My Favourite Forms of Cardio

If you spend hours on the elliptical then I’m sorry but you’re doing it wrong, unless you have bad knees or you’re training to be a gazelle. When I first started at the gym I always went on the elliptical because well, it was easy. Now I pretty much despise any cardio that involves a machine (although I use treadmills in the winter because I live in Canada and well snow).

Here are a few of my favourite forms of cardio (this doesn’t mean I love cardio, I still hate it):

  1. Skipping – this shit will get your heart rate up in a hurry. Try skipping in intervals and then when you get really good at it try double unders.
  2. Burpees – pretty much the worst exercise known to man but burpees are effective. Use burpees as a finisher to fully destroy you after a workout.
  3. Jump Squats – these will help perk up your butt and that’s pretty much all the reason I need to do them. Add jump squats into your warm up and your body will be warm in no time.
  4. Running – get outside and run like hell (unless there’s snow on the ground).
  5. Rowing – yes it’s a machine but it’s f*cking hard. Add rowing into your normal gym routine, you’ll hate it so much you’ll love it

Add one (or more) of these moves to your regular routine and you’ll feel your heart rate increase and the sweat pour out of your body.

 

Tips to crush your goals this week

New week, new you right? Here are some tips for keeping on track this week:

  1. Be Prepared – Meal prep is the best and easiest way to stay on track for the week. With healthy already made meals in the fridge it becomes a million times easier to stick to your goals.
  2. Schedule Out Your Week – Grab your planner or print off a calendar, make sure to schedule in workouts, social time and whatever else you need to do or want to do for the week.
  3. Take it One Day at a Time – Don’t stress about the days or the numbers just try and get through one day at a time, one decision at a time.
  4. Prepare for Detours – Think of all the things that could get you off track this week and come up with a plan or plans to avoid getting off track. Maybe this includes bringing snacks wherever you go or drinking more water.
  5. Don’t Reward Yourself With Food – Stop rewarding yourself with food, food is fuel, it is not a reward. Come up with a special reward for yourself, maybe it’s getting your nails done or buying new workout clothes.
  6. Don’t be to Hard on Yourself – If your week doesn’t go as planned don’t put yourself down. Negativity is not the answer, pick out the positives from the day or week and be happy with what you did or achieved, it doesn’t matter if it’s small or large.

Good luck this week guys, I’m rooting for you!

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How to spot a gym douche

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Disclaimer: I’m blonde and blunt, this post may offend you if you identify as a douche.

According to urban dictionary the word douche is “a word to describe an individual who has shown themself to be very brainless in one way or another, thus comparing them to the cleansing product for vaginas.” I personally use the word douche to describe certain people (male or female) at the gym who exhibit any of the following behaviours:

  1. No regards for the people around them. This person usually takes up a lot of machines all at once or refuses to clean up after themselves, they probably also probably don’t wash their hands after they use the bathroom.
  2. Mocks other gym goers. PSA everyone at the gym is working on themselves, I don’t care what size they are, do not make fun of anyone at the gym, at least they’re trying. In my opinion this kind of behaviour makes you the biggest douche of all.
  3. Moans excessively. Not every rep deserves a loud grunt or moan, most of the people that grunt consistently aren’t actually lifting intensely. We’re not in the wild, you’re mating call is not needed.
  4. Hits on everything that moves. There’s always that one guy at the gym who feels the need to hit on every girl. I get that the gym is a great place to find a significant other but stop hitting on everyone, girls talk and we know you’ve hit on all of us. Also don’t interrupt a workout to hit on someone, wait until they’re on a rest or just wait until they’re done working out, patience is key young grasshopper.
  5. You can smell them from a mile away. Usually they don’t smell like body odour, they just smell like they bathed in their cologne/perfume for a week straight. Deodorant is appreciated, excessive body spray is not.
  6. Refuses to work legs, probably trains chest every day that ends in ‘y’. This point is pretty self explanatory.
  7. Thinks that they’re better than everyone else. These people often brag about how great of shape they’re in, if you have to brag about it, you’re probably over compensating for something.

In closing, just don’t be a douche folks.

 

How to Visualize Success

What is visualization? In short visualization is the formation of a mental image of something. Some naysayers may call it day dreaming and I guarantee you that those people aren’t where they want to be in life. I am a firm believer in visualization and using vision boards to bring those mental images to life. Visualization takes time sometimes days, maybe months and possibly years but keep believing in your mental images, keep focusing on what you want to achieve or where you want to be in life. Yes sometimes visualization actually requires you to do some work to achieve your goals, the things worth having in life often don’t come easy. Visualization helps drive us to grind day in and day out for the life we want for ourselves. I want you to take a minute or longer and visualize where you want to be in 5 years. Maybe you want kids, maybe you want to own your own house or be a millionaire, whatever your goal is, I want you to hang a picture or write a note and hang it somewhere where you’ll see it everyday. I’m a very visual person so I enjoy making vision boards using images that symbolize or represent what I want in life. I update my vision board almost yearly and I look at it daily, when I’m not feeling motivated to wake up and grind I look to my vision board for motivation.

 

Board Your Vision

When it comes to weight loss or fitness related goals, I believe visualization (especially a vision board) is a key component in success. If you’re not visualizing, you’re probably not achieving. Making a vision board isn’t hard, simply go through magazines or look online for images that speak to you and your goals. Now put those images in a collage or on a bulletin board a voila, you have yourself a vision board and an amazing source of motivation. Sometimes making a vision board on Pinterest is really helpful and easy especially for those who aren’t crafty.

I’m also a firm believer in telling others about your goals. I mean maybe don’t tell everyone you meet but definitely find people that support you and let them know what you’re up to. Do not be ashamed of your goals, I use to always shy away from telling people about my goals because I was embarrassed and feared not being able to achieve them, but with the right mind set and support system, you can achieve anything.

What’s on your vision board? Share with me in the comments below!

How to start: Working Out

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If your new to living a healthy lifestyle, working out can seem really intimidating. I remember the first time I set foot in the gym, I had no idea what anything was or what I should be doing. Everyone else seemed to be so experienced and intimidating, I didn’t make eye contact with anyone at the gym for the first year that I worked out. I was always worried that I was doing an exercise wrong and people were laughing at me from afar, we’ve all been there and we’ve all felt like this, it’s normal. I always tell first time gym goers that most people are too focused on themselves to notice others unless you are a loud grunter or screamer then you will be noticed. It’s not hard to start working out it’s just intimidating for most people. I have created a list of tips for first time gym goers to help you get into the gym or off of the couch.

  1. Write Down Your Goals – Identifying your goals is the most important part of living a healthier lifestyle, this will help you find your why and your motivation to get shit done. When writing down your goals make sure to rate the importance of these goals to you on a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being extremely important. Rating your goals creates a bigger emotional attachment and gives you a lot of motivation. If you’ve ever had a consultation with a trainer you have most likely been through this type of goal setting.
  2. Just Start – You’ve already made the conscious decision to change or try something new so just do it. Walk into your local gym, contact a trainer, break out those home workout videos, get it done and crush those goals.
  3. Seek Professional Help – Like I said before, working out can be intimidating for the first time, no one wants to feel like they’re doing something wrong and no one wants to get hurt. I recommend seeking out some professional help. Most gyms will offer a complimentary session with a trainer when you sign up, use this as a time to ask questions and get your form critiqued.
  4. Pace Yourself – We all get excited when we start something new or want to crush some goals, it is super important not to go crazy within your first week or month. I’ve seen a lot of new gym members wear themselves out within the first month, pace yourself, ease into it and don’t try and find your 1 rep max within the first week of working out. Also don’t buy a shit ton of supplements as soon as you join the gym like no just no.

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5. Schedule Out Your Workout Time – In my experience if you don’t schedule out your workouts then they probably won’t happen #truthbomb. Mark it on your calendar, tell Siri to remind you do what you gotta do to get it done. Don’t like schedules? Too bad, schedule it.

6. Don’t Reward a Workout With Food – Most people who start working out make the common mistake of thinking that because they workout they can have all the food. I used to think that because I worked out I could eat cake.. every night. Don’t deprive yourself but also don’t eat cake every night if you want to lose weight.

Why Non-Scale Victories Matter More than the Number on the Scale

For many of us the scale is a complete nightmare. Stepping on a scale can be a very demeaning experience for many of us. Picture this: you’re feeling amazing, confident, lean you decide to step on the scale (sounds innocent enough). The scale says you’re up 5 lbs since the last time you weighed in, in a matter of seconds you can go from feeling on cloud 9 to feeling like complete shit, all because of that tricky bitch of a scale. Many people allow their self worth to be measured by that number on the scale. YOU ARE MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER (that was me yelling encouragingly). I still use the scale with my clients but I always follow it up with measurements because the scale could say they’re up 5lbs but the measurements could show drastically different results. No matter the results, always follow it up with something positive like “remember last week when you hit a new PR on your deadlift, you’ve gotten so much stronger in the past 6 months”. I’ve also started to make a habit of asking about some non-scale victories with my clients “are your clothes getting loser?”, “how’s your energy?”. A non-scale victory can be as simple as making better choices when you go out to eat or maybe now instead of a double double, you drink your coffee black. These non-scale victories are extremely important, fitness is a journey not a sprint.

The other day, I had a huge non-scale victory, it was so huge that I almost cried. The other day my friend and I went shopping, and we popped into Value Village, because Value Village is AMAZING. We were walking around and from across the room, I spotted something gold and slightly glittery, time stopped as I raced over to check it out. The item I spotted was the most amazing jumpsuit from H&M (another amazing store). I was pumped. This glittery jumpsuit was only 8 dollars, 8 freaking dollars!! I checked out the size, praying it would be my size. Turns out it was a size 6, not my size. I contemplated life for 5 minutes and then decided to buy it, because maybe just maybe I could squeeze my ass into it (I was too lazy at the time to try it on). I brought the jumpsuit home, excited and nervous to try it on. I tried on that jumpsuit and, drum roll please….. it FIT. I fit into a size 6. Now this may not be a big deal to some but I used to be a size 16 so for me this was a huge moment. It was in this moment that I realized that I don’t own a full length mirror so I couldn’t document this monumental moment. But that’s ok because I’m going to wear that jumpsuit everyday for the rest of my life, because gold, glittery jumpsuits give me life and it makes my booty look good.


I haven’t weighed myself in a few months because I’ve been feeling good, my clothes are fitting better and I’m becoming stronger. I don’t need the scale to bring me down (although it could say I’m down in weight) but I don’t feel the need to look. Maybe in the next few months I’ll pop on the scale just to see what it says, because curiosity will probably get the best of me, but for right now I am completely content with where I’m at.

How to Overcome a Protein Bar Addiction

Step 1: Admit you have a problem

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Source: Giphy
  • Do you eat protein bars frequently or in replacement of meals?
  • Do you experience irritability or mood swings when you don’t have a protein bar?

 

Step 2: Seek support

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  • There are no registered support groups for this addiction.
  • Reach out to a family member or friend.
  • Always post to social media when you’re making a life change, if it’s not on social media, it probably didn’t happen.

 

Step 3: Rid your house, car and gym bag of all protein bar remains

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  • Get rid of all temptation and by get rid I mean throw out, DO NOT CONSUME.
  • Throw out any left over wrappers, you may be tempted to huff the wrappers.

Step 4: Cold Turkey

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  • Don’t try to slowly ween yourself off, cut it out completely. It’s for the best, I swear.

 

Step 5: Create an action plan

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  • This may include avoiding certain sections of the grocery store or never leaving your house again, find something that works for you and stick with it.

Step 6: Do not go on Pinterest

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Source: Giphy
  • This might possibly be the hardest step, you think it’s fine to just look up some DIY house decor and next thing you know you’ve pinned 10 protein bar recipes.

Step 7: Unfriend anyone who offers you a protein bar

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  • Promptly slap that protein bar out of their hand.
  • You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life, besides didn’t they see your post on facebook about not eating protein bars? How rude.

Step 8: Preparing for cravings

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  • It’s bound to happen at one point or another, when the craving hits simply stop whatever you are doing, get down on the floor, and curl up into the fetal position.

 

Thoughts I’ve had While Doing CrossFit

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Image via scrubbing.in

I recently started attending a beginner CrossFit bootcamp. I’m now able to understand what all the hype is about. The best part of walking into a CrossFit class is that you don’t have to think about a workout, you just walk in and get your ass handed to you, it I walk into every class with excitement and a little fear. Despite how tough a workout may be, and how much I may hate in the moment, I can’t wait to do it again as soon as the workout is over. I’ve made a list of my most common thoughts (sometimes I say them out loud) during a WOD.

1. “AMRAP 8 min, so easy” – By minute 4 *wheezing* “Is it over yet!!?”

2. “I hope this makes my butt bigger” – every exercise.

3. “F*ck burpees”

4. “Maybe I’ll just play dead during this WOD”

5. “I love wall balls”

6. “F*ck wall balls”

7. “Why do I pay to be tortured like this?”

8. “Where’s my inhaler?”

9. ” I wonder if Beyoncé does Crossfit”

10. “I hope I have abs after this”

 

 

9 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

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The weight section of the gym can be intimidating and that’s exactly why you should go in and make that section your bitch. You can’t build killer curves without lifting weights, cardio isn’t going to give you a head turning booty. I can’t say this enough but lifting weights will NOT make you bulky, I have not met or trained a woman who became bulky from lifting weights. The women who lift weights do add muscle tone to their bodies but they do not turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here are 10 reasons why women should lift weights:

  1. Tone & Tighten – this is usually an obvious point, lifting weights will perk up those buns, tighten the stomach and get rid of those bingo arms.
  2. Burn More Calories – Doing cardio also burns calories but as soon as you stop your body stops burning those cals, when you weightlift your body continues to burn extra calories for several hours after.
  3. Feel Like a Complete Badass – Mastering a new lift or reaching a new PR is the best feeling in the world. You also feel like a bad ass when you can lift better than a dude. Weightlifting is such an empowering experience, you’ll understand it as soon as you try it.
  4. Burn Belly Fat – Studies have shown that the women who lift weights have tighter stomach areas than the women who just do cardio.
  5. Reduce Stress – Feeling stressed? Go to the gym and lift some heavy shit. Working out in general has been proven to reduce stress, weight lifting in particular is extremely good at reducing stress and sending a huge spike in your endorphins.
  6. Strengthen Bones – Lifting weights can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. As you lift weights your bones create more bone cells, which helps increase the density of your bones.
  7. Curves – In today’s society it’s all about the hourglass figure and big badonkadonk. Muscle is what helps women appear curvy, lifting weights helps you keep muscle while losing weight. With weights you can get the Kardashian curves without the surgeries and those stupid effing waist trainers.
  8. Energy – Having energy is so overrated. False. Having energy throughout the day puts you in a better mood and increases your productivity. Personally I feel a greater spike in my energy levels after lifting weights, cardio just doesn’t do it for me.
  9. Beyoncé Lifts – Although I have yet to see photographic evidence of Beyoncé working out, you can bet your ass that she busts her ass in the gym. She might also just be a superhuman who never works out. Slay Queen, slay.

Go lift some weights and then once you’re comfortable lift heavier. Pick up a barbell today, it will change your life.

Diaries of a Past Chubby Child: Easter

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For most people Christmas is the worst time of year for eating junk and hating yourself. For me that holiday is Easter, the holiday literally revolves around chocolate (well it actually revolves around Jesus but that’s a discussion for another time). Easter used to be the time of year that everyone stocked up on mini eggs for the year and rationed them until the next time mini eggs would come out of hibernation and wreak havoc on our waistlines. Mini eggs are just so delicious and adorably cute and I just want 500 of them. Back when I was in College Easter coincided with final exams, I’m a stress eater so having a plethora of chocolate available around at an extremely stressful time was a recipe for disaster. Looking back now I am shocked at my lack of self control, I would eat anything and everything. My body pretty much ran on sugar in college and especially during exams and I would crash hard if I didn’t have any.

I grew up in a town that is famous for it’s chocolate and it’s theatre but chocolate is what matters most to me because I will always be a chubby kid at heart. I was never given chalky wal mart Easter bunnies. If you live in Stratford you most likely were given premium chocolate hand crafted Easter bunnies. You haven’t truly eaten chocolate until you’ve had some from Rheo Thompsons or Chocolate Barr’s. When I was a child I probably consumed 20 times the recommended amount of sugar Easter morning. My parent’s would always try and get us to ration out our chocolate but I would eat pretty much all of it in one sitting because even at the age of 8, I had no self control when it came to food.

I am a firm believer in the “treat yo self” motto, I don’t do it everyday because I would be back up to 250lbs but I do believe that if you truly want something and it’s been on your mind for a while, you should have it.  It’s challenging to eat a junk food in moderation, as a person who struggled with weight my whole life, I sometimes find it challenging to not slip back into old habits. The key to not slipping back into old and harmful habits is to constantly be thinking about what your goals are and how you’re going to get there. Not going to lie, I’ll be consuming some chocolate this weekend but I’m going to get right back on track after. Life is about balance, not about being perfect. One thing I learned during my fitness journey is that beating yourself up after eating something “bad” won’t get you anywhere, stay positive, stay calm, and get back to crushing your goals.

Make good Choices!

-B