Author: bonnie

Hey you guys!

It’s been a while since I’ve written (as usual – I’m a little hit or miss on the blog lately!). I have been around on Instagram and Facebook, and of course more in-person with my clients at the gym! I was browsing blogs in between clients at home yesterday and noticed Monica‘s recent post about self-confidence. She shared about her “power word” and it got me thinking: What is MY power word when I feel like I need a boost of either self-confidence or need to snap out of some negative thinking?

A few words popped into my mind, but the word that kept coming back was STRENGTH. It sounds a little cliche, loving to lift weights and being a personal trainer, but it got me thinking about all the different ways you can use this word and how different it can appear depending on the situation. Strength can be physical, of course, and you know I appreciate muscles and being able to pull my body up, push weight off of me, and have definition that shows it, too!

I LOVE when clients (and particularly women) have strength as their goal. I just started with a woman in her 50’s who has an awesome strength foundation and helped her learn how to do proper sumo deadlifts and banded chin ups today, and she ROCKED it! As we were stretching, she said she felt empowered, and that she “quite liked it,” and I lit up – there’s just something about working towards strength that is very fulfilling! Maybe that’s why I like the word so much, too. There’s power in that, sure, but also empowerment and in that, freedom.

This pictures represents a lot of freedom and joy to me, and it’s my base of strength that enables me to live fully! TO be able to hike and jump – whether in workout clothes and “ready” for it or not – is very freeing. I love the feeling and the ability to move as needed and wanted and I really have strength to thank for that!

But strength isn’t always joyful and vibrant; sometimes it’s standing with others in their pain, quietly, in stillness and grace, and simply BEING for and with others. It also takes strength to share your story, to open up and be vulnerable, even if it feels like the weakest thing you can do. “In quietness and confidence shall be my strength.” Isaiah 30:15

Strength in numbers, steeped in personal history with others in your life, strength in the journey and in the trenches with friends and family.

Strength also means rejoicing with others in their joy, and caring for people enough to focus on them and their happiness. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). 

So I think my power word would be strength. Because to me there is boldness, there is grace, there is commitment; freedom exists in strength, as does humility, and ultimately, I am only truly strong in Christ. Strength doesn’t always look like we think it will, from a Christian perspective:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And from strength comes a peace, a rest, that we cannot achieve or reach when we are stressed, tired, weak and running on empty: “The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

I will continue to hold onto strength, both physically as the days and years pass so that I will be able to live them well and of spirit and heart as I lean into Jesus and turn to him for guidance and direction, for the JOY of the Lord is my STRENGTH (Nehemiah 8:10). And if you’re looking for a little strength circuit that’s short and sweet, give this one a try:


What is YOUR “Power Word?” Do you turn inward, or to another person or faith, when you need that confidence and need to push your self-doubt away?

We are off to Oregon today to see family (my immediate family driving up from Northern California to meet more family!) for my dad’s birthday, and we can’t wait to celebrate his strength of body and character with everyone! Feel free to follow the fun along on Instagram, mainly, and maybe I’ll even share a strength workout or two while I’m away! Until then, find that power word and go feel strong in the gym and life!

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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Hey you guys! Hope you had a great weekend! I’m writing from a warm, cozy spot in CityFit, on a blue box and with the winter sun of a chinook streaming in. It’s beautiful and I’m loving this little break between clients to get some thoughts down on paper.

See? 🙂 Many people commented that I look comfy and cozy from my little corner – so true! Who knew a gym could be such a relaxing atmosphere. 😉

So, spurned by a few podcasts, conversations and observations recently, I wanted to talk a little bit about #HUSTLE. The business group I’m a part of here in Calgary (CBRG – we’re recruiting, too, if you fit a need in the group and you’re local in Calgary!) always joke about this idea of “hustling” as small businesses owners. It doesn’t resonate with us and we try not to use the word hustle or even “busy.” We’re all aware that our society glorifies being busy, but even more than that it seems many of us love to show others how hard we’re working all the time. Sleep? Who’s got time for that? Resting from the gym on a weekend? No way, bro! No days off, remember? Sending emails after 10 pm? Of course I do.

The hustle.

Search on Google under images for “hustle.” Oh man. Prepare to be bombarded!

 

“The hustle” is a mentality. I’m not referring to when we’re in a busy phase that sometimes requires longer-than-usual hours or when extra time is dedicated to studying, writing, or networking in favor of leisure activities – that happens to all of us. I’m more referring to the need to always be on the go – both with work and from the standpoint of this blog, from a fitness perspective. It’s tough for many to take a rest day, and there’s value on every level in our lives: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Sure it makes you appear successful and hard working, and there’s nothing wrong with both those things. But you know what? I gotta agree with Steph Gaudreau when she says that they “hustle is fake.” Check out her podcast about that here (season 2, episode 1) to see more about what I mean, and read her post about it here. I don’t have too much to add on top of her thoughts, but I had a few ideas that floated through my mind this last weekend as I rested and chose NOT to hustle.

I’m not wired to constantly work, unlike my husband, who can zero in with a laser-like focus that allows him to accomplish a lot! I am present in my work and then like to unplug in between clients or at night, not taking extra classes or courses on top of my work as a personal trainer. But you know what? He’s a learner, and I love that about him! He’s also taking his PhD right now so he needs to spend spare time outside of his work prepping for class and reading articles. We need each other – him to help me sit down and get my tax info in order or plan ahead for my clients, and me to help him take a break, go for a walk or watch a movie. A little of both is good, too much of one probably isn’t ideal. So while I’m not wired the same way Mikey is, I still make conscious decisions to avoid the hustle – and by now you know what I mean when I say that (my husband doesn’t hustle – he plays just as hard as he works and loves unplugging too!).

One way I do that? By not putting on workout clothes on the weekend. I seem to have 2 weekend modes: go hard in the mountains in the backcountry or (hopefully) for a walk, sometimes that means meandering around Costco, on Saturdays and Sundays. When I can, I choose not to put on workout clothes partially because I live in them Monday to Friday and partly because I don’t need a constant excuse or opportunity to workout.

Weekends spent enjoying the outdoors and NOT in “workout clothes” are my favorite! I’m not one to work all hours of the night or on the weekends; I value rest and understand that my body needs it! To me, NOT wearing fitness clothes (thereby giving me an opportunity to workout whenever or wherever) on the weekends, means I enjoy movement for the sake of movement and not for burning calories or getting a workout. I often choose to walk, like I did this past weekend quite a bit, to help me to relax, to listen to podcasts, to spend time with friends, to breathe and be.

I am NOT all about that “hashtag hustle,” and this is one way I help myself stay out of the fitness flow on the weekends. Some people are totally the opposite and love a Saturday morning spin class, which is neat, and probably fits their schedules well! But choosing not to wear do-anything clothes means I’m able to allow my body the freedom to walk and move and be without any expectations – no hustle required.

I also recognize that NOT resting physically is pretty bad for our central nervous systems (CNS). Our bodies are meant to experience stress, but because we live in such a state of constant stress (think: over-caffeinated, under-slept, exposed to light when we shouldn’t be at night, often over-exercised and getting dopamine hits from Facebook likes and not from meaningful conversations and relationships within real-life communities), we are often in a continual state of fight or flight. When we take moments of pause to rest and breathe, we can help resent our CNS and take ourselves from this state of stress to a parasympathetic state, when we are able to let down and relax.

Remember how I said we were meant to endure stress? Well, we are! But we’re meant to have moments of high-energy and high-output followed by moments of rest and recovery, not by more of the same stress at such an intense level. Like Mikey does – work hard, play hard! And sometimes “play” means sleeping in, taking a drive along the coast instead of hiking, going to a movie, getting out into the mountains, or having coffee with a friend. This looks different for everyone – both their level of output and how they decompress. But it’s vital that we allow ourselves the gift right of sleep, meaningful connections with other people, moments of pause and deep breaths, and the chance to recharge. It’s important for our physical bodies, our minds and our hearts, because how can you meaningfully enter into life with others when you’re so busy and stressed (or hoping to appear so) that you can barely sit down with a friend, with your Bible, with your spouse, to reconnect?

The hustle comes with sacrifices and just might not be worth it. But again, this looks different for everyone. For me, it meant sleeping in this weekend (raise your hand if you acknowledge that this is not the reality of those with kids and you don’t take it for granted…I do – and I love my friends’ crazy mornings because it means they have awesome little bodies running around making life joyful for them!), meeting a friend for dinner and mall walking, meeting another (73 year old!) friend for fitness talks over coffee, walking to meet friends for dinner in my favorite little community of Inglewood, joining a friend for a walk and talk (which increases serotonin – go walk AND talk to be happier!) and got lost in a big park in north Calgary wandering up hills and listening to inspiring podcasts in windy, warm weather. It was wonderful! Some weekends I want to huck it huge in the mountains (that’s where Mikey was on his annual guys’ ski trip!) and sometimes I want and need more rest.

But because others around us are on crazy merry-go-rounds, and because we adapt to what we’re living, it might be hard to recognize the hustle. Here are some helpful tips from Steph in terms of recognizing if this is you:

“Signs you’re in The Hustle:

  • Feeling emotionally triggered or defensive by reading this post.
  • Feeling as if the pace of life is spiraling out of control.
  • Proclaiming, “I don’t have time for that,” on a regular basis.
  • Making little progress despite working harder and longer hours.
  • Believing that if you slow down, you’ll fall behind.
  • Feeling the constant crush of keeping up with others around you. Aka FOMO.
  • Being unable to sit still for more than five minutes.
  • Skipping work breaks. (Or if you’re self-employed, failing to give yourself breaks throughout the day.)
  • Skipping meals to keep working.
  • Suffering from comparison-itis: the belief that you’re so far behind everyone else, that you can’t stop or you’ll fall further behind.
  • Requiring sugar, caffeine, and other stimulants to make it through the work day.
  • Multitasking as your primary workflow.
  • Frequently getting sick.”

So…what can we do about it? You might WANT to put on workout clothes on the weekend, so that tip may not work for you. But you can always:

  • Set clear boundaries. My spry 73 year old friend reminded me over coffee on Saturday that I need to be firm with my boundaries. That’s important for me to not get overcommitted with my training- and cancer-related activities and roles, and sometimes saying no is a way to do that. Don’t worry about pleasing people or what others will think, but set boundaries that allow you to be your best you!
  • Take time to unplug. Set yourself up for success – so unplug at night (great for winding down and encouraging quality sleep!), in the morning before the “hustle” of the day begins (pun intended) 😉 or during the day by taking little walks and breaks from your work.
  • Stay engaged in an intentional, loving community. One where you can let your guard down and be vulnerable, be yourself, ask for help and stay accountable to others. This takes effort and commitment but is so, so worthwhile – others will benefit from your support, too!
  • Nourish your body with movement and food.

Remember, sometimes this means a milkshake, other times it means a homemade, 2 minute flourless English muffin (from the weekend – so good); sometimes that means a long run or brutal HIIT session in the gym, other times it means a walk or not even leaving your house for the day!

  • Have a clear purpose. This is another post for another day, but knowing who you are and what your bigger purpose (bigger than your work and roles, even if they give you much purpose and fulfillment) is so important in not getting swept along with the top-speed river that is life in North America. Take time to ask the hard questions (and I’m happy to share a great formula as a starting point to asking these questions that we take time to do and talk about on every Survive & Thrive expedition!).

I am not made to hustle. I AM, however, made to work, but also to rest; the two aren’t at odds with one another. What a beautiful thing!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man…” (Colossians 3:23)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

…perhaps I could have just shared those verses rather than the personal examples above! They say it all. I’d love to dialogue further on the subject should you want to drop a note in the comments or email me! Feel free to connect on Facebook too, and let’s live in the freedom that hard work and rest brings us, especially when we can rest in the one who has control of it all and knows the bigger plan, Jesus Christ.

Live well & be well (and practice some belly breathing today – in through the nose, out through the mouth, and repeat…),

Bonnie

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I think our words have such an impact on how we live; it’s amazing how one’s mind can really affect how we live, and most people would agree. So why is it so easy for us to give other people compliments but not accept them for ourselves? We can tell someone else they look beautiful that day, compliment their strength in the gym or strength of character, but when someone else gives us a compliment, we bat it away. Maybe it’s false humility, which is a blog post for another day, but more often I think we really don’t believe those things about ourselves.

 

These thoughts were prompted by reading a post from mom and CrossFit athlete, Elizabeth Akinwale, on her Facebook page (linked below). She said:

 

“Once in an interview I was asked how I would describe my body. I gave the super unsexy response of, “adaptable.” I don’t subscribe to the framework that the mainstream fitness industry promotes. A paradigm that’s designed not to improve health or quality of life, but to feed on people’s insecurities and sell infinite amounts of quick “fixes.”

My training makes me feel adaptable, capable and strong, both physically and mentally. It builds my confidence to address whatever comes my way, which in this life is a lot. Meeting challenges every day in the gym gives me a sense of accomplishment which then carries over to make me better in other aspects of my life. When I look in the mirror I think, “I got this.” “
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I love Elizabeth’s answer, and it caused me to stop and wonder what my word would be about my body, and then what my clients would say. So I set out to do a little experiment.
When asked what one word you would use to describe your body, many of you replied with:
one word 4
one word 3
one word 2
one word 1
Pretty interesting, right? What I love is that the answer to this really shows where someone is in their mentality and perspective about their body. Some people are confident, others are uncertain; some are happy watching their body change and others are aware of how much it’s changed and are mourning that change. What’s important here is the process.
My initial thought was that most women would write something negative about their bodies, men more positive, and that a few people would transcend the masses and respond with words that show they love their bodies. But I got a real mix of responses, as you can see from them all above! From “squishy” to “powerful,” from “amazing” to “complex” and “complicated,” there were a variety of responses.
Several people used the word “disappointing,” including one of my clients, and at first I told her that her response made ME disappointed. But then I thought about it for a while and realized that it’s more important to respect the process of where someone is at with their answer, to listen and to accept where they are without judgment. I apologized for my response; it was an ingrained response as a trainer who wants people to feel awesome to encourage her to think differently about her body. But that’s okay if where she’s at! And it’s okay if YOUR answer is more negative in connotation than positive.
Plus, your answer might vary from day to day, or season of life to season of life. But what your response is for most days shows you where your thinking is at with your body, and the more you can reinforce the awesome things about your body (even if you don’t believe them all and its sounds crazy!), the more you’ll get comfortable really believing those things. I heard Erin Brown talk on the FitCast (it’s a MUST-LISTEN!) about the truth that it’s not realistic to go from hating your body to loving it overnight, so the next step up from that is saying neutral things to yourself. For example, if you don’t like how you look or feel on a particular day, just say, “This is how I look on Tuesday.” Simple, true, not negative, nothing crazy. What a great practice!
So, you’re probably wondering which word came to my mind first! It was CAPABLE (all caps, because I believe it!). Sure, I have my days where I don’t feel ________ (fill in the blank!), but overall I recognize that my body is capable of so much. From burpees to hugging others, from hiking to pull ups, from laughing to crying (often in the same moment!), from being used for transportation to a vessel of encouragement to others, my body is pretty capable. More and more I’m leaning towards the idea of simplifying how I move, eat and think so that my body is no longer the focal point of my life but instead I can get back to my mission statement: to love God and love people by motivating them to live well in body, mind and spirit. I don’t want to have to dwell on my weight – either the number on the scale or the number I’m lifting in the gym – or my appearance or my food in the kitchen, but be able to dwell on others and in the process, simply appreciate my body for what it can do. Does that I mean I won’t work on it or don’t enjoy having muscles? No way! Muscles are like a form of decoration or adornment, as I learned from Jen Sinkler, and I love working on mine!
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But I’m happy that I’m moving to that place where I can appreciate it but not focus on my body, if that makes sense. And I think we can all start moving from a place where we think we need to fix ourselves to treating ourselves with fitness and nutrition and mindset in a way that helps us deal with our depression, feel strong and capable, love others better, live at peace. In the meantime, I’m going to keep reinforcing that I’m strong, powerful, cheerful, kind, playful, fit and capable when I look in the mirror, despite those parts of my body that aren’t my favorite, because that’s life too, and it’s okay if we don’t LOVE every inch of our body. We can work to change our habits and bodies while being proud of who we are and what we have at the same time.
How would YOU describe your body? One word. And FIRST word that comes to mind, no matter if it’s “good” or “bad.” Appreciate it, notice it and move on.
Have an awesome day, you guys! Live well & be well – in body, mind and spirit!
Bonnie
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Hey friends! Happy Friday! I’ve enjoyed blogging more this week (on why you might need discipline over motivation; on letting go of parts of your image that might hold you back from freedom), but for this Friday, I wanted to share some fun links to lurk this weekend. Please feel free to share some good

Meal prepping made easy! Check out this post from Fit Foodie Finds:

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My Morning Routine, a website that highlights people’s morning routine. I find this really interesting and provides fun insights and even some takeaways into others’ lives.

morning

Check out my girl Kindal’s recent workouts – some gems in here and this woman works HARD!

Ways to make your Fridays more productive – some good thoughts here (that hopefully I won’t just read and then forget to put into practice!)…

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Good videos…

Gotta add Mikey’s again here – did you happen to catch our awesome slow-mo shots of our backcountry skiing anniversary trip?!

Live Lean TV – I really like this Canadian, Brad, and his California wife, Jessica (and their new little baby!) and their YouTube channel, which is all about living lean 365 days a year. They are down to earth (the more I get to “know” them I find this to be the case! Not just strong, ripped and beautiful people, ha!), give sound advice and practice what they preach. Great to beginners new to the healthy lifestyle but also awesome for people wanting motivation or inspiration to keep it up steadily!
lltv

A movie I WANT to watch: Minimalism on Netflix. Anyone seen it? I’ve heard good things, and I liked the recent Girls Gone WOD podcast where they talked about their focus in 2017 as the “Year of Less.” Inspiring!

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Got any fun links to share? Please share below! Have an awesome weekend, you guys, and I’ll catch ya next week! Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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…you need discipline. What do you think about that? As Jim Rohn famously said, “Motivation is what gets you started; habit is what keeps you going.” Habit. Discipline. Maybe in a season of resolutions and goal settings, we don’t need to look for passion, motivation and drive as much as we need to buckle down and be disciplined. Hear me out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to un-complicate and demystify all things fitness and food related for my clients and for myself. There’s something very appealing to me about keeping these pursuits of health simple, and as I’ve blogged about before, “discipline = freedom.” This idea comes from a retired Navy SEALS director, Jocko Willink, and you can read about the concept behind this idea here, but to paraphrase (and from the article),

“‘…what’s interesting,’ he said, ‘is that the more strict we were with our standard operating procedures, the more freedom we actually had to operate faster and more efficiently because everyone knew what to do.’

Willink said that he was inspired to take this approach as a new SEAL when he observed that the highest performers were those who had the most disciplined morning routines, waking up to prepare for the day’s missions while others slept.”

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(photo by Jeremy Fokkens)

Isn’t that a neat concept? It’s not that discipline makes us not have fun at birthday parties with food, or never go out with friends on a Friday night but instead stay at the gym and lift weights; it’s more that when you’re disciplined, you’re able to live life more freely. Discipline displayed through consistency throughout the year in the gym means I’m able to hike hard, to ski on any given weekend, to jump in the bouncy castle with my friends’ kids and in fact enables me to take some time off now and again from the gym and not worry about it. Discipline with my nutrition means sticking to the good ol’ standby that works for me: 80% real food, 20% whatever-fun-food! It means eating a majority of vegetables, proteins and fruits and being mindful of my fat and sugar intake most of the time, while still loving my almost-weekly licorice fix, some handfuls of chocolate chips when they happen to be in my cupboard, and a glass of wine with friends at someone’s house.

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(or bubble tea with ice cream and chocolate sauce!)

But it’s discipline for the majority of the time that enables this balanced approach and freedom.

What kind of fitness routine are you willing to commit to in order to see change while still giving your life flexibility in and out of the gym? What type of meal prep and actions do you need to take in order to set yourself up for success nutritionally so that you can have freedom from time to time with friends or enjoying your favorite meal at a restaurant? You see, we can’t commit to something for a week, 21 days, 3 months, or even a year to see change and be able to live in that freedom; it needs to be the result of repeated, actionable commitment that happens consistently and then freedom is gained.

There are far too many ways we make this discipline complicated when it comes to fitness and nutrition. You might follow one Instagram fitness guru who is a powerlifter and love her confidence but also love the body of a girl on Facebook who is a bikini competitor. Maybe you travel a lot and want to use resistance bands, but then you see a new program in Men’s Health and think you’re doing it all wrong and change your game plan. You got a cookbook for Christmas full of paleo recipes because you’re a Crossfitter but then discovered that vegan girl on YouTube who is so skinny but eats like 6 bananas at breakfast alone, which from paleo you know are very high in carbohydrates…

Whew.

It can be a confusing space when you’re trying to navigate how to make change and get disciplined, so here are some basics and what discipline can give you in these spaces:

Fitness:

It takes discipline to get up in the morning and not skip your workout when it’s cold out and the sun doesn’t rise for 3 more hours.

It takes discipline to go for a walk at lunchtime to get some more steps in to your daily total, or to take 20 minutes for a workout while on vacation.

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It takes discipline to know when to take a rest day when your body is fatigued from your routine.

It takes discipline to do your workout well, focusing on each rep and not half-assing your way through your movements. It also takes discipline to do the not-so-glamorous things, like foam rolling and stretching (ahem, Bonnie!).

Nutrition:

It takes discipline to order a side of broccoli more often than a side of fries.

It takes discipline to spend 2 hours on the weekend meal prepping so that you’re set up for success during the busy week ahead.

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(It doesn’t have to be pretty for it to be healthy, quick, tasty and nourishing! 😉 )

It takes discipline to not finish off your husband’s plate of food or nibble the rest of the cookies that your toddler doesn’t finish when you’re full from your own lunch.

It takes discipline to learn how to track your macros (protein, carbs and fat) and then it takes discipline to understand portion sizes and find a sustainable way of eating longterm.

The Rest of Life:

It takes discipline to not just flop on the couch at the end of the day, but to [insert what you need here: play with your kids, ask your wife about her day, go for a walk instead, cook dinner instead of ordering out…].

It takes discipline to read your Bible in the morning rather than wasting your pre-work time working your thumb out while scrolling on Facebook (guilty!).

It takes discipline to listen in conversation with others and really hear them, to make them feel known and loved, and not just consider your own answer or get lost in your to-do list.

It takes discipline to create the career you want instead of complaining about the one you have.

It takes discipline to not let Netflix roll on but to create an evening routine so that your sleep hygiene is top notch!

Discipline. It takes discipline. And in the discipline? FREEDOM! Freedom to play rough house with your kids without getting breathless; freedom to get dessert when on date night with your husband without any guilt of indulgence; freedom in choosing time worshipping Jesus rather than your phone and not because of a sense of duty; freedom to sleep in occasionally because you need rest and not worry about losing gains at the gym. Freedom. But it all starts with discipline.

So let’s keep it simple. Maybe tracking your food isn’t the best because you feel overwhelmed by the numbers and barcodes. Okay then, let’s start with whatever meal is your “weakest” and make it stronger. Make your own lunch daily, then worry about that daily Tim Horton’s double double and chocolate croissant. Make a rule to “say no to free food” at the office and stay disciplined; a lot of needless, extra calories (mainly from free muffins or those candies that Sherry has on her desk) are gone from your day with that one simple discipline. Maybe you need a bit more structure in the nutrition department, so find a friend who can get on board with you. But keep it simple: keep your foods mainly real and you’ll be okay! I promise.

When it comes to fitness, let’s keep that simple too. Remember that so much can be accomplished with just your body weight. Focus on the big movements: push, pull, hinge, squat and core (rotation or stability). A quick way to hit all of those with just body weight? A push up, a row on a TRX or with a broomstick between two chairs, a one legged deadlift (perhaps while picking up your boy’s Legos), a squat (maybe with baby in the Ergo!) and a plank or side plank with a twist. Keep it simple.

Bands provide amazing resistance for your muscles while being incredibly easy on your joints, you can always use your body to walk (check out my ideas for and the value of LISS – low intensity steady state movement – here or below!) and you can swim if you love being in the water and enjoy class with friends.

Don’t overwhelm your body with choices or try everything available, but shoot to be consistent and you WILL see change. I promise.

How will you keep it simple, simple enough to stay disciplined, in order to see change, create new habits and live in freedom? Maybe it’s something spiritual in your life, unrelated to fitness and nutrition. Or maybe it’s more interpersonal and you want to commit to calling a friend once a week or writing a letter of encouragement to a family member once a month. Whatever it is, let’s commit to keeping it simple and staying disciplined together as time continues to march us forward into 2017. I’d love to hear about it if this post resonates with you in any way and what area you want to forget about motivation and see some disciplined action take place!

Keep it up, and remember that in the midst of discipline there needs to be a clear WHY. Why do you want to stick with your gym routine? Why feed your body healthier foods? It has to be more than to look a certain way or because you know the alternative, junk food, isn’t good for your body and health. Dig deep, find out why, and let that help drive your discipline. And in the midst of your why, and of discipline? Grace. Always grace for yourself and the process. It’s not about perfection! Keep the bigger picture of life and reality and eternity in mind because at the end of the day, a workout is just a workout, choosing frozen yogurt for dessert is actually okay, and life will go on. Really believe that.

Live well & be well, friends! With discipline and in grace and freedom,

Bonnie

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It’s still the first week of January, and while people are setting resolutions and adding more to their lives, I’m wondering how many people (myself included!) might need to simplify their lives, or at least look at their goals in a different way. What prompted these thoughts is a hashtag you may have seen on social media right now: #gainingweightiscool Women all over are chiming in with their before and after photos of them having GAINED weight and how much healthier they are now having let some ideals go and gained weight (many moving from an eating disorder or disordered thoughts to more acceptance and balance). While there’s nothing wrong with abs and many people are genetically lean, I think it’s a more healthy-than-not trend, and while listening to yesterday’s Girls Gone WOD podcast, in which they chatted tracking macros with Adee Cazayoux from the nutrition program Working Against Gravity (WAG), I started thinking about how our image around our bodies often holds us back from letting go. Let me explain.

Maybe you’re the girl with the great arms. Everywhere you go, people comment on your biceps or shoulders. Have you ever gone on vacation without hitting the gym or sustained an injury and worried that that portion of your identity would disappear too?

Perhaps you’re the girl with the long hair. You received a cancer diagnosis and as your life started changing from your work routine to trips to the doctor’s office, your hair began falling out. No longer do people comment on your beautiful brown hair, but instead flit their eyes to and from your thinning head.

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(Mikey during chemo! …different for a man to lose his hair, especially when he never lost his beard, but it’s still a change in identity and the thinning hair does look different than a shaved head on purpose…)

Or maybe you’re the guy with the abs – you’ve had them as long as you can remember, but it’s getting harder to keep them as you age and you’re finding you have be pretty strict with your nutrition to keep them. Is it worth it? You think so, because you’re afraid of what others might say when you take your shirt off at the beach and no longer have them.

…you get the point. It’s an interesting conversation, as I’ve seen friends lose or gain weight rapidly due to steroids with their chemo cocktails and often thought about if I were to lose my dreadlocks, my defined arms, etc – what would people think? When I started consciously eating more (carbs and food in general!), my muscles responded so well; many people were commenting on my arms. That felt great!

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BUT… Then I’d go away, not hit the gym, and wonder what people would think when they saw less definition. Or when I go home to visit California, I must admit it crosses my mind that people will compare my current fitness physique to what I used to look like. Oh, how these thoughts can hold us back (and “How ridiculous,” you’re probably thinking, at the same time)!

A few thoughts on this:

  1. No one really cares. It’s true! And who knows, maybe if you’re always posting ab selfies someone will notice when you’re shirt’s not on, but how often are you shirtless around everyone you know? And how much do they really care? Not much at all…It’s just the truth. I don’t see someone and think “Oh boy, his arms have shrunk!” or “Yikes, she’s put on weight.” I just don’t think that way and I don’t think anyone does. Maybe you’re the girl who has always been tough and kept up with the boys, but you reached a point where you don’t want to compete, or don’t want to be a raft guide despite loving the outdoors and wanting to be known as hardcore (not that this resonates with me on any level whatsoever)… 😉 Who cares if you’d rather sit in the raft than guide it, or opt out of a weekend ski trip in favor of sleeping in and resting at home (because this is exactly what I did 2 weeks ago before Christmas)? You don’t have to prove yourself to others. And remember, people don’t care as much as we think they do – they’re too worried wondering what YOU are thinking about THEM!
  2. People change, and it’s okay if your body goes through phases. You might be softer right now after the holidays than during the summer season, or a perhaps you find yourself in great shape after having kids and finding your routine again. Maybe fitness is your priority right now, but the reality is that it might not be if you hit a crisis next month or if something happens in life and fitness takes a backseat. And that’s really okay! You might actually WANT to weigh a bit more and have more curves but are afraid to get out of “fat loss mode,” or you might be afraid of shaking your image of being “the fat girl” because it’s who you’ve always been and it’s a comfortable role to play. People change. You can change. Give yourself room and permission to change.
  3. Discipline = Freedom. Allowing yourself the chance to change doesn’t mean that everything goes out the window in terms of your routine. Create some structure, nourish your body, move as you’re able and enjoy life; do so with enough regularity and focus that you’re not floating or backsliding with your goals. But while you’re being disciplined, remember that it’s that discipline that enables you to be free to live and live well – so you can go skiing or chase after your kids or eat birthday cake at a party all while not being worried about the outcomes.
  4. Ask yourself in what, or whom, is your identity placed. If your identity is in your body, guess what? It’s going to change. Even the most fit physique isn’t sustainable forever. Our bodies change and sometimes it’s more than the inevitable years that change it – you might get in an accident and not be able to use your legs again. I don’t say this to be morbid, but to remember how much stock we place in what we can’t control, and in the external circumstances or roles we play (our financial status, our jobs, being a mom or grandpa, being a runner or CrossFitter or a couch potato). Ask the tough question of who are you and define yourself by something that cannot change. I know that despite my body or ups and downs in life, I’m forever a beloved child of God and my security is found in Jesus; there is so much stability there! Go to those tough places and ask who you are without “______” in your life – it’s a dialogue and discussion I always love to have with people!

So who are you? The girl with ____ or the guy who is ____ ? Is there anything in your image that you need to let go of? Let’s let go and move on together so we can be free to live life fully without worrying about holding the line when it comes to your body in other people’s eyes. Now that’s a resolution I can get behind! 😉

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(stronger arms, thicker legs, and I’m okay with it! part of my own image I’m letting go!)

I would love to know your thoughts on this idea of attaching yourself to one part of your body if you’re down to share. Goal setter or not, needing to let go of something or not, Happy New Year, friends! Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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Hey you guys! Long time no blog, right? But perhaps you’re used to that by now? 🙂 I’m a bit hit and miss lately in terms of blogging but I thought I’d pop in and touch base! A few recaps on the last month of so and some body weight workouts below. Sound okay? Let’s dive in!

Just before Christmas, Mikey and I hit the road for our annual backcountry skiing anniversary trip – a much anticipated break from routine, work and the connectedness of social media and technology. We had a blast, and both agreed that our time at the Ripple Ridge Hut in Kootenay Pass held some of the BEST turns we’ve ever had together in the backcountry! Incredible snow with very stable conditions, not many people (in fact, the others who had booked into the hut never showed up!) and and perfect weather (-5C). Here is a quick glimpse of our time away!

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On the summit of the peak we lapped ALL DAY – never crossed our tracks or anyone else’s once! 😀  One hour of hiking up 15 minutes down, and pumped every time to get another run in.

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The hut is only about a 45 minute hike from the pass, so we actually brought REAL food like veggies, spinach, ham and goat cheese! So good.

But you can’t really talk about epic powder without showing it, am I right?! Here’s a little film Mikey made of our anniversary trip!

So good. And I almost look like a “real” skier after 8 years of learning, ha! I don’t have much fear when I ski, don’t mind going fast or off peaks or hiking hard, but I still kind of ski like a robot. 😉

After our trip, we spent one day in a surprise (for me!) location: the Cedar House Chalets in Golden, BC. We’ve come to celebrate in a hut in the backcountry for a few days and then spend one night in a hotel (either on the way to the hut or on the way home), and this was our own, clean, cozy chalet with a hot tub included! It was an incredible way to finish off our trip and regroup by doing laundry, using a full kitchen to cook, soaking in the hot tub and dreaming about what life will look like this year and next. If you’re in the area and looking for an intimate, beautiful and unique place to stay, we can’t recommend this place enough (great find, my man)!

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After our quick stop-over, we had some fun with Mikey’s family in Lake Louise for a few days to celebrate Christmas after the fact. We spent a bit of (failed) time backcountry skiing with our brother-in-law, Dave, but it turns out Emerald Lake isn’t the best spot in the Rockies for touring… fullsizerender_2

Great for cross country skiing though! And that’s what we did with his family the other two days.

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Mapping out the next day’s cross country ski tour…

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(photo from my sister-in-law Catherine – that’s Mikey and my brother-in-law, Dave battling it out!)

There was also hockey at Lake Louise where it snowed like crazy for 24 hours! Tough for skating but awesome for tromping around in my IceBugs! I LOVE these shoes and must annoy everyone when winter comes around and I talk about them non-stop, but as someone who doesn’t love skating, putting my IceBug running shoes on with their little spikes (so comfy, unlike skates for my bunioned-feet) is something I look forward to on days when the rest of my Canadian friends and family hit the rink.

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I ran to the end of Lake Louise and back (in full ski clothes, ha! It was rather impulsive but so much fun), then walked a bit with my mother-in-law in the snow while the guys finished up their hockey game. The above photo was taken from a video – nothing staged about my joy of moving in these shoes!

After we said our goodbyes we hit the road for Invermere, BC for New Years with our friends, during which time I barely took a single picture! Mikey snapped a picture of our little group on new year’s day while we lunched on the mountain at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort:

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(Clare and Byron and us!)

We had fun staying up *almost* until midnight on NYE, running around with the kids, laughing together and connecting as girls as we got our nails done and guys played hockey outside, and eating homemade meals we cooked for one another. A great way to connect before another year begins!

Despite a very active break, I also enjoyed some great hotel workouts in a gym with ZERO amenities – like no towels, mats, balls, weights, etc, just three cardio machines. That being said, there’s so much you can do with your body and I was stoked to get more muscles than my legs moving!

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The first day I did this short burner:

Warm up, then 5 sets of sprints at 10% incline, 30 sec on, 30 sec off, followed by:

3 rounds:
10 push up + row
10 handstand shoulder taps
10 alternating mountain climbers
10 pull apart superman Rows
10 pull over sit ups

And the second morning I cranked out this shortie before we headed home:

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A 30:60:90 sec blast from BJ Gaddour, who I’ve always loved but have been really turning to for workout inspiration these days, with sprawls and tuck jumps and walk outs (oh my! 😉)… then,

3 rounds of the leg series in the video: 30 sec jump lunges, 10 sec rest; 60 sec lunges, 20 sec rest; 90 sec drop squats.

I finished up with 3 rounds of 20 sec push ups + 40 sec rolling plank, no breaks.

I’m still lifting but a bit less heavy and a loving adding more high intensity movements into my workouts again, plus lots of work with bands (like band pull aparts, mini band exercises for glutes and core work, etc) and am having so much fun! I’m also still eating in moderation. I actually lost a few pounds over the holidays – I think due to lots of hiking/cardio/less structured eating (huge meals at night but quick, on the go foods throughout the day) and actually because I was lifting less, too! Probably a bit of muscle lost but I’m enjoy the lighter feeling even while having a few glasses of wine and some treats over the break (like that maple donut below… See caption for my thoughts on food right now!).

…this is how my 2017 started out – well, after a day of skiing with friends! @mikelangyyc and I left Invermere with coffees and splitting a maple donut bar in hand for the drive back to Calgary and every bite was delicious! ☕️👍🏼No crazy diets, not berating myself for choices made or not made, no excess exercise. I love movement and good food, but just as much as I love donut I appreciate a hearty, veggie-based stir fry or a crisp apple. 🍎I’m firmly in the #moderation365 camp and love the idea of eating to perform! #ETP #eattoperform – I choose to fuel my workouts and life and focus on nourishing my body. # Not a big resolution maker but just ruminating on some food and fitness thoughts as the year begins! Back at @cityfityyc today, I wrote “2016” more than once but loved seeing clients and getting my own workout in too! Feels good to take a break from routine and then good to get back at it, doesn’t it? # Cheers to a new year! Let’s make it full of joy, grace, great workouts 💦 and the occasional donut. 🍩✌🏼

A photo posted by Bonnie Lang (@bonnielangfitness) on

It’s been great (and busy with everyone back in town!) to be back at CityFit again this week and I’m enjoying routine once again.

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Hey guys! Well, it’s just about Friday and I hope you’re ready for the weekend! There are so many neat things happening at this time of the year – I’m looking forward to a night in with Mikey Friday, our friends’ Christmas party on Saturday, and church on Sunday among other Christmas-y events. I wanted to share a little life update as to what this week has been like as well as some recent updates just in general because it’s been a while since I blogged.

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I’m kind of an open book and tend to share most things with most people. When Mikey and I first got married we shared our cancer journey on a blog and have been very open about the ups and downs, which has led to many neat opportunities to share our story over the years. Everyone processes differently and has different comfort levels with sharing their story, but I find it’s always helped me to share mine. As Mikey and my story has moved on from cancer in many ways, we’ve been wanting to grow our family, which I’ve blogged about on here. I always imagined that one day I’d reveal we were pregnant with a fun announcement – maybe something fitness-y or outdoors-y and surely involving a pair of tiny hiking boots or little set of dumbbells. But, as I’m learning more about my body and my uterus and discovering this process isn’t a short one for us, I’m sharing more of my story – so it probably won’t be a surprise if at some point we do conceive! I’m also learning to be sensitive to the sharing of this news, as it really is tough to watch others get pregnant. While my heart rejoices with them, my emotions don’t always match this, so it makes me want to be mindful of how I am with good and bad news moving forward!

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(my new-ish little niece before they left Canada! Fun soaking time up with these guys while they were here)

I was able to have my appointment with a gynaecologist in High River last week, and that was good! And while I did learn a bit more about what having a septate uterus means, I also discovered that there’s a big range of what that could look like, and my first ultrasound really wasn’t detailed enough to give him any information. So I left knowing that I’ll wait again until I can get another more intentional ultrasound to explore what my body looks like. This was kind of discouraging; it felt like I drove 45 minutes away in a snow storm to not really learn anything new or have any questions answered, but it’s the next step in the process.

What complicated matters further was that I was 12 days late, which was both exciting (baby?!) and a bit scary (knowing that I’m at a higher risk of complications and miscarriage due to my uterus). When I finally let myself believe I was maybe pregnant, I started my period, or rather, had what I think was an early miscarriage. The first few days of the week were rough – a lot of tears and emotions that were more than I ever expected I’d experience. The ups and downs of this journey have been harder than I expected, especially never having been a “baby person” or someone who KNEW without a doubt that I wanted to be a mom. I went from nervous anticipation to a big let down, major emotional rollercoaster and barely got through my clients – it’s tough to be pumped up and positive when your heart isn’t there! But I’m honest with my clients, too, mainly because I can’t hide anything and wear my emotions on my sleeve! …I think my puffy eyes gave me away to my early morning client, Keith, but without going into details said it was a tough week. 😉

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And now… I’m sick. I’m on the couch trying to relax but my head is pounding. Just a really bad cold (many around me have had this recently!) and I think the stress of this week made my body just crash. Thankfully I have awesome clients, I sent out emails with workouts for them to do today, and they wished me well! I also have an amazing community around me who are praying for me and encouraging me and I’m so grateful for them!

I think it’s hard to describe when/if you haven’t experienced a wait like this; the let down each month, the eagerness and then dash of hopes. I know we can still have kids, and I’m grateful for that! But I’m back in the waiting zone again with our next steps, and it makes me want to go away and travel. To be real, I don’t feel like being around at Christmas, and every place I look there are pregnancy announcements; maybe a break and change of scenery would be good!

So… I just thought I’d let you know where I’m at. My emotions and sense of rest and deep joy in God are most definitely there! But Monday and Tuesday were pretty rough and I really let myself feel the sadness. It’s a hard place to be, and now I feel like just taking a break from all of this, but I have so much support from my family and friends, so my heart feels very full! I think it’s best to be totally honest about the emotions and ups and downs and know that many of you readers have experienced miscarriages or disappointments in the family-making area of life and in other aspects of life; we all feel disappointment! So thanks for letting me process and share! I’m  hoping to kick this bug as we have some fun Christmas events this weekend that I’d love to participate in with friends.

In other news…Tis the season for Samaritan’s Purse ShoeBox packing!

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I’ve been enjoying my workouts:

And taking walks in our wintry wonderland:

And truly feeling like my life is full of meaning and purpose – how neat that God has given that gift to me to see and believe in Him! I shared this excerpt on Facebook and thought I’d share it here from a book I’ve been reading, “Your God is Too Small” by J.B. Phillips as he writes in this section about our often wrong view of God as a “perennial disappointment:”

“What has usually happened to such people is that they have set up in their minds what they think God ought or ought not to do, and when He apparently fails to toe their particular line they feel a sense of grievance. Yet it is surely more sensible, as well as more fitting, for us human beings to find out, as far as we can, the ways in which God works. We have to discover as far as we can the limits He has set Himself for the purposes of this Great Experiment that we call Life – and then do our best to align ourselves with the principles and co-operate with the purposes that we certainly had no say in deciding, but which nevertheless in our highest moments we know are good. God will inevitably appear to disappoint the man who is attempting to use Him as a convenience, a prop, or a comfort, for his own plans. God has never been known to disappoint the man who is sincerely wanting to co-operate with His own purposes.”

It’s a tough read, but a mind-blower when you let it sink in… God’s will, not mine, be done in all areas of life! A great challenge and encouragement to not be a needy, moody, complaining Christian. 🙌🏼 Grateful for this tiny but challenging book and looking for God’s true plans and character daily – I want to enter into what He wants for me, not bend Him to fit my desires. And who knows what that might look like; that unknown element has always excited rather than terrified me.

So… Share with me about some of your disappointments; leave me with something that has boosted your heart lately! The good, the bad, the ups, the downs – all are important to recognize and I want to walk through life however I can honestly and with you all. Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend. Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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(Posting this – a failed jumping pic in the locker room with my puffy eyes from crying – to show joy in the midst of pain! It’s okay to hold both pain and joy at once. I have so much to smile about, and movement + jumping always makes me smile. Plus, the lighting makes my muscles look pretty good.)  😉

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Sometimes, we all need it. Whether it’s a reminder from those snug jeans, your FitBit beeping at you because you haven’t moved from your office desk in two hours, or those moments when we get sick and realize stress and poor nutritional choices have been taking their toll, we all need a little tough love from time to time. I was chatting with a client recently who mentioned that her life seems kind of “meh” right now, and I knew exactly what she meant. No real changes in work, relationships, personal growth… Sometimes life is just “meh.” While it’s so okay and we all feel like that occasionally, we had a great chat about WHY the MEH’s were taking over and came to the conclusion that this type of apathy or complacency can creep in when we feel overwhelmed about the things we can’t control. The good news, though? There are a few things we CAN control:

  • Attitude
  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Stress/Sleep

I want to focus on the first three points as sometimes the life stressors are too much or we have late nights due to different schedules and we aren’t always able to control these two “S’s.” That being said, very often we are choosing to look at screens or start a project late at night or allow our circumstances to dictate how we feel and therefore the stress compounds – but that’s for another post. 😉 So… Attitude, movement and nutrition. Let’s apply a little tough love to all these areas (and read to the end where I share some good news from my last post!):

Attitude

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This is one of my favorite quotes because there is SO MUCH truth in it. We ARE in charge of our attitudes, and there’s not much more I need to say except to reference this quote and encourage you to keep the bigger picture in mind.

Movement

You guys, we always have a choice. I know some people have crazy work hours and working around them or their families brings up many obstacles to movement, but you can always get up for a 15 min walk, squat while you brush your teeth, or do a few push ups before bed. I know it’s easier for me – I work at a gym, can squeeze my workouts in between clients, and genuinely love to move, but I want you to know that there are still times I make myself take the long way home while walking, or choose to drop off a letter at the nearest mailbox on foot instead of driving. I still have to make myself do workouts when I don’t feel like it, and choose to focus on lots of walking when I’m not feeling in the mood to lift.

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The bottom line? Do what you can. I taught a bootcamp with an amazing group of young adult cancer survivors at our recent Survive & Thrive Weekend Hang Out and there were people with limited mobility, different bodies than they used to have pre-treatment, some who were recently in accidents and in pain, and another girl who had part of her back muscles removed for her stomach. And guess what? Even if the exercise was greatly modified, they did it!

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Get yourself to the gym, guys. Get up off the couch and go for a 20 minute walk after dinner in the fading light. Jam out to some fun music in your house and get those steps in!

We always have a choice.

Nutrition

This is a tough one, isn’t it? Especially as holiday baking begins and the fun of Thanksgiving seems to kick off an endless streak of eating, eating and eating! Here’s the thing – you know i”m a proponent of enjoying life and community (which often means enjoying food!) and using food as fuel (post-thanksgiving squats, anyone?!), but if you’re wanting to see results, you are going to need to be mindful of how you’re choosing to eat.

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Don’t settle! Practice moderation but be really honest about what your goals are; they may or may not be aesthetically-minded, but if they are, you can do this! It’s just food.

Stay the course, enjoy nourishing your body and keep those goals front of mind. If they’re not, you can loosen up a little (more of the camp I tend to fall in), but do what makes you feel your best, fuels your attitude and spirit and body to live well!

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Well friends, Mikey and I are off to California tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving with my fam! We can’t wait – for the fellowship, the obscene amounts of black coffee and constant conversations, some oceanside hikes and good food with family! I wanted to share an update – after a few weeks of praying for an earlier appointment (as I referenced in my last post for my probably septate uterus) and learning how to truly WAIT on God, he answered my prayers! I received an appointment in a small, neighboring town for early December – much better than the anticipated 6-12 months for an appointment with a gynaecologist in Calgary. I am so thankful and anxious to have the appointment and learn more about what’s going on in my body. Thanks for allowing me the space to share some life updates as well as encourage you to get after it in the gym, on the trails, in the kitchen and with your attitudes. 😉

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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November 10th already, so hard to believe. The year is closing out and the days are marching on. Change is inevitable on many fronts – the weather as winter draws nearer, the changing of the light in the morning and evenings, the changing of my client load as we approach the holidays, and so many changes in our world since my last post! It’s a new day in so many ways – in the US with Trump as President and around the world as a result; a new day simple because the sun rose again and we live another day. In the midst of change, regardless of if you think in’s good or bad change, here’s what I’m focusing on: when we woke up this morning, we were still the same as we were the day before. We are still broken people, people who are tired, overwhelmed, addicted, suffering, lonely, discouraged and conflicted. No one person can fix or cure us except for the God-Man Jesus Christ! I feel so overwhelmed and “heavy” by the onslaught of media, opinions, and intense reactions that make me want to breathe deeply and take a break from consuming so much information. With a heaviness not necessarily for the future of the US but for the state of upheaval in my home country on my heart (it’s always hard to see protests and riots for ANY reason), I’m choosing to fix my eyes on Jesus. I know this doesn’t obliterate fear or change what others might say or how they will act, but it’s still a different focus to keep. Let’s fight for each other, love well, and look after the widow and orphan – exactly how we should have been living before November 8th and hereafter!

I find myself turning back to I Thessalonians 5:16-24:

“Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. DO not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. These everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and will do it.”

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I know this focus and some Bible verses don’t automatically fix or change anything, and I write and think and act and live as a white, middle class woman in Canada, but it’s all I can do to turn to Jesus in the midst of so many changes. My encouragement stems from last Sunday’s sermon – let’s be ready, sober people who are awake and looking for ways to bring God’s Kingdom to earth as we wait for Jesus to return! Let’s be people who engage with one another, with culture, with our world actively while also not placing our identity or hope in it.

So now…

WE WAIT.

There are many things I wait for, like coffee to brew, clients to show up, the snow to fall after Halloween; but they all have different levels of anticipation. In the waiting, there is hope: a promise of an outcome like a good cup of coffee early in the morning, or my smiley 4:30 pm client arriving at the end of her work day, the brisk feeling of the cool air on my cheeks.

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I’ve more recently been dwelling on what it means to wait on God – to truly rest in and sit with him. I’m still learning about this, but it struck me that I haven’t really needed to wait for his presence in the same way I am waiting to conceive. I found out last week that I most likely have a septate uterus, which more or less means there isn’t a lot of room in my uterus for a baby to grow. It’s pretty hard for an egg to implant, which is (most likely why) it has taken this long. I was told to wait for an appointment with a gynaecologist, and after a week of eating, I decided to call and ask about how long I can anticipate to wait. The response kind of shocked me – 6-12 months – for an appointment! Let alone a surgery date, then surgery, then the possibility to conceive, then pregnancy… You get the idea. So I’m waiting, and learning the value of adjusting my expectations. Instead of being hopeful every month, I’m going to try to look a year or two ahead, and even then I have to really let my own expectations and hopes go and just keep embracing where I’m at right now. There have definitely been tears and some days are tougher than others, but I’m going to embrace the body I currently have and move well, hard and often! I’m going to embrace the freedom that Mikey and I have by sleeping in and being spontaneous, and I plan to adventure and travel as much as we can and keep loving other people’s kids in the meantime!

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And so, we wait.

What are you waiting for in your life right now? Reconciliation with someone? A promotion in your job? Your body to finally start showing the results of the changes you’ve been making? Waiting for a change in scenery with a vacation coming up? Waiting for a spouse, a partner, a friend? I pray that you’re able to wait in joy, while praying without ceasing and giving thanks in ALL your circumstances. It’s hard, but I’m trying to do it too, and embracing life as fully as I can in the meantime – which doesn’t always mean hucking myself off cliffs. 😉 Sometimes that means just getting up and being faithful with my habits, my work, my daily choices and engaging in the community around me. But other times it means heading out and looking for adventure, and I hope you have an adventure of some sort to look forward to on the horizon.

As I wrap up this post, I wanted to share a few good reads from around the web that I really loved this last week:

Also, we just released our latest film on our website, free! I’d love for you to check it out and spread the word to anyone walking through a cancer or chronic illness diagnosis, especially anyone with a young family. Follow our friends Brock, Kristen and their son Ben as they strive to live full, meaningful lives despite the metastatic cancer diagnosis they are navigating; watch “How to Win a Tickle Fight” online here for free.

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That’s it for this week! Haven’t been writing much as I’ve been more in my head, in prayer and with people than having many words to contribute online, but if you ever have any topics (health and fitness or life-related!) you’d like me to write about, please share in the comments below! Have a great weekend you guys.

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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