Author: bonnie

We all know that in order to be healthy – truly fit and able – we need keep the long game in sight, keeping your life in perspective. But when we’re working on something specific, like a goal that’s focused with an end date or a goal that’s aesthetic like growing your biceps or losing a dress size, it can be hard to keep a bigger perspective in mind. Here’s an example of what I mean:

Last week I went to workout after a rest day. It was Friday and I was excited to workout before the weekend, but when I changed into my workout clothes and started warming up, I simply had no energy. I was disappointed because I had rested the day before and didn’t want to throw in the towel for my workout, so I gave myself a few minutes and, eventually, felt able enough to continue, just at a scaled pace. When I finished, I thought, “Better than nothing!” and didn’t sweat it. Later that dad I chatted with another trainer who mentioned his workout wasn’t the greatest that day and we bonded over our joint half-assed workouts. 😉 He said he gave himself a set or two, noticed the fire wasn’t there, and packed up and left! Geoff mentioned that it’s totally fine to listen to your body because fitness isa game of decades, not minutes – we’ve got to keep the long-term perspective of health in mind.

The game of fitness isn't a game of minutes. It's a game of decades and a marathon, not a sprint,

But the reverse is also true, we agreed: know when to call it day and allow your body to rest, but also know that when your body is ready to go, hit it hard and get after it! Both sides of the coin are true, and we certainly need to keep moving and pushing ourselves even when we don’t feel like it, choosing healthier foods when more convenient but less healthy ones are available, etc. I love that there’s a place for intensity and a place for rest, and that’s because it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Sometimes when we’re working towards our ideal body, we lose sight of that bigger picture. I totally believe that aesthetic goals are fine – they have there place, they motivate us, and who doesn’t want to look and feel better? – and that there’s nothing wrong with wanting abs (right, Paige and Kindal?), but I encourage you to keep the bigger picture in mind. You’ve heard it before but maybe you need to be reminded of it again: one day of a missed workout (or heck – even two weeks!) or day of poor eating won’t significantly alter your physique just like one week of solid workouts and salads won’t give you the perfect body.

That being said, are you really working towards what you want? Sometimes we need a bit of encouragement to push a little harder. This quote says it best!

b7131f7203ea96d15c379fcd4c7b5380

(source)

Hmmm… Is that convicting to anyone? We can’t gripe about the body we don’t have (or, in that bigger picture, the health we don’t have, the fitness to keep up with our kids or the sleep to function at our best) if we aren’t working towards it, eating better, making sleep a priority. You get where I’m going with this. 😉 We all need sometime to kick our butts into gear from time to time!

9de9f0321d59829a2da47f58261043f7

(source)

Lately I’ve been thinking about the long game and grateful that I’m able to move in a way that bring me joy, challenges me, and also gives aesthetic results! I’ve been eating more (especially carbs and especially on workout days!) and feeling like my muscles are happy about it!

FullSizeRender-60

(sorry for the blur – both are post-workout and I was shaky from lifting!)

IMG_0992

I occasionally eat donuts, as pictured above, and licorice, but most often eat lean meats, a ton of greens and veggies, a daily banana (one of my favorites!) and try to only eat what I really want (i.e.: no mindless snacking if it’s not serving me). I am tracking my calories and macros in My Fitness Pal (you can follow me here!) for accountability and enjoying the process – it hasn’t lead to me restricting (quite the contrary, as you can see above!) but that with my studying Precision Nutrition has lead to a greater awareness of the bigger picture while simultaneously seeing changes in my physique.

I recently saw a menu of a weight loss retreat centre that only had about 1,250 calories on it, and for a place that’s meant to be one where you work hard and sweat all day, I was shocked! Your body needs more fuel! So another part of this idea of the long haul is saying no to gimmicky diets or anything that restricts so badly that you inevitably bounce back (and sadly, often gain more weight than before). Fuel your body well not just for better results right now (don’t believe me? ask my clients! eating more and feeling and looking better!) AND for the future – we want sustainability in your change, friends! Not something that is ultimately short-lived.

Challenges from friends like Kindal (I linked to her abs challenge above – and need to send her my accountability pics!) help me stay on track when it could be easy to just be so-so in my efforts. It’s an interesting balance between going hard and also pulling back for that bigger picture, especially because as a Christian my body is secondary to my heart and soul! It’s just a piece of the puzzle, but it’s fun to play with and continue to tweak.

Do you walk this line well, or are you more of an all or nothing person with fitness and nutrition? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic of pursuing aestethics while remembering the bigger picture – do you think they are synonymous or not?

Just some thoughts for you as the week begins – keep the marathon in mind, have fun along the way and wash every bite of donut down with some chicken and veggies. 😉 Have a great week ahead, friends! Live well & be well,

Bonnie

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

“You can’t call it love until you’ve lost; if you love someone, this is what it costs.”

This line from a Switchfoot song really stood out to me as I flew out of San Francisco headed back to Canada on my recent trip to visit my family.

IMG_0759

I’ve lost a lot of people in the cancer community, especially in this last year, but the lyrics particularly hit me in light of showing our recent film, “How to Win a Tickle Fight,” to some family and neighborhood friends on my last night home.

FullSizeRender_3
The film follows Brock and his family as he is dying from his metastatic cancer and shows his desire to live and love fully even while life is really not that good. Brock passed away in November of this year, and his death will have a lasting impact on Mikey and I. But it’s not only those we lose to death that impact and change us; it’s the loss from living away from loved ones, of experiencing the loss of dreams and plans, of losing life direction.

FullSizeRender_4

My love is so much deeper for my family because we live far away, and I’m reminded of this every time I fly away, listening to lyrics about California and feeling sad and happy and grateful all at the same time… It’s a loss, really, to not experience daily life ups and downs together and to miss out on sharing moments of life with one another.

IMG_0770

my Aunt Sue and her homemade honey from their bees!

IMG_0769

my Uncle Curt exploring SnapChat (username Bonnie Lang (buffbon))!

But at the same time, it’s rich and raw and real and just what life is – up and down! And you know what? I love the ocean, I love California, I love my family with their unique quirks, reliance on God, and black coffee overload, in-depth conversations.

IMG_0870

IMG_0917
I also love the Rocky Mountains and my backcountry skiing life, shared conversations over fires in winter with my in-laws and my strong community in our friend group.

IMG_0119

They are my family away from family, my home away and from home, and life is full and rich and meaningful because of it all. The constant is that God is always present, always working, never tiring in his efforts to pursue me and love me, to provide direction and grace and movement in my story.

FullSizeRender_1

I want to be fully present wherever life takes me; that’s something I learned from Brock, and also from another Switchfoot song:  “And where I’ll be is where you’ve found me. Meet me here at the edge of the earth.”

FullSizeRender

Meet me. Enter into life with me. Live fully even if life is hard right now, if you’re experiencing loss, grieving or feeling confused about life. Meet me and move with me, as God guides, and let’s hold the good and the bad simultaneously as we lean into Jesus for his name. Let’s be people who embrace life fully without fear of the future or worry, love the people around us and live my old life mantra, “huck it huge!” …And let your parents, in-laws, friends, and co-workers know that you value them. 🙂

FullSizeRender_3

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Some highlights of the trip included:

Workouts at BodyZing!

FullSizeRender_2

Shopping with my mom! And this California shirt she bought me:

 

FullSizeRender_4

Lots of ocean time! Oh man…the smells around the coast are so nostalgic for me and I just love breathing in the salt air and the family flowers and plants of the area!

FullSizeRender_2

Lots of good music (like Kris Kristofferson and Gordon Lightfoot and classic songs we grew up on) and coffee and good talks about how we’re living here and now and as we look ahead.

It was a fantastic trip and I’m so grateful I have a job that allows me flexibility and the chance to get away, and that God has provided enough that both Mikey and I can live an unconventional lifestyle. From meaningful talks to good workouts to shared tears and lots of licorice, it was great to hang around my mom and dad – a needed trip for us all! Hope you guys are having a great week so far…Talk to you soon!

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Hello and happy Friday Tuesday, friends! How’s your week been? As you can see from that strike-through line, I started writing this post last week but never got around to finishing it. Blogging simply hasn’t been the main event in my life lately, and while that’s a-ok with me, I do appreciate reading others’ blogs more frequently, so I’m sorry about the radio silence! So what have I been doing while I haven’t been blogging? I’ve been enjoying the warm weather in Calgary by long boarding to work, taking clients outside for their workouts, and have been busy with some fun Survive & Thrive events.

And although I haven’t blogged in a while, I HAVE been snapping away on SnapChat (which I used to be confused by, but now I’m actually loving!) – you can find me under my username of buffbon, name Bonnie Lang – and of course on Instagram. Here’s a little taste of what I’ve been up to – let’s catch up!

Survive & Thrive

A week ago today (was it really just a week ago?!), we had the friends and family screening of the film Mikey just finished, “How to Win a Tickle Fight,” a true story about what can go right, even when things have gone terribly wrong. We followed Brock and his family for almost 3 years as he was living with metastatic cancer and created a documentary that is his legacy for his son and about how to live well when you know you’re dying. It was amazing to have 3 years culminate into one evening and was a night we won’t soon forget. The film premiere took place at the top of The Bow in downtown Calgary and we felt so supported surrounded by friends and family, by Kristen and Ben, Brock’s surviving wife and son, and grateful for the opportunity to share Brock’s story.

13151440_1354616917898869_5455538916931935729_n

(our view! photo from Paisley Photography)

13173996_693881425706_6309286965786014302_n

Mikey did such a great job leading the night and speaking after the film, as did Kristen and Ben. It was an emotional but bright and light evening that was full of life! We were absolutely drained the next day as we realized that so much was building to this night, and it really wasn’t until the next weekend that we (especially Mikey, who sat with this content for so long and with Brock, his friend, and his story for countless hours) were able to release a bit of this emotion and breathe a bit.

13131094_693984554036_483288135829399653_o

Last weekend, we packed up and headed out to Water Valley for our second Survive & Thrive Weekend Hang Out at Camp Kindle and it was such a great weekend away! The theme for the weekend was “Try Something,” and with the high ropes course, opportunities for more vulnerable and honest conversations, rock climbing wall, group games and long boarding fun, there was lots of opportunity to try something new!

13147524_694313754316_364790409211410219_o

It was a real release for us to hang out with amazing people, have great talks, share meals together, and simply have fun (hello, giant swing activity!). You can get a glimpse of what our weekend was like with this short video Mikey made:

I’m reminded to live fully and, as one survivor friend put it, focus not on the big things I cannot do but on the small things I accomplish daily. More life to the days!

13102849_692729868436_6840329943002354148_n

Life has been full in a very good way these days, and Survive & Thrive is a big part of that. We are very grateful for this added dimension and depth to our lives!

Life

We recently took a trip to Seattle to celebrate our friend’s wedding, and while we didn’t snap many pictures, we had a blast! Here’s a quick glance at the fun:

13041209_692171447516_2719699399105738502_o

13095888_692473107986_6212580673697586202_n

13095881_692473212776_662879143260324338_n

…coincidently, no pictures of or with the bride and groom – whoops! – but lots connecting with old friends from university and our outdoor guiding days. It was a blast to reconnect with friends from different walks of life!

Training has been going well and I’m grateful for clients who want to work hard, are committed to seeing change and who generally enjoy coming in for their workouts! 😉 I’m also studying (slowly!) Precision Nutrition in between all the busyness that has been April and May and will be plugging away at that certification over the summer.

IMG_0688

(blurry and a funny face but some triceps action captured all the same! 😉 )

I’ve also been slowly branching out with my nails and got this done yesterday:

IMG_0736

It’s been fun to explore this sense of my femininity and of expressing myself even in this small way – and I have a client, Caitlin, to thank for bursting me out of my bubble a little. 😉 I think these are perfect as I head to… California today! I’m heading back to see family for a week or so while Mikey takes the film previously mentioned on tour to some Canadian cancer centers. I can’t wait to see family, be at the beach, and breathe in California – but even more so just be with family.

So that’s me… What’s been going on with YOU? Any recent trips? Things you’ve learned or are grateful for? Nail polish colors that I MUST try? 😉

Have a great rest of the week and I’ll see you guys on social media from the Golden State. Adios for now! Live well & be well,

Bonnie

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

It’s a new day and another beautiful one here in Calgary – spring has definitely sprung and I’m loving the warmer air in the mornings when I walk out to my car, the evening warmth as the sun goes down (seems to be the warmest part of the day!) and the buds that are slowly showing themselves around the city!

Yesterday in my blog post I reflected on busyness and rest, and today I wanted to share a few thoughts on food.

ON-3

Over the years I shared about different programs I’ve done and different plans I’ve tried like the 21 Day Fix, Advocare Challenge, dabbled in juice cleanses (sorry that the photos were lost in the posts when my blog transferred! :(), and recently was asked to do another program. I see quick fixes like this all the time on Instagram, websites, in ads on Facebook, and you know what? I’ve finally decided to swear them off. There’s nothing wrong with participating in a program that focuses on real food, but when there’s an element of restriction (like no dairy, grains or sugar on the Whole 30), even if it’s only for a period of time, it’s really not sustainable. More and more, I’m interested in eating and living in a way that I can sustain for the rest of my life, not just until a set time period is over. Again, those challenges are fine, and most people see change on them, but they mess with my mind, make me want the banished foods more, and I always return to my same weight and body composition once it’s all said and done.

I was also practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF) for quite some time, and while it did work for me (and I love Brad Pilon, linked just above!), I’m starting to think about my body in a bigger health perspective, like looking at my hormone health and my insides, not just my outsides. I think I was using IF as a way to restrict myself so that later I could justify an entire bag of licorice or not worry so much about what I was eating because I had fasted all day. Again, it can definitely work for you, but reading this article made me realize I *could* be headed down a road I didn’t want to travel, so I decided to pull the plug a few months ago.

FullSizeRender-58

(Back to breakfasts and it feels so good!)

What’s funny is I never considered myself to be a dieter – I was always focusing on real foods and not doing anything crazy like just drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper – but the truth is that behind it all I was still wanting to lean out, to lose body weight and appear more cut. I finally decided to stop with the fat loss mentality and focus on my strength. While my workouts still need help to get me in a muscle-building vein of movement (I would like to do more heavy lifting but right now I’m holding steady at about 3-5 total body strength workouts a week), my food is now focused on eating to fuel my body and without obsession!

Enter: Eat to Perform.

etp-center-on-light1

I have followed ETP for a while online with their podcasts and emails and really like the concept of eating to fuel your performance. It’s very different than the “less is more” concept for eating and especially for women. I decided to sign up for a few months, get my macros set for me, and see what others thought in terms of where I should be if I want to build muscle in terms of my macros (carbs, proteins and fats). Here’s a quick snapshot of my starting numbers and where I’m trying to increase to in a few weeks:

etp macros

(hopefully you can read that – had to take a small screenshot to get it all in!)

 You can see that I’m eating quite a bit! And you know what? No weight change! I’m eating more, am more mindful of getting enough protein and carbs (yep! you read that right) and don’t feel afraid of any foods. I wasn’t before, but now I’m eating in a way that fuels my workouts and isn’t based on making my body move while I’m fasted. I feel stronger, my muscle definition is great, and while I would still like to lean out a bit (yep, that urge is still there!), I’m excited about how I’m doing in terms of eating well. While I’m tracking I’m not always hitting my numbers exactly (it’s tough for me to stay low on fats, but I feel better when I’m not eating too much, as it’s easy for me to be in the 70+ grams of fat a day phase!), I’m slowly working my way up and feeling good about it! Now to get my training to match so that I’m really putting those calories to use!

I’m not an affiliate but I love the program, the massive (HUGE!) resource guide that is given when you pay, and the online forum – both on Facebook and on a separate app – that offers support and tons of info and access to coaches. There’s also group coaching available but right now I’m soaking up everything and very happy I’ve joined this community. It’s only $29.95 and I would highly recommend it for freedom from food and if you want to change your focus to being, as they say, a more capable human!

Last week I also took the plunge and signed up for Precision Nutrition! I can’t believe it and am excited to add this amazing program to my credentials to help better understand, listen to and coach clients. When it comes to nutrition, I’ve learned over the years that there’s NOT one-size-fits all and that every body is so different out there – both composition, genetics, habits and preferences – and it’s okay to change the way you eat and view food. I’ve changed! And will continue to change.

So that will do it on my reflections on food today! What style are you eating in right now (or is it not even a “style”)? What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the last few days? I think my glass of wine last night + breakfast of brussel spouts, greens, eggs, goat cheese and sweet potatoes is top of my list right now. 🙂

Live well & be well, and catch you guys later!

Bonnie

IMG_0266

(me and my banana – one of my favorite post-workout eats – after yesterday’s workout!)

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Hey you guys! Whew – been a while since I blogged! More and more I see this blog as a place for me to reflect and don’t feel compelled to write if I don’t have much to say…I share snippets of daily life, workout ideas, and easy meal ideas (because we all know I’m not an amazing cook or baker!) on Instagram so you can see more here! But in terms of the blog, I’m reserving this as a place to think, write, process and share – and that’s exactly what I’m going to do with you today!

On: BUSYNESS

ON

This has been a busy season of life for us; I’ve alluded to this in recent posts but life feels pretty full-on right now. We are both in our 30’s, work full time, are involved in a few capacities with our church, work with our own non-profit (Survive & Thrive Cancer Programs) and others in Calgary for cancer (Wellspring) and are social with our community of friends. I’ve always thought that’s just what life is like at this point in our lives, but I’m slowly learning that we take on more than most people, and not in a brag-worthy way! I’d say it’s safe to say that we are burned out right now, and as a team Mikey and I are being hit with this realization in a way we can no longer ignore.

This weekend was the end of a busy string of weeks and culminated in the 6th annual Survive & Thrive Bonspiel, our fundraiser for our non-profit! We always look forward to this event but it’s also a very full, busy day that leaves us feeling pretty wiped out (and usually in the best way!). This year was fun, included several new faces, was a blast seeing old friends, and was at a bigger venue (the Calgary Curling Club) – so it was a step out in faith for us to dream bigger!

12938223_10101338616215891_8300203401479419534_n

12938233_10101338616210901_6286023086202510675_n

Love this creative team!

12932923_690665984476_734035861140677096_n

Robin looking fly…

12963804_10100535679876256_5724214925152005902_n

(Looking good, Prince Charming and the Sweeping Beauties!)

This, coupled with lots of presentations this last week for Mikey and a last minute sub for an exercise class for me the day of, meant we went into the event feeling pretty drained. I’m grateful for amazing people, incredible young adult cancer survivors who shared their stories at the event, and help from Elisha at Mint Event Management for contributing to such an amazing day!

But today at church, feeling tired and noticing the effects of a few long weeks’ worth of strain on us, I realized something big: I think this is what it looks like to do life in your strength. As a Christian, it is always my desire to live God’s story for my life, not my own story. That doesn’t mean I don’t act, step out, and live my life, but it does mean that I turn to God for strength, seek his guidance and direction every day, and do things ultimately for his glory. Lately, although life is very (very!) good right now, it’s also very, very full and I’m realizing the impact that has on our marriage, bodies (stress presents itself in so many ways – food choices, physical symptoms like canker sores, etc), and emotions. It hit me hard: we’ve been doing it on our own. This weekend was a good reminder to turn to God and to think about how we can better give our lives, our income/finances, our direction, our dreams to him rather than us try to juggle everything and run the show.

April is Stress Awareness Month, so it’s fitting I’m reflecting back and realizing things need to change right now as mid-April is upon us! Casper, a company that created a new type of mattress to help with all things sleep, made this infographic about napping and how it can help with stress reduction – thought it was worth sharing!

Casper_napping101_LRG (1)-2

I learned about the value of naps from my 2XU Ultimate Training Performance Camp experience last spring and know of their value – yet I’m not a big napper! Something I should learn to listen to my body better about for when I am feeling ow energy and down…

This leads me to reflecting…

On: REST

ON-2

A good friend (whose stuff you should read and whose music you should listen to!) reached out to us and encouraged us to reset our days, slow down our lives and live with more margins. I can’t thank him enough for reading between the lines in our social media posts and seeing how we were crying out for help, for less, sinking form the busyness. What a gift to have a man reach out to your man and encourage him by being honest, saying he’s been there before and wanting to help us in our own time of stress management. It’s crazy how the calendar can be hit and miss and then one day you wake up and realize that you are at full capacity (or at least your husband is and therefore, you are too)! So we are resting more. We got through this weekend and now have less on our calendar, are actively practicing the Sabbath (resting on Sundays!) and praying about what to let go of and learning how to rest in Jesus’ strength. It’s a huge relief, and I’m grateful that we’re no longer saying, “Oh, it’s just a busy season of life right now” and are learning this valuable lesson to give our lives more margins.

Two weekends ago, we kept a commitment on the calendar that had been there for four months, even though the timing couldn’t have been worse: a friend stayed with us all week helping Mikey edit his recent film, I was working, Mikey had other work commitments apart from film editing, and we hadn’t packed for this commitment or gotten ready at all for a weekend in the mountains with good friends. Conditions were variable, we were tired and stressed, and I was worried that post-trip we’d come right back to the intensity of our schedules, but we went anyways, meeting our good friends Ryan and Susan in BC for a 4 day hut-to-hut excursion of the Bonnington Traverse. Even though we’d left Calgary at 10 pm (!) the night before, were emotionally drained from a full week, and had only about 4 hours of sleep, we were SO EXCITED to join these guys for some time in the backcountry, because we’ve learned how we recharge best and because we were anticipating great community with some amazing friends who “get us” on so many levels.

IMG_0142

I can’t even describe how the laughter, the hut experiences (oh, the mice on night three!), the evening wine (can you see how these first three went together?!), the sunshine, the days of fresh air, the great conversations, the route finding, the joy of being outdoors in community left us feeling recharged!

IMG_0163

IMG_0102

IMG_0123

It was a very full 4 days, complete with a few small slides due to warm weather (which sure kept us on our toes!), about 10 km of hiking some huge ups(mainly ups!) and a few downs, and lots of bacon (how did we not get a shot of Ryan’s 5 lbs of cooked bacon that he brought?!) that contributed to us really slowing down, enjoying life, embracing good friends and being refreshed in body and spirit.

IMG_0119

IMG_0139

IMG_0146

IMG_0137

Then there are days like Sunday of this weekend, where we truly didn’t do much! We relaxed at home after church, saw a movie, cooked meals at home and had some Oreos in the evening. 🙂 We’re learning to pack our days and also to pull back, and this concept of rest (not only from workouts from the stressors of life!) is such a good one to learn and relearn constantly.

Do you connect to the busy days at all? What about creating margins – any helpful tips?

I hope you feel encouraged if you’re busy too by reading this and can learn from some of the hard ways we’ve been learning from to make changes before you burn out. Join me this week in creating and embracing margins and keeping your eyes open for what God has in store for us! I have more reflections this week to come (namely, on FOOD!), but I think that about covers how I’m feeling right now: learning, growing and (hopefully) changing as life marches on and my desire is always to place myself ever before my Heavenly Father and his plan more than for my own life plan. Until then, live well & be well!

Bonnie

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Hey guys! I hope this blog posts finds you well – working hard in life, in the gym or on your relationships! Maybe this post finds you in a time where you feel stuck, stagnant, stranded. Or maybe life is happening so quickly around you that you haven’t had the chance to stop and catch your breath. Perhaps you might connect best to a visual – one of the animals below:

Do you feel like a lion these days, setting the scene for action in your life, charging ahead with purpose, motivation and drive?

lions-running

(source)

Maybe you feel more like the sloth, just sitting back, happily (and lazily?) floating through life and watching life unfold around you, more of an observer than an active participant?

sloth1

(source)

Or maybe you feel like this little turtle, surrounded by a massive sea, stunned, scared and maybe even lost from the immensity of life around you.

swimming-feels-so-good--big

(source)

I just wanted to encourage you with a thought today: God is bigger than all these situations. Whether you feel super successful right now, are just coasting through life in complacent mode, or are facing some huge struggles, God is at work. I love the line from C.S. Lewis‘ “The Chronicles of Narnia,” when, as the cursed always-winter land is beginning to thaw, the beaver whispers:

“They say Aslan is on the move.” 

These words enter my mind all the time – both when I actively SEE God working in mine or others’ lives and when there seems to be road blocks or set backs – “Aslan is on the move.” This is the point in the story when Aslan is introduced, and in Lewis’ allegorical story, this character represents Jesus, so it’s easy to draw some parallels. I love the words that Lewis writes next:

And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning—either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realise that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.

Isn’t that beautiful imagery? I love these words and the reactions the children all have when they hear the name of Aslan, the name of Jesus. To me, knowing that Jesus is “on the move” in my life makes me feel secure, give me hope and bolsters my spirit. When I am stuck, or when nothing is happening around me and I’m in that waiting zone, I’m reminded that God is ALWAYS working behind the scenes. What a great encouragement when I can feel surrounded by darkness or lost in despair.

tumblr_lpynfn4rMG1qcqfuoo1_500

(source)

My husband has been feeling overwhelmed by work lately and quite discouraged, and recently he shared on his Facebook page that he felt like he’d been failing certain areas of his life. I know we can all relate, especially in those weeks (or months!) where everything seems to go the wrong way in every area! But so many people wrote back and encouraged him not only in who he is aside from his actions and accomplishments but also in saying that you never know why things happen, and how apparent “failures” can lead to successes. You just never know what God is up to. Our God is in control, even when life seems like it’s going crazy around us. Take this dialogue from the same book between Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Susan and Lucy, two sisters in the story, when asking about who this Aslan is:

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake, said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then isn’t he safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Maybe you’re not feeling safe right now, you’re not secure and living with a lot of uncertainty. Be assured that life with Jesus leading won’t mean guaranteed anything, but you can be assured that He is good and that He is also on the move.

When’s the last time you felt like nothing was happening but were surprised by God? I’d love to hear the story of His faithfulness! It sure doesn’t mean that life is perfect or peachy when you’re trusting God – life can still suck in the moment! – but there’s a purpose in the suffering, a purpose in the waiting that gives us hope.

Sure love you guys! Live well & be well and I’ll catch up with you later this week,

Bonnie

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Hey guys! How was your weekend? Ours was very relaxing…We had booked two nights in a new Alpine Club of Canada hut down in Waterton Lakes National Park (near the border – a stone’s throw from Montana and the site of my first (and only) ever solo marathon!) and were excited to get away. However, when we looked at the webcam down there, we noticed there was NO SNOW! Our backcountry ski trip wouldn’t work so well without snow, and we debated not going, but after realizing we couldn’t get any of our deposit back so late, we decided to stay in Friday night, take a slow moving Saturday, and then enjoy the 2.5 hour drive south and go read in the hut.

IMG_2194

(My kinda Friday night balance!)

Armed with new books, minimal food (after all, we weren’t skiing!), limited gear and coffee (because, hello, road trip!), we drove down under sunny, gorgeous skies and finally arrived in Waterton.

FullSizeRender-38
FullSizeRender-44
The Cameron Lake cabin is small but beautiful – a perfect little hut that sleeps 8 people but would be most comfortable for 6 (that’s what we had – 4 others were there when we arrived). Here’s a little tour (with some pull ups, of course):

A video posted by Mike Lang (@mikelangyyc) on

FullSizeRender-39

FullSizeRender-40

We decided to leave our skis in the car when it was raining when we got there and the road to the cabin was packed down pretty hard, so we set off, on foot, for what was supposed to be a backcountry adventure! 2 km later (about 20, 25 min of walking) we were at the hut! A far cry from our last hut experience, which included 16 hours and 30 km of hiking through the dark… 😉

IMG_2262

Yep! A short hike and some great down time. There was lots of sitting, only 4 pull ups or so done in total (we did it for the INSTA!), no squats or push ups and no recon trip to the mountains. We were all about the rest this weekend – and we both needed it and loved it.

IMG_2212

Sometimes what we need is a relaxing weekend away, or even just a moment in a day to catch our breaths. It’s not climbing peaks and shredding powder for us, nor is it all work and no play! We strive for balance, which for me means going to work, coming home, and NOT working, and for Mikey that means working hard for 2-3 weeks then getting away to take a break. No cell service, no extra toys, no worries about all that we “should” or “could” be doing. I think we strike this balance pretty well most of the time, but this was a needed get away weekend that had to happen. And you know what? We didn’t feel guilty for the lack of movement or desire to explore (the spring-like weather and avalanche slides further up on ridges kept us from feeling too bad for not heading out)… The furthest I ran to was to the outhouse!

FullSizeRender-42
There were TONS of people out Sunday, which was so neat, because the sun was shining as light snow fell, the temperature was warm and it’s so accessible from the road that there were tons of kids cross country skiing to the lake. Although we love real wilderness and getting out to where others don’t venture, it’s neat to see so many people enjoying a day outside with friends and family – that’s what it’s about!

When we got home Sunday we had planned to see a movie or go out to dinner to continue the restful weekend but ended up unpacking gear, doing laundry, making dinner at home, and reading some more. 😉 Not a bad way to end the weekend!

How do you recover? Do you fight the urge to DO more or feel guilty for resting and days of non-activity? 

Now I’m ready to hit the week hard with some fun training sessions in the gym, hopefully outside (the weather’s been gorgeous!) and in the kitchen with real foods! Along those lines, here are some articles you might enjoy…

– – – – – – – – – –

How to Answer the Basic Nutrition Questions (from a personal trainer’s perspective but great for people looking for answers to questions you’ve likely had, too!)

This article, also by Precision Nutrition, explores how to eat for your body type WITHOUT calorie counting, describes how to carb cycle (with some common sense) and discusses how to fix your diet – I love PN’s approach to nutrition and life! So balanced. I think I’m going to try out the portion sizes with my hand this week and see how I feel! Get away from the calorie counting apps and give it a whirl (anyone care to join?).

V-Type_Diet_Women

And now for two sides of the coin: great points made in the Case For Clean Eating AND the ultimate guide to Flexible Dieting.

Looking for Motivation? Here’s how to get it

Vector set of design elements and icons for motivational sport posters and banners - signs for gyms and crossfit trainings

Very straight-forward approach to why SUGAR isn’t what’s causing weight gain as well as why it’s okay to pursue fat loss. Great stuff here!

I always like reading articles from Girls Gone Strong; here’s another good one about loving yourself (…but not too much).

vanity-nervous-girl-fingers-pointed-640x450

Hope this post finds you well, doing what you need to rest and recover while also striving towards health. It’s possible to do both!

Cheers to the week ahead. Live well & be well, friends,

Bonnie

FullSizeRender-41

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Hey guys! I hope you all had a good weekend! If you’ve been on a Survive & Thrive trip, you know that every night after dinner we do high’s and low’s around the circle, giving everyone a chance to voice their low point (flipped my boat, felt out of my comfort zone, sunburn, etc) and their high (or multiple highs – which often include boat flipping too). 😉 Life isn’t all about just being positive – it’s about holding both the good and bad simultaneously (like I shared about in my last post). I thought I’d start the week off in the same way with some highs and lows from the weekend. Ready? Let’s do this.

I like to start with my low’s and end on the high’s – so the first of the weekend is:

Low: I was sick. Yep. Still! Blarg. What a downer! You know the worst part? It’s boring to be at home watching tv – your eyes can only take so much! Just a really bad cold that had me on the couch for 2 days, cancelled clients, low energy and a very raw nose.

sick

High: I got to watch several interviews of The Women’s Strength Summit! You can still sign up for free and watch some pretty amazing interviews with bad-ass women in the world of health, fitness, nutrition and mindset/body image hosted by Steph Gaudreau. You can sign up here if you’d like to tune in, too (I just signed up for free; if you pay you can archive the interviews and have access to them forever!). That’s been a pretty great perk of being home!

Low: Mikey worked all weekend – super busy teaching a digital storytelling course at Wellspring during both weekend days and busy editing films at night – and I was at home with nothing to do but without a way to help him! Much nicer when we’re on the same page, but that’s life!

High: Without too much to do, I embraced the couch, those aforementioned short walks, got some laundry done, but also got the chance to talk to my mom a lot on the weekend (and a good friend on FaceTime)! PLUS… I booked a ticket home in May! I’m so excited to see family and have time to just be with them, talk, drink copious amounts of black coffee, drive along the coast with good music… It’s going to be great.

Low: No real movement since Tuesday. I moved a little bit when I trained some clients Saturday and took a walk with a good friend and her very darling new baby, Madelyn, on Sunday, but besides that it’s been very low-key. I’m itching to move!

move

High: My appetite hasn’t decreased! In fact, I’ve easily been eating the same amount – sometimes more thanks to sugary foods that I can actually taste – than workout days. At first this wasn’t a high – not even close! – as I thought about how much sitting I was doing and questioned why I’m not one of those people who loses their appetite when sick… But then I remembered something I’m trying to practice myself: the truth that you don’t need to EARN your food. You don’t need to have a cheat meal, have completed a hard workout, have fasted all day. You can still eat when you’ve overindulged OR eaten “clean;” when you’ve had a great day or a bad one. Food is just food. And this was a good opportunity for me to put that into practice.

Low: This is a long stretch, through the winter into spring, until summer hits when we get a break with Survive & Thrive summer trips and fun adventures outdoors. Mikey and I really focus on working hard for several months, then taking a break for some outdoor adventure, then repeating the process. He is feeling pretty stressed in life and I was reminded that we’re powering through this season, focusing on what lies ahead.

High: The weather in Calgary has been beautiful – very spring-like! – and has made everyone pretty happy around town. Plus, we got a permit for the Yampa River in northwestern Colorado and are doing our first friend trip (ie: not for Survive & Thrive) this summer! It’s been so long since we’ve done a trip with friends (really, we haven’t since university) and we cannot wait!

yampa

(source)

We’re taking inflatable kayaks and reunited with friends from the Outdoor Club at Trinity Western University; it’s going to be an awesome adventure.

And I’m going to leave it on that note – adventure awaits! In the meantime, I’m grateful to love what I do and to be reminded to appreciate my health – I’m still pretty stuffed up but I’m feeling better and actually excited to get back to work today! So, now I’ll throw it to you: share a high and low with me from your weekend! Have a great start to the week and I’ll check in with you guys later.

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather
bliss
blis/
noun
  1. 1.
    perfect happiness; great joy.

Bliss. It’s a word used a lot – mainly in conjunction with people trying to find theirs and keep it! It’s not a word I use a lot, but it does have a great definition – “great joy.” I love the concept of joy as compared to happiness (because, the first definition, “perfect happiness,” sounds unattainable…) and after listening to Steph Gaudreau’s interview with Dr. Alessandra Wall, I was thinking about the word bliss more.

So…bliss… Do we need to go on a retreat in Bali or change our lifestyle in order to find it?

…I don’t think so. You see, Thursday I was sick. In fact, I’ve been fighting something for about a week, and today after my early morning clients I finally caved in, sniffling and sneezing and feeling pretty terrible, and canceled my clients for the rest of the day. I shifted my Friday clients around so today I’m not working but am resting at home. Not the best scenario. But you know what?

There are moments of bliss even in this situation today. As I sat at home, I was grateful for a job that I loved – I was actually really disappointed to not check in with people and see them Thursday (and today)! I was also grateful for the chance to watch Fuller House (even though after a few episodes it’s already been too much TV – being sick at home actually isn’t that fun).

These are small examples, but I was also able to have my life put into perspective this last weekend, on our first Weekend HangOut with an incredible group of young adult cancer survivors and supporters at Camp Kindle. There I was, at a camp with a group of people who have undergone some deep hardships at young ages – cancer (first and foremost), but it’s never just cancer. There are broken relationships, comas, family struggles, physical side effects and hurt hearts – all things I have not had to experience first-hand. Bliss? It’s hard to find, even harder to keep.

12805890_10153914394762980_7128168315484420066_n

Mikey summed up the weekend quite well when he said how impressed he was that everyone came and participated, holding not good OR bad in their lives in that weekend, but good AND bad together. And man, how true is that… Life is never just one thing. BUT we can reframe, “restory” our lives and learn to hold both and look at life differently.

IMG_6856

So all of a sudden, my life doesn’t seem so bad and this cold sure isn’t the end of the world. I’m not talking about focusing only on the “good;” we talk a lot about the “tyranny of positivity…” Hint: “just being positive” doesn’t work, statistically and anecdotally! We really encourage people to experience all their emotions fully – stuffing it down and just being positive doesn’t help in the long run. So how do we hold both the good and the bad together when life is more bad than good?

Well, we can take a page from Lindsay and celebrate the small victories! You should read her post – her advice really says it all, and she shares four great action steps you can take to celebrate the small things. Noticing the small things in life and pausing to celebrate them takes just that – a moment to pause, to stop, to acknowledge. When is the last time you stopped and looked for the little things, wrote them down or shared them with others? It takes concentrated effort but can yield real life changes.

Just some food for thought on this Friday… I hope you guys can take a moment to acknowledge the good – the bliss – while you hold the bad simultaneously. Have a great weekend, friends.

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

In between clients yesterday, I was happily tuning into Steph Gaudreau’s Women’s Strength Summit and was inspired to share some thoughts from it. What is this (FREE!) summit, you ask? It’s a series of interviews with world-class experts in the fitness realm that “was created by women, for women to help you get a stronger body, develop mental fortitude, and become the most confident version of yourself.” The goal of the summit is to give you “specific action steps you need to level up your strength of body and mind, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro,” which sounds pretty awesome to me (source)!

FB-ad-summit-1024x536

What struck me as I tuned in to Summer Innanen’s interview was the idea of the asterisk… Here’s a little example of the asterisk in women’s health:

 *  *  *  *  *

“I’m getting stronger! Working on my mental health and my body image! I ditched the scale! …BUT my jeans are tighter. BUT I gained weight. BUT I’m taking up more space.”

 *  *  *  *  *

TheAsterisk

(source)

As women, we are no strangers to the asterisk. We are often told to take up less space, to not speak too loud, and we constantly seem to be seeking out ways to SHRINK. But today I was encouraged to not be afraid to take up more space – in fact, that’s what strength training is all about! Becoming more powerful, growing in strength, changing our bodies (and minds! and lives!) for the better. So how can we celebrate strength and make changes for the better in our lives (moving towards strength in every way) without throwing that asterisk into our speech, our interactions with others, and our thoughts about ourselves?

You gotta be loyal to you.

IMG_6922

(being loyal to our inner tigers at the Survive & Thrive Weekend HangOut last weekend!)

“You have to be more loyal to the way you want to feel than what you’re seeing in the mirror or how your jeans are fitting…and wear leggings and skirts instead!” – Summer Innanen

Man – it’s sure a conscious choice, isn’t it? To not let that asterisk skew our thoughts? How is it that so often we can feel great in the morning, BEFORE the scale, BEFORE putting our jeans on, BEFORE looking in the mirror, and 5 minutes later feel down on our bodies? We can choose what we will be more loyal to – our old beliefs about ourselves or how our jeans fit on our bodies. Let’s take up more space, physically and metaphorically, ladies!

IMG_1924

I recently submitted my goals to Sohee Lee to get my macros calculated for me (it’s a one-time fee of $47 and does not include coaching, just the personalized calculation) and in the form about yourself, you have to write down what your goal is – training for fat loss, muscle gain, or maintenance. I submitted “fat loss” because – well, that’s what I’ve always been pursuing (in an effort to stay/get more lean!), but it hit me after I clicked “submit” that maybe it was time to shift gears (and it prompted my most recent post!). Why am I always pursuing fat loss? And sure, I’ve tossed my scale and worked on my mindset and view of my body, very much so embracing the strong revolution, but if I’m checking off “fat loss” as my main goal, I must not really be embracing the idea of pursuing strength. I’m choosing to shrink, allowing that asterisk more power in my mind.

So…I emailed back, asked if I could change my goal if it wasn’t too late, and waited for my macros to be sent back! Time to not just talk about it, but ACT on changing my mentality. And guess what? My macros (carbs, proteins and fat ratios for a day) came back and I’m embracing more calories, all real foods, not fasting and am fueling for performance and enjoyment – and loving it (even though I’ve said that before)!

FullSizeRender (76)
I’ve also been walking more – just trying to follow the advice that I give my clients! – and enjoying even short, 15 minute walks in between clients, after workouts or when I have down time.

IMG_1969
As I’m thinking about my bigger picture and “deleting” those asterisks, I’m feeling motivated by some other quotes too. I like Nia Shank‘s formula to “find your fit:”

(Eat Well + Move Your Body in Ways You Enjoy) x most days per week = YOUR FIT

That’s a great formula right there. 🙂 And some great words that Lindsay shared on her Facebook page resonated with me today too:

“Real fitness is not about six pack abs or boulder shoulders, it is about a better quality of life. Oh sure, getting shredded is a result of a good program and a good diet, but moving better, feeling better, and getting more confidence is ‘Real’ fitness. ” – Jim Smith

IMG_6856

My fitness in the gym leads me to be able to enjoy life to the fullest, like in this above picture from our weekend hangout. To be able to laugh, love, enjoy friends, hike the next morning and interact with others. And I really believe this! But sometimes I, too, get wrapped up in the fitness industry and in the illusion of what fitness “looks like.” And you know what? That’s okay! It’s okay to meander here and there in your thoughts and views as long as you continue to grow and learn.

IMG_1890

Keep living that glorious, epic story regardless of where you might be right now! We’re all on a journey and learning as we go!

Are you living with an asterisk right now? Is it one you need to get rid of? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Live well & be well friends,

Bonnie

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather