Train With Me

Commitment (12)

Intensity: This week I pushed myself hard during my workouts regardless of being stuck isolating. My workouts were planned to be the hardest yet over these last two weeks and I have definitely felt that. My cardio has been challenging because I will honestly admit my nutrition hasn’t been as great, and I’ve also felt that during my fasted runs in the am. This entire week I would rate my intensity a 7/10.

Motivation: My motivation has been great because I knew my nutrition was going to suffer this week. I have been getting my exercise done first thing in the morning after my coffee and I really enjoy this routine. Getting my exercise in and out of the way has made it also easier and more habitual. My motivation to exercise has been a 9/10.

Lessons: Commitment is my big lesson this week. After finishing off my second phase of triathlon training (of 5 phases), it is feeling quite rewarding to stay committed to a workout plan for a long period of time. Each of my phases or training blocks are six weeks long. So twelve weeks is 3 whole months of training for a specific goal. Think of what you could accomplish in three months if you stuck to your initial plan!? 

One of the big values I hold, is staying accountable to myself and my plans. At the end of the day I made the plan to do this triathlon and train as hard as I can for it. So I’m not going to let even a move across the country hold me back. I will keep my self integrity in this goal and carry out what I set out to do! This is what being committed is all about. 

Being committed is also about delaying gratification. There have been periods where I have thought that changing up the workout, doing less cardio might feel good at the time or just skipping a week all together for the excuse of being too busy might make my life easier. But I try to stay focused on the outcome because that’s where the “money feeling” of pride and accomplishment will come from. I know that the reward we work hard for and wait patiently for is going to be the best one.

Here are four ideas that make staying committed easier:

  1. Have a plan – this takes the guess work out so all you have to do is take action.
  2. Have a backup plan – think about all the roadblocks and barriers to your goals and come up with a backup plan to get it done.
  3. Delay gratification – outweigh the seemingly short term rewards for that “big win”.
  4. Think about the end game – rather than dreading the workout in front of you picture yourself where you will be in a month, two months, or more and focus on that feeling.

Staying committed doesn’t have to be complicated. I’m not saying it’s easy because there are many hardships along the way, but getting through the hard stuff, the lack of motivation, the soreness, the mental warfare, are what helps you to grow. The hard stuff is always the most rewarding, getting yourself out of bed at 5 am, running when you feel bogged down, choosing to workout over scrolling through social media or watching TV, these are all things that will be worth it over time.

At the end of the day choose to stay committed to yourself, your health, your goals, passions, and dreams. We only have one life and one body so dream big and make taking care of yourself your number one commitment!


Train With Me

Non Negotiables (11)

Intensity: Despite spending most of the week either packing or on the road I have felt great about my intensity. I had told myself prior to the week starting, that if I could just get the workouts done that I planned to do, I’ll be happy with that. Because of the way I program my workouts with progressive overload, naturally my workouts will get harder. Having the workouts all planned out is key, so I didn’t have to think about it too much, just get it done. This week I am coming close to ending phase 2 of my 6 phase triathlon training goal. Intensity this week I would rate a 6/10.

Motivation: Again this one has been a doozy. I’ve been busier than ever and I’ve had to really plan and schedule these workouts and make sure I get them done. Motivation to workout has been probably a 2/10. My motivation for cardio though has been a bit higher and am enjoying my cardio sessions in random places all over Canada!

Lessons: One thing that I have learned about myself throughout the years is that I am a creature of habit – this makes uprooting my entire life a challenge, this makes vacations sometimes more mentally exhausting, and this makes going with the flow a struggle at times as well.

I usually enjoy myself a good ole routine, especially a morning one. Get up, make coffee, meditate, eat breakfast, shower etc. I have had many different lifestyle routines and switch them up sometimes when they’re not working for me. Routine is generally a good thing for keeping yourself on track, but life doesn’t always take the same “track”.

So I’ve realized that sometimes your routines get thrown off course, things happen, new jobs, children, a big move in my case. Every time something has changed or I am not able to be in “routine” I have to stick to my daily non negotiables. When I don’t do this I find I am not my best self, I can get moody, I can get down and quiet and shutdown. But when I do the things that I promised myself I would do, that are good for my mental health and well being, then I can live out each day fully with enthusiasm and joy, the way we that we all deserve to!

My three non negotiables at this chapter of my life are:

1- Meditate for 15 minutes

2- Write in my quote journal

3- Some form of movement (usually a workout or cardio or even walk)

Now I realize that I won’t always be able to do these in the order I want to do them in, but bottom line is that they are “non-negotiable” and have to get done no matter what, who, where, when, or why.

Having non-negotiables and doing these things is my form of self care. These things are what keep me well.

What are your daily non-negotiables? What kind of positive habit could you add to your day? What is something you’ve always “wanted to do more of”? How can you ensure this daily task gets done? What is the best way to keep yourself accountable?

Take some time for just yourself each day to do a little self love and self care, no matter how hectic your schedule may be!


Train With Me

No Excuses (10)

Intensity: This week my workouts have been challenging but I have not felt one ounce of soreness afterwards. What I do know is just because you don’t feel sore after a workout or the day after, does not mean that the work is not beneficial. I had to remind myself of this sometimes because I have a love/hate relationship with being sore (hurts so good). 

Couple reasons why you might not be experiencing sore muscles:

  1. You’ve been doing the same exercises working the same muscles and your muscles are adapting.
  2. Your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is low (your not lifting to failure). This strategy is often used when training for muscular endurance rather than brute strength or hypertrophy.
  3. You have brought back adequate blood flow to your muscles by stretching or light cardio cool down after a workout (good for you!).

That being said it is still very important to add in progressive overload to your workouts, which means increasing the intensity, weight, or volume of your workouts over time to “progress”. 

So if you switch up your exercises, moves, increase volume etc and are still not feeling sore ever, it may be that you’re just not pushing yourself hard enough. The goal is to always improve and progress so start keeping track of how sore you feel, how tired you are after a workout, are you getting closer to your goals etc. You totally got this! 

I would rate my intensity level this week a 4/10. I’m not mad about it. I’ve dragged my ass to workout with only two hours of sleep, I’ve crushed my PR run with a time of 27:36 for 5.48km. I’ve done what I had to do during this busy week to stay consistent while working nights, purging, and packing for a cross country move.

Motivation: Now onto motivation. It was a hard week for that because not going to lie, I had a lot going on this week, but don’t we all? I had to really dig down deep to not give up on my training plan. I had to drag myself to workout, even if it meant packing in between sets haha. Motivation this week is a whopping 2/10, but like I said, I got it doneeeee, and I am proud:)

Lessons: If you follow my personal life at all on social media you probably saw my post about moving to Kelowna BC! I am beyond excited and grateful and cannot wait. So much that I am actually taking off in a couple days. 

For anyone who has ever moved before, you know what this all entails. Planning, organizing, cleaning, packing, it’s been a busy week to say the least. I had to sit myself down one evening and really weigh pros and cons of this whole training to do a triathlon thing. Is it too much? Can I afford to take a week off? Is there even a triathlon to attend in Kelowna? (obviously there will be somewhere close by). Here is the sensus I came to.

  1. How does training feel to me rather than not training?

I 100% ALWAYS feel better when I exercise or train.

  1. How has it felt in the past to give up or let go of a goal or idea?

I’ve almost 100% regret it, every time OR wish I had just stuck with it.

  1. What would be the consequences of losing my consistent routine?

It takes a long ass time to build a habit but I’ve found it’s very easy to lose. It’s easy to take a week off and it’s triple as hard to get back into it. So which way do I want to play this?

  1. What would not exercising do to my mental health?

Hand down it would suffer.

So after all these questions the very obvious solution is to not give up. Continue with the training plan I have set up for myself and keep working towards the goal I set out to achieve, even if that means dragging myself to do it sometimes. It will all be very worth it, even though it may be hard.

One of the best ways I keep my “grit” is to become aware of when I am making up an excuse, and ditch it. I have worked hard on my no excuse attitude over the years, I believe it is an important attitude to have. This is especially true when you are prioritizing yourself and your wellbeing. Sometimes in life you just have to do the hard thing and not let little excuses get in your way, they’re only roadblocks to your dreams.

That being said I am not letting some excuse of moving get in the way of my triathlon goal. I am soooo looking forward to getting out to Kelowna and buying a beautiful bike. It’s all part of my training plan that I have projected purchasing a bike in the next few weeks and introducing that into my training plan:)

What are some excuses that you’ve made that have hurt your progress?

What is holding you back the most from achieving your goals?

Can you name a few limiting beliefs that you need to get rid of?

Don’t let excuses hold you back from living the life you always dreamed of!

I believe in you!


Train With Me

Managing Uncertainty (9)

Intensity: This week my program was structured to increase reps/weight/overall volume. I felt the added volume and was sore at times but it wasn’t a debilitating soreness. Overall this weeks intensity I would rate a 6/10.

Motivation: I’ve had great motivation to work out AND run this week. I have been in a great flow. Realizing this I am trying to really soak it in and remember these feelings and how good it feels to feel excited to work out or at minimum, that it is not a daunting task. I am soaking in the good energy I have revolving around my training because it’s not always there. The good motivation and low motivation come and go in cycles. 

When it’s there soak it all in, use it as fuel, train hard and feel empowered.

When it’s not there, realize this is just a cycle, don’t you dare give up. Get the work done or even get something small accomplished and feel proud of yourself for doing what you can with the motivation that you have. The good motivation and energy will come back I promise.

Lessons: This week I’ve had to deal with a lot of stress and anxiety involving uncertainty with my life. Some very big decisions were made, applications were put through, I’ve had multiple interviews, but no clear concrete answers. I’ve been really trying to just handle and ultimately conquer my “fear of the unknown”. 

Self affirmations before a virtual interview

Fear in my opinion, is a useless emotion, unless it is evoked from instinct and giving you a warning about something. It is natural for fears to come about but it is not great on the body or spirit when you let them stay. Being in a place of fear or worry is the opposite of being in the present moment and just “being”, disregarding past and future. 

We could all do a little more “being”, and by being I mean being present in the moment and in our lives.

How this pertains to my training this week is through a realization when I was out for a great run one morning. My realization is that life is always changing, we are always evolving, growing, and moving forward (at least I hope we are). But there is one thing that is going to remain for me and should for you too, and that is our ability to take care of ourselves at whatever stage we are in. 

I realized that I don’t know where I am going to be in a couple weeks, months, or even years BUT I will always have my training. You cannot take this part away from me. My training is what keeps me centered and happy, so this means no matter where I end up I will be able to get to my happiness. Isn’t that the true meaning of life? Being happy and joyful?

When you are feeling uncertain about something and it is eating away at you just remember the things that are certain for you and focus on what you can control in the moment. You can control whether you exercise or not, you can control what you put into your body, and you can also take control of your habits although not always as easy to do and usually requires baby steps to gain more control.

You can also always control your effort and your attitude towards something. You can choose to focus on the good things and be grateful, although sometimes it takes some digging.

I still don’t know what the hell is going on in my life right now haha. But I’m going to keep training, keep doing the things that bring me joy, and keep being true to me.

Remember that whatever happens in your life is a direct manifestation of what was meant to be!


Life Hacks

How I Navigate Nutrition

I’m going to start out with a disclaimer: what works for me might not work for the next person. I am not for or against any sustainable diet that suits an individual best. This is only what I have learned over time through my own experiences and through the research that I have done. 

I am a former carb cycler and now practice flexible dieting by tracking my macros. I also follow a 80/20 rule of eating whole nutrient dense foods 80% of the time and 20% treat items. This helps me not feel so restricted in my food choices and allows me to enjoy certain foods that I love and crave (cookies:).

I have been “flexible dieting” for years now not with the full intention of losing weight but with the intention of becoming an expert at what I am putting into my body, how certain foods, and certain amounts of food make me feel physically and mentally, and with the intention of not getting hung up on “good” and “bad” foods but having flexibility to eat whatever I want.

This is the mindset that you need to get into when deciding to count and track your macros because it is not a quick fix solution. It can be challenging at times, it can feel obsessive at times, and it requires patience. What it is though is a very good tool to establish and create awareness.

I personally use carbon diet coach, an app for tracking my intake. There are many apps out there and some are free. Sometimes I track my food to a “T”, other days I loosely follow my macro numbers, but what I have learned over the years is to just do the best I can with tracking most days and if I have days where I overeat or lose track, I get over it and start new the next day, no biggie. I realize that every day is a new opportunity to hit those numbers and if you can hit them majority of the time you will be successful!

I am a big advocate for adequate protein in the diet as my experience in personal training and as a nurse, is by far the most important macronutrient for the body.

What I have gained insight more of in the last little while is also the importance of micronutrients as well. While it is great to be non restrictive with your diet, it is also very important to take in adequate nutrients. This results in feeling your best and beneficially over time looking your best as well (weight control, muscle tone, skin health etc). 

This is where my 80/20 rule really shines through. 80% of my diet includes nutrient dense foods including vegetables, fruits/berries, whole grains, legumes, lean meats, and polyunsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil.

It is best to get your nutrition from a wide variety of nutrient dense foods so I mix up my vegetables, fruits, and meats to get a wide variety of different nutrients. Alongside consuming lean meats I also have dabbled in vegan dishes with plant based proteins lately and have enjoyed many delicious meals so much that we alternate meat and vegetarian meals every night.

I have been lucky on the front that most foods that I consume don’t cause me discomfort (only when consumed in excess). This is not the case for everyone. There are many people out there who are gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, require a low FODMAP diet, have multiple allergies. This is where the importance of body awareness comes into play.

Food journals are a great tool to document incidents of low energy, GI symptoms, migraines, aches and pains or feelings of guilt and shame around food as well. Becoming aware of your food choices can help you pinpoint ways to eat better and feel better and become more healthy in general. 

I am in no way saying nutrition can heal all. But if there was a chance your diet could heal an ailment or make you feel more alive and energetic, would you take it?