Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hide the SCALE!

For the last two weeks I have made great progress and feel good about my new routine. The one thing I was struggling with is two weekends coming up at the end of June where I will be in Vancouver for two parties and how it will affect my groove. Usually I would focus on the negative and subconsciously throw myself into a rut but not this time. I decided when I started writing this today that two things were going to change. One, I was no longer going to weigh myself for the next 30 days and two, I was going to keep with the plan and have a new plan for the weekends when I am gone. I will just front load my workouts so I have two rest days on the weekends I'm be gone and bam! I have a solution. Boy I can accomplish a lot before 8.

Let me tell you, going away can be tough if you think it will be tough. YOU and only you can decide whether you will make the best out of the situation and move forward or be miserable and complain. Let's be real. No one likes a negative Nancy. You may think I'm nuts worrying about two weekends away but for those of you who have found a groove, you can understand where I am coming from. It is hard because you are scared you won't be able to get back intoo a routine and their won't be healthy options. This is never the case.

Speaking from experience, I might have ruined one of the most amazing family vacations I've ever had the opportunity of going on. It was in September last year, 2 months before I was suppose to be on stage at the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic and I was going to Hawaii for a week with my family. I am 26 and the last time we went on a family get away of this magnitude was 14 years ago when my Mom and Dad surprised my sister and I with a cruise to Alaska. We did lots of small fun trips over the years together but life gets busy and this trip had been a big deal.

Looking back one of the main reasons I had been so crappy once I got there was due to my crazy work schedule that had me on the road for over two months and I didn't see the end in sight. Once I got to Hawaii, I was dying of heat and going to the gym twice a day wasn't my ideal situation and neither was prepping food. I thought I ruined the trip because I was always tired or a little cranking because the heat was getting to me and I was always coming or going to the YMCA. It was a 15 minute walk from our hotel and I was there 3 hours a day. The best part about going to the gym was when my dad would come with me for at least one of my workouts and do his own thing. I was proud of him for continuing his fitness while on vacation and two years later he has lost more than 40 lbs. He looks great. 

My point is...that if I can survive Hawaii and eating well and working out there is no reason I can't eat well and enjoy myself for two very special occasions. Life is not about living in the gym and being skinny. It is about feeling your best and doing what you can. My intention isn't to be skinny but to be healthy and find a balance. There are always options and when you get into a groove life happens and it is your chance to make the best of the situation. Things will always come up and if you can overcome and make a plan you will succeed and that is exactly what I plan on doing. 

As far as hiding the scale. It goes to echoing my earlier statement about being thin. My goal here, post competition and during the "off season" is not to be skinny. I just want to be healthy and be happy and that is why I have decided to put the scale away. It doesn't matter what number appears but that when my alarm goes off at 6, I get up and go to the gym. Its the dedication to your goals that matter and as long as you are committed and doing what it takes you will not only see results but feel them on the inside.  Life has enough pressure that you don't need to put even more on yourself to weigh a certain amount. It should be in your hands what you want and how you feel. I know I feel like a million bucks on my drive home from the gym. Once I get there I could stay there for hours! I know that wouldn't be productive and would tucker me out for the rest of the week but that is a whole different post for another time!

Just remember that different things work for different people but at the end of the day, life is important and you can't push everything and everyone out to look a certain way. You will be miserable. Set small goals and find balance. It will lead to a more enjoyable time and you'll love the way you look and feel!

Have an awesome Tuesday and get rid of your scales with me for awhile! Lets see if we can make it. Like this if your in it with me.

Train. Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Once I found fitness, I found my voice.

Ever since I was little, I was a free spirit. Not a care in the world. I was creative and the world was my oyster. Then it happened. High School. I remember it starting earlier, but didn't realize what was happening until high school. Either way, bullying was there and happened a lot. No kid or teen should ever be affected or no want to be themselves because other kids are picking on them. It is no way to live. I remember going home and crying to my mom and not wanting to go back because the girls were so mean. My mom always told me that all I had to do was get through high school and life would be different. No that I look back, it is so frustrating to me that bullying even happens in the first place and with technology it is getting worse. One of the greatest outlets that so many people use in a positive way, can also be a way that kids or teens get targeted. 
My experience being teased and bullied for living to my own drum and wearing things I sewed or made, wearing my hair in different ways was not something accepted by my class mates and caused me to quit sports teams and not want to join clubs. The girls that were the worse probably don't realize how bad they made my life and the worse girls were the ones that caused me to sacrifice basketball. I sport I loved and really enjoyed. They made me so miserable that I quit. Basketball was in my genetics and my sister excelled at basketball to a varsity level and my grandpa was the first white man to play for the Harlem Globe Trotters. It was in my blood but they took that away from me. 
As grade 12 finally came, my mom said, you've made it and things will be different and soon enough the summer passed and I was in college. There were so many different types of people from so many different places and no one gave a shit what I was wearing or what my hair looked like. They liked me for me. After the first few weeks I went home one day and cried for a completely different reason. I could be myself. After years of hiding under baggy sweatshirts and jeans and being plain. I could do what ever I wanted and it felt good. This is where I first got a taste of freedom but the confidence came much later. I was so comfortable in who I was and really liked the new me. It was freeing. 
After college and starting my 2nd job life was so much better. My whole life I struggled with confidence and finding the strength to be my own person with out the permission of others. I had always been around school sports teams and leagues but once I found fitness, I found my voice. 
At the ripe age of 23 I started reading Oxygen Magazine and Women's Fitness and copying the workouts I found in the magazines. I loved it. At that time I was working at the Richmond Olympic Oval leading up to the Olympics and I was surrounded by athletes and I got the bug. Addicted to training that it. After an opportunity came up while I was working at the Oval, I decided to move onto a job as an advertising coordinator at an auctioneering company and it went from walking around all day at the Oval and working out to being in an office. It was sure different. After a few months the company I was working for moved into a brand new building with a 3,000sq ft gym. It was spectacular. 
I remember the day like yesterday. A mass email I sent out to all 300+ employees that if anyone was interested in working out at lunch and doing an ab class to meet downstairs on Monday. The people that worked around me popped up out of their cubicals and the critizism and negativity was in their voices. You are doing an ab class??? Do you think people will show??? Laughter...It reminded me of high school all over again and a wave of embassasement flushed over me and then it was gone. I didn't care what they thought and on Monday, 10 people showed up to my class and the following week 16! After classes I would recieve the best emails about how awesome the class was or how good they felt and that, felt really good.
Those 2, 30 minute classes every week were the best part of my day and week. People loved coming and always had nice things to say. I felt like the popular kid around the office because it brought together so many different people from different departments. It was a great sense and feeling of community. It wasn't until 2 years later that I met Natalie Waples and was inspired to compete in my first competition which led me to compeleting my personal training certification. Ever since I began training, I realized it was something only I could control and no one could take away from me. I wanted to share this feeling with others. It's amazing how powerful living a healthy lifestyle and working out can be.  
The Sexy Fam!
The latest people to be affected by this bug are my own parents! After years of bugging my dad about his weight, him and my mom joined a Healthy Winner program at the local community centre and they have come so far. My dad retired almost two years ago and I always feared for his health due to poor eating and a lack of acutal excercise. He now hits the gym 6 times a week and my mom and him love yoga and my mom took up pole walking. This is all in addition to their weekly boot camp classes. I went home a few weeks ago and was speechless when I saw my dad. He was SKINNY!!!! No more beer belly or balancing cereal bowls on his stomach. He was trim and did it the healthy way. I went downstairs to see my mom and she has lost weight too! I didn't notice it the last time I was home because she was in a sweat-shirt. She has lost a bunch of weight too. It was great to see they had, in their own time, commit to their own journey with fitness. 
For me, it took leading one class at work and for my parents, months but we are all hooked! Fitness is a lifestyle and once you find it, you'll find happiness. It takes will power and discipline, but it is SO WORTH IT and so are you. It takes small changes but over time those changes become habits. 
I know it's in each of us. Some of us find it at 23, some at 61. GO find it!

Train. Eat. Sleep. Repeat! xo


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Make yourself accountable.

Working towards a goal can be nothing less than challenging but there are always ways to combat this. Now that I have started to get back into a routine I decided that it was time to really focus on my goals and build another vision board. I haven't had one since I completed last and I realize that even though I'm not competing I still have a vision and expectation of where I would like to be. The best part of my new vision board is that I am motivation for myself.  I went through some of my pictures from when I did my first photo shoot with Pink Elephant and it brought back so many positive thoughts and feelings and I am getting them printed to add to my board. Once I've finished my board I'll post it. If you have a goal you are working towards make sure you write it down and tell a few people. This makes you accountable for what YOU want to achieve. This picture is one of mine from last year going on my vision board. It makes me feel a sense of accomplishment and a sense of pride and reminds me of all the hard work it took to get my body to that point.

On my board, I'm also big on motivation quotes and my iPod is stocked with both fist pumping AND the occasional slow song for when I get into a real groove. Find all the little tricks and make them work for you. If you have trouble committing to the morning alarm clock, give yourself a reason to get up and don't accept all the excuses on why you "should" go back to sleep. One morning when I was getting back into my morning cardio routine I got up and got dressed and undressed 4 times before I finally went to the gym. I wasted 30 minutes going back and forth when I could have just gone! Once I get there, I feel 100% better about being there and 100% better throughout the day. I've also started to get up and throw on the kettle and make instant coffee while I am getting ready to go to the gym and have a few ounces of caffeine in the car. Having coffee is almost like a treat and I look forward to having that hot cup of Joe while I'm en route to the "gyme".
When it comes time to get up, I can totally relate to making excuses such as, I'm too tired. I will go later. I worked out hard yesterday so I can take a rest day. I have a long day at work today. I'm feeling a little under the weather. These are all excuses and really lame ones if I ask myself but I have said them. The only thing that is different now is that I feel HORRIBLE not going to the gym. I have really found a balance with going to the gym. It is time that I take for myself and I can let everything on my mind go. The reason I believe I have become successful at this is because I know what I am doing and ALWAYS have a plan written down before I leave to go to the gym. I find that so many people get discouraged with going to the gym because they have no clue what to do and this leads to frustration, more excuses and giving up.
Now that I am starting to get into a routine of eating cleaner and working out, I am getting stronger and more determined and gaining will power. The most frustrating thing about all of this is that I've been putting in the effort and I know the muscle is there but my body takes time to respond and "wake up." I have to accept that I know my body though and it takes 2 to 2 and a half months of eating well and working out before I will see results. But I am committed and that is what will get me though because.....

....when you have a goal! If you have a goal that you are working towards whether it be fitness or career wise. Tell everyone. The guy on the bus. The grocery store clerk. Your hairdresser. Make yourself accountable and do want you want to do for yourself. I remember how proud and how proud I still am that I accomplished what I did over the last two years and how good I felt on the inside which is the reason that really keeps me going.
I'm off to work on my vision board! I'll make sure to post pictures once I'm done! If you have any vision boards make sure to post them!!! I love seeing what motivates other people. Just remember that once a day is done, you can't go back and that is why it's important to do what you say you are going to do. Be great and go get 'em!

Happy Thursday Fitness Followers.

Train. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'll start on Monday...

It's been seven months since I last competed and a lot has happened since then. I've moved cities, changed jobs and moved in with my boyfriend. I was maintaining my off season weight until a few months ago when the number on the scale kept going up and I couldn't figure out why. After reaching my breaking point I went and saw my doctor. I didn't understand why I was more than 145lb. For those of you that know me you probably wouldn't have guessed I was almost pushing 150.

After doing some tests and having all the results come back fine, I was even more discouraged that I hadn't been able to maintain my off season weight. My doctor began asking more questions and once she learned about the the change she said my body was stressed. I didn't feel stressed at all but my body did. It's been about a month since I went to the doctor and the weight is slowing, yes slowing coming off. My goal is to find a happy balance in my off season and now that life is starting to become more balance, I am thinking I want to compete again late this year or next year. My second place at the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic allows me two years to compete in the BC Championships. Next June seems so far considering the BC's haven't even taken place this year.

My goal over the next year to put on muscle and train 4 times a week. I really enjoy playing golf and we recently joined a golf club so I've been spending more time on the course after work or on the weekends which makes scheduling my training at the gym difficult as I have to work around when my chest and back are a little sore due to a workout. Balancing everything and finding time to do all the things you want to do can be a challenge for sure. I've started getting up at 5:30 and going to the gym at 6 which is really nice because it's quiet and I feel so good for the rest of the day. I'm hoping that I can get my body really use to going to the gym at 5:30 while its bright out so I can continue this routine right through the winter.

I think the greatest challenge when you want to make a change in losing weight or gaining muscle or eating better is that it is just a goal and no one is counting on you to achieve that goal except yourself and I know for me, it doesn't feel like enough. It seems that we are not enough to create the will power to avoid eating something we should because we can always "start" again on Monday. I found myself very driven when I knew that other people were counting on me or picturing myself standing on stage in a bikini. That visual really helped and once I got into a routine, it didn't seem to phase me. The temptations weren't there because I never wanted them.

Another challenge is living with your partner. Brett is very supportive and met me when I first started training for a competition and I had only ever eaten baggies of chicken and asparagus and never said one word. Now that we are living together and I'm not competing I find myself being very flexible with my meal plan. A little treat here a little snack there. I'm sure if I told him I was going to eat a certain way he'd be find with it. I'm just struggling with eating whatever to eating chicken and asparagus. I just want to eat normally and not constantly be thinking about eating clean and just do it. Being in the car all day sometimes doesn't help either especially since I'm a bored eater. I've been drinking more water instead of eating when I'm bored in the car. It's all about balance and I'm determined to find it and I feel like writing will help me with my new journey.

I am all for enjoying life, but I'm also all for fitting into my skinny jeans. Here is to a new journey with fitness and one I'm excited to share. Losing the lb's and my fight with stress weight! I'm sure a lot of you can empathize wth me here. Finding the balance is hard but worth it. I'll keep you posted.

Train. Eat. Live. Sleep. Repeat. (I got to focus on the living part a little)