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 🙂

 

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

Kicked my ASS!!!

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This is a little challenge for you guys!!! I tried to do this HIIT workout after work today and it kicked my ass. I managed to get 3 rounds done in 17 minutes with a 2 minute rest between rounds. Woof! That’s about all I can say! Going from burpees to squats was the hardest thing! If you are up for the challenge we would love to hear how many rounds your legs (or better yet how many rounds your mind let you do) and how long it took 🙂

Bring on 30!

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Happy birthday to me! As your read this, picture me sitting in Brazil relaxing on the beach after an early morning surf and spending some time reflecting on the past year.

29 was interesting. It was a year full of ups and downs and a lot of it I would rather not reflect on. However, there were some huge positives that happened for me this year. I met a lot of wonderful new people, strengthened many of my relationships, had some new opportunities at work and continued with my healthy lifestyle. There were many highlights this year but I am definitely excited about turning 30 today and embracing what is to next to come.

Last year I set some goals for my last year of my 20’s and here is how I did on them:

1. Travel to a different country- I am currently in Brazil with one of my best friends to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We are taking in as much culture, sunshine and waves as possible.

2. Get my body as strong as possible before my second knee surgery: I accomplished this goal but did not get my 6 pack this year. I will have to keep that one on the list for next year.

3. White water rafting- did not accomplish this goal yet but who knows what will happen on this trip while in Brazil.

4. Have 100 followers for our blog: We passed our goal of having 100 followers for our blog, from all over the world and that number continues to climb.

I want to say a big thank you for all the people in my life that showered me with love and support this year. You will never know how much that call, text, hug, cuddle, cry, drink, food and talk meant to me. I have the best people in my life and feel incredible thankful for each and every one of you. You have given me the gift of compassion, patience, gentleness, grace, positivity, humility, understanding and unconditional love. My goal for 30 is to be the kind of friend that each of you have been to me. Bring on 30!

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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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