DREAM BIG

dream-big

It’s not that hard to make your dreams a reality.

In all honesty, I NEVER thought that one day I’d be a fitness guru.  I never dreamed that I’d be training people and leading boot camps, and spewing out nutritional advice.  But here I am.  Doing it all.

And you can do.  Whatever your goal is – aim for it!  Latch onto it and make the dang thing happen.

Tomorrow, your dream could be your reality.

~Fit Bitch

 

Online Boot Camp Registration

Registration for my first online boot camp will be open for one more week – closing, Thursday, September 1.  The session will begin on Monday, September 5.

BOOT CAMP

Here are the details:

I will send the week’s worth of workouts in advance. You’ll have 3 minimum per week with the option of doing a 4th workout. I will provide demos for the exercises, and modifications – whether I do them myself or not is yet to be seen. You will have to submit your workouts at the end of each week – with any additional notes, questions, comments, etc. so that I can review them. Again, the entire session will be designed so that you can do it right in the privacy of your living room. You will not require a lot of space – and likely just a yoga mat or a blanket with some padding so that you don’t have sore knees or elbows or back or bum. 😀 The cost for the online session is $50.  I will also provide nutritional tips/guidance, etc.

This session is open to everyone – no exercise experience required.

Registration is nearly full so if you are interested email me @ nsfitnessqueen@yahoo.ca or leave a comment below with your contact info.

~Fit Bitch

Getting Strong

Getting Strong

I saw this meme the other day and instantly thought “YES!”

I can attest to its truth.

You see, for years, I wanted to get fit, healthy, strong.  But I wasn’t ready.  Yes, I wanted it, but, I was embarrassed and ashamed of who I was – on the outside.  I had struggled with my weight my entire life and my insecurities prevented me from really going for the gold with my weight loss.

Instead, I succumbed to eating disorders of many variations, to extreme diets, to weight loss supplements of all forms.  When I exercised it was in secret and privacy and for vanity, not for my health.

For several years now I have carried the mantra “If you’re not willing to do the work, you’re not ready to lose the weight“, and I cling to that.

When I finally joined a gym more than 10 years ago I would get up at the butt-crack of dawn, before the sun was up, and would sneak off for my workout while the rest of the world was still sleeping.  Even then, I was exercising for the wrong reasons.  It was still about vanity.  And I didn’t lose any weight.

It wasn’t until at least a year later when I decided to change my life.  That’s when the changes came.  That’s when I decided to put the work in.  Wrapping my head around that in this moment is so easy, but way back then, I just didn’t get it.

When I started to exercise and changed my eating habits, it was for my health.  And I was putting the work in.  And you know what?  The changes came so quickly.  My health improved and my insecurities subsided (to a point) and I finally felt good.  I fell in love with my life.  And with exercise.  I got over my fears of what people would think of me if they saw me on the treadmill or lifting weights or on the rowing machine.  I got over myself, essentially.  I didn’t look to anyone else for inspiration; I looked at myself.  I inspired me.  My life was worth more than how I had treated it before hand.

Sometimes it can be scary venturing into new or unknown territory.  But your health is more important than being afraid to ask someone for guidance.  Or fearing what others might think of you.  In all honesty, when I’m at the gym I’m not worried about what others are doing there (unless they’re hogging equipment).  I’m there to improve myself.  I’m not there to judge anyone.  And more than likely, the people at your gym aren’t concerned with what you’re doing.

I know, from personal experience, that when I feel like I look better, I actually feel better about myself (back to that vanity thing).  If that means swiping on some lipstick or revving up in cute (although durable) new workout gear, like Adore me, then so be it.  Do what you’ve gotta do to motivate yourself; to encourage yourself; to love yourself.

Don’t be afraid to go for that jog or kick the soccer ball around or try a Zumba class.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Get out of your head.  Give yourself a break.  And just do it already.  Your life is worth it.

Fit Bitch

 

What Yoga Looks Like (Guest post)

Today I am welcoming my aunt, Donna, as a guest-poster for the blog.

She is only a handful of years older than me, being my mom’s baby sister, and has often been more like a big sister than an aunt.

Many years ago, Donna was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  And just a few years ago she was hospitalized and was honestly near death.  Since her hospital visit she has had spinal surgery and is now awaiting another spinal surgery.  She’s had a long, hard road, but she has committed herself to her yoga practice and it has helped her through her struggles.  A few weeks ago one of her practice photos was so beautiful and inspiring that I asked her if she’d like to share her story.  She agreed.  I’ll let Donna tell you the rest.

What Yoga Looks Like

Donna Yoga 2

Donna is truly a #yogainspirer.  Follow her on Instagram @curvymomma_doingyoga

Greetings and Salutations!  I’d like to thank my niece – and best friend – Fit Bitch, for inviting me to share my Yoga Journey with her – and subsequently, with all of you.  o, Fit Bitch, thank you for always supporting me and believing in me; for being my “as-often-as-possible” yoga buddy; and in the spirit of full disclosure, for forcing me to pick up a (pink, of course!) pen, and (fresh, clean, untouched) paper (word of the day: papyrophilia = a lover of paper).

But, as much as I’d lover to tell you about my stationery obsessions, that’s not what I was asked to do.

My Yoga Obsession:  The Early Years

My whole life I avoided things that were meant for “skinny girls” – gymnastics, figure skating, ballet…yoga.

it seemed everywhere I looked I was being put down and left out.  The one and only yoga class I went to in those decades was a prenatal class.  That didn’t go so well; and I decided “Yoga is for skinny girls!”  Yoga would be added to the “Reward List” for when I finally got skinny.

The Intern

Over the years I’ve tried to get my Fibromyalgia body into shape.  My favorite activities were Aquacize, running, and hiking – the latter being the only one I am still able to do.

I “Got Sick”

A couple of years ago I became very, very sick.  In an attempt to treat my aforementioned Fibromyalgia, my family physician essentially poisoned me with too many dangerous medications, prescribed all at the same time.

My official diagnosis was Medication Induced Encephalopathy due to Polypharmacy.  I also had Serotonin Syndrome and Cymbalta Poisoning – followed swiftly by Cymbalta Withdrawal Syndrome 

I nearly died.

My husband was not able to get me to wake up and stay awake.  I couldn’t pronounce words properly.  My heart even stopped at one point!  I saw a vision of my late father walking down the hall toward me.  i was very, very sick.

After a couple of weeks of being hospitalized I was finally released from the Close Observation Unit of the Neuroscience ward, but with permanent damage to my thyroid, liver, kidneys, and the memory, balance, and speech pathways of my brain.  (I now have brain damage.)

While I was in the hospital, I had many tests done, as they tried to figure out what was wrong with me.  They did a CT scan and made the discovery we were not prepared for – I needed Cervical Spinal Surgery, and as soon as possible.  I was having significant spinal cord compression, which could, very suddenly and unexpectedly, cause paralysis.  I finally had the surgery in December 2014.

The Wait

After I got out of the hospital, I knew the fight for my life was beginning.  I knew I had to work hard if I was ever going to be that strong, independent woman I’ve always been.  It was not going to happen on its own.

My Wellness Plan was made up of 3 parts:  1) Get me a therapy kitten, as I would have to get up and care for her, and to give me something else to focus my energies on; 2) Walking – every day we took our little kitty for a walk, which got me out in the fresh air, and exercise my heart and lungs; and 3) Yoga: for improved balance, stability, and strength.  I was ready to hit the road to wellness running (well, hobbling) until I met with the Neurosurgeon:  NO YOGA until after  the Spinal Fusion surgery, due to the high risk of paralysis.  I was absolutely crushed!  It would be another whole year before I was finally given the green light to go ahead and finally begin my yoga practice.

Coco

Coco Chanel – the therapy cat.  It is my belief that this little girly helped save Donna’s life.  <3

My Yoga Practice: #whosaysfatchickscantdoyoga

It was the end of May, 2015.  We were packing up the car for our trip to the Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia) for the annual Apple Blossom Festival.  My husband asked me “what’s with the yoga mat?”

I very excitedly answered “If I do yoga tonight, I’ll be able to say ‘I’ve done yoga every day for a week’!”  I kept up that daily practice (I even participated in Yoga Fest with Fit Bitch) until November, when the FFF (Fall Fibro Flare) too me out of commission. Then my practice got demoted to every other day, focusing solely on Restorative and Yin practices (oh how I love my bolster!)

I love my home yoga practice!  I very rarely get to an actual live class, for various reasons.  The main reason being my actual reason for doing yoga in the first place…

My Intention:  Yoga is Making Me Feel Better

If  you look at a group of yogis in a studio class, heavy on Vinyasa, most of the people there will tell you the reason they are there is for a work out, for exercise, for weight loss.  And that’s great!  For them, and for most people, really.  But not for me.  The reason I show up on my mat is for healing.  My yoga practice is wholly therapeutic.  I am in it to get my body into the pose correctly, and painlessly, and I need to rest in that pose for a little longer than a flow class allows.  That’s why I love Yin classes!  Especially at night.  Letting gravity help clean every last drop of goodness out of each pose.

Donna Yoga

This beautiful photo is what inspired me to ask Donna to share her story.  

As previously mentioned, I have a home yoga practice.  I rarely go to a live class, but I follow some fabulous teachers on YouTube.  I have learned most of what I know about yoga from practicing along with videos.

Being in a body that hurts on levels of 7, 8, 9 out of 10 on the pain scale on a daily basis, being able to choose exactly what kind of class my body needs is extremely important.  There’s nothing worse than finally getting yourself to an actual class only to find out that you are not physically capable of doing that particular class.

The best reason to bring your practice into the solitude of your own home would have to be “pajama yoga”!  Or, maybe the pause button?

How I’ve Benefited from Yoga

One of the first things I noticed, as far as benefits go, was my sleep.  For the first time in my life, I fell right to sleep!  Truly amazing.  Another huge benefit I’ve noticed is that I now know how to use my entire body!  I am reaching with my whole side body, not just with my arm.  I can get down and back up from the floor now.  My balance has improved a great deal.  My ability to relax and calm myself; everything has come from my yoga.

I am learning how to use my body in the way in which it was intended and that has taken a lot of stress off the areas that usually “made up the difference”.  I am much more relaxed, overall, and that translates into lower pain levels.  All because of yoga.

The Wait 2.0

Sometime last Fall, I learned I have some significant lower back problems, causing referred pain down my left leg.  I was told to take it easy with the yoga until I got in to see the surgeon.  After a year of tests, switching doctors, and waiting, I finally got to see the back surgeon’s Triage Physiotherapist.  I was overjoyed when she reassured me my back problems had nothing to do with yoga, as I’d secretly thought to be the case.  Yoga and I, once again, got the green light.  I would be able to get ready for Yoga Fest again.  I was elated!  Until….

I passed the triage and was granted an audience with the good doctor himself.  Hoping to hear good things, like “We will fix you right up!”, only to be told, instead, “Be very careful”, left me, once again, in a pit of despair.

It turns out I have Spinal Cord Compression, which could very easily, and very suddenly, cause paralysis.  Sound familiar?  Here we go again.

So now I have the possibility of not one, but two spinal surgeries in my near future.  one in my lumbar spine, which is not being put on the back-burner, and one on my cervical spine (another one, that is), which takes presidence.  And once again, my yoga practice will have to be re-evaluated and checked for neck safety.  But mostly, we just wait.

At least I know that yoga will always be there for me, when I finally get the go-ahead from the doctors again.

Namaste.

Donna

********

I really want to add that Donna’s journey has been tumultuous.  And it has been hard on all of her family.  We have seen her down and out and suffering.

Last year, Donna and I were out shopping for a bit and I said something about living forever when she replied with “I don’t want to live forever.  I don’t want to live in this body for much longer.”  That was heart-wrenching for me to hear.  And it has made me sad ever since.  But, through all of this, she has maintained she is a yoga warrior.

I hope and pray that, if permitted, she is able to continue with her practice.  And that she will heal a little more each day and that the pain she endures daily will subside so that she will want to stick around with us a little longer.

Fit Bitch

Online Bootcamp

A while ago I thought about running an online bootcamp. And then I side-tracked the idea.  But recently, I’ve been thinking more and more about this venture and I have decided I will be offering an online beginner’s bootcamp in the near future.

Online-Bootcamp

I still have kinks to work out, but basically anyone wanting to participate will have to register and commit to the session (6 or 8 weeks with a minimum of 3 workouts a week).  I will also offer nutritional info and advice.

The workouts can be done in the privacy of your own home (or at the gym, or outside; wherever you choose). You will have to be accountable for your workouts each week and submit your finished weekly workout to me.

Likely, I’ll have demonstrations of the exercises and make myself available to participants online – by email or chat (and possibly, if appropriate, by video chat – but this idea is still up in the air as chats would have to work outside of my regular schedule, and I know many of you are subject to time differences).  I’m hoping to create a Facebook group that only participants will have access to.  Which means, in addition to chatting me with, you’ll have the support of other bootcampers.

Please let me know if you’re interested in this new venture as I continue to work it out.  Email me at nsfitnessqueen@yahoo.ca or simply leave a comment here to let me know if you’d be interesting in registering (later), with any questions, and with contact info (for privacy reasons, emailing me is probably the best).

Cheers!

~Fit Bitch

Be A Warrior

Today is Monday.  Today is a new day.  It’s the start of a new week.  It could be a start to a new beginning.

Warrior

Put aside any fears you may have when it comes to yourself and starting a workout program.  Forget about any idealistic crap that may have been perpetuated by others about what you should do/be/look like.  Stop worrying about what others may think of you or if you’ll look silly.  Become your own Fit Warrior.

Become the inspiration to yourself and others.

Warrior2

He/She/We/Us/ALL!

You may struggle. You may full.  You may hurt.  (God knows you will hurt!)  You will earn it.

warrior3

Today is Monday.  Today can be the first day of your new life.

BE A WARRIOR.

~Fit Bitch

Progress, Again

The other night I went for my first outdoor run in a very long time.  Pretty much since my ankles/tarsals got to the point of unbearable several months ago.

SNeaker

I had to take a break and the break, unfortunately, last longer than I’d expected.  My with the constant pain and swelling and bruising, I didn’t have much of a choice.

I’ve been doing a mile here and there at the gym, easing my way back into it, but taking it super careful, and even resorting to wearing compression socks (which, by the way, worked wonders.  I highly recommend them.  Thanks, Mom!).  And it’s been working.  Slowly, I’ve been making progress.  Hallelujah!

So, the other night was perfect weather.  And I felt kind of blah and like I needed a little cardio, so I went for it.  And, it was glorious!  I had such a good run.  In fact, the run was so great and pain free that I actually forgot about it until last night when I was updating her on the tarsal tunnel.

I am pumped to get back in the saddle again and start hitting the pavement when I can – especially in the evening once the sun starts to go down.  I love evening runs.

The major downside from this setback – aside from the pain, swelling, and bruising caused by the tarsal tunnel – is that it’s looking like I won’t be running in the Harvest Marathon this year.  At least not the half marathon like I’d planned.  There’s no way I can start training for a half marathon set for the start of October this late in the year.  And, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if I really want to.  Not that I don’t want to run the half, because I’ve had my heart set on it all year and had been in training for it, but because I don’t want to go right back into hardcore running and put my ankle health back in jeopardy.  That would just be stupid and irresponsible of me.

Hurts to stop

Truth.  But it was the right decision.

So, for the time being I will work my way slowly back into a running routine and, perhaps I will set my sights lower for the Harvest this year and do a 5 or 10 k.  I just need to remember, no matter how disappointed I am about not running the half, is that I am doing this for me and it is the right decision.  Because in the end….being able to walk the rest of my life is more important than running one day.

~Fit Bitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boot Camp Addict

I saw this article the other day and had a good chuckle.  Because basically it’s true. And if you have ever participated in one (or many) of my classes, you’ll see the humor – and reality – in it.

(I don’t know how to reblog from the site so here’s the link🙂

Boot Camp Addict

10 things you only understand if you do boot camp

~Fit Bitch

Be The Fire

On Fire

Just kidding!  It’s really not that bad.

I think, for many, there is a preconceived notion that exercise and good nutrition is hard.  And it’s not worth the struggle.  The truth:  YES, it can be hard.  There are some days when you will feel like your legs are on fire from the squats and lunges, or your abs will be burning from the planks, crunches, or cuts, or your triceps will be screeching hot from the push-ups and dips.  But think about it.  Aren’t you worth it??  With everything in the entire world to focus on, shouldn’t you make yourself the primary focus?

You don’t have to commit to working out every minute of every day, or eat clean entirely.  But make the commitment that you deserve more.  Remind yourself that your body is your temple and treat it with love and respect.  Nurture it inside and out (aka nutrition and exercise), and, certainly, indulge it here and there.

For many of us, losing the weight isn’t the struggle.  That’s not where the fire is.  No, the struggle is loving yourself and accepting yourself, and acknowledging your worth.  It takes time – and believe me, I know it is often still a constant battle – but we are all worth it.

So, dive in, head first, and start that fire burning.  And eventually, hopefully, that hell will become your haven.

~Fit Bitch

Butt and Gut 30 Day Challenge

I am really bad with posting challenges at the start of the month.  But then again, a healthy lifestyle change doesn’t (have to) wait til the start of the month so, I guess I’m letting myself off the hook.  I think any day is a good day to start a workout practice or healthy eating program (not diet!!).  In fact, I’m gearing up to start another Whole 30 on Monday – no point in waiting til the start of August when I can feel so much better sooner?

So, with that being said, below is a 30 Day Butt and Gut Challenge to get you going.  Even if you’re new to exercising, this little challenge is totally doable.  And it’s a great complement to your regular fitness practice if you already have one.

And me, I’m a little nuts and completely in love with squats and lunges and planks and crunches.  And pretty much all of it…except push-ups….I hate push-ups! (The result of a serious back injury.)

This Challenge is so great because it’s only four moves but pretty much works your entire body that you can do right in your home!  It also mixes cardio and strength and will definitely get your heart rate going.  And, you get rest days.  TAKE YOUR REST DAYS!  :)

I love this Challenge so much I’m going to do it along with my regular workouts.  Why not?  Like I said, it can be a great complement to an established fitness regime.

Give it a try and see how you feel in a month’s time.

Cheers.

Butt and Gutt

~Fit Bitch