IT’S BAAAAACK! Give Up/Take Up Challenge for December

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Well I’ll be the first to admit I fell off the Give Up/Take Up Wagon – however I’m happy to report I’m no longer biting my nails (except if they break and I can’t be walking around all day with a jagged nail, that’s a weapon you know!)

Sigh, it’s December, the month every women fears, the one month of the year where the cold starts to get to us, the lenient sweatshirts and sweatpants come out and the social calendar gets loaded to the max.

I don’t know about you guys but the holidays have always been a challenge for me – so much goodies kicking around and so much crappy weather to keep you wanting to stay inside, curled up with a blanket watching whatever the heck is on tv to distract you from the thought that you should be a the gym!

So this month for the challenge I’m going to set some very simple and hopefully easy to follow goals so that, like every year, the holidays get a bit more tolerable and a have a bit less negative affect on my health.

For the month of December I will GIVE UP GLUTEN! Yes I already do live a 99% gluten free lifestyle but this holiday season I want it to be 100% so no sneaking a roll at dinner or a piece of pie (believe me my justification skills for having even a little bit of gluten when I want it are very persuasive)

I am going to TAKE UP 4 WORKOUTS A WEEK! To me this seems easy because I’m used to about 5-6 a week but I’ve been noticing my body would rather me work hard 4 days a week and recover in between then kill myself 5-6 days a week – in fact my weight is more stable on 4 days a week then more – who knew?

Mo and I have some tips for you this holiday season to avoid parking your ass in front of the first cheese and cracker platter that crosses your path then spending the rest of the holiday season being upset that you can’t fit into your jeans “so screw it I might as well eat everything else cause I’m a cow and I’ll just start again after New Years” (that may or may not be a direct quote of mine from about 4 years ago)

1- SET A SIMPLE GIVE UP/TAKE UP for the holiday season! More veggies, less wine (ya, right), more yoga – which can be very helpful with coping with the stresses of running around from event to event like a chicken with your head cut off – and remember stress makes you fat!

2- PICK UP A BABY!!!!!!!!! Haha no no no don’t go adopt or steal a baby but if you are at a family event and there’s little ones around grab one! I’ve seen my sister employee this tactic while I sat in front of the cheese and cracker platter and it worked quite well. She got an arm work out in bouncing the little guy around and barely touched the snacks (See Mo I was watching)!

3- BRING A HEALTH APPIE THEN EAT IT ALL! Or the more socially acceptable option may be GET COMFORTABLY FULL ON GOOD STUFF! Fill a little snack plate with fruit, veggies, devilled eggs, cheese, or nuts. Try to avoid snacking on grain based items like crackers, pastries or cookies as these will fill you up quickly and you will go into dinner already full – not an ideal situation

4- WATCH YOUR BOOZE CONSUMPTION – Did you know that when you are drinking your body runs primarily off the alcohol and will not burn off the food you eat until it’s burned off all the alcohol? I know I just blew your mind and suddenly visuals of eating pizza at 2am after a night of heavy drinking have come to light and you’re thinking “Oh my gosh, it all makes sense now” – ya learning this was heavy for me too! If you want to drink a lot try and keep your food choices to lower fat items (yes turkey, veggies etc) avoid gravies, cheeses, butter as these items won’t be burned off before the alcohol and have a higher chance of turning to fat on your body.

5- DON’T OVERBOOK YOURSELF! If you like to eat and drink like me I find not attending every single event a lot easier than going to every event and struggling to not drink a bottle of wine and eat every ounce of cheese and bacon jam your friends put out (yes I said bacon jam!) Sometimes you get a better visit with a friend if you go for a cup of coffee anyways and it may be more feasible for your goals. This tip may also cut some unwanted stress from your schedule and remember stress makes you fat!

6- GO FOR A WALK AFTER A BIG MEAL – If it’s not raining get outside! Walking is great for digestion, de-stressing (because stress makes you ___, yes there will be a quiz later) and who knows you might get a little snow and it’s beautiful :)

Hope some of these tips help you this holiday season and we would love to hear your Give Ups and Take Ups so we can all hold each other accountable

We look forward to hearing from you and Happy Holidays

xoxo

Mel and Mo

Yummy! Paleo Mexican Hash

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I was getting a little sick of my weekend breakfast which generally consist of eggs and veggies with the same boring spices all the time. I decided to change it up and started browsing breakfast recipes and came across this gem http://paleomg.com/mexican-hash-egg-bake/

On Saturday morning I made this recipe and it turned out amazing! I even had enough to eat breakfast on Sunday. It was really filling and kept me going with enough energy to get through the day. The best of all was that it satisfied my taste buds and expanded my weekend breakfast recipes. There are so many awesome recipes on her website! The downside was that my house smelled like onions and spicy Italian sausage all day. I am pretty sure I need to take out stocks in a candle company to clear the air in my house.

Try it out and let us know what you think! Yummy!

Mo xxIMG_5164-0.JPG

Thank You!

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Mo and I are ecstatic to announce that we just blew past 7,000 views of our blog since we started posting a year ago! We just wanted to say a big thank you to all our supporters who read our inspirational stories, cook our yummy recipes and read our quirky tales. We look forward to bringing you more relative content and would love an input on what you would like to see more of in the year to come :)

Xoxo
Mel and Mo

Feature Post: Yvonne – a Femsport love story

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I started my fitness journey in April of 2009 after seeing a picture of myself taken on a trip to Mexico (see above left). I was 27 and living the party girl lifestyle! Drinking, smoking and eating super terribly.  I was 180 pounds, a size 11, and completely miserable. I needed a change. I started to work out 3 times a week at the local rec centre dabbling with a few body sculpt classes. It got me going and I started eating better and drinking more water. Even with all the healthy changes I was making I still continued to drink and smoke.  After 3 years of struggling I finally got to what I had set as my goal weight of 140 pounds.  I was finally where I thought I wanted to be. But when I looked in the mirror I still wasn’t happy. I was at the weight I wanted to be but without definition and an ever so thin layer of cushion.  I was skinny fat!!! Ugh!!

Another goal was set. The rec centre classes weren’t challenging enough and I needed more. In April of 2013 my sister enrolled in boot camp classes at Apocalypse training and fitness and ranted and raved about how amazing these classes were. Bored to death with my group fitness, I decided to give it a shot.  I pulled up outside of Apocalypse and parked my car. I walked up to the front door and smack dab in front of me was a sign that said “For motivated people only” that was the day it all changed.

The moment that I walked through the doors of Apocalypse I don’t think I knew what I was being introduced to. It wasn’t just a gym, it was a complete life overhaul.  Nervous and intimidated to hell but ready to embrace the “change” I walked in. I looked around and saw what looked like torture equipment.  Holy crap!! What did I get myself into? Keep walking I told myself, this is what you wanted.  I see my sister, she was beaming with excitement cause in this sick way she was getting a kick out of seeing me get my ass kicked.  I signed my waiver, I had my water bottle and my towel …I was ready to go.  I was the “newbie”. Class started, boxes were set up…weights were put out and the circuit explained.  Bam I was ready!!

Unfortunately all the ABT (abs, buns, thighs) and body sculpt classes in the world couldn’t have prepared me for that experience. My ass was handed to me. I was sweaty, red faced, and defeated but oddly enough I wanted more. I wanted to get faster, I wanted to get stronger. I was addicted!!! I wasn’t working out anymore, I was training. I was no longer using the machines at the gym I was becoming one.  I had finally found a gym where I was not only getting the best work out of my life but I was being educated.  Not just about fitness but health and wellness as well.

Apocalypse has changed my life thanks to owners and trainers Cindy Legare and John Coyle.  They are honestly two of the most the most amazing people I know. I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am now physically, mentally or emotionally without them. Before I started I thought I was fit, I thought I was confident and I thought I was sure of myself but I had another thing coming because not only did I start to see the physical differences in my body but the way I thought and the way I saw things were beginning to change. Week after week they drilled into our heads that “you can’t out train a bad diet” and “abs are made in the kitchen”.  I started to listen, like really listen. I began to eat better. I started shopping on the outside of the isles, stopped buying the junk food and cut down on the booze. I began making healthier booze choices….ummm vodka water with lemon please. I’m not going to lie the cigarettes stuck around for a bit. But all of that was about to change.

In July of 2013 I was coerced into competing in Femsport, a women’s strength competition that I never thought I could do. Who would have thought that I would be flipping tires and doing box jumps?? Not me I tell ya!! Femsport was such an empowering time in my life. I have never felt the type of closeness from women that I felt during our training sessions. Women empowering women, pushing each other to do better, cheering each other on. This was unheard of but not at Apocalypse.  It’s the D.U.R.T.I GURL way!! For those of you who don’t know what D.U.R.T.I stands for it my trainers Cindy Legare’s motto. It stands for Determined Unstoppable Resilient Tenacious and Irresistible. A motto that has not only applies at the gym but also in everyday life. When I signed up for Femsport the eating got cleaner, the drinking stopped and the cigarettes were butted out.   I was feeling healthier than I ever have and had the best trainers pushing me to do things I never thought were possible…I did it….we did it…all us Durti Gurlz did it!

Next to my wedding day, Femsport was one of the proudest days of my life.  In 2013 I set and smashed so many physical and mental goals that it had become addictive. The need for another challenge another competition another goal is always on my mind. So on came Femsport 2014!!!  This year would be different.  Not in the open spot anymore…this year I was novice!!!

But on July 6 2014, two months to the day before Femsport I was in a serious car accident. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to compete due to massive soft tissue damage done to my hips and a bruised sternum from the seatbelt holding me in place during the accident. I was devastated. I had a massive pity party and I was the only one invited. Everything that I had worked for over the last year was down the drain. The stinking thinking started to set in and I really started to get down. My trainer messaged me and told me that it wasn’t over and this was the time I really need to dig deep, eat well and take care of myself. I really listened to her as she had never steered me wrong before. “Be a true D.U.R.T.I. Gurl” she said.

So I ate really clean, cut out all the sugar, and made sure I was taking all my supplements and drinking tons of water. About 5 weeks after the accident I felt strong enough to go back. It was a huge wake up for me. In 5 weeks I had lost so much strength, but with the help and support of my trainer and my “tribe” I found the strength and motivation to get me to where I needed to be. Walking into Femsport 2014 I was nowhere near where I wanted to be physically, but mentally I was there. This year I was there to have fun and enjoy the day going into ” battle” with my sisters.  As I layed in my hospital bed two months prior I never would have thought we would come in 3rd in the Novice teams event. It was such an amazing moment standing on the stage, accepting your award feeling like an Olympic athlete. I can’t even begin to say enough good things about Femsport and the way it brings women together.  I have competed twice and encourage every woman to try it. Push yourself to become the best version of you. Sometimes you just need something to work towards. Something to light your fire and Femsport is a great start. Its all shapes, sizes and fitness levels.  Its a day for you to shut out the outside world, put down your phone, disconnect and focus on the task at hand….kicking some serious ass!!!!

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t love what I’m doing.  I love working out and I love eating clean. The fitness part is the easy part. It’s eating clean that’s the hard part. In the beginning it’s difficult, however, you slowly realize that you don’t need bad food. You find alternatives that at first taste like shit to you but over time you enjoy.  You begin to love the quinoa and the cottage cheese, the protein shakes and pancakes. You stop eating out, you start to meal prep, food journal and eat every 2-3 hours. At first it a burden but after a few weeks of doing it you really began to love it.   You will become the person who brings their own food to functions. But you know what, that is totally ok. There is NOTHING wrong with that. Between the workouts and the clean eating you will start to see the results.  We need to remember that the answer to our perfect bodies isn’t in the bottom of a bowl of cabbage soup…or a handful garcinia cambodia pills or some crazy fad diet.  It is two things diet and exercise! And in that order….80% diet and 20% exercise. It will all start to fall into place and really start to make sense.

I’m 32, 5’5, 140 pounds and a size 5!  I am a woman who is no longer ruled by the scale. I am honestly 100% better than I have ever been (protein farts included, it comes with the territory) It just becomes your lifestyle. The health and wellness flame has been fanned and I can’t thank my trainers Cindy and John enough. They have started something that I will never be able to thank them enough for. I admire them for everything that they are. They are strong and confident and don’t take sh*t from anyone. They live and breathe fitness and push not only me but also how many other amazing women to be the best versions of themselves that they can be! It drives me to motivate other people to want feel the way that I feel and see the changes that I see. As much as I may curse them in the height of the workout and maybe when I try to go down the stairs after leg day. The fact that I can’t walk into a grocery store and look at food the same way and for the amount I whine you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that I love every single moment of it. The last 2 years have been the best years of my whole life and I owe a lot of it to my trainers and all my D.U.R.T.I Gurlz. I hope that one day I will inspire a change in someone and help them to ignite their own fitness flame.

Here’s Yvonne and her DURTI Gurlz team warming up :)

Femsport Warm Up

 

And one of Yvonne killing it in a workout

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Mo and I can’t thank Yvonne enough for sharing her amazing story (and look at those legs!) – proving again how it’s not all about how much you work out as much as it’s about what you put into your body that makes all the difference :)

Xoxo,

Mel

 

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Stress makes you fat period – so hit the tub!

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So I recently got a bit of a reality cheque with my workout regime – apparently my adrenals aren’t quite healed enough for me to throw down 5 – hour long high intensity/weights workouts. (Read about my initial diagnosis of this crappy hormone imbalance here: https://sisteractfitness.wordpress.com/category/nutrition/page/3/) I’m sad because I felt awesome doing these shortcut to shred workouts!!! Pouring sweat and seeing results quickly but after 3 weeks I was having a hard time sleeping, I was becoming irritable (yes this is a normal Mel characteristic but it was worse), getting dizzy a lot and my quads were aching from about an hour after my workout until the next morning. I also noticed I wasn’t losing weight and some days I was gaining it. So what do I do? Same thing I’ve done for the past ten years when I hit a road block – throw in the towel and eat everything!!! This weekend alone i drank copious amounts of wine and scorfed candy, had some disappointing Chinese food and to make up for that I had a big bowl of gluten free Mac n cheese (the kraft powder with GF penne) it was delicious! I’ll admit after resting up a bit this week and dropping my workouts down to some 20 minutes hiit and some short but sweet heavy weight lifting I feel MUCH better, my happy energy has returned and I laid out a good (and achievable) workout plan for the week :) I did a big food prep last night and was happy to have some different food in the house. I’ve also had a couple of Epsom salt baths each week to wind down and give my muscles some much needed magnesium :)
I guess the point of this post is you can follow whatever workout plan you want but listen to your body – sometimes the messages will come in the form of a headache, bad sleep or a grouchy mood and you should listen and be thankful cause you can correct those symptoms a lot easier than a sprained ankle, ruptured achilles (yes I’m still nursing my sore one) or even worse injuries that I’m not going to name cause I’m not putting that thought out there.

Interested in seeing my workout plan for the week (and yes I did my sprints this morning and back/chest and abs after work today) check us out on Instagram @sisteractfitness

Good news! I’ve begun a course for certification in sports nutrition if anyone is interested in being my guinea pig (while it’s free) email us at sisteractfitness@gmail.com

Xoxoxo Mel

Staying Fit in Fall

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Fall is an incredibly beautiful time of year. The leaves are falling, the air is crisp and it is time to break out the cozy clothes. Fall in the Lower Mainland also means that the sunshine has disappeared and the rain is coming down. It can be really hard to keep motivated this time of year when those cozy sweaters conceal a few extra pounds and anything covered in cheese is all I am craving. Luckily for me, I am headed to Brazil in January with one of my best friends to celebrate our 30th birthdays so I have the motivation of tiny bikinis and walking on the beach with some of the most beautiful women in the world…  my friend and I want to look as best as we can to ring in our 30th birthdays so here are some of my tips to keep fit this fall/winter.

1. Get your family and friends involved: My sister loves to take on challenges. I texted her last night with a workout challenge to complete at some point over the weekend. My sister is a great motivator because we like to compete in a loving way… as you can see in our “real” family picture.

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2. Get outside: Even though we have a ton of rain it is still important to get outside and enjoy some of the beauty that we are blessed with, the leaves and beautiful trees. Go hiking, walk the sea wall, go for a bike ride or a stroll on the beach when the tide is out. Remember a little rain never hurt anyone but dress accordingly. Remember you aren’t the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz and you won’t melt in the rain.

3. Take a new class: My plan is to try out an interval class that my gym has. Have you wanted to try something new that you have been putting off? Fall is a great time to start! Call up a friend and have fun!

4. Dust off that clean-eating recipe book: Fall is the perfect time to try something new, bust out that slow cooker! Test out some new recipes and bring them to work to share with your co workers (If you work with me, this is directed towards you) Try to make your favourite comfort foods healthy. The internet is a great resource for recipes. One of our favourites is  http://paleomg.com/

5. Taking vitamin D: I tend to struggle with my motivation during the fall and winter months due to a lack of sunshine so I will be taking a vitamin D supplement. What do you use to replace the sunshine?

What do you do to stay fit and healthy in the fall? What keeps you motivated? We want to hear from you!

Mo xx

The DO’s and DON’Ts of the GYM

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Soooooooooo now that I’m back at the gym 6 days a week (we are going to Mexico in less than a month by the way) I’ve noticed some awesome and some annoying things about going to the gym. I’m going to start with the good things to do at the gym because otherwise I will scare off some people from ever stepping foot in the sweat box and that’s just not what Sister Act Fitness is about!

DO DO DO AT THE GYM:

1 – GO!!!!!!!!! Step foot in the door, actually as you open the door smile! It will trick your mind and body into thinking it’s gonna love what you do to it – plus if you smile as you walk through the door (any door in life for that matter) you look welcoming and happy instead of a “bitch on a mission who has 3.5 seconds before her preworkout powder kicks in so get the hell out of the way” look (If you have been to the gym you have seen the latter, she’s scary)

2 – WORK! It doesn’t matter if you sit on a bike and sweat and swear for 45 minutes if you are working you are benefitting every aspect of your life. Your mood, your relationships, your physical appearance, your organs – everything!

3 – DRINK WATER – it doesn’t need to be gatorade or vitamin water, regular water will do and will taste mighty refreshing once you start doing #2 (#2 on the list not the other #2 get your minds out of the gutter)

4 – SMILE (yes again) at the other people working out around you as you walk by, especially in the women’s only section. People (especially women) tend to walk around the gym like their shit don’t stink. We are all there for a common goal, to better ourselves and you would be amazed how not-snobby people actually are once you smile at them. I witnessed women talking and working together tonight at the gym, sharing equiptment and machines and it was nice :)

5 – TRY SOMETHING NEW – it took me years to feel comfortable in a gym but I still like to get out of my comfort zone sometimes – go try a new class, zumba is as awesome as you expect it to be believe me! Grab some girlfriends (or boyfriends or random friends) and go!

6 – WIPE DOWN YOUR CRAP AND PUT IT BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT! (Ok maybe this should be in the don’t section because it seems grumpy but technically its a do so shhhh) If you put 100 pound plates on a bar please take them off after cause if I come behind you and have to take them off I’m gonna bitch and nobody likes hearing me bitch

Hmmmmm – I think that’s it for DOs – show up, sweat, wipe and leave ;)

Now the fun ones

DON’T DON’T DON’T at the gym:

1 – DON’T WEAR 5 POUNDS OF PERFUME!!!!!!!!!! There’s this really pretty girl at my gym who has ginormous fake boobs and a tiny little waist and over the last month we’ve smiled at each other and shared equiptment but she literally gives me a migraine if I go within 5 feet of her. Today when I got to the gym I knew she was there before I even saw her – seriously if you look and smell like that you should probably be working out in the co-ed section cause that’s the vibe you are putting out

2 – DON’T TALK ON YOUR PHONE AND SIT ON A MACHINE!!!!!!! Today (apparently there was a plethora of idiots at the gym today, hey something has to inspire me to write) I watched a woman wait to use the abductor (that amusing inner thigh machine) while some oblivious idiot sat on it talking on her phone. That woman had much more patience then I would have it that had been me – props.

3 – DON’T BE A SPACE HOG (that’s a band isn’t it? Squirrel) Don’t put your barbell, dumbells, bench, water bottle etc all over the bloody place. Any workout can be done in a 4 foot by 8 foot space especially when the gym is busy – thank you

4 – DON’T BE A CARDIO JUNKIE – this isn’t me venting this is the truth. There’s a time and place for cardio but your body will be happier and you will see better results if you move some weights around. Muscle burns more fat, lifting weights will fuel your metabolism long after you leave the gym. Cardio burns calories and yes fat but as soon as you step off that treadmill your burn is done. If you love biking or the treadmill try sprints – work as hard as you can for 30 seconds then rest until you catch your breathe then work again for 30 seconds. Do this until you are exhausted but no more than 30 minutes – I guarantee you will see better physical results, you will spend less time in the gym and you will feel your revved up metabolism for hours after.

Have any DOs and DON’Ts to add? We would love to hear them!!!

xoxo

Mel

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5 – DON’T GO IT ALONE – yes I’m aware there are people out there that are so determined and goal oriented that they succeed at whatever they put their mind to – I’m not that person, Mo is but she still texts me what she has for dinner almost every night so there is definitely a two-way support system in place with us. Find a friend (yes I’m available) to go to the gym with – our friend Melissa and I went to a class the other night and it was awesome, I laughed my ass off, falling all over the place but it was good, it was hard but it was good. 95% of the people you know would love to be healthier, even the most skinny gals I know want to be more active. There’s no harm in asking so call up a friend and go ride the bike together, go for a walk, spot each other in a 100 pound bench press – whatever! Actually call me if you can do a 100 pound bench press cause I would love to watch!