Overcoming Hurdles

The first month of 2018 was a challenge to say the least. I mean January 1st my dog decided to swallow a bounce sheet, which resulted in me having to induce vomiting and clean up puddles of puke everywhere. A few hours later she decided to dig a tampon out of my purse and eat the cotton, which resulted in an emergency trip to the vet and more vomiting. I mean, it can only get better from there, right?
January was also the first time I tried getting back into workouts and nutrition full force since my knee sprain and muscle damage last February. This injury still pops back up and causes issues, so I have had to modify like crazy or even skip certain moves entirely some days when it is feeling tight. I also got sick for the first time in ages this month, which resulted in a setback with my weight loss progress as I had to skip more workouts and didn’t do my best on the nutrition front.
This month I also faced a pretty tough decision professionally. Anyone that has known me more than a year will be able to vouch for the fact that I had gradually found myself less and less passionate for my existing beauty company, which was evident in my shift in focus and lack of posts. Well I’ve been watching a professional beauty brand for over a year now. I found out that the brand I had fallen in love with over a year ago is finally launching in Canada, and that was the sign that I needed to make a change. I decided to leave behind a company that I had loved for 4 years, and been a part of for 3. I won’t bash my old company because that isn’t what I am about, but what I will say is that my soon to be new company is just a much better fit for me and my future. I love the concept behind the entire company, I truly LOVE the products I’ve tried so far, and I couldn’t be more excited to ride this out with a great group of women.
Lastly – I lost 12 pounds this month (so far) despite all of the hindrances and setbacks. This month was full of hurdles, but I am considering it a pretty freaking successful month!
February, I’m coming for ya!
xoxo
Jess
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Biggest Loser Challenge

If you follow my blog, you may already be aware of this. If you are new to my blog – Welcome! For those of you that don’t already know, I have been hosting special challenges for the people in my free health and fitness group every month for the past 3 months.

One of my Bikini Bootcamp ladies lost 29 POUNDS while she was participating in my March and April challenges. I’ve also had a lot of people tell me how much that they have been enjoying the May Step Challenge. Everyone enjoys different things, so I want to shake things up a bit again and do something a little different.

My challenges are always FREE to be a part of – however, I do expect a time and effort commitment. If I am going to invest my time and energy into coaching you, I want you to put the time and effort into yourself through your workouts and nutrition. This is for people who are SERIOUS about making a positive change in their life, and who want to take CONTROL of the direction that their life is headed.

Instead of having people do workouts that I put together, which is what I did in the bootcamps, I will be having everyone access the 30 Day Free Trial of our Beachbody On Demand platform. I am actually using this myself right now, and I am loving it. This way nobody is stuck doing any particular type of workout – you can pick and choose from hundreds of different workouts and design your own plan. If you like structure and having a set schedule to follow, you can choose to follow a particular program schedule; or you can try what we coaches like to call a “hybrid”, which is a schedule consisting of two or more different programs. That is something that we can work out together before the start date.

If this sounds like something that you would be interested in, please notify me via email at hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “Biggest Loser”. We will begin this challenge on June 1st, so get your name in ASAP!

I am super excited to see this through, and I can’t wait to coach you along your journey :)

May Step Challenge!

So for the past few months I’ve done a Bikini Bootcamp, and for May I would like to do something a little different. Starting May 4th, one week from today, I am thinking of running a step competition. The warmer weather is starting to come around, so it will be easier for everyone to go on walks!

You’ll need to purchase a step counter to wear for the month to participate in this challenge. Every day, I will post a status in my FREE Health and Fitness group asking about your steps for the day. It will be your responsibility to make sure that you take a photo of your step counter at the end of the day and submit it on the thread to be counted toward your total.

I am going to leave this up to the participants, but someone in my April Bootcamp made a suggestion that I am considering for this challenge. Normally all of my challenges are free, and again, this is totally up to you guys – but depending on the amount of signups we have, we could do a small participation fee. Please know that I would NOT be keeping this money! The money would be tucked away, and then at the end of the month, the person with the highest total number of steps for the month would win a fitness program. This would provide a bit of extra incentive for everyone to do well. Like I said before, this all depends on the amount of signups that we get and the fee that we agree upon. Once we have the list of participants set and I’ve collected all of the money, I would then be able to come up with a list of all of the fitness programs that would be covered by the fee total. Ideally I would like to have enough of you participating that we’d only have to have a small fee like 5 or 10 dollars, and still come up with enough money to pay for any fitness program available – maybe even a challenge pack!

I highly recommend that you find a partner to do this with you. It can be a friend, family member, significant other, whatever the case may be. You could even partner up with someone else in the group! It just helps to have someone else to hold you accountable. If you find someone to do it with and they aren’t in the group, have them send me a message and I can get them added into the group to participate! If you currently aren’t a member of my group and would like to participate, click here to request to join.

Let me know what you guys think! I am fine with doing it either way, I just thought the prize might help motivate you all to do well. For those of you that have signed up, I encourage you to get your step counters as soon as possible so that you aren’t caught last minute without one. I also encourage you to start thinking about who may enjoy doing this with you, and to reach out to them and try to find a partner.

If you haven’t signed up yet – what are you waiting for?! This is going to be a lot of fun, and you may have a chance to win an awesome prize. Get in on the action while you can!

How to Stay Motivated!

I know how hard it can be to stay on track with a health and fitness journey, and I have fallen off the wagon many times myself. It is HARD. If it were easy, everyone would be doing. It isn’t impossible though, and you just have to decide that you’re going to do this so that you can create a better life for yourself and those around you. You DESERVE to be healthy, happy, and confident! I found this photo online, and I thought that it was a great little tip for anyone trying to keep themselves on track with a health and fitness journey. It is also a great place to start if you’re thinking about making these positive life changes, because it allows you to prepare in advance to engage in positive self-motivating behaviours.

The first point says to take it one day at a time, which is great advice with respect to your nutrition and workouts. Tracking is crucial. Each day, you should track what you did. For your nutrition, you should track everything that you put into your mouth. I personally like to create a template of what I’m going to eat the next day a night in advance. It is MUCH easier to rearrange things to hit your macro ratios when you do this in advance, because once you’ve already eaten something, you can’t take it off your journal. Tracking is made SUPER simple with myfitnesspal, which even has handy apps for smartphones and tablets. Click here to learn more about tracking and macro ratios. In addition to tracking food, it is important to track what you do with your workouts. Once you complete a workout and have the number of reps you did on each exercise and what weight you used, you will then know what to do the next time you do that workout. It also helps to show you when you should move up in weight, and allows you to track your progress over time. Click here to learn about my tracking challenge.

Surrounding yourself with positivity is a big one. It is important that you spend time with people who lift you up instead of bring you down. Try to surround yourself with positive people who support your positive life choices. If you hang out with people that constantly bring you down, it is going to hamper your progress. Sometimes people close to you can even be unsupportive of your new shift to a healthier lifestyle and try to bring you down to their level. In many cases, they aren’t doing this to hurt you, but they see themselves reflected in your positive choices and don’t like what they see. They’ll realize that they should be making these changes too, but they don’t want to, so their subconscious tries to sabotage you and get things back to normal. This can be especially hard if it happens to be a spouse, living partner, or loved one. Click here to read more on this topic and what you can do if you find yourself in this situation.

One thing that you can do to help keep you focused is create a vision board. I actually put out a challenge to my health and fitness group a while back where I asked them to do this, so I won’t get into too much detail on this subject here. Essentially what this means is that you think in depth about where you are currently, and where you would like to end up. Then you create a board of all of the things you want to do when you achieve your goals, what you will look like when you achieve your goals, what is important to you and your family, things like that. If you’d like to take on this challenge, click here to read about it.

SMART with respect to goal setting is actually an acronym. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. I won’t get into too much detail here, because I actually have a blog post dedicated to this topic already. Click here if you would like to learn more about SMART and how it applies to your health and fitness goals.

One thing that helps many people stay on track is to reward themselves for achieving their goals. Some people find it helpful to reward themselves with a cheat meal at the end of each successful month. A healthier way to do this is to treat yourself to a new outfit. You could even just keep a jar in your workout area where you deposit a dollar for each workout that you do, and then when you hit your goal you can spend that money on something important to you. Maybe a spa day, who knows, that’s totally up to you! Be proud of all the small steps toward your larger goal, and allow yourself to be excited over those smaller successes.

Having belief in yourself is HUGE. It is really important that you believe that you can do it, because if you allow yourself to start thinking that you can’t do it, your thoughts will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and you will quit before you achieve your goals. If you’re struggling with something, tell yourself in your head that you can do it, even if you aren’t sure. Positive mental talk repeated over time will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals. Even if you can’t do something right away, there are all kinds of ways to modify moves. You just have to do what you can until you gain strength to do more.

Continuing from the last point, it is also super important that you don’t focus in on what you can’t do or the things you don’t like about yourself. Instead, focus on everything that you can do, the progress you’ve made, and the things that you do like about yourself. If you focus on the negative, you’ll never get anywhere. In order to be successful on your health and fitness journey, you have got to make an effort to shift into a more positive mental mindset. If you’re working out regularly and you’ve seeing results, this should happen naturally if you follow the advice in this article.

With this next point, the tracking I discussed above will really come in handy when it comes time to recognize your progress. It really helps to have a record of where you started versus where you are now, and seeing that progress firsthand can be really motivating. This can be in the form of a food journal, exercise charts showing progress over time with reps and weight increases, progress pictures, weight, measurements, etc. Any and all of these things will help you to recognize the progress that you’ve made along your health and fitness journey, and you should focus on that success. It doesn’t matter if you are still a long way off from your larger goal, and you shouldn’t let that discourage you from continuing. As I said before, focus on the positive!

One thing that helps a lot of people when it comes to staying motivated is to visualize themselves achieving their goals. So in this instance, you would sit down and relax while thinking about what you’ll look like when you achieve your goal. Think about what you will do when you achieve your goal and how it will impact your life and the lives of those closest to you. It may help for you to refer back to your vision board for ideas before you do this, and you can even update your vision board over time as you think of new ideas.

Another really important factor to staying motivated is to be kind to yourself. This may sound silly, but it really is crucial. If you are always down on yourself, pointing out all of your flaws, mentally criticizing yourself, et cetera you should focus on shifting to a more positive mental mindset. If you’re unable to do that on your own, you should find someone that you trust to talk to, or consider seeking professional help. If you are suffering from depression, you may find that cardio helps. I have never personally been diagnosed as clinically depressed, but I was going through a really tough time in the years leading up to making the shift to a healthier lifestyle. I was engaging in a lot of self-bashing, and I criticized my every flaw in the mirror. This behaviour wasn’t healthy. When I started doing Turbo Fire, a high intensity interval training program that focuses on cardio, I found a significant improvement in my mental mindset. I’m by no means a doctor or an expert, so I cannot say that this will work for everyone. However, based on my own experience, I think it is a great place to start.

Lastly, DO NOT compare yourself to others. Especially those who have been exercising and eating clean for a long period of time. I struggle with this a bit myself sometimes because I have a lot of friends that do fitness competitions. You have to remember that those people worked hard for a long time to get to where they are, while you may be somewhere in the beginning stages of your journey. Everyone is different, and we all go through different things. The weight loss process is not the same from everybody, and comparing yourself to someone else is only going to hurt you in the long run.

I hope you found this article on how to stay motivated to be helpful, but if you have any questions, feel free to send them my way! If you have been considering making some positive changes with respect to health and fitness and you just aren’t sure where to start, you are invited to join my FREE Health and Fitness group.

Do your relationships hamper your progress?

Don’t let other people tear you down. There are going to be people out there that are going to try to discourage you from making positive life changes and/or tell you that you can’t do it. This may even come from someone close to you, like a friend or family member. This hurts, but you can’t let them beat you down to their level.

If you’ve watched Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell over the years like I have, you’ll have learned that sometimes the people closest to us will try to prevent us from being successful on our journey simply because they aren’t ready to make those changes themselves. Sometimes they do it without even realizing it, and though they would never intentionally do something to hurt you, their subconscious wins the battle and they say or do things that can set you back.

Making the shift from junk food to healthy food and from inactivity to activity on a regular basis is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication. This process is made much more difficult if you don’t have a support system to lean on. For example, if you live with a spouse or significant other that doesn’t want to make healthier choices, or if your friends constantly invite you out to places where you’ll be tempted to eat poorly.

What I would recommend that you do moving forward is to start analyzing the people in your life. Think about the people that mean the most to you, and the people you spend the most time with. Once you’ve figured that out, you should then have an open and honest conversation with each of those people. Say, “listen, I have decided to start eating better and working out because it is very important to me that I get healthy and/or lose weight. As my family member/friend, I was really hoping that you would support me on this journey.”

If they are the type of person that says or does things that bring you down and work against your health and fitness goals, you can add something like “You are very important to me, and I don’t want to damage our relationship. However, I feel like you sometimes say and/or do things that make it more difficult for me to stick with my positive life choices. I would love for you to join me on this journey, but if you aren’t ready, I at least need that discouraging behaviour to stop. Otherwise I might have to take some time away from you for a while until these new life choices have had the chance to become habits”

This isn’t always an easy conversation to have, but it is important if you want to be successful. If you’re open and honest with them about what you want and how you are feeling, they will likely be open and honest with you in return. It may be just the push they need to agree to these changes themselves, and it could really strengthen your relationship. However, if they refuse to join you and they continue the negative behaviour, you really should consider taking some time away from that person to work on yourself. You need to surround yourself with positive people that support you and your health and fitness goals, otherwise your chances of being successful tend to dwindle.

As for household relationships, like children and/or spouses, think about who does the grocery shopping. Is it you? If so, just gradually start reducing the amount of junk food you have in the house! Your family might not like it at first, but if you replace the junk foods that they enjoy with some healthier options, they will get used to it over time.

You need to be a positive role model for your friends and family. SHOW them that it is possible to make these life choices and what kind of results can come from making those choices. Invite them to join you on your workouts. Talk to them about how you are feeling now that you have started this awesome journey, and make them want to join in.

If you have children, this is more important than ever, because children will model after you when it comes to food choice in most cases. If you constantly eat junk food and allow them to eat junk food, they are going to learn that junk food is good. If you don’t eat junk food regularly and you don’t keep junk food in the house or allow your kids to eat it regularly, they will learn that junk food is not good for you and that they can only have it as a treat once in a while. The problem is that many people are eating junk food ALL DAY every day. For example kids get sent to school with chips, cookies, fruit roll ups, lunchables, gummies, etc. Instead, send your kids to school with healthier snacks like fruit and veggies.

If you teach your children healthy habits early in their lives, they are less likely to become overweight or obese going into adulthood. I wish that I had been forced to learn healthy habits when I was a child, because I could have avoided all of the years that I spent depressed and in self-imposed isolation because of my weight.

Send me an email to hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “I’m ready to transform” if you would like to make me your free Beachbody Coach. I look forward to speaking with you, and I can’t wait to watch your mind and body transform over the course of your health and fitness journey.

My Insanity fit test results are in!

I have been looking forward to trying Insanity for a long time now, and I finally got the chance to do it! I threw the fit test in today because I was curious to see how I would make out. I was actually pleasantly surprised at my results, which were pretty dang good considering I am not a huge fan of cardio!

Here are my results for the 1 minute intervals (after the warmup of course!)

115 Switch kicks (57 ish each leg)
53 Power jacks
90 Power knees
30 Power jumps
10 Globe jumps
15 Suicide jumps
17 Pushup jacks
60 Low plank obliques (30 each side)

I challenge anyone reading this blog post to complete this fit test! You can follow along with this Australian fitness instructor on Youtube so that you can see what to do. Comment below with your results (if you’re comfortable with that, if not, just let me know you did it) when you’ve finished!

Remember that I’ve been working out for almost 2 years, so I don’t expect you to get the same numbers that I did if you are relatively new to fitness. All I want is for you to do the best YOU can, not the best I can!

INSANITY-Banner

If you enjoyed this fit test, feel free to email me at hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “Insanity” for more details on the full fitness program. You should also know that this is one of the programs now available via Beachbody On Demand for streaming!

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RESULTS DON’T LIE!

These are real people, getting REAL results. Are you going to join them in their success?

Beachbody On Demand!

How would you like to be able to work out with famous Beachbody trainers Chalene Johnson, Tony Horton, Shaun T, and more anytime, anywhere; all from your tablet or smartphone? 

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Beachbody on Demand went live as of yesterday!! This means that you can now access programs by all of the trainers listed above by simply streaming them on your devices. How AWESOME is that?! You can now take your workouts with you wherever you go, and yes, this INCLUDES going on trips abroad!

I am putting together a BODi Club challenge group, and I would love for you to be in it! If you’re in, just send a quick email to hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “BODi Club” and I will send you the direct link to the Beachbody On Demand Challenge Pack! With this group, you will have the opportunity to decide whether you want to stick with one specific program, or pick and choose from the whole list! If you choose option two, I will help you balance your workouts accordingly. With this Challenge Pack promotion, you will also get a one month supply of Shakeology to help maximize your result potential!

I cannot wait to get this group going, and I hope you’re excited too! I am really looking forward to hearing from you and guiding you along this journey.

10 Day Plank Challenge!

Do you want to build a strong core and get abs? If so, you should try this challenge! Planking is actually really good for your core and abdominal muscles. It isn’t easy, which is why you increase the time incrementally throughout the ten day timeframe.

If you are new to fitness I would suggest probably starting out by using your forearms to hold yourself up. As you build strength, you should try holding yourself up with your hands. If your arms get too shaky, come back down onto your forearms. You want to push yourself to do better, but you don’t want to push yourself to injury!

I’ve posted this challenge in my free health and fitness group for all of my members, and you are invited to join us! Just comment on this thread and let me know if you would like to participate, and we will go from there :)

3 key ingredients to a successful weight loss journey

I recently discovered the magic of podcasts (lol, yes, I am a total newb when it comes to that stuff), and I listened to an episode featuring the amazing fitness trainer, Tony Horton. I absolutely loved him in P90X, which was the program that I got started with initially when I was introduced to Beachbody. He has also put out a number of other programs including Power 90, P90X2, and P90. The point here is: HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT!

One of the biggest takeaways from this podcast was the three key factors that he listed as being necessary for most people to be successful on their health and fitness journey. Coming from personal experience, this is definitely true (at least for me).

VARIETY

First of all, the primary reasons that people tend to give up on their health and fitness journeys often involve boredom, injuries, and hitting plateaus. I have been through all three of these at different times throughout my own journey. Luckily, I have been able to bounce back from that and not throw in the towel completely. However, many people don’t have the willpower to jump back on the horse when they fall off.

How did I keep myself on track? Through VARIETY. After two rounds of P90X, I got bored. Instead of letting that be the end of my fitness journey, I started a completely different program: Turbo Fire. It was so drastically different from P90X, and it was super fun and upbeat, so I stopped feeling bored with my workouts. I felt a similar boredom when I was doing LES Mills Pump, because in the final month it just seemed like I was doing the exact same thing over and over. What did I do to rectify the issue? I started ChaLEAN Extreme! Problem = SOLVED.

If you are just running on the treadmill or using the elliptical, or doing the same old exercises day in and day out at the gym, there is a much higher likelihood that you are going to get bored. Most people don’t enjoy doing the same basic things over and over again, and it can lead to feeling of dread when you think about going to work out. You need your workouts to be fresh and fun to keep you interested and coming back. The thing that I love most about Beachbody programs is that most of them switch things up every month, so you are always doing something new and different. In addition, your muscles NEED change from time to time to improve. If you are constantly doing the same thing, your muscles will grow accustomed to what you are doing and you won’t make as much progress.

CONSISTENCY

You need to be consistent with your workouts and with clean eating. If you just do a couple workouts here and there and you are spotty with your nutrition, you’re not going to see the kind of progress that you may be hoping for. If you are serious about wanting to lose weight and get fit, you should be doing AT LEAST 4 workouts a week. You should always be working out more days than you do not work out. Personally, I always aim to do 6. Your body needs a rest period to recover from the intense workouts, so I usually pick my busiest day to use as a rest day. With respect to diet, you should aim to be on track with your nutrition 90% of the time.

“We are what we repeatedly do” – Aristotle

If you eat clean consistently over an extended period of time, you are going to become healthier and you are going to lose some weight. If you work out consistently over an extended period of time, you are going to become fit and healthy, and you are going to experience weight loss. In contrast, if you are eating junk consistently and you consistently skip out on your workouts over an extended period of time, at the very least you’ll stay where you are, but in many cases you just end up packing on more and more weight.

INTENSITY

You need to PUSH YOURSELF. You have to go as hard as you possibly can, without making yourself hate the workout. You don’t have to go totally crazy with this and make it so intense that you almost pass out or you throw up or something along those lines. It can be as simple as just going a little deeper in your lunges and squats, jumping a little higher, going up one pound in weight, adding one or two extra reps, etc. You just can’t keep doing the exact same thing over and over without making it harder, or else you won’t see much improvement.

If you’re lifting weights, you need to be constantly trying to push yourself by going up in weight and/or adding more reps. You need to really feel the burn in the last few reps, but as soon as your form goes south – you’re done. If you’re doing cardio, push yourself by jumping higher, moving faster, kicking/punching harder, etc.

If you keep increasing the intensity of your workouts gradually over an extended period of time, you are bound to see some pretty incredible results! Our Beachbody programs provide you with the tools you need to check off Variety and Intensity from this list, but the Consistency is totally up to you! Our programs are full of variety to keep you interested in your workouts, and the trainers will constantly encourage you to push harder and do your best. If you take this seriously and follow through consistently, there is no telling what kind of results you could achieve!

Click Here if you are ready to get started on your health and fitness journey!

Do it for YOU

One thing that absolutely drives me insane is when people ask me why I work out, and frame it like “well who are you trying to look good for/impress”. This is absolutely ridiculous, because it implies that the only reason to exercise or eat healthy is to look good or impress people. Do those things help make you look better, lose weight, add muscle, etc? Sure they do. However, they also do a number of other things for your health and personal well-being that are much more important than simply the way you look.

I chose to get into fitness for myself, not to impress anyone else. I got into health and fitness to feel better about myself and improve my own quality of life. I was sick of being depressed and hating my own body, and I knew that I needed to make these changes if I ever wanted to get back to myself. I put on some makeup before I go and do a workout. Nobody sees me working out because I have a home gym, but once again, I don’t do it for anyone else – I DO IT FOR ME! It makes me feel better, more confident, and I find that I can hit my workout harder.

Stop worrying about what other people think, because there will always be people out there that want to discourage you from what you are doing. Chances are, if they are trying to discourage you, it is simply because they were too afraid to do it themselves and they want to get you to give up so that it validates their decision not to follow your lead. Instead of giving them the satisfaction of being right, PROVE THEM WRONG. Keep working for your goals, and be a positive role model for those around you. Maybe once your friends start to see that it is really working wonders for your life as a whole, they will finally decide to join you and start their own health and fitness journey.

Click Here if you are ready to start working on yourself, because you DESERVE to be happy and healthy!