Working Out is My Therapy

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I saw the above quote a few days and it hit me so hard in the feels that I actually became emotional. Working out has provided me with the most effective stress relief. Working out consistently gives me a ‘happy’ boost, when I go through a tough time and I don’t workout, I feel very down in the dumps (down in the dumps is an understatement). It only took me like 5 years into my fitness journey to figure out the cycle, but hey at least I have it figured out now.

When you workout it starts a cascade of positive events in your body, such as a reduction in certain health risks (heart disease, diabetes etc). But more importantly your body will have improved brain function. People who suffer from depression have a smaller Hippocampus (this is the area of the brain that helps regulate mood), studies show that exercising encourages cell growth in the Hippocampus. EXERCISING IS SO NEAT.

In the words of Elle Woods:

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There is also a direct correlation between the way your body feels and how your brain feels. If you’re body feels good, your brain will most likely feel the same way. Endorphins actually act as natural pain killers and they help you sleep which helps you stress less. You don’t need some expensive gym membership to get your body some endorphins, simply go for a run, skip, play outside with your friends or kids.

Here’s to stressing less and smiling more!

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.

I hate running so I’m going to learn to run

I don’t think there is anything in this world that I hate more than running. When I was a kid I hated track and field day because you show up to school one day and you’re expected to run for like 800 metres. No thank you. The night before track and field day I would try and come up with ways to get out of it, like breaking my own leg. I don’t think that’s too dramatic or anything. I’m also asthmatic so running is a bitch for me, a bitch that I’ve avoided like the plague.

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A couple of weeks ago I walked into my regular Crossfit class and written under WOD on the board was a 400 metre run. No, just no. I felt like I was in elementary school again, only this time I didn’t have my inhaler. The run was awful, I hated every minute of it. I was embarrassed by my horrible running skills, I literally have the lung capacity of a mouse. I hate being bad at things so I am determined to improve this skill ASAP. I know I won’t be able to run long distances over night but I’ve come up with a plan. Repeat the weekly workout 3-5 times a week.

 

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Feel free to join me for 8 weeks of literal hell, I’m starting Monday. Hopefully in 8 weeks I will be significantly better at running.

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Now that it’s officially summer, all I want are salads. Right now I could eat a salad for every meal. Give me all the veggies, all of them. After I completed my first whole 30, I never wanted to buy store bought salad dressing ever again, that shit is loaded with sugar and additives. Living in Canada, I don’t have access to some of the dressings that American whole 30’rs rave about. Today I decided to experiment with some apple cider vinegar and it turned out delicious, it was a party in my salad bowl.

 

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30 min Summer HIIT Workout

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a good way to get your ass handed to you in a short amount of time. HIIT workouts are designed to torch calories in a short amount of time and are a fantastic addition to anyone’s workout program. The best part about the HIIT workout I’ve designed for you is that, you don’t need equipment and you can do the workout outside (work on that tan). Also it’s only 30 minutes, everyone has 30 minutes they can spare for a workout.

 

HIIT Workout

 

Squats: Feet hip width apart and push your butt back. Need assistance? You can use a TRX or a bench/chair.

Push Ups: Remember to keep your elbows close to your side. You can go from your knees or toes or you can go from an elevated surface.

Jumping Jacks: An oldie but a goodie.

Lunges: Keep your chest up, core engaged and toes pointed forward.

Burpees: *evil laughter* this isn’t going to be easy but it’ll be worth it.

Sit Ups: Never skip core, I learned the hard way.

Long Jump: It’s like track and field all over again. Squat down and leap forward.

How to Overcome a Protein Bar Addiction

Step 1: Admit you have a problem

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  • 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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  • 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.