If you know me, you know I LOVE new year's resolutions, goals, dreams... whatever you want to call them! I love the idea of New Year, New You! Before you roll your eyes, poo-poo the whole idea as sucky, and stop reading, hear me out...
Over the past few years life coaches, personal trainers, and people in general tend to put down the idea of having a new year's resolutions saying the new year has nothing to do with goals, you don't need January to start on a fitness journey, etc. This year, I see a big backlash on all social media against the phrase "New Year, New You" - which by the way, I use all the time advertising my body transformation program and lifestyle coaching. I stand behind the phrase and am proud to help you in the new year, working on a new you! It's all in how you're taking it, and I think this is where the resolution and "new you" bashing comes from. These days coaches and leaders are very conscious of expressing that you don't need to be a "new you" and you don't need the "new year" to change habits. You are enough as you are. Obviously I agree, we don't need to have a new year to be healthy, lose weight, get fit, eat right, but if a new year excites people to make positive changes, then I'm all for that and I will support them and help them learn how to be healthier, hoping some things will stick throughout the year, hoping they will fall in love with exercise and get hooked for life, hoping they will realize how amazing they can feel being healthy and that will make them continue! To me, "new you" doesn't mean you suck right now and you need to be a whole new person. It doesn't mean you're not good enough now as you are... it means no matter how awesome we are right now, we can all strive to evolve in all areas each day, each month, each year, we should all be constantly recreating ourselves, shouldn't we? I always come back to the Sophia Bush quote "You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously." We are all masterpieces, but we can work on the masterpiece that we are forever - it's a never-ending process! The new year is a great time to look back on our last year, enjoy all the amazingness we accomplished, think about what we're grateful for, and also think about what we want for the new year. What's wrong with being super-excited about what the new year will bring? I think a lot of the problem with the world is people aren't excited enough about their goals, we need to dream bigger, reach higher, push ourselves a little more! Why can't we want to make big changes? Big changes that that actually excite us enough to actually follow through? When someone tells me their big goal is losing ten pounds, I know why they have trouble following through on making that goal happen... Losing pounds isn't exciting in itself. While losing ten pounds might be one of your goals, try to think of a few big amazing goals that go along with that idea. What will you do in your new fit body? You need goals that will make you jump out of bed each morning, excited to work out every day, meal prep, eat the right things in order to achieve that goal. And then you need to remind yourself about what your working towards all the time to keep that momentum going!
This weekend I have been making a new vision board full of inspiring images, writing down goals and action plans, setting up my calendar, ridding my house of all the junk I don't want in my new life, and smiling about the new me I want to become this new year! How are you preparing for this shiny new year?
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Figure out what you really want your life to be about so you can set meaningful goals and action plans rather than getting bogged down by unimportant to-do lists and day-to-day busy-ness. Writing your dream life story as if it were true right now is such a powerful way to tackle this! Let me know what the biggest takeaway from this vid was for you and how you plan to implement these techniques into your life!
HOW GREAT COULD YOU FEEL?
Discover how freakin' amazing you can feel by consistently eating healthy and working out regularly! Stay open-minded and really commit to a month of health and let me know what you discover!
CORONAVIRUS IS ALREADY OVERWHELMING: Let's not overwhelm ourselves further with classes, meet-ups, & homeschooling!
At this point into this Covid-19 crisis most of us our stuck in our homes with little to no going out. Luckily we have things like Netflix, grocery delivery, and most of all internet! So many cool online opportunities have popped up in the past week or so including online live classes through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Zoom. You can learn anything you want right now from the comfort of your home and with all this new-found time you've got... dance, workouts, crafts, cooking, really anything! Being a dancer, fitness instructor, and YouTuber, I of course jumped on the bandwagon, offering online dance and workout classes as well as new live YouTube and Instagram daily workouts. Being a suburban stay-at-home mom with a young child I was also excited that a lot of my favourite dancers and fitness pros were now offering online sessions and I could actually take classes with them without having to find childcare or leave my home (I would've loved this even if we weren't in lockdown, but this is what made it happen). People are also holding all sorts of online meet-ups with friends and family... tea times, wine hangouts, zoom karaokes, etc. which I think are great when many people may be feeling alone and isolated. With all this new online awesomeness out there all of a sudden, there is a temptation to feel like you have to do it all - I'm here to tell you YOU DON'T! Normally someone might take a class or two a week if they were lucky, now I feel people are signing up for a few a day, making an overwhelming schedule for themselves! This is a tough time and I believe in a bit of routine, working out daily, eating well, spending quality time with your kids/family, as well as just sitting back and enjoying this strange moment in time in your home - you may never have another period of time like this in your life! If you're feeling empty and bored a few fun online activities you can participate in can help, but also try to look inside and figure out why you're empty and bored, now that there are less outside distractions things may become crystal clear. What do you want your life to be about? Deep thoughts... Try to really figure out how to make the best of this time and enjoy it, rather than distracting yourself completely and not looking within. I believe everything happens for a reason and maybe this is happening so we can pause and really figure some things out! You don't need to book your whole day with classes, meet-ups, phone conversations, organizing... you can just be... this is the perfect time to try doing less and not being stressed about it.
Same goes for your kids... I constantly see people having whole days of homeschooling, crazy routines for their kids, recess bells, etc. at home already! March Break just ended for us here (they wouldn't have had school anyways until this week, it's not like we're WAY behind). Plus when everyone gets back to school, the whole world will have had the same experience, your child won't be the only one who fell behind through these coronavirus weeks or months. This is a crazy experience for your kids too and I don't think they (or you) need to start full-blown homeschooling at this point! Everyone's different, but I'm finding learning naturally happening for both my boys through all sorts of fun activities that we now have the time to do together through this time... cooking, working out, cleaning, crafts, reading, making vision boards, etc.
Maybe because everyone is basically living online these days, people have a lot of time to write and read posts/videos/etc. and this has caused a lot of pressure and overwhelm for people to do too much through this trying time. Let's all remember that this is a very unique situation and we need to have a lot of grace for ourselves and the people around us. Not everything is right for everyone. You do what works for you and let others do what works for them, let's support each other through this and try as much a possible to stay calm and happy!
COVID-19 CRAZINESS - how to COPE
It's official, here in Canada we are pretty much in lockdown (or should be) to try to contain this nasty Covid-19 situation. People are stressed, panicked, stock-piling supplies, it's scary stuff when you think about it all! And with the whole staying at home forever (and not even really knowing when this will all be over), people are worried about losing their incomes, entertaining and educating children, food (and toilet paper?!) supply, getting sick, and most importantly staying sane through this!!! So many things are out of our control at this point so this blog post is about how you can ease your anxiety and worry by finding some routine in this new life and control the things you can control!
1. BREATHE! Just find some calm and breathe, whether it's through meditation, yoga, music, taking a nap, or just finding a moment and actually taking some deep, cleansing breaths! Try to find a few moments a day for this!
2. ROUTINE - now that most of us are at home 24/7, our routine is all messed up... Make a new routine on your own or with your family depending on your situation. Make time for specific activities you want to do! Think of all the things you've wanted to do, but had no time for... decluttering and organizing the basement, getting super-fit, learning to cook new dishes, spending more time with your family, spoiling your pets, learning to play the guitar, reading more, starting a YouTube channel, the list goes on and on I'm sure! Take advantage of this new found time and schedule these things into your day, every day! If you're having trouble, try writing a schedule down for yourself, or start small by doing one thing every day at a certain time for a week, then add another the next week, etc.
3. DON'T STOP THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY - Make sure to keep doing the things that feed your soul! You might have to modify how you do them, but figure out a way to get it in your life from home. Whether it's taking an online class instead of going to your regular in-person one, meeting up with friends online instead of in-person, figuring out an at-home workout rather than going to the gym, making new recipes at home rather than eating out, etc. Get creative and make sure you don't just give into lying on the couch binge watching Netflix (some of this is expected and fun, but too much of not doing your real favourite things will make you sad in the long-run!)
4. BE GRATEFUL for all that is beautiful in your life! We can all find SO many things to be grateful for! We often forget about all these blessings when we get scared and worried about something like Coronavirus. Start and end every day thinking of or even writing down or discussing with others all the things you are thankful for in your life right now!
5. CHOOSE HEALTH! It's easy to wanna give up a bit playing video games and living on chips and muffins, but what's going to up your immunity as well as make you feel one hundred times better physically and mentally is eating a healthy balanced diet, taking a few extra vitamins or greens drinks, and getting some physical activity into your day!
WHAT DO YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER?
Everything with the world may feel so out-of-control right now, but being at home gives you lots of new things you now are in total control of which can definitely make you feel calmer and more relaxed about all the things that are out of your control... food, workouts, music, most of all attitude!!! Make sure you are using that control and figure out what you want your lockdown life to look like, then make it happen! I am looking at this time as a hiatus from some of the stresses of real-life, almost like a long spa weekend or a vacation where I can explore areas of my life that sometimes get forgot about in all the hustle and bustle of real life!
Often we don't even allow ourselves to dream about (much less, take action on) all the amazing opportunities waiting out there for the taking. Instead we often write off an opportunity as too hard/not right/not for us and don't even toss our hats in the ring. What I'm saying is why not just push yourself to try? Go for that scary job interview that you feel you might not totally be qualified for! Audition for the TV series! Try out for the elite team! Ask that hottie out! The list could go on and on... Why not? Often people think they will fail or look foolish trying for something beyond them or they fear the rejection, so first we need to get over these factors. Looking foolish can be fun if you look at it in the right way - don't take yourself so seriously - life should be fun! Also, failing at something means you tried something new or hard which is the only thing that will really make you grow as a person. I heard about a brilliant parent who congratulated his children every time they failed at something... they'd get high fives for not being elected class president and cake for when they didn't make the soccer team. They were learning to celebrate all your trials in life - to keep on trying and putting yourself out there so you can learn and grow! Rejection can be hard, but again we need to learn how to not take too personally and to laugh a bit at it!
This week, I auditioned for something that I thought I would be perfect for in my heart, but objectively I could definitely see why they might want to cast someone else... I could've let that keep me from trying out... they probably want someone younger/more fit/etc. but I always think WHY NOT??? My son plays A level rep hockey and is going to a few AA (a level above his) tryouts this week. Not because we think he's ready for AA yet, but WHY NOT? He gets some serious ice-time, gets try-out practise (before his actual try-outs next week), gets seen by different coaches, and gets inspired. I was also super-surprised by the range of levels at the higher level try-outs, a lot of the kids are not even as skilled as the team he plays on currently. Which goes to show, most people are just scared to try-out for these teams because of what they think the level is. Many adults give up on playing sports, swimming, skating, riding a bicycle if they don't know how as a grown up - I was not at all into sports as a child, but last year I strapped on some skates and gear and joined an ice-hockey league! Was it scary? YES! Did I think people might laugh at me? YES! (definitely my son & husband did outwardly watching one of my first games) But, did it stop me? NO! And now I can (sort of) play hockey and it's so fun! As for relationships and asking people out - just do it! When I was younger, I used to have so many secret crushes - such a waste! Nowadays I just want to tell everyone to tell everyone what they're feeling... nobody is a mind reader so get it out there and see what comes of it - it saves lots of time and energy and might create a beautiful relationship!
You can be the best at something, but if you don't take chances and put your talent out into the world, you will always find yourself asking 'why not me?'... ask yourself WHY NOT? from now on, take that chance and grow!
Well, I have not been the picture of health this week, that's for sure... I feel like about the furthest thing from health after a full week of a terrible flu like I have never had before in my life including insane body aches, nausea, headaches, chills, sweats, no appetite, followed up with a throat infection and crazy-lady cough! That's right, it's almost been a full week of laying around my house, sleeping, watching Netflix, and feeling uggy... which is A LOT for me! If I ever get sick, I usually feel it might take two days tops to get back to real life, but this has really knocked me out! Trying to see the positives, it did give me a bit (or a lot) of time to think... about life, health, illness, after watching Homecoming - Beyonce, and more!
A few years ago I know I made a little YouTube video while sick about making sure you're staying healthy when you're trying to cure and illness. So many times, we reach for comfort foods to ease our pain, but really at these weak times, we need to be reaching for the power foods and supplements that will pull us out of our sickness and fight off all the yuck! Bad carbs and sugars will just feed any illness or infection making it worse, so we need to be reaching for the greens and superfoods instead to assist us in fighting off viruses and getting and keeping us in health. When you start thinking this way, you really start thinking about food and nutrients as your allied partner in your lifelong health, not just a means to a bikini bod or something... thinking beyond "what should I eat to lose those last five pounds" and more towards "what fuel will make my body energized and feeling great throughout my lifetime?" It puts you in a much more long-term and powerful mindset. Of course your outward appearance is going to reflect what amazingly healthful foods you're fuelling your body with, that will be a bonus, but the real prize is actually health and wellbeing! I think sometimes this isn't sexy or exciting sounding enough for people (definitely my younger self), but whether it's getting sick or just growing up, the message is sent to me loud and clear over and over! I find this new mindset of eating for health and longevity (rather than just appearance-based goals) also makes eating healthy food a super-powerful and empowering experience!
Eating for health is a little more abstract than attaining a certain body, weight, or dress size, but think about some exciting life/health goals and how you can remind yourself often of them to keep you on that awesome path of health! Let me know what you do to stay excited about inner HEALTH!!!
DON'T FEAR THE GYM!
I'm a long-time gym rat, who is absolutely in love with all gyms, working out, the whole deal! I think people like me often forget what it was like at the very start to walk into a totally foreign place with confusing-looking machines and devices and try to figure out what was going on hopefully without looking like too much of an idiot... Trying out different gyms regularly though gives me a little taste of that. This week I joined Lifetime Fitness! Now I know everyone loves Lifetime Fitness and thinks it's the gold standard of gyms. It's awesome in many ways for me - it opens super-early, has tons of equipment, has childcare and children's activities, and boasts a pool, sports courts, and some great classes I want to check out, but usually I'm more drawn to the local independently-owned sorta grungy gym that's five minutes from my house and is maybe the size of the change rooms at Lifetime. Walking in today, I had to ask where the women's change room was as I had forgotten and couldn't seem to find it anywhere, at my trial of the club I managed to lock all my stuff in one of their nifty lockers and not be able to get it out without employee assistance so I make sure I've got that figured out this time before I hit the gym. As I walk up the stairs to the gym floor I wonder where anything is, I see a sea of cardio equipment and head that way... I figure I can hop on a treadmill and get my bearings, people-watch a bit, and try to figure out what I'll do next! As I adjust the speed and incline, I wonder how anyone ever starts up at a gym as a total beginner. I can't even imagine walking into this giant many-story fitness complex as a newbie... And then there's the local hardcore boxing gym I usually go to, which has it's own challenges for brand new gym-goers, I even felt a little self-conscious that I was a bit of a little girly-girl in a big beasty gym full of "meatheads" (and that's me, who actually kinda considers herself a "meathead" and has been working out hardcore in gyms for over twenty years!) I have great respect for gym newbies for taking that giant step into the gym and am always trying to work at helping people who are intimidated by gyms/free weight areas/even Zumba classes to feel comfortable and confident in those environments so that they want to be at the gym! If you don't actually want to be there, it will be very hard to get there consistently and get your workout in! Many people make the blanket statement that they hate the gym, but have to go to lose weight/get fit/etc. If this is you, I first urge you to immerse yourself into a gym environment, really give it a chance, do an orientation session, go with a friend, try cardio, try weights, try classes, see what you love there. Go in with a good attitude, not the same old 'I hate the gym' attitude. Go consistently, go every day, really immerse yourself in the scene. Don't obsess about everyone looking at you or be afraid to look stupid or make a mistake. People are pretty into themselves at the gym, focused on their own workout (or they should be) and even a pro like me has fallen off decline benches, made huge unexpected clangs with weight machines, and had to jump off the stair climber after only a minute because it was just too hard! If someone's going to focus on your workout instead of their own, that's really something wrong with them - after all these years, I still have people every now and then come up to me to tell me I'm doing some exercise wrong (when maybe I'm just doing something more advanced beyond their scope) or tell me how to use a machine, so don't take it personally! Secondly, don't give up after trying one gym or type of thing at the gym... maybe it's the wrong vibe for you... try various gyms, they all feel so very different. Thirdly, if you really give it an honest chance and still aren't in love, there are so many different exercise options that don't feel like the gym, but have the same health benefits - try playing a sport, learn dance, train for a 10K run, do yoga at home, walk lots, the possibilities are endless!
I'd love to hear about all your gym adventures, what are your challenges at the gym, have you found the right gym for you? Let's keep the discussion going...
Around about boxing day, right up until new year's eve, I've noticed a trend lately... everyone is so ready to say goodbye to the old year and get started with the new year. I'm not just talking about YAY NEW YEAR posts on Facebook, or new year's resolutioners (I'm totally down with that!), no this is more like 'this past year was awful and I want to kick it to the curb', or 'I hated everything about 2017 so I can't wait to start over in 2018'! I too enjoy starting fresh, mentally it can work at times, but I don't think you need to HATE your past year to want to make improvements in the coming year! Some years are tougher than others, but every year of your life will probably have some obstacles, sadnesses, or hard times, whether it's losing your job or a loved one, not having enough money to live the life you want, dealing with a sickness or injury, not reaching goals, etc. But instead of dwelling on all the bad at the end of the year, try to think of all the things you are thankful for no matter how little it seems in comparison to the bad things that pop into your mind! Actually for the new year, I always go through my photos and find my very favourite moments of the past year and make a whole Facebook post about it. We can sometimes forget how many awesome things happen and Facebook and photos can be a reminder of all the good times. Before last year, most of my favourite moments were of accomplishments (publishing a book, competing in a fitness competition, running a half-marathon, then last year I felt a little sad and like I hadn't accomplished enough (I had been too busy with my new baby, and hadn't even accomplished losing the baby weight yet!), but I started looking through my year in photos and they amazed me... it wasn't accomplishments as much as time spent with people I love, amazing moments and feelings, loving the work I did (even though I wasn't able to do it as much at this point - it's even more special now), and of course all the time spent with my baby (that I had so desperately wanted for years and now had = miracle!) If you feel like every year sucked at the end of it, you probably need to change your attitude and if that doesn't work, please change the things that seem to have brought you down any way you can as you don't want to be wishing every year away, and therefore kind of wishing your whole life away in the process! It's just like what I write a lot about in my book LOVING YOURSELF FIT... you don't have to hate your body to want to make improvements or changes to it, you can love your body while improving on it! Same goes for life/your year, love and appreciate all the good in your life while you set goals and reach for more!!! Hope you all have an amazing 2018!!!
Fitness YouTuber, bellydancer, fitness addict, mom, and author of Loving Yourself Fit!