Tag: fitness

Hey guys! Long time no blog again, hey? For some reason I lost my mojo a bit last week and simply allowed other things to take precedence over blogging. Not always a bad thing, but it’s good to be back. 😉

What’s new with you? Lots of good stuff going around online from what I can tell lately… New recipes, fun summer plans, inspirational words of affirmation. I thought I’d share a little bit of all those things with you since I have a bit to catch up on! So, first up: TRAINING.

I just signed on to do a powerful pressing beta test program through Janelle at Primal Fitness Pittsburg. It’s designed to help you achieve a 1 rep max military press with a kettle bell. So far (I’m only on day 2), I’m loving it, especially the mobility drills before AND after the workouts. I don’t often follow programs (which I’m okay with – I move for movement’s sake, because I love it, and to keep me healthy and sane and don’t have problems with motivation) but was excited to focus on more strength in this movement, especially because since working at CityFIt I’m finding the bulky kettle bells tougher to use and have knocked me down in weight. Within the first month I should notice significant strength gains, and I love focusing on strength and not weight or fat loss workouts, so this is going to be great. 🙂 You can follow the spunky and super-strong Janelle on Instagrams here! It’s fun to be following a plan, although I’ll likely return to my “just-move-work-on-pull-ups-continue-to-enhance-my-mobility-and-alignment” pseudo plan. 😉

 Next up? LIFE.

Last week included a very special day – Mikey’s birthday! He turned 32 and I am just so proud of who he is – and so grateful to adventure through life with him. Mikey is intelligent, hard working and always applies himself, celebrates others, is so loving to me, and has a creative mind that I’ve seen him cultivate through reading, creating, video editing and storytelling. He supports me and makes me a better woman and has opened up so many avenues in my life that I wouldn’t have experienced if it wasn’t for him!

We had a fun meal out thanks to a gift card at Christmas from a client and celebrated with real, delicious and nourishing food – plus ice cream cake and pizza with friends the night before. 😉

You are loved, my man, by so many!

In other life news, GO FLAMES! It’s been pretty exciting to see the Calgary Flames make the second round of the playoffs, and since we live so close to the Red Mile, the game nights have been loud and late (and lots of fun, even from our balcony or inside our bed when we’re trying to fall asleep!). I even found myself driving around, fist pumping in the car, gripping the steering wheel tight and listening to the game when I was by myself – no Mikey-induced-hocky-viewing! What am I becoming – a Canadian!? 😉 Other than getting pumped up for another round of Fitness, Food & Attitude Bootcamp, which we are hosting twice a week at two separate times each (7 am and 5 pm – locals, sign up as we start first week of May!), not much is new. I’m loving the focus of alignment with my clients:   


and still basking in the week of my 2XU experience in LA!

SUMMER Adventures!

We’ve got a full summer lined up of some exciting adventures…starting in May!

A great friend of our is putting on a retreat for young adult cancer advocates – like Survive & Thrive! We’ve worked with Pat in the past and it’s at her ranch in Northern British Columbia – tough to get there. It will be so neat to be treated to a retreat getaway – this woman has done a lot for the young adult cancer advocate and caregiver community and continues to give to us. It should be beautiful and fun – Mikey and I are excited to finally visit “The Precipice!”

Then July: our 7th annual kayaking trip in SE Oregon and later in July we’ll be headed out on our first ever voyageur canoe trip on Lake Superior in Ontario. If you know any young adult (18-39-ish) cancer survivors and their supporters who might be interested in coming along for a meaningful adventure in a supportive community (Canadian, American or from around the globe!) please let them know they can sign up at the links above. Straight from there we raft a remote river in the Yukon and Alaska – this one is with friends and a trip for US! We couldn’t say no – our friend’s been waiting for a permit on this river (ice bergs and grizzlies) for 10 years and we’d always told him we would drop what we were doing and come if he ever got it! After this trip we have the Grand Canyon in August – our last of this summer’s Survive & Thrive trips, followed by family time with Mikey’s parents at the end of August/September. Whew!

So – what are you looking forward to this summer? How is your training going? (and do you go with the flow or follow a structured plan?) …and what’s new in life?! 🙂

Have a great rest of the week, guys and catch ya sooner than later! Live well & be well,



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Thursday…almost Friday and over the halfway hump of the week – I’ve always liked this day of the week.



The weather is warming up and I’m looking forward to a few days above zero for some good walks outside and am looking forward to the weekend. You guys up to anything?

Until we jump too far ahead, there’s still 2 more good days of the work week to go! And I thought today since it’s day 2 of our Fitness, Food & Attitude bootcamp, I thought I’d share a bit about what we’re doing and why I’m tracking calories again – something I don’t normally do!

Our first day was great! Super fun and a great group of 6 training over at CityFit.


One of things that we wanted to add to our bootcamp is the nutrition component to help people learn to make new changes in the gym AND the kitchen. Part of that is following more of a plan when it comes to the food side of things, which is the part that I struggle with. So far, so good! I downloaded the free MyPlate app from Livestrong (just something different than MyFitnessPal) to start tracking my meals.


I didn’t dip my spoon into the almond butter jar or eat handfuls of cereal or rip into the bread Mikey requested at dinner (which he cooked and was full of good, real ingredients – way to go, husband!). Even though I’m typically not a fan of tracking (maybe more out of fear? that it might make me obsessive?), why would I NOT try it? The group is taking whatever level they want in terms of nutrition (maybe just working on a healthy breakfast, then adding in lunches once they have breakfasts down, and so on) and I thought I’d join them! My diet could use a bit of cleaning up and I’m embracing this change, because I’m not restricting myself or trying to lose weight. I want to be free to enjoy a glass of wine here or there or some frozen yogurt out, but focusing on fueling well is exciting to me! I’ve simply been too liberal and I could use some accountability from the group. We’re posting pictures and sharing tips and I hope that as we get closer over these next 8 weeks we’ll all start enjoying the benefits of consistency and new habits.

Looking forward to our workout as a group today!

Have you ever joined a bootcamp for some fitness accountability and community? And what about getting some accountability and ideas in terms of your nutrition? Feel free to check in with me if you like too!

Have a great day guys! Live well & be well,



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(image source) Here’s the truth: I am strong in some ways, weak in others. Big revelation, right? Everyone has prepped for an interview and thought through their strengths and weaknesses, and we’re made painfully aware of them throughout our days. In fact, a question I love to ask people, women specifically, is what’s one thing you love about your personality (character) and body (physical)? But when it comes to our physical weaknesses, sometimes I’m too quick to dismiss them.

  • 1467216_674748679212186_1360582059_n“I’ve never really been flexible – even since I was little!”
  • “Yoga’s not enough of a workout for me. I like CrossFit!”
  • “Run? Nah. Never been that good at it and there are plenty of other things I can do.”

While there’s no niche to fit into or one type of fitness to practice, I do think it’s important to be a well-rounded athlete/individual when it comes to our physical strengths and weaknesses. Something I’ve been thinking about lately is how I might be able to do pull ups and can head out for a 10 km run even if I haven’t been training or conditioned for it, but I can’t bend my body to save my life!

backbendYep. That’s as far/high/straight as I can get! I was later told after posting this on Instagram that this is a more advanced move, but I still see so many people come up into wheel that I thought, “Surely with my fitness level I’ll be fine.” Nope! I want to be flexible and able to move without pain and with grace as well as be a strong, fit woman with muscles. Climbing is a great example of a sport that encompasses fitness with grace, flexibility, strength and power. It’s a bit of everything! The best climbers are those who make it look smooth, effortless and easy, and then you get up on that problem and try it and you’re stumped, slip right off, or don’t move with the same ease and strength. I want to get back into my climbing shape (albeit without climbing; we haven’t been consistent in the climbing gym in ages and are so busy right now I’m not sure if it’s the time to start) and focus on the combination of strength + flexibility.

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Do you have any good online recommendations for where I can start? I can’t make any of our gym’s yoga classes because I’m training clients at those times, and I know I won’t commit to something outside the gym (at a yoga studio, even if that’s the best option) because of finances and time. BUT I can commit to something at home, and maybe that will light a fire under me to eventually go a studio more than the one-off time.

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I’d love to hear your suggestions for me! What’s an area of weakness in the physical sense that you need to focus on? Do you hate lifting and only do cardio? Do you only like outdoor activities but don’t take time to plank or keep your core strong intentionally? Do you work hard but never make it a discipline to stretch?

Live well & be well! I’m off to run to work & then foam roll (part of my discipline!) before teaching class,


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Happy Sunday evening, guys! What a beautiful weekend we’re just coming off… Although I’m not holding my breath that winter’s over, it felt like spring was here in Calgary all weekend. The sun was out, the temps were up – I think I even heard more birds chirping than usual! I got outside Saturday for a gorgeous run before heading out for a bachelorette party in the evening. (Side note for Calgarians or visitors: Did you know there’s a bowling alley under National?! Yikes – I gotta get out more. It rocked!) 2014-03-09_1394376417 Before I ran, I tried out my X2Performance supplement and was curious to see if it really worked as I don’t have much experience using supplements of any kind. Recently I was asked to join #teamX2 as a brand ambassador for X2PERFORMANCE as part of a limited time, paid sponsorship, and I was eager to give it a shot after reading about it’s natural makeup and benefits (and alluding to it in last Friday’s post):

Initial Thoughts:

#teamx2Taste: Better than expected! Slightly citrus-y, no “cherry medicine” flavor that I was expecting because of the color of the red tube. 😉 Went down easy!

Timing: I took it about 30 minutes before my planned run, on an empty stomach as per the directions, but it ended up being about 1 hr 15 min before I got out the door for my run.

Effect: I’m not sure if it was the gorgeous sun and warm temperature that gave me a bounce in my step, but I bounded out of the house, eager to move and felt like I was flying the first few miles. I settled into a rhythm and slowed down some over the 8.5 miles, but still felt awesome! I knew I had some energy and endurance gains because I had only eaten breakfast that morning (2 small GF pancakes, and egg and half a banana) at about 10 am and it was 2:30 pm when I left. I know…bad runner. At any rate, although I could tell I was hungry (and realized I left fuel at home after I got out the door), I still finished the run no problem!

Physical Feelings: I experienced no ill effects, upset stomach or uneasiness during or post-exercise and while I felt like the drink amped me up, I had no jittery feelings. I’m looking forward to trying the rest of my sample and reporting more to you guys as a member of #teamX2! 1 sample test tube down, 3 to go! Disclosure: I received samples of X2PERFORMANCE as part of a paid campaign. While I was compensated, all opinions are 100% mine and I am not obligated to share a positive review. “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.”

If you’d like to try out a sample yourself, head over to X2PERFORMANCE and check them out! I’d love to hear your feedback too.

Besides going for a fun run, what’s another great thing to do on the weekend? Go out to eat! Mikey and I are making it a goal to go out more…which sounds funny, but we rarely get out and try new places. So we took advantage of joining in The Big Taste – a week of foodie restaurants creating set menus at great prices to try out their food! Check out the link above for more details and participating restaurants! headerWe ate at Market, where their:

…fresh ingredient philosophy starts in our kitchen, where we bake our own breads daily, cure our own meats, do our own butchering, make our own cheese and grow our own herbs, micro greens and select vegetables. MARKET is the first restaurant in Calgary to use an internal home garden, the Urban Cultivator, where we can grow more than 16 different varieties of heirloom seeds year round. We change our menu regularly so we can cook in harmony with the changing seasons and ensure the freshest and best tasting ingredients possible.

Pretty cool, right? The food was great! I had the kale ceasar salad with the fried chicken sandwich on soft ciabatta bread while Mikey had the winter squash soup with the bison burger. Both meals came with very homemade, fresh fries, a spiced ketchup and we washed it down with a French press coffee, black (for me) and root beer soda made on site (for Mikey). There were 2 baby apple turnovers each as dessert, and we each brought food home for another meal! 2014-03-09_1394398422It’s been a wonderful rest day full of relaxing, strolling around town, church (although admittedly a bit late with the time change) and now we’re off to a $5 movie at the cheap theater – “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.” It’s an action fun movie – don’t expect any kind of review for this one, just meeting some friends out to close off the weekend!

Tried any supplements you swear by?

Any fun events going on in your town?

Who else is excited for lighter, longer days?!

Live well & be well, and catch you guys on the flip side,



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Hey guys and happy Friday! I’m at home after a shorter day of training, a great workout of 2.5 miles of sprints plus a finisher (read below!) and drinks out with some staff for one of the girls’ last days (treated myself to a diet coke, ha!).


(image created with a free, new-to-me app called FitSnap – check it out!)

Currently I’m snuggling up with Mikey to watch a movie at home as he’s still pretty sick. Just been fighting a bad cold (at least it’s not the flu!) and he’s a little wiped out. He’s still well enough to rig up our projector which is awesome!

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I wanted to share with you guys some great weekend reading and posts as well as a workout you can do as a finisher (as prescribed) or as a short workout in itself by adding rounds or changing the timing. This Fast Finisher is inspired by Jen Sinkler who posted a similar workout yesterday. I love the structure of it because it’s simple (3 exercises, 3 times), short and effective! And the bonus? With each round you get more rest between moves! Meaning there’s no need to pace yourself through the exercises – don’t hold back!

Fast Finisher

Let me know if you give it a shot! And now, onto the links!

I liked these thoughts about Common Nutrition Mistakes. Love this post from Tara!

Free Fat Loss Tips from John Romaniello – three things you might not be doing that are simple, free and effective for fat loss! (Godo sarcasm included 😉 ).

Ever get side stitches while running? This post from Lifehacker might give you some insight!

Trying to watch what you eat? Ever hear people tell you cut out sugar? Some interesting thoughts on the subject in this concise, understandable article from Men’s Health.

Lindsay is a fitness professional I look up to physique- and mindset-wise and I loved her post on BodyBuilding.com about how she stays lean year round. Check it out!

A short list of some protein-packed snacks…always good to refresh how you eat if you’ve been in a food rut!

Here’s a recipe I want to try this weekend from Paleo-OMG! Pizza Spaghetti Pie that’s healthy? Might not be what you think, and I’ve got a spaghetti squash at home just waiting to be used!

SCRATCH THAT! I made it tonight and LOVE it! Super easy and delish! But read the recipe to the end – you bake it for roughly an hour so plan ahead if you’re hungry.

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Well, I’m off to have another serving of that deliciousness above and to enjoy some time next to my husband. Have a great weekend, you guys!


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If you had more hours in a day, what you do with it? Get that workout in? Read more books? Meet a friend for lunch? Write some letters to your aunt or uncle?

I was chatting the other day with my mom – one of the only people with whom I really talk about my physical struggles with, partly because I don’t need to voice it that often, partly because I know I’m strong and healthy and fit and partly because we all need an outlet, personal trainer or not. 😉

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We were referencing people in our lives who seem consumed by exericse or how they eat, noting that we, too, have had moments where we were to consumed with these thoughts. I made the comment that I just don’t WANT to spend that much of my free time thinking thoughts about my body, my next meal, or getting another workout in. It’s not worth the time and stress to me, nor is it worth me sacrificing certain foods or events in order to maintain the level of lean-ness that I desire.

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This idea came up again last night while having dinner with two friends – sisters – from the gym. In a funny moment, one of my friend’s belts popped open after dinner, the straps so thin they finally gave way, and her sister remarked, “I hope you don’t take that the wrong way and let it worry you!” Both women are healthy, fit and attractive, and I commented that she didn’t seem like the girl who had those thoughts too often. She proceeded to tell me that she heard via a Ted Talk recently that women, on average, think thoughts about their bodies (“Does this light make me look good?” “My thighs look fat when I’m sitting.”) every 30 seconds. 30 seconds! That’s nuts! And we all agreed we’ve been there, done that. And sometimes get sucked back into those thoughts, but our intention is to simply not give ourselves that much thought.


Think about if you had more time in your mind – filled with less of you and more of others. Or more time to think about life. To make decisions. To be kind to yourself. What if more of these thoughts took over?

If we are thinking these thoughts every 30 seconds (on average, and of course not every woman struggles with this, and I’m sure it’s not exclusive to women), you can add that up and deduce that we’re spending TOO MUCH time thinking (mostly critical) thoughts about ourselves. So, if you had time, what would you think about and how would you spend that resulting time?

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I’d be grateful for the sky, for crisp air in Calgary that stings a bit but makes me feel alive when I step outside. I’d think about friends and remember to turn those thoughts into prayers. I’d probably look up good recipes and take time to make some healthy food instead of looking up workouts to work off those gummy bears.

More confirmation on this topic came when I received the most recent newsletter from Neghar Fonooni. She talks about how much her weight fluctuates lately (~7 lbs, which makes me feel pretty normal with about a 4 lbs weight change in either direction) but how she’s so much happier. To quote Neghar:

My life is awesome; it’s so much more meaningful than it was when everything revolved around my body fat percentage. That’s because I have so much more to offer the world than a lean physique, and so do you.
Now, understand that I am not saying that fat loss is not a worthy pursuit. I’m not insinuating that wanting to lose fat is wrong or meaningless in any way whatsoever. Fat loss pursuits are valuable as long as they are done with positive intentions, self-love, and compassion.
Of course we’re always seeking balance. And what I’m realizing is that you’re MORE than your body fat! More than what that picture makes you look like. Striving for fat loss, while part of a healthy goal, should not be main goal in life. You are beautiful, kind, creative, interesting, smart and radiant. Live that way! And allow your thoughts to reflect that truth.


Maybe what we need to do is be kinder to ourselves. How? It sounds odd, but by thinking LESS of ourselves. I honestly just don’t WANT to think about myself that much. Perhaps focusing on others will help us treat ourselves better, if you know what I mean. Counter-intuitive, yes. Not what most people do, yes. But what (as a Christian) I’m called to do? Certainly! Less of me and more of Jesus. And in so doing, I may be helping myself out in the end.
Have you been kind to yourself in your thoughts and resulting actions lately? Do you have any tactics to help you in moments where critical thoughts start attacking? 
Live well & be well, friends (and keep shooting for balance in these issues – we’ll get closer and closer the more we live it out!),
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Happy Friday, friends! Always nice to see another Friday, but besides the weekend approaching, I’m always grateful to see another sunrise as it reminds me of God’s faithfulness.

Thanks for your comments on my last post about “the why…” I’m grateful to be able to think out loud on the blog. But today I’d like to take a cue from my girl Kindal and her post yesterday, going a little lighter, as it reminded me of posts that I’ve done in the past:

Confessions of a Personal Trainer

Without further adieu, I’ve got some things to confess this week…starting with:

I’ve had candy 3 nights this week. Yep! It’s crazy but true. Our general manager bought a 5 lb bag of dino-sours and brought them to the office…and I LOVE candy and gummies! I walked by it safely for a while and eventually found a few of those dinos in my pocket before a client. Whoops! Then we had a trip to Walmart for a few things and I just COULD not pass up a $1 bag of gummy bears (you feelin’ me, Janae?!). And then I got home last night to an at-home date night, where Mikey made dinner, had my slippers waiting for me and had set up a movie for us later – complete with my favorite gummies, WineGums. Well…I couldn’t exactly say no! 😉 I’m candy-ed out for a bit!

My second confession? I’m so.slow at stairs. I can train hard, have no problem getting my workouts in, and I’m very internally motivated, but at the end of the day, I DRAG up the stairs to our apartment. Mikey always beats me up (and down, but he’s freakishly fast down stairs) even on days I’m rested and haven’t worked out. 😉  I did, however, manage to get some stairs in on my way to work today… #wycwyc

I filmed it as a way to check in with a community online – and now you can too! Check out the new hashtag, #ffcheckin, via FitFluential (with whom I’m an ambassador) and check in daily with how you’re feeling, if you’re needing motivation, if you put down the gummies (BONNIE!) or killed your workout. …I hope I see you online!


My third confession today has to do with food too (doesn’t it often?). I told a few of my clients I’d be on a “clean eating plan” with them to support them, but when one husband and wife told me they weren’t following it strictly (which we talked about, and which was okay!) and another client was gone skiing and her food wouldn’t be quite the same, I’ve not really worried about it too much… Meaning I’ve chosen to have wine one night and really couldn’t say no when Mikey had some wine for our date night.


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You know what my last confession is? I’m not guilty about any of the above confessions! I’m not guilty about the gummies (although I know that much refined sugar does me no good), I enjoyed the 2 glasses of wine I’ve had this week and didn’t go back for more and the stairs will come. Guilt isn’t worth it. I’m reminded of this post (and image) from Neghar:


Do I need to be mindful? To eat intuitively and practice self-control? Yes! Not being guilty doesn’t mean that you eat whatever you want and find a way to justify it. My choices are mindful, despite them not always being the best. But I rocked my workouts this week, still ate my veggies, kept up with my water and won’t go nuts on the weekend. Like life, finding balance in my health and fitness journey is such a process. I’m slowly learning to love and accept myself first and remind myself that beating myself up for nothing will never help.

…got any confessions to share?! Hope you guys have a great weekend and I’ll see you on the other side! Live well & be well,


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Hello and happy Monday, friends! I hope you guys all had a great first weekend of 2014. Although I’m not one to set resolutions, it’s neat to be intentional at the start of the year and use it as a launchpad for things you want to change, address or be more mindful of, and this weekend gave me a chance to do that in a few ways.

First of all, for Christmas I received a Nike Fuel Band (thanks, mom and dad!). Although I generally have no problem being active – I love to move and don’t often struggle with workout motivation – it was something I wanted to show me how active the hours outside my workouts were.



I promptly set it up (simple to do) and put it on, burpee-ing around the house, practicing handstands, choosing to go in to the store to get more steps in when I might just listen to the radio in the car while Mikey ran in to get a last-minute item.

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Nike Fuel Band got started in CA, in my parents’ living room 🙂

Mikey and I had talked about getting them for ages, so after I received one as a surprise, we came back to Canada and bought him one. For a guy who DOES struggle with motivation to move (he could sit and think and read and type and work all day!), I’m loving how it’s changed him! The Fuel Band works as more of a behavioral than an analytical tool, meaning that it’s not the most accurate (I get more “points” by waving my arm back and forth than from a tough weight workout that wasn’t as aerobic), if it works to help you move more, that’s a successful tool. I’ve NEVER seen Mikey join me in a workout or, more importantly, willingly just start doing burpees or jumping jacks to get closer to his daily goal. Pretty neat, hey?

I loved getting back in the gym last week and also doing some workouts at home over the weekend.

But what good is moving more if you’re eating poorly? So that’s something else Mikey and I, along with several clients from the gym, are teaming up to tackle. We’re not necessarily removing major foods from our diets, but rather focusing on eating more mindfully and saying “no thanks” to refined sugars, processed foods and alcohol. You know – the usual “clean eating” that isn’t extreme. The goal here is to establish habits that are sustainable and easy to maintain, and we worked this weekend at not snacking mindlessly or eating in off schedules. Thursday and Friday were great, as was most of Saturday, until the evening when, at a friend’s birthday party, we both ate too many sweets and candy (our weakness is gummy bears!). A friend said it made him feel better to see me eating junk food with all my #fitfluential posts on Instagram which made me pause and think. I’m very open about what I eat (everything) and how often (working on the moderation thing) but I suppose I never Instagram myself diving in the candy bowl or going back for those extra bites of food! But I’m very normal in that regard, let me assure you. 😉 No alcohol for me that night, just a few too many handfuls of gummies not because I was feeling guilty for indulging, but because I was full and consciously ate more than I needed.

The win in that scenario? Definitely recognizing my hunger levels (even if I chose to ignore them) and making most my weekend be filled with water and things I only really wanted. Perhaps because I knew that all processed sugars were being stopped Monday I indulged a little more. 😉 But every day, every snack, every next decision is a new choice, a fresh slate, and I went to bed feeling like I’m ready to be in control of those decisions. It feels good to be mindful and I’m actually looking forward to a few concentrated weeks of nourishment!


cooking for friends Sunday night

After a really neat service at church, we had a fun lunch at my in-laws’ home and got caught up on post-NYE activities. It was great to catch up and to take a few minutes to begin the year in prayer and reflection with them; I’m so thankful they initiated that with us. The service was about Jesus- after just celebrating him at Christmas, our church is doing a new series asking the question, “Who is Jesus?” for a few weeks – and today we focused on Jesus as Savior. I loved hearing the stories of our radical Lord who isn’t a doormat, isn’t a good luck charm, isn’t a “get-you-out-of-a-jam” Jesus but rather is the Jesus who saves with grace, with love, without judgement and who is patient. Being reminded of how Jesus saved women in a culture when they were looked down upon, how he saved people from their lifestyles of sin who the religious sect would never interact with, how even in his last breath on the cross he was still saving thieves. He extended grace but never pushed it, allowed people to first accept his grace and then to change their lives.

I want to live in the reality of a Risen and Saving Jesus this year! But not just because it’s a new year, but because I want everyday to be surprised and excited by the truth of Jesus’ life in me. Body, mind and spirit – he is alive and I want to live as his ambassador extending that same loving, non-judgmental and accepting grace to those in my life.

So it was a good weekend of being refreshed in many ways, including lots of great time with people! From lunch with the in-laws to having friends over for dinner, a birthday party with lots of close friends and some good moments just with Mikey, I’m moving into 2014 and this next week feeling refreshed and ready. Who knows what God has in store? But I want to enjoy it to the fullest with his life, a healthy body and a supportive community I’m feeding into.

Oh – and the second half of our #californiachristmas video is live! Thanks Mikey for capturing so many memories…reliving them as I’m back to work in the “real world” today. 😉

Live well & be well, friends!


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Snow, snow and more snow. Oh, and cold (that’s in Fahrenheit for my American readers)! And not the best roads. That’s a true Canadian winter for you. I’m getting pretty used to the weather and don’t even find myself complaining about it much. It’s more that I’m disappointed I haven’t been out skiing yet – can you believe it?! But I’m very happy that Mikey, after several full, long days of work, got out sled skiing with a friend of ours today.


Got beard envy? You should – beards rock (and Mikey was just interviewed about beards)! Got husband envy? I know, I’m blessed. 😉

In other news, it’s been a great week for me – full of clients but lots of great, Christmas-themed workouts and great conversations with clients. Here’s a taste of one of the Christmas workouts I’ve enjoyed with clients this week:

12 days of fitness workout

These workouts, quite honestly, are a dime a dozen, but hopefully this gives you something new to use! Everything is body weight except for the deadlift high pull (use a KB of a challenging weight or substitute inverted push ups for the shoulders!). I formatted this workout by doing 1 roll out burpee first, then move #1 again followed by 2 tuck jumps. Repeat 1, 2 and add 3 reps and then continue adding the next round of exercises on top of the sequence! It’s a fun workout and hits all your muscle groups. Let me know if you give a whirl before enjoying some Christmas cookies. 😉

Speaking of Christmas cookies, I wanted to share this great thought I came across via Amber’s Facebook page:

“Food is not the enemy. Your body is not the enemy.

The enemy is extremism: unrealistic physical ideals created by the media, unsustainable diet protocols created by marketers.

You, your body, and food are all on the same team. Extremism attempts to create conflict, and succeeds far too often. When you are at war with food and your body, progress is difficult if not impossible.

Making peace with your body and with food is WORK. It’s not easy. But it’s the way forward, when you are tired of the endless spiral of self-hate, the binge-restrict cycle, wandering the maze of magic diets weight loss gimmicks. Once you have peace with your body and with food, you can begin the work of creating a balanced and sustainable life that works for you. The war keeps you distracted from that work.”

No commentary needed; well said.

Have you had any great workouts this week? How about any solid thoughts to share with us? And is your city snowy or balmy? I love hearing about people’s weather. Mine’s about to change as we are heading down to California tomorrow! Our bags are packed and it’s time to go!

Have a great end to your week and I will see from (admittedly still cold but) sunny California! Live well & be well,


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Don’t we sometimes need a reminder in life? A reminder that eating ice cream for dinner doesn’t feel good the next day. A reminder that you’ve been too busy and need to slow down. A reminder that going outside even though it’s -20 C is sometimes a good decision. Okay, sometimes. But there are obvious truths in life that we oftentimes choose to ignore, even if we “know” them intellectually already.

I was reminded of a few truths this weekend and wanted to share – maybe these reminders will resonate with some of you out there!

The first is this: I need to spend time with God. Our service at church Sunday was about JOY. About allowing more of it in your life and to living in Jesus’ joy this season in particular. It’s such a simple message and yet one I needed to be reminded about. I was condemning myself for not choosing to spend more time with God (I’ve been busy, focused on “getting through” the busy work time until Christmas holidays been choosing to relax with movies instead of being fulfilled by praying and being with Jesus) but the message was about living in Christ’s JOY!


Anytime I share our story of cancer, I always tell people, when they express incredulity about us going through such a hardship so close to being married and so young, that believing Jesus doesn’t mean that life will be easy. In fact, the main thing that is promised in the Bible is that you WILL experience hardship and trouble! Jesus told his disciples before his death that: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33). Yes, there will be hard things. But there’s JOY! And Jesus is that joy! Religious people didn’t like Jesus; the “wine imbiber, glutton” of a Messiah? Yep. That same one. The one who turned water into wine as his first miracle and kept the wedding party rocking! Jesus was the life of the party, not the sour, serious Jesus we often see depicted in art. To be more like him is to be filled with joy, to “scatter joy” as Emmerson said and to view trouble as an opportunity for joy in our lives (James 1:2). 


So if you are busy feeling bombarded with a full schedule and busyness, if you can’t help but notice the loss in your life right now, if you’re missing a loved one or going through something hard, know that you CAN have JOY in the midst of those difficulties because our joy is not dependent on our circumstances. It’s dependent on Jesus, and he is always there.

…I am generally a joyful person but I needed to remember that. 🙂

I was also reminded this weekend that in the attention-grabbing world of fitness, there are solid truths that we need to be reminded of, and one of them is as simple as this:


This past year, I discovered Neghar Fonooni who is a strong, fit and feminine woman who really has a handle on promoting solid body image and promoting the RIGHT things to focus on (in my opinion) when it comes to fitness for women in particular. As an early Christmas present, I purchased her new Lean & Lovely program, a 12-week kettle bell program that involves fitness, food and mind coaching, I’ll call it, to help you be fit in every area of your life. So far, I’m loving it and officially start the food and exercise part of the program tomorrow.


When I told Mikey that would be a great present for me and after I explained to him what it was, he remarked, “But you already know about that stuff!” Yes, I DO know it intellectually – I know that I should eat foods high in protein and many vegetables, limit my sugar and alcohol and stick to real foods. I know that it’s less about the number on the scale and more about the weight of that kettle bell I can swing, that my functional strength matters more than how many abs I can see. I know these things…but I need the reminder. All the time! And so far it’s been a great reminder. 🙂

(I purchased the program with my own money but wanted to share it with you! To learn more about what the program is, check out her recent blog post that explains the program’s facets.)

So those are the reminders I have for you: be joyful! In the midst of your circumstances. I really believe it’s only Jesus who gives true and lasting joy, but this might make you laugh in the meantime:

And be mindful. Of your training. Of your eating. Of your thoughts about yourself. Your body will thank you!

Got any good reminders to share with me? I’d love to hear them. Have a great start to the week, friends. Live well & be well,


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