Category: Balance

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!



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!



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!


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


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,


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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!



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!



Love this creative team!


Robin looking fly…


(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!

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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…



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.


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!




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.





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!



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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.


(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.

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



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… 😉


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.


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!

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?).


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).


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,



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Hey guys! Well, I’m breaking my internet silence and absence of a few days to share because I simply enjoy connecting with you in this space. Isn’t that neat? It’s a community – a small one, an online one, and one that serves me well as a place to process, share and explore ideas – but a community nonetheless!  Today I wanted to share some tips and tricks (no, not a “hack” – I’m done “hacking” my way through life!) that are contributing to my health and invite you in to the conversation to share ways that you are living well. I am slowly realizing that I enjoy writing about life in a broader sense because I’m so interested in pursuing balance and coaching others to live in such a way that facilitates, simply put, fuller life! I think I’m moving away from sharing my meals (which I never did much of and wasn’t very original with) and workouts (which will always be a part of this space) and stepping into how to live well. I want this to be a place of encouragement, motivation and growth for us and not just a place to share content that others are sharing in more complete ways.


Bear with me as I explore the root of this shift… Perhaps it all stems from my favorite verse, John 10:10, “I [Jesus] came that you may have life and have it to the full!” I’ve always been about “full life” ever since I started blogging about our cancer journey 8 years ago and it continues to fascinate and inspire me as I see so many others, with so much success, wealth, opportunity and connections living such dull, meaningless or negative lives. What about full life? Isn’t there something more? I thought about this the other morning while driving to work. We live near the Alpha House, a half-way house of sorts that is a place for people to come down off their high, and we often see people passed out or stumbling along in our neighborhood. It’s hard to see and hard to know how to help; the food I’ve often offered is passed over in favor of beer or money so sometimes I feel like my hands are tied in terms of helping in a tangible way.

So…back to the story. As I was driving, I saw a man sitting on the sidewalk with his legs crossed, and as I got closer I realized that in his hands was the face of another man, seated facing him. It was such a striking image to me of (likely) addiction, homelessness and pain and yet also of deep love, care and community. These men understand the importance of community, of walking through life with one another, of loving others in a profound way because they rely on each other daily. That picture stuck with me all day and brought me back to a recent sermon I listened to by Tim Keller called “Blessed Are the Poor.” The rich – or the middle class, comfortable folk like me – hear the gospel (literally, the “good news”) and aren’t always excited by it; why do we need a Savior? What am I really being saved from? But the poor…The poor hear the good news and they GET IT. They are given hope, given love, given acceptance and redemption which they so desperately need – the same things we need and are offered while simultaneously not seeing our need for them.

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Mikey and Misha – community in action at our recent Wellspring skating event!

Those guys sitting there at 6 am, one face resting in another’s hands, eyes locked and still, get this need for community. I wonder how much we get that, or sense our need for it? How often do we spend lost on the internet in communities that may provide some connection but don’t necessarily fill us up, check in with us or care for us deeply?

These are some of things I’ve been pondering after taking a break from being online.


Emails and texting with clients, yes, but no social media including Facebook (my biggest time waster), tweeting, blog reading and Instagram (my favorite). I’ve found myself wanting to pop online for no real reason at all or thinking, “I should snap a photo!” and then realizing I simply didn’t need to and found other things to do. I can honestly say I’ve wasted less time and haven’t felt disconnected from people. I am breaking this technology fast early because I feel like my reset button has already been set, and it feels great. I’ll be keeping Facebook (and possibly Instagram?) off my phone and eliminating that opportunity to go online just for the sake of using up time. I’ve read my Bible more, connected with people for coffee, gone on more walks and even started a new book (for a non-reader, this is a big one for me!), and it feels great. I do use Facebook to connect with people for my business (both fitness-wise and with Wellspring as the young adult team lead for cancer programs), so I’ll hop back on for those purposes mainly and because it IS a good way to stay connected, but I will have more parameters on how long I allow myself to browse online, and that focus feels good!

So now that I’ll be limiting my online time, here are a few other ways I’m cultivating health in my daily life:

Relaxing about food. You’ll remember from my last blog post that I’m practicing If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) right now (Kindal has an awesome blog post about this if you want more info on what IIFYM is and how it works!) and I’m relaxing how good real foods make me feel! I’ve also been reminded that I truly enjoy that once-a-week licorice snack I have Fridays or a glass of wine and piece of dark chocolate throughout the week. I’m not practicing IIFYM to lose weight (although I do want to reduce some bloat and feel stronger in the gym!) and am not practicing it as much as I am understanding my protein needs, not going overboard on fat and enjoying good carbohydrates. It’s more of an awareness thing and it’s working for me – and that, coupled with intermittent fasting (refer to last post), is allowing me to relax about my intake, enjoy life and be fueled primarily by healthy, voluminous foods! I like that. 🙂


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Supplementing my diet. While a solid foundation is the main part of eating well (with real, whole foods), I also take a few supplements that do just that – supplement my diet. This includes a greens powder (right now it’s Amazing Grass’ gogi and acai berry flavor) for the day that I’m running around or don’t have vegetables in the fridge:

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Vitamin D (I DO live north in Canada, after all – all of us northerners should be taking it!) and a fish oil (because I don’t get those Omega 3’s from fish 2x/week – it’s just not my favorite thing to eat or prepare!):

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And occasionally an additional supplement like SierraSil, which supports healthy cartilage, pulls heavy metals out of the body, and helps fight inflammation. I was sent this via my partnership with Social Nature, and it’s been great to incorporate into my routine.

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SierraSil promises results in 14 days or your money back, so while you can’t tell taking it once or twice, you do feel a change over time with aches, pains and stiffness! This is especially great if you have joint pain, are training hard, and even for pets with problems!

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I’ve noticed quicker recovery in between workouts and a general sense of feeling good going from the gym to the backcountry for long ski days to the running trails. If this sounds like something you’d benefit from and want to give SierraSil a go, click here for 20% off on this product! And thanks to Social Nature, if you’re interested in looking at more products to help you #trynatural, check out this link for many other free sampling opportunities.

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Walking more. I’ve read (and told people!) for so long about the benefits of walking. It’s the not-so-secret for weight loss (low intensity, do-anywhere, burns fat not muscle, good for your mind and emotions) but I’m often found home at night without having moved too much that day besides a short workout. Simply because it’s good for me, there’s so much research about it, and it’s relaxing, I’ve been getting out and waking more. To work, to the store for a few groceries, in between clients even if it’s for 20 minutes. I’ve had some amazing moments of worship and prayer times, watched the sunrise and sunset, chosen to walk rather than even do a weight workout for that day (many days lately, actually!) and been listening to some great podcasts. A few I’m enjoying these days:

Girls Gone Wod

Harder to Kill Radio

The Paleo Women Podcast

Timothy Keller

The Model Health Show


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Seen on a recent walk; I took some time to kneel and pray and then look out over our city and enjoy the view and quiet.

Are you walking much? It offers reductions in diabetes and heart disease, decreases in high blood pressure, increases in bone density, is good for cognitive function, helps alleviate symptoms of depression, improves fitness and physical function (source).  It’s not a waste of time, is great to do with other people, is great alone time, and can be used for leisure or fitness. …go walk! 😉

Not fighting myself. I’ve realized that I’m not a reader or book person as much as I desire to be. So, instead of fighting that and getting disappointed in myself, I listen to audio books, read on my phone (NOT Facebook any longer!), and listen to fun and educational podcasts (I like a mix of both). So now I go with it! Might as well make life easier for myself and set myself up for success!

Another way I do this is by buying pre-chopped foods like broccoli slaw or cauliflower heads. Little things like this go a long way in me being successful in the kitchen, so again, it’s about making life a little easier and setting myself up to do well. I make my coffee the night before, I do what can be done in 1 minute right then rather than procrastinate and keep the house tidy. Not necessarily clean, but tidy! 😉 I think better and live better in that space, and a few minutes here and there sure goes a long way.

Make time for people. From quick text messages to friends to let them know I’m praying for them to in-person coffee dates; from sitting and talking with Mikey at night BEFORE we watch a show to staying at the end of the day to talk with clients about what’s going on their lives, making time for people is something that contributes to my health and a better way of life for me. I know Tina just sent some “stay well” packages (such a neat idea!) to family and you can invite someone over for dinner. Being involved in a weekly group, like our small group (you know us as “Fat Tuesday!”) from church, is something that keeps us connected and, while often a struggle to get there weekly after full, busy days, is ALWAYS such a positive commitment in our lives because of the community. What’s one thing you can do to stay intentionally engaged with others in life?

Prioritize sleep. Man, is this ever important. There are resources aplenty about the value of sleep (Shawn Stevenson’s new book Sleep Smarter is one of them!) and all I can say is, don’t keep running on all cylinders. Your relationships will suffer, your brain won’t function as well, your energy will eventually run out, you might lose your sex drive, and your fat loss AND strength gaining goals will stall out.

At this moment, these are the things that come to mind in terms of living a healthier lifestyle. It starts with community, branches out to managing technology well, hits my food and movement (not even necessarily “working out”) and lands on sleep. There’s more to the list, sure (value of living a more-than-one-dimensional life, stepping out of your comfort zone, staying accountable to friends or a professional of some sort for your goals or life direction, not ignoring your spiritual life, etc), but this is a start!

What’s one thing you’ve done in the last while that’s made a difference in your health in some way? I’d love to hear what you would add to the list and please feel free to leave any links and discuss more in the comments below! And remember, if you’re looking to try some new products, join the Social Nature community and #trynatural for FREE! 😀

Live well & be well friends!


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Hey guys! Well, it’s a Monday AND a new month – that’s a nice feeling. Although I’m not a huge proponent of “starting over Mondays,” it’s always great to have that feeling of clean, fresh slate on a new week and month to boot! If you follow my blog, you know that I Instagram a lot more frequently than I blog these days; I want to write but I’ve not really had anything that felt of much consequence to say! I don’t want to blog for the sake of blogging and just add more noise to your life, yet I miss the act of writing. So I thought I’d share a few of the things I’m processing these days to kick off my writing this week – hope you find it interesting and helpful in some way (and if there’s anything you’d LIKE me to blog about, perhaps it’s time I ask you, the readers!). Today I’m talking about living in a way that’s “good enough.” Maybe you can relate.

Life is such a journey, and while that may sound cliche, it’s so true. We learn as we go and hopefully adjust our course thanks to experience, the wisdom of others, and direction from God in terms of open doors or closed ones. And I really don’t think our fitness and nutrition journey is any different from our life journey – it evolves and changes as we learn and grow. I sure HOPE I don’t believe all the same things about God when I first became a Christian as a young girl as I do today after life experience, time in His Word, and people encouraging me along. Similarly, I don’t hold to the same thoughts as a trainer when I first started 8 years ago as I do today, and that’s because growth and change (and research! ha) have contributed to me evolving as (hopefully) a better trainer.


(Hi! It’s me – in my new Qalo hat!)

In short, I really feel like these days I am living in a state that is “good enough” as I move forward in my own journey. Brad Pilon’s recent post explains it perfectly (you can read his article that resonates with me so much right here!), but in short, I’m eating and working out and being social and being alone in what seems to me to be just the right amount that is, simply put, good enough. It’s nothing extreme, but it works for me! And that’s why it’s sustainable.

Before I share how I’m practicing being good enough, take a look at what Brad Pilon has to say in terms of extremes and his advice for being good enough from his article:

Could I do more for my health? Green smoothies every day, no alcohol, only raw organic local produce? sure. But I’m OK with where I am.

Bottom line – there are lots of experts who can help you with the extremes. So if extreme is what you want, there are lots of options.  I’m a master of ‘good enough’. If looking good and being healthy is important to you, but not at the expense of consuming your life, than I have some pretty simple, time tested advice.

  1. Fast once or twice a week – it doesn’t have to be 24 hours, it could be 16, or 20, must make sure you’re taking a break from eating occasionally.
  2. Stress less. Do your best to only stress about the things that are actually worth stressing about.
  3. Lift. As little as twice a week can do wonders. Three to four times per week is great, just be careful as you’ll start to see diminishing returns after a while.
  4. Move. Do something that makes you breath a little harder each and every day. I like climbing, but do something that you find fun.
  5. Eat. PLEASE EAT. But eat responsibly. You don’t have to be a saint with your food, but you can’t eat like every day is thanksgiving either.
  6. Sleep – Get a good nights sleep. If you’re doing the first five things properly, this should be a little bit easier.

Solid, solid advice. I am grateful to have found what works for me (key words here!) and am happily practicing being good enough:

  • Intermittent fasting (IF)
  • Moderation 365
  • Move for strength and happiness
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Enjoy a mix of play and rest physically and socially

Intermittent Fasting: I basically practice a flexible, intermittent fasting daily routine, and it works for me! My mornings are full with clients and I simply am not hungry in the mornings, so while I used to coach people to always eat breakfast, even those who never naturally wanted it, my tune has changed! While some people need to eat something first thing, and women often do better with food in their system as compared to men, not everyone needs it to function well! There is research on both sides of the coin, but I used to not talk about IF because I didn’t want people to try something too unconventional or think I was trying to simply skip meals (not the same). If it works for me, it might for you, too! Do your research but don’t be afraid to use your body as an experiment within reason; stick to something for at least a month to give it a good shot before making up your mind. Please remember that I am not a doctor! But try something different if what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked for you in the past with your goals. Browse Brad Pilon’s site for lots of information on IF – perhaps some of the myths (yes, myths) about keeping your metabolism revved and eating every 3 hours don’t apply to you, but you don’t know until you try a new method. The awesome thing is you can always go back to small meals – there’s no right or wrong, and I’m learning to coach people on what works for their bodies and not just on what we hear preached from the fitness industry.


(a very typical meal for me: greens, veggies, meat and some kid of fat like goat cheese or avocado)

So where’s the “good enough” part to my fasting practice? I don’t worry about the details or follow it to a “T.” Once a week, sometimes twice, I do a 24 hour (or close to it) fast and fast most mornings, but some days I go out to breakfast with friends or I eat if my hunger strikes early at 10 am. I don’t worry about the specifics but incorporate some fasting principles but it’s “good enough” for me. Either way, I fast enough to allow my body a break from digestion and mind a break from planning life around food. 😉

Moderation 365: This concept comes from Jill Coleman, and I’ve blogged about it before, but I’m happy to be eating in a moderate way. In other words, if I really want a donut, I’ll get one, but it’s not a regular or consistent occurrence. At the same time, it’s also not a big deal if I do choose to have a donut! I enjoy a glass of wine on a weeknight and sometimes never on a weekend – nothing changes simply because it’s Tuesday or Saturday. In fact, some days I won’t have more than a piece of fruit in terms of sugar and then I will have liquorice for dinner – it’s moderate, it works for me, it keeps me feeling satisfied and also healthy and is “good enough!”

I actually just started tracking my macros (carbs, proteins and fats) to see where I’m at and aim to be within a certain range, and some days I hit my numbers while other days I don’t (sometimes I track everything and other days it’s loose!). It doesn’t define or control me but does provide some structure – it’s good enough for my nutrition and goals right now!


(currently enjoying as I type – and yep, I tracked all 4 servings of this!)

Brad Pilon says in another post, “Deprivation kills consistency, and consistency is where your results come from.” So for me, liquorice and the occasional glass of red wine are mandatory (yep!) to help keep me from going overboard on good food like peanut or almond butter or from diving headfirst into a bag of cookies when someone opens them.

Move for strength & happiness: There are times when I’ve followed a program (either something like a push/pull program, a follow-along with my online BFF Kindal, or a kettle bell program with a specific goal. But more or less, I try to move often and enough to keep my fitness level up (always be able to do 5 pull ups any time, run a 5 km easy, hike without getting too breathless and keep up with the boys in the backcountry) and do what makes me happy. This is a mix of movement and sustains my goals while keeping me content and consistent in and outside the gym!


Prioritize sleep: The more I learn about sleep, the more I’m shocked by how valuable it is and how much it impacts my life. I think this is one area where we all “know” how important sleep is but still celebrate doing more and resting less. Our culture continues to pride itself on being busy, “only sleeping 4 hours last night because I had so much to do,” and it’s one area that can truly help with stress, relationships, food choices, will power, brain function, sex drive, workouts, recovery, fat loss… The list goes on! I try to be in bed between 10-10:30 pm most nights, make it a practice to not use my phone in bed (which is tough!), and start dimming the lights before I go to bed to get ready for that process. It’s just not worth it for me to stay up late and be groggy at work or over the weekend when I want to be up and out and enjoying life! I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get 8 hours of sleep but I also have some boundaries to help facilitate better rest – all in all, it’s good enough even if it’s not perfect!

Enjoy a mix of play and rest physically and socially. Speaking of weekends, sometimes they’re booked up, sometimes they aren’t, and I vacillate between busy and unscheduled, active and rest. The other weekend was booked from Friday night on and included meeting with friends over dinner, training clients on a Saturday morning, connecting over coffee with some cancer survivors who had non-profit questions, and taking new friends out to back country ski all day Sunday.


It was all great but I was beat by the time Monday rolled around; this last weekend, while social, was much more of a rest with no work Saturday, church Sunday, leisure time by myself at home and connected with friends throughout the weekend. A better balance, but some weekends are heavy on the activity and others on the relaxation – it’s never perfect! – and that rounds out to make it good enough for me.


(grainy but fun – Nicole and I out to dinner at the Boxwood Cafe in Calgary after a movie; we enjoyed EVERY bite and sip of wine we had!)

I’m in a good spot right now, enjoying life, work, movement; food and my community; church and rest time; the mountains and the gym. While I’m always looking ahead (What’s next? How is my balance in all these things? Am I honoring God in how I’m spending my time?), it’s a good place to be. Good enough for now, until my goals or focus, job or life circumstances, tastes or preferences change again!

How are you living “good enough” right now? Do you struggle to be perfect (or close to it) in any one area? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Have a great rest of your start to February and I will connect with you guys soon! Live well & be well,


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Hey guys!

Checking in during the middle of the week to see how everyone’s doing! How’s life? How’s training? How’s your heart these days? I know there are many walking through trials right now and others enjoying a great start to the New Year; just wanted to note how much I appreciate your stories and lives and am grateful for being able to share my story, with all it’s ups and downs, with you on this blog.

On that note, and because it is a new year, after all, I thought I’d turn my attention to talk of habit change… The longer I train and the more I see people in all phases of their health journeys, the more I’m interested in the value of looking at your habits and living in a way that’s sustainable. Thankfully, I think people are slowly moving away from crash diets and fitness fads, but I think sometimes we still have this idea in the back of our minds that we need to lose a few pounds (or at least “we should…”) and I wonder how many of are still striving for fat loss rather than strength or health. A client of mine wants to lose about 15 lbs and is tall and 150 lbs…We chatted recently about how that’s actually a healthy weight! And if we want to pursue goals like getting stronger together we sure can; aesthetic goals are certainly not wrong but as long as she’s not attached to a scale number and she knows she is in a healthy range.

So what happens when, like my client, you want to simply look better? What if you want a more lean, chiseled appearance? That’s great! But keep in mind you need to be willing to do what it takes to get there. There’s a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. What are you goals?
  2. How motivated are you right now?
  3. How mentally tough are you?

When it comes to deciding what foods you want to eat or pass on, when it comes to whether or not you want to sleep in or get up to go to the gym, it’s important to be honest with yourself and ask the three questions above. I stumbled on these thanks to a video by Jeff Cavalier of Athlean-X about Cheat Meals (it’s so worth watching!). I love this guy! He’s honest, says it like it is, and is inspiring because he walks the talk!

One thing he says in the video struck me:

“It isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If it was easy, everyone would be walking around feeling like they want to feel.”

…isn’t that profound but true?! We *know* this but we so often don’t really believe it. If this is your time to really make a change, take some responsibility and do what it takes to make it happen – it WON’T be easy!

Personally, I’m in a place where I’m not focusing on restriction or fat loss – just getting smaller all the time doesn’t interest me, and I’m grateful to focus on being strong and mobile and being able to keep up with the guys in the backcountry! But at the same time, it’s easy for me to think about how certain workouts will help me “burn off those extra Oreos” because it’s been a pattern of thought for too long. Breaking that habit takes time, and while my focus continues to be on my overall health in a much broader sense of the word, it’s still an effort to cultivate habits that move me in this moderate, more realistic and sustainable direction for my fitness and life.


(at the hockey game where we enjoyed chicken wings and Mikey had a beer and I even had a diet Coke – very rare for me!)

(taken yesterday post-workout)


(what part of my diet includes weekly – my favorite Red & Black bites nearly every Friday)!

My focus right now is on nourishing my body with real food and enjoying bits of the fake stuff too, because that’s what I want in my life right now! Am I able to hike strong in the backcountry on my skis? What about complete 5 pull ups at any time? Run a half marathon just because it sounds good? Fit into that one pair of jeans that easily can get a liiiittttle too tight? These are my goals, and I’m not willing to make more restricted ones at this time (thinking back to the three questions Jeff asks above), and that’s okay! But I know that I can’t complain about my body or movement or food if I’m not willing to put the time in and make some changes.

…but it all starts with our minds and how we speak to and view ourselves!

Negative internal dialogue what might be what is holding you back as you look down another year:

“I can’t stick to a diet.”

“I can’t build muscle.”

“I’ll never lose weight.”

These thoughts impact us and create inaction in our lives! So let’s start with an awareness of what’s going on in our minds and how that’s powerfully affecting our actions and acknowledge it. Then, ask yourself why you’re saying those things.



Why CAN’T you stick to healthy foods? Why CAN’T you build muscle? Why CAN’T you lose weight?

Don’t let these thoughts creep into your head and start to change the course of your one-time motivated 2016. This doesn’t mean you can do or be anything you want to be or accomplish (my short, more muscular body will simply never look long and lean like Gwyneth Paltrow no matter how much I believe it!) But what if you started saying, “Why can’t I do it?” Or, as Jen Sinkler and her husband David ask, “Can I do that?” Big, big difference between those questions and the doubts above.


Also of interest might be these articles:

An interesting one discouraging diets and detoxes entitled, “How to Relearn the Art of Eating” – there’s some great stuff in here!

How to create your own total body workouts; check it out here! (and thanks to my mom for sending this my way!)

I would love to hear your thoughts on your goals, your level of intensity and motivation right now (not what you want it to be, but right now!), your expectations of yourself, and how you’re feeling on a total body/mind/spirit level as 2016 is underway!

Stay connected via Instagram (where I’m sharing lots of short, effective workouts via video these days!) and Facebook and find me over at CityFit these days if you’re ever in Calgary. Live well & be well, friends,



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Hey guys! WOW…Long time no blog! It’s been since November, and lots sure has happened since then, but I never thought anything was exactly blog-worthy in terms of new fitness content, life updates or quality content, so I simply haven’t been blogging! But it’s been long enough that I wanted to check back in, partly because my blog is back on my fitness site,! So, it’s a new year and a new blog, in a way! While I do a lot of work with young adult cancer survivors with our non-profit, Survive & Thrive Cancer Programs, and with Wellspring Calgary and their young adult program, my blog isn’t exactly cancer-specific, but more fitness, wellness and life-focused, so back we are!

So, officially, Happy New Year!

(Running on a frozen river near Jasper in my IceBug shoes – incredible!)

Since we last chatted, lots has happened! We went down to California for an unconventional Thanksgiving in California with my family in the desert. We rented two yurts and had a blast playing in the beautiful landscape near Joshua Tree National Park; I’ll let the photos speak for themselves!

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It was just so good to all be together for Thanksgiving, and I think it will become a new tradition for me to head down at this time of year – Thanksgiving is just so special for Americans and it’s more nostalgic for me than Christmas! Great conversations, lots of sunsets and sunrises watched together, lots of games of catch and, as happens with my family, lots (and lots!) of coffee. 😉

I’m super thankful that my business continued cranking through December, so from the end of November through the end of the year I was back at CityFit crushing workouts with clients! In between Thanksgiving and Christmas break, there were icy runs, good workouts, lots of training clients, Star Wars (so good!) and routine days around Calgary. Before Christmas, Mikey and I took off for our annual backcountry ski trip together, which was…epic.


We overuse that word easily, but it really was epic in all senses of the word! You have to watch the video for this one – it’s hard to describe hiking 30 km in one day to a hut (starting and ending in the dark) and the video captures me crying better than me writing about it. 😉

Yep! It was one hell of a trip. 8 years together and we tested our limits physically, mentally and emotionally – and came out pretty happy on the other end!


Another great hut trip (this time to the Fryatt Hut near Jasper, Alberta) and some wonderful, unrushed, quiet and disconnected time in the backcountry.


Then it was back to work! …and then back to break. We had a great time back country skiing with Mikey’s sister and her husband and had some fun skating, playing hockey, and enjoying time with Mikey’s parents too back up near Jasper in a hostel.





Sadly, Mikey lost his phone (we think it fell out of his pocket at a gas station and someone stole it – went back afterwards and it was no where!) and so our footage of our sweet turns are also gone. 😉 But the memories are there! The conversations were great, the weather freezing (but sure makes you feel intense to be outside all day making turns) and the moments were meaningful.

We drove straight from the Beauty Creek Hostel to Invermere, British Columbia, where we were meeting up with friends for New Year’s!


(Ash fell asleep with his son Sage and is therefore represented on New Year’s by the baby monitor :D)

We don’t always get to enjoy trips with friends because we are gone for our Survive & Thrive trips (which are awesome!) all summer, so having fun over holidays with these guys was such a treat! We had a kids’ house and a non-kids’ house, which was great for sleeping in and eating pancakes in our house. 😉 But hanging out with the kids was so fun! This is a group that we love and appreciate – they truly are our family in my home away from home. Over the few days we hung out, we cooked good food, played hockey, went skiing (Mikey and Ash did – and both got frostbite in the back country!), went skating/Ice Bug running, and played a lot of games!


I even managed a rather impromptu half-marathon run in my IceBug shoes, clad in 2XU layers…seems to be how I run my half-marathons! I felt awesome and loved the movement after some backcountry ski days – something different always feels good for your body.

I love these people (and their kids!)… What a great few days celebrating New Year’s with a group of people (even a sleeping dad represented by the glowing monitor 😆); so grateful for community in Canada that feels like family.

In between all these trips, Mikey and I were back in Calgary working hard and both feel so grateful for work that we truly enjoy. I’ve had some of the fullest training days of my career and appreciate consistent clients so much! It felt great to work hard knowing we were away for our anniversary and New Year’s, and we came back to work this week feeling ready to get after it. 

I’ve been logging workouts on my Instagram and Facebook pages, so feel free to follow me there for some workout ideas and to stay connected – these days I seem to be most active on IG rather than anything else!

So…fill me in on your holidays! Were they traditional by your family’s standards? Solo? Memorable? Sometimes it’s a tough season and other times it’s filled with joy, but I hope you are finding beauty in your life even in small ways.

I hope you’re having a great start to 2016! Looking forward to blogging adventures and sharing fitness tips and inspiration with you again this year! 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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Alright you guys, let’s be honest. Some days it’s easier to live a healthy lifestyle. Maybe we’re prepped in the fridge, have good foods ready to go for each meal, are pumped up about a new program, and feeling inspired about our lives. But other times… Well, other times we’re overtired, stressed, pressed for time, and possibly on your period (ladies). You know what? Those are times we might not think as rationally, make the best decisions or act emotionally.

Take Monday, for example. Ohhh Monday.


Here’s what I posted on my Instagram and Facebook page about the above photo:

“Guys. Keeping it real here. 🙋I actually ate and drank what I quit well over the ‪‎Girls Trip in Palm Springs – even though I planned to splurge! But something was just off today… I still don’t like to classify foods as “good” or “bad,” but the main issue is that I chose sugary foods and ate well beyond my satiety levels today. It’s not bad that I had Oreo, licorice or cookie dough – just that I had a lot of all 3. 😉

I could choose to beat myself up about it or let this go on, but I won’t. Tomorrow’s a new day! I will NOT weigh myself, work extra hard or worry about it; I’ll fuel well, workout as usual and enjoy my day all the same. No biggie.

Side note: this flavour, bought on a real whim and impulse (unusual for me), is REALLY good. 🙌 ”

Okay…So, as it turns out, I got my period (insert light bulb emoticon right here)! Well that makes a lot of sense. [Also, check out Kara Corey’s recent video about how to handle eating on the week of your period.] Because cravings are the real deal, they happen each month to me, and yet they always take me by surprise – go figure. At any rate, I was feeling pretty full of sugar after this eating incident, and while Tuesday and Wednesday were much better, they still had some sugar in there. I could have beat myself up or criticized my body to death, but I’ve been choosing to structure my thoughts about my body in an intentionally positive way instead.

Period or not, this happens to us all – even my early morning clients yesterday said that they ate a lot of junk over the weekend – they “fell off the wagon,” in fact. How many times have you said that you fell off the wagon? I’m willing to bet it’s a lot, and that you also said, in almost the same breath, you would be getting right back on that wagon soon.

But here’s the thing… What is there is no wagon?

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Say what now? “But Bonnie,” you say, “Clearly there are good and bad foods; clearly there are times I’m on or off track and eating/living like I’m supposed to be…” Well, what if food is just food? An Oreo weighed in the same balance as a salad. I know it’s kind of crazy, but just think about that concept for minute.

I’m not saying that an Oreo has the same impact on our body as a salad, but perhaps that we could use some doing away with our connotations around foods as being “bad” or “good” and then how they relate to keeping us “on” or “off” the “wagon.”

It’s an interesting thought, to think of food as just food, and not worry about being on or off any wagon in our health journey. But what does a wagon symbolize to your health journey?

First of all, the idea of a wagon symbolizes that you’re either in or you’re out – there’s really no wiggle room in a little ol’ wagon. It’s like walking a tight-rope – not much space for gray areas there.



I don’t think eating is that black and white, or that life is, for that matter. I’ve shared the idea of progress, not perfection before (check out my blog post here), and it’s something I still strive to focus on. That doesn’t mean I’m throwing in the towel with my moderation and choosing foods that will leave me feeling unsatisfied and discouraged, but rather that I’m not aiming for the stress that perfectionism can bring, but rather seeing positive growth and change along the way. Plus, if we’re all trying to be on the same wagon, what kind of standard are we trying to hit? No Oreos, ever (yes, not even birthday cake)? Well what if someone practices IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and eats Oreos as part of their meal plan? Are they off the wagon? And where do these standards of “healthy eating” and resulting bodies come from, anyways?

This doesn’t mean you throw your hands up in the air and forget about it. No way – you’ve worked too hard to let things go at this point – at least I have! But one night of eating won’t affect the rest of my week if I can help it, because it’s just part of my life.Now, others might indeed do well with this type of framework, but it’s just too restrictive for me and leads to more restriction, and that never ends well. Monday night wasn’t an example of me being off the wagon, but an example of giving in to cravings and eating too much of a tasty thing. Big deal. Move on. Food is food, and there is no wagon in my life anymore. Being on or off the wagon sounds an awful lot like dieting to me – you’re either on a good diet or off the rails with your eating or exercise habits. This is only one line of thinking about food and habits that isn’t sustainable – otherwise we’d not be jumping on and off so much!

If you’re struggling with your eating or with your discipline in the gym (we all do!), that means that you’re conscious of how you want to change and working on it – aiming for progress, not perfection, and that is a beautiful thing.

So…do you believe in the wagon? Here’s another article I just read about balancing hill sprints and donuts that I loved! Have you ever heard yourself or others reference this wagon? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one!

Live well & be well, friends,


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I have loved sharing my #SummerOfSweat goals with Gatorade with you (here, here and here!) over the last few months, but I haven’t shared all of my thoughts and reflections from the #SummerOfMikeAndBon. 😉 When we spent our last few days in Vegas after our Grand Canyon trip, we hung out by the pool and debriefed about summer.

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(me spiking my club soda with G2 at Mandalay Bay ;))

With so many thoughts fresh in our minds, Mikey and I began to turn our thoughts to the fall and set some new goals in the main realms of our lives: in our relationship with God, our marriage, our work and our bodies. September is such a natural time to reset as the next season falls upon us, so I wanted to share the ways in which I’m refocusing in this general areas of my life.


  • Ready to train again (myself and clients)! I like getting in the gym and after being away from it nearly all summer, it’s fun to want to move intentionally again. Plus, I miss my clients (and am accepting new ones!).
  • Ready for routine (remember this during those early mornings and cold days…). There’s something so freeing about a summer away, and while we were working (it’s not just travel and fun! although it IS super rewarding and life-giving), we are ready to get back to our “day jobs” and make some money. It feels good to be productive in that sense, and I’m ready to embrace clients and get my hours back up! On that note, I also recently took a part-time job as the team lead for Young Adult (YA) Programs with Wellspring Calgary and I am super excited about it! I’m planning events around Calgary for YA survivors and their supporters and look forward to putting my spin on the position and staying involved in this community year round.
  • Embracing a clarity about being a different type of personal trainer. My thoughts on who I am as a trainer have really crystalized over this summer; I want to focus on health and body love, rooted in God’s goodness and love – not simply weight or body fat change, measurements, numbers, etc. Healthy, happy and strong! My desire for people is that they see change, but I want them to change from the inside out. This is an interesting revelation to me because I feel like for so long I’ve been trying to fit the mold of other trainers who have specific systems in place and track everything for their clients. Don’t get me wrong – tracking is so important and such a valuable tool (in fact, Paige just wrote a solid post about it here), but it’s not my strength. While I know it’s important to push beyond your weaknesses, something clicked in me over these trips where I discovered the way I want to train based on who I am – a motivator and an encourager. I want people to feel loved, cared for, motivated and pushed toward life change so they can live well and be well. Let’s face it – training for fitness competitions just isn’t me – it’s not the clientele I attract and it’s not my skill set. And that’s okay! I love helping the general public (and cancer survivors as a specific population) become stronger, more able-bodied, happier and full of life through my training.



(back at it at CityFit and loving it already!)


  • Continue to keep our mission statement in our mind before every decision we make. On each trip, we help others create life mission statements (every company has one as their guiding light; why don’t we have one for our lives?) and are lucky to come back to it every summer and on every trip. It keeps us accountable to our decisions and life direction, and I want to be mindful of it all year long too. I’ll share it soon, and perhaps share our process of how to craft your own life mission statement too!


  • Pray daily for Mikey. This is one of the action steps of my roles as a wife for this year. I’m trying to start my day out in prayer and one of the people I want to be praying for daily is my husband as he leads our family, works hard, takes risks in his career and lives each day.


  • Embrace my body confidently in front of my husband. I want to embrace who I am and my own personality, sexuality and body because I’m worthy (first off in God’s eyes!) and because Mikey already embraces me! No more body shaming or negative self-talk – that doesn’t help a marriage (or my own self!).


  • Trips to connect are important, mandatory! I’d rather purchase tickets to see family rather than put those $400+ in the bank.
  • I want to stay connected to family with phone calls/emails. More specifically, this is directed towards my extended family members – there are many I don’t want to take for granted and want to connect with intentionally (my brother and I SnapChat – I only use it for him! ha! – my mom and I talk almost daily and my dad waves hello on FaceTime). 😉

My Relationship with Jesus:

  • Come to Jesus daily without an agenda. I, like everyone else, go through ups and downs in my relationship with God in terms of being more disciplined to connect with Him in prayer and reading my Bible and also in my drive to know Him more. So often my goals in this area of my life are to stay disciplined and spend more time with Jesus, which isn’t wrong at all, but a recent sermon has prompted me to spend my time with Jesus differently. So now I’m trying a new approach – I want to know the Holy Spirit, invite Him in, and ask Him what He wants for me. I’m asking two questions when I sit down to write (how I process best) in my journal:
    • Where do you want to take me today?
    • What do you want to tell me?


“Read through the Bible in a year” plans are great, and so is time set aside to study Scripture specifically, but I’m only a few days in and feeling like I’m opening myself up to getting to know the Holy Spirit more and more and on a deeper level, asking Him to direct my time and not coming before God with an agenda.


  • Work towards health and happiness, not numbers. Again, I do think numbers can be a great motivator, but I don’t want them to be my main motivator. Will I track my weight? From time to time, sure. But I’ll be evaluating how my strength come back, how my clothes are fitting and how I look and feel while waking and moving and living in confidence. Want to try that with me? Walk around with some swagger – a tip I learned from Noelle and Stefanie and their podcast (my fave!) – and let’s be confident in our skin even as we are working towards goals at the same time.


(here I like the photo and how I look)


(less flattering (to my eyes) shot – but no more censoring for myself OR my readers!)

I’m excited to be doing a push up/pull up challenge alongside my online BFF, Kindal, who broke her leg climbing (such a bummer!) and is dedicating herself to becoming the strongest that she can be as her leg heals up.

And that takes us to today! I’d love to hear if you have any goals, thoughts, directions, etc moving into September or if any of mine resonate with you. Please share! And let’s support one another as we move into this second half of the year.

Live well & be well!


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