kierstyn

Comparing: A Habit You Need to Quit

Let me start off by saying this: You are not your friends. You are not your fitness idol. You are not your favourite Instagram-er. You’re you. So stop comparing yourself to them.

Everyone’s journey on Earth is different and so many factors play a part. You might be a parent of two with very little time available to focus on your own personal goals. You may be a full time student who wants to focus solely on studying and being social with friends. OR you may be a twenty something, couch potato in a mediocre but stable job who longs for value providing additions in life but doesn’t know where to start. Regardless of where you’re at, it’s YOUR journey, not someone else’s. Sure, people may be in a similar situation to you but they will never be exactly like you.

Honestly, that’s something to be excited about! Think about the impact you’re going to have on the world providing others with things they never even knew existed. Think about the opportunities you have to stand out from the crowd. The world is in the palm of your hands… you just have to make the choice to do something about it.

Fitness is a HUGE part of my life and encouraging others to lead a healthier lifestyle is something I am crazy passionate about BUT I can only do so much. It all starts with you – and a little motivation of course! Most people either don’t start or start, get discouraged and give up. Why? Because they compare their journey to other people’s journeys. They have this wrong belief about themselves that they can’t do it. “It’s too hard.” “My body isn’t capable of that.” “I was born with big bones, I’ll never be fit.” “I don’t have time.” These are just a few of the things I hear on a continuous basis. Comparison is a goal killer. It’s a motivation destroyer. You let your wrong beliefs dictate what you can and can’t do instead of embracing who you are and what you are capable of.

So… you’re a parent with very little time to focus on your own personal goals. I get it.. you’re not like Susan who has copious amounts of free time but that’s okay, because Susan is living a completely different life than you. It’s up to you to make your current situation work with your long term goals. Go for a walk- bring the stroller. Make getting groceries an educational experience for your kids to learn about what good food can be put into their bodies. Hire a babysitter- “you” time is important. Use that time to get away from the house and do something you love.

If you’re a student in school- prioritize. Take care of your health because THAT will help you in school. Adjust your life according to YOUR circumstances. Work around your schedule. Bring healthy snacks to campus. Stop making excuses for why you can’t workout when your currently sitting in bed watching netflix. Make better use of your time.

If you’re a twenty-something who knows what they want but is too scared to go after it… let that go. Fear is created by the lies you tell yourself every day so if you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, you’re going to start believing it. You’ll continuously be in this vicious cycle where you’re constantly feeling sorry for yourself when you could be living the life of your dreams. Until you realize that.. you’re not going to get anywhere.

Essentially, you spend the majority of your life looking at the mountain you’re on, continuously trying to reach the top. That’s okay- SHOOT FOR YOUR GOALS. But you’re looking at all these other people on the mountain and wishing you were where they are. What you don’t realize is that each person is on their own mountain. Your peak might be someone else’s base and vice-versa.

So if you’re looking to change your life, do it for you, not for someone else. Do it to better yourself as an individual and do it because you love the process… not the end result. The end result will come if you fall in love with the process. Comparing yourself to others is only going to push you into a continuous hole of disappointment and leave you feeling worse than ever. Take your leap today- ask for help, look for guidance, start small and work your way up. Set personal goals and know that you may not see results as fast as others, BUT you will see results if you work at it. Live your life the best way you could live it in any given moment. Take risks. Push yourself.

This life is yours- what are YOU going to make of it?

kierstyn

New day, new beginning

I always talk about how I’ve learned a lot of things over the course of my fitness journey… and I have- without a doubt. But I’ve also learned a lot over the course of my life’s journey- one I’ve been on for 22 years. The one thing everyone always warns you about is not to wear your heart on your sleeve. To be honest, it’s in my very nature and I can’t help it. To give 110% no matter what. To do everything in love. The only problem? By doing that, you leave yourself susceptible to getting hurt. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.

No one is ever going to prepare you for the things life will throw at you and until you are fully comfortable with yourself and who you have become, you most likely won’t be able to handle it like you want to. Life is deceptive- things can seem perfect and all of a sudden you’re hit with the truth. You’ll never be fully prepared for that.

I’m still learning about myself. I’m still working on being the best me I can be. I made a post this past week about being a work-in-progress and sometimes it feels like I will always be one. You know what? That’s okay. I’m not perfect, nor can I be moulded to be. This past week has been a very hard week for me… but I’ve become such a strong woman which has helped me deal with it better than I ever thought I could. I am most definitely still struggling and I still have lows- very low lows. I don’t want anyone to think that I have my whole life together because I most definitely do not. I’ve found though, that if you live every day truthfully to yourself, the end result will always be inner happiness.

The moral of this post (I know it always seems like I’m rambling about some random life philosophies or nonsense of that sort) is that when life throws something at you, try your best to be prepared. How on Earth am I supposed to do that, Kierstyn? Focus on yourself. Focus on being the best person you can be and always live life to the fullest. You can’t stop things from happening to you BUT you can choose how you view everything that does happen to you.

I’m choosing to view my current circumstances as opportunity. Opportunity to focus on myself. Opportunity to follow my heart and my passions. I know what I need in my life better than anyone else and the only way to get to the root of that is to spend some quality, much needed time with myself. I still have so many uneasy feelings right now but the most important thing is not to run away from them. There is no use burying those feelings only for them to resurface later. I just constantly remind myself that each day things will get easier and I will get stronger.

Every day is a new day, a new beginning.

Dominika

Perspective & Prioritizing

Life, as we know it tends to get busy sometimes, or all the time. When it gets really busy we often hear the phrase “I don’t have time for it/that/them etc.” I too would often use this phrase, until I saw a phrase online that said, “Instead of saying ‘I don’t have time’ try saying ‘It’s not a priority’ and see how your perspective changes.”

Since reading that (little over 6 months ago) it truly changed my perspective on what I prioritize in my life. Anytime I would think “I don’t have time for that” I caught myself and said “It’s not a priority.” And then I would ask myself “Should I make it a priority?” Believe it or not, this simple saying made me realize what I DO need to make a priority in my life. It helped me to make time for important aspects including fitness, studying, family time, work and blogging. More importantly, it helped me ensure I am not wasting my time on unproductive things. It made me focus on my goals and work hard to achieve them.

Sometimes reading a simple phrase online can truly improve your life for the better. You don’t need to purchase a new workout guide, fancy equipment or luxury items. All you need is to put things into perspective, sit back and ask yourself, “What is my priority in life?” Write all of these things down and from there you will realize what you put the most time and effort into. If you feel you need to put more time and effort into another aspect of your life (family time, significant other, healthy lifestyle, traveling etc), then cross some things off of your list.

You can truly do anything you set your mind to. Sometimes all the motivation you need is as simple as changing your thinking.

Happy Sunday and remember to take care of yourself.

-D

kierstyn

Sometimes you just need a little support

The best advice I could give to anyone who wants to change their life would be to surround themselves with a positive group of people. I have made a conscious effort to distance myself from negative people and attach myself to positive ones. When I’m feeling discouraged or want to give up, these are the people I turn to and they help pick me back up.

First and foremost, my mom encourages me to live healthy and supports all of my endeavors. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her continued support. (Although she keeps a lot of junk in the house and temptations kill…..) She always asks me, “Should you reaaaaally be eating that!?” It’s that reassurance I need that she always provides!

Second, I believe it is truly a blessing to be able to share your love of health and fitness with someone. To be able to work towards leading a healthy lifestyle together. Finding someone who believes in you and supports your lifestyle is so incredibly important. A lot of what I have learned over the past 11 months came from Santo. Since we’ve started dating, he has enriched me with so much knowledge. He continuously supports my fitness journey and gives me the encouragement I’ve always needed. I will forever be grateful for his love and kindness.

Lastly, friends who share the same values as you are the exact kind of friends you need. Dominika and I started this blog because we have the same interests. She is the most positive and encouraging person and I am so grateful for our friendship. She’s given me so many tools to help me live a positive and productive life! Valene has been a constant support for me for 5 years. She reminds me that life is a blessing and that no matter what it throws at you, you can handle it. She helps give me the motivation I need to stick to my workouts and try new recipes! Smo makes sure I don’t eat “da bad sturf” and shares his knowledge with me about health and fitness related topics. I’ve learned so much from him in such a short amount of time!

Most of these people don’t realize the impact they’ve had on me. Most things they do may seem small, but to me, they are what keep me going. It’s the “I worked out this morning, when are you working out today?” The “Did you meal prep this week to help keep yourself on track?” It’s the “Okay, so you ate something bad. Tomorrow is a new day. One small set back isn’t going to derail all your progress.” These small things are what drive my motivation. I’m not just in this for myself, I’m in it for them too because although they support me, they have my endless support as well.

These kinds of people are those that you need to surround yourself with. Through everything you conquer in life, make sure that you have a few key people around you that support you endlessly. It’s their support that is going to keep you going.

support

– K

Dominika

Balance & Moderation

This week was the first week back to school in full swing and somehow I managed to survive between going to class, doctor appointments, the gym and the terrible Windsor weather. But let me tell you, it was not easy.

This is the first semester that I have night classes three days out of the week and they really took a toll on me, meaning I definitely ate foods that I shouldn’t have (McDonald’s fries at 10 pm, one too many chocolate covered raisins). I felt so incredibly guilty when I did this because I am never one to have cravings or eat junk late at night. I almost always stick to my healthy eating plan and never binge.

Despite making poor food choices this week, I did make some accomplishments. This week I went to two AxFit classes and I absolutely LOVED them! We did a fit test (15 different exercises + beep test) in both classes and within the week I had already improved. In Monday’s class I got up to level 5 in the beep test and was EXTREMELY sore the next day (literally all my muscles were on fire) but at Friday’s class I was able to get up to level 7 in the beep test and was hardly sore the day after! I also improved in being able to do more reps in the exercises and perform them properly.

I was so unbelievably happy when I saw this improvement because I pushed myself to do better. This also made me realize- we are all human and we all make mistakes. Even though I had some late night snacks, I made the accomplishment of going up two levels in the beep test. I still improved in my fitness journey some way and I was able to learn from my food binging mistakes.

It’s all about balance and moderation. So next time, I will bring a healthier snack (apple, banana, protein bar) for after class to prevent myself from buying junk. And if I want to eat some chocolate covered raisins? Sure, why not! As long as I don’t eat half of the box. It’s okay to want to indulge sometimes in sweets or salty snacks, keeping in mind to do it moderately. I am not going to eat McDonalds fries every night at 10 pm so doing it that one night won’t kill me, but I did learn for next time.

We’re not perfect. Nobody is. We’re human. We are born to make mistakes and learn from them. There will be bumps along the road but picking yourself up back on your feet is the important part- that is why it is called a journey.

There is a quote I saw online not too long ago that I thought would fit well to end this post: “Eat clean. Stay fit. And have a burger to stay sane.”-Gigi Hadid

-D

kierstyn

My Battle with Food

For as long as I can remember, food has been my safety blanket. It’s been the one thing that can make me happy after a stressful situation. It’s been my comfort. Over this past year, I’ve been working hard to heal the previous memories I have that lead me to food every time I am placed in a situation that leaves me feeling uneasy.

I can still remember coming home from school every day in high school and eating everything in sight because I got into a fight with one of my friends or because I did poorly on a test. I can still remember every argument with my parents where food was the only thing I could turn to. I can remember thinking that eating copious amounts of food when stressed was okay because that’s what everyone did. Right?

Wrong. I taught myself that binging on food was the norm. That it was healthy because it released small amounts of dopamine which made the stress leave. It only left temporarily. It was almost like some sort of drug… an addiction and habit I just couldn’t break.

Last April, I made a vow to change my life. I made the choice to eat healthier every chance I could. Most importantly, I never once told myself I couldn’t have something I wanted. Instead, I always gave myself a healthier alternative. I traded in ice cream for greek yoghurt. I chose almonds over chocolate. I opted for fresh fruit instead of candy. My life was slowly starting to change. I had more energy, I did better in school and I put myself out there more. Who knew that fuelling my body with the right nutrients was going to change my life that much?!

One of the most important things I learned during this process was that each person is different. I already knew that one person could eat junk all the time and be skinny and another person could do the same but be overweight. What I didn’t realize was that skinny doesn’t always mean healthy. Society places this image in our minds that being skinny is healthy but that isn’t the case 100% of the time. If you aren’t giving your body the nutrients it needs, you’re not healthy… no matter what you look like.

If I told you that I no longer have problems with food, I’d be lying. There are days, especially around exams, when I want to eat everything. Some days I do and I’m rewarded with a nice stomach ache and pounding head ache. Some days I push through and it feels really good. Food was always my comfort, but now I’ve found comfort in other things.  My relationship with food is still an ongoing war but each day I get one step closer to taking over.

I know what it’s like to go to food because it’s always there and I know that there are days when you feel like you can’t handle the world. Don’t feel like you are alone (I did for a long time.) Channel that energy into something else- a new hobby, a new exercise routine, reading a good book or cooking (healthy meals!) I like to find distractions like after-dinner walks or throwing myself into my school work. One day when you are under pressure or stress, you’re going to look at that food and think… “there’s a better way to handle this situation.” Work towards that moment.

– K

 

kierstyn

No Goals, No Expectations

When I first started my fitness journey back in April 2016, I set a ton of goals for myself- “I want to lose 20 lbs by September”, “I want to be able to do 20 push ups without modifying them”, “I want to have one cheat day a week.” At first these were great because they kept me motivated but then they became the reason I began to doubt myself. When I would weigh myself and I didn’t lose the weight I wanted or when I would eat something I knew I shouldn’t have, I would feel this overwhelming guilt. Kierstyn, why couldn’t you just stick to your diet? Why didn’t you work out harder? How are you ever going to reach your goals if you don’t push yourself 110%? This would make me want to give up. It was this vicious cycle and I couldn’t get out of it.

Seeing other women’s result stories were wonderful at first. I would get this sensational feeling like, “Wow, I can do that. That can be me!” This was great until I reached the same progress period that they did and didn’t receive the same results. My expectations were not in line with my body and my lifestyle, they were in line with theirs.  I was left feeling like I wasn’t good enough and that I wouldn’t be able to reach my goals when I wanted.

It wasn’t until this past December when I realized what I was doing wrong. I realized that I was only living for the end result and when it didn’t come, I let it keep me down. I realized that having goals was not the best thing to do and having expectations only lead me to failure. As a result of this new understanding, I decided to toss all of my previous goals and expectations into the trash. Instead? I made a vow to myself to live every day the best way I could possibly live it. Below are my vows to myself:

  1. I vow to fuel my body with natural and healthy foods.
  2. I vow to exercise daily and ensure stretching is a priority.
  3. I vow to treat my body with the respect it deserves.

Learning to focus on leading a healthy lifestyle rather than working towards an end result has allowed me to enjoy life to the fullest. I workout because I enjoy that time to myself (and I love to sweat!) I eat healthy because I know that’s the best thing for my body and that it will help me improve other aspects of my life. I have a cannoli because I absolutely love cannolis. Looking at life this way is a lot easier than trying to obtain a certain external state. It’s become natural. It’s become my life.

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– K