Tips for keeping training exciting

Who doesn’t selfie between sets?

Motivate my workout! When you train day in, day out with no end in sight, it can get overwhelmingly – blah.

Without a show date, high school reunion or vacation booked we can easily lose our drive for keeping the gains train going. Have a look through these simple tips for keeping the fitness flame alive for you all here.

Momma didn’t raise no quitter!

Add some “Flix” to your kicks.

Cardio can really beat your brains especially when it’s always indoors and monotonous. If you have the data or wifi, try watching a new series or a movie in pieces while you pedal, step or jog.

Sign up for classes in advance

Commit to be fit! Using apps like Mindbody for yoga, pilates or group fitness classes allow you to sign in before the class goes on, often several days in advance. Book your fitness like you do your haircuts and mani pedis, it’s a necessity.

Create mini goals

An additional 5 lbs, another 1/2 mile, getting down half a pant size. All great mini “now” goals to keep you pushing the envelope on a daily basis.

Get outside

If you’re not a competitive bodybuilder you don’t need to get all of your training in at the gym. If you live by mountains, hike and ski. If you live by lakes, swim and paddle. There are so many fun ways to get your fitness on without the clanging of metal on metal.

Revive your radio

Playing the same old tunes every session can get super repetitive. Now that the world doesn’t run on HMV it’s much easier to sample new music all the time. Cool streaming stations like Spotify even allow us to “discover” music they think we will like.

For something new, check out this personalized playlist on Spotify HERE. 

Fitness is a blessing, remember that many do not have the ability to train as freely as you do. Use it to elevate your mood, your heart rate and your outlook on life.

Keep on trucking.

XX – S

Forged by fire.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for 2017 to end…and for some of you it already has ~ happiest of 2018 to you!

This last year has been FULL of everything. A lot of negative with a sprinkling of some positives that helped us to limp along to the finish line. I am grateful for all the new relationships I’ve made with friends and clients alike. I’m learning so much about who I am and what my position on this planet is and it’s empowering.

 

Shots in Rittenhouse

In January, I was in NYC solidifying collaborations & partnerships which was very exciting. We spent time back in Philly revisiting all of our favourite Vegan haunts and waxing nostalgic about our first time visiting Pennsylvania.

February, after an ass kicking bout of food poisoning, I was back in Calgary freezing my nards off and visiting my step-daughter Anastacia, who was re-diagnosed with a second childhood Cancer. Pretty rough start to the year while the clock was ticking down for us to “make 1MM or leave”.

 

March. I was in Savannah, Georgia, competing in a WNBF show where I didn’t do as well as expected and was generally miserable about it. I met new friends and will savour those relationships for life. I learned a lot about coaching BS during that trip.

Vancouver Vibes

April I regrouped and spent 5 weeks busting my chops for another kick at the can in Vancouver, where I came in first place & redeemed myself to myself. I got to see my besties and my family and couldn’t be happier because I released my first Vegan cookbook!

May, we took a 10 day trip back to Mexico to unwind & shoot a bit …then we moved from our shack in The Hill District to our home on the Slopes & secured a Studio lease on the South Side – exciting!

June we moved into our new home AND new office/studio digs and tried to settle in. Both of our dogs ended up getting Lyme Disease which required antibiotics and a lot of costly follow ups.

July, we rode from Calgary to Pittsburgh on my motorcycle which is NOT built for 2 and long haul trips. We also got to see Anastacia at the end of her surgery and beginning of new chemo. We saw a lot of cool sites on the way back home…South Dakota & Rushmore/Black Hills being the best of the best.

August, understanding our 1 year visa was running out we spend the entire month of August on the ground in Pittsburgh putting together our next 5 year petition. It was horrible, stressful & costly. We wanted to spend more time in Pittsburgh in case our Visas were denied and we had to move back to Canada. We spent a few days back in Manhattan for some work I had to do & had a good time in Jersey City. We celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary.

Falling Water

September, back to the grind and finishing touches on our application. Another amazing month in Pittsburgh however, FULL of ticks outside. We traveled to Chicago for Riot Fest & fell in love with the city. My parents also visited this month. To date, the only people that have visited us in Pittsburgh at all. I was voted on of Canada’s Top Vegan Influencers and featured in a magazine spread. 

Chicago, baby.

October, the final countdown. I was asked to a complete an interview in The Native Society online publication alongside some pretty prolific positive influencers in North America and Beyond. Later in the same month we were crossing the border late at night with our dogs in tow and a roof rack full of clothes with no idea when we would be back home, if ever.

November, tick tock, November 1st arrived and we both had a 5 year approval to head back to the US and really dig in on Business Development for our Engineering company. My training business picked up a lot online this month as well as in person which was a great ego boost that I needed then.

December, all work & a little play with 6 days in Fort Lauderdale & another photoshoot.  Businesses ramping up and travel for next year is starting to roll out.

Pfew. Those are the things I rattle off the top of my head!!!! I’ve decided to leave behind the evil stress of the “Birth Mom” drama we’ve been under. If you know me, you know it’s sick and I don’t talk about it anymore.

I have faced adversity, I have nearly lost my mind, but all in all I am made of STEEL now. My marriage & training was the only thing that kept me going for all the days that were hell on earth.

The best thing to come out of 2017 is the forging of my relationship under fire – indestructible now, as the tests we have survived would have killed 1000 marriages by now.

Find your fire, walk through it and push on through 2018. I did it, you can do it.

XX – S

10 Minute Vegan Chana Masala

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As you may have read via Facebook, or by my YouTube Channel, we are moving to Pittsburgh! Why does this matter to todays recipe? Well, as I was packing up my pantry {sniffle, sniffle} I came across a bunch of spices that we purchased in India this past January.

One in particular was my motivation for this recipe – cinnamon! This isn’t your usual baking cinnamon, it packs a punch and is generally used in savoury dishes by Indian chefs.

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We purchased a bucketload of spices for next to nothing there and finally have a minute to use them as we clear out our home for the big move September 30th.

If you’re ready for fall then your cupboard is stocked with amazing spices to keep the heat in your life while the leaves and {eventually} snow fly.

Nights are getting longer, so try out this recipe when you’re short on time but in need of big taste.

Ingredients: 

1 cup Veggie Milk. I used vanilla flavoured Veggemo for this recipe.

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1/4 cup veggie broth or warm water

Paprika – 1.5 tsp

Nutmeg – 3.4 tsp

Garam Masala – 1 tbsp

Cinnamon sticks- 4 medium

Cardamom pods – 6-8 in muslin/cheese cloth or be prepared to dig around

Coconut Oil (scented or unscented) – 2 tbsp

Ground ginger – 1 tsp

Cumin – 1.5 tsp

Curry powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Himalayan Sea Salt – 1 tsp

1 large yellow onion

6 large cloves garlic diced

2 large ripe tomatoes OR 1 can fire roasted tomatoes slightly drained

1 large can chickpeas

2 cups chopped green beans

1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

Method: 

On stovetop over medium heat melt coconut oil in large pan.

Add garlic and onion and sautee for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to turn translucent.

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Next, add all dried spices but salt, cardamom & cinnamon, mixing well – allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.

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Next, add tomato (dried and wet), cinnamon and slowly pour in milk. Allow to cook for just a minute or so.

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Lastly, add all remaining ingredients, cover and cook on medium high or until thoroughly heated. You will note that on higher heat this recipe will cook down a little on the liquid side. I like my masala less runny, so continue to cook for as long as needed (lid off) if you prefer a more dry curry.

Remove cardamom pods & cinnamon.

Serve as-is or over basmati rice or with Naan ~ try my Vegan Garlic Naan recipe HERE.

Serves 4.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Season 3 – Ep 3 – The road less travelled

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Honeymoon is over {sort of} and now there are more goals set and training on the horizon. We had an amazing wedding, shared the day with our closest loves and are now married….bizarre for us to think that 14 years ago this thought probably never crossed our minds. 5 years ago, still nada.

Then but for a beautiful night out in Philly {eating Vegan food at the amazing Bar Bom Bon} we decided to make it “official”….2 months later, cue wedding bells…and one month after that, we take this union stateside. Pfew, way to pack it all into one summer Williams’.

In terms of who we are and what we’ve committed to as a couple, that’s easy and hasn’t wavered. We train every day – at least 5/6 times per week. We work hard and play hard and have a great life balance that has taken years to achieve. We decided to save cash and take a road tripping honeymoon to see some amazing sights and bands.

We knew that our latest travels were going to take us to some amazing food, drinks and places we’d never seen. At a time of celebration it’s SO important to not lose sight of real life. Bodybuilding is a passion of ours but living out loud is moreso. Making the decision to not compete again this year was hard BUT the freedom it’s given me/us to have some fun and be playful is worth more than another bikini girl trophy ~ there is life before, during and after competition.

Scroll right to the bottom of this blog post for a list {with links} to all of the Veg/Veg Friendly places we stopped at worth mentioning. 

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Lets get to the good stuff shall we? Checking our egos and our 6 pack abs at the door, we said goodbye to the last of our houseguests and hit the tarmac.

We started off in Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel. This one was $50 which is a steal and is off strip. Their Asian restaurant happened to supply vegan protein and we were stoked. It’s off strip which is great because we were just there 2 months earlier so we didn’t need to do the usual getting pissed on the Vegas Strip. WE also chose this hotel because it has a decent place to workout. If you know Vegas like we do, you’ll be aware that there aren’t a lot of hotels with gyms to speak of at all ~ which is stupid really. We hit the gym both days we were there, ate well, drank minimally and enjoyed the sun.

From there we went on to Arizona. Page, to be exact via Zion National Park {pictured above}. Page is a creepy little place with a literal “God Strip”…no joke, 2-3 miles of churches lining a main drag. There was even “The Lords Gym” which we really wanted to hit up but it was just too janky. Sad face because I didn’t even get a picture of it.

There wasn’t too much to choose from in terms of staying fit BUT we were there for Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and nothing more. We did find a good little gym there called Titanium {below} and fit in another workout on the road. $5 drop in too. Good selections of Apex/Hammer Strength/Cybex with some crossfit stuff/battle ropes as well as some treadmills and one {very hidden} stair master.

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We were up early that morning due to a time change error and spent a couple of hours lazing before we headed for our tour of Antelope Canyon. You have to book this and it’s actually a sad and frustrating experience because it’s PACKED and I’m not sure how I mentioned to pull off a shot with no people in it. Check out my insta for more pics of the nature stuff.

Next we were on to Colorado via Moab Utah. We decided to stop in Moab so that we could take advantage of the most amazing Arches National Park ~ definitely needed 2 days here but we only had two hours so, if you do go, make some serious time for it. It was HOT and once again, crowded. Very sad face.

We ate at The Moab Brewry for dinner. They had salad options…no vegan protein, and mostly deep fry. Great beer though.

This day I was in a bad mood because we intended on hitting the gym in Moab, a place called South Town Gym. We rolled up at 730 am and realized the office didn’t open for 2 hours for us to pay a drop in. It’s a 24 hour gym for members but it posted threats all over that if we just snuck in people could lose their membership. The doors were unlocked but, ethically, we couldn’t do it. I was fuming.

We packed up and went to this little hippy looking place for breakfast (referenced below) but it was actually not easy to find anything vegan and then when I did suggest a tofu sub it arrived cold and lack lustre. If you must eat in Moab, proceed with caution.

Below, we hit a pretty well known gem in Marble, Colorado called The Crystal Mill {pictured below} which we had to access via a rented side-by-side. The weather turned but we didn’t stop…..great little BBQ spot called Slow Groovin’ had just enough on the menu to feed us…and is the only game in town that serves booze. This town is off the grid – no gym here. We stayed at Beaver Lake Lodge – such a gem and so wish we had two more days there as well.

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A little drenched from the rain, a little sad to be leaving such a magical place {that looked and felt and smelled like home} we hopped in the car and headed on down the road for Denver…..the apex of our honeymoon at Riot Fest – The Misfits & Gogol Bordello headlining day 3 had us at decibel 11 excitement.

The ride up to Vail and past through to Denver is a beautiful one. Twists and turns and fast moving traffic. Days in the car were on average 4.5 hours or so…this day is long, but with beauty weather it wasn’t really a bother.

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Hot weather, good times and some pretty amazing Vegan food had us all in a tizzy. We hadn’t really struck out too much in terms of food the whole trip. Sure, we missed a couple of days at the gym here and there but…we ate well, loved hard and were ear to ear smiles most of the time. Found this little reminder sitting on a park bench after a stellar meal at Vital Root in the Berkley neighbourhood of Denver.

Day 2 of the 3 day festival I woke up in EXTREME neck pain…FML, this old injury on the day we were working out at Armbrusts in Wheat  Ridge. I sucked it up, took a couple of Advils and went anyway to smash out a leg day. The only regret I have here is not buying a souvenir tank. Idiot. Who does that when they’re visiting the “Mile High Mecca”. D’oh.

Jeff convinced me {imagine no neck mobility and full face headache} to find some active release nearby. He located someone and lo-and behold they were an effing chiro. I was terrified…if you know me you know I don’t do back crackers. Check out my happy waiting room face below. So much pain, so happy about our workout.

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I won’t say much about the appointment but Jeff stayed with me through the active release, massage, electro shock & neck cracking ~ I flipped RIGHT OUT when he adjusted my neck. Never again!!

With Denver quieted down after yet another epic Gogol concert {hopping up and down for an hour straight is considered a cardio/calf day, no? } and a so-so Original Misfits show, we went home to bed ready to take on New Mexico. 5 states, 9 days…all adventure. There are far too many cats ass restaurants in Denver to rattle off in one email so again, check out the bottom of this post. We were well fed and there was even a street fair “Taste of Colorado” that we meandered around at…sadly, the food was pretty bad so we didn’t eat there at all.

The road to NM is a pretty boring one. Imagine windy windy windy prairie roads with a tonne of trailers scattered throughout. Not much to shake a stick at.

We arrived at our Motel 6 for the last 3 days of our journey and were outright disgusted. I know you get what you pay for but…well….I won’t go on, it was a homeless, unsecured haven covered in axel grease.

We straight up said HELL NO when we walked into our room, promptly got a refund and headed to old town.

We scored a helluva deal at the Eldorado Hotel & Spa which is close to damn near everything. It’s civilized and what we have become accustomed to over the last few years. We have been spoiled by our successes but not to the point where we won’t stay in a 1 star…as most of our trip has been…we figured we needed to splurge a little for our last few days.

Back to a place with a built in gym, restaurants and clean sheets ~ wheeeee! Downside? Not a helluvalot of vegan options and a breakfast laid out like the one below is about $40 USD. Sickening in my opinion.

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For our last few days we hit the gym every day, walked, hiked and made plans for the future. As I write this I am 1 Lara Bar down and ready for a bit of cardio…then on to see Bandolier National Park, Meow Wolf art installation.

Meow Wolf was an all out win. If you’re ever in Santa Fe, you need to pay homage to this amazing art installation. You’ll need at least 2 hours and then you’ll need to go back at least half a dozen or more times to get the story down. It’s far more epic than I can describe. Picture Disneylands Haunted Mansion meets the Little Mermaids grotto meets a sweet sweet mushroom trip in the woods. Something like 20,000 square feet of brain boggling art and imagination ~ with a side of LIVE music.

Just look at this link and plan accordingly: MEOW WOLF SANTA FE

Finishing up this blog post I wanted to impress how important fun and play are in life. We can all push our hardest 100% of the time but without play, life would just be toil and I have half a mind to think that’s not what it’s all about. You?

Yes, I’m an athlete. Yes, I’m a vegan. Yes, I’m an adult with responsibility. Conversely I am human, playful and imaginative ~ all sides need to be fed in order for this machine to run smoothly.

So, with that being said as I sip black coffee at a train depot of a municipal airport in Santa Fe, I’m starting to dream about the next few months and what they’ll look like. Though we are moving in 2.5 weeks, training for a new season of bodybuilding starts tomorrow. While I didn’t miss too many days of the gym, I still didn’t get in what I thought to be “real” gym time and this neck/back injury is still plaguing me. Time to dig deep and look forward with health and happiness at the forefront of my daily goals.

With all that deep stuff and a bigger need for life budgeting in mind, I think I’ve finally settled on my next contest, via the INBF Canada Crew putting together a little road trip to Savannah Georgia! Hows that for exciting?!!! Of course I can’t stop thinking about gaining weight, being lazy and eating / drinking poorly this trip. But it’s my honeymoon and there’s no way I’m letting that pass by by being a restrictive brat. Living is so much more than beating yourself up about not getting leg day done, it’s about reminding yourself to breathe and maybe take a couple days off because your neck and back are screwed!!

 

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Restaurant Recommendations by State:

Nevada – Las Vegas

Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas – FU *Vegan Protein Options

Utah – Moab

Moab Brewing

Peace Tree Cafe

Colorado – Glenwood Springs (final resting place of Doc Holliday)

Sacred Grounds  – horrible

Colorado – Marble

Slow Groovin *try the okra

Colorado – Denver

City O City

Vital Root

Watercourse

Handy’s

True Food

Hapa Sushi – a chain with shitty service but decent selection

New Mexico – Santa Fe

Agave at Eldorado

Coyote Cafe

Indulge

Sweet Water Harvest Kitchen

Taberna ~ By La Boca

Annapurna

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – S3 Ep2 – Head Games

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Make room for the view.

Head games, off season, mid-prep blues. If you’ve been a competitor before, you know what I’m talking about. Once you’ve achieved greatness in your life, it’s hard to settle for any less.

I’m writing this on what is about day 10 of a 2 week camping trip home to BC. It’s been a tough trip mentally for a lot of reasons but mostly because I’m trying to get over the fact that there is no gym for nearly 2 weeks.

Having the intention to compete in November and then essentially drop out of training for 2 weeks is a major mind game. I asked for a new plan from my coach, brought a set of B-Force training bands with me as well as my T-bar that I bought a long time ago after seeing it used on BodyRock.com.

We brought along our paddle boards & had every intention of hiking Pender Hill each day.

I packed 90% healthy foods and have done 99% of the cooking up here, though, this hasn’t been to my diet specifications.

Here are some photos of a few meals I created on the fly:

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Chickpea Masala with Fieldroast Sausage
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Tofu & Potato Scramble with Mushrooms and Vegan “Sausage”
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Vegan Walnut & Papaya Protein Pancakes
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Raspberry Cobbler Oatmeal Dumplings – Vegan
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Potato & Yellow Pepper Hash with Daiya

Not all bad, right? And most meals looked like this – maybe a few too many carbs but they were portion controlled, not saucy, not sugary and completely Vegan….it was the lack of exercise that made these meals pack on the bloat and inches…and, ahem, some of the Vodka I suppose.

 

To continue with my departure from the wagon, I dropped BCAA’s and protein powder – too difficult to fit in up here while camping. While I let that slip I stopped taking Carnitine.

2 days in at the lake I was not doing my scheduled workouts given by my coach, was using the bands & some bodyweight and did paddle board at least once per day – the length of the lake. The dogs were also getting walked 2-3 times per day for at least 30 minutes. I wasn’t feeling that great about my efforts but I had one person come and commend me for being inspirational while on vacation – win, right?

Then I sprained my left big toe stepping on uneven ground.

For 2 days all I could do was abs and SUP. I couldn’t even put shoes on. You cannot imagine the type of horror I was feeling internally about letting myself “go”. I’m still struggling with it every morning while brushing my teeth, checking my non-existent abs and staring down at my fat thighs in my running shorts.

This is not right. Competing has definitely given me a deformed view of myself of which I am highly aware.

So, because I cannot stand the idea of torturing myself in any way with regard to body image, because I want to be a positive role model for my clients, friends and family, I told myself to stop. I came to the decision to forget about training while I am away. To be active every day, control my portions and do my best to be on vacation (in every sense of the word) for the duration of my trip.

I’m allowing myself to look forward to getting back to training on Friday morning at the gym, but for now I have 4 more sleeps on the road that I am going to surrender to because I need to regroup before I hit the training hard again.

We are still up in the air with EVERYTHING about our lives…where might we find work, how long can we survive without jobs, can we out wait this oil slump, will we be able to rent our house out, can we actually sell off everything that we’ve been listing for sale……..it’s a stressful time and adding the stress of negative self talk wont make it any easier.

But there is one announcement….that’s pretty exciting…..that happened while we were away in beautiful Philadelphia…that I’m excited to tell you all about……so watch my little clip below!

Enjoy your time off, live with balance and don’t beat yourself up about anything, let alone things you cannot control. Enjoy your vacations, take time and make space for life when you need it. There’s nothing more important than you.

XX – S

Links for items I used travelling:

T- Grip bar

B-Force Bands (Orange)

Pop Paddleboard

Food medicine life HIIT workouts

BECOMING LITTLE MISS BIKINI – EPISODE 2– Chasing Trainers…or how to properly flatten your face on the pavement.

A lonely journey so far.
A lonely journey so far.

Let me tell you that so far, this has been the most upsetting part of getting the show on the road so to speak.

With just about 20 weeks before the first show I chose OCTOBER 24TH IN Edmonton I really needed to find a good coach.

What I didn’t know is that you can be coached from a distance or in person. What’s more is that the pricing can be cheap, fair or out of control…..being in Alberta means that most of it was the latter.

I started googling for coaching which landed me in a bunch of various areas. Right away I knew I could eliminate anyone who had no experience with Vegans or Vegetarians.

I even attempted to purchase a meal plan beforehand from Morelli Fit – oh this fellow has a real racket going. I’ve tried on several occasions to let them know that Chicken, Beef and Bacon are not vegetarian…..they basically told me to go pound sand up my @**.

I started doing some heavy research. I received replies from a couple of online coaches who got about half way through speaking with me, getting intake forms and then just fell off the face of the planet. This actually happened 3 times. A bit crushing really when you’re so jazzed about something.

I managed to find what I thought were some reputable coaches in town and went to meet with them – this is how it went:

Fail #1: I showed up at a commercial fitness facility downtown. I used to be a member and quit for a lot of reasons but mostly that I have my own gym at home and theirs kind of sucked. This one REALLY sucked.

He had me take off my socks and shoes and get onto a body fat calculating machine, then change into my bikini to take some shots of my current state.

I changed back into my clothes and we sat down to talk. I had to lose 10 pounds and at least 10 percent body fat. I tried asking a few questions related to goal setting but was kind of shrugged off like “don’t worry about this now, we’ll talk about it later” probably because it was a FREE consult.

I was then ushered into a sales room where I was basically told that I would be training three days per week at that gym minimum and needed to buy a membership for the next 6 months. Long story short this would be $800 per month…without meal planning because they didn’t know how to service a vegan/vegetarian.

To add insult to injury I was told that ” the best way to get off your butt is to sign up today”. Wow. I had to lash out and state that I work out every day and getting off of my butt was not a concern. What a bunch of dicks.

Needless to say, I did not go with him!

The next fellow I met with seemed a bit more into it……

Fail #2: I went to this coaches private gym where he coached/coaches hockey players (NHL) and the like. He seemed excited and I thought that it was legit.

We had a great talk, then quickly went through some of his techniques with a few small weights. I felt relieved. Finally, someone on home soil with experience in getting girls to shows and placing AND he was comfortable with training vegans/vegetarians.

$80/hour and after a few sessions I could train wherever, whenever I wanted to and his style had girls placing top five in the last few weeks!

He was laid back as well, but I was assured all would come together and was shown who they use for photographers, bikinis, tans etc….I provided him with a sample of my regular diet for a week and he asked me to take my own pictures of myself….not even to send them to him.

Well, three weeks passed. In that time he forgot to contact me, did one workout with me, went out of town and told me to just “keep doing what I was doing”……what if I was just eating ice cream cakes and rolling on the floor??!!!

Crushed and 2 weeks out from any sort of reasonable 12 week training deadline, I started over.

As an added footnote, I received a text message from this guy who went AWOL that said:

“I’m back in town if U want to book any sessions”.

WTF?!?! Are YOU supposed to be bringing a coaching program to ME to achieve MY goal of getting to a show this fall??? I think that my jaw will forever remain on the floor.

The light at the end of the tunnel.

When I spoke to  my HSE contractor Tahnee who told me about all of this stuff to begin with she gave me a few more contacts, I also just started looking for vegan bodybuilding athletes and came across one. Andrea Guzman. 

Not only did she answer my email in a couple of hours, she referred me to her coach who trained her (vegan) to competition she was enthusiastic and welcomed questions. She’s a personal trainer herself and didn’t once try to up-sell me on her services.

Finally rolls in Jennifer Weintz.…a god send really. Did I mention, these two gals are in BC? Well, I probably don’t have to with the happy and quick responses I received, you could guess in an instant.

Jennifer offered for under $200 month to coach me. Plan my workouts, diet AND take regular updated/pictures for review and re-structure on my progress. She also has the ability to refer me to whomever I need: tanning, hair, bikini to get to competition prepared.

I am starting up at the end of this week and am excited to start learning and seeing results. I am also excited to tell you all more about how to navigate this maze! I asked my husband, Jeff, if he would mind helping me through the process and of course he said he would. Finally, support in all areas – I feel like a rocket ship ready to take off!

Looking at athletes on Instagram and Facebook and contacting them elicited the most progress. I recommend this approach to newbs. If you are already lifting, you will know most of the basics and they can help.

I am sitting in a bit of a no mans land right now in terms of waiting to start BUT I have a great feeling – this new coach even dropped me a line from her vacation!

My questions to date that still need answering: what will the 4 months look like, what is the process really all about, will I have a program that will be changed up, what do I need to report to you. How is my diet so far? Will I be eating more or less?