Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day.  I'm hoping you've all had a chance to feel some loving today and if not, perhaps then you had the chance to give some away.  My friend was sharing that she was trying to take time to be kinder to others when she's running around doing her errands.  Simply taking moments of pause as you go through the grocery store checkout.  Instead of wishing everything went faster how about wishing everything went slower.   Taking the time to smile at others, to greet your cashier by their name (it's not only on their uniform so you can complain about them).  Shock them out of their boredom and give them a nice compliment.  I don't know about you but when I take the time to feel those good loving feelings in the mundane and everyday places I tend to feel better about everything and generally everyone. 

Okay back to fitness....and food.  We've all got so much to do and places to be that I'm going to give quick tips and I won't do information overload. Implement one or two changes per week.  Make it all manageable.  I tend to be an 'all or nothing' gal and I'm really trying to slow down and make a few realistic and manageable changes each week. 
 My session with a client today was great.  It was pouring with rain and I let her decide where she wanted the session to occur inside or out.  I was so pleased when we were running up the side of the mountain in the trails down in Deep Cove.  Protected by the trees and with the sound of the rushing river one cannot help but feel ALIVE and grateful for the lungs and the legs carrying us up the hills.  Adding hills can really help the cardio improve and by changing your routines from the same old thing.  Don't do the same form of cardio every workout or you will stop seeing results as you plateau you must confuse the muscles and you will get better results.  Well it's storytime in the next room so I must go.  Have a healthy and love filled week. 

Today's quick tip:  10 Favorite Energy Foods

  1. Whole wheat pasta
  2. Oatmeal
  3. Fruit smoothies made with low-fat yogurt
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, raisins, figs)
  6. Yams
  7. Beans
  8. Apples
  9. Carrots
  10. Chickpeas

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Unusual Workout!

Nothing like a new workout routine to keep you motivated! 

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.

Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags.

Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level.) You’ll be sweating now!!

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.

            This Irish workout is compliments of my lovely cousin Diane K. xo

Monday, February 7, 2011


First of all, your body primarily uses carbohydrates (carbs) for fuel. Fat contributes to fuel needs, but your main source of energy comes from glucose. After an evening of rest, your body’s stores of glycogen (stored glucose) is somewhat depleted. Your brain prefers glucose for energy as well. Given this information, for optimum performance and energy, it IS best to eat something prior to your morning workout.

Your best bet for a quick morning meal is some complex carbohydrate for longer lasting energy, mixed with a small amount of protein to moderate your blood sugar. You want to avoid an insulin spike at all costs (this means don’t eat only simple carbohydrates!). Follow this simple rule and you will reduce the amount of times you reach for a quick sugar fix because you will crave less by keeping yourself properly fueled.  Don’t avoid carbs rather educate yourself about which carbs you should eat.

Check out this link and cut and paste onto your fridge.

Depending on your energy needs you could try:
-a hard boiled egg and half a slice of whole wheat toast
-a cheese string and an apple
-a glass of skim milk and half a banana
-sprouted grain toast, organic peanut butter and a glass of skim milk
-half a cup of 1% cottage cheese and fruit (I combine cottage cheese with low fat yogurt)
-a protein smoothie mixed with fresh or frozen fruit

Well I must go eat my boiled egg, one piece of multigrain and jump on my spin bike!  Have a great day! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February is Heart Month

This is a very special month to me as it is the thief heart disease that ended my beloved parent’s lives.  Today I want to fight against this disease and I’m passionate about seeing sedentary or stressed individuals make the change to turn their lives around and live happier, healthier and more physically active lives.  We were created to be vibrant and happy lives.  Physical activity can be a lifesaver – literally. When you’re active 30 to 60 minutes a day, most days of the week, you can dramatically lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Regular activity also helps prevent and control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.  

Adding more activity to your daily life may also reduce stress levels, increase energy and improve sleep and digestion.  Because physical activity makes you feel better about yourself, you’re more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices and to avoid bad ones such as smoking, overeating or drinking too much alcohol.

Benefits may begin within the first week of regular activity. For example, your blood pressure may start to come down, and you could feel more energetic and relaxed. After three months you may experience better health, improved posture and balance, stronger muscles and bones, more confidence and a more positive outlook on life. Before starting a physical activity program, it’s best to speak to your healthcare provider first to discuss what is right for you.

I love you all so much that I am cutting my personal training rates in half for the month of February 2011.  For $30 hour I will train you in the month of February.  Contact me today at Dragonfly Fitness 604 803-7757 - Your Mobile Personal trainer, to set up your appointment today. 

Why do we close our eyes when we pray, when we cry, when we dream, when we kiss? Because the precious moments are not made to be seen, but felt by the heart! ♥

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gratitude and Celebration

Today is a great day!  I kicked off the sixth consecutive month of Dragonfly Fitness Group Fitness classes running and more importantly I celebrate the women who have supported my business and their lives by committing to their health and fitness!  You a beautiful, strong and amazing!  I am so proud of you. 

Through my blogging I hope to reach you with a level of honesty to help you see that while I have fitness as my passion and vocation you will see that this trainer is human and I battle many issues if not all of the same issues you do.  So today’s question is:  Am I lazy?   Hell yes, I wake up lazy!  I was born lazy.  It is my natural default and again there is no pride in proclaiming this to the cyber world I do wish I was wired differently somedays! 

There are no excuses for me in not achieving my own personal fitness goals aside from pure laziness which I combat daily.  I am telling you this because I DO NOT bounce out of bed and think, "I can’t wait to work out and do something really positive today"!   Rather I stagger from bed and think, "I have to get that workout in as I will feel like a million bucks when I do and I have never not felt better about myself, my health and life in general after a workout."

With my busy life I have to schedule that workout into my outlook calendar as an appointment.  I purposely give up an hour of paid work time to book my workout in first or else it will not get done; it is non-negotiable.  Not only does the rest of my work day become more productive but my mindset and attitude is drastically improved if I take care of me first.  That being said, secretly I’d much rather not workout and I always desire the easiest and softest way possible to that slim and toned body of a twenty year old - really don’t we all.  This is reality fitness though and not Shape Magazine so I don’t need to tell you but I will; unless you were blessed with incredible genetics and perhaps are in your twenties or in your pre child-bearing years, it certainly doesn’t work that way. 

When you are sick and tired of being sick and tired like I was you will make the necessary changes and only then.  When you are ready the North Shore has something for everyone.  Group fitness classes, boot camps, personal trainers, there is something for everyone; whether you are a beginner, plus size, intermediate, very fit or an elite athlete.  Do your research and ask questions so you don’t set yourself up to fail.  If you haven’t trained for years start at a beginner level and excel in your class, then move on up.  Do not let fear keep you on the couch any longer.  You just need to make the commitment to begin.

Start with small and realistic goals and better yet; do it with a friend or a group of friends.  It’s so much easier to commit and adhere to your program when others support you and you are accountable to them.  Some of us (me included) need a personal trainer in order to motivate and challenge me to have a focused and results-oriented training routine.  You will be amazed before you are half way through a boot camp or a few weeks of classes at how much better your feel about yourself and how your strength and energy increases. 100% of my participants increase in strength, stamina and loose inches and gain a better outlook about life and themselves. 

Make your first step today and plan your new fitness plan for 2011.  Figure out what your obstacle(s) are that are blocking you from achieving your goals and remove them or get the help to remove them.  I wish you every success one workout at a time.  Feel free to contact me for assistance and if I’m not the right person for you I will refer you to some awesome people in the fitness industry. 

Caroline O’Neill Liggett
Mother and BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer
Owner and Operator of Dragonfly Fitness

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life....It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." -Melody Beattie, American author

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Journey

So my journey back to health and fitness. I was always active and playing sports and was getting awards in school for fitness except it was always MIP (most improved player) and never MVP.  I tried not to get choked about it because it was my good friends winning those MVP awards.  I learned that I was trying my best and while I wasn’t the best, I was an important part of a team.  Team sports within school and community was where it was at as far as sports being fun but I really wasn’t one for going the extra mile unless a championship game was on the line and then it was full output of energy.  Fast forward into my twenties and early thirties and I’m not too proud too say I did as little as possible in the area of fitness unless again it was a fun volleyball league or the ultra fun of dragon-boating and skiing when I could indulge in the team bonding or get into the more important après ski events, if you catch my drift.   

Skipping ahead a few après ski moments later through an event-filled decade of my life to after my first child were born in my late thirties. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant with son number one, both my parents died suddenly within 6 months of each other and my mother-in-law died 3 weeks later.  It was a very dark time.  I glided through on numbness, autopilot and support from good friends.  After son number two was born two years later it seemed to all hit, the grief, the hormones and the postpartum depression.  I began trying all methods of help available and as usual the last resort was exercise and it miraculously became my number one medicine.  Today it is the mood regulator that works for me; I cannot live without it.  I fell in love with fitness after I realized the benefits and it was the answer to reclaiming my physical health and mental health.  Son number two arrived a whopping 10.5lbs. and needless to say I had more than a few pounds to shed.  It has been a slow road back to where I feel good in my skin and strong in my skin. 

Making the choice to be at home with my two boys I began re-training for a career in fitness which would allow me to juggle both family and work. Today if I miss a day of fitness it’s my husband who cringes and tries very hard to support me in opening up time to get it done.  I’m very serious when I say it is mood altering drug for me. 

I’m not sold on any one specific workout as I’ve had to learn to enjoy many types due to my lifestyle.  When my children were young exercise DVD’s and free weights was what worked best for my schedule as I could not get out the door until Mr. Wonderful came home.  I then took a turn at running (literally out the door) for a few seasons of 10km’s and running clinics.  Then came the need to get out with others and I found excellent boot camps on the north shore designed to kick my butt back into shape and of course the local recreation centers always had a class that fit into my schedule.  Today I teach group fitness classes, at the local recreation centres, teach privately and have personal training clients who I just love working with. I also attend sessions with a personal trainer on the North Shore.  Chris Kwan has just a few years on me but she is sinewy, strong and truly leads by example and is a wonderful woman.  She makes me laugh and I really like her, aside from being qualified that is for me important component when picking a trainer.  Tomorrow I’ll chat about some of the obstacles that block me from achieving my goals.  Have a healthy day!

Caroline O’Neill Liggett
Mother and BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer
Owner and Operator of Dragonfly Fitness

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reality Fitness After 40

Many women have the luxury of awaking to their alarm clocks with soothing music playing to gently lull them out of their sleep. My alarm clock kicks my door open and in a split second has thrown its 65 pound body across mine and is doing his best renditions of Kung Fu Panda across my bed and bouncing of my body. Just when I’m coming too after the initial shock and my heart rate is coming down to a normal resting rate, in runs number two son and the belly flops begin. I slither out of bed unnoticed looking for my cup of coffee. Another day has begun and I vow today will be different. I will be focused, organized and of good spirit. I will create a home full of peace, harmony and incredible efficiency. Minutes tick by, the coffee is ready and the breakfast is done.  We’re organized and we all fall into our TV and computer habits and then I look at the clock and panic! WE’RE LATE!!! HURRY UP! Get your shoes on! Where’s your backpack?!  Mom...scholastic orders are due, it’s hot lunch day I'm told after I've made the lunches, irritated at them for not telling me earlier but honestly irritated at myself for not taking time to read my notices from the school.  If only I was more organized.  Why don’t I get up an hour earlier and meditate or go for a run?  If I was just more disciplined then everything would be peaceful and serene.  Not today Zorg!

We are loud, we are wild and yet we are all happy within seconds of driving to school – even somewhat ecstatic if we know we have beaten our neighbor Tina to school. We arrive first at school and the van is unloaded, the boys run to their friends and the day stretches out ahead of me - full of promise. I once again imagine in what order I should organize my work, the errands and ultimately and most importantly; my much needed workout – my medicine!  Check in tomorrow and I’ll share my journey back to health and fitness.