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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Outdoor Workouts

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ImageLiving in the Lower Mainland we have an incredible gift of working out outside year around. Our weather is very mild, as long as you don’t mind getting a little wet. I have never minded the rain, after all I grew up playing soccer. Soccer players around here know how to embrace the rain. There are so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors and Sister Act Fitness wants to encourage you to do so. The weekend is a great time to explore your local backyard. Go for a walk, hike, bike ride, run, swim, skip, jump, paddleboard, canoe ride, etc. I think you get the picture. You do not have to go to the gym in order to get in a great workout. Sister Act Fitness does endorse lifting weights but you can also do great workouts with your body weight. Here was my workout today.

I did a 25 min run along the ocean and found a bench to do the following workout on it:

– 20 crunches (3 sets)

– 20 step ups (3 sets)

– 20 calf raises (3 sets)

I also did some sets of stairs. The best part about it… it was FREE!! You could also add some upper body exercises with tricep dips, pushups, planking, etc.

How are you going to get active this weekend? We want to hear from you!

Mo xo

Cardio and Coconut Milk

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The opinions expressed in this post are that of my own, my opinion does not represent the opinion of both parts of sisteractfitness. 

I hate running. Well, let me correct that, I hate people that can run. No that’s not right. I curse when I see people running down the street because I can not run. My sister and I are part Hawaiian, we weren’t built to run except from an erupting volcano and that would just be one bad-ass sprint. In the last 6 years that I have cared about my overall health I have dabbled in running. The problem is the impact of someone who is 170 pounds on knees that never saw it coming isn’t very favourable. Not to mention my hip pops out and my shoulders start to clench up, yes I am not meant to run. I personally had to find other ways to get my cardio that didn’t include jumping on the treadmill or hitting the pavement for some muscle seizing fun.

It always surprises me a bit when people want to start getting active and choose running. It’s high impact and not something that you should just jump into. If you want to start I would suggest not, ok ok if you really want to then I would suggest following a “learning to run 10K” structure and start off very slow. There’s no point in going all out then not being able to move for 5 days after – you want to find a source of cardio that you can stick with, better yet 2 or 3 sources of cardio and constantly mix them up, hitting different muscle groups. Enter walking, swimming, the spin bike, elliptical, stair stepper and all things low impact and awesome!!! Long gone are the days that my knees ache, my hip hurts and I have to glare angrily at the gazelle-like women on the treadmill.  Set a goal to get some low impact cardio in 2-3 times a week for 3 weeks in a row (it takes 3 weeks to solidify a habit) then increase your resistance or your speed and watch your mind and body improve!

So, last week my boyfriend wanted me to bake paleo bacon chocolate chip cookies for a pot luck at his work, lucky me, he brought home a couple that were leftover – anyways this recipe calls for coconut milk http://www.runningtothekitchen.com/2013/06/bacon-chocolate-chip-cookies-grain-free/

 I bought a can of “premium, organic” coconut milk from Whole Foods and I’m in love. I don’t drink milk, I don’t eat cheese (95%) of the time so I miss the creamy aspect of food, until now. The other night (and tonight) I simmered vegetables in coconut milk, added some chicken and spices and at the last minute added some spinach to let wilt. The coconut milk absorbs the spices which then simmers perfectly into the meat and vegetables. To make sure it was enough protein for us I added a fried egg to the top, this was so warm and tasty I could have eaten two more plates. And yes that’s a bacon wrapped scallop, we both weren’t feeling great yesterday and that was the awesome treat the boyfriend came home from the store with – winner winner paleo dinner

Here’s a picture!!!!!

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