Sheryl Jesin


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Managing bloating

As a coach I’m always sharing before and after pics….I’ve shared lots of my own over the last 3 years and I’ve shared many transformations of my clients.  They usually are the result of at least 3 weeks of consistent work with an exercise program and a nutrition plan.

This before and after picture is a little different!

The before was taken after a night out with friends.  We went out to a local Italian restaurant, we had a late dinner, and I consumed things that I normally wouldn’t eat on a regular basis such as pizza, bread, drinks and desserts.   It was a fun night and I don’t regret what I ate and drank….but I did pay for it later that evening.

I was SO bloated!  My stomach looked like I was 6 months pregnant and it felt so yucky.  I couldn’t wait to get home and change out of my jeans!

That night made me really think about bloating, what causes it in my body, and how to prevent it.

I’m going to share a bit about how my body reacts to certain things.  I’ve discovered this over trial and error over the last few years.  Everyone is different, of course, so if you deal with bloating I think it is extremely important to listen to your body.  Our bodies tell us so much if we take the time to pay attention and listen.  Most of the time we ignore the signals our bodies give us, and then we pay for that by feeling lousy.  I know my body gives me signals that are loud and clear and I’m going to share some of them in this blog post.

Methods I use to prevent bloating:

  1.  Avoid foods that cause bloating – For me personally, grains, dairy and sugar all contribute to bloating.  I feel better when I avoid all three of these things.  I have discovered that my body handles grains better when they are sprouted – such as in sprouted grain bread.  My body also does better with spelt rather than traditional wheat, as spelt is easier to digest.  My body also prefers grains without gluten, such as oats.  I do better when I have grains in very small amounts.   My body also does not love dairy.  Again, I can have it in small amounts every now and then, but in large amounts it bloats me.  I prefer goat or sheep’s milk cheese to cow’s milk cheese.  I also prefer to consume dairy in the form of yogurt or cheese rather than straight up milk, as I find it easier to digest.  Sugar is another one…it’s ok in small amounts but when I have too much – it leads to severe bloating and gas!  I’m not going to fully give up these things forever, but I am mindful as to how they make me feel and I try to minimize the amounts of each that I have.
  2. Avoid clothing that cause bloating – I have noticed that when I wear tight jeans and sit a lot, especially after a meal, I become quite bloated.   Upon doing some research on Google, I’ve discovered that this is a real thing!  When we wear tight clothing around our abdomen, it can make it more difficult for gas to pass along normally and this can lead to bloating.   This can also happen with Spanx, which is kind of ironic.  We wear Spanx to hold things in, but they can cause a lot of bloating!  I discovered this first hand when I wore Spanx a few weeks ago under a tight dress.  I could not wait to get home and take them off!
  3. Avoid stress – Yes, I know this is easier said than done!  However, stress seriously affects our body’s ability to digest food.  When we eat on the run or when we feel anxious, our bodies product the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and these both inhibit the working of our digestive system.  This can definitely cause bloating.  I’ve noticed that when I am stressed or eating quickly, I feel more bloated, no matter what I am eating.  I make an effort to sit down when I am eating, slow down, and chew well.
  4. Drink more water, but not too much at once – Did you know that dehydration can cause bloating?  When we don’t drink enough water, our bodies start to fear that there is a shortage, and we retain water.  I feel best when I drink small amounts of water throughout the day.  If I drink too much at once that also can lead to bloating, since our bodies cannot absorb large amounts of water all at once.
  5. Stop eating after dinner and eat dinner early – We usually eat dinner in our house at around 5:30 pm, and I usually do not eat after 7pm.   Why?  Because my body needs time to properly digest everything before I go to sleep!  When I stop eating early, I feel so much less bloated and my food is digested better.  When I eat after dinner, it pretty much always leads to bloating and feeling yucky the next morning.
  6. Replace after dinner eating with tea – If you are used to eating after dinner, it can be hard to stop this habit.  For me, I have replaced the habit of eating with the habit of drinking tea!  I love making my own teas with ginger, turmeric and lemon.  I find that these three things greatly reduce bloating as they all have an anti-inflammatory effect.  Having tea after the kids go to sleep is a very relaxing habit and something that I have grown to love!

If you suffer from bloating, I hope that these tips can help you.  Remember to pay attention to your own body.  If you feel bloated, write down what you have eaten, how you felt and what you were wearing.  Over time you will start to recognize patterns and trends, and you will learn to discover how your body reacts to different foods, to different clothing and to stress.

If you need some helping tweaking your nutrition and finding what foods work for you, join our next 21 day health and wellness challenge group starting on April 10th!  In this group we will work out daily at home for 30 mins, create customized meal plans that work for our bodies, and focus on ways to de-stress and relax.  For more info, please send me a message via Facebook or email me at sheryl@ikor.com. 


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Why I LOVE Working Out at Home

For the past two years, I have been working out exclusively at home, with the very occasional spin class thrown in, and also with occasional outdoor runs.

It’s kind of funny, because when I first started working out at home out of necessity, I HATED IT!  I thought that I could only have a good workout if I left the house and either went to the gym or went for a run outdoors.  Those were my favorite ways of working out before having my third baby.  Once I had three kids,  it was pretty much impossible to get out of the house each day for a daily workout.

When Alex was 4 months old, I was feeling very frustrated as I was missing my daily workouts and a friend suggested that I join her in a home workout challenge ran by Bikini Body Mommy.  Not sure if you have heard of that program before, but it actually was pretty decent and I did it for about 60 days, and got some results.  However, I quickly realized that if I really wanted to lose the rest of the baby weight, I would need to incorporate healthy eating into my Bikini Body Mommy workouts.

That’s when I first heard of Beachbody and the 21 Day Fix. I was looking for a program that had short workouts you could do at home, and that included a simple and effective clean eating plan.   I did a few rounds of the 21 Day Fix, lost 15 pounds, decided to become a coach….and I’ve never looked back.

Yes you can get GREAT results at home!

OK…..back to my list!

Here are the reasons why I love to work out at home!

  1.  You don’t need to waste any travel time going to or from a gym – as a busy mom of three, I don’t have a lot of time to spare.  Even if the gym is just a 5 min drive from your house, it’s still 5 mins there and 5 mins back….and you have to walk from your car inside to the locker room….maybe change….definitely take off your boots and jacket if it is winter….that’s AT least another 5 mins on each end…..so that’s at least 20 mins wasted (probably much more).   That’s valuable time I’d rather spend elsewhere.
  2. You don’t need to worry about being late for a class – when you work out at home, your workouts start whenever you want them to.  You are never late for a class and you never have to rush to get somewhere on time.
  3. You can workout in whatever you want and never have to feel uncomfortable about other people looking at you – often I just workout in a sports bra and short shorts because that is the most comfortable!  I wouldn’t do that in a gym.
  4. There are no gross germy sweaty smelly people around you – if you’ve been to a gym before, you know what it’s like when a super sweaty smelly person gets on the treadmill beside you.  It’s even worse when they are hacking and sneezing and have a cold and should have stayed home instead of spreading their germs. Enough said.
  5. You never need to worry about childcare – these days I either work out bright and early before the kids wake up or sometimes in the morning when they are already up. Either way, I never have to worry about begging someone to watch them or about dragging them to childcare at the gym.   This was particularly useful when I was still nursing Alex and she wouldn’t take a bottle!
  6. Your kids get to see you work out and they learn from your example – I read something recently that said there are three ways that kids learn something:  by example, by example, by example.  If you want your kids to live active and healthy lives, be an example for them and show them how it is done!

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If you love to work out at the gym, and it’s working for you – keep doing it!

If you are struggling finding time for your gym workouts – consider working out at home!

If you aren’t currently working out, but wish you were – work out at home! It’s the best!  I started doing it out of necessity but now I truly prefer it over the gym.  I actually have time now to go to the gym or to go to classes if I wanted to, now that the kiddos are older and are in school….but I truly prefer my home workouts!

 

Want to try the 21 Day Fix?  I’ve gathered a great group of women who are all starting the program on Monday, June 20th and we’d love for YOU to join us!   Join our supportive community of women who help each other on their journeys towards better health.  Be a part of our group – work out everyday from the comfort of your home, learn about portion controlled clean eating and enrich your mind, body and spirit!  If you want more info, please shoot me an email at sheryl@ikor.com  or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 

Follow me on Instagram – @sheryljesin

Follow me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/sheryjesinfitness

Find me on Snapchat – @sheryljesin


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Do before and after pics motivate you?

Do before and after pics motivate you?

Sometimes I struggle with sharing mine.

When I started my return to fitness after having my third baby, I will admit that I was motivated by the idea of changing the way my body looked and by losing weight.

I started consistently exercising again when my daughter was 4 months old.  None of my clothes fit properly.  I was at least 20lbs away from my happy weight (the weight I can maintain without making myself crazy.  For me right now that is around 130lbs).  I had a lot of excess fat around my stomach that was not budging.  I honestly didn’t feel like myself and I hated the way I looked in pictures.

So I was motivated to change the way I looked.

But I was also motivated to change the way I FELT!

For me exercise has always been a way to boost my mood and energy.  It is my daily anti-depressant!  Honestly, I am hooked on the endorphins I get from a good workout.  I crave them!

So when I decided to give the 21 Day Fix a try for the first time 2 years ago, I was motivated to change the way I looked and also to change the way I felt.  Having three kids was exhausting….I was bone tired at 4 months postpartum… and I knew I didn’t have time to run or go to the gym…but I could exercise for 30 mins a day at home and make some simple changes in the way I was eating.


When I share a before and after pic, I am sharing the change in how I look only.

You cannot see the feelings behind the pictures.  You cannot see how much stronger I feel now.   How empowering it feels to be able to do proper push ups…burpees…(assisted) pull ups!  You can’t see how tired I was in my before pic and how much energy I have in my after pic.

I share my before and after pics because I know seeing other people’s pics motivates me.

I hope that my pictures motivate someone out there to start working out…to start eating healthy…to start taking better care of themselves!

I know that with time they will come to experience how amazing working out makes them FEEL!

I believe that is the key to making exercise a daily habit….focusing on how it makes you FEEL rather than on how it makes you LOOK.  In order to keep up with working out…you have to start craving that feeling each and every day.

Work out because you love yourself and your body deserves to be treated well!

I’m putting together my next 30 day health and fitness challenge.  We start April 11th.  If you have been wanting to start taking better care of yourself – this is the perfect opportunity!  Join our supportive community of women who help each other on their journies towards better health.  Be a part of our group – work out every day for 30 mins from the comfort of your home, learn about portion controlled clean eating and enrich your mind, body and spirit!  For more info, send me at email at sheryl@ikor.com or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 

I don’t blog daily, but I am active on social media each and every day!  For daily tips and motivation, find me at:

Instagram and Snapchat – sheryljesin

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/sheryljesinfitness

 

 

 

 


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Hammer and Chisel – My One Month Results

Recently I completed 4 out of the 8 weeks of the new home workout program I am doing called Hammer and Chisel.

My main goals for this program were to increase my strength, and lose a bit of fat in stubborn areas, such as my lower belly, upper arms and upper back.

Also, I wanted to clean up my eating a bit more…I’m usually a clean eater but over the winter break my sugar intake went up and my healthy food intake went down.

4 weeks into the program, I’m happy to report that I have made great progress towards all of the above mentioned goals!

I started the program at 132.8, and on day 30 I weighed 130.  At one point I had gotten down to 127, and when that happened I changed my nutrition plan a bit.  It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to actually build muscle instead of just losing weight, so I moved up in my daily calories.  This was tough for me mentally…as women we tend to want to lose weight, rather than gain weight.    It took me a couple days to get over the mental block, and now I am enjoying the extra food.

I always tell the women in my challenge groups that the scale is just one tool to measure progress…and that measurements, pictures and how our clothes feel are also really important things to consider.

As for my measurements, let’s compare day 1 and day 30

Chest – Day 1 – 33.5, Day 30 -33

Right arm – Day 1 – 10.75,  Day 30 – 11

Left arm – Day 1 – 10.75, Day 30 – 11

Waist – Day 1 – 28.5, Day 30 – 27.5

Bellybutton – Day 1 – 33, Day 30 -32

Hips – Day 1 – 34, Day 30 – 34.5

Right thigh – Day 1 – 21.25, Day 30 – 20.5

Left thigh – Day 1 – 21.25, Day 30 – 20.5

It is interesting to see that I lost inches all over, except for my arms where I gained a bit.  I feel like my arms actually look more toned and they definitely are stronger, so that increase was due to an increase in muscle mass, I believe.

I always find that pictures tell the truth….sometimes I don’t actually feel like my body is changing, but a picture shows me otherwise:

 It can get easy to get caught up in the numbers and the pictures…while I like the challenge of sculpting my body and building muscle mass….these aren’t the true reasons why I love working through a program.

My workouts are “me time”.  They are my mood boosters.  They make me happy and they give me energy, and they help me focus during the rest of the day.  They are the one thing I give to myself each and every day.  As a mom I’m always giving, giving, and giving and it feels good to give something back to myself!

I love the challenge of working through a program and the sense of completion I feel as I move towards the end.  It feels good to accomplish something and it makes me feel like I can tackle anything that comes my way!

Can’t wait to see what month 2 has in store for me!

I’m putting together my next 21 day health and fitness challenge.  We start February 29th.  If you have been wanting to start taking better care of yourself – this is the perfect opportunity!  Join my supportive community of women who help each other on their journies towards better health.  Be a part of our group – work out everyday for 30 mins from the comfort of your home, learn about portion controlled clean eating and enrich your mind, body and spirit!  If you want more info, please shoot me an email at sheryl@ikor.com  or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 

Follow me on Instagram – @sheryljesin

Follow me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/sheryjesinfitness

Find me on Snapchat – @sheryljesin

 

 

 

 


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Hammer and Chisel – My Results 8 Days In

Back in December, I decided to do the new 60 day home workout program from  Beachbody called Hammer and Chisel.   This program is intense and includes a variety of different workouts, including cardio, weights, power lifting, agility and plyometric training.  Following this program means working out six days a week for 30-40 mins at a time, and eating according to a portion controlled clean eating nutrition plan with the goal of chiseling out an amazing physique!


I was pumped and ready to start on December 14th.

I weighed myself to establish a baseline, but I never took before pics or measurements.  Big no no!  I always tell my clients that they need to establish their baseline before starting a new program so that they can see how far they have come.  I sadly did not listen to my own advice.

Then winter break came…I kept working out at the gym at Deerhurst as we were up north for two weeks, but my nutrition went out the window.  Let’s just say there was some pizza, some Dairy Queen and a bunch of muffins and chocolate.   And then to top it off, I got sick for a few days and missed some workouts.

 

Giant ice cream cake we got for Benny’s Birthday – NOT Hammer and Chisel approved

I just wanted to be honest with all of you – even though I am a coach, I am also human and sometimes I veer off track…very far off track.

However, I have seen some fellow coaches acheive awesome results on this program so there was no way I was giving up on it.  The only way to fail is to quit, and I was not going to quit!

Last Monday was my fresh start.  I did things right this time.  I weighed myself, I measured myself and I took my before pics.  I’m sharing all of this here with you for accountability:

Starting weight – 132.8

Measurements:

Chest – 33.5

Arms – 10.75

Waist – 28.5

Hips – 35

Thighs – 21.25

Before pics:

 

 I was determined that this time I would give my workouts my all.  I would push myself.  I would lift heavy weights and challenge myself.  I would stick to my meal plan 100%.

I’m so proud to say that week 1 was a huge success!

For me – doing the workouts is a no brainer.  Working out 5-7 days a week for 30-45 mins is just part of my routine.  I don’t always want to work out before I start, but I crave the feeling that I get when I am done.  I am addicted to the endorphins and how amazing I feel after my workouts.  I love that I don’t have to go to a gym and be around other sweaty germy people.  I love that I don’t need to leave my house on cold mornings.  I just love my home workouts!

The part that is more of a struggle for me is following the meal plan.

I am going to be totally honest here and tell you that I love desserts.  I love chocolate.  I love cookies.  I love all baked goods.  I also love eating by myself when the kids go to sleep.  It unfortunately had become a bad habit over the past few years – on most nights I would eat something once the kids are in bed.  It was my way to unwind after a busy day.  Sometimes it was healthy stuff like nuts or dried fruit.  Sometimes it was unhealthy stuff like cake and ice cream.   Either way, my body did not need those calories.  I knew that this after dinner habit was the main thing that was preventing me from losing the last 5-15lbs that had took resisdence on my stomach and upper arm/back area. (I give a range of 5-15 lbs because at this point I’m not quite sure what my ideal weight is.  I weighed 115 lbs before I had Dylan…is that an appropriate weight for me now?  I’m not sure…but I do know that my abs and triceps are hiding under a layer of fat and I want them to come out and say HI!)

Anyways…I digress.  My point here is that I have struggled in the past with nutrition and I believe that was the one thing holding me back from seeing defined muscles throughout my body, and in particular in my abdominals.

So…..I decided I would go all in with the meal plan for one week and see what happens.  If I survived week one, I would give it a try for week two and so on and so forth, until I completed 8 weeks.  I find it hard to commit to 8 weeks upfront, that’s why I decided to take it one week at a time.

How did I fare with the nutrition plan?

It was challenging at times, but I pushed through.  Often we are tempted to take the easy way out, to not challenge ourselves or go beyond our comfort zone.  I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone with the nutrition plan.  I measured out and planned out every meal.  We went out for dinner a few times and I stayed far away from desserts and bread and ordered a salad with protein (chicken or fish) and salad dressing on the side.  I ate at least 4 servings of veggies and protein a day.  I had ZERO sugary treats.  For me, I do better when I have NONE rather than SOME dessert.  When I have one cookie I want more and more and more.  When I have none, I am OK.  I learned this week that carrots are delicious and so is jicima.  Your taste buds really start to change when you cut out processed food, and real food tastes AMAZING!  I still ate carbs, but in the right portion and the right kind – ie sprouted grains, steel cut oats, quinoa and sweet potatoes.  I was not hungry but I was definitely not stuffed.  Sometimes right after I finished a meal, I felt like I could have eaten more, but then 30 mins later that feeling had passed.  I have energy to power through my workouts, so to me that signals that I am eating the right amount.  I have substitued my after dinner snacks with some tea and lighting a scented candle.  I’m creating a new habit that is healthier…and it seems to be working!

So what happened in 8 days?

I lost almost 5 lbs!  I went from 132.8 to 127 pounds.  Since having Alex I see the 120s every once in a while…but it hasn’t been consistent.  I feel good in the 120s and my clothes are fitting better.  I want to stay in the 120s!

I don’t expect or want to lose 5 lbs every 8 days on this program.  I know that the first week was getting rid of all the holiday fluff I had accumulated over the winter break as a result of carb overload.  I’m curious to see what will happen as I keep going.   However, I am making a promise to myself not to be obsessed with the scale – it is just one tool to use to track my progress.

Pictures:


I’m happy that there is a visible change in my picture!  My goal was to chisel out my abs and it seems like it is working, and it’s just been 8 days.

I’m thrilled with my results, and the visible change is pushing me forward to be strong and keep going!

I’m putting together my next 21 day health and fitness challenge.  We start February 1st.  If you have been wanting to start taking better care of yourself – this is the perfect opportunity!  Join my supportive community of women who help each other on their journies towards better health.  Be a part of our group – work out everyday for 30 mins from the comfort of your home, learn about portion controlled clean eating and enrich your mind, body and spirit!  If you want more info, please shoot me an email at sheryl@ikor.com  or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 

Follow me on Instagram – @sheryljesin

Follow me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/sheryjesinfitness

Find me on Snapchat – @sheryljesin

 

 

 


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My results from the 21 Day Fix

I realized I never shared my results from when I first did the 21 Day Fix back in the spring of 2014!  I thought I would write about them today, in honor of Transformation Tuesday.

I first did the 21 Day Fix when Alex was about 5 months old.  I had slowly eased into exercising again when she was 3 months old.  It felt great to be moving again, but the scale was barely budging.  I had 10-15 lbs that I wanted to get rid of.  They were mostly situated around my midsection and it made clothes fit really funny – especially jeans – they were SO uncomfortable!

I knew I had to get my eating under control to see results.  Through social media, I had heard of the 21 Day Fix – and the nutrition plan caught my attention!  It seemed so simple to follow – just calclulate how many containers a day you need of different types of foods, and then eat them.

I was worried about maintaining my milk supply as Alex was still exclusively nursing at that time.  So I added in 500 calories each day and jumped in!  It was really easy to fit in the workouts – they were just 30 mins a day and I could do them at home.  I did them while Alex was napping or sometimes she would sit in her bouncy chair and watch me.   I followed the modifier at first to keep things low impact.

I did three rounds of the 21 Day Fix.  I was so thrilled with my results.   After the first round I lost 5lbs, I lost another 4 lbs in the second round and 5 more lbs in the third round.  15 lbs in total in 63 days.

After the 21 Day Fix, I fell in love with Beachbody, the company that makes the program.  I used to enjoy going to the gym, but with three kids it was just too hard to make time for that.   I learned so much about portion control – I used to think nuts are healthy (they are!!) but it’s really easy to overeat them and be in a calorie surplus for the day – even with exercising.  I realized also that I was not eating enough veggies or protein – both of which are very filling, nutrient dense but low in calories – perfect for when you want to lean out around the midsection.

In addition to losing weight, I also gained so much energy.   The four o’clock slump that I had been experiencing almost daily was gone.  I was waking up in the morning excited to do my workouts and plan my meals.  I say now that my workouts are my therapy – the endorphins I get from them boost my mood and give me energy to make it through my busy day.

As you can probably tell…I really love the 21 Day Fix.  I think this program is perfect for busy moms who want to learn how to fit daily exercise and portion controlled clean eating into their lives.   Yes – it takes dedication and hard work if you want to see results – but if you follow the program – you will 100% see results!

I’m putting together my next 21 day health and fitness challenge.  We start January 4th.  If you have been wanting to start taking better care of yourself – this is the perfect opportunity!  Join my supportive community of women who help each other on their journies towards better health.  Be a part of our group – work out everyday for 30 mins from the comfort of your home, learn about portion controlled clean eating and enrich your mind, body and spirit!  If you want more info, please shoot me an email at sheryl@ikor.com  or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 

Follow me on Instagram – @sheryljesin

Follow me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/sheryjesinfitness

Find me on Snapchat – @sheryljesin

 

 

 


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How do you wake up at 5am?

Yesterday I wrote a blog post on why I enjoy waking up at 5am, and what I do when I wake up early.

Today I am going to write about HOW to make it happen – it’s easy to say that you want to wake up early – but how do you actually force yourself to get out of a warm cozy bed…especially in the fall/winter when it is cold and dark?

Here’s what I do:

Just do it!

I cannot force myself to go to bed early.  I really just cannot.  I can’t make myself go to bed early just so I can wake up the next morning at 5.   When I did my five day 5 am challenge, before the first day I just went to bed at my usual time (around midnight).  And I set up alarm for 5am and just got up.  I knew I would be tired by the end of the day, but that was good thing!  I literally could not keep my eyes open past 10pm the first day.  And that made getting up the next day that much easier!  The second day I was asleep by 9pm – which to me is perfect as it gives me 8 hours of sleep.  So – don’t force yourself to go to sleep early.  Instead – force yourself to wake up early for the first few days, and you will then automatically start going to bed early.

Find accountability partners!

For me – this is KEY!  I posted on Facebook that I was doing a 5 day 5am challenge and was looking for some friends to support me.  A few responded, I got their cell phone numbers, and now I send out a text to them at 5:30am every morning and we tell each other what workout we will be doing.  I feel accountable to them – and I will not let them down!  It is much easier to talk myself out of an early wakeup if no one is counting on me.  But when my friends are counting on me – I get up and I get to it! If you need an accoutability partner – that is what I am here for!  Add me as a friend on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sheryjesin and we can exchange numbers – I would love to add you to our accountability group.

Get ready the night before!

I know I will be working out first thing when I wake up, so I get ready for that.  For me that means laying out my workout clothes and planning which workout I will be doing.  Picking out my outfit only takes a few minutes, but I would rather do it the night before to save time.  Also – I find when I wear a cute workout outfit, it motivated me to push a bit harder.  Does that happen to you too?  LOL.  I will also spend 10-20 mins before bed tidying up, emptying the dishwasher, picking out the kids’ clothes and making at least part of their lunches.  It feels good knowing these things are done and it means I have more time for ME first thing in the morning.

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Do you wake up early?  Do you have any tips to add on how you make it happen?


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Should you wake up at 5am? Yes!

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A couple weeks ago, I completed a 5 day early wakeup challenge.

I challenged myself to wake up five days in a row at 5am.

Why did I do this?

I have noticed that when I make an effort to wake up earlier than the kids, my day goes much more smoothly.

I feel relaxed.  I feel at peace.  I feel energized!  I feel like I can tackle anything.

Just having a few moments of silence before my very noisy household wakes up can make the difference between a good day and a bad day.

You might be wondering – what do I do when I wake up so early?

Here’s how it goes:

  1.  Read for 15 mins – Every day I set a goal for myself to read for at least 15 mins.  And I’m talking reading a book OR listening to an audiobook…scrolling Facebook or surfing the net does not count.  Lately I have been into non-fiction personal development books.  I like books that are motivational, inspiring and that can help me become a better parent, wife, coach and human being.  The book I am reading right now is called Rising Strong by Brene Brown.  I am actually listening to it on Audible as an audio book.  Brene Brown herself is the narrator and I love hearing it in her actual voice.  She is a social scientiest who has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulternability, shame and worthiness.  She shares stories of people being brave, failing and getting back up.  I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more cultivating wholeheartedness and rising up from struggles.
  2. Drink my pre-workout drink and then workout for 30 mins – Let’s be honest – it isn’t easy to get going at 5am…I am not going to lie.  But – when I drink my pre-workout drink it gives me a burst of energy so that I can power through my workout.  I workout for 30 mins in my living room.  It is dark at 5am and I am glad to not have to leave my nice warm house to go to a gym or a class.   It feels SO GOOD to move first thing in the morning and I like to workout then because my workouts are important to me, and I know I always have time for the things I do first.  Plus, it is nice to take a shower right after and get dressed instead of sitting in my pyjamas or sweaty workout clothes all morning/day.
  3. Make my to-do list for the day – 5 am is a great time to get organized for the day.  I write down my to-do list so that when pockets of free time arise during the day, I am ready to be productive.  I need to write things down to organize my brain, and plus it feels awesome to check things off!
  4. Take a few minutes to express gratitude and write down positive affirmations – Both of these things are daily habits that I have been working on.  I take a couple minutes when I wake up and also before I go to sleep to list out things that I am grateful for.  This can be as simple as having fresh food, a house to live in, and three healthy kids.  I am amazed by how this practice makes each and every day a little bit happier.  I also take a couple of minutes to write down positive affirmations.  A few affirmations that I have been enjoying lately are: ” I deserve and receive massive amounts of love every moment of every day”.  “I am one with the universe – the universe is awesome and so am I”.  “My heart is open and love pours in and out”.  And – “I respond with wisdom, love, firmness and self control when my children trigger me”.  I know these might sound cheesy – but try reciting these each morning and see how your day improves!

So what do you think?  Could your day improve by waking up a little bit earlier and making time for things that are important to you?

I truly belive that what you do first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day and even for the rest of your life.  Do you agree?


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2014 Running Goals

OK so I know it’s February already, and most goal setting is done in January.  But I have a newborn, so I’m cutting myself some slack.

It’s hard to even think of running races when it is a challenge right now to take a shower or get dinner on the table, but I am going to do it anyways! Having a race to look forward to always motivates me to get out there and go for a run. So here is what I am thinking.

Sunday, April 13, 2014 – Yonge St 10k

Sunday, September 7, 2014 – Yorkville Run 5k (the best 5k in the city!!)

Sunday, October 19, 2014 – Scotiabank Waterfront Half Marathon

Is it overly ambitious to think that I can run 10k in just over 2 months?

Is it crazy to think I can train for a half marathon with 3 kids to take care of?

Perhaps, but I’m going to give it a try.

After all, the only thing actually holding me back is myself!

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Joining a gym

I’ve recently discovered there is a place I can go to where I can do all my favorite activities such as running, spinning, yoga and strength training. For a nominal fee, there’s even someone who will happily watch my two kids while I partake in these activities.

Of course I’m talking about a gym. Why has it taken me so long to discover that I love going to the gym?

I’ve been seriously exercising for almost 2 years now. I’ve been doing it mainly at home, using exercise videos or an app on my phone. And then of course I run outside. In nice weather I bike outside too.

It has been great working out at home. It’s free. I can do when the kids are around, and I can do it whenever I want.

Lately I’ve been feeling that I need a change. It’s good to shake up your routine now and then. That’s where the gym comes into play.

I’ve always thought that if I join a gym, I’d never go. But I’ve proven to myself over the last two years that I really enjoy exercising consistently. It makes me feel amazing and working out is the best way for me to get out of a bad mood. Moms often spend so much time caring for their families and I think it’s crucial that we take time to do things for ourselves.

So I’ve decided to join a gym. I plan on going during the week super early in the morning while the kids are still asleep so that I’m home in time to get them ready and send them off to school. I will also occasionally go on the weekends and bring them along, as there is on site babysitting.

Instead of telling myself I’m not going to go, I’ve decided to replace that negative self talk with some positive thinking. I am going to go to the gym 3-4 times a week because I love it and because exercise makes me feel alive!

I’ve already gone a few times before 6am and it was so motivating to see all of the like minded people who were there at that time. It felt amazing sweating during a challenging spinning class before most people even roll out of bed.

Waking up early means I also have to go to bed early. I’ve wanted to go to bed early for a while now but I’ve always found ways to waste time at night (random Internet surfing? Facebook? TV?). These are things I will gladly cut out of my life to make time for the gym.

Do you go to the gym? How do you make time to stay active?