I grew up with a family who owned a gym and to this day, get excited to visit new gyms when I travel-they feel like home! I competed after I started teaching and fell in love with the process. Fitness was a massive part of my life. I then had my two kids, completed my Master’s degree in Education and started my Administrative career. I stopped working out, got overwhelmed at overate due to stress and felt lonely. I put on a lot of weight and felt stuck. Suddenly what had seemingly come naturally to me was overly complex. I felt like I couldn’t stick to a plan for anything. Finally, I learned about macros and that shifted everything for me! I no longer felt restricted. I started lifting in my basement and then slowly built from there! Fast forward to now, I am competing again and coaching other women through similar journeys.
Nutrition and Fitness Coach
Many people struggle with losing weight. Are the challenges as simple as a fitness issue or is it more of an underlying health issue?
Personally, I find women are struggling to try and balance a myriad of different roles, and expectations and often turn to food for emotional support and stress management. Because of the stress overload and desire to support everyone else, they often don’t leave time for working out. On top of that, I feel a lot of women are led to believe that they need to survive on chicken, rice and veggie and spend hours working out to be in shape. Not true!
What would be your top 3 tips you would provide to someone who is struggling to lose weight?
- Start SMALL! Even the smallest change will add up over time.
- Track Macros-Why? This allows you to eat flexibly and ENJOY your life while getting results. You are likely to adhere to a plan that you like.
- Lift. And lift some more! Weights are MAGIC.
If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?
- Fitness level: 30
- Health level: 70
When we train and eat for health, we are making deposits into our fitness level and longevity.
Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, Bodybuilding, and others?
I am a huge proponent of good old bodybuilding. I believe in focusing on the basics and doing them on repeat. In my opinion, especially as a woman in my 40s, this is the best investment towards building the body you want, and for your future health. I think yoga is a great addition to a fitness routine for mental health, flexibility and recovery!
How did your passion for fitness start? And what was the biggest challenge you faced on your journey?
My passion started very early in my life. My dad was a power lifter, and I wanted to be just like him! In University I started to see more photos of women competing and felt pulled in that direction. For me, fitness has been the gateway to growth in multiple areas of my life.
Share your unique training/coaching methods?
My method is working on mindset, macros and strength training. If you do NOT work on your mindset, you will likely continue to repeat the same patterns. Macros allow clients to shift their beliefs about food and how it can be used to enjoy AND support their goals.
I am currently in prep, so I train 5 days per week. 3 days are lower body focused, 1 upper body day, and one HIIT session. I could happily train my lower body every time! I do a mixture of stair climbing and treadmill walking for cardio. It’s higher right now for my show and much less frequent during my improvement season.
I currently follow macros and my eating is really dialled in for my show. Typically, I will follow macros throughout the week, and eat more ‘fun’ food on the weekends when I am not competing. I do not track when I travel! Part of the bonus of tracking macros is that you start to intuitively build your day without needing to input it all.
I always take L-glutamine, Creatine, BCAAs, Greens, Collagen, Taurine and Carnitine.
Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
When I am in prep, I keep my artificial sugars to stevia. This tends to help to reduce bloating. When I am not in prep, I have zero issues with artificial sweeteners. I am a huge fan of Diet Pepsi (even my students knew how much I love it!) I only eat sugar-free chocolate (Lindt Sugar-Free Milk Chocolate and Sugar-Free Reese’s Pieces are my favourites!) I personally do not think they are detrimental unless someone has specific issues with them.
Please describe the importance of mental health?
Mental Health is one of the biggest reasons WHY we should focus on our nutrition and fitness. A workout can literally shift your entire day. I know it has absolutely helped me with my anxiety and stress. I would not be where I am without it. I am happy to see more people be willing to open up about their mental health.
Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
The first thing I do is affirmations, followed by an audiobook, or podcast. I think we have to proactively frame our day. I then get my cardio and weights done first. If I am driving my kids to school, I do my cardio first, drop them off, and then head back to the gym for weights. I follow that up with posing practice. Right after that, I message clients and check over their data in my app. That is followed by 1:1 calls and programming. I do my social media posts, lives and other work-related tasks until I pick up my kids from school. I usually take a break at that point and then do more work! I stretch nightly before bed, have an Epson salt bath, and then listen to a meditation to fall asleep. I strongly believe in falling asleep listening to something positive.
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
I love that it is something that anyone involved in any aspect of fitness can read. You don’t need to be in the industry to get something amazing from it. I’ve also always loved the Status Model Search. Of course, being Canadian, I like that its home base is here in Canada!
If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
Was this the career you always thought you would have? If not, what other career path would you have pursued?
Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you for this opportunity?
I have always wanted to participate in this! It just hasn’t fit in yet at this point!
Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
My coach is the most wonderful person in the world. I stumbled across her on social media and after seeing her own weight loss journey; I knew she was the right match for me. Her journey allowed me to see what’s possible. I consider her not only a coach but a friend. We are both competing at the same show this December-she will compete as a Pro, and I will be in the amateur show. She has pushed me to challenge myself not only in the gym but in my life as well.
Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
My goal is to turn Pro at my show in December in the Bikini 40+ category. From there, I want to win a Pro show. I love competing so much and don’t plan to stop yet.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that whatever you are scared to do most, is most likely the exact thing you are supposed to do. When you tackle that-incredible things happen for you.
5 most important attributes you see in a person?
- Positive mindset.
If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
I would want to inspire a mom out there who literally doesn’t believe she is able to change. I want all of my clients to shock themselves at what they accomplish. A lot of my clients end up making major life changes along their fitness journey-I love that immensely.
Who inspires you? And why?
Probably my dad-he has remained dedicated to his fitness for most of his life. He is not easily influenced by others and is a man of his word. He is extremely generous and humble.
What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Be patient and consistent. Those boring actions will add up and pay off.
What does success look like for you?
Success is living in your purpose and getting up every day to enjoy what you do!
What is your favourite quote to live by?
“Stop acting so small. You are the Universe in ecstatic motion.” Rumi.