Category: motivation

Why ya gotta be so mean?




I suppose we have all experienced it… feeling a little bit of joy from someone else’s failure or misfortune… Did you know that there is an actual term for that emotion? Its called Scaudenfreude!  It is defined as pleasure derived from someone else’s failure or misfortune. Its sad that as humans we feel these sorts of things toward each other. There have actually been some studies on why people feel this. It comes down to having low self-esteem, feeling threatened by someone else’s success or perhaps feeling that a certain person deserves to fail or have something bad or unfortunate happen to them.

I’ve heard this from a few of my clients who have lost significant amounts of weight. They say that even their best friends are just “waiting for them to fail and gain all of their weight back”. Some people even take action as if to try sabotage their friend or loved one’s weight-loss/fitness journey. How? By putting them in positions that cause temptation or social pressure. It could even be an insecure partner or spouse who feels as though their relationship might fail if their partner becomes more attractive by losing weight or becoming fit.

I’ve experienced it myself. I’ve written in the past about my own weight loss. Fortunately, I have never been a yo-yoer… I lost weight once and have maintained – well I have now achieved what I consider a maintainable, healthy weight. I’ve been within ear-shot of women in the gym who feel that I don’t fit the “personal-trainer” mold. Does it bother me? I’d be lying if I said no. It has definitely made me feel insecure at times… but never for very long. A few self-reminders that I am in this business to help others become fit and healthy are all I need to make those feelings dissipate.mean

Three years ago, I was at 17% bodyfat and what it took me to achieve that was not something that was healthy nor maintainable for ME. What it takes for one person to achieve a certain physique and leanness is not the same for all. There are genetic factors, medications, lifestyle factors and many other variables that make it less maintainable for some. I’ve come to a point in my life where I am very comfortable and proud of my strength and fitness levels. My focus has changed from being as lean as possible to being as fit as I can be cardiovascularly and in my endurance and strength as I can possibly be.

I’m also a huge foodie as are all my friends in our social circle. We love to travel to different places and the first thing we do is research the hottest places to eat and drink! I’ve even taken my level one sommeliers! I love to sit down at the end of the day with a glass of wine and some dark chocolate to unwind… for me, its therapeutic… and I’m at a place of self-acceptance where egg whites and rice crackers are not going to do it for me. Some take pleasure in will-power and dedication to a very strict diet and achieving a very lean physique. I admire them whole-heartedly and often stand in awe. I never look at them and wish they would drive down a jar of Nutella or 10 pounds of poutine or just go get a life… that is THEIR life and they are living it the way they choose.

So what can YOU do if you feel as though you have no one on your side? Well, talk to your trainer! So many of my clients will email me, text and just plain vent during their training sessions. This is one of the main reasons that I won’t train friends and family. It can get too personal. When I have a client whom I have no previous personal relationship with – its easy for me to stand back and be objective about a lot of situations. The client then also feels safe and in a place of non-judgement. If your best friend keeps asking you out for wine and appies and knows you are trying to lose weight… she may not be your best friend. If your Mom invites you over for dinnmean2er and serves all of your “favorites”… you may need to have a talk. If your spouse tells you that your workouts are a waste of time or stupid…well… that is certainly not a supportive partner and you may need to do some serious soul-searching.

The other thing that you can do and that I do daily, is remind yourself how blessed and fortunate you are. I thank the universe daily for the path its led me on and ask for guidance. I wish the best for people no matter what they may wish for me. I choose to place my energies at a higher place than those who wish evil on me. You can only control your own thoughts and actions. You can do nothing to control the thoughts and actions of others. So to spend time worrying about the thoughts of others is simply a waste of your own time and energy.

Focus on your goals. Decide what you need to do to achieve your moderation and don’t feel guilty or bad about doing what you need to do to stay on track. Practice self-love affirmation. To get my clients started, I will often print and decorate a little sentence each week and have them place it where they can read it over and over. State out-loud each day what you are thankful for in your life. As my clients and readers know, I am a firm believer in the law-of-attraction… if you continue to practice positive self-affirmations and focus your energies toward the positives, you WILL attain your true place and the best possible you.mean1

I don’t believe in workout partners. Here is why…




Sometimes I hear some of my clients say that they want to encourage their friend to sign up at the gym or for sessions with me so that they have someone to workout with. I always cringe a tiny bit when I hear it… sometimes I will voice how I feel, sometimes not.

Don’t get me wrong – I love to train on occasion with a friend and I absolutely LOVE to workout with a group. It keeps you on your toes – pushes you a little harder and usually there are

At times it can be therapeutic and fun!

At times it can be therapeutic and fun!

a lot of laughs involved. Its when you begin to rely solely on that ONE workout partner things can unravel for YOURSELF quite quickly.

Its a lot easier NOT to workout when you have a workout partner. Well, she’s sick or her kid is sick or she has to work late or she has another commitment… so I will just skip today and wait for her tomorrow. When you ARE together – the dynamic might work well – but other times –

You may never get to the gym if you rely on a partner...

You may never get to the gym if you rely on a partner…

maybe not. Some times too much chat and not enough work, some times she doesn’t need the modifications you need and you do moves that you might not be ready for or that are contraindicated for you. Basically, its not

You may be led in the wrong direction...

You may be led in the wrong direction…

complicated – relying on someone else to get your workouts in most of the time will work against both of you and not for you.

Learn to enjoy your workouts as time JUST FOR YOU! Time to stick the headphones in – get into your own groove and push your body to YOUR own limits. Time to take your thoughts off of the rest of what is happening in your life. As I’ve said before – if you’re focused on your workouts – engaging your muscles and really

At times a friend can definitely motivate you to get there... just don't rely on it all the time.

At times a friend can definitely motivate you to get there… just don’t rely on it all the time.

closely paying attention to your mechanics – there is no room to think about the argument you had with your spouse, no time to think of the other eight MILLION things you have to do before you pick up the kids or finish before you get home from work. You can go to the gym when its convenient for YOU – not for someone else. Its your time to be selfish and focus on you!

Of course, do enjoy workouts wit h your friends… go to group classes… go for a walk, run, bike, golf, whatever it may be with your bff! Its great to workout and incorporate social time, the lesson here is just not to rely on one workout partner – or even multiple workout partners or group classes just to get your workout in as it just becomes one of those other great excuses to not get your fitness in!

Of course pets are a whole other story... always reliable... maybe even allowed in a certain gym at times (heh heh)

Of course pets are a whole other story… always reliable… maybe even allowed in a certain gym at times (heh heh)…

December Madness…





The title says it all really. I am feeling a major crunch right now with the busy-ness of the season. This weekend my daughter’s skating club, which I happen to chair the board for – is hosting a huge invitational skating competition to over 140 kids from all over BC and Alberta! I can’t even begin to explain the amount of work it has been the past few months. We have such a generous and amazing community and without everyone’s help, these types of events just wouldn’t be possible. So here is a huge shout out to all the local businesses and organizations and volunteers who have helped us out.

You might be thinking… “if you’re so darn busy, how do you have time to write a post???”, well, I’m a sucker for squeezing in as MUCH as possible into my days. I just had a cancellation so I thought I would use that time to do this, since its been a while – and I’ve wanted to write about December craziness for a couple weeks but haven’t had an opportunity – so here it is! DecMad1

December has seen a pretty big drop off with clientele and people at the gym in general. Its normal because everyone is so busy getting ready for the holidays and running their kids to concerts and a million other activities. But again, what happens? We put ourselves last on the list. Our workouts, our food prep, our vitamins and even our water intake suffers (chapped lips anyone?). I know for myself, as soon as I start missing my workouts, I find that I’m even more stressed and I can’t seem to sleep and I can’t seem to manage my time! So even if I THINK that by not spending that 45 minutes to an hour in the gym I am saving time – I am actually not – I’m hurting worse for time. The body needs the release – the endorphins to kick in – to help us through the stress of finances at this time of year, finding the perfect gift for friends and family, for finding an outfit for the 25 Christmas and holiday events to attend, to get the baking done and the house trimmed and still do all of that on top of our work and taking care of our families. Its so much! I totally get it.

Make sure that you give one gift to yourself – TIME FOR YOU! I’m not going to preach to you about how easy it is – because that would be terribly untruthful. But… my biggest suggestion is to download a calender such as the DecMad4google calendar or one that can be seen on your computer and phone or even one that you can pack around with you. Then if you have a spouse, or partner, or kids – share that calendar with them. Slot in times for your workouts – treat them as if they are a serious doctors appointment. Two or three days a week is what you deserve to keep your mind and body healthy through the holiday season. What better gift can you and your loved ones give to YOU except the gift of health (an sanity!) – and if you do have a wee bit of extra time – make yourself a poppy, fun, holiday playlist to workout to! That will hopefully keep you feeling festive and fun during your workouts! Take your mind off of all the gift wrapping for just a couple hours a week!

January and the new year are just around the corner. The time when most people start ALL over again with how they are going to be better to themselves and improve themselves. I challenge you to start NOW – if you can start or keep going during the holiday season – you will certainly have the strength and dedication needed to be successful in the long term!

If you’re struggling – please feel free to ask me for help! If you can’t commit to yourself – you can book appointments with a trainer such as myself – to hold you accountable and see you through the stress and all of that wonderful holiday grub! Trainers and stylists alike – we give you a workout and let you vent all of your frustrations at the same time – therapy and exercise all in one! Now how is that for a holiday deal!

Stay tuned – I am planning another post for how to plan for those outings and how to manage the calories and food intake… and all that eggnog…and rum…and wine… and chocolate… ok – I will stop now – its obviously time for lunch!DecMad3

Ok – and if you haven’t watched any of these videos – they are SURE to give you some good chuckles!






Name your price…







One of the biggest reasons people balk at the idea of a personal trainer is cost. I myself, have spent a fairly large wad on a trainer. Sure, I could have gone to Mexico or saved it for a rainy day, but I chose to invest in myself. Don’t get me wrong… charging those sessions on the good ol’ plastic was hard to swallow – but I can’t even begin to explain the return on investment it had for me. Something that will benefit me for many many years into the future.

Working with a trainer pushed me to a new level. I was able to find something inside that I didn’t know I had. Its human nature – we aim to please. My form is gonna be perfect and I’m going to finish my last rep just as strong as my first – if someone is watching and cheering me on. That means that I’m working to my full capacity, there is no time or effort wasted and I know I’m safe because my trainer knows my tipping point.

Then there is that whole motivation thing. For me, being at the gym is never an issue. But, I will say for 80% of my clients – the reason theycost2 have a trainer – is so they stay committed to the gym. They book the appointment time and commit to it because if they don’t – they simply won’t come. Again, we aim to please – my clients rely on me and I rely on them –  to show up and work hard. If they have consistently booked times with me – they aren’t going to bail just because “they’re too tired, its too cold, I have a headache, my toad died… etc., etc. etc.”. They might be dead-ass tired because they went to bed too late, or they might have a headache – but they know I’m there – waiting for them – to come with their game on. In fact, twice, I’ve had two separate clients come and tell me that they were going to cancel because they felt a migraine coming on. Both of them, by 20 minutes in – said that their headaches were gone! Now if curing a migraine isn’t worth a workout… I don’t know what to tell you!

If I’m still having a hard time convincing you, let me ask you this? How long have you been waiting?cost3 How long have you been waiting to lose those 5, 10, 25, or 50 extra pounds? How many Monday’s have you said, “this is it?”, how many times have you said, “next summer I will wear a bathing suit and play with my kids at the beach”. How long have you been waiting and trying to convince yourself to exercise to get your blood pressure in check, your cholesterol down, or just so you won’t be winded carrying the groceries in the house? What is YOUR price? What are YOU worth? Well, only that you can decide. What I can tell you from my point of view is that if by now, you haven’t done it on your own and its grinding at you… you’re worth it and trainers are here to see you be successful. We are here to hold you accountable – if you need to come and have a good cry before we hit the floor, we close the office door, talk it out and then work it out. A great trainer isn’t just here to put you through the motions – it also involves all of the emotions – your emotions and helping you get to the bottom of what’s standing in your way.

From a financial perspective it can seem like a lot. It is. Its not cheap. It is a lot of money. Not gonna lie… But think of it this way… say you come to see your trainer once a week. Spread the cost of that ONE session over seven days. Why? Because, if you come to see me once and I hold you accountable for your workouts for the rest of the week – remember – we aim to please… you aren’t going to want to come to me the next week and say, “Olivia, I totally bombed. I didn’t get any more workouts in and I ate cheetos and Nutella (yeah – my weapon of choice) all week.” No, when you see me next week and I ask, “So, Jane, did you get all three of your workouts in last week? Did you eat protein at every meal last week?”, you’re going to want to do your trainer proud and say, “hell ya – I rocked it!” – then we do our little secret happy dance and celebrate! (I’m so not joking – I have a happy dance to Taylor Swift’s – Shake it out song that I do FOR one of my clients – okay so I might have just lost myself some business there – but whatever works…).

I have some pretty amazing people who have saved for training to invest in themselves – their health and fitness education – you have to see it like that as well – trainers are professionals – we are going to be continuously teaching you as well as coaching you. You will soon use interchangeable terms like we do – like gluteus medius – A.K.A. – side butt (I can totally hear some of my clients laughing at this right now). I like words like “side butt”. Its much more visual to say – “okay – now squeeze your side bum, now this one should target your back bum… you get the point”. You’ll just have cool things you can tell your friends like, “oh man… I totally rocked my rhomboids today” – okay – I’ve gone too far, I know, I know…

So skip your Starbucks for a month (yay me! $100.00 a month!), don’t BUY a bottle of water – bring one! Seriously cost– a bottle of water a day – that’s like $60.00 at least (unless you’re buying SMART water – hell – you could pay off your house in a year if you’re buying that shit!). Bag your lunch for a month! So many teeny tiny things we can do to save and invest in ourselves.

Also – most trainers and gyms sell sessions in packages. Usually, the more you buy the better deal it is. But, ask your trainer what they can do for you to stretch your sessions out. I have clients where one hour doesn’t fit for them – so we break our 10 package session into 20 – 30 minute sessions – or 13 – 45 minute sessions. It has to fit your lifestyle and your pocket book! If you want to commit long term – ask us what kind of deal you could get on 20 or 30 sessions!

So, if you’ve been thinking about training but worried that it costs too much or feeling guilty about spending money on something so “luxurious” – just ask yourself, “What’s my price? What am I worth?”.

I think you’re worth every penny…cost4





One of the number one reasons people choose to hire a personal trainer is to stay motivated. What exactly IS motivation? Well, by definition, it is simply the desire to do things. I think its much more complicated however.

Some people are internally motivated. They do something because it feels good – its internally rewarding. Others are externally motivated. They need a physical reward at the end, a reason to perform a certain task, a goal. motivate

From what I’ve seen over the years, those people who are externally motivated are the ones more likely to need a personal trainer over the long term. Someone who will push them to get that workout in regardless of a trip to Mexico, an upcoming wedding, or that high school reunion.

Once I get to know the personalities of my clients (and when you are exercising – it doesn’t take me long to see it 😉 ), I will ask you what kind of motivation you need. Do you need weekly check-ins? How accountable to you want me to hold you? Weekly weigh-ins? Sometimes people don’t know, so I can explain the things I can help with to keep them on track. Trainers realize that not everyone loves exercise. Just this week, one of my clients stated that she hates it, which is mind boggling because she works out like a “boss”!! She is in and out start to finish in 30 minutes. This is what keeps her motivated. Short, intense workouts.

Trainers need to help you find what fits with YOUR lifestyle and YOUR personality to make fitness a life-long, SUSTAINABLE part of your life. You don’t need to spend hours or days every day of the motivationweek at the gym to be healthy, fit and strong. I firmly believe that after six months of learning what fits and works with YOUR life, it will start to feel effortless. Even if you need to see me only once every two weeks, or once a month – just to re-evaluate, check-in, vent your frustrations, whatever it may be.

Your trainer should truly be passionate about your outcome. We became trainers because we want to see people successful. Its guaranteed that 85% of fitness professionals have had some sort of battle themselves – we know the struggles and we are here to share our knowledge and help you. You should receive nothing less.


I just had to add this one at the end because it made me laugh out loud!