Me…. and the Lime ;)

I’m BACCK 🙂

It feels so darn good to get back to writing! Let me tell you, when you want to be writing about what is going on in your life and how it relates to fitness but you have to distance yourself for a little while it is HARD. But, alas– the time has come to dust off my keyboard and begin my journey on here again!

Why, do you ask, would I leave you in the dark like this? When I was posting about my new goals and how I was going to push through for new accomplishments this year?

Well– actually– it has something to do with the fact that some of my goals have changed sliiighhtly in these last few months. As you may recall from previous posts, I have some race dates approaching in May– and was supposed to have some weight loss goals accomplished by– well– now. Not to disappoint, but weight loss for me is something that is NOT going to be on my agenda– at least for the next.. let’s say…9 months?

Yep. That’s right folks, your MrsKooyFitness is going to be MrsKooyMama! 🙂

I’m finally at a stage in my journey when I can begin to discuss this exciting event openly. And well there are never any guarantees in life, all one can hope for is to continue on this healthy path which will lead to the birth of a happy and healthy baby. But let me tell you– not only has it been difficult not writing on here to share my experiences thus far– the changes I have had to make to my own regularly active lifestyle have taken me some time to adjust to– and be okay with.

Slowly, I’m gaining my energy back (this little poppyseed, turned olive, turned prune, turned lime— has been eating away at my energy levels!) and dare I say– I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the toile– ugh— tunnel?

Today I accomplished a significant landmark for myself and baby lime. (the food references are not my cravings, they are — according to my “in depth” reading on my phone APP “baby bump”– the size of my growing baby!) Last night a good friend send me a text letting me know that our usual running crew were going to venture out tomorrow and try a small 7K to get back on the road. (7K used to be smaller for me.. but lately walking on the treadmill gets my heart rate up there so I was unsure whether I wanted to hold them back) I decided I was going to show up and do my best, and if I had to walk a bit so be it. We typically run before our bootcamp classes on Saturday so I thought if I was going to make the trek down there I would stay for the class afterwards and work at my own pace. My own pace. Something that was hard to dial down.. but I’m getting better at.

So I woke up this morning at 5:15– snoozed until 5:30… and finally got my little booty out of bed at 5:45 to get dressed, pack, and be ready to leave at 6:00. Well– apparently little lime wasn’t having this new agenda. One quick brush of my teeth sent me right over to my porcelain friend. The first few interactions with the toilet had me feeling like maybe I should just call the girls and tell them it’s not the morning for me, and go back to bed. But by the 5th, 6th, and 7th heave-hoe it was time for baby lime and I to have a little heart to heart.

I stood up, rubbed my tummy and said

“Look baby lime– you and I have to learn how to cooperate with one another. Otherwise this is going to be a long journey for the two of us. I’m going for this run today, and baby– you’re coming with me. So please, let’s work together and have a great morning”

So off we went. And you know what?

We did it! We ran 4K together, had a nice pick-me-up at Tim Hortons to refuel, and finished with a great workout together in boot camp!

It can be scary in the beginning to know your limits when you’re pushing for two. The important thing to remember though is so long as you have been physically active up to your pregnancy, and your doctor gives you the ok to continue what you’re doing– go for it!

The rest is up to you– and your baby! Listen to your body, ultimately it will tell you if you need to slow down. But let me tell you– there is no greater feeling that knowing you took your time but finished a great workout that not only benefits you, but benefits your little addition. The one who’s also working hard– trying to grow.

Have a wonderful weekend my readers!
Talk soon! 🙂

Those Sunday Blahs

I have had one of those weekends where everything around me feels Blah.

I’m on my new fitness program, and adjusting my carb intake along with I’m sure other monthly stressors preparing to rear their ugly head….So my physical and emotional state these last two days have been horrendous!

My poor husband came home from overtime on Saturday excited to have date night, only to be greeted by Hyde, Mrs. Vanderkooy’s evil twin.

Today, I awoke in worse spirits, with a neck so sore I could barely turn my head! I decided rather than fight through these feelings… I would try to embrace them. So, after church, I went to my favorite place: CHAPTERS. I bought a new book, and a magazine with new yoga poses.

Last year I began to do yoga on a daily basis, in my living room with a DVD that I had bought from chapters. It was only 27 minutes long and I found it fabulous. I have been struggling to get back into routine of having that daily practice so I decided to try it tonight in the hopes it may clear my mind. I followed the series of stretches through about 20 minutes, and lead myself through a meditation afterwards.

For the first time in what feels like AGES, I let myself slip into a deep meditation where nothing entered my mind. It was just myself in this moment with my breath. It’s not easy to let external factors and thoughts escape and leave you with inner peace, so today felt triumphant. It really felt refreshing to take that time alone and center myself.

I’m glad that I took the time to listen to my body and my mind today. I feel as though I avoided what may have felt like an up hill battle with myself, which I think is why my mind allowed me peace when I reached for it.

I feel ready to start a fresh week, complete with: Gym, boot camp, kickboxing, and running.

Enjoy the rest of your evening.

just be

Remembering All Levels of Fitness and Goals

I’ve written a post similar to this one before, but I felt like I wanted to discuss this topic again in light of the new program that is beginning at our boot camp. We have a 6 week fat loss program called the “Sexy in 6” which continually proves to provide much success toward the women who join; for no other reason than they put in a solid effort and commitment, and keep their goals in front of them at all times as they get closer and closer to success.

Yesterday I decided I was going to participate in the program, and a requirement of the program is to record your weight and your measurements. Truth be told, I stepped on the scale for the first time in months and had a bitter taste of reality. There is a 15 pound difference from where I was in the summer to where I am now.

Yesterday I was so disappointed in myself, but today I woke up feeling more determined than ever to change what I saw. This, I have come to realize, was inevitable. Since the summer when I began to be so overwhelmed with the changes in my life, the regular bad habits crept back in:
wine, beer, deep fried foods, chips, ice cream, and NO consistent physical activity.

Disgusting for a person who knows better but…

I am human and made unhealthy choices when stress dominated my life.

I had an interesting experience yesterday while I was taking my measurements, one that has definitely happened to me before. A woman from the program caught sight of me, and stated
“If I had a body like that I wouldn’t need to be on this program”

Now, as flattering as that may be the reality is every body has their own goals they are working towards
And that’s exactly now I responded.

I know as a female we sometimes use comments like that as compliments for other women, but I have always found it to be completely the opposite. It is so important to validate ANY goal that a woman makes with regards to her health and fitness level. Because otherwise, what we’re saying is that they’re done. Perfect. No need to set any goals, or challenge themselves in any way to be a better version of themselves.

And that is simply not true.

There are always ways to improve yourself, and to be a healthier, stronger, more confident, deserving version of you.

I’m going to propose a challenge to the women out there today:

Try to embrace others who may have goals similar or different than the ones you have set. Try not to pass judgement, or assume that body size or higher numbers on the scale makes a person more deserving of working towards change in their lives. Try to remember that every one has their own demons they’re working through, and what you can do is stand behind them and work with them to reach their full potential; Their full potential, not yours or anyone elses.

Because after all, that’s what makes being united as women so inspiring. We’re all different and have our own strengths. So it should only make sense that our goals may look different as well.

So yes, I do have some weight loss goals added to my list of fitness accomplishments for 2014:

*10 pounds by Feb. 22nd

*15 total by April 1st.

*Fitness Photoshoot in May

*1/2 Marathon at the end of May.

What have I started to put in action to reach those goals?

NO
Alcohol for the next 2 months
Chips, Ice Cream, or other JUNK for 2 Months (once it’s out of my system it’s less likely I’ll be craving them excessively like before)
Sitting on my ass 5-6 days a week

YES
High protein, and Complex Carb intake. After two weeks, taking in carbs ONLY post workout (healthy carbs… not chips haha)
Packing more lunches for school
Making more dinners at night that carry over for lunch!
Running 3-5 K twice a week for the month of Jan–> Increasing to 5-8K for February
Kickboxing once a week
Train (and work out) at Boot camp once a week (sometimes twice)
Gym 2- 3 times (depending on schedule and what I’ve also done during the week)
Begin morning yoga routine again

MY ACCOUNTABILITY
My friend, co-trainer, and fitness partner: Rosie
THIS BLOG–> I’m putting it out there for you all to read to know I’m bloody serious

So there you have it peeps. I’ve made my goals, I’ve posted them for others to see and now it’s time to start my journey towards being a better, healthier version of me.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I'm on the right. Rosie is on the left.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I’m on the right. Rosie is on the left.

Spotlight for January: Linda Watson

Three years ago when I began this fitness journey, I signed up to do a trial month at this boot camp in Markham. Little did I know that decision would change my life in so many ways. Aside from the personal fitness I’ve attained being a part of it, and now the positive influence I share as a trainer at this boot camp, I have met a group of women that are so wonderful, SO inspiring, motivating and influential that I count my blessings every day. One of those beautiful souls in my life is my once boot camp trainer, turned friend, turned kickboxing instructor; Linda Watson. Enjoy her story, because like most of the people reading this blog she took the chance to follow her dreams and has never looked back.
Love you girl!

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Name: Linda Watson
Age: 43
Occupation: Owner/ Instructor @ iLovekickboxing.com

What were you doing before you fell onto this path?
I was working as a paralegal for the Crown Attorney/ Criminal

Would you say you were happy with what you were doing previously? Or was there something that was missing from your previous career path?

Fitness has always been a passion. I loved some of the people I worked with, but felt very unfulfilled

If you were happy with your current career, what was it about fitness that made you believe it was time to act on this interest & develop it into more than just a hobby?

Like they say “you just know”. I absolutely know it was time for a change

Had you had experience in an area like this before?

Yes, I have been teaching and training for well over 10 years

Did you have a mentor/ role model whom you confided in as you ventured into this new territory? How did they help shape your decision to follow your passion/ how have they shaped your journey?

Yes, the CEO of the company. I talked with him quite a lot about my dreams and what I wanted to do. Speaking with him killed any doubt or fear I may have had about this next chapter in my life.

Many books that I’ve been reading talk about discovering your happiness in life, and the easiest way to start is to look back at what you were interested in as a child. Did you ever play games/ participate in activities related to this field?

No actually. I mean, I used to fight (haha) but never took any traditional martial arts as a kid.

What were some of the challenges you faced when deciding to follow your passion & pursue this dream?

The only real challenge was the negativity from some people around me. People thought I was crazy to leave my career in Criminal Law and to open my own gym. But I knew what I wanted and what I had to do to make it happen.

Do you have any advice to other women who are possibly on the fence with following their own directions?

F**K FEAR!! (can I say that??)
Have faith and follow your instincts. You really CAN do anything you want to.

Looking back, is there anything that you may have changed that you think would have helped you get on this path sooner?

No, I think this opportunity came to me exactly when it was supposed to

Where do you see this passion growing to over the next 5 years? And 10?

Ultimately I would like to own 4 more locations here in the GTA, and from there maybe move home to British Columbia and open a few more there as well.

Where can someone find more information about your company/ career choice?

http://www.ilovekickboxing.com

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! It’s so important for women to read about other women who have found success in the activities they love. Do you have anything else you’d like to add to our discussion?

Just to follow your dreams.

If you believe in, trust and listen to YOURSELF, you can have anything you want in life.

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What’s a New Years Resolution Really Mean?

Hello Readers!

Well, it’s finally 2014 and once again it’s time to start with those “resolutions”. Every year we all get so excited to start fresh, make some new goals and start over. It seems like we bounce ideas off each other, get super pumped and the same resolutions arise: weight loss, quit smoking, hit the gym, eat healthy, no coffee… etc.

It makes me wonder– how can you ensure these resolutions stick, and that after January it doesn’t simply go from the trendy ‘quick fix’ and get checked into the “not right now”.. only to be forgotten about until the following year when you announce that THIS will in fact be– THE YEAR— (you have to add a strong, thunderous voice here for dramatic effect)

I’m going to use my students (yes, my grade 2 students) as guinea pigs this year. We’re going to sit down the first week back and begin to ask the question “What is a resolution?” and “How can we make a resolution that we can be successful at?” Together, we’re going to develop a criteria for creating goals– SUCCESSFUL goals, track them and here’s the best part: we’re going to ATTAIN THEM, and SURPASS THEM.

These are life skills that most adults struggle to work through, so it is not going to be an easy task. I want to break goal setting down for them by using a SMART method:
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time Orientated

I have several goals for myself this year, and I have decided to break them down according to the length of time it will realistically take for me to achieve these goals, so that I have multiple moments of success throughout the year!

I believe that it is so important for you to continually feel success when you decide on a goal. This is so that the goal does not stay abstract, it becomes a reality. For example. This year I’m going to train for my first 1/2 marathon. I didn’t feel like I was ready last year when my friends completed one in the fall. I had a lot of personal things going on, and began to loose touch with this side of me. For the first time in months I feel positive about being about to balance areas of my life to fit in what really makes me happy. I think what I’ve really realized with regards to balance is that it’s perpetual. I will always have to revisit, and organize my schedule because I am always changing and growing within my life. Much the same as creating goals for yourself, — or in this case “resolutions” .

It is not accurate to say that in 2014 you will: __________________. There are so many factors that will change throughout the course of the year, so my personal viewpoint is that your goal(s) need to be attainable in shorter durations so that they are consistent with the growing and changing individual.

Here are my goals for the first 5 months of “2014”

January-> have written 8 blog posts, run 3-5 K twice a week, and start off my math qualifications for teaching with a BANG!
Feb- March–> 8-10 more blog posts, increase frequency of running to three times a week–> solid 5-8 K, finish up math course even stronger
April-May–> Seriously focus on 1/2 training, complete the 1/2 at the end of May, start training Girls on the Run (running/ emotional growth program for young girls at school), continue to post about my training and experiences, conditioning my core & muscle strength

REVISIT Goals, visions and accomplishments– reset and get ready to dominate the second half of the year!!

Here’s to a wonderfully healthy year, full of exciting moments and to relishing in the joys of accomplishing and surpassing even the most extreme goals. Always remember that ANYTHING is possible, but it’s not enough to dream about it. Plan for it, write it down, set a realistic time frame for it and that goal is as good as yours.

i can

When Your Arms Feel Like Jelly….

So today I focused on more upper body than anything today, and …well, I can barely type.

OF COURSE I would decide on the day I can’t type properly, this would be a wonderful time to post!

Since I fell off over the summer, I sadly watched the definition in my arms begin to disappear. Today however, sparked the change and regrowth of that muscle. Between the shoulder presses, bicep curls, incline chest press, push ups, rows and simply holding a plank on the stability ball, my little arms “got their swagger back”

Yes, I was listening to a dubstep song today called “I guess I got my swagger back” and say what you will, it kept me in the zone and feeling BADASS.

Don’t you just love the feeling of reaching muscle failure, and how jacked your body feels afterwards??

hardcore

Yes, today was definitely one of those Ego days, but let’s be real here– how often do you see a woman in the gym, confident and feeling good? I wish I saw more ladies in with the weights, pushing their limits and working their way around those weights.

I hope this gets out there to some more ladies who are maybe feeling too shy to get in there. Put on a good tune, and go challenge that body! Trust me, as much as your body needs it sometimes you just need to be in there to look in the mirror and think:

Damn, I look good. I look good and the person beside me is lifting the same weight that I am. Well done.

What do you do when you loose your Mojo?

starting over giving up

So, you read these things, get all jacked up and go out in the world ready to kick some serious ass.

But what happens when you begin to loose that momentum? What do you do when you start to loose focus, and it becomes easier to stay inside, to curl up on the couch and watch a movie– when it’s FAR less attractive to get out there and DO something?

That was me. I’m going to be complete honest here. For the last 2 months, Mrskooylovesfitness has slowly become: Mrskooylovestheideaofworkingoutbutishavingahardtimebalancinglifetofullylovefitness.

There. I said it. That’s the first step, right? Isn’t what “they” always say? The first step to change is to admit there is a problem. And I do. It’s not like I’ve been in denial about it. If anything I’ve been downright depressed about it. If you look back in previous posts, it is obvious that my life took some pretty significant changes with regards to life events: first house, steps into career as a teacher, we recently bought a dog :)… etc. I’m not using those as excuses, they are facts. I guess what I’ve been struggling with is how to manage all the change, balance my time to ensure that I fit in EVERYTHING that I love so much!

What I’ve come to realize in the last week that I never really took into consideration is that I have a commute to and from work now. So– not only do I put in extra time in the classroom to DOMINATE as a teacher (and yes, I can confidently say that I work hard to kick ASS in that classroom) but I have about 2 hours (traffic pending) there and back to factor in for driving time!

“Steph. Puh-Leassseeee. 2 hours? you don’t even know how far I have to commute, you don’t have kids, blah blah blah”

I’m sorry. I love you, but I don’t care about other circumstances out there. For me– this adjustment as been hard, and consequently my fitness has been suffering. NOT COOL.

SO.

After having a chat with my dear friend DG, I got a little spark to light that fire back inside me that has been dwindling. Quite honestly, Thursday and Friday I worked the Sh*t out of my body. IT FELT FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. Granted, I couldn’t move properly all weekend, but I’m so ready to kick it back into high gear tomorrow and for the rest of the week.

Sometimes it takes a conversation with someone you care about to help get that spark back when you’re struggling. Sometimes it’s hitting bottom and noticing something you’d rather not see in the mirror. For me– it wasn’t REALLY about hitting rock bottom. I’m a personal trainer. I know how to train my body, I KNOW what to eat, what not to– for me it was realizing that I’ve been taking a back seat to who I am.. and what I love. I was sitting back and watching other people dominate in life, and playing the “I wish” game.

WTF is that about?

I am NOT an “I wish” kind of woman. I’m an I WILL” woman.

So, I decided that I WILL get off my ass and start back into the routines that my body needs and my mind thrives off of.

F–U sideline Steph. You don’t belong out front, dictating the destructive direction of my fitness life.

I’m bringing back Mrskooylovesfitness, because it’s real and it’s what makes me the best version of me that I can be.

Expect more blogs from me.

I’m back.