Fitness for vanity;
I could easily say it started in my teens. When I started to notice the boys swooning over my thin, curvaceous sister… and here I was, a chubby tween who loved ice cream and cookies a little too much. Then came the fad diets. Mysterious diet drinks and pills, absurd exercise routines and comparisons to the waiflike models in teen magazine.
Yes - it started as purely the pursuit of boys and vanity. With unrealistic and extremely unhealthy ideas of how to get there.
But that was just the start...
In truth, for the first eight or so years I was never consistent. I couldn’t afford a gym and I certainly couldn’t afford to buy my own food. My poor mom worked her tush off to keep food on the table for five kids. And when I left the house at 19, I had 45$ to my name and larger than life big city dreams on the brain (possibly inspired by the beloved Carrie Bradshaw).
Making it a Lifestyle;
Fitness didn’t become a consistent outlet for me until my pregnancy. I would walk for hours everyday just to pass the time and get fresh air, and to be honest as a single expectant mother living on my own ‘free’ was my only option at the time. I couldn’t really afford a car, gas or even a bus pass on my small maternity cheque… never mind a gym membership or any type of fitness class.
I would do Pilates, from a Pilates pregnancy book to keep me strong. Which definitely helped me in the birthing room not to mention in recovery post pregnancy. I was mobile with an incredibly strong core and pelvic floor.
After my son's birth I attended regular tae bo classes at the local gym, I joined kickboxing groups, and eventually at 22 and in nursing school I joined a gym for the first time. I would pick my son up after school, bring him to the gym daycare and train before taking him home. It became our routine. He was always an easy child :)
I’d be kidding myself and you to say that fitting it in was always easy. Especially during exam week or practicum placements. But my training kept me centred and without it this whole process would have been a lot harder.
I was the odd girl who loved lifting from the first time I picked up weights. While most slaved away on the cardio machines, I gravitated to the weight section. I was rarely intimidated to be the only girl by the free weights. My inspiration came from watching others pushing themselves day in and day out. I admired the discipline and commitment. This is about the time my focus shifted from looking ‘toned’ to being strong and building muscle.
I've since done CrossFit, powerlifting, OTF, yoga and dabbled a bit into calisthenics and Olympic lifting. I’ve enjoyed it all but found my love in bodybuilding and functional fitness training.
Discovering my passion;
Helping others through nursing as a person with so much compassion for others is definitely fulfilling; but; after years of devoting my time to helping others on their journeys living with active illness, I found myself developing a desire to create change where I felt it mattered most- on the preventative side. I wanted to show others the life changing benefits that nutrition and fitness could have on their overall health and well-being before illness set in… to change how they felt and functioned today, and prevent future suffering down the road.
In 2018 at 34years young, I got my ISSA personal training certification and started coaching clients online and after a couple years of consideration I decided to compete in my first bodybuilding competition. With the help of an experienced coach, 4x IFBB pro @tamenifbbpro I placed 4th, as a natural athlete, in my open height class and the masters division at 35yrs old (just making the masters cut) at the regional muscle beach competition here in Edmonton, Alberta in 2019. … currently putting me in a long offseason of training. With no desire to complete during the pandemic. I've got my sights set on 2022.
I graduated from Elevated Learning Academy’s Applied science nutrition program in August 2020. In the short Time since I graduated I've had the pleasure of working with some amazing mentors, and professionals in the industry and am always finding new things to learn and teach others.
To me health always comes first. And everyone should reap the benefits from the inside out that a healthy life can provide for you. I now combine my nursing knowledge with training and nutrition science to get people the results they’re looking for in regards to looking and feeling their best in the healthiest, most balanced way possible.
If there are any two words you could use to describe me they’d probably go along the lines of driven and disciplined. I am forever on the go, somehow juggling marriage and a blended family with an 11 year old bonus daughter and a now 16 year old son, a full time nursing career, a successful private online fitness and nutrition coaching business. Training 6x a week, healthy eating, and constantly learning new skills. Busy is never an excuse to not fit in something that will improve the quality of your life in such a profound way.
Everyone deserves to live a long, balanced and fulfilled life… having it all is possible.