Sheryl Jesin

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Jamie’s birth story

It’s hard to believe that Jamie is 8 weeks old today!

The last 8 weeks have simultaneously flown by…and also some moments seemed endless (usually when I was awake in the middle of the night or when all 4 kids needed something from me at the same time!)

I figured it was time to document his birth story before I start forgetting the details.

Where shall I start?  How about with a quick overview of my pregnancy.  I feel very lucky that overall my pregnancy with Jamie was smooth and uneventful.  I felt nauseous the first trimester, I felt better during the second trimester, and started feeling heavy and slow in the third trimester.

In the last few weeks, I felt done and also apprehensive to give birth and have a newborn to take care of.  I had great, unmedicated birth experiences with both Benjamin and Alex, so on one hand I knew I could do it again, but I also know that nothing is guaranteed with birth so I definitely had fear of the unknown.

We had spoken with my midwives about place of birth during the last few months of my pregnancy.  Jake and I originally thought that I’d give birth at the hospital, as that is where we had our other 3 kids.  However, at the back of my mind I was always curious about home birth, and when I mentioned that to my midwives, they told me that I was a great candidate for home birth, as I had already had 3 straightforward deliveries, and my pregnancy was very low risk.  We honestly didn’t know until I went into labour where this birth would end up happening!!

My labour and delivery with Alex was extremely fast.  You can read about it here. As a result I was worried that this labour would be even faster, and that I’d end up giving birth in the car on the way to the hospital, or even worse, in the parking lot picking my kids up from school one day.

My midwives reassured me that this would NOT happen, and that as soon as I felt ANY signs of labour, I was to page them and they would tell me what to do and they’d be at my side as soon as possible.

Well…starting at about week 36 I had Braxton Hicks contractions all the time, and especially when I was walking or standing.  I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvics and baby’s head was down and low.  Did this mean I would go into labour in any moment?  No one knew!  But I certainly felt on edge a LOT near the end.

I had my 38 week checkup at home – my midwife came to check me and also to scope out our house in the event we went with a home birth.  She asked me if I wanted an internal exam and/or stretch and sweep and I declined.  She also said our house would be great for a home birth, so it felt good to have that option open!

Then it was time for my 39 weeks appointment.  I was 39 weeks and 5 days at this point.  I was REALLY uncomfortable. It was hard to walk.  It was hard to sleep. I felt like I had a bowling ball between my legs.  My pelvis hurt.  I was out of breath all the time.  This time when my midwife Carla asked if I wanted an internal and a stretch and sweep, I said OK.  I was still nervous to get things started, but I was also DONE!   So I had a stretch and sweep at my appointment around 11:30 am.  By the time we got home, I felt things happening.  I felt some light contractions that felt like more than Braxton Hicks.   This was IT!  Jake called his mom and asked her to pick up the kids from school as we knew it would be happening soon and it would be easier without them at home.

Me at 39 weeks!

My midwife who was on call, Rivky, called me to check up on me a few times that afternoon.  (My midwives work in pairs – on any given week, one is in clinic and the other is on call.  Carla was in clinic the week I had Jamie and Rivky was on call, and a third midwife Anne would be assisting Rivky.  I had met all three of them during my prenantal appointments and felt very comfortable with all three).  I felt contractions but they were pretty subtle and about 7-10 mins apart.  However, in light of my previous speedy labours, she wanted to come over.  She felt more comfortable coming over too early, rather than too late and I agreed with that!  At this point, I wanted to stay at home and try this whole home birth thing!

She was at our house by around 6pm, and things were progressing, but they were SLOW!!  She set up all her equipment in my room.. She checked me and I was 3 cm dilated.  Not bad…but nothing too exciting…so we waited…I bounced on my yoga ball…walked up and down my halls…and we waited some more.

All the equipment my midwife brought! It is what you’d find in a level 1 hospital. Thankfully we needed very little of it.

Around 8pm, things weren’t really progressing…and Rivky suggested breaking my water.  I honestly felt a bit nervous about it…I was tired at the time and kinda just wanted to forget the whole thing and go to sleep!  But then I realized I was just prolonging the inevitable…so we did it.  She broke my water.  Now with Alex, when my midwife broke my water I immediately went right into very active labour and I thought this would happen this time.  So Rivky called Anne, the midwife who would be helping her, to come, as we thought breaking my water would make things happen quickly!  Anne arrived, but nothing much changed.  My contractions got a bit closer together and bit more intense, but I knew that they were not painful enough yet to mean that things were happening quickly.

The last picture I took of myself pregnant, at about 8pm at night before Jamie was born early the next morning!

Honestly…I felt discouraged at this point.  I walked a bit, bounced a bit, went up and down the stairs…but things were progressing SO SLOWLY!  At least it felt really slow because I was expecting things to be fast.  In the grand scheme of things, in retrospect, it wasn’t that slow…it’s just that my expectations were unrealistic for this birth – they were based on my previous birth, and every birth is different.

At 10:45 Rivky checked me again, and I was only 4 cm.  That was disappointing, although not that surprising because my contractions were not that painful.  I was tired at this point and annoyed.  Rivky felt that perhaps the baby’s head was in a bit of weird position and was not pressing down on my cervix as much as it could in an ideal position.  Rivky sent Anne home at this point and we’d call her again when I was close to delivery.

I kept walking, bouncing, and waiting….

At about 1 am I was really done.  I lay down on the bed and wanted to just go to sleep.  I was so tired. This made my contractions slow down a lot…

At this point Rivky said to me:  “Sheryl, you have get up and move around and help this baby out…or we are going to the hospital and you may need pitocin and a epidural.” She said this in the kindest way and most honest way, so that I was aware of my options. I was so tired at this point that an epidural actually sounded great.  In my head, I was even thinking that a c-section sounded like a wonderful way to get this baby out.  I was tired, and done, and didn’t want to do this anymore.

But then I decided that I would give this one more shot.  I had given birth twice before without medication and I could do it again. Jake made me an Energize (the preworkout energy drink I have before my workouts).  It gave me a nice burst of energy, and it helped me get out of bed and on my feet again.  I summoned all my energy and a positive mindset.  We put on some Taylor Swift and I danced!!!!  I kept saying to myself “down and out” and I visualized the baby moving down and out. All of these things together, the Energize, being on my feet, dancing, visualization, the music and a good mindset made things happen.  My contractions became more painful.  They started coming every 2-3 minutes.  This was a good thing even though it REALLY HURT!  Each contraction came and went in a wave, and the peak hurt a lot.  And I mean a lot. It radiated towards my back and we think it was due to the positioning of the baby.  Either way…things were working.

At about 2:45 am I was 7cm.  And then the rest – is basically a blur.  The contractions were really intense and really painful.  They were about 2 mins apart.  The pain that radiated towards my back was pretty horrible…but I was in a zone…and someone coped by leaning on Jake during each contraction while Rivky rubbed my back. We were an awesome team.

At about 3:25 I felt like I needed to push.  I instinctively went down on my hands and knees on the floor beside the bed.   Rivky quickly called Anne to come back!  But there was no way I was going to wait for Anne to arrive…this baby was coming out STAT!

Rivky and Jake helped me up on the bed.  I stayed in the hands and knees position and felt like this baby was going to POP out!  Rivky coached me like a pro….she told me not to push…but to just breathe…and let this baby out SLOWLY!  I’m forever thankful for her skill…it HURT and BURNED and I wanted to push hard, but I’m so glad that I didn’t, as it gave my perineum an opportunity to stretch slowly.  Jamie was born at 3:37 am with two very slow controlled pushes, and I had no tears and didn’t need any stitches.

WHAT A RELIEF!!!!!  I did it!!!!  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it was also the BEST experience.  It was AMAZING giving birth at home, in our room.  Anne arrived shortly after Jamie was born, I delivered the placenta, and everything was wonderful.  Rivky took care of me, Anne took care of the baby, and Jake and I were just in happy la la land with our perfect new son.  About an hour after he was born, Anne helped me go to the bathroom…I was shaky and weak but I peed and it didn’t even hurt that much!  Rivky and Jake changed the sheets on my bed, put together a bag of garbage and a bag of laundry, and you’d never even know a baby was born in our room.  It was clean, cozy and peaceful.

The glamorous reality of postpartum – a diaper and a stomach that looks 6 months pregnant! This was me a few hours after giving birth.

At about 5:45 am, Rivky and Anne left.  Jamie and I were both doing well and lying in bed.  Jamie nursed like a champ right after birth and I felt amazing.  I was high on endorphins and wasn’t in any pain.  I truly felt amazing.

A few hours after Jamie was born…the endorphins were high and I was sooo happy!

Natural birth without medication is HARD.  I will never say that it isn’t.  BUT you feel SO GOOD afterwards, and the recovery is so much easier that I think it’s worth it.  I had an epidural and vacuum for Dylan’s birth and I felt horrible after and in pain for a few weeks.  I had almost no pain after having Jamie and felt amazing.

Is a home birth for everyone?  No – I don’t think it is right for everyone, but it was right for me. I did my research, which showed that in Ontario, with midwives, homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth.  I felt very comfortable the whole time and I trusted Rivky and Anne and my body.  It was an amazing, empowering experience and I’m so glad I did it.  It was amazing to not have to go to the hospital or come home. It was super cold out that night and I never had to leave my house. We were snug and warm and happy.

Jamie’s birth was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and also the most fulfilling.  If you’ve read this far, thank you!  This post ended up super long.  I hope that my experience can show other moms that birth can be wonderful, empowering and miraculous.  We often just hear about the horror stories when it comes to birth and I think it’s important to share the positive stories too.

Also, if you live in Ontario, and you are considering using a midwife for birth, you absolutely should.  I received the best care from my midwives during the prenatal and postpartum period, and of course during birth.  After Jamie was born, Carla came to check on us 3 times at home.  It was amazing to not have to leave the house for the check ups.  She was so reassuring and made me feel so confident and capable during that first week.  I am forever thankful to my outstanding midwives.  (They work out of the Uptown Midwives clinic in Toronto, and they have privileges at North York General Hospital!  I highly recommend them!)


Visiting Rivky at my 2 week checkup. I’m forever thankful for her skill and care during my delivery!

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My 3 Day Refresh Results

The results are in from my 3 Day Refresh!

I’m down 2.6 lbs, my bloat is gone, my willpower has skyrocketed and my energy is up!

You are probably wondering…what exactly is the Refresh?

The 3 Day Refresh is a plant-based 3 day cleanse that is meant to jump start weight loss, break a plateau or get you ready for a trip or special event.

It is NOT the kind of cleanse where you have to worry about running to the bathroom. It’s a gentle, natural detox that will help you get back on track. I decided to do it after Passover and after Jake’s birthday weekend as I had more than my fair share of sugar and glutenous deserts. I felt like I needed a good sugar detox, and plus I wanted to look and feel my best before we headed out to Punta Cana for the Team Beachbody Success Club Trip!

So here is the scoop on the Refresh!

When you wake up you start with a large glass of water. You can still work out during the Refresh but I decided to go with lighter workouts to give my muscles and joints a rest. I did yoga on days 1 and 2 and a low impact cardio workout on day 3.

After my workout I had my Shakeology blended with 1/2 a banana as my serving of fruit. The program comes with a complete manual that gives you a list of what foods you can eat, at what time and what serving size.  

For a mid morning snack, I had the Fiber Sweep! Fiber sweep is made up of psyllium, flax and chia and it contains a combination of soluble and insoluble fibre – 13 grams of it! It has a bit of a lemony taste – you mix it with water, stir, stir stir and then drink.   

For lunch you have a shake called Vanilla Fresh. It is a plant-based protein shake and I thought it tasted great! You also get a serving of fruit, veggies and a healthy fat. I had pineapple as my fruit on day 1 and 2, and then cantaloupe on day 3. I had celery with almond butter for my veggie and healthy fat and it was yummy!

During the program you also drink lots of water and green tea. I was peeing a lot 🙂 All these liquids helped to keep hunger away and they also made my skin glow.   It made me realize that I should be drinking more every single day, not just on Refresh days!

For my afternoon snack every day I made a juice with mostly veggies and a bit of fruit in my juicer.  You also have the option of having a serving of veggies with healthy fat if you don’t want or don’t have access to juice.  

Dinner is another Vanilla Fresh and then a veggie based dinner, made with a recipe from the manual. I had steamed broccoli with coconut oil and sea salt on day 1 and 2 and it was DELICIOUS! I know that might sound weird, but when you cut out sugar and the processed stuff your taste buds change immediately and fruits and veggies start to taste AMAZING. On day 3 we were at my mother-in-laws for dinner so I had some roasted brussel sprouts and salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, along with my Vanilla Fresh. Yes you CAN do this cleanse and go out and continue on with your normal routine!

I’ve done the Refresh 3 times, and this time it was the easiest for me BY FAR! Why? Well first I knew what to expect. I knew I might be a little hungry at times but I would survive. It’s honestly more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge.

I also had a group of amazing ladies that were doing the Refresh with me. Their accountability and support kept me going when I wanted to quit!  They also got some amazing results – their weight loss ranged from 4-6lbs in 3 days.  Pretty awesome!

I was also really motivated to get some great results before our trip. Let’s be honest here – I wanted to feel good in my bikini and not feel bloated and gross!  

So let’s talk about my results!

In the 3 days I lost 2.6 lbs. I think it might have even been a bit more….but I had to weigh myself at the end at 3am because we were up early to catch a super early flight to Punta Cana! That early in the morning my body didn’t want to….how can I say this….eliminate waste. Sorry if that is TMI. LOL! A few hours later that probably would not been a problem and I bet I would have reached at least 3 lbs of weight loss.  

ANYWAYS….it doesn’t even really matter….because I think the pictures show exactly what happened to my body on the Refresh – my bloat disappeared and my stomach fluff disappeared.  I also felt GREAT! I felt energized throughout the Refresh. I wasn’t dragged down by starchy carbs, sugar, dairy and animal proteins.  

The day after I finished we travelled to Punta Cana. I was motivated to keep the results of my hard work and not ruin how good I was feeling. Since the Refresh I’ve been eating more fruits and veggies than normal…and I’m eating fewer starchy carbs, and less dairy and animal protein. I also feel less hungry than usual, which is a nice side effect!

Also – I feel like my willpower and resolve are stronger than ever after finishing the Refresh. Sticking to the plan for 3 days has made me realize I can do anything I put my mind to! What I put in my mouth is ALWAYS my choice, no matter what is happening around me. Emotional eating….shoving random chocolate chips in my mouth…eating sugar to soothe myself….these are all things I have done before….but in the long run they just make me feel WORSE! Doing the Refresh has definitely made me more aware of my emotional eating habits.

If you would like to try the Refresh and if you would like to join our accountability and support group, please send me a private message via Facebook or email me at

Our group starts May 1st! Don’t delay contacting me as you will need about a week for your materials to arrive!

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New Year….New You!

It’s really hard to believe that we are reaching the end of December and the end of 2016.

I will admit that winter is not my favorite season…however….I LOVE this time of year because it just feels so festive!  There are parties, beautiful lights and decorations everywhere…the holiday spirit is lovely and helps us get through the short days and long cold nights.

I also love this time of year because it’s the time when people are ready to COMMIT to their health and fitness goals, and as a coach that makes me SO happy!

Maybe you aren’t quite where you want to be with your health and wellness right now…maybe you have got a few pounds to lose…maybe you want to fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes….maybe you want to gain some energy and feel good again!

If that describes you….you have come to the right place!  I would LOVE to help you reach your goals.

You may have already heard about the monthly virtual bootcamps that I run.  I’ve been running them consitently for the past 2.5 years and they still excite me because of the special women who take part in them!  I love helping my clients reach their goals and I love teaching busy women how to make time in their lives for exercise and healthy eating.

Registration is open NOW for my January Virtual Bootcamp!  Registration CLOSES on December 29th….so if you have been thinking about joining….stop thinking and sign up now!  We start January 2nd…..I am so excited and I just can’t WAIT for this group to get going!

Are you wondering what the Virtual Bootcamp entails?

Let me give you all the deets!

When you sign up for my January Virtual Bootcamp, you will get all of the following:

  • A 1 year membership to Beachbody on Demand (BOD) – think of this as the Netflix of workouts…you will have access to every single program Beachbody has ever created, including the classics like P90x and the newest programs like 21 Day Fix, Country Heat and Core de Force.  You will also have access to whatever new programs Beachbody releases this year.  This means you will NEVER get bored of your home workouts and you have a fitness solution for 12 months, not just for January!
  • A 30 day supply of Shakeology, a superfood protein shake/health supplement.
  • Portion Fix – a portion controlled clean eating plan that focuses on whole, unprocessed foods.  It takes ALL the guesswork out of healthy eating and it is NOT a diet…it’s a complete lifestyle change and something that you can follow forever, not just for a few weeks.
  • Access to me as your coach – I will be there for you, cheering you along, motivating you and supporting you.  I know Beachbody workouts and the Portion Fix nutrition plan INSIDE AND OUT because I’ve been following them for almost three years.  I am here for you 24/7 to answer any questions you might have.
  • Access to a private Facebook group that I run – in this group you will have the support of other women on the same journey as you.  Why go at this alone?  It’s so much more FUN and motivating when you do this as part of a group.  We share tips and tricks and recipes and support each other through ups and downs.
  • Access to a special tracking app – you can use this app to track your workouts, Shakeology, your weight and measurements.  Remember…if you want to create a new habit, the best way of doing so is actively tracking it!  This app makes tracking so simple and my clients have been loving it!

So you must be wondering…what’s the cost of all of this?

The cost is just $199 in the US and $231 in Canada.  Yup…that’s IT!

That’s pretty much the same as the cost of 2 or 3 personal training sessions, maybe 10 – 15 spin classes,  OR a session or two with a nutritionist.

For just $199/$231, you get a proven system that WORKS and you get access to it for an entire year!  This isn’t a quick fix….this is a complete LIFSTYLE change!  This isn’t just about starting and completing one program, it is about moving through each stage of your journey and entering into a lifestyle of optimal nutrition and fitness.

I truly believe that the most important part of this whole thing is the SUPPORT!  Anyone can buy a workout program, but where you see most people getting RESULTS is when they have a community of support around them helping them stay on track.  That is where the magic happens!

I know for me, I LOVE working out at home.  It’s just so convenient.  You don’t need to spend any time driving to and from a gym.  You don’t need to leave your house on cold, dark mornings and you don’t need to worry about childcare.  Home workouts are now my workouts of choice.  I started them out of necessity when my daughter was a baby and I just couldn’t get out of the house, but now they are my preference.   I like working out at home, in my own space, wearing whatever I want, and not worrying about being late for a class…I like being able to work around my schedule and my kids’ schedules

One more fun thing about my January group…we will be participating in the Beachbody Health Bet!

How does that work?  Well, Beachbody has created a pot of 2 million dollars.  Anyone who qualifies gets a share of that pot.  How do you qualify?

  • Workout 3x a week for 4 weeks and track your workouts in a special app
  • Drink Shakeology 5x a week for 4 weeks and track it in a special app

That’s it!  If you do those two simple things, you get a share of the pot.  Pretty simple right?  A bunch of my clients and I participated in a Health Bet back in September and it was really fun!  I found the incentive of a cash prize kept everyone focused and motivated.  

So…are you in?  Are you ready to join the Health Bet and participate in our January Virtual Bootcamp?

If so, send me a private message on Facebook or email me at

I can’t WAIT to here from you.  2017 is going to be an EPIC year!

P.S.  This group is open to new clients, former clients and coaches on my team!

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How not to gain 5 lbs on a cruise

Did you know that the average person gains 5-7lbs on a one week cruise?

I’m not really shocked about that.  With the lavish buffets, self-serve soft serve ice cream and 24 hour pizza availability….I’m surprised it’s actually not even more!

Jake and I just got back from a 5 day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.

Beachbody chartered the entire ship of 6,000 passengers.  It was such a great trip!

The cruise was filled with 3,000 health and fitness coaches and their guests.

There were daily workouts each morning on the pool deck…and there were lots of healthy eating options.

But there also were lots of desserts….and drinks….in fact I even heard that we beat Royal Caribbean’s record for amount of alcoholic beverages consumed on a 5 day cruise…that’s totally crazy!


Here was my strategy for tackling the cruise:

  1. I worked out every single day.  For AT least an hour a day, if not more.  Each morning I worked out on the pool deck with our trainers.  That was about 60 minutes of intense work.  I also walked a lot around the ship – and it is huge!  Each day I got in at least 15,000 steps.  One day it was even 25,000 steps.  In addition to just walking around the ship to get around, I walked around the track for at least 30 mins a day while listening to an audiobook.  I also took the stairs instead of the elevator 98% of the time.
  2. I made healthy choices at each meal.  At breakfast I would often have eggs, fruit, veggies and a piece of toast.  Lunch would often be a giant salad with some sort of protein.  Dinner was in the dining room each night and I always chose a salad and either fish or a lean protein and veggies.  I found the veggies to be lacking at dinner time, so I always made sure to get in a lot of veggies at breakfast and dinner.
  3. I ate dessert at lunch and dinner every single day.  Yup…I did.  I was on vacation, it was there, and I enjoyed it.  End of story.  I don’t do this at home.  Here’s the truth – what you do on vacation doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you do every day.
  4. I didn’t drink much alcohol.  I’ve never been a big drinker…I would rather have dessert than a cocktail.  I think you have to pick and choose your empty calories.  I don’t think you can indulge in alchohol and dessert at every meal for a week and not gain lots of weight.  Pick one to go overboard with.  Or have moderate amounts of both.


Morning workouts on the pool deck



A typical lunch – a big salad with protein


Breakfast – egg whites, fruits, mushrooms, toast


Taking the stairs

When I came home and hopped on the scale, I learned that I had gained 3 lbs.  I didn’t freak out.  I know it is normal for me to fluctuate within a range of 3-5 lbs, especially if I have eaten out a lot.   I’m used to eating almost all my meals at home, and when you eat out there is a lot of added salt and sugar in your foods.  This causes me to bloat and retain water.

I didn’t let these three pounds turn into a slippery slope of more weight gain and an excuse to justify poor eating habits.

I needed a reset back into healthy eating, so I knew it was a perfect opportunity to do the 3 Day Refresh.  The Refresh is a gentle cleanse/detox that involves lots of water, fruit, veggies, fibre and plant-based proteins.

It is great to do after a vacation or when you just want some help getting back on track or when you want a quick win with weight loss to motivate you.

We arrived home on Thurday night and I did the Refresh from Friday – Sunday.

I felt SO much better after the Refresh…I no longer felt bloated and I felt like my body released all that salt and retained water from the cruise.  I also did not work out on the Refresh and it was a good chance for my muscles to rest from all the intense exercise I did on the cruise.

And guess what?  Those three pounds were gone at the end of the Refresh.

So I had a great trip.  I worked out a lot – for me that is something that I love to do, so it wasn’t a chore but a joy!  I ate lots of delicious food, including lots of fruits and veggies and also including dessert.

We had a great time and I don’t regret a thing!  I also don’t regret jumping right into the Refresh and then from that into my normal healthy eating habits.  I think that is key – don’t let a vacation turn into an excuse to throw away all of your hard work and healthy habits.   What matters most is what you do most of the time, not what you do occassionally while you travel.

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 everyday 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 or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 



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My 60 Day Results with Hammer and Chisel

On Sunday I finished my last Hammer and Chisel workout, and with that, I successfully completed another Beachbody program.

I tend to me someone that downplays my own success.  I like to say things weren’t a big deal…that it was just 8 weeks…that anyone can do it.

And in a way – yes that is true!  Anyone can do it!  It’s just 8 weeks!

However, there is nothing wrong with celebrating your own successes.   In fact, small celebrations along the way are important in acheiving great things.  They keep you going, they motivate you.  So I encourage you to celebrate your own successes, and that’s what I’m going to do here.

Let’s start by talking about numbers.

Weight:  Day 1 – 132.5lbs   Day 60 – 128lbs


Chest – Day 1 – 33.5, Day 60 -33

Right arm – Day 1 – 10.75,  Day 60 – 11.25

Left arm – Day 1 – 10.75, Day 60 – 11.25

Waist – Day 1 – 28.5, Day 60 – 27.25

Bellybutton – Day 1 – 33, Day 60 – 31.5

Hips – Day 1 – 35, Day 60 – 34.5

Right thigh – Day 1 – 21.25, Day 60 – 20.0

Left thigh – Day 1 – 21.25, Day 60 – 20.0

Some thoughts about the numbers:

Weight loss – I did not focus on weight loss with this program.  I focused on building muscle.   This means I was eating a lot each day!  It was amazing to see that building muscle automatically led to fat loss.  A lot of the time women focus on cardio cardio and more cardio to lose weight.  I have learned from this program that strength training is CRUCIAL in building muscle, in speeding up a metabolism and in reshaping your body.  I will always love cardio but I now have a new love for strength training.   Also – I really don’t care much about the scale anymore.  I know my weight can fluctuate within a range of 2-5 lbs from day to day or week to week and I’m OK with that.  Focusing on weight loss is depressing.  Focusing on gaining strength is empowering!

Measurements – It was nice to see some inches gone around my waist as those stubborn pockets of fat around the midsection are hard to lose, especially after having kids.  However, it is possible with consistent work – both with regards to workouts and nutrition.  It was funny that I lost some inches too around my thighs…this wasn’t a goal of mine but I will take it anyways!  And I am HAPPY that I GAINED inches in my arms…my arms have always been my weakest part of my body and I’m proud of gaining muscle in them!

A few more thoughts that move far beyond numbers:

I’m proud of myself for sticking with the program for 60 days and not missing one workout.

I’m proud of myself for increasing my weights steadily throughout the program.  I started off using 10lbs weights for certain moves and went up to 20lbs…which is huge for me.

I’m proud of myself for changing my focus from weight loss to muscle building.  It is a big mindset switch and I think it is one that a lot of women struggle with.  I love that this program gives you different options for the nutrition plan so that you can maintain your weight and gain muscle, or even gain weight by building muscle.

I’m proud of myself for sticking to the nutrition plan quite closely, but adding in some wiggle room for some treats at special events such as birthday parties etc.  For me that is a realistic lifestyle that I can maintain.  I did not feel starved or deprived and I don’t feel the need to binge now that I’m done.

One last thought.  I’m really proud of a habit that I have created from this program that I plan on continuing on with.   I have stopped eating after dinner.  It was hard during the first week or so, but now I don’t even think twice about it.  It is just a habit!

Here is how I did it:

I used to snack after the kids went to bed as a way to relax.  It was a way to unwind, and it felt like I was treating myself.  I found myself shovelling food in my mouth during the day as I rushed around and didn’t often take the time to slow down and taste it.  So after dinner eating was my chance to enjoy my food.  The problem was that I was eating calories that I didn’t need, and I was eating them at a time of day when my body didn’t need them.  Your body needs 3 or 4 hours to finish digesting before you go to sleep.  And I wasn’t allowing for that.

So I decided that I would just go cold turkey with the evening eating.  I finished my alloted food during the day.  I consciously made the decision to slow down during the day, and enjoy my food…to take a breath…to taste things!  And to be thankful for the nourishment.  I made sure that I was eating enough during the day to fuel me so that I wouldn’t be starving after dinner.

I then found other ways to treat myself and unwind in the evenings.  I lit a scented candle.  I made a cup of tea.  I took some time to sit down with Jake and talk to him.  I went to bed early.  I read a book.  I hopped on a team call or did some work.  (Yes, my work makes me feel good!).  I also brushed my teeth after dinner.   I took the time to floss properly and brush properly…and I didn’t want to ruin that with eating again.

I realized that by cutting out evening eating, I slept better because my body didn’t have to work hard to digest food while I was sleeping.  My digestion improved…I felt less gassy and bloated.

I learned to enjoy the way I feel when I don’t eat at night.  I now connect not eating at night to feeling good, whereas before I connected nighttime snacking to feeling good.  I now connect eating at night to feeling yucky and bloated.   And I don’t want to feel that way anymore!

If you are a nighttime eater – I hope these tips help you a bit.  When I focused on changing my mindset about nighttime eating, I was able to stop doing it.   It really was that simple.

If you have been considering trying Hammer and Chisel, I hope my thoughts on the program give you some helpful insight into it.  It truly is an amazing program, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to lose fat, gain muscle and feel good about themselves!

Want to try Hammer and Chisel?  I’ve gathered a great group of women who are all starting the program on Monday, May 30th and we’d love for YOU to join us!  I’m going to be doing another round along with you!  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 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  or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 

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How to lose your muffin top in 5 minutes 

Here is my best advice on how to quickly lose your muffin top moms…

Wear jeans that fit!  Yes, go out and buy a pair of jeans that fit you right now.  

It is really that simple.  

There is no worse feeling than squeezing into jeans that are too tight.  You deserve jeans that fit!

I don’t know about you, but I was not one of those women that fit back into their pre-pregnancy jeans 2 weeks after giving birth.  

I did eventually get there after having my first baby…but it took a good 9 months.  Nine months to gain it, nine months to slowly lose it. 

After my second and third – well those pre-pregnancy jeans just don’t fit any more.   Things have shifted.  I have some extra skin. Some extra fat cells on my tummy.   And you know what?  I’m ok with that.  I bought new jeans!!!!!!!

I’m in the best shape of my life right now.  I workout almost every single day.  Not because I want to fit back into my jeans, but because I truly love how my workouts make me FEEL!  

I can run 10k, I can lift heavy weights.  I can do yoga and a killer spin class.  

I eat healthy MOST of the time, not because I want to fit back into my jeans but because I love how healthy food makes me feel.  

I will admit that I also love how dessert tastes so I have some now and then in moderation.  Same with pizza.  

I feel like I am at a very balanced place in my life.  I’ve been much more strict with my diet at times but I’m at a happy medium right now.  I’m happy.  And when I’m happy I’m a nicer person and that has a ripple effect on my kids and everyone else around us.  

I know I am a health and fitness coach and I am supposed to tell your how to carve out your abs and fit into old clothes again.  I can help you with that if that is truly what you want.  

But I think most of us are after a feeling – a feeling of vitality, energy, happiness, peace and contentment.  At least that is how I want to feel.  And my lifestyle right now brings that to 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 or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 

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Three week update

Today Alexandra is three weeks old!  Hard to believe just three short weeks ago I was pregnant and wondering when my sweet little baby would be joining us.  

Things are going well, all things considered.  I’m not going to lie – it has been exhausting with the boys home from school over winter break, and that is even with a lot of help from Jake and my parents.  The popular new mom saying “sleep when the baby sleeps” makes a lot of sense in theory, but in practice is quite hard to implement with a third child.  The boys are go go go all day long, and I’d love to catch a quick nap during the day, but it just isn’t happening even though Alex sleeps quite well during the day.  Nighttime is a different story.  3-5 am seems to be party time and at all hours of the day and night she is a noisy sleeper and her strange grunts, squeaks and snorts keep this mama awake.  With a third child, I have some perspective in that I know that she will sleep more at night EVENTUALLY and one day I will miss her newborn sounds. 

Adjusting to life with three kids is taking some time.  I’ve just now figured out how to manage during the day on my own with all three of them.  It involves a lot of organization, even more patience and a bit of humour.  Today was probably our best day so far.  I managed to make, serve and clean up breakfast, lunch and dinner for all of us, keep the house in decent order, do a few loads of laundry and  everyone was relatively happy.  This happened without the boys watching TV all day (just one movie), so I feel good about that.

I remember when Dylan was born I was afraid to be alone with him for the first few weeks.  If Jake had to go out, I would make my mom come over.  It seems so funny now, because when Jake takes the boys out and I am alone with Alex, it feels like a vacation!  

In terms of post partum exercise, I am quite anxious to get started again.  I’ve gone for a few walks, done a Nike Training Club workout, and done a few planks and push ups here and there.  I really miss spinning and running but will be waiting a bit to get back into both of those.  I know it is important that I rest now and let my body heal from birth.  Waiting a few more weeks won’t make a difference in the long run, but starting too early could lead to injury, and I want to avoid that.  It is humbling that just over a year ago I could run a half marathon (that’s 21km!!) no problem, and now I’m not sure I could even run 1km continuously.  I know that my body has been through a lot and giving birth is a huge physical accomplishment in itself, but I really miss my hard workouts!


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Running in the Rain

Today’s contribution to Marathon Week will be about running in the rain.  For two weeks prior to my half marathon, I obsessively checked the weather app on my iPhone many, many times each day.  Each time I checked, the forecast remained the same – RAIN!  The good news was that the prediction was that the day would be warm (high of 18 degrees Celsius, starting out at 10 degrees at 8:30 am, when the race began).

I have run many times in the rain, and I actually find it quite enjoyable.  The rain keeps you cool when running.  You feel like a real runner when you run in the rain, not just someone who jogs occasionally on the weekend if the weather is nice.  So, I had some experience with inclement weather, but I had never completed a long run in the rain.   21km in the rain terrified me.  I worried about blisters on my feet, staying warm enough (it was expected to be a windy day), and I worried about chafing from my wet clothing.

In the end, the rain was not a problem at all.  It was pouring when I left my house, and it continued to rain while I waited in my corral.  The rain slowed down to a drizzle as the race started and luckily pretty much stopped after the first 15 minutes of the race.

Here’s what I did to tackle the rain:

  • I slathered my feet with vaseline in the morning before I put on my socks.  My shoes were soaked within minutes of getting out of my car before the race.   They stayed wet for the next 3.5 hours, but I didn’t get one single blister.
  • I put coconut oil on my body in areas where I was worried about chafing.  This included my arm pits, and a number of areas under the edges of my sports bra.  I didn’t chafe at all!
  • I kept warm and dry before the start of a race by bringing a large throwaway umbrella with me, and by wearing a garbage bag, which I took off just before I crossed the start line.  My clothes barely got wet and I stayed warm.
  • I didn’t worry about puddles.  My feet got soaked as soon as I stepped out of my car.  It would have been very hard to try and run around puddles, and it likely would have wasted a lot of energy.  My feet were wet, and I just accepted it, and enjoyed splashing through puddles.
  • I wore a running hat with a brim, which kept the rain off my face during the first part of the race when it was drizzling a bit.
  • I wore a running technical t-shirt and a running skirt.  I did not wear a waterproof running jacket, and I did not wear pants or capris.  The fabric of my clothes was wicking and quick- drying (gotta love Lululemon!)  I knew that the high of the day would be 18 degrees and any extra layers would have overheated me.  I saw a lot of people with jackets on at the start, and pretty much everyone took them off.  I saw a lot of people wearing long sleeves and long pants and they were sweating profusely.  They were really overdressed.

Have you ever run a race in the rain?  Do you have any tips to add?

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An Interview with Jordana Silver

Readers – today you are in for a treat. I recently had the opportunity to interview an up- and-coming new footwear designer, Jordana Silver. Jordana is the brains behind an ingenious new concept in footwear – basic black ballet flats that can be customized with an array of unique shoe clips, called bisous.

I am so proud to call Jordana my friend. We met over 15 years ago when we both attended the University of Toronto as undergrads. I’m in awe of Jordana and what she has accomplished since then. I’m continually impressed by her courage, her creativity, her passion and her drive.

I’ll let Jordana tell you more about herself and the concept of her shoes. I hope you enjoy the interview!

Tell us a little bit about your background in fashion and design.

My love of fashion actually began when I was a little girl and my mother took me to Creeds on Bloor Street every weekend. Growing up, I had aspirations to be a lawyer and then when at University of Toronto I had a change of heart and wanted to pursue a career that I felt would offer me more creativity. I applied to Parsons School of Design in NYC. While in school I interned for established designers like Eskandar, Cynthia Rowley and Michael Kors. Once I finished my degree I was hired by Michael Kors. I worked on several of their design teams with Michael over the course of 7 years and also worked in corporate sales for the brand.

How did you first come up with the concept of the bisous?

I have a true love for shoes! When I was traveling for Michael Kors I would visit different stores and always found myself stealing a few minutes in the women’s shoe departments. Unfortunately, I would always leave disappointed. The shoes I coveted were out of my price point. I could not purchase as often as I wanted either and when I did in fact buy the shoes were black and basic because they were so versatile. I felt like I was missing out on the latest trends and not having fun with my shoes and ultimately fashion is supposed to be fun! I knew if I was feeling this way, so too were other women. I also knew the economy changed over the last few years and that the trend of accessorizing had become huge. My solution to create a brand around the shoe clip seemed like an amazing solution and worked with what was going on in the market place.

Where do you find inspiration for new bisous?

I find inspiration everywhere. The bisous can be sophisticated or fun and whimsical. I definitely pay attention to current trends and those on their way but I also will see someone wearing something down the street and an idea will come to mind. I had the opportunity to vintage shop this summer in Paris and that was such a treat!

How do you think that the Jordana Silver shoe can play a role in the life of a busy mom?

I cannot think of a better shoe collection for busy moms. The flats were designed to have a great shape but we paid careful attention to comfort! There is memory foam in each shoe and everyone tells me they live in the flats because they are so comfortable. Beyond comfort, what could be more appealing to moms on the go than a shoe where you play designer and get the latest trends without sacrificing quality or design for a fraction of the cost of designer shoes?! Moms still want to be on trend. When all my friends started having babies, I repeatedly heard that their priorities changed. This is a product where moms can indulge without the guilt and do something fun and luxurious for themselves.

Do you have any quick and easy fashion tips for moms?

Absolutely. I actually use these for myself and think they are universal for all women including moms.

  1. Show off your assets. Sounds simple but figure out what you love about yourself (everyone has something) and show it off. My waist is the smallest part of my body so I wear flattering silhouettes that draw attention to my waist.
  2. Stay true to yourself and don’t be a victim to trends. If you wear something you are uncomfortable in you will be pulling at your clothes all day long. Don’t worry about trends. Wear what works for you and makes you feel your best. Fashion is supposed to accentuate the positive and make you feel great.
  3. Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize! I may be partial but accessorizing helps keep things simple and on trend. Color is making a statement right now. Get a colorful scarf to pop any outfit. Buy an amazing bold necklace you love and it will update any outfit. Or have fun with your shoes and accessorize them with bisous. 😉 Accessorizing is a great way to feel like you are on trend without over spending.

What are some of the challenges you faced in starting your own business?

There were so many challenges. I really had to learn everything as I went. Probably the biggest challenge was tackling everything predominately on my own. I had some mentors I could call on for guidance and that was great but a lot needed to be learned and figured out as I tackled issues. You never understand how much is involved in a business until you launch one.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? Especially women entrepreneurs?

  1. I would encourage female entrepreneurs to trust their gut. Just like moms know what is best for their children, you probably know what is best for your business.
  2. I would suggest you view each problem as a minor set back with a solution. Every time an issue arises, I know there is a solution and I go into problem solving mode. Being an entrepreneur is a lot about one’s ability to react quickly and calmly.
  3. Lastly I encourage female entrepreneurs to stay passionate and positive. People react to the energy you project.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

I definitely appreciate downtime and simple pleasures. I enjoy spending time with friends, trying great restaurants, and exploring the streets of New York.

Where do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now?

I would love to see my business grow. I have a few exciting projects I am working on that hopefully I can share with your readers soon enough. The truth is I am really open to seeing how things develop. One never knows what opportunity will present itself and that is part of the fun of having your own business.

Where can my readers purchase your shoes? When will they be available in Canada?

My shoes will be available on from today (Saturday) for four days only. ships to Canada and the US. You can also purchase shoes and bisous from my online store Also, you can email and someone on my team will be happy to help with your orders.

Thank you so much Jordana for taking the time to answer my questions. I love the tip you provided about looking at problems as minor setbacks with solutions. I think this can be applied to any problems that we encounter in life. It can be so beneficial to think positive and look at obstacles we face as learning opportunities.

Readers, I hope you take a look at the Jordana Silver website and purchase a pair of shoes and some bisous. The shoes really make a stylish yet practical addition to any mom’s wardrobe.

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Pistachio failure

While driving up to the cottage tonight, we stopped at a grocery store along the way. I hadn’t really eaten dinner and wanted to pick up a few things. Shopping with the kids in an unfamiliar store at 8pm isn’t the smartest move, and I’m not surprised that I made a bad purchase. I wanted to buy a few nuts to snack on as I knew that the healthy fats and protein would fill me up. I spotted a bag of pistachios and put it in my cart. When went to eat them later, I took a look at the nutritional information on the back of the bag and I was appalled!


I couldn’t believe all of the ingredients. I have no interest in eating sugar, garlic or onion powder, or dextrose. Even natural flavor has no place in my diet. But worst of all – the deal breaker for me – the pistachios contain yeast extract. Sadly, yeast extract is MSG. Most shoppers these days are savvy enough to avoid MSG, since it is associated with reproductive disorders and headaches, among other nasty thing! So the food industry hides the MSG by labeling it as yeast extract. So sneaky. So wrong. These pistachios will not be eaten by me and will be returned to the store. I am saddened that even an innocuous bag of nuts contains unhealthy ingredients.

So dear readers, learn from my mistakes – check your labels carefully at the grocery store! And don’t buy anything that contains yeast extract!!