Coming out of hibernation

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So it’s now April and the sun has decided to shine it’s glorious face on more than one occasion in the past few weeks and I’m loving it! However, I believe I am amongst a large group of people who aren’t quite ready physically to be throwing on last year’s shorts or heaven forbid a bikini. “They” say summer bodies are made in the winter but we all know that’s bullshit cause Christmas, New Years, hot chocolates and staying inside is what most people’s (or just mine) winter is all about. 

I’ll be the first to admit I put on a small “winter coat” this season and look forward to shedding it but as I learned today jumping into some hardcore plyo workouts after essentially having the last 3 weeks off from the gym due to what I’m labelling as “the worst super flu bug ever” is not a great idea. As most women (and men) know after a devastating leg workout it’s hard to do most daily functions that require your leg muscles the day or two after and holy hell (kind of an oxymoron now that I’m typing those words next to eachother for the first time) do my buns and quads hurt! 

The reason for this post is I want to make sure we focus on our positive self talk during this spring season. It’s easy to throw around negative words to describe ourselves when we are wiggling into last year’s board shorts but that’s not going to get us into said shorts any quicker or easier. Instead focus on small steps to slowly get back into the swing of things. Be grateful for the fun (and food) filled winter season and don’t beat yourself up. 

I’ve recently begun practicing more yoga every night before I go to bed and the first pose is to stand in front of the mirror and take 20 slow, confident, focused breaths – slow I can do, confident so so and the focus part I’m working on but I’m gaining strength in all 3 areas everytime I do it and for that I feel proud. I’m proud that in my 32 year on this earth my body still takes everything I throw at it.

So be gentle with yourself as we transition from hibernation to spring/summer – start slow – go walking outside again (known to be a good low impact fat burner that boosts mood and helps you sleep better), catch some rays, take deep breaths and know that last year’s summer clothes will fit, maybe not tomorrow but soon ;) 

Xoxo

Mel 

  

Just what I was missing 

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I found something I was missing tonight…. My feet on a couple of bike pedals! I got to the gym and knew one thing “Must sprint” (In a total caveman voice) and slowly meandered over to the rowing machine – but in my way stood a spin bike, if there’s one thing I’m good at its biking. So eff the rowing machine and I’m smiling as my feet step into the pedals – wow! I missed this! And then it was game on, 5 of the most gruelling sprints I’ve done in a while. The cool thing about sprints is you only have to commit to 30 seconds – it can hurt like hell and burn but you know you only have to kill it for 30 seconds!!! I timed out some wicked songs for the sprints too! All you do is play your favorite pump up tune and use the beginning of the song to recover, no resistance, keep your heart rate as low as possible, then as the song progresses (and you start getting into the groove) you pick up the resistance a bit then the pace until you are kind of at a jog. This should all happen leading up to that final heartfelt chorus of the song – think “And as we wind on the down the road” or the 2:35 point of Awake and Avenge the Dead by Thrice (personal fave) and just as the lead singer pours his/her heart out one last time you pour all your energy (glycogen) into those 30 seconds!!! I go through a whirlwind of emotion during my sprints, smiles, swear words, winces, the odd cry out in agony but I do the work and reep the benefits. A boosted metabolism, tighter feeling (not sure about the looking part yet) physique, heavy boost of endorphins, and an increase in confidence and pride that my body did exactly what I needed it to do. 

I actually started writing this post last week and crushed more bike sprints this morning after quite the indulgent weekend. I’ll admit it was a bit of a punishment workout for being so lax with my workouts lately but my muscles didn’t skip a beat and now they’ve earned some delicious refuelling :) 

Have you tried sprints yet? I’m very interested in hearing about which type of cardio works for you! I love my long outdoor mountain bike rides but there’s something amazing about being in and out of the gym in 40 minutes having burned 300 well earned calories and feeling the benefits all day long

Xoxo

Mel 

Here’s to 2016!!!

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So it’s Sunday before we all go back to work and normal life for the first time this year haha and I’m sure everyone has ideas about how to make this year better than the last one – I know I do! 

2015 was an interesting year, we had one of our most successful fundraising seasons for our Relay for Life team, went camping, friends had beautiful new babies, I got a new job and moved back to my hometown. I’ve met people this year that I know will be good friends for years to come. Sadly we also said goodbye to my beautiful cousin who showed love and grace through her life and death with cancer and my adorable Grandma who had lived her life to the fullest and it was time for her to see my Grandpa again. 

To say 2015 was an emotional roller coaster would be a bit of an understatement. However, I stand by the fact that good, actually amazing things came out of it even though the hard parts were incredibly  hard. 

Now enough of the reminiscing I want to know what 2016 has in store for me and the cool thing about looking at a year in advance is that you get to choose what you make of it!!! 

So I chose to make a physical, emotional and spiritual goal to better myself overall as a person. Physical goals only take you so far, sure you can have a slamming body but if you’re a souless asshole what good are you? 

My physical goal this year is to get more outdoor cardio in – so I apologize to my friends in advance but you’re gonna be getting a lot of texts to go do the following (if any of these spark your interest call me please – let’s go!)

Snowshoeing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, canoeing (there’s a place u can rent a canoe and paddle to a spot where u park the canoe and hike – upper and lower body workout in one yes please), mountain biking (my fave), and I even want to dust off (and probably should put the wheels back on) my roller blades!!! Who’s in?? 

On top of the goal to get more outdoor cardio in I want to be more conscious of the food I’m eating, not even what I cook but how I focus when I’m eating. Eating is fueling your body and I want to concentrate on the taste of the food, chewing slowly (and chewing enough) and savouring it – especially when it’s something yummy like steak! Can’t really see me savouring the tuna salads that I’m going to be crushing this month but I’ll try

As for my emotional goal some of you may have brought problems to me over this past year because I have a gift that sees the positive in almost every negative situation – I almost consider it a skill because it’s hard and something I’ve worked on for a long time. Sadly not enough people do this so I’m called upon to do it for them or at least guide in a general positive direction. Now don’t get me wrong one of my biggest joys in life is to help people but it can become emotionally draining for me. In 2016 I’m going to try and teach people to be more positive so they can see those positive outlooks without my help, sure I will still be here if they need or when they just can’t see the good but how empowering would it  be for me and them if they can see it themselves:) I also want to set proper boundaries for how much of other people’s emotional baggage I let in even just in a day. Sometimes I start my day with something heavy, a friend who had a bad night and needed to talk about it or even I had a rough sleep, those are the days I need to watch how much more negative situations I need (or really don’t need) to involve myself with. It’s ok to say “Look, I’m having a rough day too maybe we can talk about this tomorrow” not everything needs to be fixed right now and you don’t need to be sucked in by everyone’s drama. You can only be a good friend to people when your tank is full and it’s ok to say when the tank is empty:)

As for my spiritual goal I can say my spirit grew a lot in 2015, I see beauty in things that most people don’t and I’m so grateful for that! For 2016 I want to keep cultivating that. I want to appreciate the North Shore mountains glistening in the sun like I haven’t seen them  before. I want to smile at the little things that people do that show there’s still good in the world and inside even the biggest of assholes lol – I want to continue to see beauty where other people turn a blind eye. I’m going to continue to gravitate towards things that put a smile on my face and do the things that make me happy because we only get one life like this one and I want mine to overflow with good vibes :) 

Did u set some realistic resolutions? Did you vow this year would be your year to shine? We want to hear about it!!! 
Xoxo

Mel

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Here is one of the only photos I took when I buddy and I hit the slopes a week ago – very foggy but what a blast:)

 

24 down and 24 to go! Spotlight on our friend Marie

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Hey friends! We here at SAF (Sister Act Fitness duh) are well aware that not every way of eating works for every person – vegan, paleo, low carb, high carb, gluten free, vegetarian, whatever!!! If something works for you, you see results, you are becoming happier and healthier then all the power to you. We are not here to judge and we are not health gurus by any means. We want to bring together a community of people working towards a general goal of living life to its best, in the healthiest, most energized, happiest forms of ourselves. So please share with us if something works for you! Maybe you have begun doing yoga twice and week and you notice it helps with insomnia, that’s fabulous news that we want to share with everyone else so it may benefit someone with the same problem! 

So in the spirit of sharing I was anxious to share how our friend Marie is rocking it!!!! 

So what made u want to make a positive lifestyle change? 

My clothes were not fitting anymore and I wanted my confidence back. I plan on being a mom one day and would love to be in amazing shape for my future children to live a long and happy life with them

What are some of the things that are working for you?  

I have taken 90% of the sugar out of my life along with the excess carbs (potatoes, rice and bread). I focus on cardio at the gym and do exercises at home every night. I work 2 jobs, my second being a server, so the constant moving around helps as well.

What positive difference did u notice first? 

My love handles diminishing:)
What was the hardest part of the process? 

Cutting out my bad habits. Especially bread. Didn’t realize how much of it I ate until it was removed from my life
What’s your favorite indulgence?

Popcorn on a Sunday night watching a movie winding down from the week

What’s your next goal? 

Another 24 pounds down!!!!!
 This is Marie a little while back  
This is Marie in a size MEDIUM and she’s rocking it! Way to go Marie thanks for sharing!! 

 

Xoxo

Mel 

Why aren’t your meditating? 

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     My stress levels tend to run high this time of year leading up to our Annual Relay for Life. Between my job, fundraisers and road trips to and from my old hometown I seem very wound up. So about a month ago I downloaded the free Calm mediation app from iTunes after hearing from some friends say how much they were loving it. Well now I love it too! I’ll admit at first it feels a little strange and a lot of thoughts come creeping into your mind but this app advocates not to get mad that your mind wonders but simply, and calmly, bring your focus back your breath. Now while I can’t say that my road rage has subsided or I don’t feel like punching people in the junk once in a while I’m slowly learning to take things as they are and not let them change my energy. 

Another perk? I sleep like a baby after! Granted I’ve always slept pretty well but a couple times I’ve awoken in the morning in the exact same position I fell asleep in! Unreal! 

Recently I spent the $8.99 to get the app upgrade unlocked so I now have access to mediation programs for deep sleep, confidence, calming anxiety, confidence, compassion, creativity, energy, focus, forgiveness, inner strength, gratitude, inner peace, motivation, positivity, and self acceptance – man that’s a lot for $9! I’ve enjoyed the deep sleep one (clearly given my previous example of not moving) as well as the calming anxiety. 

Mo and I are big fans of treating whatever ails you with things other than drugs and hope something as simple as a free (or upgraded if u would like) app can help a few people deal with anxiety and all the tough times in life. 

Please let me know if you try this and how you like it:)

Xoxo

Mel 

Ps if you would like to donate to our Relay for Life team benefitting the Canadian Cancer Society here’s the link: 

http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFL_BC_odd_?px=5460176&pg=personal&fr_id=18416

Do you benefit from your benefits?

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I always say – If I could turn back time I would have gotten in shape (or never let myself get out of shape) much earlier in life. I also would have taken advantage of all the benefits my previous employers gave me. Tonight I want to toot the horn of Massage Therapy which is only one of the amazing treatments I use in the ongoing battle of staying healthy and mobile.

First off if you don’t use at least your massage therapy benefits through the current company that you are employed with I have to say YOU ARE MISSING OUT! People think that going to massage therapy is only for people with achy backs, sore muscles and sports injuries – this is not true! Even if you are an avid yogi (is that the correct term?) or do nothing physical in your regular life your body can benefit from massage even if for nothing but a bit of stress relief.

Years ago I took a bad fall at the beach one day, I’m 5 foot 10 and went legs up in the air and came straight down on my right shoulder snapping my head back as I landed – I know it sounds awful but if I told you the story in person I would have you in hysterics, it was what I like to call “an ego check” (basically when your ego is getting a little big and the world needs to bring you back down to the ground). Anyways within a month or so I started to have a weird pain in my right shoulder, almost like a muscle pull/twinge. I then noticed a small lump in the muscle/tendon at the base of my skull. I got the lump checked out by the doctor and she said to keep an eye on it and if it got bigger come back. Time went by and it didn’t grow but about 6 months later I started having these odd migraines. Out of nowhere I would start to see this tiny pixilated half moon on the right side of my vision, it would be accompanied by an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I would watch the little half moon grow bigger until it disappeared from my sight, then the migraine would start. It was debilitating and I had no clue what was causing it. I went back to the doctor who recommended I go to the eye doctor to check for anything going on behind my eyes – possibly even a tumor – you could understand my concern. Luckily my eye doctor didn’t see anything and I went on my inconclusive way. I went back to my regular doctor and somehow I was whining about my shoulder being sore (funny just recalling it now I remember I could barely sleep on my right side cause of the pain in my shoulder joint) and finally we put two and two together. She realized my whole right shoulder “girdle” was balled up and the muscles were all brutally tight.

I sought out massage therapy from our family’s massage therapist Murray at Glover Road Massage/Chiropratic in Langley. This man is magic! My Mom, sister, friends and even tiny Grandmother will attest to my claims! Within two visits to Murray my headaches were gone, the pain I felt in my shoulder when I slept on it was gone and I could even throw a baseball pain free again! Unreal! Granted some of the treatment was a bit painful I couldn’t thank him enough!

To this day I still see Murray on a monthly basis usually to loosen up my shoulder as there’s a bit of nerve damage from the fall and it acts up once in a while and also to help with my left knee/hip that I injured years ago. If your company covers you for massage DO IT! Even if it’s just a chance to escape from the world for an hour and relax I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Note: You may need to pay up front then be reimbursed, if that’s the case check to see if your benefits plan has an app for your phone, some companies it’s as easy as taking a picture of your receipt! My company Great West Life has an app, I simply enter the amount of the visit, who the visit was with, amount of time of the visit and the date and within 3-4 days I’m reimbursed through direct deposit into my bank account – AWESOME!

So if you have aches and pains or are an active person you should ask yourself – Are your benefits benefiting you???????

Xoxo

Mel

It is Safe to Say that I Will Never be a Ballerina

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I hung up my tutu, leotard and dance shoes at the young age of 8 and it is safe to say that I should have left my dreams of being a ballerina there. However, for a quick delusional moment, I forgot about hours spent practicing my plies around the house as a young child and I signed up for a barre class with my coworker.

Barre class is a really interesting new class that combines pilates with traditional ballet moves at the barre. Who doesn’t want the legs of a trained dancer? Especially when you have the legs of a soccer player with multiple knee injuries and Hawaiian genetics. (Have you seen the movie Lilo and Stitch?) Yeah, thanks Dad! So I thought this class sounded perfect for me because it was low impact and would work on shaping those legs. I got into the class for awhile but my delusions of ballet fame were dashed when I would catch glimpses of myself in the mirror and be reminded of my lack of grace and rhythm (don’t worry this does not hurt my very stable self-esteem).

I am so envious of my friends and sister for their natural dance abilities. Our Grandma, affectionately called tutu which means grandma in Hawaiian, was a dancer. It skipped my genetics for some reason. Thankfully my parents put me in soccer and that was a better fit for me.

The class itself was fun but not the right fit for me. It is a great class for people who enjoy dance a bit more then I do. I was stuck with traumatic flashbacks of being a Seabird in our childhood dance studio’s presentation of the Little Mermaid. Mel will tell you endless stories of trying to teach me the moves to Backstreet Boy’s… Everybody, rock your body… yep, I still can’t do those cool moves. The point is to get out and try something new! You never know, you may fall in love with a new workout or you may be able to get an extra abdominal workout from laughing really hard at yourself. I think I will stick to my weights, paddling and stairs for now.

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Thanks for reading!

xx Mo

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