, put them in a microwaveable bowl and melt them together. 

Then add into the pb & honey to the dry ingredients and mix – don’t worry it’ll be crumbly. 


Next, 1 tablespoon at a time stir in 1/4 cup of milk (I chose cashew, but you can use regular if you don’t have an allergy, or almond or whatever) it should make a sticky dough.   At this time you could add chocolate chips, but I don’t have any dairy free ones and the protein powder I use is chocolatey enough that I don’t miss them! 

Let the dough sit for 4-5 minutes to cool then mash into little balls or flatten, put them in the fridge for 30 minutes and then enjoy! 


Can be stored at room temperature* 

Let me know if you try them & try not to eat them all!

Posted in Uncategorized

The Value of Health

Unfortunately we live in a society where it costs more money to live a “healthy” lifestyle than one of junk food and laziness; a society where the norm is to be stressed out, sedentary, over-caffeinated and miserable; a society where the majority of people believe it is normal to walk around not feeling good or happy most of the time. 
On the other hand, we are fortunate enough to live in a world that people do research and studies on everything and in the health and fitness field which has helped to truly highlight the value of eating healthy and exercising. 
So yes, the monetary cost of vegetables and chicken (that isn’t deep fried at a fast food joint) is higher than chicken nuggets, however the positive effects from those nutrients in the healthy foods have more value to you in the long run than the satisfaction from a big mac ever will. 
Not only do these healthier foods help with weight loss, which let’s face it is a huge seller alone for the majority of the population, but they also help to clear up your skin and will actually make your skin “glow”. “A small study from the University of St Andrews in Scotland showed the groups that consumed just 3 extra serves of carotenoid containing fruits and vegetables showed a small change in their skin tones and colouration in just 6 weeks. The small change was enough to be perceived as more attractive to others. The group that ate more processed junk food became less attractive and paler in the study period.” (From an article By: Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND)
Furthermore, if you are not interested in how eating right will impact your looks there are multiple other benefits for you health including lower blood pressure, decreased risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, stronger immune system and even decreased bone loss (which is especially important as you age). 
Now onto physical health… I know, gym memberships and hiring a personal trainer is more expensive than a permanent membership to your couch. However, is that where you truly want to spend the rest of your life? Or do you want to be able to live each day to the fullest and truly feel good and enjoy your life? 
I would say that the majority, if not all, of my clients no matter what their goals, have said that they actually felt better, after just a few sessions – sometimes even after the first session, and that alone was a great investment into their future. By adding in regular strength training and cardio not only do you strengthen your body which makes everyday tasks now easier, but it also helps with the aging process in the future. If you have just started following my blog than you may not have heard me say this before, but it’s true – if you don’t use it, you lose it – and when it comes to your muscles and health this statement could not be more true! You don’t have to get fragile and weak as you age, as long as you keep moving and using those muscles they won’t be able to go anywhere! 
Speaking of adding value to your life, nothing is “simpler” than getting a good nights sleep. I won’t go in to too much detail here because I have done a whole post about sleep, but being over-stressed and over-tired is not something we should strive for. Yes, it seems in our society that being tired and stressed equals busy which equals success. However, if you are well rested and less stressed you are going to be able to perform better at whatever task you have going on and be more of a joy to be around as well. So, sleep well and allow time to de-stress! 
You invest money to save for your future, so why wouldn’t you invest in you in order to give yourself the ability to actually enjoy it? Start looking at exercising, cooking healthy meals and getting quality sleep as investing in your future and I guarantee you will start to the value and true meaning of health. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Anytime (anywhere) Workout

Usually I am the type of person who has to be in a gym to feel motivated enough to exercise but you (all those who have asked me to do an at home workout video) have inspired me to get moving this Sunday morning! 

So here’s a simple and quick workout you can do practically anywhere. 

*always remember to get your body warmed up, whether it’s with a brisk walk or some dynamic stretches, just make sure your muscles are ready to work.


– Push ups

– Squats 

– Dips 

– Bulgarian split squat 

– Plank 

Bonus: – chin ups ​


Start with 10 reps of each exercis and 30 seconds for the plank. Try and go through the whole circuit with minimal rest, resting at the end for 1-2 minutes before repeating, repeat 2-4 times. 

Of course there are ways to modify each exercise to make them harder or easier, but if you are interested in a personalized program then you should just ask! 

Let me know if you try it out!