Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fitgirlsrock!! Be Bold. Be Badass. Be You.

 Be Bold. Be Badass. Be YOU!

It occurred to me just now, yes just now, weird I know, that I have never explained the meaning of my logo or where it came from. Now with that being said, I guess it can be fairly self explanatory in one respect but I figured I’d break it down and explain it from my own perspective. 

Fitgirlsrock! That’s a given. I mean who can argue that!?! We just are. We are strong, confident and yes, we are badass. 

I recently saw this thing on Facebook that goes something like “anyone who knows me knows I love ______________” and your friends get to answer what they think you love. One of the first responses for mine after squats ( ;) ) was empowering women. I love, love, love this!! It’s absolutely true but I never realized other people saw me that way as well. 

To be bold is to be daring. To step outside the realms of your comfort zone and discover your limitless potential. To choose what you want from life, give fear a punch in face and not stop until you've reached whatever it is that you decided you wanted from this life of yours. 

I discovered my own boldness, my own limitless potential through weight lifting. In fact, I found myself through lifting heavy shit. Weight lifting has a special way of seeping into all other aspects of your life. It just does. There is just something to be said for that moment when its just you and the bar; completely focused, all other thoughts gone. You against you. Thats not to say its easy because its not but isnthat the point? It shouldnt be easy; the hard is what makes it great!

To be badass is to be confident, strong and passionate. To carve your own path. To know what you want and to be fearless of the hard work it takes to get it. It’s about caring less what people think of you and instead, just being yourself. It is that certain 'je ne sais quoi' that comes from being your own free self. Grabbing life by the horns and doing what you are passionate about.  

A few years ago while I was still working in the corporate world, I had a one-on-one meeting with a fellow colleague; another woman actually. In this meeting, this woman told me that I was overly confident and, not in these words exactly, but that I needed to be knocked down a peg. Now, I am not going to sit here and tell you that this didn’t affect me because yes, it absolutely did. It bruised my self confidence for a little bit and I even began to doubt myself. That is until I realized something, I am confident, I am bold and I am the master of my own ship. It was because of my bold attitude that certain people were resentful, even jealous. You will run into them in this life as well but don’t let them break your confidence. Exercise your boldness. Dare to be yourself! 

Lastly, to be YOU is probably the most important. Why try and be someone or something you are not? We were all created as wonderful, unique individuals and that is what makes us great. Learn how to be who you are, who you were meant to be. Accept yourself; your weaknesses and your strengths, they make you, you. Shine your brightest, be happy, embrace who you are, flaws and all, and love your YouBe proud of your very own uniqueness. It is beautiful!

And so, this is what it means to be bold, to be badass and to be YOU! 

Until next time,

Sunday, September 11, 2016

New program - an update

In mid February of this year, I hired a new coach. A coach who specializes in metabolic damage and repairing it. I needed the help and the expertise. My own research was helping but even though I'm a personal trainer myself, I couldn't seem to come up with the right program that would fix it. In hindsight, it seems as though I really wasn't following a particular program at all or at least not for long enough. 

In the beginning stages with this particular coach, I was following a 4 day split push/pull program with 1 cardio day/week and 2 rest days. I was, and still am, eating a considerable amount of clean, whole food and I noticed differences in my energy levels, hunger levels and so on almost immediately. This stage of my program lasted for 16 weeks. In that 16 weeks, I counted no calories or macros but I did stick to a solid meal plan eating every 2.5-4 hours that included weighing and measuring all my portions, but DIDN'T include me giving up any one macro. Woohoo....lots of carbs!! 

Early May, at about week 12 of the phase 1programming, our city was evacuated & some of it destroyed by wildfire :( Homes & businesses were lost, everyone was displaced and we were all anxious and stressed. Almost immediately, upon being forced out of my home, my digestion was off, my appetite was all but gone, my sleeping patterns were off and so much more was out of sorts. To say the program was disrupted is an understatement. We were evacuated for a month; thankfully our home was ok but others were not as fortunate. Coming back to the city was also very traumatic, emotional, devastating, HARD but we are here and we are strong! #fortmacstrong

While evacuated I maintained the majority of my workouts and cardio. The biggest area of struggle for me was my food intake. I just didn't feel like eating; so although my nutrition was still good & clean, I was eating like a bird for the most part. After getting home and getting back to a somewhat normal lifestyle again, I continued on for another 4 weeks of the phase 1 programming. I lost a total of 8lbs (scale). I noticed some slight changes in my bodies leanness and my clothes fit better but it was the way I felt overall that was the biggest improvement during this phase. Energetic, so much hungrier, sleeping better and just that feeling of being healthier in general.  

At 16 weeks, my program was switched to a hypertrophy and conditioning style. 5 day muscle group splits with no cardio requirements. My nutrition plan hasn't changed at all and I am actually just starting week 11 of this phase 2 program tomorrow. 

What have I noticed so far during phase 2? Well I am getting considerably stronger & pushing myself to lift heavier weight all the time. I feel full of energy and I feel very healthy from the inside out. Other people are starting to notice and comment on my leanness and I can notice a little more myself as well. I weighed myself today, just because I was curious, but no change since in scale weight. I am now at a point in my life where I just shrug this off. It doesn't bother me because I am educated & happy enough with myself to know the scale means sh*t lol. My clothes fit better than they have in awhile and I'm happy with the programming, weekly check-ins and my meal plan.

It's been a tough road for me, dealing with this issue. Lots of tears have been shed, but for once, I finally feel like I am on the right track. Doing it the right way! It's been a slow process which I know is the best way to do anything & maintain it for the long term. These are the things I preach myself as a personal trainer. 

If you've been following my journey from the beginning, you know how much I struggled with this issue. If there is one thing I hope you've taken from my experience it is that you've learned to never give up, to be resilient and keep pushing. 

The difference between those who succeed and those who don't is the fact they don't quit. When faced with obstacles, figure out a way through it. Never throw in the towel. When our desire to succeed becomes stronger than our excuses, then we will do great things.

Until next time,

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Health is a feeling not a number

Late September 2011 on our honeymoon to last week 2016. #fitgirlsrock

To some this will look like a before and after photo, some may not see that much difference, while others will, but to me, this is a process photo. A photo of a cardio only junkie to a strong, badass weightlifting woman. A woman who is still progressing, still working hard and still learning about herself. This journey; the journey of health and fitness shouldn't have an expiration date. It is an endless journey.

In the last 5 years, I've struggled many times. I've seen ups and downs and I'll be the first to tell you that it isn't easy but I'll also be the first to tell you that it IS so worth it.

For a long time, I was a cardio junkie. I would run 5 to 6 days per week and not lift any weights and I saw little to no change in my body. Sure I lost a few pounds on the scale but I didn't have any muscle, I didn't feel strong or confident, at least not like I do today.

Since October of 2011, I have significantly changed my physique and my outlook. I lost some weight initially and built some muscle, then dieted down for a fitness competition, then put on some weight and some more muscle. I tried leaning out many times since then to no avail, due to a damaged metabolism. Now, I'm working on repairing my metabolism with a coach, eating significantly more food, doing cardio only 1 day/week and feeling better overall than I have in months. Plus I've learned to listen to my body.

I'd also like to point out that in the honeymoon pic 2011 I weigh less than I do now. smile emoticon But, it is also not just the physical changes. It is the extra confidence. The lifting heavy and being comfortable in your own skin. The strength of a determined woman. It is the energy to do so much and feel so good from the inside out. The healthy hair, nails and skin. The feeling of health. No physical appearance can beat that feeling.

I am working on myself all the time both in the gym and out. Nutrition, workouts, rest, learning, reading and so much more. I have been working with this new coach to repair my metabolism for 9 weeks now and I'm already learning new things about my body. The changes I see physically aren't big ones but it's the ones that I can't see that I am focusing on. More energy, better sleep, hungrier more often and so on. I am currently lifting 4-5 days/week and doing cardio once.

It's important to remember that this journey is ultimately about health not a number. It is about feeling better in your own skin, having more energy, etc. Workout, eat well, track your food (journal everything), learn about your body; what works for it and what doesn't, take note of how you feel. Do these things consistently over time and things will fall into place. Health is a feeling not a look. xoxo

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Transformation Tuesday- Christie's story

This is my client Christie and here is her story.

"I've spent my entire life being overweight. Despite being bigger, I stayed quite active with team sports and outdoor winter activities when I was younger. After I moved away from home for college, I became less active and the weight started to pile on quickly. At my highest weight, I was 245 pounds. In my family, food was for celebration, family time, and any other type of emotion. I didn’t learn how to listen to my body and focus on my nutritional needs. Due to carrying around all of the extra weight, I started to have pain in my lower back in my early 20’s and I aggravated the pain with a fall down the stairs. The doctor didn’t seem to have any cure for my pain so he told me I would need to learn to live with it. Rather than accepting that, I decided that losing weight and gaining core strength was something I could control that might help. I started eating paleo in 2014 and immediately noticed I had more energy and the urge to move more. After some work with a physiotherapist and massage therapist, my pain was under control enough that I could start working out. A personal trainer seemed like the safest way to learn how to lift weights and help me focus on my goals. In March of 2015, I met Melissa and haven’t looked back since. She has helped me with knowledge, motivation, and goal setting. I’m now down to 165 pounds and pain free. I still have my struggles day-to-day with eating clean and finding time to workout, but I remind myself of how far I have come and that this is a life-long journey.  "

So proud of this girl. I see her work hard. I see her get out of your comfort zone and I see the confidence that she has built in yourself. Christie has come a long way. Her back pain is gone, her core and body overall are so much stronger. Way to go, Christie!! 

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

10,000 Kettle Bell Swing Challenge

To say I enjoy the kettle bell is an understatement. I love incorporating it into my routines and actually do so quite often.

Before I went on vacation in August a friend of mine was completing a challenge from T-Nation; The 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge to be exact. It intrigued me so much that I decided to take it on right after I got back. My main goal here was to improve both my grip strength and my hip hinge with the hopes of improving my 1RM deadlift.

I started the 4 week program on August 10th. 500 swings per day, 5 days a week. 2 days on with 1 day rest and so on. The first 4 days of the week another exercise is incorporated with the swings and then on the final day of each week you just swing. The program recommends that women use a 35lb Kettlebell, however I didn't have one of that size so I went with the 40lb instead.

The first week was the toughest. I was sore every day but by the second week and every week there after it got better; my time was faster and so on.

At the end of the 4 weeks; I was able to complete all 500 swings in 18:27:22 compared to 28:58:57 in week 1.

Other improvements noted:
- Grip improved dramatically
- Power and strength both improved
- Endurance improved
- Accumulated lean mass
- Recovery improved
- Time improved as noted above
- Required rest between swing sets became less and heart rate recovered quicker

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and would consider it again in the future with a heavier kettle bell.   I am enjoying the kettle bell so much that I have decided to move forward with a Level 1 certification from Agatsu Inc. This certification is taking place September 26 & 27 :) I'm stoked!!

If you are at all interested in the kettle bell and/or an added challenge; you should definitely try it out.
Here is the link from T-Nation. https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/10000-swing-kettlebell-workout

Good Luck and let me know how you do if you try it!

Until next time,

P.S. You will get calluses and yes they may rip but it just makes the challenge and you that much more Badass ;)