Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What's Your Story?

I was reading a post by Anthony Robbins via LinkedIn yesterday about the stories people tell themselves. He mentions, for example, someone's story might be that they can't lose weight because they are big boned. "With that as your core belief system you are not going to find a strategy... A disempowering story is one of the things that controls people and makes them stuck in their beliefs."

You can imagine how negative stories impact the choices we make on a daily basis. If you choose to believe you can't do it, you will not work towards accomplishing your goal. I think the greatest gift any parent can give their child is to give them the script that allows them to believe that they can achieve their full potential and then more. This belief will lead you to choose the right strategies that will get you there.

Changing your story is not easy - it's what you've told yourself, consciously and unconsciously, for 10, 20, 30+ years.

How do you start changing your life story?

- Identify your core beliefs; listen to the assumptions you tell yourself (I am stupid, I am too slow, etc...)
- Start slow and experiment with new ways of doing things (ex. if you think you are not intellectual enough, start reading a book you never thought you would)
- Check-in with your progress and adjust your assumptions
- Continue experimenting and pushing yourself beyond these new beliefs

It seems very easy listed as a 4 step process, but you get the gist...challenge your beliefs and prove yourself wrong. Give it time - you cannot undo a life story overnight.

Anthony Robbins ends his piece with the following thoughts and I couldn't agree more:

"Change your strategy, change your results. Change your story, change your life."

Monday, 26 November 2012

New Projects

My head is full of new ideas...and I'm working on different projects. Can't wait to reveal some of them!!!

In the meantime, I worked out for 30 minutes after work in the gym. I did 20 minutes of treadmill and some sit-ups. My speed on the treadmill was more then I've done in the past and my breathing and stamina were keeping up. Very happy!

Have a great evening everyone!

What are some of the projects that are keeping you busy at the moment? Are they in line with where you want to be going?

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Television Detox: The Results

Well my television detox is completed...and I survived!!!

I actually learnt to appreciate the silence of my home when the television was turned off. In the past 5 days I was able to advance on a number of different projects, and that was probably the biggest payoff. I even made great advances on one project in particular...more to come on that very soon!!!

Having said that I have no plans to sell my TV anytime soon!

There's a Top 3 List to Watch Less TV and a Top 3 List Why You Should Watch More TV

Top 3 Reasons to Watch Less TV:

1 - You save money on are so busy doing other things you don't have time to stuff your face mindlessly while watching TV!
2 - You get to connect with people you haven't spoken to in a while...instead of connecting with your fictional TV friends
3 - You get ahead on your to-do list

Top 3 Reasons to Watch TV:

1 - TV sounds are a great background noise - much better then the sound of your own voice :-)
2 - You get ideas and inspiration for your future projects
3 - Sometimes you deserve some time off to relax without thinking about reality

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

When is the Best Time to Exercise?

Although my TV detox has offered me more time in the evening over the last few days (2 more days remaining!!), I still struggle with one question: when is my ideal time for exercising?

I use to get up early in the morning and go to the gym before work, but with my new job and the increased traffic I'm already getting up at 6am. This past spring and summer I use to go out for a run in Old Montreal at lunch time. With my new job and the gym on premises lunch workouts could be an option, but not outside (I work right by the airport. Although I would have plenty of running space on the tarmac!). Once I get home from work I lack the energy and motivation to face the dark cold outside. But, staying a little bit later after work and working out has been a good compromise so far.

I think for me right now I need to get it done either during lunch time or after work. This might change in the next few months, but this is what feels right at this point. I know myself and I would choose sleeping in the morning over working out and I would only end up disappointed in myself for not getting up to workout.

For people like me who have never been world class athletes who are use to the rigorous workout schedule, you have to listen to yourself and try to assemble the winning conditions. For me it's about maximizing my free time even if that means shorter workouts. Something is better than nothing (and that's what would happen if I only set out to workout in the morning).

Another winning condition that has worked for me is actually putting it in my calendar and acting like it is a real meeting I have with a client. I wouldn't cancel with a client at the last minute. I also minimize the risk of having someone schedule a last minute meeting because my calendar seemed free at the time.

There is no right answer. Everyone needs to figure out what works best for them at that point in their lives. Once you figure out what's best for you, you then need to figure out what motivates you to keep doing it, but that's a whole other topic!!

How can you assemble the winning conditions in your life to get the things you want to do done?

What is stopping you from assembling these winning conditions? Is it worth it?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Results from 2nd Day of Television Detox

In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking. Sir John Lubbock

So yesterday I started my television detox...and so far so good....

I do have to admit I was anticipating how the evening would go yesterday, and in the end I was very happy with myself. I wondered what am I going to do with myself? Am I going to be able to just be...just be with me?

With the television off I was able to do a number of things including a home workout that included a number of lunges, squats and a few repititions of the "chair" (ie. leaning up against a wall and sitting in an imaginary chair - try it you'll see how imaginary exercise can be a challenge).

I also had time to read a book I had started months ago and work a bit on my blog and other projects. I'm happy that I was able to get all that done. I have so many projects in my head and just putting them off for another day in order to do something else will not accomplish anything.

Next update coming soon!

Where do you choose to spend your time? Does it truly make you happy?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Lots of Television, But What About the Workout?

Sometimes the only running I seem to be able to do is running after time...and it's a race I don't always win!

How often have I told myself that I didn't have time to get a workout in my schedule?
Often. But, how many times has this actually been true? Not as often.

My big time wasting culprit is that big black box in my living room. For many years I lived alone and my tv became my constant companion. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've sometimes caught myself turning on the tv before I even had a chance to take off my coat.

Contrary to me Carl Savard, a friend, used his television as a mechanism to find time to exercise during his weight loss journey. He would get his cardio exercise done while watching different television shows, including the Biggest Loser. 10 months and 100 pounds later his life was forever changed. Despite the demands of being a working dad of 2 young kids, he found the time to do it. Instead of sitting on his couch watching tv, he used tv as an exercise tool.

I came to the shocking realization that I can be watching tv up to 34 hours in any given week. This is not something I'm proud of. I could be doing so many different things I never seem to have time to do during that time. But instead I'm being static and not working towards realizing my goals.

And so I've decided that I'm going to try a little experiment...5 days without turning on the television...Yesterday, I wasn't sure when I was going to workout this week. Well that isn't a problem anymore!

I'm anticipating the empty house and how just being with myself will go, but I'm also looking forward to getting the important things on my to-do list done.

What is your time waster?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Mind Over Body...The Mind is a Muscle Too

Today was one of those hard days at work, and so when it came to going to my aqua spinning class tonight my motivation level was not very high.

Usually, I can work myself pretty hard in my aqua spinning class and get a good workout. For those who are wondering what exactly is aqua spinning or aqua cycling, it’s essentially a spinning class in a pool. The bikes are in the shallow end of a pool and we do a series of different exercises. Water serves as our resistance. It’s actually very cool and a full workout.

I’ve been going for a few weeks now and I know how hard I can push myself. Tonight, though, within 3 minutes my legs were already sore. In the exercise where we count how many turns we can do I was under what I can usually accomplish.

My mind and body were tired tonight and it showed.

It’s a reminder how the mind is a muscle we need to exercise and keep healthy. There will be tough days and during those days it will be harder to obtain the physical level you are use to. That’s ok. It’s one day and it’s behind me now. I just need to remember that one is just as important as the other.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Running Passion

I LOVE talking about running...for the first time in my life I can really sink my teeth into a hobby. I've always been the type of person that has liked to try many things, but I never stuck to one and had it become a passion. As an adult it's been the same. But with running and getting in shape it's different.

Today, I was talking with colleagues about fitness and running, and just speaking about it me gave me a high.

I think the reason I've stuck to the fitness and running thing all this time is because I've been able to challenge myself and push myself to accomplish things I once thought impossible.

If you want to get in shape just to get in shape it's not enough...there needs to be a stronger force than that. You have to find something that lights you up and that you enjoy doing no matter the circumstance.

Like today...after working on a presentation for a few hours I lost my file...needless to say I was very frustrated, but instead of going home and stressing about my presentation I went to the gym for a quick workout. Now my lost presentation doesn't seem like so much of a big deal anymore - I'll just start again tomorrow morning.

If time and money was no object what would you do?

Now, how do you do a little more of that everyday?

(my refreshing workout today: 15 minutes on the elliptical machine, a series of leg exercises including lunges and squats)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Kicking Mother Nature's %ss!!

There is no better feeling when you step outside in the rain and cold for a workout!

Sounds odd but it's true. It's true because it would be easy to stay inside in the warmth of your house and use the bad weather as an excuse. But, what if you decided to dress warmly and step outside to face the bad weather and workout? I guarantee you that you'll feel triumphant. Not only will you have gotten in some exercise into your day, but you will have done it while 8 out of 10 will have opted for comfort. When you push yourself there is no better feeling.

An added bonus, when you cross the other 2 crazy people that decided to step outside also in this weather you'll feel the sense of upmost respect and admiration from them. You'll telepathically tell each other, "Yeah, way to go!!! You decided to kick Mother Nature's butt too this morning!!"

This is what my boyfriend and I did this morning. -4C and raining and we each went out for our respective runs. It was a great 5km!!

1 point for the crazy runner outside, 0 Mother Nature!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Doing More of the Scary Stuff!!

After writing this blog for a few weeks now and becoming more and more comfortable about sharing it with the people around me I’ve come to a cool realization:The more you do something that scares you the less scary it becomes. The first step is the hardest.

It’s cliché I know, but it’s true. I hesitated for a long time before I started writing the blog. I wasn’t sure what purpose it would serve, would it be any good, what exactly I wanted to accomplish with it, and would it even interest people? The answers to these questions are still not clear, but I decided to not let that stop me from doing something I always wanted to do.

If I waited to get the answers to these questions before writing my first blog post I never would have gotten started. We are never 100% ready to start something that scares us, but if we don’t start at some point we never will.

It’s like the Montreal-New York City Challenge, if I waited to get more in shape or run at a sprinter’s speed I never would have embarked on this journey. The same can be applicable to all fears. If you fear exercise and you wait to get in shape you’ll never start. If you want to lose weight, but fear the stress it’ll put on your life you’ll just end up eating more.

Everything is a choice – especially when it comes to facing our fears. The key is to decide to focus on the positive impacts of facing our fears rather than the potential pitfalls. And honestly, life is much more fun when you focus on the positive impacts.

I feared the judgment of writing this blog (and let’s not kid ourselves I still fear it), but if I never chanced it I would never know the joy of knowing that even one person is reading me!

I dare you to do something that scares you today! Don’t think about it, just do it! Step out of your box. How does it feel?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Meeting the Team for the Challenge

A team comprises a group linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.

Last night I met with my fellow Montreal-New York City Challenge team members. These are the folks with whom I’ll be raising funds for charity, training with every week starting in February, and most importantly spending 3 days with in a motorized vehicle as we run, non-stop day and night, from Montreal to New York City in May.

I was looking forward to meeting them and you could feel the anticipation was the same for everyone else also in the room. Contrary to the rest of the team I’m doing this challenge with one of my good friends. Having someone who knows me and to whom I can turn to is comforting, but I don’t want to limit this experience to one person. I hope that everyone in my team will be able to teach me something about myself and push me further along in my journey.

Last night we were all feeling the same things. We have lots of questions about the logistics of the challenge, what will be the impact in all of our lives and will we succeed? It will be interesting to see how everyone will evolve ad how the team dynamics will develop. Who will become the leader, the cheerleader, the rock in difficult times, the underdog…I am curious to see what role will be mine.

Last night was brief, but I look forward to getting to know everyone.

What role do you naturally occupy within a team?

How can you push yourself into a different role that will stretch you beyond your comfort zone?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

You Can Too...

Watch this video and DARE to even tell me you can't do what you put your mind to...

There are no words...

Whenever you have doubt, fear, uncertainty think back about the tremendous demonstrate of love and the strength of the human spirit.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Anticipation...Meeting my Team for the Montreal-New York City Challenge

I got the email last week confirming that I will be meeting my team for the Montreal-NYC running challenge in the next few days.

These are the folks with whom I'll be training, sweating, raising money, and running with from Montreal to New York City during a 3 day challenge next May. Part of me is looking forward to meeting everyone (we should be 8 in total), but another part of me is definitely anxious about meeting everyone.

Will they like me? Will I like them? Am I sufficiently in shape to be doing this challenge? Will I bring the team down?

No matter what I want to be doing this challenge for me - for all the physical and mental good it will do for me. The team will be an added bonus. I hope they can challenge me to push myself further and harder then I would push myself, and I hope I will help them also along in their own journey.

Starting next Wednesday when I meet with the team and pay my enrollement fees this challenge definitely becomes real.

Bring it on!!

Monday, 29 October 2012

I am...A Powerful Lesson

I watched Oprah's Lifeclass on OWN last night with Joel Osteen and I was amazed at what a difference two simple words can make.

I am...

According to Joel Osteen "whatever follows the 'I am' will come looking for you." There is huge power to this. Think of all the times you said, "I am so tired I can't exercise." "I am not strong enough, good enough, athletic enough..."

It's all a question of attitude. What if you started saying "I am looking forward to the boost in energy exercise will bring me." "I am getting stronger, faster." Isn't it so much more interesting to live this way?

Think about the 90 year old marathoner or the handicap tri-athlete...what is their "I am"? Surely they are not telling themselves "I am too old to be running" or "I am not strong enough to be a tri-athlete." They are saying "I am full of energy. I am capable of running one more step." No one who ever accomplished something great has fundamentally believed and lived by their negative I ams. They truly believed they would be successful and capable of accomplishing what they set out to do.

Your attitude drives where you are going to put your energy and focus. Focusing on the cannot, will not and must not, will not push you to set out to accomplish your goals. They will hold you back. Your I am will set the course of your life - your I am will allow you to focus and work towards what you truly are.

I have my own negative I ams, my little gremlins, that have driven many decisions and actions in my life. I'm now more aware of the impact these can have on the course of my life. I will be careful and conscience of these.

I am getting stronger everyday. I am going to grow tremendously throughout this process of getting ready for my Montreal-NYC challenge. I am going to do my best and be successful. I am going to make a difference.

- What are your I ams?
- Are your I ams driving you towards your goals or away from them?
- How can you change your perspective?

Friday, 26 October 2012

Excuses Create Regrets

I woke up this morning very tired. Luckily it's Friday, but the energy was definitely lacking. Maybe it was last night's aquaspinning class, maybe it was just the week being almost over. Regardless, I was in no mood to get active today.

But I still pushed myself and got to the gym at lunch. A 30 minute workout was so refreshing. I even met and spoke with a new colleague about running and creating challenges for ourselves. The physical exercise was a great energy booster. The conversation was a motivator and a reminder of how great it is to push ourselves.

I could have easily have skipped out on this workout - after all I had gone to the gym already and done an aquaspinning class this week. But, I knew I wouldn't regret getting active. I've rarely, if ever, regretted getting active. I've often regretted not getting active, though. The great feeling you get after a workout is especially rewarding when you give yourself a kick in the behind and get moving. Gotta love the endorphins!

Life is too short to put off getting fit to another time. Life is busy and moves fast, and I've decided to prioritize myself.

What excuses do you use that hold you back from doing what you know is best for you?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Interesting Body Facts...Makes You Think

The human body is an amazing organism. When trained properly it can do amazing things.

Just think about marathon runners - running non-stop for 42.2kms?! That just blows my mind!

There are a few fun facts for you:

- If you had every single muscle in your body work together at the same time, you could lift about 50,000 pounds
- For every 25 pounds of excess weight, your body needs to pump blood through an extra 5,000 miles of blood vessels
- How much air do we breath every hour? About 700 gallons of air
- Regular exercise can reduce the signs and symptoms of PMS (surely a male favorite!!)

I'm going to my Aqua Spinning class tonight to get that air pumping!

What have you done for your body today?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

What's Stopping Us?

I went to the gym at my office for the first time yesterday. We were a dozen or so when I got there. Not too sure where to start, I went straight to the elliptical machine - a machine I've used in the past in other gyms. Shy to try new machines I was not familiar with I limited myself to what I knew. I didn't want to take a chance and try a new machine because people were around and would see that I didn't know what I was doing. Why did I limit myself like this? I had paid my membership like everyone else and I was in my right to use whatever piece of equipment just like anyone else.

I've always put a lot of thought and focus on what others might think of me. If I don't think I will succeed at something I probably won't do it. I have a huge fear of judgement. The result is that I've pretty much lived an average life and have rarely taken risks. But is this the life I want to be living?

At first running was a safe activity for me. I could do it alone when no one was there to judge me. But I want to do more now. I want to take risks and do things that others might judge me on. I want to live my life fully and not hold back!

"Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire." (Dale Carnegie)

This blog and the Montreal-NYC challenge is a part of that. I want to share my experiences, put it all out there and push myself to do things that will perhaps make me vulnerable to judgement. Writing and sharing all of this with cyberspace is scary, but it's part of the journey. You may judge me, think this is silly, criticize me, but for me it's part of the deal. Part of my learning experience.

A friend once told me that she was not willing to enroll in a fitness class because she wanted to lose weight before exposing herself and exercising in public. Unfortunately with this mindset she is likely to just perpetuate a vicious cycle. What would be the worst thing that could happen? Yeah people may judge, comments could be made (don't get me wrong I'm not minimizing the impact of this). But, what if we looked at the other possible outcomes? What if she started enjoying it? What if she discovered a passion, or simply a renewed energy to exercise and get fit? Isn't the benefit worth the risk?

What are you afraid of?

Where do you set limits for yourself?

What are you missing out on by not doing what you want to do?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Kilometer One

"To achieve happiness, we should make certain that we are never without an important goal." - Ralph Waldo Emereson

I've come to realize that goal setting is key to achieving results, at least for me. In the past I've been one to start a number of projects, get really passionate about them, and then without a clear end-goal in mind let these projects dwindle to a distant memory.

Running is an example of this. A few years ago I started running a few mornings per week (the most cumulative time running I remember being 18 minutes). But I had no clear goal in mind. I was just running (I like to call it running, although many would describe it as a slow jog). After a few weeks I wasn't going out as often only to eventually completely stop. Why did I stop doing something that I had really started to enjoy and could see my progression?

I had no end-goal in mind.

This year was different...

I was going to run my first 10km race - that was my goal. The registration was paid for, I had told everyone around me. There was no going back. I got online and found a training program that would get me there, I trained and I did it. My next goal was the Montreal half marathon. Same story - I registered, told my friends and family, scheduled my training runs (literally had Outlook appointments in my agenda scheduled), and focused on the incredible feeling I would get from completing something that I honestly thought might just be impossible for me.

Along the way I realized something is so much more fun living when you have goals and you set out accomplishing them!! Running those races gave me a purpose, and forced me to surpass myself a little more every week. Before setting my goal I was going through the routine of life: work, sleep, work, I was passionate about something! I was telling everybody about my goal creating accountability, and seeing the progress I was making week after week. For the first time in my life I truly understand the meaning of "it's not about the destination, it's about the journey to get there."

For me the key to success was creating a tangible, mesurable and time-bound goal. A goal that would stretch me enough and allow me to see progress along the way. Creating accountability by talking about my goal. And most importantly, having a goal that speaks to me; a goal that in my core drives me and about which I am truly passionnate.

- What do you want to do that would make you proud?

- What drives the fire in your belly?

- What will achieving that goal feel like?

Remember one step at a time, and enjoy every step along the way.

My next goal: Running my part of the distance, 80+kilometers, in the May 2013 Montreal-NYC challenge. One step at a time, one kilometer at a time and I will get there! Let the journey begin!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Let the Journey Begin...

Where to begin? Who do I think I am writing a blog about the journey I'm about to take part of over the next few months? Is anyone going to read this? Will anyone care?

These are just a few of the questions, fears and doubts that are going through my mind as I sit here in front of my computer trying to put together this first blog post.

The situation: Over the next few months I will be taking part in a team challenge that will consist of training for a run that will take us from Montreal to New York City. The purpose is to raise money for charity, but I know very well it will be much more beyond that. Running more then 700km over 2-3 days will most certainly challenge me physically, but I'm hoping for so much more.

The background: I don't, and never have, describe myself as an athlete or even a runner. I'll be the one you'll find on the sidelines encouraging others, but actually being out there on the field competing against others? Nah, I don't think so! I'm not an athlete, I'm not good enough to compete, I'll bring them all down with my poor abilities. These are all things that cross my mind when I think about participating in a sport.

However, over the last few months I have taken up running and it's led me to do things I never thought I could. I trained for months and ran my first 10km race in May 2012 in Ottawa. Over the next few months I continued to train and ran another few 10km races. Last September 23, 2012  I ran the Montreal half marathon. Yup a 21.1km race!!! It was most certainly the most difficult physical and mental challenge I've set for myself, but I did it.

I went from someone who grew up hating gym class, avoided team sports, and couldn't run for more than 10 minutes at a time to completing a half marathon! 2 hours and 39 minutes of joy, pain, doubt, excitation, more doubt and finally the statisfaction of finally accomplishing a goal I had set for myself.

Now my next challenge will be the Montreal-NY challenge (

I want to use this blog as a journal through this journey. We rarely have the opportunity to live such a challenge and I want to live it 100% through all the ups and downs, across all the emotions.

My promise: to be me, be authentic, share my thoughts and experiences, and be open to whatever this journey may teach me.

I hope you will join me on this journey!!!