Sunday, 25 August 2013

Small Victories

Hi Friends,

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend, can you believe that the summer is slipping away from us so quickly! It seems like just yesterday we were all bemoaning the colder-and-rainier-than-normal spring that we were having, and now before we even realized what was happening the summer has flown by! If you have kids, you are probably getting ready to send them back to school soon (I hear staples has an EASY button for that?), but otherwise you are probably just plugging along in the daily grind do the same-old-same-old, but maybe with a little more sunshine thrown in there?

Anyways, as we head into the last week of our Summer session, I wanted to take the a moment to chat about the importance of celebrating small victories in whatever journey you may be on, but specifically in terms of weight loss, and fitness and nutrition goals!

So often we lean towards being more focused on the BIG PICTURE, the GIANT goals that we set for ourselves, and just how far we need to go to actually reach those goals.  What if we all developed a new way of thinking about our success? A new way of measuring how far we have come that doesn’t involve reaching an illusive number of the scale, or fitting into those pants from years ago, and instead involved celebrating each victory as it came along, each pound that we lost, each pound of muscle that we gained, each bad/good food that we added into or subtracted from our life?

It is so easy to write off losing 1 or 2 pounds, of 1 or 2% body fat, or changing some simple things in your diet, etc, as “not a big deal,” or if you are like me, as really only a fraction of what you really want to lose or do for your body.  We treat these things as little, decreasing their value, because we don’t really see that they have any value at all…

It’s challenging on some days to recognize, appreciate and applaud yourself for all of the hard work that you are putting in (each workout, each clean eating meal etc) and celebrate each small milestone no matter how insignificant it may seem.  But the reality is, is that if we are constantly reminding ourselves of the small victories in each aspect of our lives we will be more motivated to continue; more motivated to keep taking the steps that we need to take in order to ensure long-term success in whatever we may be trying to attain. 

Rather than being discouraged with our lack of progress (BIG PICTURE) we can be encouraged by each victory no matter what it may be (smaller picture).  Suddenly losing 1LB becomes a stepping stone to losing 2, and 3, and so on and so forth. Before you know it, you will be able to look back and see just how far your have come…

Have a great week, and know that you have full PERMISSION to celebrate each of the small victories you experience this week and every other week!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Can Fit Pro Conference in Photos

This past weekend many of our trainers spent some time at the Can Fit Pro conference in Toronto. It is the largest fitness conference in the world, hosting over 15,000 fitness professionals! 

It's always such an amazing experience as we participate in many fitness workshops, nutrition and science lectures so we can better serve you, our Bootcampers and Personal Training clients. Nothing better for you then coming back with fresh and exciting ways to kick your butts and deliver even better results!

Check out some of the photos from the weekend below! 

The Weekend Opened with Keynote Speaker, Jillian Michaels

All sorts of demos and workshops at the Fitness Tradeshow

Thanks @LibNorris for the challenging yet technical kickboxing class. 
My fav class on the planet :)

Over 15,000 fitness professionals under one roof at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Johanna @jqfitness rocking the Advanced @trxtraining class with @fquelch


What a fun, killer #Shockwave class with @geoffbagshaw @julzarney @jayblahanik

Master kettleball class with @sgtken to finish out my fourth workout of the day! Sweet!

Always great to catch up and experience US Army Master Sergeant Ken Wiechert ! #hooah

All in all it was an awesome time! Look forward to some new workouts for the Fall! 

Have an awesome day! 

Monday, 12 August 2013

Bootcamp Insanity Week #7

Hey there iluvthis Blog readers!

So last week as a challenge for myself (and since J&J were away on vacay) I decided that I was going to attempt to hit up all of our bootcamp locations at least one time for a workout there!

I hit up 10 locations in 4 days (3 on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 1 Wednesday, and 3 on Thursday) and had a great time meeting the bootcampers and hanging out with some of the trainers who I had only met briefly!

Each location had a different feel, so it was nice to get to see everyone in action, check out the locations and meet some of you amazing bootcampers! You were all super supportive (even thought y’all thought that I was a little bit crazy for trying to get in every location last week!). You guys are such an inspiration, so dedicated and hardworking. At each class as the trainers kicked out butts with burpees, mountain climbers, and squats (I swear I did probably a 1000 squats in that second workout last week) you all kept at it and didn’t give up! It was so great to workout alongside of you all and get motivated to keep on going because of your energy and enthusiasm!

Basically the moral of my week is firstly that no one in their right mind should do 10 bootcamp workouts in 4 days (haha - unless you enjoy walking like a toddler...), and secondly that iluvthis Bootcamp is such an amazing place to work as well as a wonderful community to be a part of.  You are such an awesome group of individuals and it was a privilege to meet some of you and workout together.

I wanted to thank you all for welcoming me into your respective bootcamps and a big thanks to the trainers for kicking my booty at each workout! All in all I had a fabulous week and am so excited about the future of iluvthis Bootcamp, and am proud that I have the amazing opportunity to be a part of it.

As of this week I have officially lost 60lbs since January as a direct result of bootcamp and changing my diet, I feel pretty great, and I just wanted to encourage each of you who are on the same journey towards a healthier and more active lifestyle to keep on going, to push through the challenging days, and to not give up because you can do it. In the end what you are fighting for is your life, and the ability to live your life in the healthiest way possible, being the healthiest you possible!

We are honored to be a part of your journey. If you would like to share about the way that iluvthis Bootcamp has changed your body or have an encouraging testimonial we would LUV to hear about it! Email us at and let us know!

Have an amazing week everyone,

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Perfectionism Point

I came across a post the other day on as I was searching through some of the blogs that I try to follow on a regular basis and this post really struck a chord with me… I think sometimes that in our drive to attain our goals we adopt an all-or-nothing mindset, we see our goals, and know what we need to do to attain them, but at some point along the way we come to a point where we mess up, we fail, we don’t accomplish what we set out to do in the time frame that we have given ourselves to accomplish it, and ultimately, we give up

Since when did perfectionism become a part of the journey? When did we start losing grace for ourselves? When did we start being so rigid that the only option when we mess up is totally giving up on what we had set out to accomplish in the first place?

For so long, this is how I viewed my journey towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. I would set a goal for myself – a clear goal of losing a specific amount of weight, or eating a certain way, or exercising a certain number of times during the week, and so on and so forth. I would start so strong, and after a few weeks I would, without fail, mess up. I had such a hard time getting past my tiny failures that I would just completely give up on everything that I had set out to accomplish – and be even more defeated than before.

As time went on, and the cycle continued, I realized that something had to give. At some point I had to stop giving up just because I had messed up (eaten a really bad cheat meal, eaten terribly for a whole day or week, or missed my workouts for a few days) and realize that failure is all part of the journey, and what really matters is what you do when you struggle with those things because YOU WILL STRUGGLE with them. This concept can honestly be applied to every area of your life, because how often do we let the fear of not being perfect keep us from trying or doing something that we have always wanted to do. The real question when we find ourselves in these situations isn't whether or not you will let those struggles and challenges define you and break you – but whether you will embrace them as part of your journey, let those failures make you stronger and motivate you to keep on fighting…

Check out what Jill has to say about how perfectionism may be holding you back:

1) Perfectionists assume the path to success is linear and predictable.

As humans, we crave certainty. This is no more apparent than in the quest to get lean. We want ‘The Magic Meal Plan’ that will guarantee results. People always say, “Jill, just tell me what to eat and I’ll do it.” I can do that all day long–a fat loss meal plan is a click away on google–but a) the journey is not the same for everyone and there is no one single plan that is the answer and b) Your body is not a straight-up furnace. You don’t eat and exercise and get a very specific result. You make the best choices possible and then your body is going to do whatever it’s going to do, and your only job is to roll with the punches. Understand that fat loss is not linear, nor predictable and the more prepared mentally you are for that, the better off you’ll be. You’ll be happier, and more willing to put in the work to figure it out along the way. Life is the same way. There are zero guarantees. There are only choices. We can never predict outcomes, as much as we want to. And perfectionists assume they can control outcomes. This sets us up for failure.

The solution: Assume that things will NOT go according to plan, and that bumps, bruises and struggles are an inevitable part of the journey. In fact, embrace them.

        2) Perfectionists fear failure.

This is normal human stuff. I get it. Failure doesn’t feel good. Pain doesn’t feel good. Letting yourself or others down doesn’t feel good. But that doesn’t mean it needs to mean that you suck. Often perfectionists are afraid of failure because of what they make it mean about them. I used to do this  alllllll the time, and often still do. I hate confrontation. I avoid conflict. When I fail, I have a gut reaction that wow, I suck. But I also understand now that sometimes, you have to confront. You have to engage in conflict and you have to use failure as feedback to get better. It doesn’t have to mean you are bad. A failure doesn’t mean that you are a failure. They are 2 different things. Failure is simply a way for the world to clue us into the fact that our path needs some work, that we need to figure something out, that we need to recalibrate. Mess up on your diet? Good! Now you have the opportunity to LOOK INTO IT and figure out a piece of your fat loss puzzle. Did you eat enough protein earlier in the day? How about fiber? Where’s your water at? Are you stressed? Not sleeping? Etc. These are all ways that you can use mess-ups as feedback to grow and get better. 
 The solution: Use failure as feedback. Mess-ups, obstacles and struggles are there for a reason–to teach us. Look for the lesson in the struggle, and resist the urge to get caught up in self-reproach.

3) Perfectionists use an all-or-nothing, black-and-white approach. 

I have written on the all-or-nothing approach to nutrition many times. It is a trap. It’s a trap where you have to be perfect on your eating or else you suck. And it’s self-inflicted because we hold ourselves to some impossible standard that not even the most successful fitness models and competitors can maintain. The pros cheat sometimes and they have to eat healthy FOR A LIVING. You have a job, kids, a home to maintain, relationships, friends, family, chores, etc. And yet, perfectionists refuse to throw themselves a bone because they need to be Superwoman. Doing the all-or-nothing thing with dieting only sets us up for misery in the short-term and failure in the long-run. All-or-nothing always ends up being … nothing. 
 The solution: Embrace the nuanced journey. There will always be gray between the black-and-white and honestly, gray gets results too. At some point, gray becomes the new black because black-and-white dieting is unsustainable. Throw yourself a freaking bone.

4) Perfectionism keeps us small. 

Often perfectionists will get defensive if they encounter opposition. This was a biggie for me for many years. At the slightest insinuation that I was doing something wrong, I got super defensive and sensitive. I made it all about me and how the other person was wrong. Talk about a victim! I needed to get over myself! Perfectionists use any kind of constructive criticism to reinforce the victim role. And when we are a victim, we are closed off to suggestions, and can’t see that we might be able to do something different in order to grow. I say perfectionism keeps us small because when we operate from a perfectionist mindset, we often refuse feedback and can’t see that it might be us that can or should change. Not “other people.”
The solution: When you start to feel criticized or start to feel that knee-jerk defensive reaction bubble up, ask yourself, is there some truth to what this person is saying? Did I play any role in this situation? You don’t have to be a doormat and you don’t have to agree with everything someone says about you, but remain OPEN to suggestions and ask always if there is some way you can use it to grow and get better.

5) Perfectionism stalls our achievement. 

Imagine having to wait for everything to be just right before taking a chance. I see this in business all the time, and I love this from Jeff Walker: “Perfectionism is an excuse to justify procrastinating.”  I agree. Needing everything to be perfect is a cop out. A crutch. An excuse to not get things done. It’s a way to avoid making mistakes. It’s a way for us to try to control what happens, when that’s actually impossible. I prefer the “ready, fire, aim, aim, aim…” approach. But it takes courage to take a chance and let the chips fall where they may. It takes someone confident enough to take the blows, to handle potential negative feedback without crumbling and to roll with the punches. 
 Perfectionists are fragile. Resiliency takes time, practice and lots of falling down. 
 The solution: Just take action. Like, right now. Stop waiting for everything to be just so. There will never be a “right time” to take a chance, to quit that job, to start that business, to dive into the fat loss process, to do that competition you’ve always thought about. Like I say with my Best of You Coaching gals, just Get Sh*t Done. #GSD. Done will always beat perfect because perfect never gets done

6) Perfectionists have a hard time appreciating the journey. 

This is a dangerous place to be–unable to be grateful for where you are because anything less than complete and utter achievement is not good enough. This is the definition of the rat-racer. And we do this with our bodies all the time: “As soon as I lose 10 lbs, then I’ll be happy.” or “As soon as I win my pro card, then I can relax.” The problem with the rat-racer mentality is that it only allows for you to be happy when you attain a specific result, and even then, it’s not enough because there’s always the next thing. Perfectionists have a hard time appreciating the journey. They see it as an inconvenient means to an end. And remain dissatisfied until they reach their goal, only to set out to reach the next goal. Not being able to feel gratitude is a scary part of the perfectionist mindset. Those who are the most happy and the most productive are the ones who see the journey as part of their destination. And they are grateful for the struggle along the way. 
 The solution: Embrace the journey as part of the destination. It’s your OPPORTUNITY to learn, grow and get better. In fact, it’s where all the good stuff happens. Practice feeling grateful along the way and I think you’ll find yourself a whole lot happier in the process. Love this from Jeff Goins: “When you’re sweating and bleeding and loving every minute of it, remember: this is the reward.” 

I hope that this inspired you all as much as it did for me. Do you struggle with trying to attain perfection in areas of your life where you should try to embrace the journey more? 

Until next time,

You friends at JQ Fitness