Let’s Get Real

There comes a point in time where you sit with yourself and just think what the fuck (excuse my language)

What am I doing? Why am I doing this? And how can I make myself proud of me? I have been struggling internally and heck externally for that matter. I keep telling myself that finding some type of balance between nutrition, work, school, yoga, the gym, family, and a social life that it is okay to let go here and relax there. That I should be easy on myself and just learn to be where I am at and to practice a bit more self love instead of getting upset with myself over the small stuff. However just now it dawned on me,  pushing myself to achieve what I once thought possible and loving myself are not mutually exclusive, they both come for the same very loving place.

photo (6)I am allowed to push myself to make healthy choices, to say yes to the gym when I don’t want to go and to make time for my yoga practice when I would rather not move a muscle, to make time for family that doesn’t involve plopping my bottom on the couch and watching a movie.

It also means that maybe sometimes my body and soul needs my mind to be a bit of a cheerleader for myself, my health and my own body image. No one else is going to do it for me and no one else is going to be disappointed when I don’t achieve the level of success I feel I am capable of achieving.
owning your storyIt is time to start walking away from excuses, stop falling into old habits that have made me so miserable in the past and start dedicating time to me. It is by dedicating this time to me and my own well being (body, mind and spirit) that I can practice self love. It is not about punishing my body it is about loving my body with challenging activities and fuelling myself with healthy nutritious food while reminding myself that treats are called treats for a reason and that it is my responsibility to find that balance for myself (because this will be different for everyone).

Big ridiculous changes aren’t needed but it is time to realize and respect that if I am doing this for Me it is my responsibility to cause change be that positive or negative.  Allowing myself the flexibility and understanding to flounder and loving myself enough to know that I am strong enough to keep going.
loveIt is time to find that strength and kindness again especially now during these stressful, busy, mentally and physically exhausting times. I am reminded that it is in these moment of doubt and despair that it is most important to reflect and remember why the heck I started this life shift in the first place. It wasn’t to wear a bikini (however admittedly a great perk) it was to feel better, be happier and to rediscover my self worth. It is time to stop short changing myself and to start focusing on my small, minuscule and maybe almost no existent successes and rewarding myself with self love and kindness instead of physical treats and presents (although they are definitely allowed sometimes).

So today I choose to love myself and throw away some of the shit I have been feeding myself mentally and physically and I know that this doesn’t mean that I won’t have to take out some of the same garbage tomorrow, but I am okay with that.

Happy Sunday everyone. Stay motivated, stay focused and above all else learn to listen to and love yourself. 

Stress and Motivation

These past few months I have been slowly adapting to my new life style of part time yoga teaching, part time personal training, part time government work and full time school.  Oh goodness when it is all written up like that it seems a little overwhelming, and at times it feels that completely overwhelming. During this change in my life and my routine I have been struggling with finding a balance and finding a way to commit to my workouts and my yoga practices.

20140427-161649.jpgLuckily (sometimes I think not so luckily) two of my jobs are personal training and teaching yoga so making time to get to the gym or get on my mat is not only good for my personal well being it is good for business so to speak.   But when there is such an easy overlap sometimes it can take away from my “me time” that which is normally what my gym/yoga time is.

So all of this being said how do you keep motivated at reaching/ surpassing your personal goals, while lowering or maintaining stress levels? Unfortunately, I don’t have any 100% works all the time fix but the following tips have helped me out more than once, and to be honest are helping me out right now (I have slipped and have been a little less productive with my goals than I would like, but that is part of the journey).

motivateHow to keep Motivated when you are Stressed out:

1. Consider taking a break.   Now I don’t recommend this often, but if your stress levels are through the roof working out and physically stressing your body out can actually put you in a worse off position.  The best way to explain this is that we all have a bucket and this bucket collects “stress”.  It doesn’t care if it is emotional, physical, mental or environmental the bucket just collects it all.   If you are on the brink of having a full bucket have a big project due, are putting over time at work and have a heavy lifting session followed by some cardio it is quite possible that your bucket will overflow.   So maybe instead of hitting the gym as hard as you normally would consider taking a restorative yoga class, reading a book in a nice bubble bath, go on a walk with a friend, get out in nature.   Don’t write the day off do something just listen to your body and take it down a notch if you need to.

2. Focus on what you are putting in your mouth.  This one has been extremely challenging for me lately.  We all have different responses to stress, some of us might want to run miles, stuff food in our faces or maybe sleeping all day long and avoiding the problem is more your jam.   I am a mix between wanting to run for miles and stuffing my face, and unfortunately for my waist line I have been nursing a running injury so face stuffing has been front and centre.  I understand that I am going to trip up every now and then and that is just part of life, I also know that taking the care to put food in your body that has been lovingly grown and prepared will do me better than any bag of chips ever will.  Although I have had a bit of a hiccup it is important to get yourself back on track and move forward.  Cooking with a friend and pre-making your food for the week is a splendid way to remove excuses and fill your fridge with easy, healthy and loving food.

3. Schedule it.  I am sure we have all heard this at some point in our goals building a healthy life style, but it is so important especially in times of stress.   We tend to make room in our lives for our work, our homework, cleaning, friends and family but it is just as important to make time for ourselves and our well-being.  So schedule in your workout, schedule in your yoga practice, bring your runners to work and head out at lunch, encourage your family to come with you, do what you need to so that your health and fitness is just as important (if not more) than all the other items on your to do list.  Also having it scheduled will help to remove the “how am I ever going to fit this in stress” because you have already thought of that and it is planned out all you have to do is get there.

4. Timed Goals.  This might sound like a bad idea but it helps me out every time.  I love running but when I have a reason to run, like a race, I am more likely to lace up when I really don’t want to.  Setting well structured and time limited goals are great motivators to get your revved up and excited to take care of your physical and mental body.   When I am having a particularly rough time I try and set weekly goals so I can feel that satisfaction of accomplishing something no matter how chaotic my life feels at the time.

I hope these tips help you get back on track if you have also taking a bit of a detour. 

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Let’s Get Sappy – Some Inspiration

I love to share my health and fitness journey with all of you, and I will continue to share with you the things I learn and what works out for me.  One of the things that I have learnt while on my health and fitness quest that has been integral to my learning and growth is how very individual’s journey is personal and unique.   I really love hearing from others about how they are doing, what they are doing, and why they started to focus on their health, fitness and happiness, and for me it is actually one the most motivating reasons to keep going and keep pushing myself.

While on my own journey I have had the great opportunity to be introduced to so many wonderful people, at my gym, in our Gingersneezes Run Club, during our Gingersneezes Anniversary, at the Farmer’s Market, etc.  There are so many wonderful people out there who are just emanating positive energy and I think the more you are able to find that positivity in yourself the more other positive people seem to come out of the woodwork.  You get back what you put out right?

I have had the chance to meet so many amazing and inspirational people I wanted to take a moment to highlight one of them today.  She helped me to caringly  nurse my knee back to a healthier state about a year ago, is a dedicated running buddy and a pleasure to have beside me in a yoga class, she has even helped me to experiment with the workouts I post on this blog. Her name is Susan and I would like to take today to talk about how awesome, inspirational and dedicated she is.

I feel like I need to start off with saying Susan has always been completely amazing, her awesomeness is not new; she is loving, caring, supportive and would go out of her way to do anything for anyone else, she is adventurous and for as long as I have known her has done what she could to stay active.  Like anyone else she has had ups and downs in health and fitness, and for the past several months has become very dedicated to building her own happiness, health and fitness.

Instead of just gushing about Susan for 10 pages I figured I would put her in the hot seat and ask her some questions about how she feels her journey has been going. She has been sweet enough to share her struggles and successes throughout her journey. So here we go with my interview with Susan:

1 – When did you start focusing on your health and fitness?

Like many people this has been a long ongoing battle for me. During my last couple years of University and shortly afterwards I was very into running, ate relatively healthy for a young 20-something, and I was comfortable with my body. This balance lasted for a few years, I maintained my weight and exercising half-heartedly, then life started to change. I started dating someone and my focus went into building that relationship, as it does sometimes.

As my relationship progressed I slowly started to forget about myself.  I didn’t take the same time and effort to take care of myself, putting personal goals on the back burner and slowly stopped doing many of the things I enjoyed. The combination of lack of activity, making poor food choices and my decreasing self-esteem culminated into gaining a great deal of weight, losing myself more and becoming isolated from those I had once been very close with. After a couple of years the relationship ended, but even then it was incredibly hard to pull myself out of that negative space (mainly because I can be a little stubborn and guarded at times and well I wasn’t emotionally or mentally ready to try to change).

Eventually I started to do things for myself again, I decided to go back to school and started to focus on my health and fitness a bit more. Once I started back at school I was active here and there throughout the year, but having been out of school for 5 years getting back into the routine was a bit of a struggle and I found it difficult to find “me” time.  Once school was done, and I was working a job to pay the bills while looking for something in my field I realized I was frustrated with my situation.

One day I just got to the point where I was so sick and tired of feeling so awful, physically and emotionally and I decided I no longer wanted to feed into the frustrations and negativity around me. I slowly started to get back into running, and eventually Brittany and I started back up as running partners. I was also doing some at home workouts and focusing on eating healthier. These small changes added up and made for some incredible differences and then winter hit.

It was this past spring when something clicked – I didn’t want to keep living my life feeling uncomfortable and unhappy and it was within my power to change these things I got to work. I have to say the past couple of months have been truly amazing, I’ve been running with great friends, participated in a bootcamp with an amazing trainer, and am getting hooked on eating clean, wholesome foods. This has been an incredible and eye opening experience and I am so happy with the changes I’ve noticed so far (emotionally, physically, mentally). It is a great beginning.

2- What inspired you to focus on finding a positive balance of happiness, health and fitness in your life?

It was a switch to wanting more positivity in my life once I made this decision I found that balance sort of naturally began to occur in my life. After a 2 week cleanse/ personal “experiment” to find out what (if any) food sensitivities I had, my mind felt so much more clear and it just felt easier to focus on the positive.  I have found that when I focus on my health and well being I’m happy and feel wonderful, and when I’m happy I want to put that effort into maintaining it.  The balance or cycle of health and fitness I have found for myself helps to perpetuate my happiness and I feel pretty lucky because I have found something that works.

3 – What are all the crazy things you have tried?  And out of all of it if you could save someone the trouble what would you recommend?

While I’ve tried several fad diets (South Beach, Fat Smash, The 4-Day Diet) and they all result in a few lbs lost quickly, that didn’t last. Luckily I’ve always been too freaked out to try over the counter diet pills – those things can mess your body up.

The best thing I have ever done is take the time to figure out what foods work for me and my body (even if it means having to drastically limit wheat from my diet now) and focusing on giving my body clean, whole foods.Since cutting out processed foods it has been crazy to see how I feel when I eat highly processed foods (feeling bloated, low energy levels, etc.). Now this is not to say that I won’t be having some wine or pizza any time soon, but for me it’s about creating a balanced lifestyle.

So, my advice would be to give it a try and cut out the overly processed stuff and eat real foods to see if you notice a difference.

4 – What motivates you to keep going?

Seeing results has definitely been a huge motivator to keep going. The longer I am into this way of living, the more I love it. I want to surpass where I was last month, whether it’s holding my plank longer or running faster and not feel like I’m dying, achieving these goals makes it easier to stay motivated (and a little bit of competition never hurt anyone).
Susan WorkoutAlthough seeing results is a big motivator the changes have been beyond the physical ones, and it is these changes that are a big deal for me. It’s often very easy to get swept up in the negative (and who doesn’t from time to time – jobs, relationships, families, finances can all be very stressful), but it is just more pleasant to feel happy –  who doesn’t love being happy?

5 – What is your favourite clean food?

My favourite clean food – now that’s a tough one. There are just so many tasty things that come to mind. I’ve been semi-obsessed with oatmeal, banana and peanut butter for breakfast or as my evening pre-workout meal (yup, oatmeal for dinner – it’s that good). I’ve also made some delicious falafel patties to have on salads, or throw in a wrap, or as a snack. I could literally eat them every meal, every day.

6 – If you are going to indulge what would you treat yourself with?

If I am going to treat myself I will likely grab some pizza – that cheesy goodness is too hard to resist. Top that off with a glass (or 3) of wine and I’m a happy girl. 

7 – How do you deal with setbacks? Is there anything you do to keep your mindset positive?

Setbacks can be extremely frustrating and depressing, but I think the most important thing is to remember that everyone has them and you are not alone. Surrounding yourself with supportive and positive people has been extremely helpful. Taking the time to talk to a friend or family member has been something that has always helped when I feel like I’m in a “not-so-great” place. It’s taken me a good chunk of my life to learn to let people help, and it has been so incredibly worth it!
Susan InspirationI am also a super cheeseball and love all things motivational. I post them around my apartment (note my inspiration board above), I also post them as the background on my computer and my phone. I will even write a little post-it and put it on the mirror so I can see it as I start each day. Sometimes all it takes is a little reminder to remind yourself of just how wonderful and amazing you are.

8 – Out of all the things you do to keep you healthy and fit, what is the one thing you don’t think you could live without? The one thing that you feel helps you stay on course.

The one thing I couldn’t live without when trying to stay healthy and get fit are my people.
Susan's PeopleI’ve said it already, but having a great group of people who have been encouraging, supportive, inspiring and are just all around awesome has made the most difference in my life. Going through anything alone can be trying, having those people in your life just makes it so much easier. They are there to talk to whenever you need it or even if it’s just let out a little cry, they can help see you through to the other side or just quietly offer some tiny bits of motivation. I am so thankful and grateful to have such wonderful people and they are definitely what helps keep me going!

Susan Before and AfterIn Conclusion…..For the past two months Susan has been busting her butt to make herself into the happiest, healthiest, most optimal person she can be.  She continues to work hard to find a happy balance between life, fitness, nutrition, happiness and self-appreciation.  In just two months all of this hard work and perseverance has turned into the incredible loss of 13.5 inches and 11 lbs. Besides her incredible loss in weight and inches she has also developed an amazingly positive outlook, she can’t seem to stop smiling, and she is always up to find new challenges.  Her mental and physical changes have been amazing and I am so happy she decided to share her ups and downs with us today.

Can you relate to Susan’s story?  Has health and fitness been something you have been improving yourself?  How do you keep yourself motivated?

Motivational Wednesday

This week I figured I would try something a bit different than my regular posts. I figured seeing how some of us are now in the adjustment stage of putting into practice all the things we learnt during the 50 day challenge it might be a good idea just to post some inspirational/ motivational things to help keep you all geared up and excited to continue making happy and healthy life choices.

After coming up with this idea I started going through all of my saved images, pinned images and just the general internet in hopes of sharing some of my favorite inspirational messages.

I personally like to either print these out or make them my background screen on my phone or computer. I find that putting them in a highly visible place can help give me an extra burst of positivity and encouragement when I am feeling grumpy, discouraged, annoyed, frustrated, or any of those other negative get you down in the dumps type of feelings.

We do run run

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We do run run

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I hope some of these images and quotes help to pump you up and keep you moving and making healthy food choices. Maybe for a bit of extra motivation try what I do, save one of these to the back drop of your phone, computer, tablet or go old school and print it out and stick them on your fridge or on a real life inspiration board. Pick something that speaks to you and make it your mantra for the next couple of weeks to remind yourself to keep going and to keep putting in 100%, you are worth it.

Happy Wednesday!

* Also just a little side note. I have updated the Eats tab. I am hoping to organize them a bit better so it is easier for everyone to find what they are looking for. I have also added some categories to help encourage me to provide you all with more options. Hope you enjoy.

Home Stretch

Just one week left everyone! Not that I am eager for the 50 day challenge to be over, but it will be nice to go back to a regular one treat meal a week kind of situation. Besides missing regular treat meals I have really quite enjoyed this challenge, it has been tough at some points, but it has mostly been super encouraging for me.

I found the challenge to be motivational. I was able to notice myself making new habits, like actually going for a piece of fruit when I wanted something sweet, to getting into the regular habit of preparing my food for the week on Sundays. Or instead of sitting on a patio with a drink I would lace up and go on a run, head out for a walk or get on my bike and enjoy the nice weather in a different way. The challenge simply encouraged me to make more of a commitment to myself and my goals over the past 50 days.

I have suggested that we all take this time to go over how we felt the 50 day challenge went for each of us and create two things 1) an inspiration board and 2) a list of goals or guidelines we would like to continue after the challenge. So I figured seeing how I am asking you to do these things I would share what I have put together for myself.

Personally I find it helpful to reflect back on challenges like this so that you can receive maximum long term benefits. I also find that by writing something down will help to remind you of all of the things you wanted to continue.

So here it is *drum roll* my inspiration board.

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I have tried to capture images of how I have been feeling over the past what 43 days(?) I also plan on making this my computer background so it is somewhere highly visible to keep me on track and motivated once the challenge is over.  Creating something like this extremely fun and it gives you a chance to reflect on how the experience made you feel and to focus in on some key words that will continue to motivate you in the longer term. The words I chose for my inspiration board were the following:  Power, Strength, Pride, Health, Happiness, Accomplishment, Possibilities, and Perseverance. Where will your inspiration come from?

The second thing I recommended we all do is to write down some guidelines or goals that you would want to incorporate into your life once the challenge is completed. Once I sat down and put pen to paper I couldn’t stop writing! I had to go back and pick out the ones I figured would be the most beneficial to me and to my health and fitness journey that would also respect and encourage a happy and positive mindstate. So as awesome as it is that I had a page long list it is important that you go through your long list and choose the items that are most important. It is better to focus on a few key things than attempt to do everything all at once.

I was able to narrow down my page long list to 6 key things.

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1. Only eat out as a treat. I often struggle with this one. If I don’t prepare my meals properly for the week, or I don’t have the fish thawed for supper time I am a serial pizza orderer. What this challenge has taught me is that it really isn’t so hard to motivate myself to put the extra effort into planning regularly and when I haven’t planned as long as the house is properly stocked with healthy food it isn’t that hard to figure out how to throw together something simple. So eating out should be used only to treat myself not as a tool of convenience.

2. Continue to find time to be active. I have noticed that I have been putting much more effort into finding time and being more amenable to later evening workouts than I had been prior to the challenge. There is no reason not to keep making time for activities in my day to day life, so I want to keep this up.

3.Food is just Food. Alright, I feel like this one might have upset some people. So I just want to clear up that it isn’t that I don’t believe that food isn’t meant to be pleasurable because it should be; food should be social, fun and it of course should be tasty. What I am saying here is that food is only food, it shouldn’t be used as a tool to satisfy an emotional response. We have all had a bad day where it feels like the only thing that will make us feel better is a plate of greasy food, followed by a chocolate bar and a bottle of wine, but you know what is probably more effective? the healthy meal you had planned for yourself and maybe a little physical activity. Food won’t make you feel better so it is better to deal with what you are feeling instead of trying to fix it with food.

4. Stop calling them “cheats” they are treats name them appropriately. This might seems silly, but about halfway through the challenge I became annoyed that I had called the three breaks “cheats”. I didn’t put them in the challenge to make anyone feel like they were being a rebel or that they were cheating themselves. I put them there to remind us all that we all need our treats now and then, just probably not as frequently as we would like to give them to ourselves.  Basically I don’t think you should feel like you are “cheating” you are making lifestyle changes not adhering to a diet and in life you should treat yourself. So just call them treats and stop associating a negative connotation with your slice of cake, glass of wine, or fancy dinner out.

5. Don’t dwell. It is life and in life there are ups and there are downs, so do your best. Sometimes that might mean “slip ups” but just acknowledge that it happened and get right back on that horse. Don’t wait until “next Monday” to start again, and don’t let one slip up completely derail your day, weekend or week and most importantly don’t beat yourself up for it. It happened there is no undoing it so just move on.

6. Learn! The only way to stop making the same mistakes over and over are to learn from them. When you have slip ups do three things; 1) write down what you were feeling at the time, 2) write down how you felt after your slip up, 3) if you were given the opportunity again would you do anything differently? I find that by answering these three questions you give yourself the opportunity to explore the situation without being judgemental and it allows you to learn from the situation instead of just putting yourself down.

I hope me sharing this helps you to develope your own inspiration board and your own goals or guidelines for once the challenge ends. Remember to send them my way if you want to share them. I would love to hear from all of you.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

We All Have Bad Days

This past month I set a pretty aggressive goal for myself, full out believing I would be able to achieve it.  Unfortunately the second I set a number on my goal (it was 8lbs) I immediately started to psyche myself out.   Then when it came down to it, well I didn’t achieve what I had hoped for.
psycheAfter my weigh-in last night I immediately began to chastise myself for not putting in enough of an effort, not watching what I ate close enough, or not being dedicated enough to my goal.  This cycle of self doubt is in no way helpful or useful to my progression, it doesn’t encourage me to try harder, and it doesn’t make me feel about missing my mark.  The problem is that it takes me a minute or two to realize that I am talking to myself like this and for me to correct it to let myself know that I have been putting in a great effort, I train like a beast, and I eat clean probably 90% of the time, and then the hardest part is to remind myself that everyone has bad days.

I want to be clear that I am not complaining, I am so very happy with all of my achievements to date and I am shocked that I have come as far as I have come, I just believe that in a situation like this we become our own worst enemy, and honestly we are all allowed to have momentary lapses from reality aren’t we?

Now similar things have happened before (bad weigh-ins that is) I just think I had placed this one so far up on a pedestal that when I didn’t hit my mark. It was my last official weigh-in before I start training on a more solo basis and I was just wanting to have much larger gains in order to feel like I had some wiggle room, you know like a financial nest egg of weight loss, which of course sounds a little silly I really thought it would help me to feel more comfortable about, well, leaving my comfort zone of personal training.

After a bit of a display of emotion in the consultation room at the gym my trainer (Alannah) helped get me to see that this journey wasn’t about 6 months of personal training and that the training was just the starting my starting point. This isn’t a journey you start for a couple months and then cross your fingers that you will effortlessly remain this way for the rest of your life. It is a lifelong journey and where you are meant to create and encourage lifelong healthy habits, not temporary fixes for immediate weight loss, it is a process and sometimes processes take some time.

This journey is for LIFE so why am I getting myself all worked up about one weigh-in, in this light it all sounds a little silly because in life journeys are about both successes and failures and setbacks.  What this journey has taught me so far (and I had a wonderful teacher) is that you have to learn to be proud of your accomplishments no matter how small, you have to learn how to deal with disappointment in a healthy and productive manner, the journey is about small changes that turn into positive habits and all of this will translate into a happier healthier person.

So yes of course I was disappointed (I am pretty hard on myself sometimes) but I am also very proud of myself for everything I have accomplished to date and I know those last 8lbs will be gone in no time as long as I keep moving in a forward motion on this journey.

How have you dealt with setbacks on your journey for health and fitness?

Do you have a similar story?

Part Three – Living my Life

Here is the last part of the 3 part series (part one and part two) on my journey in health and fitness. These posts have been a bit more emotional and sappy than I had originally planned (and nope sorry this one is no different) but I am hoping that from opening up and sharing with everyone I can in some small way help to motivate,support or encourage someone out there to do something awesome for themselves.

Much of my young life was spent clouded by a negative image of myself and it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I started to realize that in order to grow I had to want to grow.  This is the realization that lead me to seeking out the help I needed in order to find that growth, and well here we are today. I am now getting ready to leave my glorious 20’s in just a little over a year and I am now finally starting to feel settled in my skin. When I say “settled in my skin” I by no means mean that I am at a point where I feel that I look perfect, act perfect, know everything and never need to look inwards again. What I mean is I have realized that I am not perfect, I cannot fix everything on my own, and not everything needs to be fixed, and I am happy and comfortable knowing this.

Over the short years that have been my life I have always wanted to be perfect or better yet be someone else. It wasn’t until the introduction of some solid and supportive friends, positive role models, inner reflection and learning how to ask for help, that I realized I just am who I am and that is okay. This realization began when I found my Naturopath; she was caring, understanding, and an amazing listener. She encouraged me to take a minute for myself and taught me how to start asking for help without feeling shame. My monthly visits with her were something I looked forward to, it was exciting learning new things, catching up and having her check in with how I was doing (I was on a cleanse at the time,  I was completely crazy), but she was there to help me get through it, monitor my progress and encourage me.

It was during this time with the Naturopath that an amazing friend of mine and I decided to start dabbling in yoga, starting up one day a week, two, three, and then it somehow turned into an almost daily ritual with us. Going to yoga wasn’t only about moving my body and burning calories, it was about self time and it eventually started to feel like a small community. Seeing the same faces from week to week, instructors getting to know my aches and pains and encouraging me try the next level. It was this type of gentle encouragement which started me back on a path of loving my body and respecting all the amazing things it was capable of doing without comparing it to others. I began to learn how to appreciate my body for what it was/is, instead of hating it for all it was/is not. Slowly all of this positive momentum built and I started experimenting with cooking again, started looking after myself (my knees in particular) and making healthier and happier choices.

I think I should point out that despite this love of sweating and learning to cook/bake new healthy things for myself I still wasn’t in peak physical form I was just happy. Which I have found makes a huge difference no matter where you are physically in your life.

I understand this is all sounding very soft and fuzzy, so happy, so positive and it definitely was, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a couple if not several bumps and hiccups along the way.  In my experience there is no such thing as a never ending winning streak, it is just a matter of learning how to deal with the loses or bumps that matters. For me the struggle is learning how to deal with self dissatisfaction and disappointment, and turning it into lessons and motivation as opposed to roadblocks.

At this point I had been seeing what I was capable of on my own or with a friend, but I had always toyed with the idea of personal training, but always felt too self conscious to really examine it seriously, until the fated day I told to enter my name in a raffle while attending the opening of a new gym and was lucky enough to win 3 free personal training sessions. I pretty much instantly feel in love with the gym, the workouts and the trainer. Working with Alannah has been as encouraging to me as my first days with my Naturopath, my first full week of yoga, or my first 10k race.  I am so happy I won those sessions and have been lucky enough to keep training with her, it has been and continues to be amazing discovering how much I am capable of, the ceiling just keeps getting higher.

Now welcome to the present day of my journey. I’m sure it would have been nice to start off where I am today but then I think “would I have learnt all the things I know now?” “would I have respect for all the little things I had to work so hard for?” Maybe, but having put in the amount of effort I have over the years to; build up to that 130lbs deadlift, do a full side plank in my yoga classes, run 5km in under 30 minutes or  choosing steamed broccoli over poutine as a side dish makes me beam with pride, and that I would never want to lose.

I have maybe taken the long route to get to where I am but this route has helped me to realize what potential is and can be.  It has taught me that potential is what matters, not perfection and that potential isn’t a place to arrive at but rather an idea to keep you motivated for change and growth.

What small decisions do you make every day that make you proud of yourself?  Have you ever struggled with self-satisfaction?

Happy Heavy Tuesday Folks!