3rd Weigh-In!

This weekend was my 3rd weigh-in which would mark the 4-week point in the challenge. I can’t believe how fast its flown by. I only have 2 more weeks to go. I am proud of everything I have accomplished so far on this challenge and it was an easy decision to make to stay on this journey with Josh and the entire GFN family. So despite the fact that the challenge itself may end in 2 weeks, my journey is just beginning and I have no intention of stopping!

Now concerning this weekend’s weigh-in, I was super nervous going into it. I had a 13lb drop the first 2 weeks which was a bit intimidating because it was going to be tough to match. I also had a minor setback after the Playhouse event in the beginning of week 3 so I was worried that may have hindered my progress.

Nerves aside, I arrived for my appointment and headed over to the scale with Coach Corey and Josh. I stepped on the scale and kept my eyes straight ahead (silently praying that the number went down and not up), as is my typical routine for weigh-ins. Josh and Corey looked at the scale, Corey wrote the number down in the tracking book and they proceded to confirm the math. I stepped off the scale and prepared for the progress pics which is when they confirmed I was down another 5lbs!!!!!!

Now I know this is great and I should be proud (believe me I am) but in that initial moment I was slightly disappointed that it was ONLY 5lbs. Josh and Corey could see as much and it wasn’t until they took the time to explain to me that 5lbs in 2 weeks may not seem like much if you only think of it like that……..BUT……… they reminded me that in total I have lost 17.5lbs in 4 weeks (that’s an average of just over 4lbs/week!!!) which is amazing and something I should be very proud of. When it was put into those terms and I changed my mindset, I could see what an accomplishment that really was. The other crazy part is that those 17.5lbs were fat – I’ll let you think about that for a second – 17.5lbs of fat shed from my body. Josh pulled up some photos on his phone to show me just how much that is and I couldn’t believe it! (seriously, google it!). I certainly felt more motivated and proud walking out of that weigh-in then I did walking in lol.

So here’s to kicking ass the next 2 weeks and crushing this 20lbs goal. I know I can do it and I now know that I’m physically stronger and healthier than ever before. For the first time in YEARS, I am not dreading the summer and trying to plan out how to survive it!


Halfway Mark

Last Friday marked the halfway point in the 6-week challenge for me and I should have been celebrating with my 9th workout out of the 18 required, however, my body had different ideas. My knee had been swollen and painful for the 2 days prior and that morning there was just no way that I would make it through a workout (even with all the modifications). I’m surprised at how disappointed I was and how thrown off my day became from missing one of my early morning workouts. If someone would have told me 4 short weeks ago that I would be getting up early for 5:45am workouts three times a week, actually enjoying it AND be disappointed if I miss one, I would have told them they were sadly mistaken.

This past week has been a challenge in terms of food and energy (which I’m positive are directly related). The weekend before was so busy that I didn’t have a chance to do my normal grocery shopping and there was zero time for meal prep so I was left with a week where I was winging it ALOT! I didn’t really cheat which is a bonus (unless you count the few bites of my mom’s amazing chopped salad which had caesar dressing in it) but I did come in under my calorie goal for quite a few days. I know some of you are thinking “shouldn’t that be a good thing?” but unfortunately it’s not. I struggled to consume 1000 calories per day for a good 4 days and it had a HUGE effect on my energy, motivation, and alertness. I’m sure you’ve heard the old fitness saying “Your body is like a car – if you don’t ‘fuel’ it with the ‘good stuff’ then it won’t perform at optimal levels”. Well if you don’t put enough ‘fuel’ in your body than it won’t perform at all. You can actually stall your progress by not consuming a sufficient amount of calories and nutrients daily (I’m crossing my fingers that the past week hasn’t set me back too much).

This week I am determined to CRUSH! I spent most of my weekend meal prepping so that I would not be caught unprepared again. I kept the menu as simple as possible and tried to choose meals that were loaded with flavor and that also freeze well. I decided on Challenge Friendly Chili, Beef and Broccoli with Challenge Approved sauce served over brown rice, Chicken Fajita Bowls, and as a sweet treat – Pine-berry Fruit Salad                     *I will post all recipes from this week in the recipe section 🙂

I woke up with renewed motivation for the week ahead and that was further strengthened after this morning’s core class. I survived my first ever Josh Green Board Challenge and (according to my Fitbit) burned just over 600 cals! For those who don’t know what a board challenge is, it’s basically where you have the whole class (minus warm up and cool down) to complete 1 full circuit which consists of about 12 different activities. You have to complete the repetitions (reps) for ALL activities/exercises in order to complete the challenge. You have your choice of 30, 50, 70 or 90 reps. I chose 30 as a ‘newbie’ and was surprised that I had enough time in the end to start another circuit of 30 reps. I was sure that I wouldn’t make it through the entire circuit, some of those exercises were HARD!! Next time I might have to push myself to do 50 reps 🙂

I’m feeling awesome this morning and I can’t wait for Wednesday’s full body day – I’m even pulling a double to make up my missed class from last week. Here’s hoping I can still walk to the car after the last class that day lol.

Happy Monday Everyone!


Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” – Rikki Rogers


2 Week Weigh-in!!!!

***This post was scheduled for 2 days ago but failed :(. It’s a bit late and slightly out of order now but still worth sharing so here it is :)………..


I wasn’t planning on posting until tomorrow night because this weekend has been beyond crazy but I have so much to say and couldn’t wait to share it 🙂

I know you’re probably wondering how the weigh-in yesterday went (unless you have me on FB, in which case you probably already know lol) so let me end the suspense………..


I was so shocked that it took an entire day for that to set in. Here’s a fairly accurate account of what went down during the weigh-in:

Accountability Coach Corey (who is a phenomenal support and super patient with all my questions) – “Okay, step on the scale”

*I step on the scale and he writes the number down in the book he’s holding*

*I look down at the scale and become slightly annoyed that by the time I get to look I’m seeing what appears to be the weather forecast as opposed to my weight (I’m not kidding – this is one seriously hi-tech scale)*

Coach Corey – “Are you ready for this?”

Me – “As ready as I’m ever going to be”

*He flips the notebook around to show me my current weight*

Instantly my breath is gone and my brain is slowly trying to make sense of the numbers I’m seeing in front of me because they couldn’t possibly be right. Keep in mind that while all this is happening there are at least a dozen other challengers in the room awaiting their turn on the fancy-weather-telling scale. I cover my face with hands and say “I want to cry right now”

Coach Corey – “Those would be the best freakin tears” and gives me a high five.

Well, Josh must have thought that the news wasn’t very positive because as he prepared to take my progress picture he was trying to give me encouragement by telling me that everything would be fine and we still have a lot of time to work on things and not to worry. I stared a little blankly and said:

“I think I lost 13lbs”

Josh – “13lbs?!?!?!?, Corey is that right? check the math. Did she lose 13lbs?”

*Corey checks the math and shakes his head “Yep, 13lbs”

That comment was met with congratulations from not only Josh but my fellow challengers. I’m standing there with tears welling in my eyes and the outpouring of encouragement and support and congratulations was amazing. I went into that weigh-in praying that I would at least see a 5lb drop, I never expected to even come close to 13lbs!

I may have messaged both Corey and Josh to ask them to double check the pictures and make sure that the numbers were right lol ( I was honestly in a state of disbelief)

I couldn’t be more proud and excited as I am with my decision to join GoFitness Niagara (GFN). I was on the fence about getting involved with any sort of gym but GFN has exceeded my expectations. Yes, it’s hard and there were many times over the past 2 weeks that I thought I wouldn’t make it. The first week was overwhelming trying to understand the nutrition and get the hang of meal prep. The second week for me was when the doubt started to creep in, however, my massive support system (too many to name here) kicked in when I need them to. They encouraged me and pushed to keep going when I was tired, sore, or grumpy lol.

I worked very hard the last 2 weeks to get to where I am but I’m also very aware that I didn’t get here all on my own, so a huge THANK YOU to everyone in my back corner! I appreciate all your love and support.

So as I close this post I want to leave you with this quote I came across:

“Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.” – Annonymous

Playhouse Event Success!

This past weekend has been full of accomplishments and proud moments for me. Saturday kicked it off with a stellar weigh-in (which you can read all about below) where I celebrated a 13-pound weight drop in just 2 weeks!! The point of this blog entry, however, is to share with you why Sunday was such as success as well.

I have been a long time volunteer with the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara, which is a local non-profit organization that helps children and families cope with the life altering impacts of child abuse. (You can learn more about the Kristen French CACN by clicking on the link)

This weekend was the 4th Annual Playhouse Build and Auction event in support of the Centre and I was pretty nervous about how I was going to handle event day while staying committed to my 6-week challenge nutrition plan. The event was held outdoors in the parking lot of a major shopping center and was an all-day event. I left the house at 7:15am to drop my oldest off to his Air Cadet exercise, then I headed across town to drop my youngest off with her father for the day and I arrived on site for the event at 8:30am. Unloading and set-up began immediately and the momentum continued well into the event. I was definitely getting my steps in and making up for the fact that I didn’t have a workout that day.

We had food trucks on site offering everything from pizza to Thai cuisine to ice cream and of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Barbecue. It all looked and smelled so good but I held out and was successful in staying true to my nutrition plan!!!!!!   The key to my success was being prepared. I was crazy busy in the days before the event and it would have been so much easier to just cave and use the excuse that I didn’t have time. I almost did just that, but then I thought about the 13lbs that I had already shed from my body and that gave me the push I needed to make the time to grab a few things so I could stay on track throughout the day. I ran out to the grocery store and grabbed a container of mixed berries, mixed veggies (without the dip, I used hummus from home instead) and some apples. I packed myself a cooler bag and placed all my healthy goodies inside (along with LOTS of extra water) and took it with me for the day. To make the temptations easier I had planned in advance to treat myself to lunch so I wouldn’t feel so deprived. So when I was ready for lunch instead of heading towards the food trucks I walked into the mall (the extra steps were a nice little bonus as well). I treated to myself to a delicious chopped salad from Subway. I loaded it up with veggies, skipped the cheese and opted for the oil and vinaigrette dressing. I then walked back out to the event and topped off my salad with some protein-packed shredded chicken I had brought from home for the win!!!!

I know this is going to sound like a line and I PROMISE you it’s not……… That salad was WAY more satisfying than any burger, fries or ice cream could have been. Que the eye rolling and skepticism (I know because I used to do that lol) but I honestly enjoyed that salad more than I thought I would. Maybe it’s because my tastes are changing, maybe it was the psychological trick of thinking of it as treating myself, or maybe it was just a REALLY good salad. Regardless of why, the simple fact is that I not only stayed on track, I actually enjoyed my food and didn’t feel deprived and that’s worth celebrating!

The Phoenix

This week has been mentally challenging for me as I have been gearing up for a 6-week health and fitness challenge that I signed up for.

I suppose I should back it up just a bit and provide some context. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. I have had some highs and lows with my weight but even at my lowest, I would have still been classified as ‘overweight’. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome when I was 22 and was told to accept the fact that I would always be “bigger”. In October of 2015, I made the decision to quit smoking (Best decision!) and I anticipated that my weight would be affected because of it. So I thought I could get ahead of any potential impacts to my figure by committing to a healthy eating regimen BEFORE I actually quit smoking. It was a sound decision, rooted in logic and in theory it should have worked, except it didn’t. I was eating better than I ever had in my life and yet I was still gaining weight. Long story short, after seeing multiple doctors and specialists I was told that I had developed hypothyroidism and that my liver was enlarged. I was also experiencing gastrointestinal problems that were severely impacting my daily life and none of the doctors could find the exact cause or provide any real relief of the symptoms for that matter. I had been gaining weight slowly throughout this process which was about a year and a half and was quickly approaching my rock bottom (in terms of weight). Needless to say, I fell into the trap of self-pity coupled with self-loathing for the image that was reflecting back at me in the mirror, and I gave up.

Flash forward to present day where I finally said enough is enough and signed up for the challenge. I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment that I made that decision but I’m not sure that I can. I had talked about doing something for almost a year, but there was always a reason (or multiple reasons for that matter) that I couldn’t. Then a few months ago my son, who is 14, asked if I would go to a movie with him. My daughter was at her dad’s for the night and I had been wanting to see the movie he suggested (Jumanji) so I agreed and off we went to the theaters. Well, I had no idea that the Jumanji reboot would be as popular as it was – the place was PACKED! (and rightfully so – The movie was awesome). Every single seat in the theater was filled and there I was uncomfortably squshing my very large frame into a not so large seat. I started to get symptoms of a panic attack and it took every ounce of strength I could summon up for me to keep myself in the seat and attempt to enjoy the movie for the sake of my son. I think that moment was likely the turning point that sent me on the path to the 6-week challenge because the panic attack symptoms shook me. I have never suffered from an anxiety disorder or symptoms in the past and it was unsettling to realize that the anxiety symptoms were being brought on because of the way I looked and felt about myself. My mental health was being affected by my lack of physical health and I didn’t know what to do. I thought back to all the events I had missed taking my kids to because I didn’t want to go out in public, all the family pictures I was missing from because I couldn’t stand to see my own image, all the enjoyment in life that I was depriving myself of and I knew I had to do something.

I’m fortunate enough to have come into contact with a health and fitness trainer through a fundraising event for a local organization that I volunteer with, and I started to follow him on Facebook. He happened to own his own fitness studio and was running his brand new 6-week challenge. I thought about signing up but I was too chicken and instead watched the transformations of the ones brave enough to take that step play out on Facebook. I watched the first 2 challenges go by and decided to make the appointment to go and see the gym and hear more about the program. I’m not going to lie, I was in full panic mode on the drive to the information appointment, thank goodness my mother was driving lol. It was extremely hard for me to even walk through the door but by the end of my appointment, I had made the commitment to finally put my health first and get my life back on track!

So back to the first sentence of this post, I have been trying to plan out all my meals, make grocery lists accordingly, get any necessities that I was missing and mentally prepare for tomorrow’s initial weigh-in and the first of the progress pics, YIKES!. The butterflies in my stomach are doing full blown advanced aerial acrobatic routines and my legs get a little weak when I think about it. However, I haven’t been this excited for anything in a very long time! I even made a joke to my mom that I must be twisted because I’m actually looking forward to the muscle soreness after my first training session – I know, crazy right? The way I see it though is that pain represents my transformation. Change is hard and can often be painful. The pain that will come as I push my body to do things it’s never done before, represents the old me burning away and the new me beginning to emerge (much like the Phoenix, just slower). I can’t wait to begin!