Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

Deprive and Binge


There is an endless cycle that exists within most of us. It’s like we can’t help ourselves. We go from one extreme and then suddenly change gears, and go directly for the opposite of that extreme. We put ourselves through hell sometimes and it almost seems impossible to pull ourselves out of it. Think about it: have you ever gone on a diet, so determined to make it work and keep your calories low only to end up stuffing yourself the moment dessert presents itself? Have you ever yo-yo dieted? Have you ever lost the weight only to gain it right back and then some? I know I have and I’m certainly not alone. This is the deprive and binge.

In both cases we are punishing ourselves because somewhere deep down we think that there is something wrong with us and the way we look. So we eat too little or far too much, leaving you feeling weak with hunger (or in denial about it) or feeling like an oompa loompa ready to be rolled out of the room. It definitely doesn’t help that we’re constantly hit advertisements and marketing ploys that push us into that direction too. Even we’re all aware of these things, many of us still struggle to shift away from them and it’s pretty clear why…

There are 2 things that I know for sure:

  1. People in general are not eating enough, but…
  2. Everyone thinks they are eating too much

With everyone that I have coached and worked with and for every person that I`ve ever had a conversation with about nutrition, they all have these 2 things in common. Most people truly believe that they are overeating because they tend to be grazers eating bits of food here and there throughout the day. In reality they are not taking in enough overall calories and when they do eat it`s usually somewhat unbalanced where the nutrient timing is way off. All of this leads to long term undernourishment, making it impossible to lean out and carve out some nice muscular curves. Instead we may end up a little softer than we’d like ultimately leading to the determination to finally get in shape and never eat anything fatty again, until you once again find yourself gorging on nachos and margaritas with your besties on the next girls night out.

Even after we become aware of all of this, we still resist it. I can’t tell you how many people still say that can’t hit their calorie goal for the day or they think it’s too much and they refuse to eat more than 1600 calories. We just can’t quite seem to let go of the notion that in order to look a certain way or achieve that goal weight, we have to eat tiny portions, restrict ourselves and keep the calories low. This is what always leads to the inevitable deprive and binge, where maybe you can keep the calories ultra-low for a while, but you will most likely rebound.

This whole thing is a really hard cycle to break, but I swear to you that it is possible. The first step is to start eating a solid amount of food every day. You need to eat and you need to nourish yourself, and chances are that unless you are in a contest prep like me or if you are 110lbs of muscle with low body fat, then you need to take in more than 1600 calories daily. Keep your meals balanced and focus on nutrient timing. For example, before any workout eat a combo of protein, complex carbs and a little bit of fat, and after working out focus on fast digesting carbs with protein and keep the fat to a minimum. If you lie to nosh at night after dinner, then have a small meal that combines protein with fat (keep the carbs low) so that you get in some slow digesting nourishment during your sleep time. Trust me here, this works. When I finally released the notion of having to restrict myself in order to look a certain way, everything became way easier. I ended up building lean muscle, nice curve and leaning out really well. Getting stage ready and getting into great shape wasn’t as hard as I thought. The struggle was gone and instead I was able to sail through each day and each workout easily because I was fueled up and ready to go.

So how about we all stop going from one extreme to the next by depriving ourselves and then going crazy on food when we just can’t take it anymore? How about we change gears and focus on eating enough of the good stuff every day? There is no reason to punish ourselves or to even entertain the notion that the way we look is a reflection of how awesome we truly are…I know this sounds all woo-woo enlightened and stuff, but to be fair, I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been on both sides of this thing. We do punish ourselves, whether you are aware of it or not. Reprogramming this takes time, but it is possible through feeding yourself well every day. If you can set yourself up for success like this (which I know you can) then the struggle will finally be gone for good.



My Epic Weekend

I had the BEST WEEKEND EVER! I got the chance to travel to sunny California for a 3 day event that was part motivational, part dance party and part networking. It was awesome. Most people in attendance were coaches and entrepreneurs so this was right up my alley. There were ladies from all walks of life; some were healers, others were life coaches, some were just starting out while others had been crushing it for years. Our big goal was to hug every person in the room at least once by the end of the three days, and I must say that introducing yourself to someone with a hug is way better than a handshake. Apart from the hugging, dancing and awesome guest speakers, I also got to sit in a drum circle, that was also super awesome. It sounds a bit new-agey/hippie and maybe it was, but I loved it. If I could hug instead of shake hands and sit in a drum circle more often, I totally would.


This was the first time I had ever traveled by myself (FYI, I’m 31 so this was long overdo) and it was my first trip to California. Not only did I attend this event, but I also got to cross another item off of my bucket-list…

No doubt you’ve heard the term when in Rome, well when in Venice Beach, train at the Mecca of Bodybuilding: Gold’s Gym Venice Beach. Seriously, that’s their slogan: The Mecca of Bodybuilding.


Training at this gym was a total dream come true. Since I became serious about competing I knew that one day I would have to make my pilgrimage to this place. I can say with total honesty that it was everything I thought it would be and more. As I walked in the doors I so wanted to jump up with joy, but I kept it all on the inside, or at least I tried to. It was one of those surreal experiences like when you see a celebrity in real life. I tried to be a little inconspicuous when snapping pictures with my phone, and thankfully I was able to get a few good shots in without being too invasive of my fellow athletes. I got to see the Wall of Champions and workout in a gym where every Olympia Champion has trained at, at one point in their career. As I picked up the weights and started my workout, I couldn’t help but wonder what other bodybuilder has used these same weights before me and stood in the same spot that I was now standing in. Clearly, I was star struck by this gym. My timing could not have been better as I was visiting the same weekend as the Arnold Classic in Columbus. I say this because all of the pro-athletes and fitness models were out of town, otherwise I would not have been able to keep it cool and have a good workout. If I would have seen anyone famous, I would have total freaked out (hopefully on the inside), and spend my entire time their trying to take a picture of them without their noticing.

What was super interesting about this place was that the athletes are massive, like a whole other level of bodybuilders, and keep in mind that these were amateur level people like me. Now I compete and train alongside bodybuilders and powerlifters all the time, but these guys were an entirely other caliber of athlete. It was really something else. I thought that I was a great condition and that the other athletes in my league were too, but compared to these guys at Gold’s, we’d all look pretty puny and out of shape. Oddly enough this wasn’t at all intimidating to me, if anything is was motivating to see what’s possible and what I can do to continue moving forward with time. I was amazed by their size and definition and I was also inspired by it. The time I spent in this historical gym helped remind me of how much I love bodybuilding, what it brings into my life and how great it makes me feel.

So that was it. Three glorious days where I got to walk around in the sunshine wearing my fancy leggings and sandals, eating really good food (vegan options are a plenty here!), while experiencing two big life goals. Sometimes a break from the ordinary is just what you need to recharge, get your mind right and start making things happen again.




Contest Prep, Nutrition, Wellness

Practicing what I preach


One of the first things we bodybuilders cut out during a prep is alcohol and sometimes it sucks. I was in prep for almost two years straight and it REALLY sucked. Although I would tell myself the standard I don’t need alcohol to have a good time schpiel, I was just really in denial, but my six-pack of abs made up for that. I’ve never been a big drinker, except during my clubbing years but that ended about a decade ago. Even so, it still sucks to cut out booze.

The reason for abstaining is simple: your body processes alcohol in a similar way as it would a super decadent dessert. So two glasses of wine is like a chocolate soufflé AND a slice of cheesecake. If you’re out to dinner and have a nice meal with a couple of drinks and then some dessert, it’s the equivalent of having all of your allotted calories in day in one sitting and then some, which ultimately leads to a plateau in fat loss (or muscle gains). As a result bodybuilders typically cut it all out completely unless it’s offseason, or they swap in booze for a weekly treat meal, which is no fun when you’ve been dieting down and can’t stop thinking about stuffing your face with a bucket of greasy French fries. I’d rather take the food over the drink any day. And so for the longest time, alcohol was a no-go for me and even going drinks with friends was usually my ordering a club soda with a lime wedge.

Last weekend though, I made the exception as a bit of an experiment to see what would happen when I drink during a contest prep. Granted I am still 5 months out, so regardless it’s no big deal. I wanted to see whether or not it actually is possible to keep it balanced and not wake up crazy bloated the next day. You see, I always advocate (as many fitness coaches do) this type of balance for my clients around the holidays or special occasions, when we know there will be good food, good drinks and you’ll definitely want to partake without feeling restricted. So I wanted to practice what I preach to see if it is possible without going overboard, and brother in-law’s 40th birthday bash would be the perfect excuse.

The day started out as a typical Saturday, where I got up at noon, fed my bunnies (pictured below) and sat down to a nice breakfast with a giant mug of coffee and a hilarious book that I could not get enough of. Nutrition-wise I’m pretty much doing macro counting as per my coach’s suggestion, so I made sure that each meal is a solid mix of complex carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein with lots of fiber. I hit the gym in the late afternoon for some serious lifting; back and biceps, which was surprisingly intense despite my ability to only curl a 25lbs barbell for 15 reps at 4 sets. I drank a ton of water all day so I was super hydrated and had another balanced meal before heading out.

ED80AD06-5900-45CD-861A-3FB2FA581EDF  image

Bunnies!                                                              Breakfast (yum!)

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from this party as I was the youngest there and the only single one in-house. Plus the guest list consisted of couples with young kids who are oh so excited to have a night out without their tornado of toddlers around. Basically I was concerned that I wouldn’t fit in, even though I had already known everyone quite well for many years. What can I say except that I am a super shy introvert with some pretty intense social anxiety; but that’s a story for another day.

I had a rockin time! Seriously, this was the most fun I’ve had in a while and I haven’t partied it up in years, so this was a welcomed change of pace. The great news was that I didn’t overdo it and go on a bender or binge eat the available and yummy junk food, so much to my delight I woke up feeling pretty great the next day. I realized that the strategies of balance really do work here. I had about two drinks (vodka soda, my fave) plus one shot of coconut rum which warmed my tummy up real nice. I only ate about a handful of chips and that was it. About an hour before I headed home I started chugging water like a beast. I think I had about a litre and a half, so I sobered up pretty fast. I got home around 2am, fed my bunnies a late night snack and prepped one for myself too, albeit a totally unbalanced one which consisted of toasted white crusty bread with tons vegan margarine follow by a few bites of chocolate cake and more water. Just to be clear, this snack was for me, not my bunnies; they had wheatgrass. I binged watched a few episodes of The Real Housewives before heading to bed around 5am…although my bunnies were still going strong and hopping around, take about party animals! (see what I did there J)

When I rolled out of bed a few hours later I was thrilled to see that there was no bloating (or hangover!) and that my abs were still intact and very visible (see below). My body responded well to this strategy and it managed to use the extra glycogen towards filling out my muscles nicely and giving me a great post-workout pump when I hit the gym the next day. A real win indeed.


The moral of the story is that you can have fun AND partake without restricting yourself or doing the opposite and getting excessive. Balance really does work. So the next time you find yourself worried about an upcoming night out, don’t panic and instead try these tried and true strategies on for size:

  1. Eat lots of hearty and healthy food throughout the day
  2. Drink tons of water
  3. Get in a serious gym sesh with lots of heavy lifting
  4. Eat before you leave home
  5. Drink lots of water when you’re done with the booze
  6. Eat a little something greasy before you go to bed
  7. Hit the gym the next day and put that extra glycogen to good use

There you have it. Take it from someone who has spent the last two years being super rigid about diet and exercise and contest prep, this shit works. I’m finally starting to see that you can be a bodybuilder, look awesome while still having a life and an awesome time at that.

Contest Prep, Wellness

I’m not as healthy as you think


I had a bit of an epiphany a few days ago. I was speaking with a friend about my New Year’s resolution to get more sleep, and I mentioned that I have been doing the exact opposite. I’m not sure if it’s just resistance on my part or something else entirely, but the bottom line is that I’m actually getting less sleep now than I was last year. As we continued chatting it suddenly hit me…the reason why I’m sleep deprived is because I like it. It sounds twisted (and it probably is), but this whole lack of sleep thing puts me under a bit of extra pressure, and like some, I thrive under pressure. What’s more is that I like the feeling of being under pressure.

It’s pretty common for athletes to burn the candle at both ends, and with an extreme sport like bodybuilding it’s 24/7. The goal with competing is to be the best you can and bring your best to the stage each time and what you put your body through is not even slightly close to the norm. We get up at sunrise for fasted cardio, spent at least an hour and a half weight training each day, eat like we have OCD, drink crazy amounts of water, take massive amounts supplements, cut ourselves off from the outside world for weeks on end, all to be on stage for a few minutes, covered in spraytan and glaze with only a few inches of material covering us up. We are extreme athletes with extreme lifestyles and the truth is you can’t be a “normal person” with this kind of lifestyle.

Bodybuilding puts you into a thrilling (and slightly punishing) state of mind where you’re always pushing more, lifting more and seeing just how far you can take it. In my case, what I’ve noticed is that I love the way it feels to be tired, going to the gym, lifting super heavy and beating my previous week’s PRs. There’s nothing like being exhausted but crushing it anyway. It makes it that much more awesome when I pick up that barbell and knock out some deadlifts like it’s nobody’s business and then up the ante on my next set by adding an extra plate or two. Like I said, it’s a little twisted.

I know this is unhealthy, but bodybuilding in general is pretty unhealthy. There is nothing healthy about dehydrating yourself for several days, or dieting down for months at a time or exercising for 2-3 hours every day, but that’s the nature of the sport and being on stage is pretty addictive. Most people will stop after one show, but for those who stay the course, like me, you get the stage bug and can never seem to shake it. This is what leads to the extreme and the constant need to push yourself further each day.

As I sit hear writing this now, it’s about 1am and my alarm will be going off at 7:30 so I can head out to my day job and then of course hit the gym. This pattern and ritual that have created is probably not one that I can maintain in the long run and it’ll most likely lead me straight to a burn out. But even with all of this logic and awareness, I still consciously choose to keep going. Maybe it’s some weird way of my trying to rebel after spending my life being on the straight and narrow, or maybe it’s about my wanting to be in control of letting myself be a little out of control, or maybe, just maybe I’ve become a glutton for punishment. Again, pretty twisted.

I know how this all started too and what’s triggered this for me. This is the first time in my life that I’m fully on my own. I met my ex-husband when I as 18 and I went straight from my parent’s house to moving in with him years later. I always had some accountability to go to bed at a decent time (although that did change for a few years in my early twenties when I was living it up, going out all the time while still living at home). Overall though, I stuck to a schedule with school and work, and I never really had any kind of big rebellious phase. So maybe this is some kind of early mid-life crisis, and a fairly tame one at that J. This is still a whole new experience for me in that I can hit gym at midnight if I want (and sometimes I do!) or go out and do whatever I want whenever I want. I’m assuming some shrink would probably think that this is a kind of coping mechanism that has to do with partial avoidance (an issue that I’ve been dealing with my entire life), but now it’s only magnified by all of the massive life changes and shitstorm that I’ve gone through over the past two years.

On the bright side, I am fully aware of what I’m doing and that it’s not good, so I think that’s the first step in my being able to work through it and get back into a healthier space. What this is making me realize is just how hard it is to break unhealthy habits. We get real comfortable, real fast with these rituals of ours and it sometimes seems impossible to let them go. The way I see it is that eventually I’ll get my shit together and start getting some real sleep again, but for tonight I think I’ll put on Netflix and watch a little Gilmore Girls instead.


Nutrition, Wellness

What carbs do for you


Carbohydrates are remarkable. They provide the human body with fiber, glycogen and loads of micronutrients. Yet many people still deem them to be the evil culprit of their health and weight issues. The low-carb craze may not be as intense as it once was, but it’s still going strong and it tends to be the first thing dieters drop when embarking on a weight loss program. If this really was the most effective way to release the extra weight for good, then why is it that the weight keeps creeping back up?

Let me start by sharing the most important thing that you need to know about carbohydrates: the body cannot metabolize fats without the presence of carbohydrates. Without sufficient carbs in the body (stored as muscle glycogen) your body will burn its protein stores instead of fat causing you to eventually lose muscle. Whatever drop you may see on the scale is most likely coming from muscle loss. So if you put yourself into a calorie deficit by dropping carbs, your body will eventually plateau and halt fat loss and start using its protein as energy. This is a big no-no for pretty much everyone, or at least anyone who wants to be lean and fit with a nice bod.

Another key benefit of this macronutrient is that it is essential for proper brain function in that it provides fuel to the central nervous system. It helps to regulate your mood and energy levels; if you’ve ever gone low carb before then you know what I’m talking about here. A diet low in carbohydrates leads to greater instances of depression, anger and anxiety than a diet higher in carbohydrates. For more info , check out this article that showcases the impact that carbohydrates play in mental health and well-being.

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy and it is the first thing that you will burn up in the form of calories, whatever is leftover gets stored in the body as glycogen (for future use as fuel). The main concern with carbohydrates though, is what’s called a spillover. This occurs when you take in excess carbs to the point where your muscle glycogen stores are filled to capacity and your body has no choice but to store the extra amount as bodyfat. This is where the weight gain occurs. Years ago when the low-carb craze hit, people lost a ton weight mostly because they dropped their overall calories, cut out junk food and probably threw in some exercise, not just because they dropped the carbs.

Nowadays things have started to get better with most health experts confirming that everyone should be getting about 50% of their overall calories from carbohydrates. The key thing is to focus on complex carbs that provide loads of fiber, vitamins and minerals. These are slow digesting, keep you full and rid your body of toxins and waste. Eat lots of veg and not just the green stuff, but of all colours, add in some whole grains and starches like millet and sweet potatoes, and have a fruit if you wish (I hate fruit, so that’s out for me, but I eat lots of vegetables and whole grains to make up for it).

You might be hearing a lot about the keto diet and others of a similar nature, but proceed with caution here. These are all super low-carb and high fat (60-80% overall calories coming from fat!). Some people swear by it, but at least talk to your doctor before trying, to be on the safe side. Keep in mind here that women tend to do better on a higher carb and low fat diet as opposed to men who can handle the extra fat with not as many carbs. Also the term ketogenic stems from ketosis which really makes you feel like crap. Your energy levels can drop drastically making exercise and building lean muscle nearly impossible and one of the main side effects is that you end up kinda smelly especially with bad breadth, so you know, just FYI. Do your research first before getting started, to see if it’s really your best option.

I can say that from my own experience, low-carb just didn’t work especially in the long run. I remember in the early 2000s when it was everywhere and I tried it, but it just didn’t last and I felt hungry all the time. Then in 2016 when I competed in my first show my coach had me go low-carb and it was rough. Sheer will was what got me through it, but I was hungry and tired and I wound up looking deflated and flat on stage. But for my last show we instead opted to keep the carbs high throughout at 50% and dropped my fat intake. I looked fuller, well rounded and had a much nicer shape and overall appearance. Not to mention that my prep felt like a total breeze.

The moral of the story here is to never cut out or drastically reduce an entire macronutrient altogether, but to instead get a good amount of each. Cook your own food instead of relying on the prepackaged stuff and eat lots of produce and whole grains and maybe consider reducing the amount of animal based foods that you consume too. With that alone you will see a drastic change to your body composition and overall health. This is the one body that you have so always make it your top priority by feeding it with the healthiest fuel every day.


New Year, New Goals


The New Year is here. Which means that new goals, resolutions and opportunities await. Like any other new year, this one gives off the sense of starting over and maybe trying out some new things. Whether you have 2018 resolutions or not, a new year is great time to set yourself up for success with your health and your entire life. This doesn’t have to be super overwhelming or include massive life changes, so instead here is a list of simple resolutions that can make a big impact in your life.

1) Get more sleep  

Most people struggle with this one. To make this as easy as possible, start slow. Go to bed 5 minutes earlier each night and slowly increase it as you go along. Gradually add in some pre-bedtime rituals like a quick hot shower, reading a couple of pages from a good book or magazine, or meditate for a minute. If you find yourself lying in bed thinking about all of the things that you need to do tomorrow, then start a pre-bedtime practice of making a quick list of your next day’s to-do items. That way you’re able to lie back knowing that you won’t miss anything. Keep your room at a cool temperature and sleep with ear plugs and an eye mask for total quiet and darkness. When you’re well rested, everything else is so much easier.

2) Drink more water

Aim for 2-3 litres of water per day. Things like coffee, tea, soda, or juice don’t count. In fact, caffeinated beverages are a natural diuretic so it can cause dehydration if you’re not sipping on your H2O. One trick that works great is to drink a tall glass first thing in the morning. Right after I roll out of bed and brush my teeth, I chug a nice tall glass that way I always start my day out hydrated. Water in the morning will help your body wake up and start working as it is 100% necessary for your body to function all the time. Water aids in digestion, regulating the metabolism and improving circulation.

3) Move more

For us sedentary individuals with desk jobs, sitting is the new killer. Sitting down for too long increases the chance of dying from ALL CAUSES. That’s right. So be sure to get up and give yourself a quick stretch, shake out those legs and walk around. Aim to do this every 30 minutes. It’s tough when you’re swamped at the office, but it’s necessary so get to it.

4) Get outside  

The great outdoors are great for a reason. Being outside helps to regulate the circadian rhythm (for sleep) and is a great mood booster. Getting exposure to sunlight during the day gives off a nice energy boost and being exposed to moonlight signals your body that it’s time to hit the hay. This may be more challenging during cold winter months, but try it out even if for only 1 minute.

5) Take a digestive enzyme

This is a great tool that can help you lean out and stay that way. I started taking a digestive enzyme on the advice of my coach during my first contest prep 2 years ago. This supplement can help your body absorb more nutrients by helping with the breakdown of amino acids, fatty acids and simple sugars. It just makes the whole process much easier on your body. I take one daily, first thing in the morning before breakfast. I also take an additional one before and after any large and heavy meals; it helps to reduce bloating and that icky feeling you get when you eat too much. Just be sure to check the ingredients first as many companies go for the cheap enzymes and add in things like animal bile (EW!). Go for the plant-based ones here that contain enzymes extracted from fruits like pineapple (Allmax Nutrition is my go-to).

So there you have it, five easy things that you can slowly start to incorporate into your life to help you feel great and be healthy. As for my 2018 resolution, well I’ve decided that more sleep is my main priority. It’s tough to go to bed earlier, but I’m already feeling the difference just 2 days into this year. And in terms of my big goals I’ll be competing at nationals in July with the opportunity to earn that coveted IFBB Elite Pro Card. My training is in full swing and I’ll be sharing every bit of it along the way!

Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

How to have a healthy AND fun holiday


Everyone always talks about “surviving” the holidays. Countless fitness experts give out holiday survival guides and a whole slew of tips to make it to the New Year in one piece. No matter how many of these guides we read or how much we may vow that this will be the year that we don’t overdo it on the food and drink, at one point or another it just gets too complicated and too tempting to not indulge. So instead of just surviving the holidays let’s focus on how to be healthy AND realistic during this busy time of the year.

Your mindset is what will really allow you to actually enjoy yourself. I hear countless people complain about the holidays; how busy they are, all of the obligations they have, events to go to, gifts to buys, etc. If you go into it thinking about how much this is going to suck, then it IS going to suck. Start off instead with an attitude of gratitude and focus on the fact that you have people in your life to spend time with, the means to purchase or make special gifts for them, a home to host dinner in, a job and (ergo) coworkers to celebrate with, etc. Think of it that way and it’ll just help you gain a little more perspective the next time you find yourself dragging yourself to the shopping mall for some last minute gifts to buy. With your mind right the rest can be fairly straightforward.

Nutrition tends to be a big problem here for most, with the endless family gatherings, restaurant lunches and dinners with friends, and office cocktail parties. The standard solutions that you’ll hear from everyone else is to get your workout done first thing in the morning, fill half your plate with vegetables, alternate between alcohol and water…So I’m not gonna bother going into it any further than that. What I will say is that most of the time these strategies re short lived, trust me I’ve tried it myself many times. But if this happens to work for you then great, otherwise just do the best you can. That doesn’t mean giving yourself permission to have 3 pieces of dessert and 4 glasses of wine in one sitting. What this really means is keeping your health in mind with everything that you choose to put into your body. You know that veg is good for you and that fried stuff isn’t, so just be aware of how many bites of decadent foods you’re eating. It can be challenging though because we tend to mindlessly munch as we mingle and socialize. The solution that I always follow is to eat how I normally would on any other average day and have a meal before I leave home. It may seem counterintuitive, but when you go into an event already satiated, the trays of canapés are far less tempting. If you go into it after restricting yourself all day, then you’ll no doubt overeat, possibly binge and get that awful overly full feeling that leaves you bloated and regretful for days. On the other hand if you’re already well nourished, you can approach each meal more objectively and choose the foods that actually look good to you.

If you happen to be on a weight loss journey or contest prep and you are concerned about the Judgy McFoodPushers, here are a few tried and true strategies for you:

  • Pretend like you just came from another cocktail, dinner or other gathering and are pretty full as is
  • Fake a tummy ache. It seems childish, but it works. “My stomach has been so upset since yesterday” or “I have the worst heartburn, I’ll just stick with water for now thanks”.
  • For contest prep, do as I do and just say no. When I’m in prep, I don’t care what anyone may think or say, I’m not eating anything off plan unless my coach says so. Worst case scenario just pull out a pic of you on show day and let everyone know that this is what you’ll be doing soon “so shut your stupid face”…or maybe something a little nicer J

This is a big concern for a lot of my clients, especially those who don’t want to invite others into their personal weight loss journey. Everyone’s got an opinion on weight loss and it’s always a hot topic, so if you don’t feel comfortable sharing, then use any of the above options.

As for exercise, well I say go for it. Try to stick to your usual schedule as best as you can, but if that’s not possible then make sure that you are at least moving throughout the day. Take five to ten minutes to sit quietly and do some light stretching; think of it as your “you time” in the middle of your busy schedule. I personally love going to the gym during the time; there’s far less people so the equipment is always free and it’s time to myself. Even though it may be tough to step out of the comfort of your home, you’re guaranteed to feel great afterward and get a nice mood boost.

Try to enjoy yourself at least a little. If you’re fortunate enough to have time off from work or school, then take the opportunity to get extra rest and start developing health habits to bring you into the New Year. Remember to treat yourself, but do so wisely and if you happen overeat at one point or another, then make a better choice at your next meal. Have fun and stay healthy.