What is the secret to success in any health and fitness (weight loss...) program?
I certainly could not say it better.....
Well I am ashamed to admit that the last time I posted a blog entry was at the 7-week out point of my training that lead up to the July 20, 21 IDFA International Championships. It certainly did not go without acknowledgement as I was very public with photos and results on Facebook.
The training and diet process were very new to me. I found it a struggle to find a trainer that I could mesh well with, whose philosophies resonated with my own. After some trial and error, and along with the help of some great friends who had experience on the competition stage, I managed to get myself to the competition date. There was so much to account for during those last few weeks of the journey. The diet alone begins to feel like a full-time job, or was that just my obsessive personality creeping in. There is hair, make-up, suit selection and fittings, learning to walk on heels well and getting your posing and T-walk routine to an acceptable place, skin-care and tanning and finally the final week of contest prep -- seemingly an art in and of itself. By surrounding myself with positive, uplifting people who knew what they were doing, I found the experience, including backstage at the shows, incredibly comfortable. My confidence sky-rocketted as the weekend progressed and the new friends that were made as a result of the surprising and refreshing camaraderie backstage was simply the cherry on the icing of the cake! (Isn't a food pun apropos about now?)
Of course it was more about the journey than the actual few minutes spent being judged on stage. And what a journey it was. The fact that I have chosen to do it all again speaks volumes. It keeps me accountable to my intention of living a healthy lifestyle and keeping my body in the best condition I can. At 44 years of age, I do feel the best I have ever felt in terms of overall health and well-being -- balance.
I owe massive credit to my amazing support team of my husband, Edmund, best friend of 23 years Tinya Gray, Lauren DiNapoli for her expert coaching, as well as Andrea Laurin, Jeff Boris and Lori Clarke for their incredible support and advice, Erika Engle, RMT for keeping my muscles tuned up, my sister Karen Tredger for going above and beyond sisterly duties, Louise Dudley of Monaco Sun tanning, and of course Colleen McConnell of The Crystal Suit®. And thank-you to Shaun Campbell of the IDFA and Nkechi Nwafor-Robinson for creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for competitors to compete naturally in.
Here is my write-up from that day:
So let's just say this hasn't been easy, mentally. In between managing my kennel of Alaskan malamutes, coaching my cleansers, and building my business, all of which demand 100% of my attention, I am trying to focus on me and building a body on a 43 year old frame that is competition worthy. What is my routine like? Well I can share it with you now that I have finally fallen into one:
6:20-7:10 carb-fasted Spin session (cycle) where I either listen to a podcast or simply zone out to music
7:15-7:30 have Meal #1 and all supplements
7:30-9:30 ex, water & feed dogs; gratitudes; catch up on email; throw out a few Facebook posts
9:30-10:30 pack; travel to gym; make calls (bluetooth) or podcast
12:30-1:00 Meal #2; errands in town
1:00-1:45 travel home; make calls (bluetooth) or podcast
1:45-2:00 Meal #3
2:00-5:00 business time; 4:00 Meal #4
5:00-8:00 doggy ex & feed; my Meal #5; Spin (cycle) 40 min
8:00-10:00 calls; optional Meal #6 or light snack
10:00-11:00 read something positive for 30 minutes & lights out
Indeed I wish I could cram a few more hours in the day or hire a few more "me's" but that is not real it and I know I am not the only one who thinks these rings. The areas of personal development I am focussing on are procrastination (it no longer serves me), adhering to a schedule (I have been a schedule-phobe or is it that I retaliate against structure) and being productive as opposed to being "busy". Basically, I have to get out of my own way. I am blessed and always grateful to my amazing husband, Edmund, who creates a clearing by taking on a great deal around the home and kennel so that I can focus on the business and training myself and the dogs.
I am really focussing on diet, cardio, hitting the gym, getting enough sleep and keeping stress low. My body is slowly starting to lean-out, but it is a battle, I tell you -- there is still some squishy stuff on me that I would be totally fine with in any other situation, but that squishy stuff has no place on the stage. I am working against genetics, age and neglectful habits over the years. I do have Isagenix on my side, as well as my great support system and internal drive and determination. I do need to trust in the process and have patience...Rome wasn't built in a day! I am so fortunate to be in a career that operates on the laws of leveraging time and residual income. Though I am at the stage of "putting in the time" right now, I can still see and be positively affected by the amazing gift of time leveraging and compounding. It is truly an amazing thing -- and I have only just begun!
In Pursuit of a Dream: A big foundation has been laid, successfully, I believe, over the last number of weeks in my attempt to put some mass back onto this 43 year old bod. Thank-goodness for muscle-memory! I spent many hours lifting weights as a teen and throughout my twenties. My background in competitive swimming and flat water canoe & kayak sprint racing required a lot of hours in the gym. I loved it. In fact, I remember buying a women's bodybuilding book back when I was about 12 years old and making my dad buy me a bench, leg curl and weight-set for the back porch off my bedroom. My interest -- passion, I guess you could say -- began young. I was always fascinated by the human form. I had a poster of a ballerina on point on my bedroom wall. The poster depicted the dancer from the knees down. It wasn't about the elegance of the dance for me, no, I wanted those calves! I remember buying Muscle & Fitness magazine, well before the days of Oxygen magazine, the female, sister-publication that is piled at my bedside today.
A Little Background: I attended college to study Fitness & Lifestyle Management and graduated with honours from that program, after which I landed my dream job working as a Fitness Counsellor at The Fitness Institute in Toronto. I was promoted through that organization and held various titles: Aerobics Co-ordinator, Fitness Director, Ass't Club Manager and Personal Trainer. I worked throughout Toronto as a Personal Trainer and Aerobics Instructor back in the days of spandex and leg-warmers. I had every certification I could get my hands on. I was amongst the first wave of certified "Spinning" instructors in Toronto, among other innovations. BUT, and that is the big BUT....we made a drastic change in our life and we moved north.
A Different Life: Our life shot off in a completely different trajectory. It was a welcome change at the time as I had been suffering what many in the fitness industry can encounter -- burn-out. Throughout my thirties, now living well north of the city, my activity level plummeted and my level of fitness followed suit. Having been extremely active throughout my teens and twenties, I had become accustomed to getting away with eating whatever, whenever. When I hit my thirties and my activity level plummeted, I no longer could get away with eating the way I was used to. I became a frequent flyer at Weight Watchers. My body could gain and lose 20 pounds with ease. I could work that Weight Watcher's point system and get away with eating nutritiously bankrupt foods -- ten Rice Krispie squares does not constitute healthy eating, but did fall within my Weight Watchers points guidelines. I gained and lost 20 pounds four or five times throughout my thirties.
Back in the Fitness Saddle: Then came the pivotal forties. What used to be a 20 pound weight battle was now a thirty-pound fluctuation. I found myself at my heaviest at one point. A close friend and I embarked on a foray into long-distance running. She had "running a marathon" on her bucket list. I had completed the Ottawa Marathon in my early twenties, but it wasn't my fondest memory. I wanted redemption. I told her we had to train smart -- we had to respect the distance. In June 2009, I started the Couch-to-5K program and in October we ran the Run for the Cure 5K. In December, we ran the Resolution Run, another 5K and joined a Half-Marathon training program. In March of 2010, we ran the Half-Marathon foliowed by the Mississauga full Marathon in May. In June 2010, I ran a 50K Ultra-Marathon and love that I can say I went from "Couch-to-50K" in a year's time. I was practicing Clean Eating principles and was at my leanest adult weight. We ran a number of other races that year -- a few halfs, two 30K's and two more full marathons! We were on fire.
The Crash: Then, in the fall of 2010, I suffered some personal losses in close succession and found that a hard trench of sadness to pull out of. I fell back into patterns of emotional eating -- eating to fill a "void" -- and seasonal depression (S.A.D.) and the weight very gradually crept back on. By June and July of 2011, I was back to my heaviest adult weight. After all that hard effort, this was a major blow to my self-esteem and yet, to be very honest, I was not "fired-up" to start long-distance running training and Clean Eating again any time soon. BUT, I knew I needed to do something.
Right place - Right Time: A close friend of mine, whom I had attended college and worked with at The Fitness Institute, introduced me to Isagenix. Skeptical, I questioned every aspect of the program and why I would ever entertain replacing "real food" with shakes. In doing my due diligence, I decided I would give the products a try. I knew I needed to do something, lacked the will to work hard to get it, and this looked convenient. If the products worked like the formulations implied they would, I would be a happy girl.
Happy Girl: After my initial caffeine and Splenda detox headache, which lasted the first few days of my initial cleanse, I felt re-ignited! Suddenly, my energy was back and then some; I was sleeping well, had incredible mental clarity and my moods had evened-out. I lost 7 pounds in that first week and was pretty impressed. At the end of that first month, I was down 12 pounds and 22 inches; two months in I was down 20 pounds and 32 inches and three months complete, I had released 26 pounds and 38 inches. I felt like a new person, with a new purpose, spark and the passion in me was lit up again.
New Challenge: So, being the "go-to extremes" type of gal, I am, I have embarked on a whole new challenge. That passion I had for the human form, body-building and weight-training has come full circle. At 43 years of age, I am training for a Figure Competition, to be held 2 weeks after I turn 44. I am seeing changes in my body that I never thought I'd see at any age, particularly at this stage of the game -- but that just proves it is never to late to take on new challenges, to dream, to go for whatever it is you want out of life. I am not doing this for vanity (well, maybe just a teensy bit), but moreover it is a bucket list item that I never thought I'd have the opportunity to tackle. I am tackling it alright. I want to create the best version of ME that I can in this lifetime in all aspects: body, mind and spirit. I believe that is something we all should be striving for, anyway. Don't you?
What Lies Ahead: I have just entered the 12-week out from competition-mark. Serious stuff. I believe I have put on some decent muscle thus far, but certainly have a ways to go, especially with the legs and abs. It is diet down time. I am fortunate to have a great figure and strength coach in Alexa Georgas (Alexacise) and Isagenix -- I mean, let's face it, this wouldn't be happening had Isagenix not entered my life and I wouldn't have a clue how to navigate the very different world of Figure competitions without the expertise of Alexa. I plan to keep you up-to-date on my progress as the weeks countdown to the big, crazy day. July 21st is the date. Here we go!
A 40-something who is passionate about her dogs, physical fitness, wellness and nutrition, and inspiring others to live into their dreams and be the best version of themselves!
WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON MY WEBPAGE
I want to thank you for how you handled my initial call to you - you inspired me to start up even though I was sure I was going to fail. Happily, this is the best program I have ever done. ~ T.D.
I just wanted to share with you that daily I read your posts and you keep me feeling uplifted and optimistic. Your enthusiasm and motivation shine through and the fact that you are uplifting others with your postitive outlook should be noted. ~ K.S.
Thanks for all your hard work and enthusiasm. You continue to inspire me. ~ J.K.