8 Reasons that Keep me SO passionate about working out

It honestly makes me sad when people say things like “Why do you need to work out every single day? you look great.” or “ Why won’t you eat that? You don’t need to lose any more weight” It frustrates me to hear these things because my decision to maintain a daily fitness routine and eat clean is about sooooo many more reasons then just losing weight you guys. PLUS it’s totally possible to be skinny while NOT healthy and NOT strong. So it also makes me sad when people don’t make fitness a priority because they’re blessed with good genes that keep them looking lean and fit (when really on the inside they are the farthest thing from it!). Those good genes are going to do nothing for you when your bones are weak and your arteries are clogged in 20 years from you being inactive and eating all the wrong foods. I know that sounds a little harsh but it’s the reality and I care too much about you to not say it. So here are 8 reasons I came up with that have motivated me to get into the best shape I can possibly be:
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Stress Release: My husband said to me about a month ago “I’ve noticed that you’ve been a lot less stressed lately”. I thought about it for a moment. I hadn’t really made any huge eliminations or changes in my life that would make things less stressful. In fact, with coaching AND my photography business, I’ve been struggling with balance over the past months. But previously, I had a hard time managing my stress and would have breakdowns to my husband on a regular basis which involved me crying and telling him that I was going to quit everything because I couldn’t keep up with being a mom, a good wife, and running multiple businesses.  Since I’ve been working out consistently, those endorphins have totally been helping me to relieve stress.  I don’t feel as stressed in general but when I do feel it, I’m able to manage it a lot better.  It’s really amazing what that extra release of hormones does for you! Studies have shown that even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
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The Joy Factor: I am just all around happier when I’m active. Again, those endorphins just get going and affect my mood in such a drastic way! If I miss a morning workout, my morning just is not off to a great start! I can totally feel it. Me being more joyful, totally affects my relationships with my family and my friends and just anyone in general really.
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Getting Stronger: A couple weeks ago on The Social, the girls were chatting about how there’s been a recent shift in the media from making women think they have to be small and skinny to encouraging women to be HEALTHY and STRONG and I couldn’t be happier about this! My goal with my consistent fitness routine is not to become the smallest I can, but to become the STRONGEST and HEALTHIEST I can and that’s my hope and prayer for the women I coach as well. I am able to lift weight and move my body in ways I have never been able to before and it feels SO good. I also have so much more energy to keep up with my kiddos and that alone feels amazing.
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The me-time: The time I spend in the morning working out, before anyone else in my house is up has become so important and necessary for me. It’s my time to just focus on myself, recharge, pray, reflect and energize for the day ahead. I always come upstairs from our gym feeling so refreshed and ready to take on the day. Focusing on me and my own health for those 30-40 minutes each day gives me the energy I need to focus on everyone else in my family the rest of the day. So important!!!!!!
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The Anti-aging affect: If you want to feel younger then your years, make your work-out routine a PRIORITY in your life. It WILL make a difference as you age. I’m 29 and I STILL get ID’d at the liquor store so let’s keep it that way. 😀 My short term goal is to still be ID’d at 40 ok?!?! Research states that a regular fitness routine can help improve your bone-density as you age too. Work out consistently and you WILL look and feel younger as you age.
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Confidence Booster: 
As a mentioned above, weight loss has never been the sole factor in my decision to get healthy but feeling comfortable in my skin was definitely a goal! Since I’ve been become stronger and leaner and more fit, I  DO feel SO much more confident. I feel like I can wear whatever I want to wear and I haven’t felt that way in a LONG time. When I feel more confident about my body, I feel more confident in EVERY area of my life! To step out and do things I would never normally do, to encourage and uplift others, to be who God designed me to be.
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My Kids: One of my biggest motivating factors back in November when I decided to get my health on the right track was totally my kids. They are my world. I want to be around for as long as I possibly can to watch every milestone, to have lots of grandchildren and lots of great grandchildren too. I also want them to lead by example. I want only the best for my children as far as their health and happiness goes and a big goal of mine is to inspire them to be active, healthy and fit too! How can I do that if I’m not walking the walk?!?!
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The Inspiring Factor:  I’ve always had a passion to inspire people, to teach, to educate. (I do have a teaching degree after all!). One of the most motivating factors in pushing through the days when I really don’t feel like working out is to inspire and encourage others to keep going when they feel like they can’t. That’s why I love my challenge groups so much! We are what we surround ourselves with and I know people are watching my journey so I’m encouraged to keep sharing and inspiring in hopes that others will join in and get healthier too!
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So those are just a few reason’s why I’ve become so passionate about working out and getting IN SHAPE. Are you convinced yet?!? I would LOVE to help you get started. 

 

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Brussels Sprout Salad

I didn’t plan to blog today but I made this salad for lunch and thought it was definitely worth the share! I love when I can open a recipe book and find things to make that involve ingredients I already have in the fridge or cupboards. 3-4 ingredient recipes are my best friend (and ones I can normally manage without screwing something up) soooo you’ll be seeing a lot of those around here! I was feeling uninspired for lunch today so I grabbed this book and found this easy peasy brussels sprout salad. First of all, I might be so dumb but I didn’t know you could make a salad with brussel sprouts?!?! I was out of lettuce ALL week! Normally we boil or fry our brussel sprouts so it didn’t even occur to me to eat them raw in a salad! But it was delicious! So here’s what’s in it:

  • Brussel sprout leaves
  • avacado (only a few slices! I have a about 1/3rd of an avacado – it’s a healthy fat but you still have to be careful! ;))
  • pumpkin seeds
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Toss and done! I had some sliced chicken on the side as well for protein! Enjoy!!

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What does a day of meals look like while on the 21 day fix?!

My first 21 day fix absolutely changed my life. Prior to starting the program, I thought I was doing a great job at eating healthy. I ate fruit and vegetables daily. I ate a lot of fresh, unprocessed foods. Tried to stick to brown rice and whole wheat bread and pastas and I was pretty limiting of my sugar intake. Sounds ok right? But I was still doing a lot of things WRONG!

I wasn’t eating NEAR enough veggies in my diet, way too many fats (like a whole avocado for example oooops!!) and carbs, skipping meals all the time (mom life), and snacking on the wrong foods late at night! The fix uses this amazing color coded container system that teaches you how to measure your portions properly and get exactly the right amounts of each of the food groups in your diet. I couldn’t believe how simple and doable it was for my busy schedule, yet it helped me to make such drastic changes to my diet and kick those bad habits to the curb!

I hate diets. I hate feeling restricted and deprived. I had tried so many things in the past to get healthy and just got discouraged and quit. But to be honest (other than my starbucks withdrawal when I cut it out that first month :P) I never once felt hungry or deprived when doing this program.  I actually eat MORE in a day than I was before I started the fix, just the right foods.

The changes and healthy eating habits I’ve adapted, have stuck with me as I go into month 5 of this new lifestyle. It actually excites me to fuel my body with so many healthy foods because I know what it’s done for me so far (see my results here) and I know how amazing I feel at the end of the day.

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So here’s what a day on the fix might look like (the options are totally endless and you can be as creative with your meal planning as you want to be!):

  • Breakfast: greek yogurt + kiwi, banana, blueberries
  • Snack: shakeology with berries
  • Lunch: Ryvita with chicken and snap peas
  • Snack: Celery, tomatoes and humus
  • Dinner: Sweet potato, chicken strips and cauliflower!

Not so bad right?! It pays off to give your body what it needs. 

Thanks for reading! Shoot me an e-mail at young.natalie29@gmail.com if you’re interested in learning more about the 21 day fix! xo

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Blog Launch!

I’m SO stoked to be launching this blog today! Living out a healthy lifestyle by being active daily and eating the right foods to nourish and sustain my body has become SO important to me. Encouraging and motivating others to do the same has become my BIGGEST passion over the past 4 months and that’s why I’m starting this blog. My goal is that it be an uplifting and inspiring corner of the web where I’ll be sharing my newest favourite recipes, fitness and every day fashion, real mom stuff, and my journey (both the successes and the struggles) towards being the healthiest I can possibly be.

As I launch, I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Albion Fit for a GIVEAWAY. I just adore like umm EVERYTHING in their shop and was thrilled to receive these amazing leggings to add to my spring workout apparel!  So light, comfy and can I say gorgeous?!? Albion Fit is generously giving a second pair away to a lucky winner who enters the contest on my IG! Good luck and thanks so much for following along!

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The Twins Birth Story

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We couldn’t believe the day was finally here. On Friday night as we lay in bed snuggling close, I had that butterfly feeling. Part of me felt a like I used to feel the day before a big exam in university. Anxious, nervous, wondering if I was ready. But a bigger part of me felt like I did the night before Christmas. So excited, so much anticipation, joy, happiness. I couldn’t wait to meet them, to see what they looked like, to hold them and kiss them. I got up so early that morning and made myself eat some toast and orange juice. I was being induced and we were to expect a call anytime between 6:30 am and midnight to go the hospital and begin the process. It was difficult not knowing when the call would come.  We tried to keep busy. We ran a few errands and dropped off Marley at a friends house. I got the same stares and comments I had been getting for the past month, only this time when I was asked when I was due, I could smile and say ‘TODAY!”. Was such a surreal feeling but the more I said it, the more real it felt. After grabbing a light lunch, we headed home and put on a movie to keep ourselves distracted. We were about 20 minutes through it when the call came. I think my hands shook a little as I picked it up. I knew from the private number display that it had to be the hospital. The nurse said “well, are you ready to come have those babies?” This was really happening. I said YES and we packed some last minute items before getting into the car and heading across the city towards the hospital.

After checking in, we sat in the waiting room for a while and then were escorted to a big, bright private room where the nurse asked me to put on my hospital gown and get comfy on the bed. I was hooked up to monitors that were strapped to my belly. One for each of the babies and one to monitor my contractions. They started by putting me on an oxitocin drip to get things going and a few hours later, one of the residents came in and broke my water. I tried to remain calm and comfortable and the nurses kept saying they couldn’t believe how relaxed I seemed.  My contractions started to show up pretty regular on the monitor but I didn’t have any pain for about the first five hours.  Around supper time, I suddenly wished I had eaten more that morning. I was starving! I was only permitted to have fluids, or jell-o or popsicles which thankfully tied me over for now.  Around 10:00 p.m. I started to feel my contractions quite strongly all of a sudden. The nurse told me that was great and she said that when my pain level got past a 5 out of 10, it should probably get the epidural. That didn’t take long and I was so thankful for the relief after it began to kick in.  The nurses predicted I would likely go pretty slowly this was my first time giving birth and the average rate  for dialation is about half a cm per hour and I was measuring  about 4 at that time.  Ron went to tell my parents who were waiting out in the waiting room to head over to our place and get some rest for a while as it would likely be a while. The next couple hours went by pretty quickly as the epidural allowed me take naps during contractions. Ron stayed by my side the entire time and tried to get a little rest on the cot beside my bed but he said he was too excited and anxious to sleep. The resident came back to check me at about midnight and I was a good 8 cm dilated. I couldn’t believe how fast that went! One hour later I was completely dilated and they told me I was ready to start pushing. Ron called my parents to come back as we figured our boys would be born in the next hour or so.

They wheeled my bed over to the OR as this is protocol for multiple births in case of emergency surgery for one of the babies.  With the way things had progressed over the past 3 hours, we expected the next events to happen A LOT faster then they did. But instead, I pushed for a long hard 4 hours with only slight progression. Those babies were just too darn comfortable in my belly! The only thing that kept me going was the encouragement from my nurses and midwives and having Ron at my bedside cheering me on, while holding my hand and feeding me ice chips. I found myself napping on and off between contractions and at around 5:00, they suggested I take a good rest. When I got up close to 6, I still felt like I had just run two marathons and had no strength left to take another step.  I gave it another go but I did not have much left in me. Our OB came down to discuss our options. There were two. A c-section or delivering the babies with the help of forceps. I cried a little as I didn’t think I was in the right state of mind to make an informed decision. I didn’t want to give in to a c-section after all I’d been through in the past hours but I also didn’t want  my little babes to be harmed in anyway through the optional procedure. After a lot of reassuring and with everything I had left in me, we went with the second option, the forceps. Less then an hour later, Skyler Kenneth and Bryson Michael were born at 7:01 and 7:26 am on September 22nd, the first day of fall. As I heard their little cries and saw them for the first time, I couldn’t believe that they were mine. It was a very long and difficult night but worth every moment when we got to see and hold and kiss our little babies. They were perfect. So perfect.  After family and visitors had come and gone later that night, I looked at our boys and cried and cried. I couldn’t believe that we had been blessed with this most precious gift.

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We went into the hospital the day before with no expectations of what was to come in the following hours. We had prepared ourselves for the unexpected we knew about the possible complications that could arise with a twin birth. All we had hoped and prayed for was the safety and health of our precious baby boys as they entered the world. We thank the Lord for answering our prayers.

We stayed in the hospital for two nights as I had lost a lot of blood during delivery and they wanted to make sure I was stable before we went home. When we left the hospital with our two precious bundles in our arms, it didn’t feel real. Today, they are almost two weeks old and it still sometimes doesn’t feel real. We often just stare at them together in awe and wonder, wondering how our hearts could be so much more full then we ever thought they could be. There are definitely challenging moments. Moments when we wonder how we’ll get through the day. But life with our beautiful baby boys is still more wonderful then we ever imagined it being. We are blessed.

Thanks for reading our story. Check back for more updates as the twins grow!

Photos by Raw Footage Photography. 

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