Category: Balance


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.

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(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.

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(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!

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(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!

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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.

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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.

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(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,

Bonnie

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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.

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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.

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(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!)
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(taken yesterday post-workout)

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(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?

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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.

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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,

Bonnie

 

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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, BonnieLangFitness.com! 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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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!

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(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!

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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,

Bonnie

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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).

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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!

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

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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.

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(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?

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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.

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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. 😉

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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)!

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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!

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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!

Bonnie

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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.

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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.

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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,

Bonnie

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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.

Work:

  • 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.

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

Marriage:

  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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!).

Family:

  • 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?

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“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.

Fitness:

  • 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.

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(here I like the photo and how I look)

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(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.

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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!

Bonnie

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Hey guys! Well, we are back in Calgary…for 4 days. 😉 It’s been a whirlwind of a summer and Mikey and I are grateful to be living these adventures full blast. When I last checked in (which was really 3 weeks ago but I was unable to post until yesterday), we were leaving for our Lake Superior trip with Survive & Thrive and then going straight to the Yukon and Alaska to raft the Tatshenshini River with friends.

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Aside from the incredible experiences of community, deep conversations, stunning beauty and just pure fun in the backcountry, I want to focus on my goals for the summer in this post. It’s so interesting… These trips are active, but active in a different way than working out and intentionally using your muscles, doing planks, and sculpting muscle as I talked about in this post. Setting my Summer of Sweat goals with the help of Gatorade Canada came in great timing. But then I got out there. Three weeks away from home, three weeks without a gym, three weeks trying to be more intentional than I have been with my fitness while on outdoor trips than in the past.

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And you know what? It’s hard! Really tough to want to do some semblance of a workout (even though I’d broken my goals down into 1 minute “blitzes” of movements throughout the day) when you’re sleeping outside, have long days on the river and have rowed/paddled all day, or squeezed in some hikes on our days “off.” That, and the truth is that when I’m outside on extended trips in the backcountry, especially with amazing people who have incredible stories to share, the concept of working out loses it’s appeal. What I’m doing is living out my fitness – taking the gains I’ve made in the gym and applying them to my life, so working out on top of it feels like it’s more for vanity than anything. And you know what? Not losing muscle is part of my goal while I’m out there, so that’s important too, because I care about the way I look and vanity in this sense is not a negative thing to me.

But my focus does change. The purpose of working out changes. And my focus switches to the people around the campfire circle, the people in the boat with me, those pushing their legs and lungs on hikes and soaking in the beauty around me as I take a break from my usual routine.

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So, did I do my blitzes? And what about my nutrition goals of eating to 80% fullness and staying mindful? Some days were better than others, but having a goal seriously affected my thinking in the best way. I did my workout blitzes on the days that I was sitting more (ie: not guiding or hiking) and if I was able to sneak away or was up earlier. Having goals down on paper for all to read also kept me accountable and mindful of how I was eating. I incorporated intermittent fasting into my days to help combat the types of foods we were eating (which I don’t have control over and aren’t as fresh as I eat at home due to the nature of our trips) and the long days on the water sitting.

All that to say, I did squeeze intentional movement in – here are a few examples of how I did kept active!

In addition to aiming for 3-4 L of water a day, I also used Gatorade product on the days I worked harder or needed some extra omphf! I especially liked the Low Calorie G2 (loved the Grape Raisin flavor – like a light grape and not too sweet) pictured below. G2 has similar quantities of sodium and potassium to help hydrate but with less than half the carbs and calories of it’s original predecessor – love that! It was just what we needed on a super hot weather day for our hike (Mikey appreciated me sharing one with him too). 😉

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I found ways to make fitness fun (besides rowing and paddling and hiking – those are all a blast!) and to include others in the process.

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Partner log workout on the shores of Lake Superior with Arlen!

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Talk about instability! Push Up fun on the voyageur canoe. [Sporting my 2XU stride shorts and an always-flattering wetsuit.] 😉

The focus became having fun with my fitness and friends and enjoying the experience along the way – and there was MUCH to explore and enjoy!

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Storm’s coming? Why not squeeze in some sprints at the lighthouse near our camp? [2XU tank and shorts, and always Chacos on my feet in the backcountry!]

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Guiding our amazing boat – the boys and Bonnie!

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Lunch stop with some incredible people in the Yukon – or maybe Alaska. Gotta love a river that flows between both mine and my husband’s countries! 😉

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Living in the backcountry – one of my favorite places to be for the dichotomy of movement and rest in different ways all in one experience.

There is so much more to share about the trips themselves, but this is a glimpse into the natural fitness side of moving and living for 3 weeks in the backcountry as well as being intentional with goals. Just because you’re traveling (whether at the pool, Disneyland, or traveling for a race), you can stay fit with small movements like squats, lunges, push ups, plyometrics and mountain climbers or planks. Fitting them in throughout your day in little amounts keeps you fit and allows you to stay consistent while away from the gym and enjoy your time off.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve trained a few clients and got a few workouts in myself:

 

And it’s been great to be in that training realm again! I look forward to getting back into routine soon, ut until then, I’m pumped for our last Survive & Thrive summer expedition rafting in the Grand Canyon. This one is not as active save for the hikes because we have guides who man the gigantic rafts and we don’t have paddles. But after trialing my goals in real life I’m excited to be even more intentional and finish off my Summer of Sweat with Gatorade strong – another trip as an opportunity to stay hydrated and fit while enjoying my life and the people around me.

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The summer of Mike and Bon – and #SummerOfSweat – continues!

How are your summer goals coming? Have you stayed somewhat consistent while traveling? Anything that’s derailed you that you’d like to share, or tips for me as I head out on our last adventure?

Ultimately, I was reminded by a very wise woman (love you, mom!) that life is too short to worry about a few extra pounds, or how my body looks while in the middle of rafting a class III rapid. If I can make goals to help keep me accountable and stay consistent year-round so I can live well with those around me in the fullest way possible, life is good and I’m doing okay.

Looking forward to touching base with you guys later! Until then, here’s a highlight of our last trip down the Tatshensini River – we have SO much more footage from this incredible trip but Mikey put this highlight reel together in the meantime. Enjoy!

Live well & be well, friends!

Bonnie

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I love podcasts. Are you someone who listens while you work? It’s a way for me to enjoy walking and moving while still feeling productive and not like I’m wasting time. I used to believe that walking was a waste of time because it wasn’t hardcore enough, intense enough, or burning enough fat, but I’ve since come to believe that it’s one of the best things we can do for our bodies physically and also for our minds and hearts emotionally.

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So, back to podcasts. Sometimes I listen to fitness-related podcasts (well, most often!), sometimes I listen to series like Serial, other times I listen to sermons. I mention all this to say that I’ve been loving the Girls Gone WOD podcast, even though I’m not paleo myself. I love their approach to fitness and down to earth way of speaking about nutrition and life. I was listening to an episode this weekend that was about many topics, when my ears perked up when I heard something particularly interesting and insightful:

“People who hate having a rest day probably aren’t comfortable OR good at their diet.” …That’s why they feel like they have to work out to make up for their (poor) eating. Doesn’t that make so much sense? I used to worry so much about taking time off if I was on on the road or on a river or if my training plans were tweaked at all.(Note: I’m not talking about muscle gain here. That’s another story, although I’ve also learned that taking a week off won’t cause you to lose your strength gains.) But as soon as I realized that your diet counts for more when it comes to maintaining your weight than just working out, I started relaxing about my training plans. Because life happens! You might need more rest, or there might not be a a gym where you’re traveling to, or … the list goes on. But if you can consistent in the kitchen, you’ll do okay.

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Pancakes. Part of my life, and hopefully part of yours too!

I was thinking about this when my eating was off and on this weekend. Over the last few weeks it was pretty good – mainly managing my portion sizes as when you’re on a trip where you don’t pack the food, you don’t have much of an option! And although kayaking is active, it’s very different than lifting and different than when you’re using your whole body for different movements.

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And as I’ve shared before on the blog, food and nutrition is always the tough part for me – abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen, as we all know – so knowing that I’m about to be on the road (slash on water!) for so long makes me realize I need to tackle the rest of my summer with a strategy. I want to set some goals for maintaining my strength in the next two months as well as being mindful about my food choices (I don’t have dig into the trail mix if I’m not actually hungry “just because” it’s there!).

But while I do want to set some goals, I also want to remember what Aleks “The Hebrew Hammer” Salkin said on Facebook the other day:

“Time to knock off the navel contemplating and start doing what works again: getting strong, eating delicious food, and having fun doing it.

Don’t think so hard about it. Just do it!”

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All of this has my mind thinking and I’m excited to share about a fun partnership for the summer (#summerofsweat, anyone?!) in another post this week that infuses fun and flexibility into my goals too. Stay tuned for more!

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Lots of thoughts in today’s post, so how about some highlights of the weekend?

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We were super happy to have our friend from last year’s Owyhee trip, Mel, reach out to us on her trip to Canada and she came by for a BBQ and visit! Our friend Britt (who also came on the trip AND is a local and rocked my recent bootcamp) and her boyfriend came too, and it was so great to have a mini reunion.

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Saturday night after a workout at CityFit, Mikey and I went to the cheap theater to see “The Water Diviner” – SUCH a great film and story starring Russell Crowe. The above picture? All the food we smuggled in to watch it! I was so embarrassed because I forgot my purse and ended up using my gym bag – it was HUGE! Watermelon, dinner pieces, raspberries, my water bottle…but at least we didn’t eat any candy! 😉

Speaking of the workout, check out the thoughts behind why I worked out in a sportsbra in this video on my Instagram channel:

 

 

And after a great morning at church and lots of errands around Calgary, I snuck out for a gorgeous 7.15 mile run along the water in a half-sun, half-cloudy day. It felt great until the end of the run, when I slowed considerably and my ankles started to hurt a bit. But I made it! Out and back and, for the most part, an enjoyable run and time outside after not pounding the pavement for quite some time.IMG_6407

(Of course I stopped long enough to take a selfie – but only for about 2 minutes!) 😉

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So. Summer fitness. It’s about being flexible, going with the flow, and having fun while maintaining what you’re after! There’s never a stopping point when it comes to your fitness levels; it’s a moving target. What are your goals? Give it some time. And stick with it.

More on this soon, but in the meantime, do you have any goals you’d like to share over the summer? Or any fun weekend events that transpired?

Live well & be well, and catch you soon!

Bonnie

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Hey guys! How was the start to your week? I hope it rocked (because, you know, Mondays CAN rock!). 😉 Did you weekend rock? I’m coming off a great weekend, and yet the memories of the people and the events were not in the forefront of my mind all day. And it’s really too bad because it was a wonderful weekend! Here’s a glimpse at it…

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Friday night I attended the grand reopening of the Simmons Building in the East Village in Calgary. The East Village as a rough past, and over the years the city has been trying to build into the area and community with varying degrees of success. They must have the right people in place now, because life down there is slowly starting to roll in, and there are many exciting things on the forefront for this area (think: music, art, culture, housing, etc).

As you might know, I’ve applied to be the East Village Resident Ambassador! You can watch my 30 sec video submission here:

(and any shares, likes, comments, views, etc would sure be appreciated!)

As an applicant, I was invited to attend the reopening of a historic building in the East Village, which now has 3 amazing tenants: Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, Char Cut Roast House (meat and seafood!) and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery (which, I can tell you, is as delicious as you can imagine – fresh pastries and bread!). I was able to walk around, enjoy complimentary food and drink, and see the mayor and others from the community “breaking bread” instead of cutting a ribbon.

Check out the view from this place!

  A video posted by Bonnie Lang (@bonnielangfitness) on

I was very grateful to be in attendance, and after mingling for a while and walking around, checking out the sites and trying bites and sips from the vendors around the building, I heard a familiar voice calling my name – it was my client and friend Gillian and her husband Chris! They are an amazing couple and so connected to the community, and it was fun to see them and meet new people through them. We talked at length the rest of the evening and they absolutely made my night! They have rubbed shoulders with our Mayor many times so I ended up chatting on the rooftop patio with Nenshi and grabbing a photo with him!

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Seriously – this guy won Top Mayor of the World this year! More and more, I’m enjoying this community and getting more involved in Calgary. You can check out more fun from the evening on my Instagram page!

Saturday included training a client, working out with Mikey and a wonderful get together at our friend’s Heather and Roger’s house.

We had such an amazing time connecting with friends we haven’t seen in a while – it was a real reunion, and I didn’t pick up my phone once (but others did – hence their photos!).

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From bum war-ing on the trampoline to good food to great talks with wonderful people and even some karaoke, we had a super fun evening. I’m grateful for this community in my life too!

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Then on Sunday, after a long morning walk in the hills while I listened to a Tim Keller sermon, I tried a new church that’s just a 20 minute walk away from us. As Mikey studied for his defense (he defends Tuesday morning!), I tried out Grace Presbyterian Church. It was fun to see a local congregation, which is similar to how I grew up and pretty different from where Mikey and I go to church currently. It reminded me of my dad, so of course a Father’s Day call came next (I sure love my dad!). And then we had fun at my in-laws’ house celebrating my father-in-law with a steak meal, popcorn, lots of catching up and seeing their pictures from a recent trip to the UK.

So…after all these great things, guess what dominate thought was on the forefront of my mind on Monday? My body. How I ate too many sugary things on Friday and had some alcohol (2 drinks – but I hadn’t had any for a while); how I overate Saturday evening and then Sunday was digging around the pantry at night. That’s pretty sad. Pretty discouraging. But pretty real that I struggle with my mindset from time to time. It’s less about what I ate or how much (as I reflect back it really wasn’t bad at all!) but more about how I immediately went into “I should eat less tomorrow – maybe I’ll do a fast.” In other words, I went into “damage control” after working and focusing on my strength and feeling my body well. Just because I participate in a #BikiniRebellion online doesn’t mean that my mindset is right on track and I never struggle with my eating and my thinking!

Just wanted to be real and share the ups and downs of trying to be fit and how sometimes it gets the best of us! I wallowed a bit Monday and then realized how ridiculous I was being. I caught a glimpse of my legs and LIKED them. They looked strong and muscular. I still felt bloated and didn’t like the way my stomach felt, but so what? Who cares? And with that, I encourage you to think about what really matters, about the people and events and communities in your life, and be focus on the good! Hey – it happens to the best of us. :)

How was your weekend? Any prevailing thoughts you were left with going into the week? What’s normal about you that happens “to the best of us?”

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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I love summer. Don’t you? My husband gets SO excited for the first snowfall, and I feel just like that when the days get longer and the sun heats things up! Snow has it’s place in my heart, but there’s just something about sitting on the balcony for long, lasting dinners with friends, biking around Calgary, and summer adventures. Part of what comes with summer? Swimming, bathing suits, maybe even bikinis.

Over the last 10 days, I’ve been taking part in Neghar Fonooni’s #BikiniRebellion through daily emails (you can still sign up on her website!) and Instagram posts and challenges. This challenge is about working on your mindset and taking actions when it comes to how you view your body and accepting it where it’s at, proudly! This is never to be confused with throwing in the towel with your fitness and nutrition habits, but rather not waiting until you get to a certain place – 15 lbs from now, 3 sizes from now, etc.

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(Feeling strong, scale be damned, post-workout yesterday (especially in my 2XU tights!)

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I’ve seen clients make similar mindset shifts and changes recently and I am so proud of them. One of my clients in our FFA Bootcamp mentioned that when we first began, her goals were admittedly aesthetic – flatter stomach, more “toned arms” – the look that females are going for, typically. But as the weeks went on, she said something changed for her: “Now I don’t even care about those things, or what the scale says! I want to do more push ups! I want to be freakin’ strong!” (And let me tell you, she is! I am so proud of how far she has come!)

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And then last night, as Mikey and I were cooking dinner, he mentioned how when he was lifting the speaker that he takes everywhere for presentations, it felt a lot lighter. That’s real change! He couldn’t believe how fast he felt that change – he’s into week 3 of consistent workouts! Although the scale hasn’t changed much, his strength sure has! And that’s so exciting.

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Although social media can have it’s downfalls (hello, non-productive, often-destroying comparison!), one reason that I like it is for camaraderie that can create among like-minded people. It’s been neat to follow the hashtag #BikiniRebellion on Instagram to see how women all around the world are digging deeper and making changes to how they view their bodies! It’s also a great way to bring people together and create more community – a sisterhood – like I have with these and so many women in my life! From fellow outdoor guides to women who love Jesus; from those who love fitness and smashing PRs to those who promote moderation and balance, I’m grateful for family and friends of all shapes and sizes who are strong in every sense of the word.

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One of the neat things about this challenge is how I’ve responded to it. I’ve participated in these kinds of challenges before and felt like I got a lot out of them, like they challenged me and I grew personally in new ways. With this challenge, however, I’ve realized that I’m enjoying it but feeling like I’m already there in terms of accepting my body as “bikini ready” no matter where I’m at weight-wise, muscle-wise, or fitting-into-my-clothes-wise.

So…summer’s almost upon us. Will you be donning a bikini? Covering up? The cool thing is you can dress however you want and be proud! You can be strong and proud of your muscular legs; you can be naturally thin and embrace your genetics and quick metabolism; you can be wanting to see change but still reinforce the positive in your life and not speak to yourself negatively and you can live YOUR story!

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How are you viewing your body as summer approaches? Is it something you’ve thought about? Struggled with? Or does it never cross your mind? I’d love to hear your experience with your body, bikinis and your mindset in the comments!

Live well & be well (and keep getting strong in mind, body and heart – the most important of all!),

Bonnie

 

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