Monthly Archives:November 2013

Dream ~ Earworm alert!

November 29, 2013

I love the creative spirit!

As much as I can be a bit of a hard ass when it comes to the difference between a “goal” and a “dream” I can certainly celebrate inspiration. Lisette Xavier is suppling that in droves in her latest song and video “Dream.”

Sometimes you need the one, two three punches.. you have to hear.. see.. and feel that other people are reaching for big things that perhaps not everyone else believe in. It can give you courage to go for it as well.

Lisette celebrated 3 different artists in her video for “Dream.”

Sean Priddle is the sculptor.

Laura Herrera is the painter.


Sarah Dolan is the dancer.

The  4th wonderful talent in the video is Lisette. While she purposefully did not include her self visually in the video.. she is still felt in  every second.

I will warn you right now this is one of those songs with a chorus that quickly turns into an ear worm.. I am still humming along!

Here is the video.. enjoy!–_Oq2U

“It’s going to feel heavy.” The last words I heard.

November 21, 2013

I had a very exciting day at The Athlete Factory recently.

Athlete Factory


I back squatted 290lbs!!!


Now if you have been tracking my progress you know that I recently back squatted 320lbs at a competition.

So why the excitement about this 290?


In powerlifting there is two basic categories. Equipped and Classic. If you lift equipped you use a belt, knee wraps, a bench shirt and squat suit. If you lift “classic” you can use knee sleeves, wrist wraps a belt and.. well that’s it. I lift “classic.” Personal choice for both philosophical and cash flow reasons.


So my 320 was using a belt and in competition.


My 290 was unbelted with wrist wraps and really really really solid technique and form. When I am training a lift isn’t “official” unless it is perfect, or pretty damm close.   I have a tendency to fold in half as I go down into my squat which makes it harder to get the proper depth (hips below knees) because if your chest comes down your hips go up. This is bad. My biggest battle has been keeping that core tight and up. Good news, I am getting so much stronger. It is like my core is finally catching up to the strength I have in my hamstrings.

Shoes and wraps


I knew my goal that day was 290. I had almost has it the previous week.. except an unfortunate gas issue in the bottom of my squat lead to giggles. Giggles do not make for great squatting.


My warm ups were solid. My form was good. My depth was excellent. My energy was holding.


My confidence was strong.


It was going to be a big jump from what I had just lifted. I think it was 265 up to the 290 but there was no sense in tiring myself out, so the plan was to go for it.


My trainer, Michele has grown to know me well, which is such a blessing. Sometimes when I am lifting I am startled by how heavy the weight is on the bar. When we do a big lift usually the last words I really hear is Michele simply stating; “This is going to feel heavy.”


In the beginning it would be; “It’s going to feel heavy, but you are strong enough, trust your hamstrings”. As time has passed that phrase has gotten shorter and now is simply; : This is going to feel heavy.” I can fill in the rest.


The best thing about this phrase is that it allows me to acknowledge that it does feel heavy, and that is OK because I am strong enough.


I also have a mantra that I say to myself as I get under the bar. In my head I say.


  • I am fit.
  • I am fierce.
  • I am strong.


Following that is a roaring silence.


I squat with intention.  Hit depth, drive out my knees and power up.


That 290 was a fight. It felt fabulous as I went down and the first inch on the way up felt great.


Then it all stopped. Literally STOPPED.


It was like a hand was on my head pushing down and saying, you want it? Fight for it.


Fight I did.


Not once did I go back down. I fought to keep rising. I did everything I had learned and just trusted that I was on the line I needed to be on and my hamstrings had the strength to stand.


They did.


Michele said there was a brief moment when she was ready to step in and take some of the weight of the bar thinking I was going to fail but she could see that while it was slow, it was rising and it was strong.


This lift was mine and it was happening.


My eyes well with tears as I write this.


When I was done I turned to Michele for confirmation. Did my chest drop? Did I get depth? Did it count???


YES! It was a solid lift.


At The Athlete Factory they have a huge “leader board.”  I am not someone who is accustomed to being on a leader board, never mind going UP the leader board. My name in bright yellow chalk with a 290lb beside it is up for everyone to see. One name is above mine with a very healthy 350 next to it.

Leader Board


I can feel inside that one day it will be mine.



Fad Diets. Are they ever worth it?

November 10, 2013

Here is something that I have figured out.

There is a time and a place for a “fad diet.”

GASP. WHAT? Yes. There. Is.

We often have a special day that for one reason or another we feel the need to be “skinny” for.

Just please go in with your eyes open.

Chances are very very good that the weight you lose will come back, with a few extra pounds as well.

You decide if that special day is worth it.


Sometimes the answers is yes.

You are not responsible for your behaviour when you are hungry. #hangry

November 10, 2013

You are not responsible for your behaviour when you are hungry.

Wait. WHAT?

I first heard those words from Paul Balsom the “head of it all” (Director of Athlete Performance & Coach Development) at The Athlete Factory where I train. He has said these words a few times. The first few times I don’t think it registered at all, mainly because he intimated the crap out of me (my issues, not him) but slowly I started hearing the words. I would smile and nod but internally I was thinking…

  •  Yeah, because I have zero will power.
  • Yeah, because I suck.
  • Yeah, because I can’t control myself and obviously don’t want it badly enough.

Frustration 101

I am sure you are picking up on the theme here. Too many “fitspiration” meme’s combined with some self esteem issue and not enough listening to what was actually being said.

To start let’s take out of the equation eating for emotional reasons, this post isn’t about that. This post isn’t about being skinny either. It isn’t about the number on the scale and it isn’t about losing muscle along with the fat. This post is about health and performance. If your goal involves wearing a size 0 but also having 0 muscle and 0 concern about your health read this blog here.. it’s funny and involves crazy family stories and my weird eyes.

This is about understanding that if you have started on a road that includes exercising, that body is going to need sustenance, or dare I say calories!   When I am following my proper eating plan it involves meals with protein, fat, fibre and even dare I say CARBS!

Under that criteria that could equal a Big Mac meal, but the other part of my eating plan involves what people call “whole” food. Stop rolling your eyes. If you give your body the food it needs to be healthy. It will be healthy.

Eat food that is good for you and good things will happen.

Eat food. REAL food. Give your body what it needs before it needs it.  Give your body food that actually offers something to your body that does more than just shut off the hungry switch for a short period of time.

When you are hungry you body is telling your brain one thing.




Sometimes it is yelling so loudly that any common sense your brain is sending out is overridden and you do exactly that.  You EAT.

You EAT in an all caps EAT kinda way.

For some people this can head into binge territory and quickly escalate into an eating disorder that turns into a much worse situation. (Get more info on that here)

For others, like myself. it turns into the random grazing situation. If I come home from work hungry I will suddenly find myself munching on cheese and crackers. If I am hungry at the grocery store those check out chocolate bars become irresistible. The radio station I work at seems to have a constant supply of donuts, cookies, candy and other treats. If I come into work right after a work out I shovel something into my face that is not a “whole” food.

Imagine there is a massive winter storm outside. You have to walk the dogs. Do you go outside in a t.shirt and shorts to determine how many more layers to put on? No. You head out prepped and good to go with a toque, scarf, mittens, boots and winter jacket. This way your body doesn’t give you frost bite so your brain understands next time to dress properly.

When the time comes that health is priority one, or you are making a lifetime change, or you have an athletic goal, it is time to step up and address the situation with changes that make big picture sense.

It will not happen quickly, it will take a time of adjustment. You will experience other health benefits before you start to drop fat. It will be frustrating. SO frustrating. INCREDIBLY frustrating. People will taunt you with fad diets and age old cliches like “calories in, calories out” or better yet “just eat less and move more!”

Your goal is long term.


Think of how you want to feel at 20, 30, 60 or 70. Give your body what it needs. Give your body time to process that you are truly making a change and it isn’t a “fad” let your body acclimatize to food it instinctively knows how to process. One day your body will shout to your brain that you have come to your senses and that it will be nourished properly for the rest of it’s life, therefore it’s OK to release what it has stored for “in case of an emergency.” (Buh Bye fat!) Here is what I want you to take away from this blog post:

You are NOT responsible for your behaviour when you are hungry.


You ARE responsible for keeping your body from getting hungry.


Michele Helmeczi  ~ Trainer at The Athlete Factory and has a athlete focused cookbook coming out before Christmas

The Whole Life Nutrition Cook Book ~ Excellent recipes and information