• Friday Fuel • Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins

      Recipe: http://www.runningwithspoons.com/2014/06/24/banana-oat-greek-yogurt-muffins/

      I have been sick with a terrible bad head cold since Wednesday so I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to post this recipe yesterday.  I was trying to find a fast, easy, and comforting muffin that I could quickly whip up for me and Alison since we love baking.  Alison actually calls Muffins “Puffins” and it’s the cutest thing.  

      I like that you can quickly whip the batter up in a blender.  One dish to wash and a couple of measuring cups and spoons.  Perfect!  Easy clean up. Plus, I’m a huge fan of greek yogurt.  The cup cake liners do tend to stick to them since there isn’t a lot of oil in the batter and I did spray it with canola oil but I would probably spray them with more next time.  

      image

    • Friday Fuel • Chicken Tortilla Casserole

      Ohhhh man! On a day where I am craving comfort food, want to bgo cozy, or want to feed a lot of people or have lots of leftovers for the week - this is my go to!

      Chicken Tortilla Casserole

      Recipe: https://www-cleaneatingmag-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.cleaneatingmag.com/.amp/recipes/chicken-tortilla-casserole

      It’s always a hit and it’s delish! I

      This meal has quite a few steps so doubling it comes in handy. I always double it and put the second one in the freezer. Perfect for those days where you don’t feel like cooking but still want a healthy meal.

      Also, we eat this with sour cream! Enjoy!

    • Friday Fuel • Turkey Meatloaf Muffins & Panko Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon

      I am starting a new weekly blog post called “Friday Fuel” where I will share my favourite dinner or lunch recipes. To kick it off, I’m sharing TWO of my favourites!

      Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

      Recipe: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/video-jamie-eason-turkey-meatloaf-muffins.htm

      I’m a huge Jamie Eason fan and when I was following her Live Fit Trainer a few years ago, she had shared this recipe.

      It’s really yummy and high in protein. I usually make a large batch so that we can have some for lunch for the rest of the week. A couple weeks ago I made an extra large batch and combined all the ingredients in my mega Tupperware bowl and we had a couple for dinner, some for lunch for the week, and froze a couple of bags too.

      It came in handy when I had some girlfriends and their kids over for a play date and lunch. The kids gobbled them up so fast and one even asked for more! Winning! My picky daughter Alison even ate one.

      I usually eat them with a bit of ketchup and mayo. We have also added more chilipowder in the past, but I am a wimp when it comes to spice so I don’t do that. But my husband enjoys it when I do!

      Panko Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon

      Recipe: https://www.cookingclassy.com/panko-crusted-honey-mustard-salmon/

      My husband’s 33rd birthday was on Tuesday and I wanted to make him a special dinner. I needed one that was quick and easy because I have two little ones, and I had a busy day.

      He loved this one! I am not a huge fish person, but Salmon I enjoy and this recipe was incredibly delicious.

      Have a great weekend!

    • Announcing GF’s Spring Schedule!

      Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to fill out my spring survey. I am excited to announce some new classes and some changes in class times. 

      First, I want to let you know about an upcoming event!  I am hosting a CPR course here on Saturday, May 6 from 1 pm until 4 pm (we may be done a bit earlier than that).  There are only 10 spots available. The cost is $22.50 plus $18 for the manual.  Let me know ASAP if you’d like to come!  The course has been updated and is really good.  There is a new video that is quite realistic.  This course includes infant and child CPR too.  The instructor is great and I’ve been going to her yearly for the past 5 years.  There will be some refreshments and some light apples.  I hope you are able to make it!  ❤️❤️

      GF SPRING SCHEDULE

      Congratulations to Barb Bartman for winning 3 free classes.  I will contact you and we can get you attending classes! 

      Spring Bootcamp - Starting Monday, May 1
      Last Class: Wednesday, June 7

      This year, we will only be having a 6 week spring bootcamp since I’m due with baby #2 on June 18!   I’m hoping to do another round in August, but we will have to see how I am doing with recovery.  Classes will be 45 minutes long. For more information about these classes, what to expect, and bring - click here.

      Where: Park beside the Crestwood Community League Building
                  14325-96 Ave, West Edmonton

      Monday | 7:00 pm
      Wednesday | 6:30 pm
      Saturday  | 9:00 am (this class will also be kid friendly, so bring your kiddos!)

      Drop in: $17
      6 BC Classes (once a week) - $96
      12 BC Classes (twice a week)  - $180
      18 BC Classes (three a week) - $261

      Sign up Here

      Mommy & Me Fitness Class - Starting Tuesday, April 18

      Come bring your baby, toddler, or kiddos and join me and Alison for a great workout.  These classes are flexible, meaning if your little one is crying and you need to stop and nurse, change a diaper, etc. - no problem! Just join when you are able! Classes are 45 minutes long.  For more information - click here.

      Tuesday | 9:30 am
      Thursday | 9:00 am
      Saturday| 9:00 am 

      Drop in: $15
      5 Classes: $70
      10 Classes: $130

      Sign up Here 

      I am so pumped about these classes!  Feel free to contact me at nicole@gorgeouslyfit.ca if you need more information or have any questions.  I’m really looking forward to working out with you, ladies! 

    • photo from Tumblr

      I’m listening to a lecture Jenna Free did for the Postnatal Fitness Specialist course that I am taking and she said something that really resonated with me. She is talking about Body Positivity and how we have been taught by the diet industry that if you hate yourself enough, you can get that supermodel body, if you hate yourself enough you’ll workout harder, you’ll eat better - we shame ourselves into losing weight.

      Take back the power to love your body!

      Accepting our bodies just the way they are so we can take better care of it now! She gave the example of owning something in your house that you hate - do you take really good care of it? No, you probably neglect it!

      Well, we want to love and accept our bodies so that we can do better for it, so that we can take better care of it and our health - whatever that means for the individual person.
      —-
      That’s why I really enjoyed working out. Yes, when I started working out a few years ago, the main driving factor was to lose weight - I was uncomfortable in my clothing, didn’t like what I looked like, felt tired and insecure…but soon I started to look forward to going to the gym and keeping up my new healthy eating habits because I was proud of what I could do in the gym! I loved seeing what my body could do, see it getting stronger, faster and then because I spent time in the gym, I wanted to make sure I was fueling it properly. I eat the proper foods to help it get stronger, repair muscle and help me feel good.

      Now, post baby and currently expecting baby #2 I have learned to love my body. It has done amazing things for me! I will continue to exercise and eat healthy - yes, I still indulge in treats - but I have learned how to have a great balance. Do I want to tone up and lose some weight in some areas - yes but I love my body where it is now. I’m not going to be ashamed of it. I may be rounder right now and that’s ok. It’s where I’m at right now but I know that continuing to love it and treat it right, I will reach my goals. #rant 😉

      💕Nicole

    • photo from Tumblr
      Baking Night

      After enjoying delicious, Christmas food pretty much the whole month of December, (noooo regrets, here! Mmmm) I was looking forward to eating healthy again. But, I find myself still wanting to munch on baking or have a sweet treat.

      I follow a local Trainer, Kellie (Kellie.Fityourlife) on Instagram and before she had her second baby girl, she posted a few of her favourite recipes that she was making to prepare for the new arrival.

      I found 3 recipes that I wanted to try and oh man! I’m so looking forward to eating them for the rest of the week! So good! And when my husband and I sampled them tonight, we were impressed.

      When I was mixing the batter for the Magic Morning Muffins (pictured on the right), it smelled so good already! They have carrot in them which I’m thrilled about because I’m not a huge fan of carrot but I like it in here. Plus, Alison really enjoys her carbs so this will be a good way for her to get a bit of veggies in.

      I also made Almond Joy bars (pictured on the left of the Tupperware container) and Coconut Cutie bars (pictured on the right of the container). The almond joy bars are my favourite.

      They weren’t too complicated to make, either! You should try these out!

      Recipes for the Almond Joy Bars & Coconut Cutie bars can be found here: http://www.fityourlifefitness.ca/2015/10/kellies-favourite-treats.html?m=1

      And the recipe for the Morning Magic Muffins can be found here: http://www.fityourlifefitness.ca/2015/03/morning-magic-muffins.html?m=1

      Enjoy! Nicole

    • photo from Tumblr

      My West End (In Edmonton) bootcamp begins this Monday!  Come join!!  

    • photo from Tumblr

      I’m back!!! I’m sorry I have been MIA on my Facebook page and also the blog. 2015 was a very tough and exciting year for us!

      On September 10, 2015 we welcomed our beautiful little Alison Rose into the world! She is 5 ½ months old now so I took some time off work to just enjoy our new daughter.

      My pregnancy was quite tough and difficult for me as I was VERY sick for the first 5 months. Then after that I was still not 100% and extremely tired so I had to limit my training of clients. I was on diclectin (nausea) medication for my whole pregnancy - I will post another blog post soon about that whole experience.

      But obviously it’s all worth it.

      My sweet baby is here and it’s been a lot of fun watching her grow. I’ve slowly been getting back to working out how I used to before getting pregnant and it’s been nice to workout with my husband again.

      I’m also training clients again and have a few new and exciting opportunities coming up! So keep an eye on the FB page and blog for more details.

      Anyways, just wanted to say a quick hello again, I’m back and introduce our little blessing! I hope you are doing well!

    • 18 Simple Summer Sides - Clean Eating

      Oh my mouth is watering already! Yummerz!

    • 7 Tips to Help You Start a Morning Exercise Routine - Organize Yourself Skinny

      These are some great tips! And if you are up right now, contemplating if you should get up early and train - check it out 😃

    • Exercise is a GIFT

      I saw this today on Facebook and it really resonated with me. 

      Years ago, I looked at exercise as a punishment.  I HAD to workout because I was fat.  It was a consequence for my bad food choices and my sedentary lifestyle.  

      Slowly, though, as I started training and found exercises I enjoyed or as I saw myself improving, my thoughts towards fitness started to change.  Obviously, I was losing weight and that goal was what got me to start working out, but then I started to see other benefits:  

      • My posture improved
      • I had more confidence in myself
      • I was getting stronger
      • I was less afraid of doing exercises such as box jumps
      • I was running longer and further 
      • & more!

      It was like a switch went off.  You know how you hear some people who are fit say “I love working out!” and you think to yourself “yeah right…” NO.  You actually start to love working out because you see your body in such a different way.  It’s capable of so much.  YOU are capable of so much and this is why it is a gift.  

      There is SO MUCH you can do for activity. Find something that challenges you or something you really enjoy.  Swimming, Yoga, CrossFit, Weight Lifting, Running, Cross Country Skiing, Box Jumps, Hand Stands…on and on it goes!

      The trick is finding something you love that you keep going back to.

      I’m not going to lie, its tough at the beginning as you workout and your muscles are sore from training. A few weeks go by and it feels like it’s going to take forever for you to see a difference.  Or you see yourself in the mirror and you aren’t proud of what you see, but try and change your focus.  Start focusing on what you CAN do.  Ask yourself, what about your workout that day impressed you?  Were you tempted to stop at 10 reps, but you did two more because your program wanted you to do 12?  GREAT!  Did you move up from 5 lbs to 8 lbs because you became stronger?  These are small gifts to yourself.  Small victories that all add up!

      So remember, Exercise is not a punishment.  It’s a gift. 

      /nv

    • photo from Tumblr

      Leg day & cardio was #racquetball with my Mama. Happy new year!

    • photo from Tumblr

      Leg day & cardio was #racquetball with my Mama. Happy new year!

    • photo from Tumblr

      Woweeeee!  I had a really epic leg day yesterday and the above pic is represents how I’m feeling today.  😉

      I have been having a tough time with motivation these past few weeks, but this week I’ve been focused again and I’m not allowing my head to get in the way.  I am a person who likes to reward myself, make myself feel special.  

      Yesterday was a epsom salt bath with the candles on and one of my favourite fitness magazines.  Today, was actually not hard for me to get my butt in the gym because it was back and bicep day - my absolute favourite.  Common sexy arms and back!  I got a gorgeous strapless dress for Garret’s work Christmas party this year and I can’t wait to wear it.  But that’s not the only reason I enjoy training those muscles.  I just love how badass I feel when I do a pull up (50 lbs assisted = one pull up).  One of my goals is to do a pull up without any assistance.  Woot!

      Anyways, are you having a tough time getting your butt to the gym or getting your workouts in?  Maybe set up a reward system for yourself.  It works for me!  You don’t have to do a daily one, you could do a weekly or bi-weekly, or monthly.  Do you get a massage once a month?  Or you could buy a new box of protein bars for a monthly goals.  mmmmmmm…now i want one….no.  not time to eat yet.  *sips some water*

    • photo from Tumblr

      Good reminder

    • Unhealthy Types of Eating - Grazing, Overeating, and Binge Eating

      Lately, I’ve been posting a lot about emotional eating.  There are 3 other types that I would like to talk to you about, they are: Grazing, Overeating, and Binge eating. 

      Grazing - Eating food because it is available or sounds good at the time. 

      I find this to be hard when I’m at a family gathering or some other type of event.  Sometimes my events are at night (bridal shower, baby shower, etc.) and I’ve already reached my calorie goal and I’m really not hungry.  

      But there’s a table of cup cakes or some other baking…..It is just sitting there waiting to be eaten.

      I also struggled with this when I was an Admin. Assistant.  Across from the U of A was a Tim Hortons and often, someone would bring back a box of timbits for our office.  Whenever I had to put something in a Nurses’ mailbox or check mine, or do something in that room on the counter it was there.  I would take one and promise myself that’s it.  But, every time I would go to that room - it was there and the idea of having another one sounded great. 

      PLAN > Sometime’s it’s better to not even eat one.  I know for awhile I knew myself and knew, I wouldn’t be able to just have one.  So I wouldn’t.  Sometimes I would go back to my desk and pull out a bag of snap peas and that was enough.  But, sometimes you really just want one.  It’s OK to have one timbit. It’s 70 calories. But leave it at that.  

      At an event, I would snag a chip with dip or maybe a cupcake but again, that was it.  Then I would only allow myself to go to the veggie platter.  Chat with people.  If you find you are still wanting to have some food because the people you are talking with are munching, then bring a water bottle and sip on that.  If I knew I would be wanting something sweet, I would make a smoothie and bring it a long.  You have to remember, you have goals.  Before you went in and saw the food, you had a plan.  Stick to it.  You will leave the function happier.

      Overeating - eating past a feeling of being full

      I can’t relate to this one.  I really hate feeling full and often feel too uncomfortable that this isn’t a struggle for me.  

      PLAN> Stick to your measured portion.  If you knew you were only supposed to have a chicken breast and half a cup of rice, for example, then stick to that.  If you still find you are wanting to have a bit more of the chicken or pasta, put it in a container and in the fridge.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Make yourself a tea or have a glass of water.  For me, a tea is the last thing I consume before I hit the pillow. Once I start sipping that tea, I don’t want anything else.

      If you track your calories, enter in your meal, then complete your diary for the day.  You will see your predicted weight in 5 weeks and that will probably deter you from eating more.

      Binge Eating - large number of calories in short amount of time

      In my journal on August 23, 2012, I had written: This is me right now.  I hate struggling with this.

      This took me so long to work through.  I still struggle with this.  Yesterday, I did this.  I went WAY over my calorie goal in a short amount of time because I had a banana, a piece of banana loaf from starbucks (I have banned myself from there for a bit BTW…), and then a protein bar.  In 20 minutes I had gone over my calorie goal by 700 calories.

      Binge eating often happens when a person is alone, is secretive, and leaves the person feeling disgusted and ashamed.  You think to yourself “What is wrong with me?!  Why can’t I just say no to myself?”  It leaves you feeling powerless and angry with yourself.  

      I remember a few years ago, Garret would be home but I didn’t want him to see me stuffing my face.  He was playing a computer game and I just wanted chips and a bowl of ice cream and anything sweet.  I hid in the bathroom and ate it all.  When I was done, I felt so crappy.  

      I remember coming home from work and I had stopped at a McDonald’s and needed to hide the bag.  I couldn’t put it in the garbage in the house, because he would see it.  So I put it in the garage garbage but hid it at the very bottom.  I would pay with cash so there was no trail and he wouldn’t see the credit card bill.  I remember reading this article “I Cheated on my Husband…with Food” in self magazine, and I so related to this lady.  

      I have said no before and I know I can get out of this slump.  You can too. I had my treat yesterday.  The rest of the week, I am staying within my calorie goal.  I have looked at my week and it’s pretty normal, except on Saturday we have Garret’s parents anniversary dinner.  I’m pretty sure there will be some sort of dessert there, so I am going to have a bite of Garret’s and that’s it.  I still get to enjoy a bite of delicious dessert.

      A few years back, I had had enough.  I was tired of binge eating, the way I felt so out of control and helpless.  I could help myself and be in control - by limiting what types of foods are in the house.  I got rid of chips, ice cream, fishy crackers (my one job I would have a 4 hour break and would often come home alone and just shove handfuls into my mouth…), pretty much anything carb.  

      When I finally acknowledged that I was surrounded by too many temptation, I knew I needed to make a change.  This was a turning point.  I am proud of myself for doing that years ago. You know your limits, yourself, and your temptations.  

      There are some chips that Garret would like in the house so I just ask him to hide them so I don’t see them.  Again, out of sight out of mind.  

      I also had to be honest with my husband to break my unhealthy cycle of binge eating.  It was no longer something that was a secret.  I admitted it and owned it.  Like the woman in that article said, you are hiding it but physically your body shows it. 

      I hope these tips are helpful.  It’s important to be honest with yourself.  It took me awhile to feel comfortable to share this on the blog, so I wrote it in a journal.  I highly recommend you start documenting your good days and bad days.  It’s encouraging to look back on. 

    • Brenda Vance | Amazing Stair Workout

      Wow! Awesome exercises here! Even if you are pressed for time, you could do a whole circuit of each exercise a couple times for a good workout. Live in an apartment? Use the back/emergency stairs.

    • West End Bootcamp! Begins Tomorrow!

      Looking to change your workout? Try something new while also reaching your fitness goals? Come train with me and some awesome ladies. All you need to bring is your yoga matt and 5 lb or 8 lb dumbbells. 

      Train with Certified Personal Trainer, Nicole Vandekamp for a fraction of the cost! 

      Where: Crestwood Community League (14325 96 Ave) 

      When: 6 Weeks long, starts Monday, August 18, ends Monday, Sept 22 

      Twice a Week (10 sessions, {no class Mon. Sept 1}) - $115 
      -MORNINGS - Mon & Wed at 6:30 am 
      -EVENINGS - Mon & Thurs at 6:45 pm 

      Three times a week (14 Sessions {no class Sat, Aug 30, or Mon, Sept 1}): $160 
      -Choose from the times listed above, but add a Saturday morning! 10:30 am 

      Push your body to new limits and learn some new exercises. At the end of the 6 weeks you will be so glad you signed up! Drop in is also available for $15. 

      Sign up at nvandekamp@gorgeouslyfit.ca

    • Tips if you are an Overeater

      I struggled with this a lot before I lost my weight.  I had to really work on this and to be honest, this is a still a struggle for me.  


      The past 2 months, I haven’t been tracking my meals, I eat what I want (even if that means it’s high calorie and I’ll be WAY over my daily goal), etc. It’s amazing how sluggish and meh I feel.  Before, I would allow myself to have a treat meal once a week and it was perfect.  If I went to an event and there was cake or chips I would have one bit of my Husband’s or a couple chips and that was it (moderation!).  But I have been justifying my poor eating habits.  

      I was 142 before and now I’m up to 153.  I know it’s not a huge amount, but I am disappointed that I haven’t been fuelling my body properly.  I have fitness goals and a person I want to be and I haven’t been making food choices that will help me reach them.  

      I am back on track and I remember some tips from “Lose It For Life” that really helped me when it comes to overeating.  I have pulled them out and will ask myself these questions because emotions or temptations can really take over and it’s important to regain focus.  

      Before I eat, ask myself:

      • How will I feel after I eat this?
      • How wil I feel in 30 minutes?
      • How will I feel about it in the morning?
      • Will I beat myself up over this choice?

      A couple slip ups cost me my GOAL.  I have to push through it and remember I am more powerful than I think I am.

      If you slip up, learn from it.  What caused you to overeat?  Not enough protein for your meals?  Did you choose that delicious banana bread loaf from starbucks that was 450 calories instead of eating a healthy lunch…*my temptation!*

      If you are just starting out, it will take time.  But just remember this is a learning process.  Had a bad day?  Learn from it and make better choices tomorrow.  Did you chose to watch a TV show rather than packing a healthy lunch?  Pack your lunch on the commercial breaks instead of skipping through them, or wait to watch that show till the next day.  

      If you can’t take food off your mind, have a bath, read in bed, call a friend, go or a walk,etc.  

      Have a great weekend everyone!

    • Tip for the EMOTIONAL Eater

      Are you an emotional eater?  I challenge you today to practice managing your emotions instead of allowing them to manage you.  Work through the pain. Take your frustrations out on the weights, the treadmill, the workout - not with food. 

      {From the Book: Lose It for Life}

    • Reasons Average Diets Fail

      I have really enjoyed reading the book “Lose It For Life.” It goes into depth about how to lose it for life, getting to the root cause of why a person can be overweight. I also like it because it also is from a Christian perspective.  There are Spiritual, Physical and Emotional components to this journey.  Often times, when I was overeating and stressing, I was looking to food, rather than God.  Whatever your religion, they have a lot of good points and comments.  Such as Common reasons average diets fail:

      1) Unrealistic  Expectations 

      This is a big one. I get questions all the time from clients “How much weight can I lose by such and such a date.”  When I started my personal weight loss journey, I would count the weeks and then create my goal.  Which is fine, except when you go over board.  It is possible to lose 2 lbs a week, however, life happens.  Yes, we want to lose the weight so we can feel confident again, fit into clothes comfortably, look amazing at that next event, etc.  But it is very important to remember that this is a lifestyle change.  It’s going to take time to change the habits and make the changes necessary to lose the weight and keep it off.  You did not gain this weight all in one month.  It happened over time.

      You cannot expect yourself to not slip up.  Through out this journey, I have fallen off the wagon, gone up in weight, gone back down, have done great for awhile, struggled to get my workouts in, etc.  Be prepared to not be perfect this whole time.  Don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep plugging away.  I love this quote because it makes complete sense and helped me whenever I felt like I would never lose the weight.

      image

      Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself.  Reality shows such as Biggest Loser and Extreme Weightloss show that it is possible to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, but you need to remember that for most people, that process is a full time job.  

      You can lose the weight, just do it in a healthy way and realize it’s going to take some time.  

      2) Overeating issues not addressed

      Why do you over eat?  Is it as simple as boredom eating and you need to find something to do?  Is it emotional eating? I really struggled with emotional eating.  I had to change my focus from looking to food, to looking to God.  Really.  He was the one that could provide comfort, encouragement, and i could pray to him whatever the circumstances.  

      Another thing I found was I enjoyed treating myself.  Enjoying a delicious ice cream or just binge eating - it tasted good.  However, after I felt worse.  I love taking baths.  I do not eat in the bath - some people do, but that’s not relaxing to me.  So I bought myself a special bubble bath and it was for really bad days and also bought another one for workout days (it was a body wash and bubble bath - sweet!).  This small thing helped me.  I would light candles, play my favourite music or take my favourite magazine in and just relax…..ah….

      For boredom eating/watching TV - I would paint my nails.  You want the polish to dry perfectly and smoothly so there is no getting up and reaching in a chip bag. 

      Often, I was just thirsty.  So a glass of water squirted with Mio helped or making myself a cup of tea. 

      I had to deal with a lot of the emotional eating stuff, but I have finally found a good balance. 

      3) Lack of respect and support from family

      This is true for a lot of people unfortunately.  I have clients who are constantly struggling at home.  The foods they are trying to say no to, are sitting right beside them on the couch because their family members are munching on them. 

      Or, you go out for dinner with a friend and you aren’t in the mood for a drink or dessert, but your friend doesn’t want to eat alone.  Or you just don’t feel supported in your decision to lose this weight and that means only having one treat meal so you can reach your goal….

      image

      When you are convincing yourself to go with the salmon dish rather than the pasta, the last thing you want is another voice convincing you to choose the pasta.  

      Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed and want you to look your best.  Choose people who are confident with themselves and who won’t sabotage you.  

      I had a calorie goal and I remember going to my sisters birthday party.  I had dinner and still had about 200 calories left.  They pulled out the DQ ice-cream cake - my FAVE!!!  So, I went to the cupboard grabbed the scale and weighed it until it reached 200 calories.  I was fine with this.  I still can enjoy the cake while being within my calorie goal.  

      Well, my sisters (who really meant well!!!) said to me “Oh, Nicole! Just enjoy it, etc. etc.”  Just because I’m not having as big of a piece as them, does not mean I am not enjoying it.  Plus, I was still 50 lbs overweight.  It’s easy to say, enjoy it, tomorrow is another day, etc.  But, I had been doing that for years. Tomorrow I’ll start or Monday I’ll start.  Even if you have two off days in one week, the rest of the 5 you can still be reaching your goal.  

      I was fortunate to have my husband by my side.  Also, I had a friend who was supportive and I would bring my own meal to small group just so I knew I was within my calorie goal.  Every day counts.  

      If you are looking for someone to support you, pick me!  I will help you 😀 

      4) Inadequate exercise

      Cardio Queens.  That’s what most women are known for.  Cardio is good for you - don’t get me wrong!  But, training with weights and building muscle is great for you!  Think of muscle as the engine of a car.  The bigger engine, the more fuel you burn.  Same with muscle.  The more muscle, the higher your metabolism and calorie burn.  

      Create a workout plan.  Make sure you are doing something active at least 3-5 times a week.  It doesn’t have to be brutal.  Even if you start with a walk and then do some squats, bicep curls, shoulder presses, etc.  

      If you are looking for a program, I create at home workouts for you and can send them via email or I can come to your home and teach you how to use your equipment and home to get you in shape.  

      5) Separating the soul from the body 

      As I mentioned, I am a Christian. I have found leaning on the Lord and working on my relationship with Him to help me.  Before I would give into food/my ideas for relieving stress.  But once I “Give myself to a higher authority and relinquish control to God” - 2 Cor. 12:10 things changed.  My way of trying to control the situation was not healthy or beneficial.  But once I gave control to God, I started to feel relieved.  I could not do it on my own.  

      I let go of the old mantras that I told myself: All I need is more willpower, all I have to do is stop eating so much, etc. I admitted that God is all powerful and released my struggles to Him.  I was no longer saying or thinking “I can do this myself.”

      ***
      I found these 5 things helped me personally with my weight loss.  I hope you were able to take some tips away from this and take off some of the pressure.  You will lose the weight!  You will reach your fitness goals!  Not by tomorrow, but soon if you keep at it.  

      At the end of the day, it’s up to me to press on and stay committed with this new lifestyle.  I am so glad I did.  I have a healthy relationship with food, a great support system, and I enjoy (WHAT?!!?!) working out.  I never thought I would say that, but it’s true!  I have found things I enjoy doing (strength training, biking, hiking, etc.) and sure, some days I’d rather skip a workout and veg on the couch - I’m human! But I have been loving this healthy lifestyle this past year and a bit.  It’s been a amazing journey and I love trying new things and being active with my husband. 

    • photo from Tumblr

      It sure does! 

    • A glimpse back...

      As most of you know, I struggled with my weight for a number of years.  These past two years, I tried to commit to lose weight.  But it wasn’t until 2013 where I really got the momentum going.  Though I haven’t reached my goal body quite yet, I was 206 lbs and now I’m 149 lbs.  

      I have been feeling more confident and stronger than I have in years.  Today, during a fitness consultation with one of my clients, she shared some struggles and I could totally relate.  I remember the struggle. I love fashion and enjoy dressing up, but I remember when before it took me forever to choose a outfit I feel comfortable in.  I would try on at least 5 different outfits but wouldn’t feel comfortable or beautiful. 

      Through out this journey, I have kept a journal.  It is easy to forget.  You can remember feeling out of it and unhappy but sometimes you forget the examples.  

      July 18, 2012
      Today I wanted an icecap and passed a Tim Horton’s on the way to the mall.  I told myself I would get one in the mall.  I kept postponing when I would get one - I left the mall and went home without having one!  I am proud of myself and my self control.  

      While shopping though, I was bummed.  I am still a size 14, how did I get this big?  I am sick of this fat.  

      ***

      I remember many shopping trips like that.  Walking into stores like Dynamite, Guess, Garage and pulling the biggest sized pant and it not fitting.  It was discouraging.  

      I suggest you keep a journal and write down the struggles and victories.  You do not need to have a lengthly one.  Even if you write it down in point form.  It’s encouraging to see look back and see that you can say “no” and made healthy choices that have contributed to you changing your life.  I am now a slender size 6/8!  Can you believe it?  It is possible to change your own life.  Sometimes it’s tough to know where to start.  I am always here for you if you need me! 

      Before:

      image

      Today:image

    • photo from Tumblr

      Worked out outside tonight! Felt so good! 😄

    • photo from Tumblr

      Stephanie killing her workout this afternoon. She got a few honks! 🚗 😉

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