A Personal Challenge

warning-challengesYou know I’m all about ‘challenges‘: burpee challenges. pushup challenges. pull up challenges…etc.

Challenges are everywhere. I think challenges are a great way to get you out of your fitness rut.

But there are always challenges that have nothing to do with fitness…

Our reaction to dealing with these challenges show us who we really are.

I had a different challenge to face…

I held my breath for 4 months.

I don’t recommend it. (But every parent has to eventually learn how to do it.)

I’ve been gushing on about my daughter, Hannah, and her trip to SE Asia and her much anticipated return, (thank you for indulging me). While she was away growing up, learning about her self and the world, I’ve been holding down the fort with Sam and Sev, learning a great deal too.

hannah asia 2014

Hannah told me of how she had to ‘man up’ while away, (when she didn’t have her Mama to help out). I was happy to hear of these stories AFTER the fact since it’s always best to hear these past tense adventures whilst having her sitting safely in the comfort of home 😉

I was proud of how she met the challenges of travel, including surviving a typhoon in the Philippines,  bad food/no food or water, the Full Moon party in Thailand (don’t even get me started on that), a hospital visit and all the various other fun and potentially life threatening experiences she had. These challenges forced her to grow up.

(If ever I’m feeling like a bit of a failure, I only have to look at her to know that I did a few things VERY right.)

Now, let me tie in the whole fitness aspect to this story now…

My whole fitness philosophy regarding ‘challenge workouts’ is based on the fact that a challenge forces me to ‘woman up’ and get to the bottom of things. The self talk I try to keep during any difficult workout is:

  • ‘I can do this’ fall 7 times get up 8
  • ‘This won’t kill me (I’ll pass out before I actually die)’
  • ‘I will succeed’
  • ‘There is no stopping me’
  • ‘It’s almost over’
  • ‘This will make me better’
  • ‘Just get started’

The funny thing is, these things can easily be adapted to any challenge I find myself in.

Doing challenging workouts has shaped my whole life to make me (what I think) a better and stronger person in ALL situations.

Apparently, there’s been some ‘trickle down’ affect to my kids too. Hannah has maybe watched me take on a variety of challenges (physical and otherwise) and must have learned a thing or two the way she takes the world by the horns.

I’m not sure this girl is aware that she’s only 5 feet tall and a little over 100 lbs as she quietly does the most courageous of things. Among many other things, she headed to another continent for months – by herself. (Again.)  In fact, this was the seventh international trip she’s done in two years – this being the only one for pure pleasure, all others were to volunteer.  She also volunteers with the youth group, she’s a lover of one eyed dogs (she nagged me to give Sev a home). And, not surprisingly, she takes on some serious physical challenges with super tough workouts (confession: she’s a Cross Fit junkie).

She just seems to have learned to apply this ‘challenge-like’ attitude to life. I’m pretty proud of this.

Now before you go and think that this is just a platform to brag – which by the way it MOST DEFINITELY IS,  (it’s WAY better than any wallet photo or fridge to display your kids art!), there are  actually a few messages in this…

Lesson ONE

Life is full of challenges.

Challenges are nothing to be feared. Embrace them to see what you’re made of. They’re an opportunity to grow and become a better version of yourself.

Lesson TWO

If you want to improve your mental outlook regarding challenges, then yobe better than beforeu’d be surprised at how physical challenges prepare you for ANY thing life has to throw at you.

Lesson Three

Competing with yourself can be the most rewarding challenge  around. Be willing to learn from others that are successfully doing what you want to achieve. Don’t re-invent the wheel.

Lesson Four

Someone is always watching. It’s the seemingly small things that you do CONSISTENTLY that show who you really are. Words mean little but actions speak volumes. Where fitness is concerned it’s all about ‘walking the walk’.

The truth is, health isn’t for sale, you can’t buy it or get someone else to ‘do the work’ for you.

You can’t just ‘talk the talk’. Your actions will be evident over time, whether that shows in how you look  or how your body moves or likely both of these things.

If you feel you’ve done more ‘talkin than walkin’  and need a little inspiration, I have just the thing.

Check this out.

Studies show that when people get fast results, they’re more likely to stick to a program.

How about results in as little as 7 days?

All you have to do is follow a 12 minute protocols inside this 7 Day Ab Targeted Solution protocol to experience the FASTEST fat loss week EVER.

This method is proven to rapidly release powerful fat burning hormones to burn off what’s been termed, “stubborn fat”…and bust through ANY weight loss plateau.

Look, I’m all about ‘challenges’ but losing weight using out dated methods like traditional cardio shouldn’t be one of them.

Harness the power of science and new methodology in the 7 Day Ab Targeted Solution to meet your weight loss ‘challenges’.

Try this sample Ab “Targeted” Metabolic Bursting Protocol

  • Warm up: 5 minutes (walk, calisthenics, jumping jacks, etc.)
  • Ab “Targeted” Sequence: Hard as you can go (sprinting, or bodyweight movements like squats) for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, walk or rest for 30 to 90 seconds in between, repeat 4 to 8 times.
  • Cool down: 5 minutes.

This isn’t easy, but it’s definitely efficient and simple to do.

Short ‘challenges’ like this one will make all the difference to you. Your body will be proof that you’re ‘walkin the walk’  in no time.

Check out my friend, Shaun Hadsall’s 7 Day Ab Targeted Solution here and ‘man up’ to your fat loss challenge.

A Tijuana Adventure

What were we thinking? what was I thinking

It sounded like a good idea at the time (as all disasters or near disasters may seem at the out set).

I need to clarify that I wouldn’t say this was a complete disaster or anything by any stretch, but I will say that my heart pounded as if I were doing burpees and it’s an experience I’d prefer not to repeat.

I recently had an extra day in San Diego after a meeting. My good friend, Josh asked me if I’d care to hang out for a few hours. He lives in Cali and had a bit of time before he was heading back home. He suggested Tijuana and I stupidly jumped at the idea. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid and it sounded like a fun adventure for a morning. I mean how often do I get a chance to visit a foreign country for a few hours?

It’s surprisingly easy to walk across the US-Mexican border, which probably should have been the first tip off. Once across the line, we saw a mile long line otijuanaf people waiting to get across into the United States. Of course this should have been the second tip off.

Josh and I dumbly assumed that the border hadn’t opened for the day (like a bank for example) and that once it did, this line would dissipate.  We merrily walked into town to explore a little. I didn’t really know what to expect since I hadn’t been to Tijuana since I was 10 when I went with my good ole Granny. Josh said it’d been 15 years since he ventured across the line.

Honestly, I was saddened by the poverty that was evident. I was struck by store front upon store front selling the same things. I wondered about what kind of quality of life the great people of Mexico enjoyed when I saw many things in Tijuana. I know that this little border town is not an indication of all Mexican life, but the experience made me very thankful for the sweet little bubble I live in.

Tijuana Josh and meWe spent about an hour wandering around. Josh bought some ‘junk we didn’t need’ as many of the storeowners put it. We decided we were done our adventure and made our way back to the line to get back into the USA.

Apparently the border had been open all along and the line at the border crossing had since doubled. It was miles long. I calculated that I had 25 hours to catch my flight back to Canada and wondered if I’d make it.

As we went to line up, a man asked if we wanted to skip the line and for $5 each we could get in a van and skirt the line. Josh jumped at the idea. We were led into a back alley ‘parking lot’ and shuttled into an old van where 16 more people were jammed in.

I was more than a little nervous as I asked the non-English speaking people ‘this goes to the USA border??’ It was all pretty shady looking and I was pretty nervous as to where we were actually going.

We took off and went into the lane indicated that would fast track us to the border. (Phew!) Our ride was short lived as we came upon a mile long line of vans and buses around the corner.

The driver stopped the rickety van, turned it off and proceeded to open the doors and windows. People chattered away in Spanish as Josh and I looked at each other wondering ‘what the heck?’

And we sat.tijuana van josh and me

And sat some more.

We saw several people walking forward toward what we assumed was the border. About an hour and a bucket of sweat later, Josh and I decided to walk ahead. A huge bus was in front of us so at least we wanted to be able to see what was in front of it.

Turns out the folks walking were being shuttled into the bus. For $5 each we could now get on the bus and it would get us to the border faster (technically that was true since it was just one car length in front of the van we were in).

We realized what the scam was but I had to pee so badly that I was willing to pay an extra $10. I got to pee in the foul smelling and filthy facilities and then sit in the slightly air conditioned rickety bus. The bonus was that we got to also listen to piped in accordion music 😉

And we sat.

And sat some more.

About an hour later we had inched toward the border. We could spit to it, but still sat on the bus.

us mexico borderEventually, we were let off the bus and shuttled into what I thought would be the security area for border processing. Instead, we got into another endless winding line up. One line was shorter so Josh chose it and we inched our way towards the security area.

It became apparent that we didn’t have the correct documents to be in the shorter line. When it was finally my turn, I nervously went to the border crossing guard first and handed him my Canadian passport. He looked at me like I had taken leave of my senses (which I probably had) and told me I was in the wrong line and I really should be sent back. I pulled the ‘girl card’ and looked like I was going to cry (because I felt like I probably would) as I apologized profusely stating that I hadn’t ever been in this situation before, couldn’t read the signs and didn’t understand the process. He took mercy on me and let me pass after some questioning, but not before I asked him if he would give the same courtesy to my traveling companion  gesturing toward Josh. He asked if Josh was a trouble-maker and I resisted my normal sassy answer that would throw Josh under the bus.

I had to then leave the building wondering if Josh would make it through. I knew that Josh didn’t even have his American passport so in theory he should never be allowed back in the country. I nervously awaited him outside the building. I had Josh’s car keys in my pocket and I wondered what the heck I’d do if he were detained.

Thankfully Josh coolly walked out of the border crossing building having been yelled at and berated for his foolishness (that he smartly nodded and accepted).

We made it out  😉

Turns out what was meant to be an hour adventure into Tijuana, was an all day affair learning to appreciate everything about Canada and the good ole USA. We were pretty happy to find Josh’s car and drive back to San Diego.

To all my American friends, I hope that you’ll enjoy your Memorial Day.

USA flag

This recent adventure to Tijuana, made me realize what a fantastic place the United States of America is. I truly love the USA, but of course, I’m a very proud Canadian and sport my Canada flag and belt buckle everywhere I go.

(I mean no disrespect to Mexico or it’s fine people, I’m sure they’d agree that the border crossing experience isn’t one that anyone would relish.)

In Honor of My Mom

I’m very private regarding my personal life, but I need to share something with you today.

My Mom died yesterday afternoon. My mom was a champion, this last week especially. She’d want me to continue to share my message of health with you.

059She was a lovely lady that suffered through ten days of hell after a sudden, unexpected and massive surgery. It became obvious that she’d require more surgery to live and her body would not withstand it. She had some pain free peace for about an hour with us yesterday and then she went very quickly.

You may wonder why I’m sharing this….

Let me tell you a little about my Mom. It’s my way of honoring her and I know she’d appreciate the fact that I may be able to help someone avoid her fate.

I got my ‘best’ quality of being stubborn from her. Man o man she was independent and stubborn. I’m very much like her in this regard. However, our biggest difference was that my Mom didn’t make the best and most healthy lifestyle choices. (I went over board in this area. In fact, we always joked that I was the black sheep in the family where this was concerned. I have a big bro, a little sis and two step brothers. While they loved me and respected my choices in life, I always made different ones than them.)

 

061(This was the last family photo taken 4 years ago that included two unrelated friends, my bother, Shayne, my Mom, my sis Shannon and my kids, Sam and Hannah.)

Over time, I was happy to see how my Mom made monumental changes that must have been hard. She started to exercise; she was going to aqua-size and was excited to try the Functional Fitness videos I suggested.  She took on lots of volunteering roles. She started to watch her diet, adopting the eating style of my upcoming Challenge Diet. Sadly, quitting smoking was one of those things she continued to battle with. She had a strange and dry sense of humor and in her final hour she joked that she finally quit.

While my Mom was in the ICU for those 10 days, I set up shop beside her bed. When she’d dose off, I’d write a blog post or send 2014-02-14 11.33.29you an email. She knew what I was doing. I’d talk to her a lot, even when she slept. When she’d open her eyes, I know she felt comfort that I was there. We’d hold hands and play the spelling game because she had a breathing tube the entire time and communication was very difficult. If she had the strength, she’d spell words on her lap or I’d go through the alphabet and try to spell words for her. This was frustrating for her I know, I’m not sure if it helped me more than her since I just wanted to be able to do something for her.

You’ll continue to hear from me during a time when many people would stop everything. There are a few reasons that I want to stay in touch.

Firstly, from a selfish perspective, writing blog posts, workouts and helping you with your health is my passion and brings me comfort.

Secondly, my Mom would have wanted me to continue what she believed to be my calling. I know I had an effect on her and the slow changes that she made to improve her health, albeit too late. She’d want anyone and everyone to improve their health as she was starting to do.

And thirdly, the best way I can honor my Mom is if I can help you or anyone avoid the pain and suffering that my Mom went through by being pro-active with your health now.

Sadly, my brother 3 crockettsand sister and I, a group of mis-matched toys, have been brought together by tragedy, but hopefully will stay in closer contact in the future. We are relieved that my Mom’s suffering is over and believe that she’s in a better place. She will be missed.

Please take care of YOUR health now, before it’s too late.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

I Need Your Opinion

opinion

I was a little disheartened by an email I got from an ‘ex’.

I say ‘ex’ because she’s now an ‘ex-reader’.  She probably has some of her own issues unrelated to me, but it still tends to hurt my feelings when I get this sort of thing.

hate mail

*Read from the bottom up on the string of emails

 

I think it’s a little cowardly to sit behind a keyboard and spew this sort of venom, but that’s just me. I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on the subject. My purpose is to provide helpful tips and advice. My assumption is that’s why you’re here. Any advice you can offer me to support YOU further is much appreciated.

I’ll go ahead and post the tips that I sent in that email despite the fact that I offended that person. In fact, I was flattered that a different reader asked me to post these tips on my Facebook page and on my blog too.  Sometimes I wonder if the info I share is a little TMI, but if anyone can benefit from even one tip, then I’m happy.

Here was the email that I sent out:

I returned from a week in NYC with my almost 20-year-old daughter Hannah. This was a trip that mother’s dream of having with their girl. Further to this, I was happy that Hannah asked me how I manage to stay lean and fit while traveling. I do a lot of it and she realized while traveling with me that it’s not always easy.

Here are a few things off the top of my head that we discussed:
A workout – A short 20 min bodyweight hotel workout is fine in a pinch. Getting a workout done in the NYC Lion Kingmorning is best so that the day doesn’t get away and excuses don’t pop up. It takes NO time at all and keeps the metabolism revved up.

Drink up – Water that is. For me it’s the cure for headaches and dehydration. Although difficult at times I have no liquid calories pretty much EVER (except the odd glass of Malbec).

No bread – This isn’t due to gluten intolerance, it’s just an intolerance to a ‘muffin top’ 😉 This really works as hard as it is to do at some places especially, but passing on bread saves massive amounts of calories.

Cut out evening starchy carbs – Keep it to protein and veggies at dinner 99% of the time. Of course being in NYC, my ONE time break in this rule was a treat of cheesecake after the Lion King performance on Thursday. This leads to the next big idea…

Plan a cheat meal – It’s easy to pass on tempting foods when I know I can have them (eventually), Nothing is on the never never list. Here’s how I planned my NYC cheat: we didn’t have dessert all week, we had sushi with no rice and sashimi for dinner (low carb) and I did a metabolic workout with Kate Vidulich mid afternoon (filming for videos). Simple things to set up the perfect storm for a big treat. Oh, and I fasted until after my workout the next morning.
Regular sleep – Going to bed and waking at a similar time daily is key for me. We pretty much stayed on schedule with our own time zone (not always possible I know).

Step out of the comfort zone – Every day was an adventure. Did we know where we were going and what to expect? Not always. We didn’t risk life and limb, but we were definitely out of our element in the big city. Doing something scary makes you feel alive.

NYC times sq H and me

Do a good deed – I found a wallet and could only imagine the panic I’d feel had it been me that lost mine. I turned it into the doorman and was thrilled that I made some strangers day who came back for it 5 minutes later. I never found out who it was but, man, it felt good to know some one had a good day because of that small gesture.

These are only a few things off the top of my head: small things that over time add up to better health.

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Make sure to let me know how you feel about the comments from ‘Barb’. And like my Facebook page here too.

New Challenge Program Preview

Challenge workouts

Question:  I never know exactly how far apart to have my hands in the push up position. Thanks, love your work.

Answer: As far as the push ups, I like to keep my hands so that my elbow creates a 90 degree angle, so my elbow is directly over my hand to support the shoulder, and it’s in a T position. Wider hand stance utilizes the front delt and pec more so it’s not all tricep. If you want to hit the tricep, keep the elbows tucked into the body more. I hope that helps.

challenge workout

 

This push up position calls on the front delt and pecs more.

challenge workout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This push up position taxes the triceps more.

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metabolic mayhem

I was telling you about my friend, Ben Teal’s program called ‘Metabolic Mayhem‘ this week. Here’s a question from Chantal: This is definitely something that is of interest to me but my only issue is the fact that I have knees that do not allow my to do any high impact. Do you offer any alternative exercises to reduce the impact on knees. As an example, Seal jacks or jumping jacks are not an option for me so do you suggest an alternate exercise?

Answer from Ben: The great news is that my program is all video follow along so I’ll give you all kinds of ways to modify each and every exercise along the way. For example, a way to modify impact exercises is to swap out NON impact exercises like full body extensions, stationary march or step jacks  in place of a high impact exercise.

Here are a few more questions I got about Ben’s program and Ben’s answers:

Can you just unlock the whole program for me?

Ben: No. This program is intentionally designed to give you one day at a time so that it you stick to this one. It’s intentionally set up this way to keep you from being overwhelmed, confused and frustrated about what to do and when to do it. You simply do the actions from the day you’re currently on.

Who is this REALLY for?

Ben: If you’re looking for 143 metabolic workouts, this isn’t your program. You’re not going to be happy with it. But if you’ve struggled in the past and want a simple, clear, day-by-day SYSTEM to work with you, then this is what you’ve been searching for.

Ben: And here’s one more thing I would add. If you ever have any problems with the system, or a question about any of the workouts or mindset modules, then you can reach out to me personally, and I’ll be happy to get back to you. I’m here to help you reach your goals, any way I can.

My thoughts? Def worth checking out CLICK HERE. I always say you can never have too many home workout ideas to implement so you always have a plan. This is a real bargain. Read more about Ben in the blog post he did for me HERE.

Get ready to JUMP! Watch for this next TUESDAY!

Want to win a preview copy?

I need to hear what YOUR fitness and fat loss goals are. Post a comment and a reason why you think this program will be an effective fat loss tool for you. I’ll chose a deserving answer (or two) and get you an advance copy. Fair enough?