Author: bonnie

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:


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.


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!)…


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!

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!


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,


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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.”


(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.


(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…


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:


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.


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!).


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,


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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.


(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!


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! 😉


(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,


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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!


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.


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)!


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.


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


(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.


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:


(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!


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:


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.


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!


(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. 😉


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!


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,



(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!):



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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!

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,


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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.”


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…


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.

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!


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.


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,


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Hey friends! Wishing you a very Happy Halloween today on my favorite day of the year! I have the BEST childhood memories from this time of the year and appreciate being able to run around with friends and neighbors, sorting candy on the living room floor, and eating candy for breakfast on November 1st – that was always mandatory! So today I’m thrilled to be in our own house and pass out candy (with lots of guests hanging out with us this evening!) to trick or treaters and will be so happy if we get a handful of kids in our little Inglewood neighborhood.


This year…I’m a lion. Or a tiger. Or a liger. Just happy to dress up! PS – for all those parents who aren’t sure what to do with the sugar on Halloween, I think this is an awesome article about learning to have a healthy relationship with food and sugar!

To that end, I certainly won’t tell you to only have 1 fun size piece of candy today, or to do a certain number of burpees per candy bar ingested. Nope! I’m a proponent of enjoying all kinds of food, especially on the holidays. Will a day of going overboard make you gain fat? Not at all. BUT…Lately I’ve been eating a little too freely. I’m still tracking everything in My Fitness Pal as per my Eat to Perform (use my link and the discount code “1mofree” to get a free month of nutrition coaching!) so I’ve been still mindful of my carbs (within range), fat (sometimes over, sometimes under) and protein (too often under my goal), but I’ve been hitting these numbers with some junk. The reality is that even though your calories matter, you don’t want to fill up your macros for the day with junk – at least not all the time. 😉 So I will plan to have a few of those little candies tonight, but I’ve already had my fill leading up to Halloween, and I don’t want to go nuts eating more just because it’s here. I’m ready to clean up my diet for a bit – no restrictions, no off-limits, but boundaries set – as we move into November. Who’s with me? Just a little bit of extra accountability to fuel and nourish my body well.

On that note, I’ve noticed that my recent heavier lifting and embracing attitude towards carbs has not only helped to increase my strength and performance in the gym and flushed out my upper body muscles, but it’s grown my lower body as well. I’ve been thinking about learning to embrace the body you’re in, because as I’ve upped my food and changed my lifting I’ve seen changes to my body. I have 3 options:

  1. Complain about it and compare my body to others (yep – my jeans are tight and squeezing into them doesn’t make me feel great).
  2. Change my style of moving to complement a different look or aesthetic.
  3. Buy new pants and embrace my new shape.

I’m leaning towards number 3, although sometimes I fall prey to number 1. In many ways, I lovely body! It’s so much stronger than it used to be and people who see me after a few months of not seeing me tend to comment on my arms – they never say, “Oh wow, your legs sure are meatier now!” or, “Well, sure you’re strong, but you’re looking a bit thick…” No way! They say, “Your arms look awesome!” and someone event complimented my butt, which made me feel awesome, as my lower body is the larger part of me. 😉 Lifting weights WILL change your body. Will you “bulk up,” like so many women are afraid of? Not exactly…that’s pretty hard to do unless you’re supplementing and eating a LOT; many powerlifters are actually smaller and defined, but typically with some strong legs. There are ALL types of bodies out there and the way you move will, to some degree, contribute to how your body looks (taking into consideration that your metabolic type and genes play a large role in the kind of body you have):

I love Camille Bazinet-LeBlanc. I think she’s an amazing CrossFit Games athlete, is incredibly strong and cute, and is a “real” person! Sure, her strength is off the charts and she’s got the muscles to prove it, but she’s also not unrealistically lean. I like what this article has to say about her:

“What set Camille apart, though, was that she looked real. By that I mean – and I need to walk gingerly here – she looked normal. Not overly ripped, not overly muscular. She has the build of someone who is interested in performance over aesthetics, in strength over cut. By choosing not to lean out to a scant 10% body fat, she allowed herself to remain strong. You don’t see every last vein in her arms, abs, and traps. You see a normal, strong, confident woman.”


(source) Strong and fit to be sure, but not the skinniest or leanest.


(source) Those strong quads won’t be tamed to fit into non-muscular kind of clothing, amIright?

Now compare her body with Tracy Anderson’s body:


(source) A very different body type and shape, right? Her legs would look awesome in skinny jeans!

And you know what? Both bodies are fine! Both bodies are healthy! But both bodies are very, very different, and we can’t expect the same things from them strength-wise, cardio-wise, clothing-wise or ability-wise. I really think that every body type is fine, and if you’d rather look like Tracy than Camille, that’s okay (barring, like I said, your genetics – they will to some degree affect or limit how you look). The types of workouts you do and the way that you eat will also affect how you look, and I’m learning that I love not only being strong but looking strong, too, and that comes with a different set of challenges in terms of how I view myself and why I think looks strong and beautiful.



More articles/videos of interest on this subject:

Why I Encourage Women to Be Bigger – by Noelle at Coconuts & Kettlebells,

and, from Self Magazine:

Just thought it would be neat to start a dialogue about your bodies too – not in terms of comparing them to mine or Camille’s or Tracy’s – that’s not the point of this post! – but in terms of how you view yourself, what you struggle with, and if you’re going for option 1, 2, or 3! Let’s embrace strength and own who we are!


(photo by Jeremy Fokkens)

Here’s to strength! Own your body and use it to the best of it’s ability. Live well & be well,


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It’s a gray day here in Calgary – very foggy and misty and unlike typical Calgary weather. It feels more like a day on the coast, like my beloved San Francisco Bay days, and is perfect for this Halloween time of year. But it brings with it pressure changes in the weather and therefore slight headaches for me as I’m one of the many who are affected by the frequent barometric pressure changes that Calgary experiences, especially in the winter months. This weather has me feeling a little down and a bit groggy with my headache, and that coupled with some emotional ups and downs of life has me feeling discouraged today. To be less cryptic and more specific, Mikey and I have been trying to start a family for over a year now, with (clearly) no success. This has not been a secret from friends or family, but I haven’t really thought about blogging or sharing about it because it’s something that comes up every month, and what would it do to share it? I could tell you how much it’s on my mind and how there are reminders every month of what’s NOT working, and I do know that many of you would resonate with this same struggle. Many of our friends in Calgary got pregnant on their first try (and some when they weren’t even trying), zeroing in on a set time when they wanted to conceive and did. So at times it can be discouraging when your heart is so set on something that simply is out of your ultimate control! So we’ve been carrying on, waiting on God’s time for something we aren’t sure is his desired plan or not.


Despite knowing and trusting God’s bigger picture, I still struggle with the emotional roller coaster of this journey; one minute I’m fine, keeping this larger focus of my life and purpose in mind and realizing how intensely GOOD my life is, and other times I weep because I’m disappointed it hasn’t happened for us (yet?). I’ve embraced those ups and downs and found people to share the downs with who understand, but I’m continually brought back to a place of hope because of my faith in Christ and the promise of his love.

Someone at the gym asked me the other day, “Do you ever NOT have a smile on your face?” To which I replied, with a smile, “I guess I have a lot of reasons to be joyful.” – and I do! Despite my circumstances (which are hard for me in this phase of life, yet small in comparison to harsh realities around the world), I recognize that my joy depends on something that is steady, consistent, and doesn’t change with the weather or the experiences of my life. I am still surrounded by lavish love from God and so many gifts, and I wanted to share a short, sweet way that I stay reminded of this truth even when my heart is discouraged.

It’s simple, really.


I re-read these verses that I’ve read so many times in 1 Thessalonians this week, and they hit me in such a fresh way that I decided to make them my new life verses. I can ask if it’s God’s will if we have a family, or pray about work situations or family relationships, all seeking God’s plan in difficult, searching moments. But you know what? God’s will for me is laid out right there in those verses – I am to be joyful always (regardless of how I’m feeling), to pray continually (not just when I need God) and to give thanks in all circumstances (how’s that for a challenge today?)! This is how I change my attitude – I focus on these three things.

You guys know not to read into these verses the wrong way – I’m certainly not advocating for “all positivity, all the time,” because that’s just not realistic (or that fun to be around). Look at Jesus as our example – he wept! He cried out to God! He wasn’t just full of “happiness,” but was real in his emotions. However, his purpose was bigger; his reality was based in God and not in his current circumstances. Mikey talks about the “tyranny of positivity” in the health care system, specifically in cancer care, when people are encouraged to “just be positive” which often hurts more than helps them through their experience. Why? Because that black and white thinking leads them to stuff down the truth of how they’re really feeling in an effort to be happy and they don’t end up dealing with real issues or hardships. And you know what? Those hardships (be they cancer-, fertility- , or money-related issues), are all part of life.

We’ve learned from our own cancer journey and specifically our friendship with Brock, a friend of ours whose life we followed with a camera for almost 3 years,** that life isn’t good OR bad, it’s good AND bad.


It’s both things at once, and we can hold them at the same time and be doing okay in life. But a big part of how I come back to a solid foundation and place of contentment despite hard circumstances or gray, foggy days is being reminded that I am God’s beloved child and that I’m here to live for him – not to be a mother, not to amass wealth, not to become a celebrity trainer, not even to be the best daughter or wife or friend I can be. All those things are important and parts of life, but I’m here to love God and love people, and in so doing bring him glory.

I’m not asking for advice on what to do for fertility or planning on going into much detail there, but I just wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes of life lately and also why there is hope, hope, always hope. You are loved! And have so much to live for with great joy. Live well & be well, friends!


** Survive & Thrive is very excited to announce that on November 7th, you’ll be able to stream our latest film “How to Win a Tickle Fight” right on our website! Watch the trailer:

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(cover photo: Jeremy Fokkens)

How often do you really believe what others say about you? Whether it’s compliments on your performance in the work place, or comments about your sense of style, humor or work ethic, it’s easy to brush things off and change the subject when others offer nice words to you. I think women are particularly notorious for this; even as I talked with a client about this a few weeks ago, someone walked by and complimented my clothes. I made a comment about how they were “on sale, no big deal!” and brushed them off – then caught my mistake because it was so glaringly obvious! It’s easy to respond this way, whether it’s out of true humility, a false sense of humility, or simply habit.

So when was the last time you believed something someone said about you and truly took it to heart?

As part of the Eat to Perform family via Facebook, we are given optional challenges to interact with the community and share stories – it’s more than just learning about fueling your body well for performance. One of the current challenges is to share how you are strong, so I thought I’d expound on it in a blog post and share a little more, building on what others have said to me and what I know to be true about myself!

In a word (or two!), I am strong because I am wild and free.


“Her messy hair a visible attribute of her stubborn spirit. As she shakes it free she smiles, knowing wild is her favorite color.”

– J. Iron Word

Sure, my consistency in the gym and resulting strength makes me strong, but being strong is about so much more than physical strength. Pulling from a few unconventional definitions, “wild” means:

“Living or growing in the natural environment,” (1)

“Going beyond normal or conventional bounds,” (2)

“Indicative of strong passion, desire, or emotion,” (3) and

“Deviating from the intended or expected course” (source) (4).

I connect in some ways with all of these definitions – I’m a native Californian living in Canada (1); I (along with my husband) have not lived a very conventional life with our journey through cancer and subsequent adventures that have opened up in our lives (2);


I’m characterized by a strong desire to live and love well (3); and I have not followed the expected course of life – marriage, explore, wander, go with the flow – vs – marriage, job, house, baby (4)! I love the quote above, about wild being “her favorite color” because there’s something so enticing that calls to me about the wilds that God created, and that is part of me (and, I’d argue, US) as well. I am wild…and I am free.


My freedom comes not just in being confident and content in who I am as a person, but more specifically in whose I am – I am God’s beloved daughter. There is freedom in knowing whose I am and not needing to prove myself or be someone else for others, and there is freedom knowing that I don’t have to be perfect because I made forgiven and made whole in Christ. I am free!

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25


My future is in God’s hands, and I am tasked with living fully for him as I love others and pursue Jesus daily! I can laugh at the future because it’s ultimately up to God’s plans and I get to live out the story he’s writing for me one step at a time in strength and not fear. These things contribute to my quality of life and strength as a woman. There are many stories to share – from the daily ups and downs of life to our cancer journey specifically; from family hardships to navigating relationships in Calgary – that make me strong, but ultimately I’m strong because I am wild and free, and I am only these things because God created me wild after his own heart and free in Christ. Moreover, it’s being surrounded by a supportive community via family and friends that keeps me strong – on my own? I don’t have much to stand up on.


(photo credit: Jeremy Fokkens)

What makes YOU strong? Who makes you strong? Why are you strong? I’d LOVE to hear in the comments below – let’s celebrate our strength!

Live well & be well,





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