Please also be sure to download my FREE Holiday Survival Plan to help you stay healthy this holiday season.
Significant because it was my oldest son’s first Christmas yes, but also significant because it was the Christmas that gave me the biggest scare of my life.
And taught me a lesson that I want to now pass on to you.
I was so afraid of disappointing people…my clients, class participants, friends, family.
How often do you put yourself last while trying to take care of everyone else? And Moms, you know we are the worst offenders! One evening just before the New Year, my fever was so high I had delirium. How in the world could I take care of anyone this way?!?
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Here is my Facebook status from that year….
December 30, 2011
I’ve learned if you ever want to sit by yourself, just put on a surgical face mask. LOL. People take one look at you and will sit ANYWHERE else!
Funny yes because you should have seen people back away from me but a pneumonia that continued to get worse despite two rounds of antibiotics became no laughing matter. I spent New Year’s Day, just five days after my 38th birthday listening to a doctor tell me he was extremely concerned because he couldn’t understand why someone as young and ‘healthy’ as me was continuing to get worse.
I remember crying and thinking, for the first time ever, I was going to die and leave behind two beautiful children. How did I let this happen?!?
But it had become a theme for me in December. Getting sick just before or during the holidays became the ‘norm’ for me. I wore myself out so much that I would have been surprised if I didn’t get sick. To give you a little perspective, here are more December Facebook posts from previous years and yes, I do realize perhaps I was a little too whiny on FB. 🙂
December 7, 2010
I felt bad (sorta) that I couldn’t do more than bark instructions at tonight’s Boot Camp. I’m now super annoyed and frustrated that I can’t get rid of this cold. Let’s see if I can breathe enough tonight to get a good night’s sleep!
December 1, 2009
Still nursing both myself and a little girl back to health. Hope this clears up soon!
December 13, 2008
Catching up on two weeks worth of work …. yep, the flu knocked me out but I’m starting to feel better!!
December 3, 2008
is very sick …. may have to cancel Boot Camp tonight guys!!! Will keep you posted!
December 13, 2007
Annoyed with this newly developed head cold. Training a client this morning and thought my head was going to explode!
And you thought I was kidding.
Moms, we wear ourselves out worrying about family photos, gifts, advent calendars, decorating a Pinterest worthy house (and posting it to social media of course), gifts, Christmas concerts, piano recitals, gifts, Sunday School pageants, pics with Santa, letters to Santa, tracking Santa online, get togethers with family and friends, work functions, traveling or hosting. And don’t forget about the normal everyday stuff that still needs to be done. And we wonder why we get sick!
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Even worse, December is a time when most of us let exercise and healthy eating slide and we start cutting back on our sleep in our attempt to find more hours in a day. “I’ll start fresh in the New Year” becomes a common phrase and we start putting all our other ‘priorities’ ahead of our own health.
And our health is indeed what suffers the most.
Now I’m not going to say I have now found some sort of perfect balance and I never get sick anymore. I still struggle with everything on my to-do list (because some things will never change) and my kiddies still bring home sniffles and coughs that as a Mom is hard to avoid. But, I have found that I am able to recover quicker and by taking some necessary steps to eating, exercise and stress management, I’m happy to report that 2011 was the last time I had any holiday sickness to report!
So this year I want to encourage you to remember my story.
By feeding your body what it needs to function at it’s very best and by exercising and sleeping more regularly to stay strong and manage stress, you are making YOU a priority. And no, this is NOT selfish because taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do for those around you. When you take care of yourself you put yourself in a MUCH better position to take care of those you love.
Please keep this in mind this year and for further support, I invite you to download your Holiday Survival Plan below.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.
A person you love wants to lose weight and says she needs your help. Eeek!!
Here is how you can help … without getting punched in the face.
Don’t be afraid. You CAN help. In fact, your behaviour has a bigger impact on her reaching her goals than you might think.
This post is directed mainly to the husband but anyone can use the ideas here to help someone you love reach their weight loss goals.
Below are my five top suggestions to help her out. But please remember that every woman is different and so are their needs, which is why the most important this you can do is…
ASK!! Oh my goodness, please ask her what she needs from you! And ask her to get specific because what works for one woman may not work for another. Want proof? On recent goal setting worksheets I received, one woman would like her family to ask her about the program frequently to keep her motivated but another woman specifically said “Don’t ask me how I’m doing on the program”. Confused? Sounds about right. So ask her what she needs from you!
In no particular order, here are the top five things I’ve found help women the most.
1. Give her the time to exercise…without guilt. If she needs to go the gym, discuss times that work best for your family. If she can exercise at home, give her the space to exercise without interruptions. Kids? Make sure you’re ready to be the awesome fun Dad for an hour. Once the times are set and unless an emergency comes up (“after work drinks” is NOT an emergency), make sure you stick to the plan and be there when she needs you. And please…no guilt because you’ll just be adding extra stress that is counterproductive to weight loss. She doesn’t need to know who had a meltdown or how many diapers you had to change. She doesn’t need her house to look like a tornado blew through while she exercised. She just wants to know she can disappear to take care of herself without her house falling apart. Bonus…exercise is a mood enhancer and she’ll probably be a much nicer person to be around when she is done.
2. Participate with her! I know this isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t need to lose weight yourself but healthy eating and exercise can help everyone! If she asks if you would like to go for a walk, get yourself moving and go whether you want to or not. I promise you’ll be glad you did. BUT, this is one of those “ask her” times though because some women would rather exercise alone and take time to clear her head. Generally though, women who has a friend or spouse exercise with them are more successful is sticking with it. This also means eating healthy with her!! Don’t turn up your nose at every healthy food she tries. You may just find something new you like as well. This also leads to the next tip.
3. Keep junk out of the house. Ok, maybe this is just me but if there are potato chips in my house, I can find those bad boys anywhere! Worse is when they are left out in the open! I can have a chip in my mouth before I even realize what I’m doing! Be thoughtful and don’t leave temptations lying around. If you are seriously craving those candy, go buy it and eat them in your car. It won’t kill you to sacrifice with her for just a little while. It will make her feel less alone and less likely to cave.
4. Don’t harass her that “just one treat” is ok. This one still relates to food and is one that really ticks me off. And this goes to everyone in her life…spouse, parents, friends, co-workers. If you know that someone is trying to lose weight and you pull out a bag of cookies, bring a fatty dip to a social function, or celebrate a birthday at work with a cake, don’t make a big deal if they aren’t eating it! There is absolutely no need for you to insist she have “just a little”. You have no idea how many people may have said the same thing to her that week. A bunch of small “harmless” treats throughout the week can add up and sabotage her efforts. And seriously, why is it so important to you that she eat it? Will it make you feel better about your own unhealthy habits? Perhaps. She doesn’t need the pressure so if you are one of these people, STOP IT!
5. Tell her she looks beautiful! But please don’t say if you don’t truly mean it because she will see through you. But if you genuinely see her losing inches, if her clothes are fitting better, if she is wearing something you haven’t seen in a long time, tell her how great she looks! She is probably thrilled that she is able to wear it again and whether she admits it or not, it makes her feel good when someone notices her hard work paying off.
Just remember, ask ask ask her want she wants from you!! You will both be happier because of it!
As a public service announcement, here are 5 Things That WILL get you punched in the face:
- Send her any info on weight loss if she doesn’t initiate the search.
- Tell her anything she is wearing is too small.
- Roll your eyes, look annoyed or sulk when she tells you she is going to work out.
- Ask “is that on your meal plan” every time she eats anything.
- Ask her how much she weights. Ever! (but DO make a big deal when she tells you how much she’s lost!).
Now enjoy the benefits of having a healthy and fit wife in your house. Everyone will be happier because of it!
For more information on the services I offer including personal training, small group, fitness classes and online weight loss, please visit www.journey2wellness.ca or email me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
I’ve seen quite the growing trend over the last few years for Small Group Training. While classes are still popular and many people still love the personal attention of one-on-one personal training session, I’ve had an increasing number of requests for small group training.
What is Small Group Training? This is generally when 2-8 people (I like no more than 5) exercise together with a trainer or fitness instructor. Members usually get similar workouts and meal plans, with some tweaking necessary based on physical abilities, medical history and exercise experience. **Side Note: Please make sure you find a trainer/instructor who will do this! I don’t agree with you having to do the exact same exercise as everyone else if it causes you discomfort or pain. Good instructors walk around, can read your cues (or will ask you how you are feeling) and provide modifications as necessary.
Here are some reasons why Small Group Training can work for you.
Show Me The Money! – One-one-one Personal Training does indeed provide the most personal attention and greatest opportunity to succeed. But, some people find that Small Group Training, because the cost is split among the members, keeps the price down while still giving them the attention they need.
Attention – While fitness classes does offer many benefits, the instructors are not always able to see and correct each individual class member as closely as only working with four or five people. There is less room to hide!
Special Treatment – Many times if you have a group of like-minded people or those in similar situations, the program can be tailored to your specific needs (ie) weight loss, Pre-natal Fitness, Mom & Baby or Stroller Fit!
Support – Both the Trainer and other participants are there to help you get through the challenges of the workout and the obstacles in life.
Accountability – Unlike many classes, if you miss your schedule workout, your Trainer WILL notice and will ask you why! Although I have been known to do this to my class participants. 🙂
Variety – By working with a knowledgeable fitness professional, your workouts will change/evolve as you progress, preventing hitting a plateau and boredom.
Fun – Ah, yes. What I believe to be one of the most important components of an exercise session. The right exercise program done with friends can definitely be fun. A good trainer will allow fun while still keeping everyone on track.
Commitment – When you are involved in program where you know others are counting on your participation, you are more likely stick with it, even on days when you aren’t in the mood to exercise.
Results – When you stick with a well constructed program that you enjoy, you will get the results.
There you have it. If you are trying to find that happy medium between the attention of One-On-One Personal Training but the savings and camaraderie of Fitness Classes, Small Group Training may be just what you need!
**Deborah currently has TWO remaining Small Group Training timeslots available in Fall River, NS on Saturdays and TWO timeslots in Dartmouth/Cole Harbour, NS on Sundays. Please visit my website at www.journey2wellness.ca/programs.html for more details.
So the past couple of weeks I have been neck deep in preparing for my Fall programs. Although January is ultimately my busiest time of year (of course), September runs a very close second. And when you think about it, there is no surprise. Throughout the summer, kids are home from school for two months or if you are like me, you take a COMPLETE break from Homeschooling simply because you are E.X.H.A.U.S.T.E.D! Schedules fly out the window, as do sensibly prepared lunches for the kids. “What do you mean this is the third day in a row I’ve made PB&J sandwiches? Here, have a hot dog instead!” LOL We spend our days having fun with our children … and many times wishing it would just STOP RAINING so they will leave me alone!! Achem. Did I mention that Nova Scotia can be a VERY wet province at times? On top of all this, we spend a lot more time at beaches, pools, camping (more hotdogs), summer BBQs and get-togethers. And generally, our fitness priorities disappear. Too many times we just think, I’ll take the summer off and get started again in September. Can I get a raise of hands?!?
The good thing about September is we start to find our groove again. Not only are we staring down the barrel of another year coming to an end in three short months (and we are determined NOT to wait until the New Year to make a change), everyone seems ready to get back into a more regular schedule, whether you homeschool your children or send them off each morning. Our priorities can start turning back to ourselves now that we have a little more time to breathe and we realized that all the summer fun wasn’t necessarily kind to our waistline. Enter DETERMINATION!
Yep, we start looking at every thing that is available to us. And in the weight loss, healthy living world, there is A LOT. Trust me, I live with the competition of shakes diets, commercial programs with multi-billion dollar advertising campaigns, high end and low end gyms offering every fancy new gadget and class that can be created. Piloxing anyone?!? Yes, a combination of pilates and boxing. Who knew! And here I sit with my hundred + dollar marketing campaign (here’s a huge THANK YOU for amazing Facebook & Twitter friends who share my info) and my mantra of KEEP IT SIMPLE DEB!
People need to exercise to keep their muscles strong, their heart healthy and their body young. People need to eat well and still enjoying eating with their family. People need to have some fun when they exercise. People NEED ACCOUNTABILITY! And this is where I decided to keep it this year. I wanted to provide enough variety that everyone can get what they need, without me burning myself out. Because believe it or not, that is the number one hazard of being a Fitness & Healthy Life Designer (cause that is really what we do). There are many days that being just a “trainer” would be the easiest thing to do. You show up. I tell you what to do. You do it. You go home while I move on to the next person and not think about you again until the next session. Oh my…not even close! I put my whole heart into my business and my clients (both in-person and online). Your success is my success and there is nothing…NOTHING more rewarding to me that you reaching your goals. I’m constantly thinking about your meal plans, your workouts, what’s going on in your life, your family, your concerns and how we can overcome your obstacles. My heart breaks when you struggle and it rejoices when you are happy with your accomplishments. But as you can imagine, this can be exhausting!
With that in mind, I developed a line-up of programs that I think will make us all happy. For more details on each program, please click the link to go to my website. Here we go…..
TOTAL FAT LOSS SYSTEM: This is an online program that I have been running for four years now (previously called Journey to Wellness: Home Edition). During this time, I have helped hundreds of people learn what it takes to get (and stay) fit and healthy without starving yourself or spending hours on the treadmill. I promote healthy eating with your family, exercising efficiently and effectively to promote fat loss, supporting others going through the same thing you are and being held accountable for your eating and activity. If exercising in the privacy of your own home works for you, you can find more details here… www.journey2welless.ca/totalfatloss.html **Deadline to join the next 12-Week Fat Loss Program is September 12th.
SMALL GROUP TRAINING: I took some time off from these programs after the birth of my two youngest boys. Now that my baby is 18 months old, I have a little more flexibility and have opened up a couple of timeslots, mainly working around my business schedule, my husband’s travel schedule and my children’s activity. I told you it isn’t easy! How it works is that you gather up 1-5 people who would like to work out together and I will come to you once a week to make you sweat! Saturday time slots are available in Fall River & area while Sunday afternoon time slots are available in Dartmouth/Cole Harbour & area. More details can be found here… www.journey2wellness.ca/programs.html
FITNESS CLASSES: This is my fifth year teaching fitness classes in the Fall River area (since I moved here!). Fitness Boot Camp on Saturday mornings continues to see great turnout and a new class I created last year for the Tuesday evening spot, Strength Circuits, has quickly become a favourite and we actually filled up last winter! Fall classes begin the week of September 8th. Registration has begun and you can reserve your spot or find out more information here… www.journey2wellness.ca/classes.html
MEN’S ONLY ONLINE WEIGHT LOSS: Last summer I offered the opportunity for a couple of men to give my online program a try. Although there were a few tweaks that had to be made, the results were absolutely outstanding with two of the men losing over 20lbs in six weeks! The 8-week Men’s Only Weight Loss program will be starting up on September 15th. Come on guys – imagine being 15-25lbs lighter by mid-November! More details can be found here… www.journey2wellness.ca/programs.html
Well that’s it folks! I hope I have a little something that can work for everyone. Please know that I am always available to answer your questions so if you’d like to speak with me before you sign up, just give me a call at 902-222-1353 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and I can’t wait to start celebrating your success!!
So what did you think of last night’s The Biggest Loser finale? From what I could tell from social media today, it is a HOT topic!! I get very little time to watch TV so my beautiful DVR keeps me up-to-date on a couple shows that I watch when I have a chance (The Biggest Loser sits next to Big Bang Theory – I apparently have an eclectic taste in television). First things first. I was in the Rachel corner from the start of this show and I will absolutely admit this was one of the better, less “drama for the camera” seasons I’ve seen in a while. She was such a competitor and she never backed down. To me, that represents a strong and powerful woman. I also think we live in a world where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. First she was too fat and now she is getting bashed all over Facebook, Twitter and every blog going today for being “too thin”. Geez, give the girl a break right? But hold on. Did anyone notice the look on Jillian and Bob’s faces when she walked out on stage? Those weren’t the faces of happiness…those were obviously the faces of two very concerned people. My heart broke for Rachel. That isn’t the reaction I wanted for her. But folks, it’s a competition for $250,000. It’s called the BIGGEST LOSER – not The Healthiest Person. Why is everyone (including Bob and Jillian) so shocked that someone lost a crazy amount of weight? She had trainers screaming at her for months to lose lose LOSE!!! She is an amazing competitor and she totally kicked butt! We all saw her just before she left the ranch and looked amazing but even then, she was eating a diet of grilled chicken and veggies. This WOULD happen if that is all you ate and she was in it to win. And win she did! BUT, and this is where I have a problem, at what cost?
Side Note: I’ll admit I have been a long time fan of weight loss shows. I love seeing people change their lives, get healthy, and the personal trainer in me loves watching the workouts but for the record, it should never be a Personal Trainer’s goal to make you puke, pass out or die and if you find a trainer who only has that goal in mind, please leave and report them to their regulatory body.
But back to my point. Did you know that this is Eating Disorder Awareness Week in Canada? Whether Rachel is actually healthy or not (I am not a doctor and cannot judge that from the two minutes I saw her on TV), she did appear shockingly thin. Many viewers already have unhealthy expectations watching this show and I fear this “win” could make it worse. I mean really, ask any Personal Trainer out there and I guarantee you at least one client compares their weight loss to the weight loss seen on these shows. Come on folks…it IS NOT REAL LIFE!! Please stop being disappointed with your amazing 1-2lbs per week weight loss because you are comparing yourself to the crazy numbers that Biggest Loser participants put up. Unless you are removed from your family, your friends, your job, your life and you have nothing else to do except exercise for eight hours per day (I’m still shocked nobody has died on this show yet), have all your organic food, and as was hinted around to this season, copious amounts of caffeine delivered to your kitchen, YOU ARE NOT going to see those kind of results so please stop comparing! My fear is that seeing someone drop from 260lbs to 105lbs in a few months sets viewers up for even more unhealthy expectations and may make them willing to resort to unhealthy methods to achieve a similar weight loss. Awesome job for being such an amazing competitor Rachel but you can be sure she lost the last 10+ lbs just to win the $$ and I would be shocked if we don’t see her in a couple months time having gained a little fat and muscle back and looking rock solid again. Another side note just for the record – I thought David looked better when he left the Ranch then he did last night as well but that again is my personal opinion.
Ok, I know some of you have read this and are thinking, “umm…Deb this is a no-brainer”. But this is one topic that I haven’t talked about much before and based on “current events”, I felt was an important topic to discuss. So in a nut-shell, yep … Hard workouts + Healthy Eating + Changing your Mindset = Reaching you Goals. But please ladies and gentlemen, it is possible to do it in a healthy and realistic manner. You do NOT have to starve yourself. You do NOT have to exercise until you can’t move. And the number on the ******* scale does NOT define you or the work you put in!! What you need is a good attitude towards healthy food – don’t feel like you are “missing out” when you eat healthy. You need a good attitude towards exercise – yes it can be fun, you just have to find something you enjoy (or a great Instructor/Trainer). And you need a good support system – or an attitude that nothing will stand in your way of your success.
Folks, There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight and get fit. BUT, you have to love yourself no matter what size you are. Do you want to see results? It can be done and you don’t have to be on a television show to do it! You just need to find out where your comfort zone is and get ready to step outside of it. I promise, if you set realistic goals and pick at them a little more each day, you will succeed. Every step in the right direction, no matter how small that step is, will get you closer to your goal. Never quit! Love to you all.
OK, it’s official. I SUCK at blogging. Well, maybe not the blogging part but certainly taking time to actually write the thoughts that are in my head. Whenever I think of an idea I would like to write about, I jot it down a piece of paper … which now has about 80 ideas … and this is my fourth post in two months. I have to get my act together.
A beautifully pregnant friend of mine posted today that she is past her due date and is getting impatient. Before I knew it, I wrote a novella of a comment for her. Ok, if I could take the time to do that, I can take the time to post here. Here is my comment to her and is for all those first time Moms-to-Be out there. I can see the moms of the group nodding in agreement now! ENJOY!
Top Five Things You Should Do During the Last Days of your Pregnancy
1. Decide you are going to leave the house and drive somewhere … then do it right away without having to pack half your house to take with you. REALLY pay attention to how quick and easy this is. 🙂 Oh, and while you’re out, enjoy not having to look in your rear-view mirror two million times to make sure everyone is ok, pick up a sippy cup or toy off the floor (while you are driving…fun), stop on the side of the road to feed someone (or change a poopy diaper…more fun) or sing to a crying baby (making up words as you go along …”hush little baby we are almost home, please stop crying…la la la…” OH, and listen to the music you want without having to listen or sing the “Wheels on the bus!”
2. Use the washroom and take a shower and pay CLOSE attention to how quiet it is without anyone crying for you, yelling out your name, opening the shower curtain or sliding their fingers under the door.
3. Go to a restaurant and enjoy a peaceful meal! Oh so blissful.
4. Go to a movie without having to pay TWO ARMS AND TWO LEGS. (just the regular arm and leg for the movie and popcorn – no babysitter)
5. Flip through the channels and DO NOT stop on Treehouse or Disney Jr. Watch whatever YOU want to watch. Toopee and Binoo (and similarly annoying voices will be there soon enough).
Bonus: Take time to write a blog post without a two and half year old destroying a play room or a 9-month old pulling on your pant leg! (Not that it is happening as we speak or anything).
Moms-to-be, this is all meant for fun but I know in a couple of months you’ll think about this post and smile! All this being said, I ADORE my children and wouldn’t trade mommyhood for anything … well, maybe the bathroom one. 😀 I wish you a peaceful day, a smooth and quick labour and delivery and most of all, a healthy and happy baby.
If this is your first time visiting, welcome! Feel free to read my very first blog post from a few days ago for an overview of what you can expect from me and this Blog. Once you are done, feel free to come back and we’ll get started on today’s topic. This particular topic is very dear to me (as will become obvious as you start to read) and will hopefully give you a little more insight into what makes me tick and how, regardless of the career I’ve chosen as a personal trainer and fitness educator, I’m not that different from you.
I’m sure you recall my “normal” comment from my first post. I chose to become a Personal Trainer for a couple of reasons. (1) Because I have a passion for helping you live a healthy life and make huge changes, and (2) Because there is no greater motivation to stay in shape yourself when you have people ‘expecting’ you to be the Pro. And that’s the truth folks! Most trainers will never tell you reason #2, but it’s there!
Yes, I am a Personal Trainer and with that position comes a lot of expectation but you see, I am a VERY normal woman with very normal struggles. I am NOT a Size 2 fitness model who eats only to fuel my body, who wakes every morning with a spring in my step as I eagerly tie my shoes to run a 10K to an early morning Zumba class before spending the rest of my day bouncing joyfully between clients, fitness classes and the weight stacks, finally finishing my day with a tasty protein shake and a hot yoga class. OK. Typing that just made me tired. But be honest, that is what we picture Personal Trainers doing right? Well friend, I must be honest … this is NOT my life! First, I L.O.V.E. food…too much! I understand the need to eat to fuel your body but I also understand what it is like to eat because you are hungry, bored, sad, happy, or virtually any excuse you can think of to eat. I also DON’T always like to exercise. GASP! I know!! Sometime as I drag my sorry, tired butt out of bed, carrying my shoes in my hands so I can tiptoe past my kiddies bedrooms, terrified (or perhaps hoping I will some days) wake them before I get a chance to start any sort of exercise – which is inevitably cut short by the sounds of children eager to get their day started. Ah, perhaps I’ll exercise later … if I manage to keep everything and everyone together today and still find the energy after everyone goes to bed tonight to finish my workout. Cause that happens ALL the time. LOL. Are you starting to get the picture?
Why am I telling you this? Because I believe that being “normal” puts me in a much better position to talk to you and help you on your own path to wellness. I have a slight edge over some of my beautiful fellow fitness professionals (who I have tremendous respect for) but who have never had to struggle with their weight, who live to exercise, or have never had to witness what happens to their body when they have one, two and three children! Yikes!! I am better able to connect with the struggles of so many people in our society because I GET the struggle but I also GET how great it feels when you can reach your goals.
Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks as I discuss what I believe to be the major factors in finding your own journey to wellness.
Plus, this is a special week as I am launching my updated and popular online fat loss program. I’ve been working very hard the last few weeks on my website, Handbooks and videos and I can’t wait to release it this week, along with lots of freebies, discounts and prizes!