Monday, December 30, 2013

Trainer Training Trainer Week 3

This week has been somewhat interesting with the Christmas holidays upon us and turkey dinners and social events galore! I have eaten a little more than I would usually but was super careful to not let myself go completely. I did have some desert at all three dinners I had this past week but limited myself to only one or two varieties and to small slivers of each. I made sure to get lots of veggies in and continued with my daily protein shake post-workouts.

So. Much. Food.
With meals like the one pictured to the right it was difficult to stay on track but I think I did a pretty good job!!

Here is what I accomplished with my workouts this past week:

Monday: Training session with my trainer. We added in 2 minute interval treadmill sprints in between each of my supersets which I really enjoyed! It kept my heart rate elevated and kept a good sweat going. He also did a little more core than usual as per my request. All in all a great workout!! Also did a 30 minute walk with Molly.

Tuesday: Being Christmas Eve I was sure to hit up the gym in the morning knowing I had a family dinner that night. I ran on the treadmill for 10 minutes and did a few abdominal exercises before attending an hour hot yoga class. My plan following this class was to hit the weights but not eating breakfast that morning left me feeling light headed, dizzy and faint so I headed home for a nutritious breakfast. Lesson learned...

Wednesday was busy with two different family events and so I did not get any exercise in apart from my usual walk with Molly.

Thursday: Also no workout. I knew Christmas day and Boxing day would be packed with family stuff and so Friday I got back on track.

Friday: I hit up the Goodlife Fairway gym and followed the routine my trainer had given me to work my legs, shoulders, and core. Here's what I did:

Treadmill run to warm up: 10 minutes 6.5-7 mph 

Clean and press 50 lbs x8
Fly row press 12.5lbs x8 (killer!)
Reverse lunge 22.5lbs x10
2 sets each

Barbell squat 50 lbs x12
Sumo squat and rotational press x22.5 lbs x20
2sets each

Split squat jumps x20

Straight leg deadlift x15 60 lbs
2 angle fly 7.5 lbs 8x each way

Wide grip pull ups 2x8 55lbs

2 minutes of rowing level 10 485m.

Med ball twist 15 lbs x30
Sb Jackknifes x20
Sb Hamstring curl in's x20
Sb ab roll outs x20
Rotator cuff endurance work 5 lbs 1 min in between sets
2 sets each

Crunches and obliques on Sb 2 minutes

5 minutes stretches

Saturday: Took Molly for an extra long brisk power walk and made good use of this pull up bar I received as a Christmas gift. I also did a few extra exercises with my clients that day knowing I wouldn't get a full gym workout in. Hey, every little bit counts right!?
 Sunday: My usual walk with Molly.

Monday (today): 45 minutes stationary bike. 30 minutes full body high intensity strengthening work and LOTS of core.

So as you can tell my week was not as great as the first two weeks had been but here are a few things I must point out:

1) I still managed to get SOME exercise in and not let myself take a complete break.
2) I still feel stronger and more energized than I did three weeks ago when I started upping my intensity.
3) I am motivated and prepared to get back into it and continue getting the results I want and deserve.

Super pumped for my workout with my trainer tomorrow!! Have a wonderful day today and HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!! I hope you are cherishing this special day and enjoying your time spent with your loved ones. This Christmas has been a very special one for me so far and the festivities have only just begun!! 
I want to take this opportunity on Christmas Day to say thank you to all of you. Lately, I have tried really hard to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle through my newly created blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter, and it's great to see that I have so many supporters so far! It is important for me to receive all the positive feedback and encouragement which allows me to continue doing what I love most -- help others succeed. 

Christmas time to me means being around the people you care about most,  taking time to appreciate what you have, and acknowledging the people who make an impact in your life. I want to make sure you all know how much you mean to me and thanks again for being my biggest fans and inspiring me on a daily basis. 

Here are a few of my highlights so far this Christmas: 

Time spent with the people I care most about (this person being just one of many!):
 A tree with so many gifts under it! I still find myself feeling giddy around this time of year especially with sights like this one!
 My best Christmas gift so far!! The perfect addition to my home gym and something that will allow me to accomplish my goal of mastering a full set of unassisted pullups!
 Could we have asked for a better day to celebrate Christmas Eve!? Words cannot describe how beautiful my walk with Molly was yesterday and these pictures don't do justice to the sights I saw. The freshly fallen snow and the icy trees and branches glistening in the sun were breathtaking!

  I hope wherever you are today you are able to give thanks and appreciate  what you have. Physical capabilities, fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a warm house to live in. Take a minute while reading this post to stop and remember the true meaning of Christmas.
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Trainer Training Trainer: Week 2

Well another week has come and gone and I am continuing to follow everything "The Trainer" has prescribed to me and I am continuing to feel fantastic! In this blog post I will discuss my last week's worth of exercise and eating habits as well as the challenges I have faced thus far. If you would like to view Week 1 of my 5-week training program you can find it here.

So in my last blog post I left off with Monday. 1 hour hot yoga, 1 hour weights (back, biceps, triceps), and a 30 minute brisk walk with Molly. Here is what I managed to accomplish this week:
Tuesday: "The Trainer" arrived at 1pm sharp with 2 kettlebells in hand and a smile on his face. I had a great full body workout and feel I pushed myself to the best of my ability. 

Local bacon and farm fresh egg
with tomato and cheese on a whole wheat
English muffin served with oranges
and blackberries 
Wednesday: I had a full day of work starting with a 7am client, several hours spent seeing people in Stratford and then hurried back to Kitchener for my 7pm client. Going straight from 6am-8:30pm did not allow for a full workout but I did manage to do some extra exercise with my clients to make up for the missed session. 
Thursday: 4+ hours of exercise!! I attended my last Pilates class at 9:15 am and came home and treated myself to this meal (pictured left) to prepare and give me energy for the exercise to come that day! Around 11:30 am we went for a 45 minute bush hike and I was warmed up and eagar to go at 1 pm when "The Trainer" showed up at my door with a stability ball in hand. I had another great full body workout and saw a few clients in the afternoon before our volleyball games at 8:30 pm. We played the first place team from one league up from us (don't ask me how that happened!!) and although we lost I still had a great time!! 
My adorable Molly on our hike <3

Friday: Woke up incredibly sore all over (great feeling!). Headed to the gym for a 60 minute workout incorporating some running, elliptical interval training, abs, and lots of other high intensity plyo-type exercises.

Saturday: Took the day off but still managed to squeeze in an ab session in the evening after playing some Jenga and drinking some tea :)

Sunday (Today): Woke up to this: 
Seemed like a great day to stay in and get some work done from home and do some cleaning. After last night's ice storm I am fortunate enough to still have power (as more than 1 million currently don't) though for some odd reason we have no water :( I am currently riding my stationary bike as I write this and am on my third round of 20 minutes as this post is taking longer than expected! Following the bike this is my plan: 

        - 50 jumping jacks
        - 40 bosu running mountain climbers 
        - 30 speed skaters 
        - 20 (per side) bosu pulsing side planks
        - 10 burpee push ups
                  **Each repeated 3 times***

Short and sweet :)

Enjoy your day, drive safe, and be sure to check back often for new posts and to see my progress with my "5 week Get ready for Jamaica workout plan"! 

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal: a nutritious and filling breakfast

This morning I woke up with my stomach rumbling and begging for food. Knowing that I have a busy day ahead of me and a challenging workout with "The Trainer" in store in just a few hours I knew I needed to eat a big and healthy breakfast. One of my clients commented on my Facebook Post yesterday saying how much she enjoys having apples and oatmeal for breakfast and I've been craving it ever since.

 Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Ingredients: 
- 1/2 cup quick oats
-1/4 cup fresh pressed apple cidar
-3/4 cup almond milk
- 1 apple (any kind will do) cut into chunks
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts (for added protein!)

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Mix all ingredients except apples in a bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes stiring once halfway through. Add apples, stir, and enjoy! It's that easy!!!

As I sit here trying this post and sipping on my vanilla hazelnut coffee, I feel completely satisfied and ready to take on my busy day!!

I hope you have a good one!! What's your favourite energizing and filling breakfast food!?
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Why A Trainer Hired a Trainer

I told most of my friends, family, and clients that I recently hired a personal trainer and got many different reactions. "Really!?!? Why would YOU need a trainer?" "Oh that's great, good for you!" "You don't need a trainer, you already look great" and "Pffff, omg that's silly". I think it's interesting that I have had so many varying comments but understand where people are coming from when they ask why.
Year 2004. 168lbs 

Being "fit" has never come easy to myself or any member of my family. I was always active as a kid and teenager through sports, activities, and swimming, but I was always overweight and when I hit my first year of university I was the heaviest I had ever been. It was at that time I decided it was time to make a change. I joined the YMCA, started exercising daily and changed my eating habits drastically. Over the last 10 years I have gradually lost almost 40 lbs and continue to work hard at the gym and stay conscious of what I eat.

Year 2013. 132lbs 

This past summer I can honestly say I was in the best shape of my life. I constantly set goals for myself and when I reach those goals I set new ones. For the most part I would say I'm motivated when it comes to my workouts but lately I feel as though I have reached a bit of a plateau. Although I am still attending the gym several times per week, and lifting weights and doing lots of cardio, I feel as though I am not pushing myself as much as I should be to continue to get results. I push my own clients to their max and continuously tell them how important it is to be sure to always feel challenged. They are motivated by me, feel accountable to me, and learn new exercises from me. I keep them on track and they always say how much they appreciate me keeping them on track. I felt I needed a "me" in my life.

Enter "The Trainer".

I met with him at my home last Wednesday for the initial consultation and "trial session". He KICKED MY ASS! I sweated like crazy, was pushed beyond my limits, and wanted to curse his name only 15 minutes into the session. I was sore for two days and it was GREAT!! :)

He provided me with some workout plans to do at the gym until the next time I see him which is tomorrow. Here's what I have done since I saw him last:

Wednesday: First session with "The Trainer"; 45 minute brisk walk with Molly
Thursday: 1 hour Pilates class, 1 hour Goodlife workout (legs, chest, and shoulders), 45 minute hilly hike in the woods with Molly
Friday: Sore all over. 5K run in 27:40 (no weights for this girl today)
Sat/Sun: off
Monday: 1 hour hot yoga, 1 hour weights (back, biceps, triceps), 30 minute brisk walk with Molly

My Home Gym: the place I will be tortured at 2 times per week for the next 5 weeks--or maybe longer!

After less than a week of 'upping the ante' with my workouts, I already feel amazing and more motivated to push myself harder. I will track all of my workouts and measure my progress for the next 5 weeks until I leave for my JAMAICA TRIP!!!!

And I plan on sharing my 5 week journey with all of you with the hopes that you can feel inspired by my pain, suffering, and by the amazingness of the results I hope to achieve with all my efforts :)

Come visit me again soon pretty please! And tell all your friends and family too!!! :) :) :)

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our first winter hike...

Today I woke up to the bright sun shining in my window and thought this would be the perfect day to take Molly down to the local trail and explore the beautiful woods. I knew it was extremely cold out (my car said -14 degrees!!!!) and so I was sure to bundle up. As soon as we parked and walked down the hill into the woods I let Molly off the leash and she was in her glory!!! 
I try to take Molly out to this trail once a week or so and we always seem to enjoy ourselves immensely! I was tempted to break out my cross country skis today but thought I would wait for just a little more snow to fall. So I ended up running much of the trail so that Molly could get her exercise. I ran and she lead the way.
She found several sticks along the way and insisted on carrying one in her mouth much of the way. 
It was so nice to get out and spend some quality time with my dog...just her and I and the open woods. Not another soul in sight! This morning I attended a Pilates class at 9:15am, hit up the gym after for a leg, chest, and shoulder workout, and was treated to a lunch out with someone very special and enjoyed this salad. 
Grilled chicken breast, dried apricots and cranberries, apple slices, spiced pecans and goat cheese served on a bed of mixed greens with a honey dijon dressing
I'm super glad I wore my under armor and warm hiking boots because even while running the wind seemed to cut right through you! Molly had to stop several times to chew the ice chunks out from in between her toes :( I may consider getting little booties for her. I've seen little dogs with them on but not too many big dogs and I worry Molly may feel a little embarrassed :P 
All in all our outdoor walk/jog was a huge success and I already can't wait until the next time we venture out. Hopefully next time I will be on skis and if that's case, Molly look out! You will have some competition! 

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Take Time For You...

These wise words from Jillian Michaels may not apply to all of you but I am positive many of you can relate. Parents out there who strive to give the best life for their kids possible. Wives trying hard to please their husbands, or vice versa. Students studying until the wee hours of the morning to get those grades they need....
While all of these things can be very important, realize that YOU are also important. After all, what will they all matter if you don't have your good health??

It's time to realize that YOU deserve time for you. Try taking an extra 10 minutes out of your day to pack yourself a healthy lunch for work. Pre plan your meals for the week and make a few quick and easy meals in advance to make extra time for the gym or a walk or run outside. And try setting aside some time for YOU to do something you enjoy. Get a manicure, take a bath, visit a family member, go shopping. You ARE worth it!!! :)
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My week in a nutshell...

With the holidays quickly approaching the past week of my life has been nothing short of insanely busy! Here are a few highlights:

Last week was crazy busy with work and even I scored a few new clients! People who work in the fitness industry often claim that they tend to slow down at this time of year as their clients get busy with the holidays, but I would beg to differ! In fact, a lot of my clients view their holidays and time off work as a good opportunity to get some extra sessions with me in...I will not complain!!

Last Wednesday I headed out to our Stratford Family Health Team Christmas party at the Annex room in Stratford. What a great opportunity to network with some of the family Docs and other health care professionals...
Saturday night I attended my good friend's "Game Themed" birthday party and enjoyed some awesome food, games, and a few good drinks too :) You can read all about this party at +Brittany Stager's blog HERE
Apparently my pic was photo bombed lol

After dinner out Friday and Saturday night I was in the mood for a nice home cooked meal so I prepared this three cheese tortellini with steamed broccoli and zucchini, a garlic tomato sauce and garnished with chopped cilantro and fresh parmesan cheese
Yesterday Molly and I took a brisk walk down to the local park and we both enjoyed our first time playing in the snow this season. She had an extra good time chasing her orange balls and frolicking in the fluffy white stuff! 
Isn't she adorable!??!
This morning started with sleeping in, taking Molly outside for a short walk and fun in the snow, and enjoying this yummy breakfast with a coffee in front of the fire. 
Pictured here is a spinach and egg omelette, sliced avocado and tomato, melted white cheddar cheese on a toasted whole grain English muffin

Now I'm off to the gym for a high-intensity, 10- minute interval workout! My plan is as follows:
- 10 minute treadmill warm-up run
- 10 minutes of a bosu plyo workout (speed skaters, dynamic lunges, mountain climbers, jumps, squats, bosu burpees etc) 
- 10 minutes fast stair climbing 
-10 minute seated strength circuit (Leg press, lat pull down, hip adduction/abduction)
- 10 minutes bike
- 10 minutes CORE (planks, push-ups, bicycles, leg-climbs, pilates etc)

Wish me luck and thanks for reading my post! I am going to try to post more often as I learn more about this crazy world of Blogging :S 

Feel free to comment with any topic requests for my posts!! HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY TODAY!!!! STAY WARM! :)

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Feeling The Love...

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday and this past weekend confirmed how incredibly blessed I am to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Friday night we hosted a 'Wine & Cheese' themed house party where more than 20 people attended with a bottle of wine and some sort of yummy food dish (mostly cheese!) in hand. We ate, drank, and celebrated and near the end of the night I was presented with a candlelit chocolate cake, homemade sprinkle cupcakes, and I was serenaded with the 'Happy Birthday' song.

Saturday was spent relaxing (and recovering!) with a few movies and a lovely dinner at Golf's Steakhouse! Sunny Sunday (my Birthday!) started off with a lovely outdoor walk with Molly (my beautiful 4 year old Retriever mix dog), followed by breakfast made by my parents (dad's side) and sister. I then helped my sister and brother-in-law move and worked in the afternoon, and finished the day off with a homemade lasagna dinner with my mom and step-dad! All in all a fantastic day!!
I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all my family, friends, and clients who participated in making my birthday weekend one that I will never forget! I have never felt so loved and appreciated as I did this weekend and consider myself so very fortunate. Every day I strive to be the best person I can be and would like to thank everyone in my life for continuously giving me the inspiration and motivation to do so! 


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Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Way I See It

The month of December brings colder temperatures, long and dark evenings, and Christmas and holiday preparations, which can sometimes lead to crowds, stress-filled days, and symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Busy shopping malls and this crazy time of year can mean grumpy people and negative attitudes but read on to hear my opinion on how to deal effectively.

The more you read my blog posts and follow my Facebook Fan Page, I hope you will begin to get a feel for my positive attitude and fabulous outlook on life. People who know me well might say I have a charismatic and outgoing personalit, and I figure...why not!?

Life's too short to have it any other way no?

Try thinking, acting, and talking positive as much as possible. Far too often we get consumed in negativity without even realizing it which can lead to negative consequences on your overall health. For example, if you were to state that you "can't handle this situation", you will tend to stop looking for solutions to your problem. Instead, try saying something like "how can I handle this situation?" Doesn't that sounds more hopeful and positive? Don't let your destructive thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The way I see things is why spend time focusing on the negative in a situation when you have so much else to be thankful for? When you walk into work in the morning and ask how your co-worker is doing, do you want to listen to him or her complain about how crappy their day has been so far? Im sure they would not want to hear it from you either. It is completely normal to get down and have a bad day once and a while but try making an effort to be more positive and happy and realize that you really don't have it that bad. Be thankful for a roof over your head, food in your fridge, and for someone to talk to when your going through rough times.

Try saying and thinking things like "I'm making progress", "I'm willing to try", and "I am in control of this". Try repeating to yourself that you ARE enough, that you DO enough, and that you KNOW enough. And enjoy the good feelings associated with this positivity. Your good attitude and zest for life will be contagious and we will all contribute to making the world and life in general a more enjoyable place to live :)
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