Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)


Rebounding – or jumping on my new trampoline!

I always loved trampolines. I remember using a huge one in gym class. I was the big kid, but on the trampoline I could fly just as high as everyone else. I felt light. I did twists, turns and jumps just like all my friends.  My weight was not an issue. I remember feeling really happy. I wanted that feeling again. Little did I know that there is a whole rebounding world. Fitness trampolines for adults!  My superstar friend told me about a sale and we both bought one.

There are a number of benefits of rebounding that are noted in various articles online. Here are a few of the articles you will find with a quick search on google:

The way I see it there are always benefits when you are active.  It doesn’t matter what you do.  What matters is that you do it consistently.  People are more likely to be consistent if they are having fun.  The trampoline is all about fun!

I bought the JumpSport 350i.  It arrived today!

It was super easy to put together and I was bouncing in no time. Everything you need is in the box.  There are six legs.  In addition, a stability bar is available that can be used for various exercises.  I haven’t attached that yet, but I will.

I was initially nervous to let my feet leave the trampoline.  This surprised me.  I didn’t even think about it as a kid.  As an adult I was full of fear.  However, after a few minutes I was more comfortable and felt like I was flying (sort of!).

I did the following exercise video today.  I think it’s a great beginner workout.  I learnt that rebounding is a lot harder than it looks!  Within 5 minutes my calves were burning and I needed to take a small break.  After a couple of minutes I finished the video workout.  It got my blood flowing and I felt really good!  Rebounding, or bouncing around like a goofball, is a new addition to my daily activity.

Have you tried rebounding?  What did you think of it?  Do you want to try it?  I would love to hear your about your thoughts and experiences!




Did you get to the gym? [Gym etiquette]

Photo from:

Photo from:

It’s only a couple of weeks until March! Time is flying so fast this year. The gym is always busier in January, but by February people start to drop off and by April most of those new faces have left.  Did you start up at the gym this year? Fantastic! Don’t stop – just because you missed a day, or even a week, it doesn’t mean you should just pack it in. Keep pushing forward and it will become a part of your routine.

With newbies at the gym (and veterans too!) there are always some things that I wish they knew. Here’s my top 5 ‘do’s and dont’s’ (in no particular order). I think they are all common sense, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.


1. Park properly
Spaces are very limited at my gym and only a jerk would take up 2 spots – don’t be that jerk. Also, if you know someone is waiting for your spot then don’t be the person that takes 5 minutes to get going. You can reverse out and talk on the phone, set up your gps or fix your make-up. I know that it can get cold at this time of the year. If it’s -30 degrees outside then the person waiting will understand that you need to warm up your car, just don’t take more time than needed.

2. Wipe down your machine
Sweat is great right? You feel like you have had an AWESOME workout and you are ready to face the world again! I hear you – I feel the same. However, when I see your sweat on a machine I’m about to use it just makes me feel gross. It takes less than a minute to wipe down a machine – do it.

3. Put the weights back in the right place
I love to move quickly between exercises and I hate wasting the time to find weights that are scattered about the gym. There is a weight rack for a reason – not only does it make it easy for the next person to find the weight they want, but it also avoids the possibility of someone tripping on it. Put it back in the right spot – and if you found it on the floor that doesn’t give you the right to match the inconsiderate person that last used those weights.

4. Throw away your used items
The amount of empty bottles (shampoo, shower gel etc) in the shower area always shocks me, as does the amount of used paper towel in the changing area (yes, I love clearing your wet used paper towel that you stood on/sat on as you got ready). There are HUGE recycling bins at my gym. Please realize that others do not want to see/clear up your mess and use the bins. Additionally, you do not need 10 paper towels every time you shower at the gym.  I’m not a fan of wasting reources – stop wasting resources and just bring an extra towel with you.

5. Smile
We’re all there for the same reason – to be as healthy as we can be, right? There’s no need to be a grouch at the gym. Yes, it takes focus, determination and hard work when you are working out. However, a smile as we walk past one another not only adds to the friendly energetic atmosphere (that should always be part of the gym), but will also put newcomers at ease. There is power in a smile. It’s tough to be a newbie – help make it less intimidating for everyone.


1. Take up the whole bench in the changing room with your stuff
If your gym is anything like mine then you have these short thin benches by the lockers. It’s fine for you to make use of the the whole space if you’re on your own in the section, but if someone else comes along then make some room for them – I shouldn’t have to ask you to provide a little spot for my bag.

2. Hog the machines between sets (or if you’re chatting to friends)
As I said in one of my ‘do’s’ I love to move quickly between exercises – it keeps my heart rate up and avoids boredom. A lot of people like to do a few sets on one machine and move on to the next. So, between sets they’ll take a ‘nap’ on the machine. You know who you are. You sit there, rest your head back and close your eyes. Alternatively, you sit there and chat to your friends. I got news for you – other people want to use that machine. If you’re not using the machine then open it up for others. This also means that you shouldn’t leave your towel on a machine so it’s free when you come back in 5 minutes. Be considerate – someone can do a couple of sets while you are not using it.

3. Throw around the weights
If you have to drop the weights for safety reasons (because you are tired/something goes wrong) then fine, drop them at your side – keep your hands near if possible so they do not bounce. It is not cool to throw the weights for no reason – it doesn’t make you look tough. It can damage them and there’s a chance they can bounce and hurt someone else. Also, the noise will distract other people from their workouts unnecessarily.

4. Disturb a training session
I have a personal trainer. This means that when I’m working out with him I am paying for his time. I do not appreciate you distracting him while he is training me. I want him to focus on me 100% and make sure I am doing everything correctly while completing my exercises to the best of my ability. When you are paying for his time you can waste it.

5. Sing in the steam room
I love using the steam room after all my workouts. I get a chance to relax and have some ‘me’ time before I hit the shower and get back to life’s routines. A couple of weeks ago another woman using the steam room decided to sing. She could not sing and it totally took away from any relaxation I normally get. You have to realize that some people are there to relax and not to chat, or listen to bad singing. Also, please don’t use exfoliants/oils etc in the steam room. There are so many women who do it at my gym (even when the sign says not to). Not only do the smells affect some people, but it makes the floors slipperier than they already are which is a definite safety issue.

Above all: DO have a productive workout!

The gym is not the only route for exercise. However, if you do go to the gym then work hard and also please take note of the ‘do’s and dont’s’ because the people who are not are driving me crazy!

UPDATE: July 21, 2014 – I just read this post by The Muscleheaded Blog. Please check it out – it’s a great read!


Sprint to May Challenge (STMC)

Sprint To May Challenge

Click here for the STMC official page

The Challenge
I was pointed to the Sprint to May Challenge by a fellow blogger.  I read about the challenge and knew it was something I just had to do!  It’s a challenge to yourself to work towards your goals to be healthier while at the same time (and this is the awesome part) connecting with, and supporting, other bloggers who are just like you!  All the people who have signed up for the challenge are on the path to a healthier life.  As part of the challenge there will be mini-challenges and achievements to reach for.  It’s going to be fun and, best of all, we’ll be able to share our successes while supporting one another through those tough moments.

One thing that sets this challenge apart from other challenges I’ve come across is that it’s getting healthier by doing what works best for you – not by following a particular diet or workout plan.  You just do what’s best for you, and will learn what other people are doing, which you may want to incorporate into your plan.  It’s a win-win situation!

All the people who join the challenge are asked to do a bio … so here goes!

My bio
I’m a female in my early 30s.  I have needed to lose weight from as far back as I can remember.  I struggled for years to find what worked for me and, last year, I think I finally found it – Paleo.  I completed Whole30 in early 2013.  The weight fell off and I felt fantastic.  Unfortunately, I let things slip and by summer 2013 all my old bad habits had somehow found their way back into my life (and the weight came back on).  I let work take over and didn’t focus on “me” for the rest of 2013.  In addition to being overweight I have PCOS – I hope that getting healthier will help minimize the issues I face with PCOS.

I have been going to the gym for about 5 years.  The last few weeks I haven’t gone as often as I’d like (should!), sometimes only once or twice a week.  I also need to focus on my food again – need to get back to clean eating (the holiday season did not help)!  I’m ready to focus on “me” again by taking part in this challenge.

My goals for the Sprint to May Challenge are:

  • Consistency at the gym (4 times per week: 3 weight sessions, 1 spin class)
  • Clean eating – following Paleo guidelines
  • Start to practice yoga again to lower my stress levels (work my way up to at least 10 minutes a day)
  • Leg press: 585lbs – set of 8 (currently leg press 495lbs – set of 12)
  • Push-ups: 20 full push-ups in one go (currently at 6)
  • Bench press: A set of 5 at 95lbs (currently can do a set of 12 at 75lbs)
  • Lose 20lbs from my “weight start date” (I’ll be taking a photo of my weight at some point in next few days and that will be what I measure from)

Come join me!
There’s still time to join  – who’s going to join me?!  Sign up by Jan 15.  Lets support and encourage each other, and maybe even have some healthy competition, while we work towards achieving our resolutions.

Final note

I will be leaving town in a few days for some charity work, and am not back until Jan 18.  I will have limited internet access so if I don’t interact for a few days that’s why!  Best of luck to everyone participating in the challenge – we can do it! 🙂


I go to the gym – why am I still fat?

Today is Saturday.  Today is gym day.  In fact, I go to the gym 4 to 5 times a week.  I admit, there are a few weeks where I don’t make at least 4 times, but, on the whole, for the last 5 years I’ve been going at least 4 times a week.  In addition, I’ve had a personal trainer for the last 4 years (and he kicks my butt every Saturday!).  I should have the body of Megan Fox by now.  But I don’t.  Why is that?  Here’s what I think:

1. I suffered from PE (pulmonary embolism) and was on warfarin for 6 months

My PE in 2009 was caused by the birth control pill.  When I was taken into hospital they did not know if I would survive the night.  I was in hospital for 5 days.  Since then I don’t even want to have tylenol for a headache (read: hate any medication – natural remedies all the way).  Warfarin was mandotory, but my body did not react to well (read: crazy weight gain).  I feel like I’ve been fighting that episode ever since.  If I ever have another clot I’ll be on warfarin for life – that’s a scary thought that is constantly at the back of my mind.

2. I have PCOS

This is not an excuse, but I do find that my body (read: fat) is very stubborn.  For the longest time I didn’t know why.  I suspected I had PCOS, but every doctor said I didn’t (and somehow it was my fault that I was fat – and I believed them).  After my PE I was finally correctly diagnosed.  Since then I have tried everything to beat PCOS naturally – it’s a battle that I plan to win!

3. I have an unhealthy relationship with food

By ‘unhealthy relationship’ I mean that food is used to celebrate things, to fill a hole when I’m sad and to keep my mouth busy when I’m working.  My extended family still tell stories of when I’d hide and eat chocolates (read: I laugh it off, but its extremely embarrassing and a painful memory).

I”m much better than I was before.  I have to keep reminding myself that food is fuel.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t need to enjoy what I eat, but that does mean I am conscious of everything I put in my mouth, and consious of trying to make sure that what I put in my mouth is whole foods.

I can’t pinpoint why I have this unhealthy relationship with food.  I grew up in a home with a loving and supportive family.  There was no  big and terrible incident.  Maybe it’s because my extended family kept telling me I was fat (keep in mind I remember this from when I was as young as 4 or 5 – I have pictures and no, I wasn’t fat.  I just wasn’t skinny like my cousins); maybe it’s because when I was 10 I went to a family gathering and one of my uncles said I’d put on some weight (as opposed to “hello, how’s school?”); maybe it’s because I’ve been told I’m pretty, but I just need to – yep, you guessed it – lose weight.  Whatever the reason, I have spent my adult life trying to find a way to correct this bad relationship with food.

4. When I don’t see results I lose motivation

Like I mentioned, my body is stubborn and I’ve had a couple of bumps along the way.  My weight was 178lbs when I started with my trainer.  I’m now 236lbs.  This does nothing for my motivation.  My motivation is that the doctor told me that I probably only survived the PE because I had a strong heart.  I only had a strong heart because I had been regularly working out.  I owe exercise my life.  I know that this should be all the motivation I need, but the extra tight clothes (and bigger sizes) make it difficult on a day to day basis.

5. I didn’t discover “Paleo” until this year

I heard about the paleo lifestyle earlier this year and completed Whole30 to kick me off in the right direction.  I had amazing results – more energy, better skin, weight loss and, most importantly, I felt really good.  It’s the first time in my life that I’ve tried to stick to the paleo lifestyle since then.  I know that results won’t be overnight, but it feels like a relief to find a way of eating that doesn’t make me feel deprived (and is extremely tasty!).  It’s also great to know that I’m feeding my body exactly what it needs – good whole nourishing foods.

So, there you have it.  These are my top 5 reasons for still being fat.  I will write a post in the future that gives my top 5 reasons for feeling and looking great after reaching my personal health goals! 🙂