Category: Workout

Hey guys and Happy Friday!

Checking in at the end of the week here and wanted to say hi! How’s your week been? Mine has been just busy and steady enough to keep me moving but not burned out – I love that. 🙂 I’m grateful for clients who, for the most part, want to be training and are doing their best to live well in AND (more importantly!) outside the gym.

And that’s what I’d like to muse about today – about the idea of living sustainably while working towards your health and fitness goals. You guys, I feel like a broken record every time I get on here to post, but I’m so interested in pursuing health in a way that serves me for the long term, and I can’t help but share about it! This stems from me trying to find my “forever plan” when it comes to fitness and nutrition – it’s fun to explore and see what works for me as an individual. As you may remember from recent post, I’ve been tracking my macros (carbs, proteins and fats) lately on My Fitness Pal to see where I’m ending up most days, and while it was good for some time, I found myself getting sucked wanting to see change faster than what’s possibly realistic for me. It didn’t make me obsessive or cause me to restrict my food to create faster change (all you need to do is see my entry for Monday night when I got an impromptu hot fudge sundae from Peter’s Drive-In with Mikey on a whim!), which is great, but I noticed myself getting frustrated that change wasn’t happening simply because I was tracking. Well…what was I expecting? I was eating the same way (not sacrificing or changing up my macros at all), but still getting frustrated that I wasn’t really changing my body. Hmm… Took me a second to realize it, but once I did, I found it interesting to take note of that bigger picture when you pull back a bit.

I recently saw one of my clients’ progress in her weight loss outlined in a graph. It looked a little bit like this:


I was so proud of her, because her change wasn’t static but was up and down (that’s real life!) with (and here’s the key) an overall downward trend. It’s not about the day to day up’s and down’s (especially as women; our hormones sure are crazy!) but rather about the overall movement in our journeys. She is such a great example of consistency and tenacity with her goals while still living life. It reminded me that both fat loss and muscle growth aren’t linear.  It doesn’t always seem like that with the “ab’ed up” people around us on Instagram and the fitness models we see in social media, but remember that it’s many of their JOBS to be fit and they dedicate a lot more time than you or I, with our jobs, families, and commitments, ever can to their bodies! Also, some of them are miserable with their routines that they have to keep up to look that way – not everyone, certainly – but many people are because their business is wrapped up in meal prepping, rigidity and never missing a workout.

Please understand that I’m certainly not saying that structure is unhelpful; we actually need to say “no” every once and a while because life isn’t ALL cookies and cakes (or late night sundae runs). But maybe you’ve been trying the restriction thing for a while and it hasn’t worked, because as soon as that 30 or 21 day plan is done, you’re on your own, and you either slip up and you’re back to where you started from or you look for another challenge to complete to keep you on track. I know that as much as I say I’m not pursuing fat loss, I still kind of live like I am. So here’s my question for you: are you tired of being the person who eats carrots at parties? Or the one who passes up social engagements because of your diet? Maybe it works for you, and if it does, more power to you – and I really mean that! But I’m slowly discovering that the ways I live best are less rigid and structured and more in tune with how I’m feeling that day in terms of my eating and movement.


I have been exploring the website (and subsequent podcast) Eat to Perform, and I’m loving the content and concept behind what they stand for – eating for performance-based goals as “normal” people (not necessarily high level athletes but your average person who has a job and family and wants to be healthy). I really enjoyed the podcast below (allow yourself to get into it a bit as the real good meat of the message is part-way through!) and thought I’d embed it here for you to check out in your own time!

So, while I got a bit caught up in not seeing “results” (which for me means less belly bloat and more abs – despite often saying I don’t care about abs – it’s such a process to let certain things go and strive for a realistic, healthy body!), it’s been good for me to refocus on what I really want. Do I want to set my macros and carbs for a certain number or percentage based on fat loss, or performance in the gym and in life? How long will I pursue fat loss in an effort to be lean when really I’m seeking freedom from being limited in that perspective and scope? I eat like I’m really living and move like I’m really living but sometimes my mentality needs to play catch up to where my habits and life are right now, and that’s okay – it’s coming.

So here are a few things I’m dwelling on instead, some of which stemmed from the podcast above!

The bigger picture. Always, always refocusing with the bigger picture of life that is the adventure of loving Jesus and loving others! Life is much bigger than abs – I do truly believe that – even though it sounds like a no-brainer to write out. Checking in with myself and how I’m living, treating others and performing at work and as a human helps me remember that being fit helps me be better: a better wife, daughter, friend, even Christian!

Then there’s the big “F” word: Failure. You’ve got to be willing to risk if you want to see change! Remember the first time you walked into that group fitness class at your gym? You were nervous, not sure what to expect, not sure if you’d be able to do it. Or the first time you decided to bump up your bench press by 5 lbs – you didn’t know if you could actually lift it, right? Well, you’ve got to be willing to fail and, more importantly, get uncomfortable. I did just that when I went for a 20 KG Turkish Get Up this week – I’d never tried more than 16 KG and finally thought, “I want to do it!” I had to catch the kettle bell on the way down but then I did it again and again and nailed it! Next up? 24 KG!

And while you want to risk some failure to move ahead in terms of performance and goals, you also need to ask yourself: What’s truly sustainable? Is this eating plan or workout schedule possible for me to keep up with alongside the demands of my busy life? This is always a question I’m asking myself, and as my good friend Kindal told me recently,

Whatever you can do to take the stresses away in life, go for it. I’m sure you’ve heard it 1000’s of times, but I was thinking about nutrition and you last night (I haven’t been sleeping so hot, lol)… 

If you’re on the fence about really sticking to macros or getting feelings of guilt or annoyance with your food… don’t go through with it. I mean don’t go eating sundaes EVERY night (just kidding) but seriously, if it’s stressing you out, you’re beautiful and perfect right now. Remember… are you doing what you need to be doing RIGHT NOW? 

Wow. Now that’s a good friend. Think about what’s sustainable and ask yourself if now’s the right time to be focusing on that particular goal.

Lastly, (forgive me for not linking all these thoughts – I’m rambling here!), but I’m continually thinking about that midsection… Are abs all they’re really cracked up to be? What if you feel stronger in the gym and like a more capable human outside the gym when you’re eating more, and training hard without worrying about visible abs? Just a thought. 😉 Noelle Tarr’s “Why I Don’t Want Six-Pack Abs” post really resonated with me when I first read it – and it’s absolutely worth checking out!

Here are some other articles worth checking out:

What are you mulling through in terms of the fitness industry and your body these days? Have you reached a happy medium and balance, or are you still finding your way, like me? The good news is that your views can change! Like progress, change isn’t linear and we’re not stuck in it. So, as you can see, it’s a process, and I’m in the midst of it! But I’m growing more every day in the industry I’m in, enjoying my role in helping people on their journey to be their strongest, fittest, happiest selves, and learning what that looks like for me too. Praise God that we don’t have to get it figured out right the first time but that there’s grace for the journey!

Live well & be well friends,



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Happy Friday, friends! I hope you’ve had a great week! Since it’s Friday, I thought it would be fun to do a day in the life – and this one is from yesterday. So…let’s get right to it!

5:30 am: Alarm goes off. I hop out of bed easily simply because I try to get out of the room quickly without waking Mikey. He’s used to it and a good sleeper, so I slip on my slippers (guess that’s why they’re called slippers!) 😉 and my robe and slide out to kitchen. First thing’s first: I always put the hot water on the stove before going to the bathroom. Our stove is old so it takes a while to get going. Wash my face, drink some water, check to make sure no clients cancelled over night via text or email (I sleep with my phone on airplane mode so that I don’t get startled by anything and also have no radiation!).

5:35 am: Assemble lemon water! I juice half a lemon, add some apple cider vinegar, some cayenne pepper (digestion!), cinnamon (good-for-your-metabolism-spice, taste) and some room temperature water and top it off with the hot water from the almost-screaming kettle. This is how I wake my body up daily, and now it’s so automatic and comes together so quickly that it’s not even something I think about! Around this time I hit the brew button on the coffee pot, because soon I’ll be ready for my favorite first sip in the world! In the meantime, I pop my vitamin D and fish oil (the only vitamins I take for whatever reason – another post for another day!), drink my lemon water and start sipping water from my water bottle as I’m getting ready.

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5:45 am: Start gathering goods, most of which I’ve laid out the night before, for my day. If the weather’s nice I have running shoes and clothes suited for an outdoor winter run ready or a change of clothes for my workout (usually the same shirt and/or pants all week! Makes it brainless and I don’t sweat much) and always an extra pair of socks because I hate working out, showering and then training clients in the same pair of damp socks! 😉 I make sure I’ve got my Yerba mate tea, water bottle, and make-up since I throw mascara and blush on in the car most days.

In my remaining minutes I might browse a few blogs but lately I try not to turn my computer on – it only makes me late. Instead I sit and sip, sometimes read my Bible, or look at Instagram. Trying to make it more of the former than the latter!

6:00 – 6:15 am: Depending on when I have clients (either 6:15 or 6:30 am daily) I hit the road, never allowing the car to warm up as much as it should. 😉

6:30 am: Training begins!


I warm up my coffee in between clients once or twice and then I’m done with it and move on to tea to keep warm!


(Sorry for the grainy self-timer photo! But this is a typical morning at CityFit after the early rush of clients.)

Depending on my schedule, I train from 6:30 – 12 pm most days with maybe a 1 or 2 hour total (split up) break between clients.


(This is Keith, who rocks every workout and is always ready to go early in the morning!)

Yesterday I used each break to do some work and then get a workout in – both pretty typical uses of my breaks!


And here’s what I did!

24 min workout

One of my favorite workout times is in the afternoon, like 2 pm, but if I have a break earlier I squeeze a run or workout in according to my schedule. I’m blessed to be able to always find a time, even if it’s a half hour, to go move or at least do some handstands on the turf. 😉

12 pm – 2 pm: Depending on the day, I may or may not have a break and may or may not go home for lunch. I typically don’t eat until later, having tea, water and listening to my body’s hunger cues. Intermittent fasting has been working for me, and I’m so busy in the mornings through most afternoons that it works with my schedule! Lunch is usually leftovers on a bed of greens with goat cheese – every, single day, and I LOVE it…Although I typically start with a little tasty delight:

4:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Evening clients in one-on-one and partner sessions. Finishing off the day strong!

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(Erin and I…this girl is making strides in her strength!)

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Home and cook some dinner, which includes some kind of meat, stir fried or roasted veggies, and white rice and/or potatoes – white or sweet! Tonight was a quick meal on the way out to small group:

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I had a delicious Costco spinach & feta chicken sausage fried up with broccoli slaw, an egg and some hot sauce! …plus a piece of ice cream cake too. 😉

9:00 pm: When I try to shut it down – screens off is my goal, but often it’s closer to 10 pm. Mikey and I might watch a show or read if we’ve got books on the go, and then hit the hay! Speaking of which, it’s time! 😉

Have a great weekend, you guys! And tell me – what do you do most days at 2 pm in the afternoon?!

Live well & be well,




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Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend! I am trying to get this blog post up and then go to bed – it’s already past my time to shut my screens down and be getting ready for bed, and I have a full week coming up so I’m ready to wind down! But I wanted to check in and share not only a bit about my weekend, but some thoughts surrounding the habits we’re cultivating day in and day out. Stick around and dialogue a bit with me!

I recently stumbled upon Georgie Fear, a nutrition and habit change coach, through a random podcast. I loved her interview and searched for her, devouring what she had to say about habit change. I’ve realized that if I was to ever go back to school, it would be in the field of health psychology; I’m fascinated by what shapes our habits and how we can change those habits and what’s going on in our minds rather than just the outward changes we make (exercise and nutrition) when trying to get fit. She’s pretty great, and another Canadian (in Vancouver), so chances of connecting at health/fitness conferences and the like are more possible than many nutrition/fitness experts in the US. I’ve been reading a lot about her and love her blog and new book, “Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss,” both for myself but also for coaching clients (I haven’t purchased it yet, just been reading lots about the book).




This idea of habits and habit change has been on my mind a lot lately, and I’ve been trying to practice better habits all week. No, I’m not overweight or on an upward trend in my weight, and I don’t binge or have terrible eating habits. But we all have those days in which our emotions take over, we get lazy in the kitchen, or we indulge too much and don’t feel great the next day, and I want to be stronger than those emotions and those days. Yes, those moments will always happen (in fact I make room for them with mindful indulgences!), but I’m forever wanting to practice healthy habits.

I’m working on one of Georgie’s 4 core habits right now: eating 3 meals a day. Sounds simple, right? But this means getting hungry enough to want that next full meal (ie: allowing yourself to feel some hunger) and then eating until you are satisfied. No snacks, no mindless munching while you’re making dinner or coming home in between clients and just want to grab a small bite to eat. This has been valuable because it’s revealed to me how much I really do snack when I’m NOT hungry – I might be bored or be tired when I *think* food is what I need but it might actually be a quick nap or more water. So that’s been fun to work on!


(Lately: lots of spaghetti squash, some kind of meat, loads of broccoli slaw, and hot sauce!)


A new-to-me vegan protein; I’ve bought the whey version of this brand but am happy to bring some plant-based sources into my diet as I have a protein shake maybe every other day.

It’s got me thinking about habits. Some people, after years of cultivating the habit of regular weight lifting, have muscles that just seem to stick around, regardless of their activity level (I’m lookin’ at you, mom!); others have committed many verses in the Bible to memory and are well-equipped to think of encouraging verses in their own lives or for others when they need it. Some people always drink water regularly or have practiced healthy habits and boundaries around alcohol, and never need to imbibe too much! It takes work, active work, but we can change our habits that are so ingrained in us one step at a time.


(Tired 1 am – or maybe 2? – pizza in New York earlier this year after our first loooong day of walking all around the city until we were super hungry and exhausted; pizza never tasted so good and I didn’t regret this late-night choice in the slightest!) 

I always encourage my clients to choose one thing to focus on until they nail that goal; then choose another habit and continue moving on. Overhauling your entire life is too hard – it’s unstable and unsettling and can drive you crazy! But focusing on one healthy habit change before moving onto the next can help bring actual change whose results are sustainable.

One of the habits I need to change (WANT to, as well!)? Time spent listening to Jesus in silence, prayer and by reading the Bible. It’s amazing how many other things I make time for and neglect this one very important relationship in my life. Why is it so hard for me to sit down and be still? To spend time listening instead of asking; seeking Jesus’ face instead of praying for answers to prayer; getting to know Jesus through His Word rather than breezing through a chapter or two of verses I’ve read and glossed over, familiar with since my youth?


It’s a pursuit, a life-long pursuit, so I know that my habits in any of these realms (fitness, nutrition; spiritual, emotional, relational; etc) will not change overnight, nor would I want them to, really. The fight, the learning that comes from growth through the struggle is worth it to see change. I wouldn’t want to be the same person in my fitness goals or thoughts about nutrition now as 10 years ago, or 20 years from now either! I certainly want to know Jesus more deeply every day, but I need to action on my habits in the meantime, starting with one small move at a time.


What realm do you need to work on in your habits or helping to create habit change?Physical? Mental? Emotional? Spiritual?  

– – – – – – – – –

Some habits that are dialed in for me? Having fun on the weekends! 😉 I trained a few clients Saturday morning and got my own workout in with Zach at CityFit!

We saw SUCH a great movie I cannot recommend enough later Saturday: The Intern. We went to a matinee (random and fun for something different!) with a friend who’s in town and I felt like this was a great use of a few hours; such a believable, real story that tugged at me the entire time. I’m an easy cryer, so don’t base anything off me, but wow I sobbed the whole movie. 😉



Sunday we had a great morning at church (such a solid sermon!) and got the chance to see my in-laws and lots of friends; so grateful for good community! And then we watched a Nat Geo Live show at the Arts Commons building in Calgary – another great use of almost 2 hours! These shows bring fascinating people with amazing experiences to speak and share video clips and it’s a very popular and entertaining speaker series. It’s a chance to meet extraordinary explorers, filmmakers, and photographers who are both documenting and helping to preserve our world’s natural beauty (source), and Sylvia Earle, referred to as “Her Deepness” and a true pioneer of underwater exploration, did not disappoint Sunday. I was surprised to see an old woman, hunch backed and walking slowly onto the stage, when they introduced a woman of great accolades in the science and diving community but was immediately engaged and inspired by this fire cracker of a woman! Wow…it was an incredible experience to hear her speak about her travels and adventures and pursuit of helping restore the ocean, enjoying it herself, and helping others to dream big and dive in (literally)!


Afterwards we met friends from our Grand Canyon trip for happy hour half priced tacos and margaritas at Anejo on 4th St. and enjoyed some time reconnecting and sharing stories!


After this fun time, Mikey and I dropped a meal off for friends who just had a beautiful baby girl and got to connect for a bit with them and hear about all the life change (she’s only 8 days old!) and that was a beautiful finish to our weekend.

So fun? No problem there. 😉 More on the discipline side to come, but everything I ate this weekend was intentional and mindful, and I made room for it by saying no to other things. I got a fun workout in but also rest, was busy but also had a bit of downtime. Habit change – little by little. :)

Any highlights to share about your weekend? Lay ’em on me! I want to hear about them!

Live well & be well, friends, and make one healthy habit change today and commit to work on it all week!


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