Monday, November 10, 2014

Winter Fitness Interview with Betty LIVIN

I recently had an interview with Rachel at Betty LIVIN about how I overcome the cold, dark winters and still keep fitness a priority.

Here it is:

http://bettylivin.com/2014/11/10/winter-fit-with-fit-girls-rock/


Until next time,


Monday, November 3, 2014

Endometriosis- a silent but painful condition

So here is something I don’t talk about much and that not many people, outside my close family and friends, know about me. I have Endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis? An often painful gynecological disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside instead. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. Endometriosis can cause pain, in varying severity, especially during and just before your period. Typically menstrual pain for those with Endometriosis is far worse than the norm and tends to increase over time. Other symptoms include excessive bleeding, fatigue, bloating, nausea, headaches, pain with bowel movements/urination, pain with intercourse, diarrhea, constipation and infertility.

Personally, I don’t experience all of the symptoms listed above and some months are far better than others for me. There are months where I am so debilitated by my period that it leaves me curled up in a ball unable to go to work, where my only relief from the back and pelvic cramps is a heating pad or hot bath and where I am so bloated that I can’t fit into my jeans or pants. I start to experience my symptoms about a week before my period. During this week, I generally experience the extreme fatigue, bloating, sometimes spotting, headaches, body aches and pelvic pain. I have been known to exude flu like symptoms, even a sore throat and to only get two really good weeks out of a month.

 
Just last week I had another episode where I had that same debilitating pain, missed a day at work and spent the majority of the day curled up in a ball with my heating pad. I started a discussion about it on my facebook page and received a lot of comments from other women who suffer as well. It is a condition known all too well to those who suffer but one that is not very well known at all to others. It is basically an invisible disease, and because no one can see it, it is tough to understand just how bad it can really be. Its effects are definitely widespread.

So why am I writing all of this now? Good question. I have recently been doing a lot of research about Endometriosis, as it seems to have worsened again for me this year, and have come across some interesting blogs on the topic. I thought that I would write a brief overview of my own story
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in 2007 after I stopped taking the birth control pill. I then noticed differences in my periods and menstrual cramps as well as some IBS like symptoms. In 2008, a laparoscopy was performed and many of the endometrial polyps were removed at this time. The procedure did bring significant relief to the pain I had been experiencing. However in 2011, when I began my road to fitness and clean eating, I noticed some drastic changes in my symptoms for the better and although the majority of these symptoms will clearly never go away, the lifestyle I lead certainly helps.

As long as I keep my diet consistently clean (I tend to find gluten free works for me) and don’t stray too far from those clean foods, stay as stress free as possible and continue training as I do then I am able to at least minimize the bloating, headaches, IBS symptoms, etc. The other pain associated with my period, changes constantly, making some months bearable while others are extremely debilitating. Hence the frustration living with this condition overall.
 
 
This blog is a little more personal than the content I normally share here but I have been contemplating writing this one for awhile. If you live with endometriosis, have you noticed any improvement in symptoms through clean eating and fitness or has it had no effect on your symptoms at all?

Until next time,

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Conquering the Beast!

On Saturday, September 27, 2014 I took on the Spartan Beast obstacle course race in Sun Peaks, B.C. This race was the last requirement to complete my goal of attaining my trifecta in 2014. The weather was beautiful and I was especially thankful for that considering the previous year they were running in snow.

 
We arrived at the host hotel and event site on Friday. I picked up a flu bug earlier and wasn’t feeling the best so as soon as we checked into the hotel I went to bed hoping that I would feel much better in the morning. Luckily, although my cold was still present, I did in fact feel energetic and in good spirits for the event.

After picking up my pre-race package, having a carb and protein filled breakfast and stretching I lined up with the others for the 9am heat. Next the customary chanting of “I am Spartan, AROO!!” and we are off.  First obstacle, the Over, Under, Threw and then onward to the continuous climb up the mountain for what seems like forever before any other obstacles at all. The climb is challenging to say the least and I am left wondering how I could have trained differently to make it easier. Uphill hiking, maybe? Although everyone started out in a run I see no one running now and we are all simply hiking up the mountain. Eventually we come to the log carry and then almost immediately thereafter the Hercules hoist. Good, I think to myself, some obstacles to break up the climb. No such luck however. We are on the climb again. A couple more obstacles where spectators can watch, my husband is there to cheer me on and lift my spirits, a water station and we are climbing again. This climb much like the start seems never ending and by now everything is hurting. Calves, butt, hamstrings, quads……B U R N I N G!!!

 
Finally I make it to “The top of the World” as it’s called and everyone including myself is thinking ok downhill from here. Argh…the downhill only lasts for a short time and we are going up again. Many short downs plus several climbs later and finally I can see the finish line, hear the cheers and am headed down the home stretch.


I can honestly say that the obstacles were the easy part of this race. I was terrified of the covered trench obstacle, being that I am claustrophobic, but with a pep talk from a couple of people near me, I took it on and was happy that I did. I honestly didn’t have the energy for burpees. A little over 14 miles (almost entirely uphill) and 27 obstacles concluded the race. I did have to complete burpees for a couple of obstacles……Always at the spear throw and the rope climb at the end.

This race is by far one of the toughest things I have ever taken on both mentally and physically. There were a couple of moments throughout the race that I wanted to cry, especially at the bucket brigade- it was such a long trek with that bucket full of sand, but I didn’t cry, several of us let out a few choice curse words instead. I jumped the fire after 4:58:40 with a sense of relief, got both my medals, grabbed some water, hugged my husband and then the tears came. Silly? Maybe, but it was an emotional, tough journey.

 
I am very happy to have taken on this challenge. I achieved my trifecta goal and once again have proven to myself that I am not a quitter but most importantly that I can certainly do anything that I set my mind too.


A huge thank you to my husband for cheering me on, giving me a pep talk before, during and after the race, for telling me how proud he was of me, for my trifecta sweater and simply for the awesome support and encouragement.  

He is intrigued by the beast so it looks like we will be conquering this one together in 2015.
 
Until next time,

Monday, September 22, 2014

Why I became a Beach Body Coach

Hey Fitness Peeps!

In June I took the plunge and joined the Beach Body team as a coach. I had completed a couple of their programs in the past with clear results and had thoroughly enjoyed them. So I thought why not get more involved, especially when you have a simple to follow product that you can believe in. I have a couple of facebook friends who are coaches and so I started asking questions, getting more information and learning all that I could about Beach Body. 

Even though I joined in June, I actually hadn’t announced it officially until August for a few reasons.

1)      I was focusing solely on getting my personal training business started

2)      It was summer vacation time….hey, I was on vacation too!

3)      I was still learning a lot of the basic coaching skills and so I wanted to  be more comfortable before I really jumped in
 

Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about health and fitness. How important I think it is and how much I believe in being active and eating healthy for a long, full life. This is why I became a PersonalTrainer so that I could help people reach their full potential, show and teach them how to work out and provide them with proper nutritional guidelines and principles as well.
 
So what made me decide to become a coach?

In just a few words; “I wanted to motivate and help people achieve their fitness goals and enjoy the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle.”

I became a ‘Beach Body Coach’ so that I could also reach out and help people who want to get into fitness, but, perhaps cannot afford a gym membership, a personal trainer or who simply don’t have the time to make it to the gym, yet still want to work out. Beach Body programs are designed specifically for these people. They are economical, simple to follow and they can all be done in the comfort of your own home, with full support from your very own Beach Body Coach.

 
When I became certified as a Personal Trainer earlier this year, I was contacted by so many people from my home town that wished me well and also wished that I was closer so that they could work with me. Beach Body now allows me to be that for them and so many others. By joining my Beach Body challenge groups, you get me as a coach automatically, to answer any questions and concerns but also to help motivate, inspire and help keep you on track.

So whether you’re new to fitness, on the diet rollercoaster, or just need that little push to keep you motivated and get you through, as a Beach Body coach, I can help.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spartan Super Race- A Recap

Hey Everyone,

This past Saturday, my husband and I ran the Spartan Super in Red Deer, Alberta; another wonderful, fun, exhilarating day. 15km and numerous obstacles later, we were jumping over fire to finish it off with a time of 2:03:24

There is definitely something to be said for running these obstacle races with a significant other. I love that I am strong enough to help my husband through some of the obstacles and that he is always there to help and encourage me as well.

 
At 9am, with a final AROO and dressed as Wonder woman and Batman, we are off. I start out fairly strong but I lose that around mile 3 or 4 and I begin to get discouraged. My obstacle abilities are strong however it is my running that holds me back. I have to walk for little bits at a time, which is so unlike me, but I never quit. My husband, on the other hand, is feeling great and performing wonderfully.


We climb and jump over things, swing through monkey bars, flip tires, swim, throw spears, drag bricks, run stairs, carry sand bags, get muddy, etc.; all for fun and side by side. My husband is wonderful at the spear throw; I, on the other hand, suck. Although for the first time ever, I did get it, it just didn’t stick. Argh…burpees for me! One other set of burpees at the rope climb for each of us and we are done. I can’t seem to ever get a tight enough grip on the rope and with all that mud it just wasn’t happening…….one day I’ll get it!!

The race was well organized again this year. Race package pickup, bag drop off and getting numbers was a breeze. Volunteers were great throughout the race, the cleanup stations and change rooms setup at the end were efficient and we, personally, had no issues from start to finish.

This is my 3rd Spartan race, my husband’s 2nd. We did the Sprint together in July and I completed this particular Super last year as well; my time was a little better then but I’m not beating myself up over it. I had fun and I finished.

 
On September 27th, I am heading into the Beast in order to complete my goal of achieving my trifecta this year. I hear the course at Sun Peaks is grueling so I hope I can stay strong. I won’t give up and I will finish; another 3 weeks of training to go.

We are Spartan….AROO!!!

Until next time,