How to Lose Belly Fat

I used to think that you could target belly fat by doing specific exercises and focussing much time in the gym on Abs.

I look at it like this: there are 3 powerful components at my disposal to not only lose, but also maintain my healthy weight.

I can use these 3 tools in whatever capacity I need to as my lifestyle changes and life naturally follows the ebbs and flows of busy. Sometimes that means more focus on my nutrition and less on activity when my life gets hectic. And when I have more time, I focus on strength training, and less on the other elements (and vice versa with my cardio).

It’s an ever shifting balance but thankfully, the scales of balance have always levelled out for me. I enjoy eating (this girl can throw down at a dinner table), so I love that I have cardio/strength training to supplement that.

Pyramid of Tools:

Nutrition and Water

Resistance Training: Strength 

Aerobic Activity: Cardio

I quickly learned that weight loss is not localized and the most important tool within my control is my diet (that’s why it’s on the top of the pyramid).

Back to that pesky belly fat we all want to shed. Belly fat is visceral fat. You can strengthen the abdominal through exercise, but until you get rid of the visceral fat, you will not be able to see the fruits of your labour.

There is a saying “abs are built in the kitchen”.  Boy have I have learned this truth through the years. You simply can not out run a bad diet. There are certain types of foods you can eat that can help you lose weight, and when paired with exercise (both cardio and strength training), the belly fat decreases. Yay! That’s great news right?!

Another fun fact I learned, fat cells don’t disappear, they just shrink. WTF?! So there is no finish line for me, I have found a lifestyle I’m completely in love with which allows me to maintain my healthy weight, and practice gratitude for this healthy body. It’s an act of love to take care of myself.

So here’s some tips on the nutrition side of the pyramid:

Choose foods high in soluble fibre.

Soluble fibre absorbs water and helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system. Studies show this type of fibre promotes weight loss by helping you feel satiated so you naturally eat less.

Foods high in fibre:  pears, strawberries, avocado, broccoli, apples, raspberries, bananas, carrots, beets, brussels sprouts, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, split peas, quinoa, oats, popcorn, almonds, chia seeds and sweet potatoes.

Choose lean protein sources.

Protein raises your metabolic rate and helps you retain muscle mass during weight loss. A diet with a focus on lean protein, complex carbohydrates (think veggies/whole grains), and healthy fats will also help you to feel full and regulate your insulin.

Lean protein sources: fish, wild game, chicken, turkey, bison, beans/lentils, eggs, soy, cottage cheese, nuts/nut butters, protein powders (whey, soy, veg).

Cut out refined sugars.

There are countless studies linking belly fat with a diet high in refined sugars. Sugar is like a drug. It can feel impossible to control cravings when you ingest large amounts; personally, I try not to eat sugar “in moderation”. It’s a trigger food for me, so cutting it out as much as possible worked best for me. There’s no more roller coaster of energy…which wasn’t even true energy but rather spikes in my blood sugar. When you go up you must come down.

I choose foods that keep me coasting straight and steady. Like top rolled down on a converatable, hair in a scarf, sunshine on my smiley face. lol  I feel in control and have a steady source of energy from my food choices.

Food is fuel. Choose wisely. I can’t even begin to explain the amazingly positive difference in my moods, energy, and all around happiness when I gained control over my sugar addiction. My family is thankful for that change too. 😉

Avoid drinking your calories.

Most fruit juices, pops, cocktails are not only high in sugar, but the body does not process these types of calories the same as food counterparts. There really is no nutritional value to drinking orange juice, versus eating an actual orange and choosing water with lemon instead.  Fruit juices may contain some vitamins, but they also contain as much sugar as a soda pop.

Avoid foods that contain “Trans Fats”.

Trans fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain in studies. I know…yadda, yadda, yadddda. But seriously friends, read your labels. These are often listed as “partially hydrogenated” fats. Not all fats are created equal. Some fats are heart healthy like Omega-3 fats found in Salmon. Omega-3’s are termed essential fatty acids because the body can not produce them on its own and they are essential for health.

Drink Water

This is quite possibly the most important and simple tool at your disposal. I aim for 100 oz a day or 4 of those Costco contego bottles.

Track your nutrition with a free online app.

This not only helps me stay accountable, but it also gives me a valuable snapshot of my day and a look at my macro breakdown (Protein/Carbohydrates/Fats). I can clearly see how much sugar, fibre, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, and fats I am consuming every day. I do not focus on calories, but rather quality of my calories along with the activity I fit into my day. Knowledge is power. We all know to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body needs. I try not to make it overcomplicated.

Use Cardio as a tool.

Cardio is not only vital to heart health, but it’s an essential tool to burn calories. When you combine cardio with strength training to gain muscle, you can change your entire metabolic rate. Read that last sentence again and let it soak in, because it’s so freaking amazing. You can change your entire body composition!

For me, intensity is key. The human body is brilliant; it adapts quickly to whatever you throw at it. To avoid plateaus, I mix things up…always keep my body guessing. Add cardio into my strength circuits, go for different intensity runs through out the week, combine walking/jogging/sprints…just mix it up (plus I won’t get bored). Try new cardio activities: bike, swim, hike, get out with the kids and get active.  If you have the ability to run/move/jump/walk, you are so blessed. Many are not afforded that luxury. Look at it as a gift.

Build Muscle

Muscle is an active tissue, which means you are burning calories while you are chillin’ like a villain long after your workout. We naturally lose muscle as we age, so the only way to get muscle is to build it. If you build it, health will come.

Not sure where to start? Hire a personal trainer so you learn proper form and avoid injury. If you are in my area, send me a message. 🙂 And oh my my, it’s addicting, I just love my one hour of lifting time. I zone out and feel so powerful and full of pride. Results come quickly when it comes to strength training.

  • Use cardio to burn
  • Strength to build a strong foundation (like a house made of bricks)
  • Food to fuel your amazingly beautiful life

It’s as simple as that for me; and my happy weight was a byproduct of that equation (along with a healthy dose of self-love).  Treat YOU just as you treat those you love most in your life.

Reduce stress and get your sleep.

Studies have linked the stress hormone “cortisol” to increased belly fat storage as well as increased appetite.  Do whatever feeds your spirit in a positive way: go for a walk/run, try yoga, go kayaking, go for a hike surrounded by beauty.

I mean come on my friends!!!! Look at this amazing planet we live on….move as the body is designed to and soak up the beauty around you.

Practice gratitude for all the blessings in your life, and start your day off that way (listen to Peter). We may not be able to control the stressors in our daily life, but we can control our perceptions and outlook. It’s in HOW we handle that stress that’s most important.

Move more, eat quality, feed your body/mind/spirit in love, rest, be ever grateful…repeat.

The body is a miraculous machine, it’s always in a state of healing. When I think about the years I abused by body with no activity and highly processed foods, I’m amazed it just kept on urging to move.  Yes, it can feel like it takes a long time getting that weight off, but when you compare it to the years spent abusing it….it’s not even comparable.

What took me almost two decades to put on, my body responded in love within 18 months (and I had my beautiful girl in the middle of it all). How amazing is that?! So very grateful.

From my thankful heart to yours,

Christine

The Power of Accountability and Friendship

A few of us ladies, all on our own unique path of health and wellness, have decided to combine the power of accountability along with camaraderie.

We are friends who sweat together; yet separately on our own time. lol Like active introverts.

What started out as a way to motivate some of my clients to get their cardio in when they are not in the studio training; has trickled its way right into my heart (and kicked my butt in the process).

The deal was, they were going to text me a photo of their sweaty faces after their workout. With each beautiful sweaty faced text I received, I felt this urging in my spirit to run. I have been very focussed on strength training and less on running my 5K’s which are as important to my soul as it is to my heart. Heart healthy in all the ways.

Run…

Away the daily stresses.

To feel alive.

To feel the sunshine on my face and the wind in my hair.

To feel thankful that I have the ability to run, walk, sprint; when others do not have that luxury (love you Janice).

To remember the strength of the human body and spirit.

To feel that rush of endorphins; even through the uncomfortable.

To live outside my comfort zone. Nothing grows in comfort.

So I ran.

And then I ran again.

With each text I received, I made the time to run. Because I’m just so proud of them it makes my eyeballs leak.

I am so thankful for the genuine connections I have made because of fitness.

These relationships are forged on authenticity, vulnerability, positivity, laughter, and pride in one another’s tenacity to never give up.

To keep pushing through the hard days.

To challenge not only ourselves; but one another.

To fight the urge of complacency because there’s a better way to live. There’s no going back.

Live actively, wholeheartedly, and with determination.

Run on my soul sisters. ❤

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Weight Loss is a Byproduct of Self-Love

I had an epiphany this morning as I was journalling.

Taking good care of myself, and in turn others, is the highest form of self-love.  Long-term weight loss has been possible for me, not because I have attempted to fit into a certain size clothing nor because I was striving to achieve societal standards of what a woman “should” look like. It truly is a byproduct of Love…simplifying the way I am intended to live.

~Within Love~

This is how we are designed right from the moment we were but one single cell.

To ignite the fire of change within your lifestyle, all it takes is a shift of your perspective away from the pressure of aesthetics and instead onto love. 

I’m going to attempt to explain my thought pattern here; however, it’s tricky to articulate a feeling.

I show respect for my body by eating foods high in nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, nutrients) so I have the most energy for my life and my kids as possible. I understand there are certain foods that trigger emotional eating for me, so I create a no-fail environment. If I’m tempted to eat my trigger food, I actually put myself in the emotional state that I feel after I eat them. Sluggish, self-deprecation, loss of control.  Those are not the thoughts I want to live within, so no thank you 🙂

I have the ability to pick my fuel, and so why would I pick low-quality fuel such as simple carbohydrates which quickly convert into sugar and have me on a roller coaster of temporary energy only to crash moments later? My goal is to feel my best physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So I will choose foods that come from the earth and have an expiration date. 🙂

I am thankful for my health and the ability to move freely.  Think about the times when you are sick with the flu and bed-ridden, how grateful are you when you feel better? You have this new lease on life, and you breathe deeply with gratitude. Those feelings can fade quickly however, and we fall back into complacency and forget that our health is a gift.

I will always be reminded of this as my sister is confined to a wheel chair because of MS. She would give ANYTHING to get up and run again.  To take that for granted would not only be selfish of me; but a huge disrespect and disservice to my sister. I know exactly how she would be living today if MS had not robbed her physical health. She would run circles around me with her characteristic Janice laugh. So I will run because I’m able. And I’m so very grateful for the ability to run, jump, move, and grow in strength.

The human body is a miraculous machine, the more you challenge it with new movements within your abilities, the stronger and more agile you become. How amazing is that?!

I will drink lots of water as we are made of water. Common sense tells me it’s essential for optimal health. And truly, what an easy way to maintain health. Just march right up to your tap and pour yourself a glass. Further to that, I am blessed that I have running water and a fridge stocked with food. Many are not afforded that luxury.  I remind myself of that often when the most ridiculous excuses creep into my mind and out of my mouth “I don’t have time to eat right and I don’t like the taste of water.”  I can’t imagine saying that to someone who does not have access to clean water nor a grocery store down the street (and money to buy a weeks worth of groceries).

And finally, I will strive everyday to live a life of purpose, gratitude, pride and love. Invest in my spirit so that I can love others wholeheartedly. Give of my time and abilities to those who need it most; just as I have needed it so many times in my life when I was unsure about my future and overwhelmed with sadness.

Listen more, talk less. Connection with others lies within meaningful communication which is a two-way street. How many conversations have I had that are ego based, formulating my response without listening to the words of another? Be aware.

This is a my journey to love myself because I need my kids to love themselves too.

This is a call to be the best version of myself because I have this one precious life, and time is valuable. Use it wisely.

What kind of life do I want to live? Even during times when I’m not exactly where I would hope to be at certain stages, I still had the luxury of time and the ability to turn another’s day around with a little uplifting and kindness. Giving is so good for the heart and soul.  It connects us to one another.

Spread a little positivity.

Laugh freely.

Smile for no other reason than the fact I have my health today when another maybe living in a hospital bed. My happiness does not come from others; but rather from within and a higher power.

Run or go for a walk today because you are able.

Eat healthy foods today because you have the ability to make a choice in the fuel you put into your body.

Living in gratitude and love is a choice. Today (and everyday) I choose a life of wholehearted living. How ridiculously amazing is that my friends?!!? ha!

I hope this post made sense, I had quite the morning of thinking. I wish for you a life full of pride, joy, and purpose.

From my grateful heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

Is Fasted Cardio Dangerous?

I received an email to submit content for an article in relation to the Dangers of Fasted Cardio. At first I wasn’t sure how to reply, as I really don’t have a passionate opinion on the topic either way (nor do I think it’s necissarily soooo dangerous)…but after sleeping on it, I can speak to what works best for me within my lifestyle.

Personally, I need fuel to get me through my workouts after a night of sleeping…which is in essence fasting.  I eat a mixture of lean protein and complex carbohydrates (with a bit of healthy fats) at least 30 minutes before my workout so that my food is transformed into energy which translates to a great work out.  I look at food as fuel. Complex carbohydrates are my energy source, and protein is a tool to build and repair muscles.  In order to perform my workouts the way I want to at high-intensity, I require energy! I have tried working out on an empty stomach before, and I hit a wall half way through. So common sense tells me, this is not how my body performs best. This is about what works best for ME, not what works best for my neighbour on the treadmill beside me.

What if you aren’t hungry before your workout? For me, this has been the case some mornings, so I opt for a smoothie.  I use a protein powder that also has carbohydrates, non-sweetened greek yogurt, half a banana, a bit of avocado, spinach, and blend with a mixture of water/almond milk. After my workout, I understand that because I have broken down my muscles, I need to repair them so I make sure to have some lean protein. This not only repairs muscles, but feeds them so they grow. The more muscle you have, the better quality of life you have. Your posture improves (you’ll walk with your head held high!), you’ll burn more calories at rest even while you’re chillin’ on the couch, your metabolism improves, and of course clothes fit better.

The diet/fitness industry is full of conflicting information, and it can get overwhelming and defeating. I simplify it all by focussing on the facts I know about my body, how it performs best, and what I require to live my best life. I remember once a fitness professional told me to be careful how many cherry tomatoes or apples I was eating because they are higher in sugar. And I thought to myself….I have never woken up covered in apple cores and regret. Who binges on apples and tomatoes?!  ha! So I will eat foods that are grown from the earth and pay attention to hunger cues. Intentional eating.

Taking care of your body with workouts and eating right is a big part of self-love. Take away the pressure to fit into a certain size of clothing, and instead focus on the release of endorphins as you workout. Eat quality food to fuel your busy active life. And feel pride each step of the way as you reach your goals. Positive out, positive in. Take care of yourself the way our bodies are designed to function. Move more, eat well, and be grateful for improved quality of life. It’s as simple as that to me.

I’m off to make my smoothie now and get my workout in for the day. 🙂

Have an amazing day!
From my heart to yours,
Christine

The Importance of Framing your Day

I have written about “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod a few times on this blog.  The reason this book resonated with me so much, is because the practice of getting up an hour earlier to frame my day the right way has become an integral part of my life. I used to roll out of bed, jump right into the shower and get swept up by the rush of my morning. My mind was overtaken with to-do lists, and all the tasks I had in front of me.  That became overwhelming most days.

Fast forward to this stage of my life, I start my day off with reading/writing/dreaming/thinking/positivity. I focus on gratitude. On the good. On the I CAN’s and I WILL’s. On pride and acceptance.  I dream with a thankful heart. I set my goals. Along with the cascading rays of the rising sun that seep into my living room, positivity floods my mornings and that Zen Joy lives in my heart. How amazing is that?!

Here’s my newest read, I highly recommend it. It’s a badass book, and I’m having a hard time putting it down. When I do put it down, I think about it. I’m addicted to reading it. Go ORDER it.

My Mom can attest to this fact: I am not a morning person. I will reframe that statement now, I have LEARNED to become a morning person. I can’t believe all these years I held the power to change that about myself. I lived with many self-imposed labels. Overweight. Negative. Fearful. Procrastinator. Comfortable. Complacent.

Why did I do that to myself? I was living within destructive limiting beliefs. I type-casted myself and resigned to a false sense of self-image created within my mind.

Well now, that is just unacceptable.

So now, each day I ask myself some pretty important questions.

~Who do I want to be?  Go be that.

~What do I want to achieve in life?  Go do it. It’s so much more than dreaming; I have to put in the work. Believe in my abilities and tenacious spirit. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). Revisit each goal as I make progress. Set new goals. Be proud of my progress. Get excited about future work. Repeat. 🙂 Think about someone you are envious of in regards to the way they live their fabulous life. You can live your life that way too if you want. Exciting fact!

~What am I thankful for today?  No matter what is happening in my life…there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.  I have a warm home, food in my fridge, amazing kids/friends/family/clients. I have my health, the ability to lace up my shoes and go for a run in the sun. I have freedom to make choices, to learn, to live out-loud.

I was talking to my friend Joe at the gym today, and I asked him how he was doing. He replied with the most emphatic enthusiastic “GREAT!” Ooooh really….that’s amazing, what is so great about your life now?! I asked.  He then explained that he just ran into a long-time friend who was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, and had his prostate removed. This friend is younger than he is, and here they were both working out along side one another at the gym, with thankful hearts and positive spirits. He told me that he was so grateful for his health and he had absolutely nothing to complain about.

His words touched my heart and I became overcome with gratitude that I too had my health. I worked harder than I usually do. I even did burpees, and I detest burpees; however, Joe does them all the time. Because he uplifted me today, I sucked it up and did them too. And then I came home and did a bunch of meal prep with all the nutritious foods in my fridge so I can fuel my body with quality.

I hope you all have an amazing day, and maybe tomorrow you will set your clock and get up an hour earlier to frame your day YOUR way. If you do, drop me a line and let me know. Positive momentum is in fact infectious.

From my thankful heart to yours,

Christine

The Disconnect within Connection

We all crave connection. It’s a fundamental human need. That’s why there’s so much time spent online. Facebook, twitter, instagram. It’s a virtual world of human connection. We spend more time on our phone virtually talking to others than we do actually connecting with another person face-to-face. What’s ironic is by searching for connection in this way, it creates a disconnect in life.

I hear this a lot and I’ve also convinced myself of this from time to time. I’m too busy to workout and eat right. It’s not that we don’t have time, it’s that we don’t use our time wisely.

I used to think that I used food as a tool to numb. I think it’s more accurate to say that I used food to feed a feeling of emptiness. One that could have been fed by healthy elements.

I took some time to truly think about the ways I feel full and content within mind and spirit.

Connection

How often have you tried to have a real conversation with someone who is looking down at their phone while you talk? It’s impossible. It makes the other person feel undervalued. Through that disconnect, it sends a message that their time is more precious than yours.

Put down the phone, you will not find true connection there. One thing I’ve learned through getting to know others at the gym, is that if I take the time to listen to others within authentic conversation, there’s no end to the life lessons that can be learned. I love going to the gym at the time when older people are there, because through every conversation I’ve had with them, I’ve learned something. They could be falling into the trap of sedentary life if they choose, but they don’t. They show up, work hard, and slow the hands of the aging clock with heart-healthy activity. They are not distracted by the binging of notifications from their phones. When they talk to me, they look me in the eye. They listen. They understand that time is fleeting and precious and they use that time to their advantage. They understand what it is to be connected to another person through being truly present within conversation.

Exercise

run

I realized one day on my run that I have never felt more alive than within that uncomfortable moment. My lungs were screaming for air, my legs felt like they had weights attached to them, the cold air whipped at my face making my eyes water. Yet within the physical discomfort, I was never more aware of my strengths and abilities of my body. I’m certainly not aware of that as my body sinks into the indentations of a couch. 😉

Our bodies are designed to move, run, jump, lift. If we challenge our muscles they will grow. If we exercise our heart, it will beat more efficiently with strength and determination. What’s more alive than that? There is nothing “alive” about losing muscle mass as we age, and clogging our arteries with fried foods. We are betraying our bodies if we give into complacency. Get moving. Feel alive!

Eat foods that transform into energy. Isn’t that amazing: that you can fuel your body to perform at its peak. It’s within our power to choose our fuel. It takes just as much time to eat crappy food void of nutrients and vitamins as it does to choose vibrantly coloured food full of life.

The Uplifting

You know what feels amazing? To uplift another person through genuine appreciation. To truly recognize the light within another’s spirit. To ignite a fire within their soul through recognition. To see their worth and celebrate it. To give more than you take. To make others laugh and feel amazing about who they are as people. THAT is gold. You want to feel uplifted? It starts in giving. Not receiving.

Positive Out, Positive In

I say that phrase an annoying amount, because I believe in it with my whole heart.  Negativity is exhausting. It’s soul crushing. Nothing grows within a negative environment. It’s an energy sucker.  Maybe you are searching for positivity right now. Well let me be a little source of positivity within your day and tell you that to attract positive you have to put it out. Every time a seed of negativity tries to implant within your mind, cover it with positive. It takes practice especially during times of adversity; but there is always something to be grateful for in life. Something good to see through wounded eyes. A little ray of sunshine within darkness. If you focus there, on the good…it will grow and spread.  Whatever positive you put into this beautiful world, it will come back ten fold.

Spirituality

I have found my worth within God’s grace. There is no one I need to seek validation from, because He’s the only one I need to seek. I have turned my back from my faith from time to time, but I have found so much peace and joy through the power of prayer. His grace is sufficient for me.

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Authenticity

One good thing that has come from my life falling apart, is that I have gained a sense of confidence and clarity of purpose within rebuilding my life. I wore a mask for a long time, and as it crumbled away, I had no choice but to stand within vulnerability and own my life. Yup, here I am… scars and all. Perfectly imperfect. I no longer care what others think about me. I can’t begin to describe the freedom I have felt as I leaned broken but wholeheartedly right into authenticity. I know exactly who I am. I will not judge you. I will stand beside you with empathy, understanding, and compassion. If you judge me, that’s on you. It doesn’t make me feel bad about myself. Not one bit. Peace 🙂

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This year, one of my goals was to experience true joy again. Now it’s a tough goal to pinpoint when I’ve actually reached it. I can confidently say that I’m well on my way. I have realized that joy can be found within life’s ordinary moments if I become present in the right now.

Joy lives…

Within my children’s laughter.

Within the trails of amber on a fall day as I run to clear my mind.

Within embarrassing awkward moments that naturally fall into my lap as I am in fact awkward (which I’ve learned to own).

Within the pride I see in another’s eyes as they persevere through a tough workout.

Joy is present and abundant within a conversation over coffee with a good and pure friend.

Joy in the little things. Joy in the everyday. Joy in the anticipation of a tomorrow full of promise.

I smile a little more freely each and every day. Laughter comes right out of nowhere. And that’s ridiculously amazing my friends.

I hope today you find some time to truly connect with another person and feel alive in all you do.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

The Road of Discomfort

In my last post, I talked about my quest to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

This week has carried with it a whole lot of uncomfortable. From long runs along golden fields of canola to finding my voice when I normally keep silent. I tackled tasks I have put off because of the pain involved within remembering a life that was. I opted to sit in the pain and work through it.

The day after I decided to embrace uncomfortable, I set out on a run. I have focussed on strength training lately and not cardio, so I decided this week I would focus on cardio (which I find to be very uncomfortable). Given my long break from steady state cardio and an old IT Band injury, as I laced up my runners I thought to myself: “I bet I can’t run 10K anymore”.  Immediately I was annoyed with myself as I knew I had to do it.

Now, the only way to ensure you will run 10K, is to run 5K away. You have no choice but to run back. 😉  I decided to take an unfamiliar route and seek solace within the childhood memories of gravel roads, fields of gold, and the quiet of the country.

So I set out on the road of discomfort with motivational speeches setting my pace. Click here if you are interested in some motivation for your day.

The first 5K was no big thing but a chicken wing. It was on kilometre 7 when the familiar IT Band ache set in. It was +30 and I could see round balls of bugs hovering in the heat wave of dust over the road. But still, there was no turning back, either way I had to get home. I decided to just slow down to a walk when I needed to and to take that time to think about my goals. What are the facets of my life that are holding me back from reaching them?

In those last 3 KM’s I found more clarity than in recent memory. I was (and am) the only thing that will prevent me from reaching my goals. Change is required within the mind before it translates to action.

It’s time to go to work.

Leave the past behind with the respect it deserves, and focus on rebuilding my authentic life.

I will use this precious gift of time wisely and to my advantage.

I will focus on the good, the positive, the uplifting.  Faith.

The only thing within my control is my attitude and perceptions. My perception is in fact my reality.

I choose to look at my bad days as a chance to build character and live within grace and gratitude.

I choose to move forward down this road of discomfort with courage, perseverance, and unyielding tenacity.

I will use my God-given abilities for good with the respect of my purpose on this beautiful earth.

I will let go of control where there is none.

It’s funny how uncomfortable can manifest beautiful certainty. I will remember that run for all of my days. It may have been slow going, but I did it!

I learned more about the strength of my spirit in that one hour than I have in months. What a gift, and one that I wouldn’t have experienced had I not taken the road of discomfort.

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When you find yourself at a cross-road, I urge you to take the more challenging route. You never know what you’ll discover.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Time: Our Most Precious Commodity

As I was journalling today, I got to thinking about the concept of Time.  The paradoxical truth of time’s vastness and it’s fleeting quality. We all have no idea how much time we will be gifted in life.

So what do you want to do with your time?

Who do you want to spend it with?

How much time is wasted or not treated with respect within your life?

I know you have goals, as do I…how much time are we willing to spend on a dream without action?

Right this moment, you are gifting me your time by reading this post. Thank you 🙂  With that said, I want to use your time wisely and perhaps get you thinking a little…

We have 24 hours in a day, much of our time is spent sleeping.  How will you use the rest to get the best out of this one precious life you’ve been given?

Quality over Quantity

There have been stages in my life when I was very good at managing my time and packed a whole lot of quality within it.  But then the momentum of mundane seeps in, and there’s a pull to avoid and procrastinate, putting too much importance on tomorrow. I’ve found much value in changing my perception. A wake up call for the mind, reminding myself that today is important. Right now is important. Get up off that couch and live. Do something outside of my comfort zone. Meet new people. Share even when it feels uncomfortable.

Create your own Fun

Let’s all agree, that there’s a lot of annoying in life.  Bills to be paid, lines to wait in, coughing waiting rooms to sit in, and bathrooms that don’t clean themselves.

I was out for lunch once with a friend, and there was a couple sitting beside us.  It was a beautiful, sit on a patio in the warm sun kinda day. Laughter floating on the breeze between friends who haven’t seen one another in awhile. Yet this couple…sat together in misery. Once the woman received her food, the order was wrong.  She said nothing to the waitress, but rather waited for a few minutes of angry eyes staring at this horrible wrongly placed food until she started muttering to her man. Oh the horror!  WRONG FOOD! THIS DAY IS THE WORST!  At that moment, I was struck by the absurdity of it all. That one wrong meal could affect someone so much…obviously not about the meal. I was thinking in my head, this couple was gifted with time together on a perfect day on a patio. How are they OK with living a life of disappointment, entitlement, anger? Life can be fun if you change your perception.

If your life doesn’t have some fun within it, create it! What do you like to do?  What brings joy into your heart?  Go do it! What are you waiting for?  Do you have people in your life who make you laugh and remind you not to take life so seriously? Go spend time with them!  Catch a comedy at the theatre. Go do something ridiculous like renting one of those scooter thingies in the mall, ride around with the self-created wind in your hair! ha!  Just have fun. Life doesn’t have to be so serious.

Your Perception is your Reality

If you’ve followed my blog, you will understand that this year has been a tough one for me personally; however, I remind myself often that I have the ability to choose my thoughts and perceptions.

No matter what adversity you are dealing with in your life, YOU have the power to control your thoughts and feelings surrounding it. This is where you will truly grow as a person, through the hardship and trials. It’s what forces us out of complacency.

I ask myself this question often through the bad days: how will I use this to grow as a person? How will I use the pain to my advantage? There is wisdom and answers within that pain. Just like through exercise, if you challenge your muscles…push through the uncomfortable…you will grow.

I hope you have a great day and use your time as the gift that it is.

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From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

Your Daily Uplifter!

Good morning!  I know many of you found your way here from the Global News Interview I did last week. If you haven’t seen it, click HERE.

So welcome to my blog! I have journaled here for over 8 years as I’ve lived in the maintaining world.  There’s been many ups and downs, and writing has always been a very grounding and clarifying medium for me.

Right after the interview aired, I left for a week’s vacation. It turned out to be perfectly timed as it gave me time to sort through the feelings that sharing my story brought forward. I didn’t expect to feel all that I did. You see, as much as I’m quite open in talking about all that I’ve learned through shedding the weight, there’s also a thin veil of shame I feel within that too. I’m not exactly sure why as I’m so grateful for the connections made when two strangers find they have something in common which is deeply personal. So much of that is lost in this digital era; and it’s also not lost to me that I’m sharing this on a digital platform 😉

When Global contacted me to do the television interview, after sharing an online interview version the week before…

…My first feeling was “No! I can’t talk on camera. I can’t share something so personal to me with strangers.” I actually felt panicked at the thought.

And then I was hit with this one truth that I have strived to incorporate into my life for a decade. If you fear something deeply that you know will bring about positive change for another; you have to do it.

My dear friend Darina once told me you can actually convince yourself that fear is a form of excitement. So I decided I was excited to share, and of course I would share openly without walls.

I’m very thankful for the messages and connections made as a result. Simply hearing from one person who benefited from my truth as I lived within my self-inflicted prison makes it all worth it. This is about You, not me.

In the spirit of understanding that this maybe the very first post you read on this blog, Here’s what I want you to know this morning.

You are worthy of creating your perfect dream life; and that has nothing to do with the amount of money in your bank account. It’s within your power! Just think about that for a second…feel the freedom that comes as a result of understanding YOU are in control.  So who do you want to be? Who do you want to surround yourself within in this one precious life you’ve been gifted? Go and be it! Seek out connections; those people who uplift, support, inspire and motivate you.  Be that for them too.

You are stronger than you even realize! We can live an entire lifetime and never understand the true power and strength of the human body and spirit if we choose that. How sad would that be to never understand our true potential.  A waste really.  Would you want that for your children, or those you love most?  Treat yourself just as you treat those you love. And just watch how your life unfolds beautifully when you pour positivity and love into your heart.

Positive OUT, comes before Positive IN. It’s that law of attraction thingy…whatever you present and focus on, is exactly what will come back to you.  Find yourself surrounded by negativity? Be positive. Be the person you wish to see in others. Yup, you can control that too!  Energy is infectious.  You have the ability to change a person’s day just by uplifting them (which in turn uplifts you too). How ridiculously amazing is that?!

Don’t know where to start? Start small. Get up and go for a walk. Even if it’s around the block. Your body is designed to move. One tiny step in a positive direction will incite more tiny steps. Add one more positive change to your life every week…or every month even! Changing everything at once is not only overwhelming; but a prescription for failure because we need to give ourselves the respect of time to blend these changes which will translate into lifelong habits. Remember this is a lifestyle: an amazing style in which you will live for all of your fabulous life. Be gentle with yourself.

Never give up

Order this book…

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Order it HERE from Amazon, it will change your life (It’s not available in book stores). No other book has made more of a positive impact on my life. I have a Miracle Morning every day and I couldn’t imagine starting my day any other way now.

Reach out to others for support, create your supportive loving village.  I will support you! Add a comment, or send me a message.

I hope you have a ridiculously amazing day! I promise to blog more frequently.  I would love nothing more than to uplift your spirits in this small way.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

Just Show Up

Yesterday, I had one of those low energy days. I slept well, ate well, but I shuffled through my morning. The last thing I wanted to do was go to the gym for my daily workout.

And then a little voice in my head said “Just Show Up.

Ugh….OK.

I was pretty sure I would show up to the gym only to channel my inner Eeyore, but I decided I would lace up my runners and just show up.

As I walked into the gym, a woman approached me who had stumbled upon some of my before/after photos through social media sharing. We ended up having the best conversation that was so genuine and one that I will always remember. We were strangers, yet we shared on a deeply human level about important personal issues in both of our lives (in a non-weird over sharing way…ha!) I left our conversation uplifted and positive, which transcended into my workout.I worked harder than I had in weeks and pushed past an area I believed I couldn’t get to physically. Six straight full-depth body weight chin ups. I have been stuck at 4 for months.

As I was leaving, she approached me again and thanked me for our talk; and I was so thankful as well. She shifted my perspective; I’m always grateful for those shiny positive people who have the gift to do that.

A reminder that the energy we put out there to others is infectious, so choose wisely. If you want to attract positive into your life…be positive.  It really is as simple as that.

That workout was exactly what I needed. I realized after it was over, that it had started as an emotionally low day for me, rather than physically tired.  In one hour I felt completely different: positive, energetic and ready to take on the day. Had I not gone, I’m pretty sure my day would have snowballed into one big pity-party-for-one.

Just.

Show.

Up.

I went to work later training. One of my clients shared with me that she was having an emotionally low day and was going to cancel, but decided to come anyway. Again those words rang in my head. Just show up! We hugged it out and she got to work. She channeled all those tough emotions into her workout, and pushed past limitations she struggled with in earlier sessions.  Not only did she change her energy through that session, but she actually looked different physically. She entered with worry & stress on her beautiful face, and left with a huge smile and infectious positive energy that lit up the room.

So here’s a little encouragement today to Just Show Up, and let the momentum of tenacity and drive move you forward in a positive way. Sometimes that’s all we can do in life, but it’s better to show up than bow out.

Have a ridiculously amazing day!

From my heart to yours,

Christine