Maureen’s Personal Health Transformation

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This picture is taken after a bootcamp class in October 2010. I weighed approx. 150 pounds.

Hi everyone! Mel and I started this blog as a means to motivate ourselves and stay accountable with our fitness. We hope to share some of our personal struggles and help inspire a few people along the way. Writing this post is very difficult for me as I am a little embarrassed to post some of my old pictures. It always amazes me that sometimes we don’t realize how much our bodies have changed or the size that we are, until we see a picture of ourselves. However, I think it is a great thing to show people how much your body can change through nutrition and exercise. Check out Mel’s amazing transformation here: https://sisteractfitness.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/my-personal-health-transformation-what-a-doozy/

I am 5’4… I always wanted to be tall like Mel, who is 5’10 but unfortunately I got our dear Grandma’s height. When you are 5’4 a few pounds on your body makes a significant difference. As I have told you before, I grew up being an athlete. I have never been obese but have been overweight at certain points in my life. After two years of college soccer I stopped playing in 2005 and started packing on the weight. I ate Lipton Sidekicks all the time and adopted an unhealthy eating style. I went backpacking with my best friend to Australia and Thailand for 3 months and I came back with dark hair, a tattoo and weighing in at approx. 162 pounds. My families mouths dropped when they saw me and I guess 3 months of inactivity, cheap beer and food was showing through in my body. I had to do something!  I joined the running room and started training with my best friend for our first half marathon. I love to run and it has always been my meditation and my therapy. I slowly started losing a few pounds but didn’t really change my eating habits. I hovered around 150 pounds for about 4 years. Side note: It is amazing when I share this part of my life with my friends because although they realized I am more fit now, they didn’t realize how big I was until I show them the pictures.

In 2009 I lost a bunch of weight and got down to around 128. I wasn’t particularly muscular but started really watching my portion size and eating healthier. Image

I was happy with my body but I didn’t develop habits that were sticking with me. I still ate processed foods but did it in smaller portions. I had met my goal of getting skinny in 2009 but not fit and I didn’t set another goal for myself. I adjusted and slowly reverted back to my old ways of eating processed foods and not exercising. My brain and body thrives on exercise and when I don’t workout then I feel lousy which makes me eat crappy. In the span of one year I blew back up to approx. 158 pounds. This picture was taken when I was in Egypt in 2010. It still shocks me to look at this picture. This was taken almost exactly one year later.

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A few months later I moved to the Lower Mainland. Mel and I went for a couple runs and I was slowly starting to get back into shape. I started running again and ran another half marathon in May 2011. The following week I blew out my knee and was incapacitated. It took from May until August for my MRI to show a completely torn ACL, partial MCL tear and a fractured tibia. I was devastated. I had finally gotten back into soccer and running and now I was sidelined. I had to do something but was unable to workout. I started to really look at my nutrition and what I was putting into my body. I was determined to get my body as healthy as possible before I underwent surgery. Surgery for my ACL was February 2012 and I weighed in that morning at 145 pounds. I remember being proud of myself for getting down to this weight. I was determined after surgery to get back in the best shape of my life. I started eating clean and avoiding processed food as much as possible. I started lifting heavy weights and saw some huge changes in my body. I did the LIVEFIT trainer program in January 2013 with a couple friends and got incredible results. I weighed in at 127 pounds but had more muscle here.  Image

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My weight was approx. the same as 2009 but my body composition was significantly different. I had a lot more muscle in 2013. I was working out and lifting heavy 6 days a week and eating clean. I have tried my best to keep up with working out at this level. Currently I am running 4-5 days a week, paddling 3 days a week and still lifting weights. I have been working on trying to find balance with working out and eating clean. The best judge for me is my energy levels. I have low energy when I don’t workout and eat healthy food. I do have cheat meals because I do not believe in deprivation. I have learned through my experience that you can’t out train a bad diet. Nutrition is the main ingredient in looking and feeling healthy. Currently I weigh approx. 130 pounds and my weight fluctuates 5 pounds either way depending on my food intake. I do not weigh myself daily but chose to judge on how my clothes fit and how I feel.

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I look forward to having a healthy last year in my 20’s and continuing on with my fitness for the rest of my life. Thank you to everyone who has loved and supported me through all my different fitness levels. The ones who have run with me, hiked with me, paddled, walked, biked, surfed, yoga classes, etc. I love you all very much. I have now found a recipe for success that works for my body and I intend on continuing to use it. Please feel free to share your personal story with us. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading!

Mo xo

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I’m Back… Running

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I have officially been cleared to be running again and I am so excited! I recently went for a jog on my treadmill in my garage and did some interval training. I haven’t run since August because of tearing my meniscus and my cardio has gotten fairly terrible. So I hopped on the treadmill last Friday and ran at a decent pace for 8 minutes and then did 30 toe touchers and 30 crunches and would get back on the treadmill. I ended up running for around 35 minutes and I felt great. My knee didn’t even hurt at all!

As a continuation onto Mel’s post about getting outside of your comfort zone, I managed to go for a 6 hour hike on Monday. I love the outdoors and being with nature but I was pretty nervous about this hike. As previously noted, my cardio is not in peak form and the thought of 6 hours was pretty daunting but I pushed myself to go anyways. The views were spectacular from the view points on the hike and I had a lot of fun. My knee did really well and I experienced zero pain. I was pretty slow going up and down the hills but the point was that I finished it and definitely want to do more hiking this summer.

Last night we had gorgeous weather so I arrived at paddling early to go for a run. It was my first trail run in a very long time and I was totally in the zone. Unfortunately, being in the zone led me to almost having a heart attack from almost stepping on two snakes! Yuck! I hate snakes because the are slimy and they move so bloody fast. I may have screamed at the top of my lungs and then felt really embarrassed. Thankfully it was quiet on the trail and I don’t think any of the bunnies I saw will be gossiping about what a baby I am. Anyways, I ran for about 25 minutes and then went to paddling practice. Out on the water we saw two beavers and a couple seals. It was a gorgeous night.

What are your plans this summer to get outside of your comfort zone? Mel and I are here to encourage you to try new things with your fitness and not to be afraid to stretch yourself. Always make sure you work out within you abilities and be gentle with your body. My knee is only doing well because I put the time in at the gym doing my rehab and making sure to rest.

Thanks for reading!
Mo xoxoxo

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Happy belated Earth Day

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What did you do to celebrate Earth Day this year? Yesterday I went out paddling and spent an hour on the water. One of my favourite feelings is closing my eyes and feeling the movement of the boat across the water and hearing the sound of the paddle pushing through the water. It is an incredible moment to hear everyone’s paddles being in time with each other and the boat rocking in unison with 5 other people. It is an amazing way to feel connected and be working with others towards a goal. If your timing is off, the boat does not move well on the water.

On the weekend I also went out for my first couple hikes (more like trail walks) since I had my meniscus repaired. My knee did really well and I didn’t experience any pain. Hallelujah! I am getting geared up for the summer for hiking, running, paddling and paddle boarding. I love this place that we live! earth

Stay tuned for a transformation being featured on the blog! Want to see where Mel and I started from and where we are now in our fitness? It is a big change… Get excited about these really embarrassing photos.

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Mo xx

Our First Outrigger Race of The Season

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ImageMy friend and I decided to join an outrigger canoe team this year and we are really enjoying it. The weather has not been great in Vancouver so we haven’t had a lot of practices but the season kicked off yesterday with our first race. I am not going to lie, I have competed a lot in sports over the years but I still have this wonderful mixture of nervousness and excitement before an event. I barely slept the night before but a good cup of coffee( and possibly sharing an energy drink) may have remedied that. We made our way down to the race and it was wet and very cold, luckily we had a giant blanket to stay warm in. 🙂

Race time got near and we boarded our canoe, lucky me that I just happened to have a giant puddle under my seat so my feet were soaking wet. Our goal for this race was to not finish in last. Our boat is a mixture of three rookies and 3 experienced paddlers. My job for the race was to call the changes, which means tell people when to change the side that they are paddling on. I was kind of the quarterback of the team and I literally had to yell hut when it is time to change. My throat is a bit sore today. Anyways, we paddled 5 km in the rain with the ocean splashing on us and we ended up coming 3rd in the race but we beat all the other women’s teams. We were very happy with our finish.

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I can’t wait to start practicing three times a week and doing my other gym workouts. Has anyone ever tried paddling before? Any tips for a newbie?

Here was my knee rehab workout today at the gym:

12 leg extensions (3 sets)- 50 pounds (light weights for now)

12 hamstring curls (3 sets)- 90 pounds

15 abductor (3 sets)-90 pounds

15 adductor (3 sets)-100 pounds

20 calve raises (6 sets)-70 pounds

20 minutes on the stationary bike. My surgeon told me no squats for now.

Sister Act Fitness wants to know how you spend your weekend being active? We want to hear from you!

Mo xo

 

 

I Fell Off The Wagon, Time to Climb Back On

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So…. it was my birthday and it happens to stretch over two weeks of celebrations. My plan was moderation and hitting the gym hard but unfortunately my best intentions didn’t come to fruition. Think about everything you would probably like to consume as a cheat meal and I probably ate it. McDonald’s cheeseburgers, Chinese, meat and cheese platters paired with perfect condiments (check out http://salttastingroom.com/), beef short rib on a gluten free bun, cake, chocolate, wine and beer. The list probably goes on but you get the idea. The E Card applies to me a lot this past couple weeks. Does anyone else get stuck in that vicious circle of eating crappy, having next to no energy to work out and then eating crappy again? I sure hope I am not the only one. The result of this indulgence has been an increase on the scale by 3 pounds and feeling very lethargic. The plus side of this is that my boss said I look slimmer today. I just love my co workers. It must have been the slimming clothes I was wearing today because I don’t feel that way. That positive comment has been replaying in my head as a dream about a spoon full of peanut butter with some dark chocolate chips. SNAP OUT OF IT! These are the moments when I text my support network, mostly the other half of this blog, to get a reality check. I know my goals and that the amazing peanut butter won’t get me there but having a nice cup of tea will help. Don’t worry I did eat a balanced dinner as well.

Anyways, I finished my weekend out on the outrigger canoe with some of my family and my good friend. We are planning on joining the team and racing this year. I am really excited about racing because I am really competitive and have been missing competition since hurting my knee in August. It was an extremely foggy morning but a great way of getting some exercise and fresh air. It is important to switch up your routines to avoid getting bored and your body adapting to it. Our body needs to be challenged and muscles need to be used in different ways to see results.

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Life jackets sure are slimming. You can see behind us how foggy it is but it was still an awesome morning and we learned how to actually place our feet in the boat to better engage our cores. New core exercises will help me in my goal towards a six pack.

So being back on the wagon today, I had to accomplish my food prep. Food prep for me consists of measuring and weighing out extra lean ground chicken, plain Greek yogurt which I add cinnamon too, couscous, and cutting up veggies. I hit the gym every morning before work so I makes it easy to pack my lunches for the entire week. If you want a super easy and healthy recipe try these muffins from Jamie Eason.http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/video-jamie-eason-turkey-meatloaf-muffins.htm So good and you can add whatever spices you want. At work today we talked about the annoying part of washing the pan after and someone suggested using muffin liners. Amazing idea! I got these cool ones for Christmas and they make me think of my hippie sister who would never eat cupcakes but loves peace signs and meat. Perfect combo for her!

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Anyways, we are in our last week of the give up/take up challenge. How is everyone doing so far? Start thinking about what you are planning for February. I am in my last week of Phase 2 of Livefit Trainer and can’t wait to be start Phase 3. Back to eating super clean until my next cheat meal. I know I can, I know I can, I know I can. We would love to hear from you!

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