The 3 Month Fitness Challenge: A long ass review

Fitness-curvy-model-lifestyle

Back in December I was having a hard time staying focused on my home workout routines, so I thought to myself “Hey! Why don’t I sign up for a 3 month fitness challenge?! That will get me out the door during the cold, shitty months.”

Curvy-fitness
December 2014

Honestly guys, I do NOT know where the motivation to get up at 5am, hit the gym by 6 and work so hard I was ready to puke came from. And was it ever a challenge! Not just for my body but my mind was a huge factor as well. HUGE. Not only did I have to deal with the physical exertion but there was a bit of a social dynamic issue as well that for some reason, I just didn’t see coming. Actually this is one of the main reasons I started this blog. Bless the Health and Wellness Industry for all the motivation it gives and all the people it wants to empower -BUT- when you get on that floor it’s not all sunny photos and flat tummies. For most real women out there, we are dealing with a curvy [but still sexy ;)] bod and sometimes we are nervous about taking on new changes in our lives. We may wonder if we can actually DO what we are setting out to accomplish. When starting a new fitness routine your spirit could be paper thin…and it could wave easily. That was the case for me anyway so I want to share a few tips and straight up cold hard realities that I experienced during my 3 months. I’m being straight with you in hopes that it will not discourage you but prepare you to be strong in your own self. Mentally, emotionally and physically.

Some Tips…

Protect your immune system

However you choose to do it, if you want to workout through the winter months get your immune strength on. At first I didn’t think too much about it. I was taking a whole bunch of vitamins and supplements to aid in other areas and thought that was enough. It wasn’t, and I got colds on multiple occasions. It can be a huge set back to what you’re trying to accomplish. Once I started to realize this was a recurring issue I  started using immune strengthening tea, grapefruit seed extract and oil of oregano as preventative measures. Really wish I had done that sooner. So start there.

An amazing naturalist I met told me about this stuff... pure gold
An amazing naturalist I met told me about this stuff… pure gold

Resist the urge to eat heavy food the night before a workout

We’ve been told by the all mighty health peeps a bajillion times not to eat heavy or late before bed…but we do it (or I do it) anyway. All I will say here is, try your best to avoid. Once you’re up early for the gym that  food will haunt you in a way you never want to feel which is a huge deterring factor. I don’t often say learn from my mistakes (because honestly, everyone should learn for themselves most of the time) but I will say it here. I’m not saying don’t eat what you want. If it’s the weekend and you want something indulgent – please do it, enjoy it and don’t be too hard on yourself, but avoid late night snaking before a gym sess guys. If you’re so starving you can’t handle it – have some lean protein before bed and then figure out what’s happening to make you hungry at night (usually a sugar thing.)

White-bread-carbs
So basically…don’t roll around in white bread…as sexy as it seems…

Now for some hard lessons I learned during this challenge 

There’s no room for pain at the gym – or so they say

Many (but not all) trainers have this mentality that if you talk about a physical or health issue you are complaining and there’s no room for “complaining” at the gym. I’m using quotations here for a reason. There is a difference between expressing real concern OR just being open about what your body is going through and complaining and using this as an excuse. Good trainers and not so good trainers do exist. Sometimes side by side. God, I can’t even tell you how much I do not collude with that line of thinking. The reality is and I’m telling you this – unless you’ve been training since you were young – it feels very new and different. Your body will react and you may start to notice certain issues that you didn’t realize where issues before. You should not feel shamed out of verbally expressing what is going on in your body. Any trainer that makes you feel that way – no dice – not cool. If this has happened to you, I want to give you some emotional justification here. These issues are serious and can be very painful but it’s okay to have that issue and there is a solution out there. A good trainer will give you guidance you need to correct the problem.

No matter how much a fitness facility markets that they are a “family” there will always be “those girls”

giphyr Unfortunately there is still a world of women (dare I say girls) out there who love their exclusivity, who want to be negatively charged in their competitiveness and who will in return, make you feel shitty. You can’t control everyone’s personal growth but you can decide on your own. Do yourself a favour early on and try to find one other person you click with. All you need is one and they can help you get through the tough times. When you’re trying to work out at 6am in February, leaving your house in the dark to go to a gym to put yourself under physical submission and deal with clique chicks – that one friend is going to be your shining light. Mine was for me. ❤

If you’re new to training and you took it on in Jan & Feb this year – Mad props. That shit is fucking hard – Doable but hard  It’s safe to say I messed up on my food consumption repeatedly. I  missed days at the gym because it was too dark or too cold. It is the hardest time of the year for Canadians. So here’s some love for those of you who did it this winter in spite of the elements.

Overall, I’m not going to say this was easy but it was defiantly worth it. I’ve seen a great improvement in my strength and tone. Beyond that I got some excellent insight into myself. I started to move past the idea of needing people to like me and I got a lot of insight into my immune system and the strengthening that it needs which is equally important.

Would I do it again? Yes! Probably not at the same place but it got me going this winter.

So I say, despite some negative bits – TOTALLY WORTH IT. Now we are in April – I head to California next week. I’m happy I gave my body the time and attention it deserved this winter.

Curvy-Fitness-Yoga
April 13th 2015

And for now, I’m back on my home routine. Pushing it harder then ever thanks to what I learned in boot camp and adding yoga into the mix to give myself a peaceful  cool down. I will defiantly take the best of what I learned in this 3 Month Challenge and carry it forward in my personal practice! What’s next?! Ha! Some Zouk Lambada, A Juice Cleanse, CALIFORNIA annnd maybe some Yoga on the beach!!

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An Update!

I’ll keep it short and sweet. 

Winter blows in Canada. S.A.D. (seasonal effects disorder) got the best of me in February.

My trip to Miami got cancelled, my awesome sauce roomie moved out and it was my birthday (Ghuuuhh)

I was seriously sad as hell but somehow managed to haul my ass to boot camp 3 days a week at 6am in the dark.

The results are legit and I have an epically long follow up to share!

All in all things are amping up and getting crazy busy. Spring is in the air and it’s making us Torontonians antsy!

There’s a lot of goodness coming this way so check it 😉 

Cleaning Up Christmas: Inside

As I ever so casually mentioned in my last post, Christmas was kind of a thing for me this year. Not in the a-typical warm and fuzzy family way, but in the I have sever food intolerances and here I am eating cream like it’s nobody’s business kinda way. 

But the reality is, I think, that most people feel like total ass after Christmas because really all you do is gorge on food and booze for 3 days. Then you get another 5 days or so to roll around in bed holding your belly…

Annnnd I'm back where I started...
Annnnd I’m back where I started…

And then BAM! New Years Eve. Bust of the champagne mother fuckers, this bitch is getting Le wasted! 

New Years popping champagne

No, I haven’t forgotten this is a health blog haha. I’m just being real. This is what happens to me so I am sure it’s happened to some of you. 

I’ve recently realized that I have spent a lot of time learning how to recoup when I go astray. Discussing the path to a happy tummy after the Christmas aftermath has been a repeated conversation between my friends and I over the last couple weeks. 

Here are a few things I found online and tested out between Christmas and New Years:

1. TWO DAY MINI DETOX

http://17ddblog.com/2-day-post-holiday-detox-infographic/

I don’t know about you but I find juice detoxing a bit too extreme for me in the winter. I need substance. The shift from a lot of food to zero food is drastic and my body is too sensitive for that noise. 

So I followed this two-day mini detox strictly for the allotted time (actually more so because I cut out the yogurt and mushrooms) and then kept going for a couple more days with the help of some slight adjustments. 

No word of a lie my tummy was thanking me off the bat on day one and by day two my digestive system was working like a boss. I was quite surprised. 

During the extra days I did make a few adjustments just to spice things up a bit…literally 😉

  • First I added ground chia seeds and hemp hearts to my smoothies.
  • For my chicken breast (which was free range of course) I alternated between lemon pepper chicken, a special spice mix I made up on the fly that turned out to be amazing and a homemade curry chicken – I need diversity in my life man.
  • I also added heaps of raw pine nuts and flax seeds to my salad.
  • For the dressing I made a mix of olive oil, apple cider vinegar (ACV) and the tiniest bit of stevia.
  • Oh and I also substituted asparagus for grilled Brussel sprouts with fenugreek leaves because I couldn’t find asparagus annnnnywhere.

For the record, no I was not using lemon pepper spice mix. It may seem yum but it’s got all kinds of secret bad stuff in it. I’m talking fresh squeezed lemon juice and ground pepper all the way here. 

The spice mix I made consisted of black cumin seeds (man these are crazy delicious), turmeric and a bit of cayenne pepper. I added them all into my mortar and pestle, plus a bit of water and muddled the spices until it was a watery paste. When I added this to my chicken the outcome was stellar! 

2. DETOX BATH

detox bath

The detox bath I found online consisted of:

2 cups Epsom Salts

1 cup Baking Soda

1/2 cup ACV (but I used a full cup because I was feeling super bloated)

1 table-spoon ground Ginger

6-10 drops Tea Tree Oil (there’s the option to substitute this for lavender or eucalyptus oil as well) 

And the hottest water you can possibly stand. 

It was recommended to soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. I soaked until the water got cool – so about an hour or 2.5 Sex in the City episodes (ya I bring my laptop in the tub with me! Short attention span…right here). 

It was also advised to have water handy to drink because you sweat quite a bit. That was a good call…don’t forget the water. You’ll crave it after 10 minutes lol.  

I did the bath detox on the first day of the mini food cleanse and YEAH, I could actually feel myself ever so slightly deflate.. kinda like a balloon with a little hole right by the base.

WORD: I kinda smelled like vinegar after but I didn’t taste like it (I gave my arm a test lick lol) but all in all that shit worked. 

The bath was pretty hardcore and I think used in conjunction with a stronger dietary detox the results would be incredibly good. In my mind however, this was more of a re-set cleanse then it was a hard detox. 

But it was exactly what I needed and I felt so so good after. 

BENEFITS REFERENCE: In case you are wondering, here are some of the health benefits for the substitutes I added to the food detox:

Chia Seeds –  boosts energy, aids digestion, lowers cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugar 

Hemp Seed Hearts – high in protein, vitamin E rich and increases metabolic rate 

Black Cumin Seeds –  aids digestion, reduces fluid retention and cleanse and tones liver 

Cayenne Pepper – aids digestion, eases upset stomaches and supports the detox process

Turmeric – anti-inflamitory, high in antioxidants and combats depression (Ya because you know – not only are you bloated but you’re depressed about it!) 

Raw Pine Nuts – boosts immune system, aids in weight loss (thanks pinoleic acid), high in protein and  magnesium 

Flax Seeds – high in fibre and omega 3 fatty acids

Brussel Sprouts – high in vitamin C, fibre, folic acid and antioxidants  

Fenugreek Leaves – reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar levels, aids digestion and counters acid reflux 

And here are some of the benefits of the ingredients in the detox bath:

Epsom Salts – high in magnesium and sulfates which are easier absorbed through the skin ingestion, flushes toxins and heavy metals from the cells and eases muscle pain 

Baking Soda – aids in detoxifying and alkalizing your system 

ACV – reduces inflammation (Bloat be gone!) and rebalances PH levels

Ground Ginger – reduces inflammation and acts as an antioxidant 

Tea Tree Oil – reduces inflammation and eases joint pain

So There you have it people. If you’re still feeling the effects of too much food and party over the holidays I’d recommend giving these a go!  

NEXT UP: Ummmm I think we might talk about meditation…or my 3 month fitness boot camp which starts tomorrow! 

Holiday Struggles: An Update :)

Well Then, last time I wrote I was feeling impatient out of control, which I really hate [10 points]. I was on a holiday stress spiral.

giphy-7

The holidays where looming over my head. Yes I know, they are about family and spending time together and love and happiness – yada yada yada. I get that. Most years I’m on board with that.

This year however, I was feeling more anxiety than anything. Sometimes you have an off Christmas. Sometimes people just don’t like it at all. The older you get the more like work holidays become.

So there I was, stressed to shit with not even a drop of snow to get me feeling festive and off I went back home.

 Ready To Eat all the Fucking Stuffing

giphyelf

I am quite happy to say things turned out much better than I expected. My Mama is officially on board with me in my eating clean journey. I was so happy to come home to a Christmas Eve dinner that consisted of free range chicken, gluten-free stuffing, dairy free mashed potatoes and a yummy greek salad (like legit greek salad. No lettuce in that B) OH! And she even made a gluten-free apple pie (which I murdered) that she sweetened with coconut sugar instead of refined. YUM

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Check me out on Instagram at Tegan_Aileen

So Christmas was off to a relatively good start. I knew while making the rounds with some of my family that it wouldn’t be quite so catered but it was Christmas. You gotta give a little. I personally feel there’s no sense in pushing my personal health agenda down the throats of my family. Why not just enjoy the time.

So I made an agreement with myself that I would not deprive myself of my aunts creamy mashed potatoes and gravy but I would just take a bit and that I wouldn’t stuff myself beyond belief.

Truth: I’ve had a legit intolerance to diary since birth. Now that diary has been cut out of my life almost completely, I feel it straight away even when I have a little. So my idea to moderate myself kiiinda worked…but after about 30 mins I could feel the pain and bloating kick in.

Needless to say, that was the beginning of the end over the next two days in terms of my healthy eating regime.

I had already broke through with creamy mash and gravy…then I went to stay at my friend’s house. We’ve been friends since grade 6 and she’s like family to me…and she made lobster mac and cheese. Tell me, after already breaking the dairy rule, that I wasn’t gonna eat that mac and cheese?! Hells to the No – I defiantly was. There was no question in my mind and I tell you now it was amazballs!

Of course I seriously suffered from the 25th-27th…but it was in the name of Christmas!

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On the 27th my best friend and I went to visit my girl Miss M. She’s 12 and I’m kind of mentoring her. I’m not going to give too many details on her aside from that fact that she’s a little fashionista and we are friends before I’m her mentor. Or at least that’s how I feel.

Her parents are on board with the living clean goal and made us an incredible lunch that was kind of just what my body needed. Light and full of good things that made my tummy happy. 

I was home for 5 days. Out of those five days I cheated pretty severely 2 of those days…not bad at all I’m thinking. The beauty of it all is that it’s just really motivated me to get back on track right away.

Strech

Segway to my Announcement:

Well Then is a new endeavour for me. At this time it’s a lot of journaling my feelings and experiences but I want to mix the format up a bit and try new things that can really engage people in internet land who might come across it. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a Pinterest fiend. It’s my source of inspiration for almost everything. If you’re a Pinterest junkie like me you know about a bajillion DIY projects on everything from home decor to detoxing.

So in the upcoming days, weeks, whatever I’m going to be adding posts about my experiences with some of these DIYs from other health blogs online as well as some new stuff that I’m looking into 🙂 

All in all I’m happy to say that the gloomy x-mas cloud that was looming over my head has finaaaaalllly lifted and I’m seriously looking forward to a healthy and fit 2015! 

Holiday Struggles: A Rant

I can’t even tell you how incredibly unmotivated I have been the last few weeks!

Pretty much my life right now...
Pretty much my life right now…

Not only did I discover that I’ve been doing a lot of my “health” stuff all wrong but once I realized, I had a temper tantrum, said fuck it and just gave up for bit. I could (and probably will) write a post just on this discovery alone but right now it seems like too tangled a web to unweave.

Then there’s Christmas…don’t even get me started on Christmas this year. 

Usually I go mad Martha up in this bitch around the Holiday season. I love christmas. I bake pies, I make things for people and I love going shopping and picking out the perfect gift for my loved ones…Christmas is usually my jam and the best part about the winter.

Mad Martha
Let’s make a mutha fuckin Christmas Pie!

Ha! Well not this year. For the first time in my life I felt like a grumbly adult. The stores are too unorganized, everybody is crowding and shoving…WHY ARE THERE SO MANY PEOPLE?! Why can’t I breathe?! What do I buy these people? I’m so tired of all this stuff. Everybody is just so obsessed with stuff! 

Mad mental drama that is barreling out of control. 

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It’s really quite amazing to me the as fun and magical as the Holiday season can be, it’ has this ability to knock you flat on your ass and make a person fester in worry. 

God damn, I was doing really well for a while but, just like every year around this time, I let the winter blues take me over and I am left feeling helpless (which is even worse when you know you are NEVER really helpless) cranky and kind of cold. So generally low energy, lazy and lethargic. 

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I swear, at some point my goal with this blog is to offer positive solutions to beat this kind of behaviour. However, as it stands right now I’m in the same boat with everyone else who is having this problem. 

Tonight I’m going home for the holidays and seriously debating if I should even try to be healthy or just forget about it and eat my weight in stuffing….mmmmm stuffing…

Emma Stone yum 

It Takes a Snowfall: OOAKS14

It takes a snowfall to make me feel like I really have time to sit down and catch up. This is a new blog but already I had some challenges come my way.

Ok so, before I start spout random musings, here’s a quick overview.

  • Started training for a week
  • Started a 14 day modelling gig at The One of a Kind Show Toronto (Yey!) 
  • Failed to make it to all other training sessions for the entirety of the show.
  • Even failed on the food and money end of things too!
  • Managed to kind of get that area in check mid way through

So image it. Going from working out every other day, eating super clean and feeling pretty good to no fitness at all (aside from 8-10 hrs on ma feet), eating food that is questionable at best, and being exhausted the majority of the time. 

Needless to say for minute I was stressing about the situation on top of everything else. 

I’m willing to bet that I’m not the only one this happens too. You get going good for a while and then you fall off.

Oh and then there’s winter! Not like, la dee da winter but legit Canadian Winter. Up to your knees in snow winter. I know I’m no one to talk seeing as I’m in S. Ontario but seriously. Makes you wanna make every night a Netflix night. 

I’m seriously lacking motivation at the moment. That being said, I think it stopped being about motivation a while ago and developed into some hybrid version of determination. 

I’m determined to start again. I’m determined to make the activities I do a genuine part of my every day life and I’m determined to defeat the pessimistic mentality I adapt…especially in the winter. 

I decided I’m not going to beat myself up over a week or two of chaos. I like chaos! I love the busy buzz of people and I finally saw behind the scenes of OOAKS (a show that signifies christmas for me). Over all I had a blast and made some incredible friends.

Now, after a few days of needed R&R I’m getting ready to get it all on the move again. So far even this week clean food is back and I’m probably doing better than before. 

We will see how this holds up over Christmas. It’s a time of year when the strongest fall…lol. I guess we will see how that goes!

More Randomness about OOAKS14 to come!