Monday, May 19, 2008


Like a child anticipating the opening of a birthday gift, I approach a new program with similar eager anticipation...that is until today.

Today I started Day 1 of my new program for the next four weeks. Upon receipt of today’s workout, I opened my email excited to see what my dear coach had gifted me with.

Single-Arm Cable Pulldown ("D" handle), Burpee + Chin-up, Iron Cross, Hanging Leg Raises (straight leg). I mentally go through each exercise, in mock preparation for what I’m about to put my body through. My eyes glance across the words again…burpee & chin-ups. Sequenced together. Is he for real? After watching on YouTube (see video below) to see how this remarkable new exercise should look, I head to the gym, keyed up to do my workout. Well if that wasn't a big kick in the pants. I left the gym completely depleted...making a mental note to email my coach asking him what I did to deserve this sort of torture.

They say this exercise will develop strength, explosive power, and anaerobic endurance. It's also good for losing extra fat and increasing stamina. Let’s hope they are right, because after today's attempt at this, I'm afraid dreading Monday's will have a whole new meaning.

Burpee/ Chin Up Combo

Sunday, May 18, 2008


We live in an age of instant gratification…we want it all yesterday and we do not like working for it. We search in cavernous spaces for that quick fix only to be disappointed when society’s promises of losing 7 pounds in 7 days goes unfulfilled.

We blame the ease and convenience of fast food for our poor diet, and our busy work schedules and family life for living a sedentary lifestyle. We make excuses for not working out…and that’s all they are - excuses. Nothing worth achieving ever comes easy. I have spent countless hours in the gym, whether on the treadmill or in the weight room, but I’m busting my butt to fight against some not so great genetics and a past life of poor decision making when it came to nutrition.

These changes weren't easy in the beginning and the results weren’t instantaneous. It's been about developing habits and a mindset of staying focused and reminding myself of my goal.

Add to that perseverance, time and patience and the results will follow. It really is about making the right choices daily. You bet there are days where I wake up and wish I didn’t have to start my day by preparing a day’s worth of meals to lug to work with me. Why can’t I be just like other people and buy my lunch and that afternoon snack from the vending machine? Because I keep the bigger picture in mind and after muttering my complaints I remind myself of my goals and carry on. I once read a quote that said something along the lines…if you want the body that 90% of people don’t have then you have to do what 90% of people don’t do. Ouch. Better lace on those sneakers and head to the gym.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I sat on the bench in the weight room, breathing deeply. Physically exhausted from another grueling leg workout. Overhead squats. Need I say more? I shut my eyes tightly for a moment, a flood of emotions overcome me. “What am I doing all of this for?” I muttered deep within the recesses of my mind. Only to remind myself of that triumph I had achieved last week. 205lb deadlift. There were no records set today. So what motivates me day in and day out to push myself to get through another workout?

Rampant reminders of the past life of an overweight woman motivate me to push through when the idea of quitting invades my mind. There is no turning back. Now, I don't utilize these thoughts as a form of punishment, because that would only be negative reinforcement. Rather, it motivates me to excel. To run that extra mile. To lift heavier.

So, I ask myself again: what am I doing all of this for? Me. Just me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Body Image

I’m sure you’ve seen the picture of the thin woman looking into a full length mirror with the image of an overweight woman staring back at her. This seemingly distorted view is how many women see themselves, and I must admit there have been days where this is how I see myself. Unfortunately, many women have poor body image; even those who have thin, fit bodies can look in a mirror and criticize themselves for their imperfections (which are often out of proportion to how they really look), rather than focus on their strengths.

Body image is the picture we have of our physical body - an inner view of our outer self. Our body image is strongly influenced by messages we receive from the media (fashion magazines, television, movies, music). Our body image can be so fragile that it can change after eating a cookie, seeing a number on the scale that we aren’t happy or comparing ourselves to someone else who we see has having a “perfect body”.

The types of messages we tell ourselves through our inner thoughts will directly influence how we perceive our outer self. Increasing the positive self-image messages and decreasing the negative thoughts will enhance a positive body image.

A healthy body image is focusing on your strengths and positive qualities. It is about gaining confidence in your appearance and dwelling on your strengths. What are your dreams, passions and goals with your physique? Building a healthy, positive body image is about being confident no matter the number on the scale because I am fit, strong, and healthy.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Morals of Food

For me personally, before losing the weight, food played a very emotional role. Whether I was happy or sad I ate. Goodness for me was measured by what I ate. As a child, I like many children was rewarded with food. As an obese adult I continued to reward myself with food. The message changed the older I got and the more I desired to lose weight. The message I was now telling myself and the message society was telling me was far different than that of my childhood. If I were “good”, I ate the salad. If I was “bad” or indulgent, I would eat the cake. As a fit, healthy adult, the pendulum continues to swing and I am learning to view food entirely differently again. Food is not to be seen as “good” or “bad” but merely as fuel to my body. After the weight loss, food was my enemy. I was afraid to eat anything that was labeled as “bad” and adhered strictly to safe “good” food. Clearly cake, cookies and pizza were out of the question because after all those were “bad” foods that got me into trouble in the first place.

When I look at the message and language attached to food in advertising, it conveys to me that some foods are “bad”, “sinful” and “naughty” while other foods are labeled as “pure”, “good”, “virtuous”. I’m not entirely convinced that attaching labels to food is necessarily always a bad thing. But I can see how we (I) translate this message to our own self worth when eating these foods. I am spending my adult life unlearning these messages.

Today I am developing a healthy relationship towards food and nutrition in general. I've learned the importance of nutrient timing and know that there is a time and place for all foods that enjoy. In my attempt to foster this relationship, I hold myself to the following:

A healthy relationship with food:
· Is not setting some impossible-to-achieve goal of dietary perfection for myself, which is a
recipe for failure
· It is realizing there is place for "unclean" foods in moderation in my diet, even when
following the fitness lifestyle
· Not feeling guilty when I eat "unclean" foods
· Leaving room for "unclean" foods in my macros (10% meals/snacks)
· Not letting food have power over you
· Not indulging in compensatory behaviours when I've eaten something "unclean"
(endless cardio)