I know, I know. I am SUPER late on a blog and even later on a review for the 21 Day Fix. The reason being is that I have spent the last few months actually DOING IT!
Here is a little video explaining the program in whole:
So here’s the whole story. I did this program the first time and crushed the workouts. I lost 6lbs and 8 inches. I was super happy. But I had to be honest with myself. I didn’t really commit to the meal plan. I got the general idea but then I eyeballed it.
After this, I tried a few more programs like PiYo and Body Beast, had great success building muscle and strength but something kept calling me back to the 21 Day Fix. I still wasn’t really losing weight due to my adrenal fatigue, hypoglycemia, and hypothyroidism and knew that I needed to focus more on my relationship with food.
And weirdly, even though I didn’t take advantage enough of the meal plan the first time, it was the meal plan and the emphasis on food and our relationship to it, that called me back.
I knew that I wanted to give it another shot. A real shot.
In the end I did 3 rounds back to back. I lost 20lbs.
Yep. The girl who couldn’t lose weight, lost weight.
I could not tell you how rewarding it was to finally see the scale move after 10 years of struggling.
I know I preach not letting the scale define you. And it wasn’t the largest change in my transformation, but it certainly helped validate all the work I was doing, if I’m being completely honest.
But mostly, I feel like this program helped repair my relationship with food. After my hormones went haywire as a teenager, I tried every diet under the sun and began convincing myself that I wasn’t enough. I thought I needed to keep reducing my calories. I thought that I wasn’t working out hard enough.
So I starved myself. I took diet pills. I worked out to exhaustion. And it wasn’t sustainable. So I would burn out. Again. And again. And again.
It began to take a toll on me and I thought I couldn’t trust myself around food. It led to a binge and purge mentality. I would eat junk and too much and then starve myself and diet like crazy.
Using the containers showed me that I actually don’t have to worry around food. I just have to balance. I can have bread (Iightbulb moment) in my life. I just have to balance it and have it in moderation.
What a relief that was! It helped me forgive myself when I wasn’t perfect and move on. It helped me learn about portion control and balancing my food groups. I felt like I could actually trust myself and it gave me a new confidence that I had never had before.
So, as much as I LOVE the workouts, the nutrition portion of this program is the gold. It’s literally life changing. It’s what I base my lifestyle on and I feel like I can eat like this for the rest of my life (because it’s NOT restrictive).
If you have a lot of weight to lose or, like me, feel like nutrition was your biggest hurdle in your health and weight loss adventure, message me and let’s chat about changing that, for good.
So, it’s been no secret that the last few months have been tough for me. In February my daughter got sick off and on for 6 weeks and it totally messed up my routine. After that, I found it was really hard to get back into it. I was also suffering from back to back adrenal crashes that left me exhausted and with nothing left to give to the world. I decided to finish my program, Body Beast, 2 weeks early because it was clear that it was helping cause the crashes in energy.
However, I never really committed to a program after that. I did Piyo for about a month, then was spotty with workouts and just felt really unmotivated. I didn’t know why I was punking on starting a new program and could feel my brain holding me back but couldn’t figure out why.
Then, one day I was deep into a Facebook rabbit hole and saw this video that completely changed my perspective. Now, the video itself actually wasn’t important. It was about this family who tried to get pregnant and ended up adopting. The tone was very religious (which I am not AT ALL) but the message was that you can’t control everything and that sometimes you just have to surrender to life.
At the end of the video I was in tears. Not just because yay, this nice family got a baby. But because I realized that even through all the programs I had been doing, even through everything I was going through, no matter how motivated I was, I had been fighting myself.
I had these mental blocks in my head that kept feeding me excuses, telling me that I was smarter than everyone else and could use the program however I liked and saw fit because I knew me better than anyone and I was going to tailor it to me.
All that did was let me make excuses for myself.
Did I really think I was smarter than the team of physicians, personal trainers and nutritionists who put these programs together? Was I smarter than all the other people who had committed to them 100% and saw insane results? Why did I think I was different?
Because I was scared. I was scared to commit to the program and do the work. I was scared that even if I did the program all out, 100% perfectly that I still wouldn’t see results. I was scared to commit to myself because that felt selfish.
How ridiculous is that?
This video changed my perspective. It showed me that I needed to surrender to the process, be afraid, but do the work and see where I ended up. And that’s what I did.
I committed to the full 21 days, no missed workouts, no switching, no doubling up one day to get an extra rest day, eat my containers and give up control. And the results were amazing.
I lost 3lbs and 8 inches.
Now, before you read my mind and say, “Oh, well 3 lbs isn’t that great” let me tell you, I thought the same thing. At the end of this 21 days, I saw the scale and felt defeated. All of my fears felt like they came true. Then, I did my measurements.
I was blown away. I lost 8 inches. 8 FREAKING INCHES.
Let me break it down for you. I lost:
Waist 1/2 inch
Hips 1/2 inch
Chest 2 inches
Right Arm 1/2 inch
Left Arm + 1 inch (muscles baby!)
Right thigh 3 inches
Left Thigh 2.5 inches
You guys! 3 inches on EACH of my thighs! This is incredible! My thighs have always been a huge source of self-consciousness. The fact that I lost 5.5 inches on my thighs is a VERY BIG DEAL to me. Like HUGE.
The scale has been my adversary for so long. It has made me question my very sense of self because I valued what it had to say. I know I have a lot of weight to lose but the scale no longer measures my success. I am 8 inches smaller than where I started 3 weeks ago. I think that’s pretty incredible.
But do you know the biggest difference this has made to me? My brain.
I am so proud to see what I have accomplished. I have shown myself that I can stick to something. I have shown myself when I release control over everything, I gain discipline and perspective.
Now, I am far from done. I still have these mental blocks. In fact, I fought them every single day throughout this challenge. There were days where I was working out at 11:30PM because I had put it off all day long. They are still there.
So what am I doing? Making it the focus of my next challenge group. Starting today I have opened a new challenge group about Owning Your Shit. Owning the mental blocks and excuses and fears and tackling them and actually working through them and empowering ourselves to be stronger than them. We will be committing to fitness and nutrition goals because they will become the structure and backbone of our days and use them to literally power through our excuses. There will be challenges. There will be prizes. But mostly, there will be change.
If you feel like me and want to finally move past these roadblocks and unlock your potential, contact me and join our group today! If you are seeing this a week late or think it’s too late to start, contact me anyways! You can start later and I will keep the group open for you! We will do this together.
The year before Stella was born I made a major shift in my thinking about health and wellness. Before, my motivation for working out and eating healthy was to lose weight. So, I did what every 20 something girl did and I tried every fad diet in the book. South Beach, low carb, calorie deprivation, etc. I would do high intensity workouts while depriving myself of the much needed nutrition to sustain myself. Obviously, these diets were so intense that I couldn’t keep up with them long term. I would lose and gain the same 20 pounds over and over. It was exhausting. My weight would slowly creep up over time and I would end up gaining weight in the end.
The year before Stella was born something shifted. I had not been trying very hard to manage my nutrition or activity and it weighed heavily on me (literally and mentally). Knowing that what I was doing before didn’t help me, I was a bit at a loss for what to do so I had just not done anything. Then I realized that it was never going to be as easy as it was right now. There was always going to be an excuse, always a reason to wait or try later, but I knew that as I got older my metabolism would just slow down so NOW was the best time to start.
Andrew and I had decided to check out the farmers market downtown and we had so much fun in the lively outdoor atmosphere. You could not help but realize that this was where REAL FOOD came from. Farmers. We decided right then and there that our grocery habits were going to change big time. We started buying any canned or frozen foods once a month at the grocery store but hit up the farmers for our weekly produce and meat. Because, really, the bulk of our diet should not come from preserved items! It should be fresh, whole, nutritious foods that go bad! Here’s a tip for those who are just starting to eat healthy- if it doesn’t have an expiry date, it probably shouldn’t go in your body. We don’t need to fill up on preservatives and chemicals!
This shift is mindset plus twice weekly visits to a personal training student (I highly recommend this to anyone who can find someone good as a cheap alternative) changed the way I treated my body. My trainer helped me figure out a program for my body and I was soon running 5K a couple of times a week! I got stronger through HIIT and Tabata training and over the course of the year dropped 20lbs.
Of course, my mindset hadn’t completely changed and I saw this as a total failure because some people lost 20lbs in a matter of a couple of months and it took me a whole year. I didn’t yet realize I had hormonal issues and that my journey was just going to be different than everyone else’s (as if anyone’s journey is the same anyways!) I also didn’t account for the fact that I had built a TON of muscle and toned up completely!
However, shortly after, I got pregnant with Stella and our world changed dramatically. In the course of 5 months, we bought and renovated our house, moved in with my very generous brother (who got a new dog on the day we moved in!) and made a career change. It was stressful lol. We finally moved into out new house 3 days before we had Stella and then of course, our lives changed dramatically again! I gained about 45lbs during my pregnancy. When I gave birth I only lost like 7lbs. Just the baby lol!
As is for many new moms, the first few months were hella stressful. I experienced post-partum anxiety, had nursing issues and got into a bad routine due to sleep deprivation. I felt tired and awful and had no energy to figure out how to change.
I found myself missing that strong body that I was so unhappy with before I got pregnant. I missed being able to do push ups from my toes. I missed how much energy I had and the knowledge that I could run 5K non-stop. Around this time I met Rayna and she talked to me about Beachbody. I knew it was an MLM company and while I had been buying their workout programs for years, I just assumed she was trying to “sell” me. I signed up because I liked her and it cost me nothing, and joined her accountability group and then just kind of sat back and watched.
I watched for a year. A whole. freaking. year. I would occasionally do a workout or try going for a run, I even once completed an 8 week program but then it was over. Even though I loved how I felt, I didn’t know what to do when the program ended. It felt weird to start it over again and I had nothing else “new” to do. So I watched everyone else as they checked in with their nutrition, drank their shakes and kicked ass on their daily workouts.
Then Rayna posted a before and after. In a year, she lost a bunch of weight and became strong and toned and had wicked muscles! What had I done? This awesome woman had invited me to be a part of the process and she kicked ass while I WATCHED. She had moved forward with her life while I stayed in the same place. At least I hadn’t gained any weight but I certainly wasn’t any stronger, I wasn’t healthier and I still couldn’t do those damn push ups. Because I hadn’t really tried.
I made a choice at that moment to start trying. To do something, ANYTHING, every day. I had bought and tried PiYo like 3 times and never stuck with it. I knew that if I didn’t have an audience and didn’t have someone checking in on me, it would be all too easy to fade into the background and let this be yet another failed experiment. So, this time I made myself a coach to keep myself accountable and was armed with a better understanding of nutrition and had my daily shake to help me get all my nutrients quickly and easily.
I built a freaking AWESOME accountability squad to help me and the others keep track of each other and provide motivation to keep going. To say that this amazing group of people has been the key to my success is the understatement of the century. There have been days where I didn’t want to workout, I was tired and busy but watching these awesome babes check in and not let any excuse get in the way of their success, pushed me to make the small changes in my life that I had been needing.
I am still just starting. I have finished 2 programs and am three weeks into my third. I have a long way to go to reach my goals but already I feel stronger, am standing taller, I have lost weight and have more energy. I can see muscles forming and am noticing some amazing changes in my body. Now, I understand the importance of making small changes every day and making sure my body is moving and active. I still aspire to that elusive toe push up but know that it’s not far down the line.
My only regret in this whole journey is that I watched for a whole year while other people made changes to their life without finding the courage to make my own. I needed that slap in the face to show me that life is too short to let it pass me by.
If any of you are like me and not sure how to start, or just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself- THIS IS IT! Reach out to me. PM me, text, email or call! Talk to me about your goals. What I’m doing might not be for you, but I might be able to help you figure out what is. Don’t keep let another year go by feeling like you are stuck in the same place. The best exercise I can recommend is a leap of faith. Take yours and watch your life transform.
I know, I know. Like 10 days later…. I hope the start of the year has you rarin’ to tackle your goals like a beast!
I know that I am super motivated this time of year and am loving my January challenge group’s energy in getting healthy. There is nothing more inspiring than a group of people coming together and cheering each other on. This is like, what womanhood is about. I know I sound dramatic but there is so much in the news lately about women tearing each other down, that it is so inspiring to be a part of a group of women lifting each other up.
If you want to be a part of this awesome group, contact me and I will send you all the deets on registration. There is still plenty of time to join.
Let’s talk resolutions! Let’s face it, the holidays did us in. We are all rarin’ to go and hopeful about losing the last 5, 10, 20, 50 lbs. This is the time when motivation runs deep but usually craters after 2-4 weeks. How do you make it last?
Just Do It.
There is a reason why a multi-billion-dollar company uses this as it’s logo. I have begun to realize that habit begets habit. The more you do something, the easier it becomes. You just need to start, keep going, and never stop. Easy, right?
Obviously not. But it’s a whole lot easier when you have a plan.
Honestly, one of my absolute favourite programs is the 21 Day Fix. I have shown you all the results and obviously it works. It works because it is one of the only programs on the market that emphasizes the workouts less than the nutrition plan. You’ve heard of the phrase, ” Abs are made in the kitchen,” right? This program epitomizes that. It teaches you how to manage your portions with their colour-coded containers and helps you achieve a nutritionally balanced diet. This isn’t a cut-a-whole-food-group fad diet. It is a complete lifestyle overhaul. Sound daunting? Well, it kind of is. It forces you to be mindful about your food and plan ahead. Not everyone is ready for that. Some people are happy to just fly by the seat of their pants and pick up fast food 3 times a week. This is not for them. This is for people who want real, lasting change and to finally feel better, sleep better, have a positive attitude change and maybe lose some weight.
And guess what? The 21 Day Fix challenge pack on sale again this month. This was probably a major best seller last year because Beachbody keeps putting it on sale. People are, honestly, going nuts over it.
Want to take it up a notch? The 21 Day Fix Extreme Challenge Pack is also on Sale this month. They also have the KickStart Challenge packs on sale for both 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. If you are unsure of the difference, send me a message or talk to me on Facebook or Instagram.
And just because Beachbody is on a freakin’ roll, they have also put the BRAND NEW Hammer and Chisel Challenge Pack on sale! I can tell you that I did the H&C Cardio workout at Super Saturday today and it was super short (under 30 mins) and I got a KILLER workout. I am definitely going to be buying this one in the near future. What’s awesome about this is that it implements the nutritional component of the 21 Day Fix with it’s containers and customizes it to a more hardcore workout that Hammer and Chisel offer.
If you have any drive to make lasting change in 2016, I strongly encourage you to check out one of these offers. Some people think that they are expensive (because they include Shakeology) but if you look at the price of Shakeology and the H&C program separately, you are saving like $80 when you purchase them together. Honestly, the challenge packs are the biggest discounts Beachbody offers. And with the inclusion of Shakeology, you are setting yourself up for big results and lasting change.
If you are thinking about how to make your New Years Resolutions happen this year, make sure you talk to me that I can help you choose the best program to suit your goals. Having a Coach will help you answer any questions you may have about any program you are thinking about buying and joining my free Accountability Squad will give you the motivation and drive to actually use your program and make lasting habits.
I hope you all get excited for this new year and are ready to make 2016 your bitch!
1200 calorie/day diets? Been there. Diet Pills? Done that. Wraps and meal replacements? I’ve done it all. I have spent the last DECADE trying to lose weight.
I was always an active kid but never really an athlete. I did my after school activities and tried a ton of different stuff. I loved it all! I was an average sized kid but I always remember being very conscious of my body. I have a memory of being in 4th grade and looking at my legs in shorts and being mad at myself because my thighs spread out when I sat down. Who’s thighs don’t spread when they sit down?! But I always worried about it. When I started grade 7, I was an averaged sized but when puberty and hormones kicked in, my metabolism shut down and I gained a ton of weight.
Of course, I ate like crap. When I hung out with friends we ate chips and had pizza pops. It never affected them so I figured it wouldn’t affect me. But boy, did it ever. My the time I went into high school I was overweight and soooo self-conscious. All the other girls barely hit puberty and I had major T&A. I spent the next 3 years eating crap and then dieting, seeing no results and quitting. It was a horrible roller coaster. And of course the scale only went up…
When I graduated and moved out of my parents house, I lost 30 lbs with diet pills and eating 2 meals a day. I was overjoyed! But, of course, it wasn’t sustainable so I gained it all back and then some. University gave me independence and freedom to try different things so I tried everything to lose weight. Low cal. South Beach. No carb. Intense workouts. This went on for years. I never stayed consistent with anything so I would lose a little and then quit and gain a ton. My poor, poor metabolism was seriously abused.
I was 20 when I met my husband and was just finishing up my third year of Uni. He made me feel beautiful and appreciated, which was a new feeling for me. But, as courtship goes, we ate out a lot and I gained a ton of weight eating pasta, drinking too much and having waaaaaay too much movie theatre popcorn. I was definitely over the 200 lbs mark. I’m 5’5″ so that’s a lot. I would diet or workout intensely for 2-4 weeks but expect to see bigger results and then quit rather than sticking with it. It was exhausting.
I can be an all-or-nothing kind of person. I would blast through intense workouts and and feel fine eating tiny meals. But after a week or two, I was exhausted and I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t seeing results. So I would quit and the stupid cycle would continue.
Then I started working in TV. It was my dream job. I loved it. I lucked into a great position and they taught me so much. I don’t know how to describe the feeling of finally being in the right place at the right time. You just know. I busted my ass for that job and in return, they taught me so much. Also, I was with a man I loved and we were living together. I was happy, which was a new feeling for me. I don’t want to say I had an awful childhood but it was an intense household and I was riddled with anxiety and stress. So, to have the relief of being in a happy relationship with a man who understood me, calmed me and made me feel amazing took a huge load off.
That year I also started seeing a student trainer twice a week. I would workout 4-6 times a week, often running 5K, doing intense workouts and getting hella strong. I stopped worrying about the scale and just kept going. Over the year I lost 20 lbs the healthy way. This was new for me. I finally felt strong and healthy. But I still felt like something was wrong. For someone my size, it should have been more. I never took photos so I felt like the same person and didn’t see the amazing progress I had made. I just felt like it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough.
When you have anxiety you are always worried about something. I would question my methods, convince myself that I was still eating too much, that I wasn’t doing enough. So I would reduce my calories, pull a double workout, keep pushing. I would stop seeing the scale move and get mad at myself for being such a failure. Surely, I could do more, push myself harder, be better. It was a never ending cycle of self-abuse. When I did see results, I would compare myself to others and push harder. When I didn’t, I would beat myself up. Obviously, this cycle leads to constant burn out. It was exhausting. And humiliating. I assumed my family and friends would see me eating healthy and working out and not losing weight and think that I binged. If the scale wasn’t going down, obviously I was eating junk, right? I knew I wasn’t but I was constantly felt the pressure of people watching me fail. Now I know that all this was in my head. No one was judging me (I actually have an incredibly supportive group of friends) and nobody cared what I looked like. But I cared. And in my head, I wasn’t seeing results.
After I lost the 20 lbs I got pregnant. My husband was only my boyfriend at the time and although we had been together for 5 years, I was only 25 and did not even think that I would consider kids until at least 30 (and married!) But babies wait for no one!! The next 9 months was the most stressful of my life (and of course ever since lol). I had to change jobs since the TV market was slow and I needed more steady income. We then bought a house, renovated, moved in with my brother for 2 months and finally moved into our house 3 days before our beautiful daughter was born. Like I said, stressful. Obviously, I gained weight. Like a lot. I gained 45 lbs in that pregnancy and held onto it. I experience post-partum anxiety and felt crazy and scared.
My mom put me in touch with an amazing doctor and we did a bunch of tests. It was revealed that I had really low adrenals that were throwing off my thyroid and metabolism. I also started seeing a therapist we figured out that I had anxiety and it all started to make sense.
My high levels of stress were causing my adrenals to shut down and the high activity and low calorie diets only made them worse. I know it’s a weird thing to say but it was such a relief! I wasn’t crazy! It wasn’t all in my head (well it was, just not the way I thought it was haha). The negative self-talk that I had been abusing myself with since I was a kid was causing my weight gain. What a fucking vicious cycle, right? I had put myself under so much pressure that I had stressed myself to over 240lbs. I didn’t eat enough so my body would store any nutrition it received and I wasn’t active enough on a daily basis so when I would go on my week long workout binges, my body was traumatized. The yo-yo part of the diet ruined my metabolism and the stress from pressuring myself was abusing my body. I did this to myself. What a gut punch.
I was a mom now and knew this was not something I wanted for my daughter. So I knew I needed to change the way I think. I needed to stop worshipping the scale and stressing myself over the change I was not seeing and start focusing on eating clean and finding activity every day. What if I never lost any weight? Would I not let myself enjoy my life until I did? I needed to make lasting change because it would take YEARS for me to repair my adrenal fatigue and lose weight. It’s just the way it was going to be for me. So I needed to change the way I though about my body. I had to stop being such a bitch to myself and start being nicer.
Through all this, I belonged to an amazing Moms Group on Facebook. One of the member, Rayna Graham, had just become a coach and I watched her transform herself over the course of a year. Why couldn’t I do that? She and I had been talking for awhile and she saw my struggles and offered to let me be a part of her accountability group. I sat in that group inactive for so long but I loved getting motivation from it’s members in my feed. It was like subconscious motivation! Who doesn’t love that? Finally, after all these medical tests, I knew I needed to change. But I also needed the accountability. I did not want to stop and start a program 6 million times anymore. So I became a Beachbody Coach!
I had been working out with Chalene Johnson and TurboJam when I originally lost that 30 lbs nearly a DECADE ago and here she was back again with PiYo. I had bought the program and tried to start it like 3 times but only made it through the first 2 weeks. I also bought the 21 Day Fix with it’s portion control containers. I knew if I had an audience and made it my business to get fit, then maybe I would actually stick with it. I committed to the 21 Day Fix and lost 4 lbs and 8.5 inches! Immediately, I berated myself for not losing more since, everyone else’s results seemed more dramatic. But then I looked at my before and after photos and I realized again that the scale is not the only measure of success. I had flattened my tummy, toned up and felt so much more strong! What was I complaining about?! Plus all that in only 3 FUCKING WEEKS!
It cemented in my mind that this is a journey. A lifelong change. It will not happen overnight and my results aren’t going to look like everyone else’s. My main struggle is going to be a mental one. It’s going to be about being nicer to myself and finding my inner babe no matter my size.
I created the BabeLife Accountability Squad and invited all my friends to join. I wanted this to be a place where babes of all shapes and sizes can bitch and moan and celebrate their journeys. Not just fitness but mental as well. I wanted a place where a bunch of like-minded people can say “Fuck the scale!” and focus on themselves and a healthier mental journey as well as a physical one. And that’s just what it is. I am so happy to grow this group and start being a positive change in my own life, as well as others. I will not sideline my life because of fear of what other people think of me. I will not allow myself to be an obstacle in my own success.
It will never be easier to reach my goals than it is right this very minute and I am determined to change my story. I can do it. Just watch me.