Fitness

Monthly Goals – August Recap

Where did August go? Why are the leaves turning brown already? Why are there Christmas decorations at Costco?? I’m not ready for tall boots, layers, infinity scarves and pumpkin spice lattes. I don’t even like pumpkin spice lattes!

I definitely prefer warmer climes, and as soon as I noticed a smattering of dry, yellow maple leafs on the trails near my house, I started researching our next tropical vacation and decided we needed two weeks this time.

Fall, you sure are pretty but please go away.

Fall, you sure are pretty but please go away.

The only good thing about fall — aside from the prettiness of the leaves when they just start to turn, not when they look all dead and brown on the trail — is that marathon day is just around the corner, and October has the perfect race-day temperatures. No more of this running for 3+ hours in 28 degree heat. Although I love the warmth, even I have my thresholds. (more…)

Fitness Friday: Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon training week 7

fitnessfridayHappy Friday, friends!

We’re experiencing a bit of a heatwave here in Victoria right now, which is awesome and I love it (my happy place is 25-30 degrees C — that’s 77-87 for my American friends)… but it’s making for some slow and sloggy runs.

On Tuesday I wasn’t feeling good in the morning so I saved my tempo run for after work. My legs were heavy and it was too hot and humid, making for a half-assed tempo run at best. On Thursday I ran at my normal 5:00 a.m. time (when it’s cooler and dark and scary, which makes me run faster) and felt much better.

Here’s how my week of workouts shaped up:

(more…)

All diets and fitness programs are wrong. Some are useful.

All models are wrong, some are useful.If you’ve been entrenched in the health and fitness industry for awhile, either as a professional or as an enthusiast, you probably already know that there is no single diet or exercise program for everyone. Following a paleo diet and doing CrossFit might yield fantastic results for one person, but might not be the best program for another (even though said Paleo-CrossFitter might try to convince you otherwise).

Aside from external factors influencing our overall health and fitness level (such as proximity to a gym or rec center or outdoor parks; availability of fresh fruits and vegetables; finances to afford new running shoes or home gym equipment, etc.), us humans are privy to myriad intrinsic factors that can determine whether or not a diet or exercise program will give us the results we’re after. Intrinsic factors, such as genetics, hormones, physiology and movement patterns, past injuries and what generally floats our boats (I’d rather go for a trail run than attend a hip hop dance class, just sayin’), are unfortunately harder or completely impossible to change. And although I think we know we have to work with what we’ve got to become the best version of ourselves, we’re never quite satisfied with that and constantly play the comparison game, hoping to find that magical solution that will transform our bodies into the taught and toned fitness “celebrities” we see enjoying their #greensmoothies and admiring their #gainz in the mirror on Instagram.

I keep seeing everyone post about The Whole 30 Diet and the author of that book looks like a model, so I want to do it, too. That guy on Instagram who’s super jacked always posts pictures of Poptarts and ice cream and talks about IIFYM — I want to try that diet, too. That one blogger quit sugar and dropped a ton of weight, I’m going to quit sugar, too. Even though I’m marathon training and LOVE carbs, I’m going to cut them about because someone on Twitter raves about their high-fat, low-carb diet and how it’s great for running performance and I want to be a better distance runner, too. (more…)

Fitness Friday: Marathon training week 6

fitnessfridayHappy Friday, friends!

I’m finally back in the swing of marathon training after a few inconsistent weeks due to travel, festivals and vacation. Since Monday last week I’ve been hitting all my workouts as planned, and my legs have been feeling really good despite taking two weeks in between long runs.

Here’s a breakdown of how my week has gone so far (which I can now properly recap thanks to my new Believe Training Journal!):

FRIDAY (last week)

I was home on staycation, so I did a random upper body and core workout in the garage for 35 minutes before cleaning the house for two hours (a workout in itself). (more…)

The surprising reason why I haven’t been able to lose weight

The surprising reason why I haven’t been able to lose weightRemember when I signed up for the Tone It Up Bikini Series Challenge after the Phoenix Marathon in February, lost an inch or so, then gained it all back (and then some) a few weeks later?

I decided to do some research into why I’ve been struggling this time around to get down to my racing weight for the Goodlife Fitness Marathon in October, which I can usually do when I really put my mind and body to it. And although summertime BBQs, patio drinks and chips and salsa has contributed somewhat to my predicament, the surprising reason why I haven’t been able to lose weight comes down to approximately a handful of berries, a lick of peanut butter, and a couple more pieces of my daily dark chocolate quota (yes, I’ve started eating chocolate again – but not as much!) per day. So roughly 150-200 extra calories per day.

Those few extra nibbles a day (which I accounted for in MyFitness Pal) added up to a small weight gain and now maintenance, even though I’ve been in a small calorie deficit almost this entire time. Which wasn’t actually as much of a deficit as I thought, based on MyFitnessPal logging data from two years ago when I made a concentrated effort to lose weight. (more…)

The surprise secret to motivation and consistency when it comes to eating right and exercising

The surprise secret to motivation and consistency when it comes to eating right and exercisingI’m often asked by my online coaching clients how to stay motivated to work out and how not to “fall off the wagon” when it comes healthy eating. Like most of us, they know what they need to do to lose weight and how to get healthier, but fail in the execution of even the most well-thought-out plans. Although having a personal trainer or nutrition coach can help you with the what and how, they can’t help you with the why. That part — which is the hardest part when it comes to being a happy, healthy human — is entirely up to you.

Not only is it up to you, it has to come from within you. From a place buried deep down inside that you might only see glimpses of now and again during shavasana at yoga class. Or when you experience a runner’s high on the trails in the forest. Or when you’re playing with your kids. Or when you’re laugh-crying over beer at the pub with your best friends you’ve known since middle school. Or when you’re watching your dog run full-tilt alongside the ocean at the beach. Or when you’re hugging your parents.

Those experiences. That feeling. That’s the surprise secret to motivation and consistency when it comes to eating right and exercising

(I know that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. But just bear with me here… there is a point, and I will get to it :)) (more…)

IDEA World Fitness Blogfest 2016 recap

Blogfest 2016 RecapIt’s Monday and I’m still tired and sore.

But heading down to Los Angeles for IDEA World Fitness Blogfest 2016 was so worth it.

In case you want to just skip to the good parts, here are the highlights:

  • Meeting Ariana, Beth, Megan, Susie, Jessica, Lea, Christiana, Ashley, Ivanna, Carleeh, Stephanie, Kelli, Teresa, and Jamie and Alyse (as well as many other fabulous bloggers) in real life and getting to hang out with them for the entire weekend
  • A sweaty group run through downtown LA
  • All the free food, swag and snacks we got – seriously, I’ve never been so spoiled at a conference. Sweat Pink and all the sponsors truly outdid themselves! Buffet breakfast and lunches, all the protein bars, yogurt, hummus and veggies we could possibly eat, and lots of take home goodies
One whole suitcase full of free swag!

One whole suitcase full of free swag!

  • Watching 90-year-old Elaine Lalanne (Jack Lalanne’s wife) take on Tony Horton in a push-up competition
My goal is to be able to do this at 90!

My goal is to be able to do this at 90!

  • Hearing Amy Van Dyken‘s story – it was truly inspirational and she’s a very funny lady
  • Getting my butt kicked (and slapped by Susie during a plank exercise where we had to partner up and try to push the other person off balance) in bloggers-only a workout with Gunnar Peterson
Everything hurt after this strength and cardio circuit with Gunnar Peterson

Everything hurt after this strength and cardio circuit with Gunnar Peterson

  • Late night Whole Foods dinner runs, business chats and celebrity spotting with Ariana
  • Getting yelled at by Jillian Michaels during her BodyShed workout
"I heard you guys were trainers, so I turned the 'what the fuck' button up all the way for this circuit" - Jillian Michaels, explaining our workout

“I heard you guys were trainers, so I turned the ‘what the fuck’ button up all the way for this circuit” – Jillian Michaels, explaining our workout

  • Doing a combo workout of Insanity/P90X/Turbo Kick/Cize and Country Heat (I couldn’t take that one seriously) with the Sweat Pink crew
country heat workout

Yeee haw!!

  • Checking out all the latest, greatest and weirdest in fitness and health at the expo (LOL at that car-buffer massage thing)
  • Hearing and being inspired by lectures from David Katz, John Berardi and Yoni Freedhoff at the nutrition and behaviour change summit (these people are smart and get it – follow them if you aren’t already!)
So much good stuff at the nutrition and behaviour change summit

So much good stuff at the nutrition and behaviour change summit

  • Did I mention all the free food and swag?

Blogfest sessions
On Thursday and Friday, we sat in on a series of blogger-focused lectures and workshops, which included sessions about how to use SnapChat, how to collect/use emails, content marketing, iPhone food photography, blogger round tables and peer reviews. (more…)

Blogfest bound!

new-spa-badge-1Happy Wednesday! I’m checking in briefly this week on the blog since I’m off to the IDEA World Fitness Conference and Fitness Blogfest with Sweat Pink in Los Angeles today! I feel like I’ve been super neglectful of my blog and personal training business these past few months (while focusing almost all of my extra time and energy into freelance), so I’m hoping to get inspired to give my online presence a boost, meet some of my favourite health and fitness bloggers in real life, and earn some NSCA CEUs (continuning education units so I never have to take that exam again, ugh). Here are a few other things I’m looking forward to:

  • Attending a few nutrition lectures by the super smart Yoni Freedhoff, a Canadian doctor, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, author of The Diet Fix, and founder of an ethical, evidence-based nutrition and weight management centre in Ottawa
  • The massive expo with tons of new fitness and health products I want to check out
  • The celebrity workouts with Gunnar Peterson, Jillian Michaels and Cassey Ho (yes, I’m doing them. How could I not??)
  • The gala party!

I’ll no doubt be Instagraming and SnapChatting over the weekend, so follow me there (runliftyoga on SnapChat and runliftyogi on Insta) if you’re interested!

bri-sig

Who’s going to Blogfest and IDEA Fit?? What are you most looking forward to? If you’ve gone before, do you have any tips to share for what to bring, see and do?

What happens when your ‘after’ is worse than your ‘before’: a Tone It Up Bikini Series recap

If you follow my Instagram account, you probably noticed my #tiucheckins and #tiubootycalls for the Tone It Up Bikini Series Challenge lessened in frequency over the last few weeks.

I promise you I WAS doing the workouts (with a 5-10K run on the weekend and usually just chores on Saturday), but my nutrition was less than stellar over the past three weeks. You know that saying, “abs are made in the kitchen”… well, I want to know where this kitchen is that makes these abs, because that would be fantastic.

Delicious meal at Diner En Blanc!

Delicious French-inspired cuisine at Diner En Blanc!

All kidding aside, I struggled to find a balance these past few weeks. Usually I’m really good at eating well Monday to Thursday, living a little on Friday and Saturday, and returning to normal by Sunday. Maybe it was the onset of summer that triggered vacation mode and the desire to have chips, salsa and vino almost every night; the lovely patio we have in our backyard that just looks too inviting NOT to have family and friends over almost every weekend (hence more drinks and snacks); or all the events and activities we’ve been attending that involve even more drinks and snacks. (more…)

Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016: Week 7 Recap

Happy Friday, friends!

Even though I haven’t been updating my Tone It Up Bikini Series progress as regularly on the blog and Instagram, I promise you I’ve still been doing the workouts and about 85% of the nutrition plan. Over the past few weeks we’ve been really busy with camping, BBQs, parties and other fun social stuff, plus taking care of the new addition…

THAT FACE

THAT FACE

… so I haven’t had much time to blog and share my experience so far.

Thanks to said social stuff and parties, my nutrition the past few weeks hasn’t been great. Well, from Sunday to Thursday I’ve been on point. But Fridays and Saturdays have been another story. I’ve only been slightly below maintenance these past three weeks, so my progress has pretty much stalled. I’m definitely feeling the Pilates/barre workouts and some of the moves are getting easier, which I’m happy about, and my core is getting stronger. But I’m still overdoing it a bit on the weekend and paying the price digestion-wise for it. I’m bloated like 50% of the time thanks to not eating Bri-friendly foods on the weekends, so it’s really hard to tell if my clothes are fitting a bit better. I also have another potential health issue going on that’s semi-related, and I’ll blog more about soon once I have a clear diagnosis. Ugh. (more…)

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