Recapping Panels 1 and 2

Earlier this year I decided that I wanted to offer a panel discussion series for women on a wide range of topics because I don’t truly feel there are enough physical spaces for women to share, connect, and learn from one another.  My goal was to bring topics to the table that definitely need more awareness and attention while at the same time celebrating the successes of other women who I have been fortunate enough to have on my panels.  We are at the half way point and so I wanted to share with you the key take aways from our first two topics so far, Relationship with Food and Women in the Workplace, respectively.  

When creating the panel series, I knew that the topics would not always be light as we discuss the tough stuff, but I have been overcome by emotion during both nights listening to the panelists share their personal stories and provide insight, and while attendees are able to open up and ask questions.  

On September 25th, Sarah Berneche, Jamie Snow, and Shauna Mann discussed in depth their relationship with food.  The major takeaways from the first panel included:

  • disordered eating can come in all shapes and sizes and often times the ones struggling are the ones who seem to look “healthy” and can manage the rest of their lives
  • if you are a friend or loved one of someone struggling, be there ready when they are - you cannot help someone who isn’t ready to receive help and support
  • social media isn’t always what it appears to be - ignore the negative influences and stick to following accounts that truly inspire you in the most positive way
  • food is not just consumed for fuel - it can be consumed from emotions, convenience, social gatherings - all sorts of reasons that we should not beat ourselves up over
  • it is okay to not be okay, but it is not okay to stop trying - not every day will be perfect, but we need to give each day our best energy

On October 16th, Lynette Lewis, Penny Wilson, and Nikki Huffman shared their experiences being a woman in more male dominant industries.  The major takeaways of the night included:

  • circumstances are never permanent - positive or negative, circumstances will always change
  • there is no such thing as work-life balance - it is all about work-life integration - some days might be more of one than the other and that is okay
  • never apologize for knowing stuff - if you know more than someone else, that is on them
  • be so excellent that they can’t ignore you - regardless of you being a female or not
  • empowering women is only the beginning, systems need to be changed and men also need to be properly educated on how to lift women up

My hope is that these panels are just the beginning of what should be a deeper discussion on the topics.  Life is not always easy but that doesn’t mean that these issues and struggles have to be ignored and never spoken about.  Be kind to one another because you never know what someone else might be going through.  Lift other women up whether it be a compliment, offering advice, listening, or acting as a mentor. 

Thank you to all those who have attended the first two panels. Walking away from each evening, I hope you can take some inspiration or motivation into your own lives, use it to help lift someone else up, and continue to work hard in discovering your best self.

We have our next upcoming panel on November 6th on the topic of Finding Your Identity After Athletics. See you there!

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Welcome back to Discover You!

Hello! It has been a LONG while since I have written - the longest break I have ever taken from my blog in fact - and I apologize for this. My website is currently being revamped to be even better and I have rebranded completely so lots of new things to share! Stay tuned in the weeks to come as I get back into weekly Sunday posts as well as some special posts throughout the week to keep you motivated!


Welcome to the new and beautiful space for Discover You! I have created Discover You with the mission to foster a community of women by generating awareness for positive fitness habits, self-care rituals, and confidence for everyday life. I want to help lead you on your own path to self-discovery.  Although my expertise and formal education is in Kinesiology, I recognize that fitness is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to leading your best life.

Since we last connected on the blog, I have run an event in Kitchener centred around healthy habits and prioritizing yourself and I am currently in the middle of a panel discussion series in Toronto.  Later this week I will share a recap of our first two panels, Relationship with Food, and Women in the Workplace, respectively.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for following along on this journey as I navigate what it means to create a space for women where we encourage realness, vulnerability, and growth.  Your encouragement and feedback is what keeps me excited for what is to come. Keep following along as more opportunities will be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.


For now, the Women in the Workplace panel is happening tomorrow. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.  

As the weather gets cooler and days seem darker and grey, make a commitment to yourself this week. Despite how the dropping temperatures make you feel, remember the feeling you have after accomplishing your workout or meal prep (or whatever it might be this week!), and use that as motivation.  Not every day is easy, but if we can remember the feeling we get coming out on the other side, it will keep us wanting to come back for more.

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.



*Thank you for your patience as we finish up the final touches on the website!

Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.




Leading a well-rounded life is easier said than done.  Either our professional or personal life ends up taking over and we can often be left feeling burnt out, run down, stressed, and exhausted.  For me, my professional life is taking priority right now.  As much as I love everything about it, the last few weeks have gone by in a blink with my to-do list still seeming full when I head into the weekend.  Although my life is busy and I am often hustling from one place to the next, doing admin work whenever I get a chance, I pride myself on making time for me.  The way I see it, no one is going to give you a gold star for doing more, especially when you come out on the other side, burnt out and needing a break afterwards.

#SelfCareSunday has blown up like every other trendy thing on social media these days.  I really like this.  For me, Sundays are my day off so they are normally spent catching up on sleep, lounging around while I do work, going to the cottage, reading, watching the Blue Jays and being with my family.  I try my best to at least give myself one day a week where everything I do is decided based on me.  I choose to do it all rather than doing it out of obligation.  I get more joy out of what I do on Sundays and it leaves me refreshed and ready to head into the week ahead.

Although we as a society are talking more openly about taking time for self-love and self-care, I think it needs to be practiced on a more regular basis.  Not just when we feel burnt out and at the end of our capacity, and not just because it will make a good Instagram post about whatever it is you are doing for self-care.  From talking with others and from experience, people often only decide to choose ‘me time’ and self-love practices when they are exhausted, overworked and overstressed.  

Instead, these activities and choices should be made more regularly to help us stay on track, reenergize our bodies and minds, and reduce the chances of getting to the state of being burnt out.  Whether it is 10 minutes every day (especially for those with families), or an entire day allotted to you, setting time aside will leave us all feeling refreshed and able to be more productive and efficient when we do work.

My favourite self-love and self-care practices include:

  • escaping the city and spending time on the lake at my cottage 
  • reading
  • watching sports
  • spending time with family
  • going to bed early and waking up with no alarm set (happens only once a week!)
  • going for a walk while listening and dancing to my favourite tunes
  • staying in my pyjamas all morning
  • regular skin care routines and pedicures 

If a full day is something that doesn’t seem to fit into your lifestyle, I challenge you to choose one simple thing each day for you.  Whether it is meditation when you wake up for 10 minutes, reading a few pages of a book before you sleep, or choosing to lounge around one afternoon and enjoy the summer weather, make the effort.  You will thank yourself later when you are feeling refreshed rather than burnt out and needing more time off to recover.

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Find the spark to keep you motivated

Motivation. Some days we have it and some days we don’t.  At times we want to do all of the things and the next day we waste away watching Netflix (or the Blue Jays if you’re me).  Why is it that some people seem more easily motivated to practice healthy habits, when others seem to lose the motivation much more quickly?

This week I asked on my Instagram story “what makes you motivated to accomplish your health/wellness/fitness goals”? I had a great number of responses so stay tuned for more questions related to this topic.  Today’s post is just a starting point for where I see this going as I feel motivation is a huge part of what makes some of us successful and others not able to get past the start line.

Some of the things that motivate me to accomplish my health/wellness/fitness goals include:

  • the mental break from other components of my life when working out
  • finding like-minded individuals who also value health and keep me accountable - I don’t want to let them down either!
  • the way my body feels after a workout or eating a nourishing meal

On the other hand, below is a list of things that may lead me to feel less motivated:

  • the weather! In the winter it is dark ALL the time and I sometimes don’t want to leave my condo. In the summer, when it is too hot I also am left feeling tired and lazy.
  • injuries! I am less motivated to workout even within the restrictions of my injury because I can use the injury as a crutch and excuse that I don’t need to work out today.
  • when the people around me don’t value practicing the healthy habits I do

I have been feeling stuck lately on how to approach this when it comes to inspiring people to join my classes, hire me as a trainer, and get moving.  I know I am knowledgeable and experienced.  I am accessible for most people financially.  I send reminders out. People say yes or seem interested but I still never see them.  I have come to the realization that as much as I can do my job well it ultimately takes the motivation from within someone to really make a change.

Take a moment to answer some of the these questions:

What makes you motivated to stay on track to achieve your goals?

What leaves you feeling unmotivated, leaving your goals by the wayside?

What is the tipping point to make you realize, “wow, I need to step it up!”?

Everyone experiences better days and then days where we feel less motivated to do things.  It is totally okay to take a break, give yourself some rest and recovery, indulge, and have fun.  However, we want to hope our motivation to lead healthy, active lifestyles is the priority overall.  In my opinion, we also need some fun and indulgences in order to feel balanced.  

As a trainer and fitness instructor, I have experienced that people come to you when they have hit a wall, or rock bottom, and can’t seem to get out of a rut.  Great! I love inspiring and motivating others to be their best selves.  However, what if we could find things we enjoy so the motivation is almost always genuine, natural, and second nature?  I challenge you to start finding things that you enjoy.  Exercise and movement should be fun and it might look different for everyone.  Healthy eating doesn’t always mean hours of meal prep - maybe searching up a new recipe to try once a week. 

In my eyes, motivation to lead a balanced, healthy life is just like comparing a diet vs a lifestyle change approach.  Diets are temporary and the motivation to keep them up can come and go.  But, when you practice a healthy lifestyle, although setbacks are inevitable, we should be actively choosing meals we like to eat and taste good, and moving because we want to and it is fun.  Nothing should feel like a chore.  The next time you are feeling unmotivated, ask yourself why.  Challenge yourself to do the things that make you wake up and excited for the day ahead.  A diet is like a sprint.  Short, sweet, but doesn’t last long.  We want to run a marathon, leading a healthy lifestyle, lasting a lifetime.

If you are in need of some motivation lately, check out my weekly outdoor bootcamp AND the Fully Fearless Summer Series.  Both amazing ways to connect with like-minded individuals, in a welcoming community. 

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

It's better to be alone than in bad company


“It’s better to be alone than in bad company.”


A bold but true statement… at least for me.  I have been single now for a year and a half and let me tell you, I am not one to waste my time on people who I don’t feel deserve it.  A few weeks back I was discussing with a single, female friend how we feel about being single.  I couldn’t help but feel the need to write my thoughts down as it has been consuming my mind in my free time.  Not because I am desperate to find ‘the one’ today, but because I am sure there are more people out there feeling the same way as me.

My friend expressed how she is tired of being single and would really love to meet someone who she can go on adventures with, experiencing the world.  She wants someone to come home to at night and tell about her day. I, too, would love for that to happen, but I made a strong point to say that looking hard doesn’t bring those people to you.  When you are confident, hard-working and busy in the right ways, you will attract people who admire those qualities in you – or at least that is what I am hoping for!  Fingers crossed! As for coming home to someone, my parents might like that, seeing as right now I will call them a million times a day to share everything that goes on!

I have had two boyfriends; one in high school and one in university.  Both relationships lasted roughly 3 years.  In hindsight, neither relationship was giving me what I needed.  Sounds harsh, I know.  But I guess it is what I felt I needed at the time.  When my boyfriend broke up with me somewhat abruptly last February I was devastated – for a week.  That is all I gave myself.  I told myself, “Rachel, you have so much going for you that one boy who doesn’t value your importance is not worth your time”.  From that day on, ironically Valentine’s Day, it was all about me.

What I have learned that comes with being single is that everyone now tries to set you up with fellow single people they know. AKA my Aunt Monica’s friends (who I know read this and I love! haha).  I totally appreciate that others try to give me a push to meet someone.  However I really find this whole dating thing weird, challenging, and gives me a strange anxiousness.  I think I am quick to assume the worst, and try not to let people in so quickly, because in my past experiences that hasn’t gotten me too far.  

I have the tendency to be my mother’s daughter (in more ways than one).  With myself, I’ve noticed that I am always willing to bend over backwards for my partner and be there to support them wherever I can. With my ex-boyfriends, I am not saying that they did not support me, but it is possible that I might have put in so much energy into our relationship that they did not know how to reciprocate. Bottom line is when I enter a relationship, I like to be all in, but for it to be successful, I’ve learnt that it has to be a two way street.  Now, my approach is more hesitant and reserved because I have also learned that not everyone has the same intentions when sparking a conversation as you might assume.

As this post seems like I am a sad sack over here whom is on the verge of being single forever – cue the dramatic music – what I am realizing is that this year and a half has taught me to appreciate the little things.  I love spending time alone, truly understanding what I want, what I don’t, and how that has changed from my past.  The time I have spent single has allowed me to do my own thing.  It may happen soon or it may happen months away from now but I know that the next relationship I am in will be different because I love myself and all the unique parts that make me who I am. The way I see it, I’d rather be alone and succeed than with someone who doesn’t truly value my aspirations and want to support me all the way.  I want to be pushed up, not pulled down.


“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”


Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Getting the most out of your group fitness class

As a group fitness instructor it can be difficult to get all cues delivered and provide all the information needed to correctly perform each movement in a class – given the time and the number of people.  We can say as much as we have time for, but more often than not, I know it can leave people’s heads spinning with questions on whether or not they are doing it correctly.  What I like to do at the end of each class is to try and provide a tip.  It is usually chosen based on my observations in class.  If I notice a lot of people struggling with a particular movement or consistently creating less than ideal form, I will target that.  Have you ever felt overwhelmed or confused about a movement in a group fitness class?  I have created my list of top tips to improve each workout, especially in a group setting.

  1. Ask questions after class.  I always welcome questions or feedback after class from my clients.  The workout is for you – not me – so if you need clarification on form or feedback on format, music, or setup, ALWAYS let me know.  Things can happen quickly in a group setting with less time to explain than a personal training session.  When you ask questions, you can then master the movements at home, in between classes.
  2. Stand where you can see and hear best.  A group setting can be intimidating.  I’ve also been the person who stands in the back corner for fear of others seeing me.  But, the best advice is to not only stand where you feel comfortable, but also where the instructor is most visible and easy to hear.  You are only setting yourself up for greater success when you can understand and view the demonstration before trying it for yourself.
  3. Figure out where you are feeling it.  Listen to the instructor’s cues about where you are supposed to feel each movement on your body.  For example, depending on how we shift our weight, we might feel it in the quads rather than the hamstrings.  Many clients can become confused because we feel a ‘burn’, when in reality we aren’t actually targeting the correct muscle group.  Again, if you don’t feel it where you are supposed to, ask after class.
  4. Do your homework in between.  If you notice an imbalance in strength or flexibility, or a movement that is more challenging to you, practice in between!  By doing more repetitions or improving range of motion in between classes, you feel better and go into classes feeling more confident.
  5. It’s you vs you.  There is no need to compare to others in the room.  If I am in a new class I may look around to know what I am supposed to be doing, but after that I zone in on me;  I check in on my form because it is MY workout.  You are only trying to improve your own self so there is no sense feeling anxious that you aren’t up to someone else’s standards.  It might be your first class while they have been coming for two years!  Another tip if you are worried about other people watching you – they aren’t!  Take my word for it because everyone is more worried about what they are doing than what anyone else in the room is.

Training can become overwhelming whether it is a new movement or adding pieces to a movement that has been mastered.  It doesn’t matter if you work out daily or you are new to the whole process – we can all make improvements.  The best thing to do is to set a goal and intention for each workout and at the end, leave feeling confident in one thing and choosing a new goal to work on an area that needs improvement for next time.  I hope to find you all in my outdoor bootcamp or at one of my other group fitness classes this week! Let’s work hard together to have you reaching your goals!

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Summertime Commitment

Summer can be a difficult season to instill new habits and maintain good practice of the ones you seem to successfully do already.  We go to cottages, camping, BBQs, patios, and festivals - all places where healthy habits are not always the first things on the list of priorities.  I, too, struggle at certain times over the summer months balancing social fun and healthy habits of eating and exercise.  

I don’t drink (no, not at all for those wondering), so the temptations to go out for drinks on a patio just don’t exist for me.  However, eating is something I LOVE! This time of year I spend more time with my family at our cottage, which means my mom is buying treats and other things I wouldn’t typically buy at home.  I also get thrown off my schedule coming back late on a Sunday or Monday and not prepared for the week’s meals.  I decided to come up with my list of strategies for how I try to stay committed and happy in the summer, enjoying the company of loved ones, staying on track, but not getting caught up if things don’t go as planned.

  1. Plan your social week ahead.  Not that I go out for drinks, but I find I go out to eat a lot, especially as the weather gets warmer.  It isn’t because I don’t like to cook, but more for the socializing of getting together with friends.  I determine my social plans for the week ahead - but trust me, it isn’t that extensive when you work most nights and early mornings - so that I can pick and choose my more extravagant meals.
  2. Go to markets to buy fresh and local.  Although I have yet to make this a weekly thing, when local fresh produce is more readily available, we tend to munch on fruits and veggies, rather than chips and dip.  That way, even if you have the urge to snack, your options are healthier.
  3. Offer to bring something.  When invited camping, to a cottage, or to a BBQ, prepare a fresh salad or other dish that you love that is a healthier choice.  This gives everyone a chance to enjoy a delicious meal without the guilt afterwards.  It also ensures that for you personally, there will be at least one thing to eat that you know is a good healthy choice to put on your plate at the next potluck.
  4. Make movement a priority.  Whether this means you register for my outdoor bootcamp or another fitness class the week ahead, you plan to go for a walk with your friends twice a week, or you hike a new trail, fitness doesn’t have to go on the back burner in the summer months.  My favourite thing to do is incorporate my fun and social time with movement.  For example, this weekend at our cottage I led a Zumba class! And my outdoor bootcamp will be a chance to connect with people during the week while providing them a place to move this summer.

Regardless of whom you are and what habits you practice, summertime is always a good time for healthy ones.  Although the temptations can be high, when you plan smart and stay committed to your goals, you can have fun and feel good while doing it.  The biggest thing I remind myself of, especially after a long weekend like the one that just passed, is to live in the moment.  Enjoy the family and friends you are surrounded with, eat and drink, move and exercise, and don’t feel guilty about it.  The tips above don’t happen every week for me, but I do the best I can.  Sometimes certain habits are forgotten and others are practiced a little bit more, but life is still good; I am having a great time, and I remind myself of my goals and commitments.  The fun days are not meant to be guilt-tripped days made up for at a later date. They are simply to be remembered and enjoyed while practicing the healthy habits you have created as much as you see fit. 

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Move Well Beyond Your Workout

Lately when teaching classes or coaching clients I have been trying to remind them that how we feel in class is a direct relationship to how we stand, move, lean, sit, and carry things in our daily lives.  Body imbalances when working out, whether strength or flexibility, are things that aren’t always caused from movement, but a lack of movement or poor movement and posture quality.  

I find that people often begin a work out, identify problem areas (whether it is a lack of range of motion, muscle soreness, or a strength imbalance), and then complete it anyways.  However, what I have been challenging my clients to do lately is to think of the warmup, workout, and cool down/recovery components of the workout as links.  Everything relates. How we feel when warming up will dictate our performance; during the cool down, the problems areas are usually identified when stretching.

I used to always throw around terms such as “my glutes are ALWAYS tight” or “my posture isn’t the best…but it is because I played field hockey”.  It is a great thing to identify the issue.  That is definitely step one.  But we can’t possibly imagine anything to change if we don’t start attacking those things head on.  Below are my tips that I have been trying (and not always succeeding at) to help aid my recovery, improve movement and posture, and reduce imbalances in my body.

  1. The warmup dictates your workout.  We can never be masters at every single thing in a workout each day.  If we are, then the workout can and should be modified to challenge the body further.  If I have a particular workout programmed and a body part isn’t feeling 100%, I allow myself to ease off on the intensity and work on form instead.  Alternately, when things are feeling good, I recognize that those are the days I want to challenge and push myself further.  Listen to how your body feels while preparing it for the workout and train accordingly.  It doesn’t mean the entire workout changes – but be open-minded to the fact that it can.
  2. Rest and recovery is okay.  Our bodies need time to change and adapt.  If we don’t provide ourselves with proper rest and recovery protocols, injuries can occur and we ultimately can’t perform as well in our next workout.  I see people often post on their rest days of them doing some core work or other movements deemed “not as intense”.  The reality is, if we are always pushing our limits (even if it’s not always the same ones every day), our muscles can’t recover fast enough to keep up with the demands and it can lead to burnout.  Mentally and physically rest is a must!  One off day a week is what I try to implement each week.
  3. Take action on the problem areas.  It is one thing to identify the issue but an even bigger step to make a change.  Whether it is committing time to work out, strengthening a particular body part, or increasing your flexibility of a certain area, implement the action to do so.  If we only stop at identifying, changes won’t occur.  When training for my half marathon, I was doing a bunch of glute activation to reduce knee pain - if I didn’t, the knee pain would have continued while I kept telling myself my glutes weren’t firing as efficiently as they needed to.
  4. Change up your daily routine.  My brother has been talking about a standing desk for years and now it is a huge thing.  Repositioning the height of your computer, chair, computer mouse, etc. can positively affect your posture.  Think about how you walk your dog, pick up your kids, or carry your groceries home.  Practicing good habits in our daily lives will allow our bodies to feel better when we do get to move.  

How we move in our daily lives affects our movement moments in a day.  But, let’s start thinking the opposite.  Think about the perfect posture you master while performing a squat, deadlift, or overhead press.  Then mimic that in your regular routine.  We work on a neutral spine, and moving efficiently in workouts, but sometimes this can be forgotten once we leave the gym.  This week, start to think about how your posture and movement patterns can be improved in the hours spent outside of the gym – hopefully you find yourself heading into the long weekend standing taller, with less neck and back pain, and ready to move well in your next workout!

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

To Dad, with love

Happy Father’s Day and Birthday to my amazing Dad! I specifically saved this post for today as I wanted it to be extra special for him.  I’m not going to lie to you; it is difficult to put all the feelings I have for my dad into one small blog post.  We share a special bond (at least I think so haha) and a few paragraphs strung together simply don’t do it justice.  But here goes nothing…

Dad, you are the most generous, hard-working, hilarious person I know.  You give to all who cross your path and enrich the lives of everyone that knows you.  Whether it is giving us a good laugh, offering business advice and guidance, or lending a hand, you never let anyone down.  You worked your butt off to provide us with some amazing opportunities that I know some will never know of.  For that alone, I don’t think we could ever repay you.  

I have inherited your love of sports and humour.  You are the person I want to call when the Jays or Leafs are in a tight game, just to check in to see if you’re still breathing.  I am thankful that we have had many father-daughter bonding moments over some pretty amazing sporting games.  As for the humour, I can always count on one person laughing because I know you were about to say the same thing.

Most of all, I value the respect you have for women, especially our mom.  As I grow up, I learn more each day that respect is not something that all men give to women, something I am not used to as you have been such a great example of that.  I love the relationship that you and Mom have, sharing many moments together, but leaving space to have your own independence.  I notice that you and mom are equals…and in lots of cases, Mom rules!  The respect that you have demonstrated has taught me to seek respect, not just from a partner, but in both my personal and professional lives.  

Dad, one day is certainly not enough to celebrate how much you mean to me, so I am glad I have two days in a row.  Although I may not always show it in the best ways, I value your opinion, respect you, admire your hard work, and love you always.

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Retraining realistically

Whether you have been injured, have given birth, or been on a fitness hiatus because of life’s twists and turns, getting back into exercise can seem to be a daunting task.  Our first thoughts immediately go back to what we used to be able to do and how we once looked before.  We compare ourselves to our past too much – usually convincing ourselves that we might as well not bother starting again because we are so far away from a place we used to know.  What we tend to forget is that it once took us a lot of discipline, hard work, and training to get to the place we once were in.  So, what makes us think we will just magically reappear there?

As many of you know I injured myself 10 LONG months ago.  I have been teaching throughout because I can’t afford not to, but my own workouts have come and gone as my symptoms change.  Although I demonstrate things in classes (very briefly, reminding everyone not to blink for fear of missing it), I have been advised to avoid single legged exercises and even lunges.  I struggle to go a day without movement, so restricting my workouts has really been a physical, mental, and emotional challenge for me over the last several months.

I have begun to use a belt meant for SI joint injuries, which has been providing me great relief. I can now begin to reintegrate my own workouts into my weekly and daily routines.  However, I feel like a new exerciser again, afraid to take the leap for fear of not meeting my own expectations of what I used to be capable of.  I am holding minimal weight, sitting for my upper body exercises, and retraining my core.  Today, I decided to take the jump, work out a little more intensely and see what happens.  I can happily say I had no pain during and minimal ache afterwards.  Success!

For those who are having similar feelings, regardless of your reason for having to put exercise on the back burner, I created a small list of things to do to help you succeed.

  1. Determine what your goals are.  A lot of us get hung up on the past rather than seeing where we are now.  For new moms, we usually think weight loss, when in reality our bodies are now being used to take care of a new human.  For someone coming off an injury, the goal may be to exercise and move pain free.  If you need to get back into a routine, maybe your goal is just that.  Too often we get hung up on weight loss, or getting back to how we used to be.  Life changes and our bodies do too.  Adapt and readjust your goals to set yourself up for success.
  2. Retrain.  Think back to the training it took you to run 5km in your fastest time, squat your body weight, or hold a plank for 1 minute.  It didn’t happen overnight.  Small steps to retraining ourselves must take place in order to accomplish our goals.  For me, I have regressed to holding planks and side planks for 10-15s at a time and repeating, to rebuild proper core and pelvic floor activation and slowly test my core further.  Check out my latest Instagram post for the video!
  3. Be realistic.  Set yourself up for success.  Plan ahead and allow yourself time to recover in between workouts, enjoy your free time with others, and not let this consume you.  For me, I take a look at my schedule for the upcoming week and plan accordingly.  It not only helps me stay accountable but it also sets me up to give my body its best chance at success.  We usually are super keen to jump in with two feet but slow and steady wins the race when getting back to movement.  Our bodies will take time to readjust.  The best way to avoid injury and further setbacks is to be honest with yourself throughout the process.

Whatever fears or reservations you have about getting back into exercise and movement, you’ve got this!  All it takes is a shift in mindset, a plan, and some patience to get back on track to feeling your best inside and out.

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


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