Better Late Than Never!

Wow! I honestly cannot believe that is has been 2 weeks since the final weigh-in of the 6-week challenge!!!!!. I have been so busy battling an infection, studying for a massive exam and volunteering for an upcoming event that I haven’t had the time to get on here and provide an update on my final weigh-in.

So let’s get right to it…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Right before the final week of the challenge, I noticed a small lump that had formed at the base of my right breast. I didn’t think much of it because I have Hidradenitis Suppurativa which essentially is just a skin disease that is known for producing inflamed and swollen lumps. I’ve never had a lump in that area before but was fairly confident that was what I was dealing with and although it was painful, it posed no actual harm. Turns out I was wrong in my diagnosis and within 3 days the lump (which I now know was a sebaceous cyst) had burst internally and infected all of the surrounding breast tissue. I was given some heavy duty antibiotics and a referral to see a general surgeon about “next steps”. This, of course, all had to happen the weekend before my final week of the challenge. I was so upset that I couldn’t work out in that final week. I had come so far and was doing so well and to not be able to finish strong like I had intended was incredibly hard on me. I didn’t expect to feel so defeated but I did. I don’t think I realized until that moment just how much this challenge had meant to me.

I will admit that I did let my emotions get the best of me and my food choices in that last week were less than stellar. I suppose at the time that I felt it wouldn’t matter because I had already “lost” the challenge. I allowed myself to feel that way for a few days before taking a long hard look in the mirror and deciding that I had come too far to let some muscle infection undue all my hard work over the past 5 weeks. There was no way I was missing out on my final weigh-in and I messaged Josh to let him know that despite the fact I couldn’t participate in any classes, I wanted to finish this challenge. Josh was incredibly supportive and understanding during my last week and encouraged me to complete the challenge by showing up for my final weigh-in.

I arrived at the gym that day feeling determined to finish this challenge but with no real hope that I would meet the 20lb weight loss goal. I had assumed that my inactivity and poor food choices in that last week were enough to ensure my failure and AGAIN I would be wrong……………………………………………..


I stepped on the scale and nearly fell over when I saw the numbers appear on the display! I had lost exactly 20lbs! I made my goal! I succeeded in what I set out to do and at that moment I couldn’t have been happier!

I had already made the decision to sign on with Josh and GFN and I am continuing my regular workout schedule 3 times a week along with following the nutrition plan. I will continue to post updates as well as recipes as I go. I hope you find them helpful or inspiring…… or both 😉


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


Peanut Butter Banana “Nice” Cream

The weather is FINALLY getting warmer and the kids have already started asking where the popsicles and ice cream treats are. When I signed up for the 6-week challenge I wasn’t paying much attention to the season in which it would run (honestly I was just happy I wouldn’t have to scrape off my car every morning on the way to the gym). Here I am 3 weeks in and I wasn’t prepared for “ice cream season”. So I did a little digging around on Pinterest (Seriously LOVE this site!) and came across a few recipes that didn’t sound bad but included ingredients that I couldn’t have….. so I improvised!


This ice cream alternative was not only tasty but super easy to make. My daughter and I made in less than 10 minutes and the best part….. you only need 2 ingredients!!!

2 large frozen bananas (its easier to blend if they are cut up but I did just fine with frozen half bananas)

2 tbsp of natural peanut butter

Place frozen bananas in the blender or food processor and blend until you reach a thick soft serve consistency. You will likely have to pause every so often to scrape the sides of the blender. Once the bananas are blended add the peanut butter and blend to mix in. That’s it! Simple right?

Section the “nice” cream out into dished and enjoy or if you prefer a harder ice cream texture you can pop it in the freezer for few hours to firm it up. If you’re a chocolate fan you can add 1-2 tbsp of pure cocoa powder along with the peanut butter. You can also throw some mini chocolate chips in at the very end (I use Camino chocolate chips in my baking etc. because they are dairy and sugar free)

***disclaimer – In the picture my “nice” cream is topped with a chocolate peanut butter muscle cup which was purchased through Josh and is completely challenged approved!



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!