Monday, October 28, 2013

Letting Go

Once again after moving as fast as I can, I have bought a business and ended one in eight months. 
I've been reading up a whole lot on stress and I am always interested in doing things that make me feel a whole lot better. My self diagnosis this month, after running on 110% with my engine revved in high gear for years, is that I am dealing with 'adrenal exhaustion'. I couldn't do anymore and felt the need to LET GO of everything outside of my family and home.  It is time to rebuild slowly and to consider acting OPPOSITE of how I feel.

I don't need to go to the doctor for this one as she's already telling me what I intuitively know.  I am opting for the spiritual and holistic approach to healing this ailment.  It is so refreshing to have this approach given as an option from an MD, yet that's what makes Dr. Northrup such a refreshing read.

I have had an extremely high stress load in the last decade and it's finally caught up to me I am ready to make significant changes. I've run from the pain of loosing my mom, getting divorced, loosing my dad six months later, my mother-in-law 3 weeks later, my uncle the following year and a year later suddenly loosing my dear younger sister to a brain aneurysm.  Multiple moves, marriage (good stress), having two beautiful babies (good stress), having my brother deported, almost loosing my eldest brother a month after my sister died, my only aunt leaving to move away to Scotland; major job changes, retraining into new career, buying a business and ending a business.  A lifetime of loss in a decade, yet being from such strong Irish stock you just get on with it.  As my mom would say, 'too bad, so sad, that's life' and we'd chuckle.  I've been moving so fast so as to not have to feel any of the emotions.  The last time I slowed down I fell into post-partum depression and really who has time for that so I started moving fast again, working-out, running, training, planning my life.  People used to say, 'Wow how do you do it all?" What I didn't understand is that maybe what they meant to say was slow down, don't do so much.  I honestly didn't know any other way and who in the world was going to do it all if I didn't?  I should have had a clue that the fear of doing yoga meant I feared slowing down.  Whatever would become of me if I slowed down?   

Today I know there is no way through processing stressful events but directly through them.  I cannot run away or stay in denial.  Past experience has shown me that our body knows how to slow us down when it's under great stress. In 2000, when my mom was facing amputation of her first leg,  I contracted shingles and my doctor asked if I would now consider a month of rest.  I have a choice to take action today and slow down before that or something worse happens.  So I can race after what I think is best for me or I can slow down and let wellness and opportunities come to me, while I'm busy taking care of me and my family.

I must be honest and tell you that slowing down goes 100% against my natural urge to race out and make it happen. You see I've always thought that slowing down would mean I'd miss opportunities, I would fall behind, go broke or loose it all.  A little dramatic or black and white but that' s me and how I often think.   I do get red flags or intuitive signs on whether to go this way or that way but I only see them if and only if I get quiet and listen.  If I want something really bad I speed up again and miss the signs.  The message this month given to me by multiple teachers; is to BE STILL and it fills me with terror!  I can't figure out why other than it is the unknown.  For me the wonderful saying BE STILL AND KNOW I AM GOD comes to mind and it sounds like a peaceful and wonderful thought- FOR you! 

Today though that is my meditation, BE STILL.  I'm handing over my wellness, career and my life, I am done.  I am excited to see what is planned because my planning hasn't resulted in the best things for my health and my family.  I've trained others to wellness, started them on the path, cheered and encouraged them and then sat down on the sideline exhausted, disillusioned and wanting cookies.  My good friend Elaine has warned me after I told her of a great job opportunity I recently saw, to not get on the 'next bus' as I might miss the 'right bus'.  I'm moving slowly into a very exciting chapter of my life, I have no idea what it looks like but I'm excited nonetheless, the suspense is almost too much to bear but I promise myself I will sit on my hands and let it happen.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Travel or holidays coming up soon? Keep on being active and moving throughout the summer months.

Dragonfly fitness is happy to welcome guest blogger Mike.  He shares tips on how to stay active and adhere to a fitness routine while travelling.  Have a safe and active summer. 

Keep on Moving While Your Travels Take You Away from Home

You might be glued to your fitness routine whether you hit the gym, go to the pool, take a daily bike ride or go to an exercise class. But when it is time to go on a trip, many of us throw our exercise program out the window. However, you don't need to be one of those people if you plan ahead and be diligent about including fitness into your travel itinerary. When organizing your trip, just imagine that you are a travel agent, planning a fitness-focused vacation or business trip for your client. You are important. Make your health a priority and stay active.

The Right Place: Choosing a Hotel that Cares about Fitness

First of all, you need to think about your accommodations. Don't be too casual about finding a hotel as you can easily find one that has a quality fitness room and a pool. You might even find a resort that provides you with exercise classes. On my last trip to San Francisco, I was able to book accommodations that had superb facilities and classes when I wanted to use them by checking through a travel reviews site/app called Gogobot. Gogobot gave me a list of San Francisco hotels and from there I was able to discern which ones had the best facilities for the price I wanted without giving up the other parts that make a hotel room great. If you can’t find a hotel with fitness facilities, your room can turn into your fitness room as well. You have your body for plank exercises, push-ups and sit-ups. Bring some resistance bands for more strength training and your laptop can provide you with access to an exercise instructor in your room. And don't forget to bring sneakers and workout clothes as you can't leave any room for excuses. See this great resource for ways to incorporate exercise into your hotel stay. Once you get to your hotel, be sure to schedule a time every day in your itinerary when you will exercise. If you want some variety, do something different each day -  head to the pool one day, the fitness room the next, a walk the following day and work out in your room on another day.

Don't Forget About Staying Active While on the Road or In the Air

When you head to the airport, park far away and make your walk in a workout. Once you get inside, don't stay in one place, walk from one end of the airport to the other. Some international airports are catering to patrons and even providing them with exercise rooms and walking courses while they wait for their flight. Use them! Don't waste any time just taking up space! If you are driving, be sure to stop every few hours, get out and take a walk. Not only will you be less fatigued but you will have more energy and your body will thank you.

Make Exercise Part of the Plan

Depending where you are, you could play tourist and rent a bicycle or take a hike. Visit museums or take guided tours – both usually encourage lots of walking. Take a cue from Men's Health for suggestions. Keep healthy food choices in your room. When you go out to eat, choose from the lighter side, combining your eating habits with your exercise efforts and when you return home from your trip, you’ll be satisfied with the knowledge that you took good care of yourself while you were away on business or pleasure.

Mike Manning


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Exercise as a Cancer treatment?

I was out running the West Vancouver Seawall Monday night with my Body Exchange Run Group and I don’t like admitting this but it’s the real me.  Unless I get my exercise in for the day my mindset can tend to waver to the depressive and negative sadly that is how this chick is hardwired.  No matter what I do I cannot think myself out of these thoughts and feelings.  I have to move myself out of them.  Thirty minutes is all it takes of elevating my heart rate to release a flood of endorphins and soon after all is right in the world and everything seems possible.

 I was asked by a guest blogger, Melanie Bowen to share her writings and I’m always happy to provide a platform for health and wellness.  Fitness is not just for the fit, it is for all; beginners, plus size, young and old and those battling disease. 

Friends and loved ones with cancer don’t get to control most aspects of what is happening to them when their battle begins.  For some, exercise can become that one thing they can control to promote improved wellness both physically and mentally.  Melanie has a heart and a voice for those battling cancer.   Thank you Melanie for your encouraging tips below.  

Exercise: An Additional Cancer Treatment
Exercise is essential to living a healthy life. It strengthens the heart and muscles of the body, as well as improves circulation to the limbs and internal organs. In general, exercise simply makes people feel better about themselves. Despite these universal benefits, certain people have been discouraged from having an exercise regimen. Cancer patients are among those people. After years of forbidding patients from exercising, doctors now urge cancer patients to exercise because of the long list of benefits which research has indicated actually helps.

Strengthens the muscles
One of the unfortunate side effects of cancer is extreme fatigue. Many cancer patients have their hearts and muscles weakened even further when they go through treatment. Any movement that further exerts these muscles may seem more harmful than beneficial. However, the exact opposite appears to be the case. Light to moderate-intensity exercise will strengthen a cancer patient's muscles and give him or her more energy throughout the day.

Improves Circulation
Another symptom commonly experienced by cancer patients is poor circulation. The problem may initially start in the heart or lungs, but it has the ability to disrupt every major function in the body. Thirty minutes of exercise each day will bring in more oxygen and the increased heart rate will allow the body to distribute that oxygen where it is needed. Improving circulation with exercise will allow the organ systems to function more efficiently which will in turn help treatments be as successful as possible.

Improves Quality of Life
People with mesothelioma and other forms of cancer tend to get depressed when they have to rely on others for help with basic tasks. However, exercise has the ability to create exactly what they need: more lean muscle mass. This new muscle mass will give them added strength when beginning treatment, which often reduces muscle mass. It will also give them confidence and a sense of pride in their independence.

Cancer is something that doctors take very seriously. Their ban on exercise was only set in place for them to monitor a patient's progress. However, moderate levels of exercise will not get in the way of that. If anything, exercise will give cancer patients the strength and courage to continue fighting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fearless Fitness at any Size

I'm not always so regular with my blogging that is and it's usually because I'm so darn busy!  I'm trying to slow down and smell the roses but plenty of time for doing that when I'm old or as the Irish would say 'on the other side of the grass'.  I'm blessed today with energy and health and I couldn't ask for more.  I did want to let you know that I've bought Body Exchange North Shore and am so pleased to be running fit camps for plus size clients as well as continuing with my Dragonfly clients.  No matter your shape or size we need to keep moving to stay well.  Check me out at

I worked for Body Exchange for years and when the licence to own was available I was all over it.  I love this group of clients because they work it and they are serious about change!  There's a level of support and encouragement I've not seen in other boot camps.  I'm all about FEARLESS FITNESS AT ANY SIZE!!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I'm coming back!

70 degrees out and I've just finished setting up my seven year old son’s lemon aid stand/garage sale out front of the house and am now able to sneak downstairs to jump on my spin bike in the basement. I've gotten back on the fitness wagon so to speak in the last two weeks. I lost all balance in my life when I took on a new sales job in February. A few pounds later and a feeling of blah both mentally and physically, I as so sick and tired of my own negative self talk I knew change was needed. I'm proud to report I am now an early morning riser as a participant at bootcamp 2x a week.

I should have known better but I dealt with my stresses in all the wrong ways. After a long day of working, juggling jobs, part time training and parenting I took solace at the end of my day on my couch with my friend, Cadbury Fruit and Nut. I was even sneaking into my husband’s potato chips when he’d go to bed early. I don’t even like chips!

It's hard work mentally getting back to healthy routines and while I'm not always at the back of the class at the 6am runs most of the time I am but I am there. I'm humbled, getting stronger and really happy at 7am when it's all done! So my couch comrades I agree coming back is hard and getting started is as well but nothing good come easy or without some ACTION. One workout at a time and having to constantly squelch the inner pessimist who wants me to fail I am now giving the power back to my inner optimist!!!

My fitness goals this month have been:
• Week one goal was to show up to class!
• Week two keep going to class!
• Week three I’ve had two goals; add an extra workout in between classes and in honor of my sister Catherine who after she died in April 2009 gave the gift of life donating two kidneys, as well as to support my good friend Pauline who is on dialysis for kidney disease; I’ve signed up to run in the 5km Kidney Walk/Run on August 12, 2012.

If you are struggling and contemplating change please pick up that 1000lb phone if you need to register for a class, a trainer or to get help and as they say, just do it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Variety the Spice of Life

Hey I’m Spin-blogging again! This multi-tasking, busy mom/trainer seldom does one task at a time!! I haven't been online or blogging for months as work was so busy in the fall that by the end of the night I’d fall asleep in front of my computer as I completed more schooling for my senior's fitness certification. Life is a little saner now in 2012. Variety has become the new spice of my work life. Last year I started a new one day contract at a local seniors centre running a day program for physical and brain fitness for seniors and I just love it! What a superb group of people.

While some may think that chair fitness is for the frail let me tell you how wrong you are. One client who is 98 years old keeps up both physically and mentally and she prefers standing up to do her weights. She can also touch her toes from a standing position and is very happy to show this amazing skill off. Can you touch your toes? The physical abilities in this group are varied and the conversational and brain fitness component is the highlight to my work week. Most of our abdominal workout comes from our laughing!

You do know you can do a full body resistance workout sitting down. Of course it is preferable for your heart if you move at a pace that makes talking uncomfortable and a few beads of sweat are a good indicator to working in the correct training zone. If at any age not just when you are a senior when you cannot motivate yourself to do any physical fitness, have an injury, a sedentary lifestyle or are just plain lazy it really is a downward and slippery slope to either illness, injury, obesity, or in some cases depression.

The amazing seniors I work with know that the key to longevity and good health (at least the part we play a role in) is eating smaller portions of healthy food more frequently, moving more, loads of laughter and being connected with others. For your sake, find a class, Google a routine or if you really need help to give it a kick, your buttocks that is - hire me (or another trainer if you must) to work with. 2012 - invest in your health!

Dragonfly Fitness is happy to provide in 2012 a new SENIORS MOBILE FITNESS AND COMPANIONSHIP Options at very affordable prices as well as telephone coaching to help you achieve those goals by breaking through and working through the issues that block you! Call me for more information at 604 803-7757 Have a healthy and happy day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's your pain?

I picked up the phone today to connect or network with a fabulous lady and successful business owner of she said something Epic to me at least and I feel it’s worthy of sharing.

We were talking about health and fitness and what it is that is blocking our clients and sometimes ourselves from achieving our desired fitness levels. What is causing the self destructive behaviours that block us from greatness such as: over-eating, over-drinking, over-anything that works in numbing us out.

Pain! What's your pain? Not the one in your knee or your back or your backside; but the one in your heart? That pain untouched, not healed or not shared will continue to cause the unhealthy self-sabotage that many of us are afflicted with.

My pain is still loss and grief. In the last decade I've lost my mom at 63 after two leg amputations, my dad 6 months later to heart attack at the age of 66 and my mother-in-law who passed three weeks later from cancer. They all missed the birth of our first son by 6 months. Just when I got a little bit of balance and what I thought a grip on parenting I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I was treated for depression but I believe it was unresolved or repressed grief.

After that next dark valley came the most unexpected and sudden loss when my baby sister dropped dead at 42 years old from a massive brain aneurysm. My bottom fell out. I have never experienced such earth shattering pain. I really thought I had experienced walking through loss until this loss. I had done multiple grief groups and counseling all good work but the loss of Catherine had me completely derailed for a good six months.

All I knew is I had to fake it for my kids and I had to keep on the path of health and wellness. I continued to teach (all the while faking joy) and yet was inspired by others wanting to change their lives and my sister was all over that. So I continue and will continue to trudge along this journey and while I've come out that dark tunnel and see sunshine again, when I experience those valleys of emotions or if I'm up late eating junk I try to pause as those are my signals to share with others my pain. Even if my head and heart aren’t connecting what's going on my negative behaviours are my signals that something is going on and usually if I talk it comes out.

A burden shared is a burden halved. I keep teaching, moving, sharing, motivating and educating so I (we) can share abundant health. So go move and be grateful for your body regardless of the shape. Remember wellness starts in our heart, then our mind, and then by moving and healthy eating. I wish you abundance.