Welcome to 2018 – This is YOUR Year

It’s a brand new year, which means the resolutions have been made and people are out in abundance to make this year their best year ever.

Diets have been started, gyms have been joined, pacts have been sworn to.  And while I’m hoping that most of you will have success, some of you will fail.  Why?  Because plans aren’t being made.

I never make resolutions for the New Year when it comes to fitness and health.  I may make other resolutions, such as reading more, watching less television, spending more time with friends, etc.  Those are the resolutions that are easy to keep.  Because they’re easy. Changing your health and lifestyle doesn’t come easy for many.  It didn’t come easy for me at first.  Mostly because I wasn’t being honest with why I wanted to “change my life”.  (In complete honesty, I didn’t want to change my life, I just wanted to stop being fat.)  It wasn’t until I made the commitment to change my life and improve my health – for me (and not for the New Year) – that things started shifting for me.  I made a plan and I stuck with it. Why?  Because my lifestyle was becoming detrimental to my health.  I wasn’t exercising and I was eating crap and I have a heart condition to worry about.  I didn’t want to die from a heart attack before I turned 30.  That’s when I made the commitment to and for myself.

I wholeheartedly want you to succeed in your resolution.  But, instead of calling it a New Year’s Resolution, why not calling it a Lifestyle Change or a 2018 Commitment?  And instead of making a resolution, why not sit down and plan out how you will improve your health this year?  What will you do?  Make a list:

Will you commit to: Working out 3 days a week?; Creating a grocery list to include only the good stuff?  Plan your meals in advance?  Trying and sticking with a fitness class for a full session?  Eating clean?  Quitting smoking/drinking/binge watching tv?

Think about what you want to accomplish.  Do you want to:  Improve your overall health? Sleep better?  Eat more veggies? Lose weight?  Get stronger?  Run your first 5/10K?  Have mental clarity?

Once you know what and why you want to accomplish, and you commit to your new life changes, your rate for success goes up.

And for all of you who are old pros at this, be sure to support those around you. Encourage those in your circle to continue to eat better, exercise, sleep more, log out.  Welcome the newbies to your lifestyle.

And don’t be a dick in the gym!  We were all the newbie at one point.  For some, stepping into a fitness room for the first time is intimidating enough.  Be friendly!  A smile goes a long way!

2018 Gym

Saw this in someone’s feed and stole it.

Cheers and good luck!



“Small Change, Big Gain”

Last month I wrote a post on my Top 5 Wellness Favorites.  Included in that post, was mention of the company Elysium Health.  Elysium is all about the small, daily habits that lead to a healthier and better life.  And since my post, the team at Elysium has come up with a great infographic and included quotes from some wellness sites – MINE INCLUDED.  (That’s me at the bottom – NSFitBitch.)


Thank you Elysium for providing this great infographic and for including my post.



A few years ago I wrote a post on Sleep and how it affects your health and weight.  At the time I was still battling insomnia, although not as bad as it had been several months before.  And I had discovered that my lack of shut-eye affected, not only my sanity and ability to function like a normal human being, but also my weight.  As my sleep cycle decreased, I watched my weight increase.  I was frustrated on so many levels, but eventually, sleep came easier to me and I finally got back to a semi-normal amount each night.

As I noted in that post, our sleep norm is down to an average of 6 hours per night from the norm compared of 7 hours per night 10 years ago, and 9 hours per night compared to the norm at the turn of the century.  (I’m not an expert, but I can almost guarantee that with the increase of social media, the average rate of sleep in North Americans has decreased from 6 hours per night since I wrote that post three years ago.)

Sleep deprivation has shown to 1. affect the release of cortisol (a hormone that regulates appetite), which can leave one feeling continuously hungry, and 2. increase fat storage (your sleep loss can affect the way your body metabolizes carbohydrate, leading to excess blood sugar, promoting the overproduction of insulin, leading to fat storage).

Fortunately, as indicated in my original post, there are many great ways to ensure you get a good night’s sleep and well rested (stay away from caffeine, don’t exercise right before bed, etc.).  This time around, my very first suggestion is likely, in this day and age, the most important:

  1. UNPLUG!  Social media is terrific for catching up with friends and staying in touch, but honestly, I think it’s killing us slowly.  So many people are worried about what they might miss if they disconnect from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  Even for just a few hours.  And therefore, are online all.night.long. If you want truly want to get a decent sleep, I suggest logging off your accounts and shutting down at least a good hour before hitting the sack.  Seriously, if you are that much of a social media junkie, then you likely need a detox anyway. Log off computer, turn off the TV, shut down your phone (or at least put it on media silent) so that your brain can unwind from all that garbage.


    Turn it off!  Snapchatting your “fake” sleep look is not as important as getting the real Zzzzs.

  2. RELAX.  Have a warm bath, read a book (one of my favorite ways to wind down), meditate, have some conversation. AND FINALLY:
  3. CHECK YOUR MATTRESS Often we become so accustomed to our beds that we don’t realize how really terrible our mattresses are, and that they could verily be the reason our sleep pattern is so poor.  We wake up with aching backs, stiff necks, and zonked out, yet we continue to sleep on the same old mattress each night.

LEESA has some pretty terrific mattresses and other products out there that they call “a Universal Adaptive Feel™ that adapts to all body shapes and sizes and all sleeping styles. This is particularly useful for couples, as each side adapts differently to each partner.”  This is pretty perfect.  Think about how many times you wake up in the night because your partner is dipping the bed.

You can also check out The Sweet Home’s review on why Leesa is the best foam mattress around!

If you’ve noticed your rate or quality of sleep is suffering and your weight is changing (and not for the better), it is worth it to evaluate your sleep pattern.  If you feel you are getting enough sleep but you still wake feeling groggy and tired, perhaps it is the time to check out a new mattress or pillow.  Or, you can even look at how you are sleeping: are you facing the right direction, etc.?  I know not everyone believes in Feng shui (a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment), but it may be worth checking out.  If you’re used to your head facing north, flip yourself around so that you’re facing south.  Seriously: don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!

In the meantime, you can also check out Leesa’s the tips below on how to become a morning person.  And may you have sweet dreams.


~Fit Bitch


Tonight someone posted the following to my Facebook wall:


And a few weeks ago I received an email from a guy I met at the gym a few years ago.  He actually inspired and intimidated me.  He was doing things at the gym that I would only dream of doing.  Once I got to know him I learned a lot…he’s a former boxer, has two talented little girls (both under 10) who are in a band, and he rescues and rehabilitates dogs.  He’s a total rock star.  So I was very humbled when I received his email:

Hi Sandy.  I have been really busy trying to get my level 3 as a boxing coach – been taking courses, and spending 5 days a week working at the boxing club getting our boxers ready for their first fights in May. I decided to take the course because you inspired me – after watching you work so hard I decided to go for it myself.  So thanks girl!   It’s not hard to tell you love what you do -helping others reach farther than ever and believe in themselves.  Take care see you at the gym and thanks again for the inspiration – even though you didn’t know you were doing it!”

And – one of my biggest cheerleaders – always – has been a cousin. She constantly praises me and encourages me in my endeavors.  A few weeks ago she posted this:

I am YOUR biggest cheerleader. You inspired me to do whatever I had to to get to a much healthier state.  I can proudly say that I am now 135 lbs lighter, so much healthier and active.  YOU, Ms. NS Fit Bitch, inspire me every single day. You are simply an amazing representation of what dedicated, hard work can do to change a person’s life. I am beyond proud of you and love you so much.”

When I receive these messages all I can say, y’all, is OH.EM.GEE!!

You have no idea what these words mean to me.

When I set out on my journey I did it for me.  I did it for my health and for my future.  I had no idea that along the trail I was inspiring people – although, these days I try to set a good example and hope to inspire – but to actually hear it and see it.  It makes my heart flutter.

Thank you. ♥

And thank you to all of you who continue to read these posts and who come to my classes and who stand in my corner and cheer and who let me cheer you.  It makes it that much more worth it.


~Fit Bitch


I don’t normally do this.  1) Because it’s embarrassing, and 2) Because I don’t want to be *that* person who feels the need to flaunt things.  That being said, do not read me wrong, I am very proud of how far I’ve come in my weight loss journey and healthier lifestyle, and I do not ever want to take away from how darn hard I worked to get where I am.  However, *THAT* being said, I am also disappointed in myself for letting myself get to the point it was 10 years ago.

I’m doing this now because the other day one of my best friends was telling me she felt disappointed with herself because she felt she’d gained weight (although I can visibly see that she has lost weight in the last 6 weeks).  I wanted to encourage her and let her know that I am her cheerleader, and that I have been in the same position.  AND that she does not look as badly as I’m sure she thinks she does.

And so, I brought her a photo of my old self.  The self from 10 years ago – a little bit before she met me.  I showed her a photo – THE PHOTO – that literally changed my life.  The photo that I honest-to-goodness did not recognize myself in.  As in, I actually had no idea who the person in the photo was.

It’s THE PHOTO that made me, within moments, turn my life around.  THE PHOTO that prompted me to get my big butt home and start an exercise program.  THE PHOTO that started a healthier eating plan.

It’s THE PHOTO that likely saved my life.

And now, for the first time, I am sharing it with you (ack!!!):


There you go!!  Not my finest moment.

But I have come a long way.  I continue to work my ass off.  I continue to have goals.  Sometimes I hit them, sometimes I slide really close to them.

I still have a bit of a tummy.

Skinny butt

I still have a bit of arm junk that hates me and just.won’t.go.away.

Wedding Pic

Maybe like my bestie I am still being too hard on myself.  I should be proud of myself.  Because, honestly, if I had not seen that photo I may not have adjusted my lifestyle.  I could have exposed myself to serious health problems or diseases.  In fact, I could be dead.

I wanted to share THAT PHOTO with you because, even tho it is humiliating for me, I wanted to prove to you that I have been there.  I didn’t take some magic bean and suddenly lose a ton (pun!) of weight; I had to work for it.  And the work paid off.

So, if you’re new to fitness, if you want to make a change, if you’re struggling, if you don’t think you can do it, if you think it’s hopeless (it’s not!!):  Hang in there.  Put the effort in and you will see results.  My transition was (thankfully) a short one.  But it does take time.  Stick with it.  You CAN do this.  ♥

AND – to my bestie, if you’re reading this:  I am proud of you.

~Fit Bitch


health fitness
I have come to the conclusion that not everybody wants to be fit and healthy.  I can’t even comprehend how that even makes sense!  I guess I’m stumped because it doesn’t….make sense, that is.

I have people telling me almost daily that they want to: lose weight, lose their pooch, improve their cardio, become more active, lead a healthier life.   I invite them to come to classes or the gym, I offer to give them tips or be their workout buddy/voice of reason, I offer to design fitness plans….etc., etc., etc.   And you know what?  Nada.  No effort on their part.  None of them show up for any of the classes, no one joins me at the gym, and I still see fries and donuts being shoved in their respective faces all the darn time.

Listen, I don’t expect everyone to follow the same path as me and fall in love with health and fitness the way I have.  But for the love of your own health put some friggin’ effort into it.

What really ticks me is when some of these people want advice and take up my time while I dole it out – or take the time to design a program for them – and then don’t bother.  Same as when I offer them to attend a class for free (I still have to cover my rental fee but want to get them out to try it) and then they just don’t bother to show up.   Rude!  That class space could have been set aside for a paying client.

I’m to the point where I’m about done being a nice guy!  (Just kidding, I’m too nice for that.)

I don’t mind helping people out.  In fact, I enjoy it.  But don’t waste my time.  Once again, there’s no miracle for instant weight loss.  You HAVE to work for it.  And again, being healthy doesn’t mean being thin.   There are plenty of people who are super duper healthy and not really thin.  And there are tons of thin people who are totally not healthy (ie. The girl at my gym who has a cigarette before and after every workout.  And coughs through every cardio exercise.  Derrr!!).  
And each and every time you work out you become a little healthier.  And each and every time your body will thank you for it.

So, do yourself the favor – commit to changing your lifestyle, commit to a healthier lifestyle and a fitter you.  Become emotionally involved in your workouts.  Do this for yourself.  You deserve it.

And if you know you’re not ready to work for it or not willing to make the effort….be honest with your coach/instructor/nutritionist/buddy and don’t waste the time.

~Fit Bitch