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 

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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 🙂

 

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

Staying Healthy on Vacation

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1/2 of Sister Act Fitness, Mo, is off to Brazil tomorrow. I am so excited about spending my 30th birthday with my toes in the sand and trying to remember how to surf.  I love to travel but travelling can be hard on you physically. Here are some tips I have learned over the years to keep healthy while on vacation.

1. Drink water: it is always recommended to drink water every day but you want to be aware of continuing your water intake while flying and upon arrival. Our travel time, including lay overs, is about 20 hours to Brazil. It is really important to keep hydrated to help curb off any jet lag that may occur. The water may also help to offset some of the dehydration from the beers consumed in the Air Canada lounge…. just saying.

2. Move as much as possible: vacations are meant for relaxation but relaxation doesn’t mean just sitting in a chair or laying on your towel all day. Get up and explore the city you are in, the beach you are laying on or do a quick workout. You can save quite a bit of money on transportation if you walk. Think about all the little hidden gems you may come across while walking.  It will also help to eliminate jet lag and sleep better at night.

3. Try something new: ever wanted to surf, kite board, sand board, try a yoga class, hike, scuba dive, etc.? Vacations are a great time to try something new because you are already outside of your comfort zone. When I went to Costa Rica we went to a surf and yoga camp and it was amazing! http://www.shakacostarica.com/shaka-surf-school/ Not only did we engage in about 3 hours of physical activity daily, we ate healthy and slept great. The instruction was great and my body felt amazing at the end of the week. Don’t worry if you aren’t going to be the next pro surfer or you can’t even get up on your board! You will at least have some good laughs and some great stories to come home with.

4. Eat your fruits and veggies: just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean that you should pig out at every meal. Look for balanced meals that include fruit and vegetables. If you are travelling on a budget then these are always easy and cheap to pick up from the store. You may also find some new things you have never tried before.  Vacations should be a time to rejuvenate your body and come home feeling as healthy and relaxed as possible.

5. Curb stress: I am a planner and sometimes find it difficult while on vacation to relax and enjoy the current moment I am in. This vacation I am choosing to do my best to relax and let go. We are going to try to spend a few nights in each spot and not rush to see EVERYTHING in Brazil. The focus of this vacation is to enjoy as much down time in the sunshine and surf. Another thing we are doing to curb stress is to take internal flights instead of long bus trips. The flight only costs about $25 more and saves us about 16 hours of time. That is a lot of extra beach time!

What are your tips and techniques for staying healthy while on vacation. Sister Act Fitness wants to hear from you!

Mo xx

PS here is a good article on Jet lag:http://www.vagabondish.com/6-real-tips-to-beat-jet-lag/

It’s official – I have scale Over-Confidence!

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So I was reading about the Burner Blueprint – a cyclical ketogenic diet designed by the supplement guru’s at Athletic Alliance (very similar to the carb nite solution diet I am happily back on after my holiday hiatus) http://www.athleticalliance.net/index.php?route=module/blog/view&blog_id=3 and a portion of the article really stood out to me:

“Do not check them (measurements and scale) more than once a week, as there is a lot of fluctuation in between that can either discourage you or make you over confident” – Over confident? How does that work? And all of a sudden life made sense to me – I have never thought about it before but I suffer from scale over confidence!

It’s easy to work hard when you step on the scale and see a number much higher than you want to be but I’m guilty of stepping on the scale and seeing it moving in the right direction (down obviously) and using my obvious success to justify having a little bite of this chocolate or a little nibble of those chips. Scale over-confidence can lead to self-sabotage!

Since I read this startling diagnosis I have immediately squashed the idea of it – today I stepped on the scale and am down 4 pounds since Thursday (4 inflammation food caused pounds not really fat pounds) and instead of thinking “Hell ya! I rule!” I said to myself “that’s good, you’re doing the right things but you aren’t where you want to be yet” and then I ate some eggs and felt sad. Just kidding – but I did eat eggs 🙂

Don’t let your scale sabotage your progress whether it be up or down. There’s no measurement for all the good changes going on inside and the scale is definitely not the best judge of progress.

Some of my favorite measurements of progress are:

Measuring tape! Are you losing inches?

How do you feel? More energy? That’s good!

How does your skin look? Clearer? Brighter? Good!

How does your mind feel? Quicker and Clearer? Good!

 

These are all ways to measure if what you are doing is working for you so don’t rely on a stupid bathroom scale to judge you or your worth for that matter 🙂

 

This has been your random thought of the month,

XOXO

Mel

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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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