I’d always been fit. When I was in college I worked out regularly, and I continued that healthy lifestyle all the way through having children. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my last child that I stopped exercising.
It was hard getting back in shape after that pregnancy, but I began exercising again by taking a ton of group fitness classes, like boot camp and yoga, and running. I was on a mostly plant-based diet with a little bit of meat. I thought I was making all the right choices by eating avocado toast, chia seeds, everything you read about as being great for you. But I still didn’t feel like my appearance reflected how healthy I was on the inside. To be honest, I was pretty insecure about my body.
I was training for a marathon, improving my fitness level, and still wasn’t seeing any change in my body. If anything, I felt like I was getting bigger. I was so frustrated. Then, I found my trainer, Heather Marr, while writing a story on a fitness clothing line that featured her on their website. I met with her, and she started showing me how to slow down exercises that I do all the time, like burpees. She emphasized that my goal wasn’t to be a top athlete but get results I could see. The hairs on the back on the back of my neck stood up. I just knew this was going to be different.
Once I began training with Heather, I started to see major changes within two weeks, like definition in my abs that was never there before. I was working out five to six days a week in group classes. But after working with Heather, I’ve started incorporating resistance training four days a week. Some of my favourite moves are pistol squats and weighted lunges. I also do one day of interval training on the stair mill for about 45 minutes. Then I’ll do a day or two of steady state cardio, like a nice 10km run.
Like a lot of women, I was scared that lifting heavy would make me heavier than I already was, but my body looks leaner than ever.
The biggest change in my diet is that I’m eating way more protein than before. I’m a lean protein junkie. I’ll have a burger from time to time, but that’s a treat. I eat a lot of egg whites, white fish, ground turkey, and chicken, and tons of vegetables. For my carbs, I like to have a piece of whole wheat bread, fibre crackers, or a half-cup of pasta. As a snack I’ll have an apple or Greek yogurt with blueberries.
STICKING WITH IT
What’s great about the program Heather put me on is that I saw results so quickly. I think that when women can actually see the changes in their body, they’re more likely to keep at it.
I know a lot of people think that the aesthetics before athletics philosophy is shallow, but I think the changes in my body are what enabled me to get to the point of feeling like an athlete and putting my health first.
I feel such a great sense of purpose and excitement in my life right now. I’ve never been so excited about a project because I can help women who feel like they're working so hard without getting the results that they want.
It’s helped me become more confident in everything I do. Even my marriage is much more equitable because I know what I want and I believe that I’m entitled to it. It’s helped my friendships and business relationships, as well. Now that I'm more comfortable in my own skin, I’m no longer overly concerned with what other people think.
MY NUMBER ONE TIP
Create strategies. When I realised that late-night snacking and drinking at home after work were stunting my progress, I knew I had to come up with solutions. So Heather and I came up with a plan for me to eat more during the day, so I wasn't so hangry at night.
I love wine, but I started sipping seltzer with lemon when I got home from work. Then, if I still wanted wine, I'd have some.