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

yvonne

 

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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Be a better you than you were yesterday

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Be a better you than you were yesterday

We as woman have to stop comparing ourselves to each other. We are all made equally. We are all beautiful in our own ways. We are all intelligent and strong in some way or another. We all have something to bring to the table. We all have passions that burn inside of us. We all have weaknesses that bring us to our knees. We may have a bigger butt than someone else but that’s irrelevant. We may have shorter legs than someone else but since when does leg length make us less of a person? The sooner we as woman begin to share the things we admire about each other and focus on building each other up the sooner we will see all women’s confidence levels begin to rise and petty comparisons decline. In turn we will begin to see the generations below us strive to be the strong women we are. Check your ego at the door and get your priorities straight if not for our own self assurances but for our daughters and nieces and the entire generation of girls growing up after us. The world they are being brought up in has a lot more value on physical appearance than it should and we have to teach them to be strong because nobody else will.

Interview With a Crossfit Enthusiast- Meagan!

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Mel and I love finding information about different types of eating and exercise for our own personal knowledge and for our readers. We understand and promote that everyone’s bodies are different and we all need to find workouts that challenge us. Crossfit has become a huge movement in the last few years and one of our readers is a Crossfit enthusiast. We wanted to share this amazing fitness movement with you. Let us introduce you to our friend Meagan Sarnowski Nelson.

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Sister Act Fitness: What made you get into Crossfit?
Meagan: A close friend’s husband became a trainer and in learning more about it, the variety and the difficulty level of it made me interested. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite thing about doing Crossfit?

Meagan: The variation, we rarely do the same workout again just different variations also the difficulty level. It is at your own pace but being in a supportive CF atmosphere makes you push your limits further. I love seeing my improvements. Even if it’s just adding 10 pounds to my dead lift I get a little happy happy feeling inside hehe. 

Sister Act Fitness: What would a typical Crossfit workout be? 

Meagan: There is really no typical workout. Each class is a different variation. We start with a warm up for 5-15 minutes then work on a strength/skill which could include a specific weightlifting movement or skill that we could work on and the strength/skill is than varied with different amount of repetitions. After that we go into a workout, the workouts range from 15-30 minutes of intense work usually keeping your heart rate up. Crossfit is famous for its common WODs (workout of the day) and they are typically named after a female, or a fallen soldier. These are benchmark workouts and aren’t completed every day but they help measure your progress when you do them again in a month or two. They are usually tougher but I always feel great after. 

Two of my favorite love/hate workouts are:
Cindy:
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 air squats
I love/hate her because it sounds easy but once your 5-10 rounds in you are feeling the burn and  have to learn to push yourself to keep going. 
 
Filthy Fifty:

For time: 

50 Box Jumps on a 20 inch box

50 Jumping Pull-ups 

50 Kettlebell Swings @30 lbs 

50 Walking Lunges

 50 Knees To Elbows hanging on bar

50 Push Press, 45lb bar 

50 Back Extensions 

50 Wall Balls, @14 lbs 

50 Burpees 

50 Double Unders (skipping)

And this I love/hate because it’s one of the toughest to get through but I feel so accomplished when I finish. 

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Sister Act Fitness: Top 5 songs on your workout playlist?
Meagan: We listen to Songza in the gym one I like is Hard Rock, Hard Bod or drop a beat. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite quote?
Meagan: Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. OR
A crossfit quote:
the goal is to get fit,
Make it the best hour of your day,
Stay safe,
Turn up the music,
High five some people, 
And blow off some steam.
So remember that,
Relax, have fun, work out. 
-Pat Sherwood
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite post workout meal?
Meagan: BBQ chicken and a fresh salad with fruit and nuts. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What inspires and motivates you?
Meagan: Feeling great. Even after a tough day, it is a stress reliever. Motivation is to lead a healthy lifestyle to stay active in the things I love. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite recipe?
Meagan: It’s an easy one, the Maple Blueberry no-cook oats breakfast. 

 
Sister Act Fitness: My cheat meal I could not live without is…? 

Meagan: Lasagne or any pasta and dessert. I would love to opt out of dinner to just have dessert haha

 
Sister Act Fitness: What does a typical day in your eating look like?
Meagan:

Daily food:
 Breakfast:
No cook oats with blueberries 
Coffee
Snack:
Fruit or yogurt or both
Lunch:
Chicken, veggies and either couscous or quinoa. If I’m still hungry I will have some salad. 
Snack:
Apple and cheese
Dinner:
Chicken, small salad, veggies, and either mashed cauliflower (my fav, have about once every 10 days) or we will have a carb such as rice, quinoa, couscous or baby potatoes. 
 
I do not take any supplements currently other than a BCAA drink during my workout, and on off days. 
 
Sister Act Fitness: What is your favourite thing about Sister Act Fitness?
Meagan: The updates! I love the recipes and new ideas you’ve tried  it has been a great help and motivation. 
 
Sister Act Fitness would like to thank Meagan for sharing her healthy lifestyle and Crossfit with us. Have any of you tried Crossfit? What do you do for your workouts? Sister Act Fitness would love to hear from you!  
 
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