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 🙂
And one of Yvonne killing it in a workout
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 🙂
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