8 Great Reasons to Get Your Butt Back to the Gym BEFORE the New Year

22 Nov

holiday-muscle-massTrainers and coaches in every gym begin to see the slide among members starting in the middle of October; the cycle is predictable… and it goes a little like this…

September: Summer ends, routine resumes, school and extracurricular activities start – we’re off like a shot – on an adrenaline high – in the gym, working hard, running kids, getting sh#t done – look at us go!!! We are SUPERSTARS!!!

October: And then, September exhaustion hits families full force, the leaves die as cooler weather comes, winter-dread starts and Halloween is a nice distraction, so we eat our body weight in bite size candy.

November: Flu season kicks up (sugar depresses the immune system) Thanks for nothin’, Halloween… and the snow typically arrives. It gets dark earlier at night and we start to feel the primal urge to carb load, be lazy and sleep in longer in the morning.

December: Christmas is fast approaching. In addition to school, hockey, ringette and Jujitsu, we now add parties, concerts, Christmas shopping and holiday preparation (including baking) and our workouts and personal health time slides into the toilet.

January: We hit the gym with renewed commitment and a bit of self-punishment as any progress we made last year got lost somewhere between October and December – we curse ourselves for the 10 extra pounds of egg nog and shortbread we carry that makes our workouts hard and our endurance suck.

February:  You’ve dropped the Christmas bloat and are starting to see your ‘old, happy, gym self’ when you look in the mirror. You VOW never again to let yourself slide like you did this holiday season and decide to kick your self-care / nutrition / weight loss up a notch.

March: We can hardly take it (snow) anymore. We have cabin fever and winter rage and are desperate for the snow to melt and the trees to bud. On the upside, we’ve started to push ourselves a bit harder in the gym – afterall, the Mayan Riviera is waiting for us at the end of the month and we are almost bikini ready.

April: Easter and a week at an all inclusive finds our kids sick (AGAIN) and tight pants pulling at the waist. But the days are getting longer and we’ve got spring fever. We’re ready for bikes and boats and holiday trailers and have moved into crazed fitness fiend in preparation to enjoy EVERY. DAMN. SECOND. OF. DAYLIGHT.

May: Snow is off the trails, you’re training for a half marathon, you’re eating spring produce – raw nuts, baby asparagus and sweet tender berries – and dreaming of a tan and time in the garden or on your bike. You feel like a million bucks. Lean and strong and ready to conquer the world. BRING ON SUMMER. School is almost done and RV life is calling.

June: You’re so close you can taste it. You’re back into the swing of healthy living. Enjoying longer days and warmer nights. You’ve got a little colour and more energy. You’re celebrating with barbecue and sangria and are counting down the days until you can escape your life and indulge in your ‘well-earned’ summer holidays.

July: Free-for-f#cking-all. YESSS, happy July and a dozen ice cold beer on a hot day with chili dogs and sour cream and onion potato chips and macaroni salad and a double scoop of REAL ice cream (not that anti-freeze, fakey-cheapo stuff that melts into a frothy heap)!! We are living the HIGH LIFE with no thought of September – we are IN THE MOMENT – savouring it all. Gym? Who needs to work out? I’m outside. I’m breathing fresh air. I’m on the beach. I walked to the ice cream store after supper. That’ll wear off all those treats. Riiiight.

August: Panic sets in. Summer is half over. DOUBLE DOWN!! All hands on deck! Eat, drink, be merry. MORE ice cream. More beer. More burgers. More beach time. Gym? Do we still have a gym? It’s all good. Enjoy it – summer is SO SHORT – Fall is around the corner. I’ve got ALLLLL winter tobe in the gym… and 3, 2, 1… September.

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Do you relate?

What if you could do it differently?

What if – instead of hitting January full force, full of self-loathing and regrets – you could hit January feeling like you hadn’t lost ground but maintained it?

What if – you could get off the take 10 pounds off, gain 12 – take 12 pounds off, gain 8 – seasonal yo-yo cycle of frustration?

What IF – your health and fitness just became the way you lived – like doing your laundry, and making breakfast for your kids, and flossing your teeth, and getting to work on time?

Here are 8 GREAT Reasons to break through your seasonal apathy and get back to the gym RIGHT NOW!

lac fbbc8. Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder with routine trips to the gym. All it takes is 45 minutes in your day (time you could give up on the late net telly) to make a difference in mindset and combat traditional holiday belly bulge. The longer you stay away now – the more difficult it is to find your routine again. Aim for your 3x a week. SWEAT HARD and go about your holiday business.

7. Exercise is an excellent cold and flu fighter when used with good sleep, good food and washed hands. “Studies have shown that regular exercise will help prevent the common cold. Women who exercised regularly were found to have half the risk of colds of those who didn’t work out. And the ability of moderate exercise to ward off colds seemed to grow the longer it was used. The enhanced immunity was strongest in the final quarter of the year-long exercise program, suggesting that it is important to stick with exercise long term to get the full effects.

6. Stop the holiday Yo-Yo weight gain. Really? We are still having this conversation?

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-1-25-43-pm5. Beat holiday stress with your exercise time. Many of us find the holidays to be filled with family drama, money stress, the pressure to travel, make extra food, be everywhere and everything to all people… Keeping your exercise routine is critical to keeping your stress level low.

4. Ever noticed how your endurance and strength takes a massive hit when you’re away from the gym for more than a week or two? It is a painful truth – move it or lose it. Want to stop back-sliding and the frustration that comes with gains being lost? STICK WITH IT. Just keep on keeping on. Show up. Push for your 3x a week minimum.

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP FOR THE ZERO POUND CHALLENGE, YET?

3. Forge new ways of being. Maybe you’ve always done it this way. Maybe this is your pattern – you don’t really like it but that’s what is easiest for you right now – to keep the status quo. Overdo it and self sabotage and have to ‘start over’ year after year after year…. aren’t you ready to do it differently?

2. New Year’s Resolutions don’t work! Why not just make your exercise just the way you live your whole life. It’s just part of who you are, now – like freckles – you are just fit and healthy you, living your whole life this way. Keep on keeping on. You can’t quit freckles, why quit fitness?

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1. Regular Exercise is the NUMBER ONE THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR OVERALL HEALTH.

Rock on.
Keep up showing up for you.

I’ll meet you on the mat. xoK

#itrainforthis

14 Nov

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We’ve got a hashtag challenge happening at the gym I train and coach at, and this week they’re asking you to share – “I train for this”.

There are a number of reasons I train regularly. Only four years ago, I was classed pre-diabetic with a 38″ waistline and high fasting blood sugar.

I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression on and off and exercise is a mood stabilizer and nervous system regulator for me. I experience dramatically LESS anxiety with regular exercise.

Probably, the biggest reason I train regularly is because I want to explore and experience my world in a very hands on way. I want to breathe mountain air, sleep under the stars, snow-shoe and hike and run and feel strong and supple and sexy.

I want to feel like my pants fit all the time, and that I have energy to play and create and live at the pace I want to live. Before I started regular training, I was fat, exhausted and out of breath.

I sleep better, I am healthier, I am more resilient and positive and hopeful and energized. I am more patient with my kids when I’m firing on all cylinders and am well emotionally. My hormones are healthy. My bowels are healthy. My blood is healthy. My brain is healthy. My sex life is healthy. My relationships are healthy.

I want to have massive energy to serve people.
Make things that mean something.
Sing louder. Dance harder. Run faster.
I want to be a force to be reckoned with.
I want to feel absolutely unstoppable.

I want to be in places in the forest, only a handful of people have wandered.
I want to see stones and falls and plains and paths that only my feet have walked.
I want to feel POWERFUL beyond measure; strong, limber, supple, solid.
I want my feet to be certain, and my back to be unbreakable.
I want to suck the marrow out of life’s bones.

I want to LOVE every single fucking breath this body makes, and takes.
I want to love every dimple, every muscle, every stretch mark, every freckle, every line.
I want to savour and treasure and devour my experience here and now.
I love my life.

#itrainforthis

I’m in the mood… aren’t you?

20 Oct

For love. And gratitude. And stillness. And silence.
And warm, heavy blankets. And open windows with brisk air. And black nights.

I’m in the mood for hard workouts,
and toques indoors,
meaningful relationships and
snuggles from loyal running mates.

I’m in the mood for Chinese food
and red wine
and green smoothies,
bubble baths and books that speak to my heart.

In a world full of flat out, off their coconut crazy (US Election 2016 coverage, anyone?) we could all use a little more SLOW, HOME, STILL, SOFT, DEEP, LOVE, SOUL, BODY, NOURISH.

What if we all just worked on those few things?
IN OUR OWN WORLD?

What if we made our homes and offices and relationships
SLOW & CALM
HOMEY & SAFE
QUIET & RELAXING
SOFT & INVITING
SOUL FOOD NOURISHING
and
DEEPLY CARING?

I can’t fix ANYthing outside of my own sphere of influence.
The only thing I have any control over – is me.
How I choose to be.

Today, I am in the mood to choose
love
ease
contentment
fullness
warmth.

That is the Beauty of Being Boring.

3 things we do that prevent us from finding our joy and 3 ways you can change it today.

29 Aug

You're ALLOWED. To Make Mistakes.To change your mind. To Start Over. To identify your joy and do it everyday.

If you are not happy, chances are, you know it.

It’s that low grade ‘my-life-sucks’ syndrome.

It could be a clear internal message, like – “I’m not living my truth” or “this isn’t what I wanted” – or an underlying dissatisfied vibe that prickles your skin.

We ‘make due’ with the way things are.
And suffer silently.
Choose martyrdom.
Or be the victim.
We accept less than we deserve.
Or accept what we believe we deserve.

We fight against the truth of what we have accepted and created in our life.
And we wake up one morning knowing bone-deep we can’t do it a minute longer.
Or we stumble along, sick from a life of wretchedness – wretched bitterness, wretched boredom, wretched misery.

We make our whole life about our partner’s dreams
and our kid’s schedules.

We stuff our anger and bury our sadness and put off our happiness because
it’s the right thing to do
and because no one wants to hear about it
and being mad isn’t appropriate
and because we made our bed, so we must lie in it.

Here are 3 common things that we do that prevent us from finding Joy in our life, followed by 3 ways you can change – starting today.

1. Make Excuses

This sounds like …
          I don’t have time.
          There’s no extra money for me.
          I have to work.
          It’ll be my turn when the kids are bigger.

Why do we make excuses? 

Excuses are the reasons we give.
Fear. (Change is scary.)
Lack of clarity. (What do I want?) 
Lack of energy. (I’m already tapped out.)
Overwhelm. (Where do I begin?)
           Procrastination. (I should start … okay… tomorrow.)
          Blame. (It’s easier to blame someone else than to accept responsiblity.)

2. Choose Gratification over Joy

Doing soul-crushing things that masquerade as Joy…
          Drinking every night or every weekend – with friends. Or alone.
          Shopping for pretty new stuff. Creating debt. Acquiring mass things.
          Sex that compromises self-worth, safety and personal values.
          Endless hours of games, Pinteresting or  Facebook. 

Instant gratification habits, vices and dangerous behaviours that sabotage our dreams and plans often provide a temporary high. It can feel good to buy something new, drink a few bottles of wine with friends and have a laugh or feel sexy, desireable and wanted by someone.

We justify the ‘things’ that make us happy.
We deserve something pretty.
We’ve earned a night out.
We’re young and beautiful and in control … and lonely.
Work hard, play hard.

But, when those behaviours set you up for undesirable consquences (short term or long term) – debt, hangover, health concerns or time wasted – joy is going to be hard to find.

3. Live Someone Else’s Dream

Spending your days supporting someone else to live a life they love (or worse, a life they don’t love…) while ignoring your own dreams. 

Mother always said I should …
My partner doesn’t want me to…

          Self-sacrifice means I’m a good wife/mother/employee…
My kids expect me to be…

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One of the most outdated, useless, old-fashioned beliefs about being a ‘good woman’ (or wife or man or husband or mom or dad) is: being a GOOD anything requires selflessness, sacrifice and a refusal of autonomy.

You will be the best mother, daughter, spouse, employee you can be when you are
content,
satisfied,
fulfilled,
honest about what you want,
make time to look after your own needs and desires.

Did it ever occur to you that you can do both (support others’ dreams and live your life your way) and do both well? 

Whomever taught us that to have one, we must forfeit the other?

What if by taking care of you first, you became more energized, happy and passionate ? 

How would a happy, passionate and energized you feel offering support to those you love?

Can you find your joy?

Here’s something really cool.

My joy is not separate from my family. I love my family. I adore my husband. And think my kids are smart and cute and full of potential.

My joy is in the gym a few days a week sweating out my shit.
My joy is going out for lunch with smart girl friends.
My joy is on the trails with my dogs.
My joy is bubblebaths and good books.
And is under the covers snuggling with my man and #RickGrimes.

My joy is doing more of what makes my heart feel good and less of what drains me. For example: volunteer hours – I needed to take a break from giving time away. It was somebody else’s turn to help out for a while. And I gave up television – news, sitcoms and drama suck the life out of me.

My joy is saying NO to all the things that aren’t in alignment with my heart. This goes for people, events, causes, and jobs.

My joy comes when I ask for help from the rest of the people who live in my house.
I’m not a slave or a servant or a sucker.

3 Ways You Can Change Starting Today

1. Get Clear. You can’t fix it if you can’t figure out what’s broken. Get a note book and start writing. Labelling the biggest 2 problems you have will go a long way to coming up with a plan for change.

I’m resentful.
I’m bored.
I’m depressed.
I’m out of shape and feel terrible.

Give it a name. 

2. Decide.

That you won’t sacrifice your own health any longer.
That it’s not okay anymore. 
That you will find a new job to move on to. 
That you are ready to do it all differently.
That your kids need to step up and help out more at home.

Making a decision is a clear cut signal to the Universe that you are ready for the next step. Deciding slams the door on what was and opens a new door to solutions and possibilities and opportuntities.

Be willing to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.

3. Choose You.

We’ve been programmed to believe filling our own cup is selfish. Taking exceptional care of ourself is judged as shallow or narcicistic or arrogant. No wonder we sacrifice ourselves for others – no one wants to be seen as selfish and self-centred.

Choosing you doesn’t mean you ignore everyone else. 

It’s strapping your oxygen mask on first.
It’s filling your own cup, so you can continue to overflow to others.
It’s taking care of your body, so that you are well enough to care for others.
It’s leading by example – for your children, your friends, your mother, your partner.

What if choosing you meant living as an example?
What if choosing you meant teaching your children how to live with autonomy?

If you are not happy chances are you know it.

It’s that low grade ‘my-life-sucks’ syndrome.

What if choosing you meant you could be a more joyful, fulfilled version of yourself which meant you were in a better position to truly and effectively serve others?

5 Things that Exercise will do for You that have Nothing to do with Abs or Ass

23 Aug

BRIGHTEN YOUR OUTLOOK 

Reduce or lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression: 

You’ve heard me preach about this before – the way I manage my own anxiety, energy levels and feelings of well-being is by doing heart-pounding cardio, lifting heavy things and cutting out as much crap food as I can.

The studies are in. Physicians are prescribing exercise like they’re prescribing Ativan. Well, the good ones are, anyways. Physical exercise commands your body to respond with a flood of all kinds of feel-good hormones and chemicals which can help to change the way you see the world.

Before you hate me forever: No two ways about it, it is practially impossible to find the energy to exercise when you’re so depressed you can’t get out of bed. Those cases DO exist and medical intervention and pharmaceutical support is often what provides the most support. Every case is individual. Work with a physician.

My personal experience with dramatic, persistant, lifelong anxiety is that exercise is a TOTAL SAVIOUR.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/09/20/exercise-health-benefits.aspx
https://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety

http://grow.ie/blog/6-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise/

BETTER ZZZzzzzz’s

Improve sleep quality: 

Remember when you were a little kid and Gramma would make you go outside and play instead of watching TV? It’s because she knew that the combination of fresh air and exercise was going to make sure you were ready for bed and she could enjoy a quiet evening.

Again, it’s all about energy expenditure. Fatiguing your muscles, depleting your reserves, fresh air and sunshine – all of those factors combined mean that your body has earned it’s time for deep, restorative sleep. Lying around on the couch all day – while draining emotionally and physically, does not a good sleep make.

Special note: sometimes too much exercise – especially in the few hours before bedtime can make you too jazzed to calm down.

Preach (again)!

Make a zen bedtime routine: healthy carbs with supper (not too many) helps to facilitate sleep quality, cut back on screen time (1 hour before lights out) and sleep in a PITCH BLACK ROOM.

For me: my whole life is doable with 7-8 quality sleep hours each night. Be willing to work at it.

https://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/how-does-exercise-help-those-chronic-insomnia
http://www.sleeplikethedead.com/exercise-sleep.html

PUMP AND FLOW

Fortify your cardiorespiratory system:

Making your heart work hard – and calling on your lungs to supply oxygen to your body is arguably the most important benefit of exercise. Your heart and lungs are among the crucial life sustaining and life enhancing physiological systems that run your body.

The harder your heart works during exercise – the less hard it has to work at rest; the harder it pounds during a workout – the easier job it has moving blood through your body when you sit at work for eight hours or have to fly 10 hours overnight.

Circulation to limbs and digits, better cognitive functioning, healthier vision, oxygen to muscles – even better erections (see Bend, Flex, Bang and Burn) … it’s ALL about BLOOD FLOW. 

http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(13)00225-5/abstract
http://www.medicaldaily.com/goodbye-erectile-dysfunction-exercise-helps-restore-sexual-function-health-326826

KEEP THE DOCTOR AWAY

Boost your immune system:

Just too damn complicated to simplify into a paragraph that will convince you of anything. Read the Harvard study.

Some argue time in the gym means increased exposure to germs.

Some say “if you’re destined for cancer, there’s nothing you can do about it” OR “I come from a line of big women, there’s nothing I can do about it.” (see gene expression)

We will always find an excuse for that which doesn’t suit us. But, you can’t argue with physiology and science.

Exercise – simply put – means better overall health and less trips to the doctor.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system
http://paleoleap.com/exercise-immunity/
http://www.americanscientist.org/libraries/documents/2005217135249_306.pdf

BEND, FLEX, BANG and BURN

A smorgasbord of rewards for time spent ‘moving with effort’:

Limber joints.
Stronger muscles.

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52. FIFTY-TWO YEARS OLD. Doesn’t he look amazing? And what’s more – PAIN. FREE. #workoutmore

Less back pain. (In 5 months, my husband, at age 52, has quit going to the chiropractor and is off daily pain relief to manage chronic muscle and joint soreness.)
Better energy levels.
Fired up metabolism (a muscle building body burns more than a body at rest).
Hotter sex life.
Renewed confidence.
Happier hormones.
Energetic exchange.
Less visceral body fat (the kind that packs in around your internal organs).
Role model for others.
Extended social circle. (Birds of a feather, flock together.)

There are too many tangible, valid benefits to regular effort in exercise. To argue against exercise or to come up with reasons that you cannot, is to simply admit it just isn’t important to you.

https://selfchec.org/prevention/exercise/
http://gethealthyu.com/brain-benefits-exercise/

 

It’s not rocket science.
There is no miracle with it.
It’s energy expenditure and motion and physiology.
Fact and science.

But, none of it works if we don’t actually DO something.

What is it in us that chooses the default of illness (it’s a statistic) and immobility over movement and wellness?

Do we really need our lives to be as easy and as comfortable as possible?

Is it really harder to move a little bit (break a sweat) than it is to carry an extra 60 pounds around our internal organs or have our bodies deteriorate in their softness?

What if movement and incorporating an 80/20 whole food rule was the way we transformed our body, our future and our over-burdened health care systems?

As you can see, I do believe exercise is almost the cure for everything.

** But I still love you, even if you think it’s too hard and don’t want to. **

When your desires and your values aren’t in sync the Law of Attraction can’t work.

19 Aug

The Law of Attraction is often perceived as this magical, mystical ‘if-I-just-want-it-bad-enough-and-think-about-it-all-the-time-it-will-just-show-up-for-me’ concept. We believe it about love and health and money and stuff and opportunities.

It is believed that the Law of Attraction works in this way:

I am clear about what I want.
We believe we can obtain what we want.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
We remove barriers to receiving what we want
(limiting beliefs, etc.) and allow. 

perceptionFor me, the Law of Attraction is as simple as WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS. 

Positive or negative;
Gratitude or fear;
Worry or peace;
Happiness or anger.
Where you place your energy and attention is what you will experience as your reality.

But the Law of Attraction can’t work when there is massive disconnect between what we say we want and what our personal value system dictates. 

For example: “I’d like to earn more money at work.”

I can think about it and wish for it and hope for it and meditate on how much better I might feel earning more money at work, but my personal value system will prevent that from happening for me because what I say I want and what I truly value are two completely different things.

In order to earn more money, I’d need to increase the level of responsibility I have in the office, which would likely see an increase in time that I must spend at work.

But, that ‘want‘ runs against my personal value system.

I value time and freedom more than I value money. I say I want more money but what I really desire is flexibility – to walk my dog, be outside, get to the gym and be there for my kids.

choiseHere’s another example: “I want to have more date nights and specifically, attend local concerts and events with my husband.”

I say that I want to get out and enjoy music with him (maybe a steak and glass of wine) but the reality is that I value a good night’s sleep and an early bedtime more – at this point in my life – than I value a night out. What I really desire is to have him spoon me under the weight of warm blankets while watching The Walking Dead before drifting into black, deep, restorative sleep.

I profess to want cultural entertainment and fun and date night – but my values lead me to sabotage date night in exchange for snuggles and snores.

These might seem like silly, trivial examples – afterall the Law of Attraction is always sold to us as finding our One True Love or manifesting a Million Dollars.

The truth is – the Law of Attraction is at work in all ways in all capacities in all lives all the time. 

The way it works best is when clarity exposes desire and when those desire match your personal code of ethics.

You can’t earn a million dollars –
no matter how bad you want it
if your core values proclaim that
people with money are arrogant
or ‘you can’t have it all.’
‘Money or happiness, not both.

Personal awareness, that is knowing yourself inside and out is the best way to align your desires and your values.

What you SAY you want, and what you VALUE most deeply MUST be in soul alignment…or what you SAY you want – even IF it shows up – will NEVER make you happy.

lawofattraction

#lawofattraction
#beliefsandvalues
#clarity #desire #happiness

When the going gets tough I remember I CHOSE THIS path. #owningit

18 Aug

Exhausted summed up my WHOLE LIFE until this morning.

I got about 7.5-8 hours of sleep AND caught my first workout in a full week… NOW I feel like I can keep going.

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AMAZING FOOD and drink.

Summer “holidays” and rest time – for me – are a total farce. PLUS, I just came home from a whirlwind long weekend with girlfriends – late nights, too much food, too much wine, just enough sun – all the love. I don’t know about you – but holidays ARE NOT restful. Travel is exhausting. Three hour time change. Poor sleeps in strange beds. You know…

I’m trying to work 35 hours a week learning in my new position (human services and foster care/training and staff development) I just signed off on incorporation and bought in as partner of a rising star business and I’ve got about 3 weeks left on my fitness certification to become coach and trainer at the gym I am passionate about.

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Our new rescue, Sheba. She is happy. So are we.

I’ve also got TWO large dogs, two teenage daughters that keep me on my toes, a husband and marriage that I make a priority to nourish and sustain and my own health and fitness routine, which has TOTALLY taken a back seat in my busy-ness.

When the going gets tough – when I’m emotionally and physically exhausted – when I wonder what in the actual eff I am doing with my life – when I can’t keep up with laundry, housework and shaving my legs – I am called to remember:

I CHOOSE IT ALL.

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20 year friendship celebrations.

I choose growth.
I choose meaning.
I choose activity.
I choose people.
I choose to work.
I choose focus.
I choose purpose.
I choose empowerment.
I choose mobility.
I choose who I spend time with.
I choose how I respond.
I choose this schedule.
I choose movement.
I choose what I do each day.
I choose my words.
I choose again when it isn’t working for me.

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Hard work, pays off. But only when you do it.

NO ONE carved this pace out for me. I did.
NO ONE said ‘Do a hundred things at rocket speed’.
NO ONE said ‘Take on 3 big jobs at once and try to do them all well’.
NO ONE said ‘Stay up late, eat that crappy food, drink too much wine and screw your workouts’.
No one but me. I own it.

Often, when life feels busy and burdonsome and heavy and we get worn down and wore out – it becomes easy to forget that WE HOLD THE POWER.

I CHOOSE every step I’m making. 

My role now is to buckle down and commit to seeing those choices through or to CHOOSE AGAIN to modify my actions to reflect the way I want to spend my time.

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Sun. Sand. Summer.

My job now is to stay in touch with how my body feels, with how I’m coping mentally and emotionally – my job is to eat to fuel and sleep to restore. My job is to ensure that I am in the best possible state and frame of mind to accomplish what I’ve CHOSEN to do with this one great and wild life.

It’s EASY when we’re burning out to blame others for our state – or to feel like life has imposed this unreasonable pace on us – or that someone has a proverbial gun to our head and has us in this painful holding position.

BUT WE ALWAYS HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE AGAIN. 

There are no excuses, Kim. When your life isn’t working for you, chart a new coursechoose new. When you’ve chosen the direction – and you’re satisfied with your choice – your work is to stay rested, fuelled, loved and clear. Stay the course. You’re doing great.

Thanks for listening.

#clarity
#accountability
#choosenew

 

A Mid-Summer Dream: Let Your Body Do Nothing – and then Get Back to It

29 Jul

 

I’d like to say we’re having a lazy, slow summer, but we are, and we’re not.

I’m currently 3 weeks into my internship at the gym (Coaching, LOVE it.), the study that accompanies that internship (fitness certification), squeezing in holidays, celebrations, camp and kids – plus my ‘real’ job.

I’m busy – but I am CHOOSING it all, so I’m perfectly happy. 

 

While in northern Saskatchewan, a stray dog ended up on our cabin doorstep, and promptly determined she would not be leaving us. Her lovely temperament, dutiful obedience and desire to please us made her easy to love. So, we welcomed a second rescue into our home. Don’t judge me by the dog hair. OY.

I knew this about my body, but had it affirmed post-holidays. Remember the challenge – and my “lack” of weight loss. Well, I came home from a week of NO workouts, fast food meals, ice cream, Texas cooking, homemade pizza, garbage junk food and more alcohol ingested than I would drink in a year – and finally saw my weight sink.

What’s that about? Remember at the end of my 8 week challenge? I’d lost a number of inches, but really no weight (1.7 pounds). A good example of a body rebuilding itself at a cellular level – re-structuring. And yet, to come home after a week of indulgence – no, OVER-indulgence – and see a 3-4 pound weight loss in a WEEK, is a bit mind boggling.

Intense exercise (that is hard core training 4-6x a week) can be interpreted as a form of stress in your  body. Here we go – Paleo talk. In a body’s perfect ancient wisdom, during times of stress, it would hang onto as much body fat as possible (anticipating famine likely or hard times ahead) – it’s survival mode.

What happens on holidays? You relax. Move less. Zen more. Overfeed. In this relaxed state, your amygdala (that ancient lizard brain) interprets safety and abundance. In this state, your body does it’s best work – burning, healing, resting and restoring.

We weren’t designed for GO GO GO all the time. We weren’t designed to be responding to traffic and dinging alarms and wifi signals and blue light at night.

Our bodies in their perfect ancient wisdom long for silence and stillness and black nights for deep sleep and YES – even recovery.

Here’s where most people get it wrong. Your body was also designed to move. Walk long distances. Haul rocks and logs if needed. Fish and hunt and lug and lift. We were never designed to SIT for HOURS upon HOURS at a desk.

Nor were we designed for INTENSE exercise regimens day after day. 5-6 days a week of HIIT will eventually prove too much for most bodies. Primal Blueprint author and founder Mark Sisson insists that 2-3x a week of primal movement (HEAVY lifts, sprinting and lots of walking during a week) is all a body needs to retain maximum fitness capacity.

I was back in the gym this week 3 times. I focused strictly on strength and good form with one metabolic workout. My main focus has been on cleaning up and normalizing my diet. Lots of protein, LOTS of veggies. LOTS of blueberries. (OH, I LOVE BERRY SEASON.)

My first Kettlebell Coach, Tim Day talked about the importance of SCHEDULING rest for his body – a week or two weeks of DOING NOTHING – and how it was so important. He was the first one to teach me that my body would require that time for deep rest.

Every time I’ve taken a week or ten days of deep rest, my body has rebounded in a way that surprised me.

Every great gain I’ve made in strength or capacity or endurance; every time my body has let go of a bit more fat or gained a bit more muscle – has been after I’ve blessed it with joyful rest and good food.

This isn’t a pass to let all my hard work and commitments go to shit.

Holidays are over and I’m back to training. I feel strong and lean and joyful and grateful for so much learning, love, abundance and yes, even dog hair.

xoK

 

Have You Forgotten What it Feels Like to Be Healthy and Powerful?

14 Jul

IMG_5753In the last 5 days, I’ve had less than 3 hours of “FREE” time. 

I have however, driven almost 1,700km, coached 7 gym sessions, worked 7 hours a day, commuted 1 hour a day, worked out for 3 hours, walked the dog several times, done numerous loads of laundry, made authentic Italian dinner including roasted peaches with vanilla bourbon gelato for Hillary’s birthday, had 1 volunteer luncheon, 1 girlfriend lunchdate and 1 after work business meeting – – – and tried to keep up with a respectable sleep schedule ((6.5-7.5 hours a night)). 

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Whirlwind trip to Saskatchewan. Home.🙂

Free time is unscheduled time. I use it to bathe, cook dinner and eat; do laundry or read one of the 3 books I have on the go for my certification. Free time is not commute time, or walk the dog time – that is all scheduled time. My free time last night ((between 6:30pm – 8:30pm)) was spent eating chicken, feeding the dog, having a bath and shaving my legs and reading “Enter the Kettlebell” by Pavel Tsatsouline.

There is NO ROOM for wasted time right now. I just took another position within my organization ((more to learn!)) and I’m just 2 weeks into my 8 week gym internship ((which I am LOVING)). I am home alone this week ((kid at camp, kid with dad at lake)) and while all my mother friends are positively GREEN with independence envy, I have ZERO down time to drink wine, read books and eat bonbons ((which sounds super fun)). Plus, I leave on ‘holidays’ for 1 week Saturday morning… ((to which I say, for a mother, there is no such thing!)).

IMG_5752It is not lost on me that my good health and energy allows me to maintain the lifestyle I currently choose to live.

I can only do all that I do because I am as strong, fit, energetic and healthy as I am. And I am SO DEEPLY GRATEFUL for these blessings.

I do know many people who choose to live relaxed, sedentary lives, who couldn’t care any less about food or movement or their health – – – and I know a small group that wish they could move and exercise and celebrate their bodies, yet are limited in their capacity to do so ((either from physical injury or limitations)). And I know some who long for something they once had – youthful vigor – energy, flexibility, movement, joy, deep, restful sleep and limber bodies.

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I think people have gotten so used to feeling so-so, bloated, exhausted, out-of-breath, shitty, depressed, hopeless and sick and tired that they just don’t believe it is possible to feel better.

Your OPTIMAL health is possible. If you don’t know where to begin – start here.

GOOGLE 100 DAYS OF REAL FOOD.
Google Dr. Loren Cordain.
Google NATURAL MOVEMENT.
Google Dr. Mark Hyman, MD.

Begin to click on the links that those websites recommend.
People will click incessantly on tabloid articles and weird sex stories and freaks of natures… click incessantly on people who are experts in helping you reclaim your health and your life.

NEVER GIVE UP. 
RADIANT HEALTH is YOUR BIRTHRIGHT.

Remember: it is a marathon, not a sprint. There are NO 8 WEEK MIRACLE FIXES – There are NO 8 WEEK MIRACLE PILLS – There are NO 8 WEEK MIRACLE WRAPS – There are NO 8 WEEK MIRACLE SOLUTIONS … the miracle comes with effort and commitment and readiness and work and DEDICATION to YOU.

Choose you. Over and over and over again.
xoK

A Girl Has Got To Try

7 Jul

I interviewed for an internship at the gym I go to and was accepted. They’re looking to cultivate future coaches, I love the gym and the way it makes me feel, it’s win-win.

Over the next 8 weeks, I’ll have to shadow and lead 72 classes (already did three yesterday) and get certified, plus plan workout, know regressions and progressions and obtain my first aid. All good things. There is no guarantee I’ll be given a position at the gym – this period is to see if we’re a fit for each other – culture, competency, knowledge, skill. But, I’m confident and I work hard and I’m passionate – so there’s that.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of my ability to earn by StrongFirst Certification. This is elite fitness – the kind of physical training that military, special ops and uber strong people do. There is a teeny voice in my head that says – you’re just a middle-age housewife from the prairie – – get a grip, woman. But, a girl has got to try.  

I’m grateful that it is written somewhere on my heart – “you are malleable – be willing to re-create yourself as you desire”.

I feel sad when I see people muddling along – believing they are who they are, that their days pre-determined, that they have no choice and that they can never be any different. We can always be different. We can always choose again.

One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given is FREE WILL: the ability to choose how we show up, what we think, what we believe and what we do. 

So, summer looks like: internship (9 hours a week), full time job, training schedule, 1 week at the lake, almost 1 week in NB/NS for girl time, walk the dog, barbecue now and then, and study in all my spare time with a sprinkling of sun tan and beach swims.

Happy to have the desire, freedom, energy and support to choose to live the way I want to.

DEEPLY GRATEFUL. 
In every cell of my body.
Gratitude.