How to Take Progress Pics

No matter where you are in your fitness journey or what shape you’re in, I STRONGLY encourage you to take progress pictures.  Not only do they keep you in check, but they are also very motivating…they either motivate you to work harder when you don’t notice improvement, OR they motivate and increase your momentum when you recognize the awesome results you’re achieving!

I recommend taking them on a monthly basis.  Bi-weekly works too, but just make sure you are patient and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a huge difference.  Results take time.

Here’s how to take progress pics:

FRONT – stand tall with feet together, flex everything, smile
SIDE – stand tall, flex abs, lift arms up and out of the way
BACK – stand tall with feet together, shoulders back, flex arms

Stay consistent as possible with time of day, lighting, posture, your outfit, and even hair (up vs down can make you look differently).

Some other ways to measure progress:

  • weigh yourself on a scale
  • compare how your clothes fit
  • calculate your BMI or body fat %
  • measure areas of your body (ie: biceps, waist, hips, thighs)

It’s effective to use more than one way to measure your progress.  I can’t emphasize enough how the bodyweight scale should NOT be your main determiner, as there are so many factors that go into how much you weigh.  You will also fluctuate each day depending on what you ate, how much water your body is holding, how much you sweat, etc.

Alright, friends – the month just started, so take your progress pics today and see what your body is capable of in a month!  And if you’re looking for some extra support with an online fitness program, let’s connect.

xo,
Sheena

Advertisements

How to Find Your Motivation

Anyone can get unmotivated at times, but it’s how we recover from the slump that matters!

Here are some quick tips to catapult you back into feeling MOTIVATED:

Write down your goals.  Don’t just think them in your head, physically write them down and post them up where you’ll see them daily.  This will be a constant reminder of what you’re striving for, keeping you laser focussed.

Celebrate the small wins.  Things can seem overwhelming, so instead of only aiming for a big end goal, keep in mind some smaller ones so you can celebrate and enjoy the journey along the way.  This will also help create momentum.

Choose your influences.  Surround yourself with things that lift your spirits and people who inspire you.  Read books/blogs, watch motivational videos, and listen to influential speakers…these are all at our fingertips on the World Wide Web.

Obtain an Accountability Buddy.  Reach out to someone who is willing to check in with you every once in awhile, and call you out when they notice you sliding…and vice versa.  Bonus if they have similar type of goals as you, but not necessary.

Check yo self.  Is your mindset in the right place?  If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and psyching yourself out, snap out of it and tell that inner voice to STFU.  You deserve to be awesome, and you deserve to do awesome things.

Know your ‘Why’.  Be crystal clear on it.  If you deeply know why you’re doing something, you will feel driven, excited, and like nothing can stand in your way.  Once you know your ‘why’, write it down.

Do what Nike says…and just do it!  Sometimes you just need to stop overthinking and just go for it.  Stop worrying/stressing/dreading/analyzing, and start doing.  Take that leap and go after the things that set your soul on fire.

Practice these tips consistently and soon you’ll notice the momentum you’ve built.  Things that used to be a struggle will become part of your natural routine.  This applies to all things – health, fitness, work, life, etc…

With all my clients, I encourage them to take control of their goals, which will increase their program adherence and enjoyment.  They set both process goals and product goals that excite them, which makes the journey that much more fun.

Feel free to contact me to bounce goal ideas off of.  I’m happy to support you!

And remember, if you happen to fall, that’s totally okay…you’re human!  Get back up, set your focus, and go after your goals once again.

xo,
Sheena

Vegan Low-Carb Cookies

Here’s my recipe for incredibly delicious vegan low-carb COOKIES!

Ingredients:
2 cups Almond meal
1 scoop Hard Magnum Choco Love protein
1/2 tbsp Baking powder
1 tbsp Flaxseed meal
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp Stevia
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
5 tbsp Unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp Almond butter
Chopped vegan dark chocolate
Mixed nuts to top

Pre-heat oven to 375F, mix dry ingredients, then mix in wet ingredients til you have a cookie dough consistency (add almond milk if too try, add almond meal if too wet), prep baking sheet with coconut oil, roll dough into balls, flatten them with a spoon, top with a nut, bake for 8 min…and enjoy!  Simple as that.

Aren’t they beautiful?  Good luck resisting eating the whole batch at once!

xo,
Sheena

How to Stop Binge Eating

One binge eating session won’t do you much harm, but when it becomes a DAILY habit, then we have a problem.  This was me for about four straight months.  I was never hungry throughout the day because I was constantly eating…especially at night, when I would eat like there was no tomorrow.

To paint a picture, this is how my day would look:

  1. Breakfast – oatmeal & eggs
  2. Snack – Mary’s crackers & hummus
  3. Snack – Larabar
  4. Lunch – chicken, yams, veg
  5. Snack – Mini Crisps
  6. Post-workout – protein shake
  7. Snack while cooking – baked potato chips
  8. Dinner – protein, veg & noodles of some sort
  9. Dessert – an entire dark chocolate bar
  10. Snack – perogies
  11. Midnight snack – Coconut Bliss ice cream

Some days I’d eat healthier foods, some days I’d eat unhealthier foods…but I am not even exaggerating about the number of times I’d eat a day.  Literally all day long I would be obsessing over food and giving into my cravings.  Soon, the poor diet caught up with me and it affected my mood, my energy, my focus, my skin, my weight, my fitness progress, my wardrobe…not exactly the best feeling in the world.

Finally, I found the strength to break the cycle and started trying different things…

I tried a cleanse – it didn’t really work.
I tried the keto diet – it wasn’t for me.
I tried acupuncture – I’m not sure if it did anything.
I tried chewing gum – but chewing gum makes me hungry, so then I’d find myself searching for food again.
I tried intermittent fasting – I didn’t notice weight-loss, but I did like how it saved me time in the mornings where I’d usually prepare/eat breakfast, AND this is what made me comfortable with feeling that hunger pang again.

By experimenting and taking action, I broke my habit of eating until hating myself and finally gained control over my diet and mind again.  Hallelujah!

Here are tips to stop binge eating once and for all:

  1. Find a diet plan that’s maintainable and suitable for you.  For me, it’s flexible dieting…for others, it may be keto, intermittent fasting, paleo, low carb, etc.
  2. Don’t buy or store any junk food in your home, even if you think you’ll just have one piece…’cause you won’t, you’ll have the whole freakin’ bar.
  3. Plan, plan, plan.  When you plan out and prep your meals, it’s easier to stick to a healthy diet.  From my list of meals above, I only planned my breakfasts, lunches and a couple snacks, and then the rest of my meals were whatever I was craving, leaving too much room to slide.
  4. Find an Accountability Buddy and have them check in with you periodically.  You can even put something on the line (something that gives you a little anxiety over losing) to help prevent falling off track.
  5. Remember your WHY and your GOALS, as those are what will keep you laser focussed and help outweigh any internal debate about having another plate of noodles.
  6. Practice self-love.  Don’t eat until you hate yourself, feel bloated, weighed down, and moody…eat certain foods because you love yourself and so you feel good inside and out!

Whether you’re a binge eater or not, I hope this has shed some light on how you can have a healthy relationship with food.  Nourish and take care of your body, and your body will thank you.

xo,
Sheena

A Little Update on Me

It’s been awhile since I talked about my health and fitness journey on here, and that’s probably due to a combination of avoidance and life getting hectic.  For the past several months, I’ve been struggling emotionally, mentally, and physically…and only now, am I starting to feel like I’m getting my sh*t together.  It’s still a loooong road ahead, but I am definitely feeling more sane, relaxed, and grounded now.

Back in October 2016, I started to feel a bit off.  My stress levels started to increase and my health started to decrease.  Up until December 2016, I was still training to compete in a bikini fitness competition…but I finally cracked and decided it’s not the right time.  For my sanity, I needed to take the pressure off and just focus on feeling better.

In January 2017, I developed a pain in my shoulder and severe tension in my upper back and traps, which hindered my training and caused lack of sleep and moodiness from the constant discomfort.  I was going for Active Release Therapy (ART), RMT, acupuncture, chiro, and physio appointments every single week, while working two jobs and taking my Personal Training course.  I was tired, overwhelmed, and unhappy… It was about this time that I started to binge eat…like there was no tomorrow.  I succumbed to every little craving, and would eat even when I was super full.

I progressively gained weight, lost energy, lost motivation, became depressed and just went into this deep dark hole where I also convinced myself that it was a good idea to take some time away from the gym.  So for three months, I let myself relax (though I did not feel relaxed at all) and focussed on work and my studies (though I also had a lot of trouble focussing).  My health didn’t get any better and neither did my stress levels…in fact, it got worse.  Soooo, I highly recommend that you DO NOT approach stressful times this way 🙂

In April, I decided it was time to get my a$$ back to the gym…so I did, and it felt amazing.   It was a struggle, and it was not fun trying to wear my gym outfits and realizing they don’t fit the same way anymore…but I still went.  I wouldn’t let that bring me back down.  It was this part in my journey where I realize that patience is key.  When I can accept where I am and be gentle with my approach, the whole process just feels that much more enjoyable.

In May, I had an intense few weeks as I prepped for my Personal Training exam, but I made sure to fit in workouts because I realized the importance of them, not just physically but very much mentally. They made me feel good, they energized me, they reduced stress.

And NOW, here we are…wrapping up the month of June!  Everything is gradually coming together again.  I have not lost any of the excess weight that I recently gained, yet I am feeling SIGNIFICANTLY happier, calmer, more energized, and confident compared to just a few months ago.  Why?  Because I made ME a priority and got myself back into that fitness lifestyle, doing what I love.  There are so so sooooo many benefits to staying active, even if it’s just a brisk walk or a few bodyweight exercises a day… keep moving and your body and mind will thank you for it.

There’s still a long road ahead for me, and I am super excited to work towards my best body, inside and out.  I’m excited for the learning that will come with it, and I’m excited to share and inspire along the way.

Tomorrow, I will be kicking off my 3-month program alongside my friend, owner of High Level Think.  He sees the value in health and fitness like I do, and we are going to be “accountability buddies” to achieve our PEAK FITNESS!  Can’t wait.  This will be amazing to experiment with our own individual programs so that the learning can transmit into the work we do with our clients.  (Btw, he’s not a personal trainer…visit his website to see what he does!)

Follow my journey on Instagram @xosheenalouie, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like start working towards a happier, healthier, more confident version of YOU!

xo,
Sheena

Essential Oils

It seems essential oils are becoming more popular lately…unless it’s just my obsession that’s growing!  Yup, that’s quite possible haha There are sooooo many uses for them and so many benefits!

Here are just a few:

Lavender – to relax, improve sleep, decrease stress and anxiety, promote concentration

Tea Tree – antibacterial, fights harmful organisms

Eucalyptus – antimicrobial, alleviates congestion, reduces headaches, relaxes muscles

Jojoba – heals wounds, improve skin appearance, reduces acne

Rosehip – corrects dark spots, hydrates dry skin, reduces scars and fine lines

Frankincense – anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, digestive, diuretic

Peppermint – alleviate headaches, nausea, indigestion

Grapefruit – supports metabolism and cellulite reduction

Sandalwood – natural aphrodisiac, improves energy

And then there are also really amazing blends out there that provide multiple benefits AND smell amazing, without irritating your nose like many perfumes and artificial smells do!

Keep in mind that some of the above benefits come from applying them topically, and some from having the smell dispersed into the air.  I absolutely love my Saje diffuser and the tranquil/happy/energetic (basically whatever mood I need) atmosphere it creates in my home.

What are your favourite aromatherapy scents and essential oils?

xo,
Sheena

Oka-San Kitchen Cafe

There’s this cute little Hawaii-inspired cafe on Fraser St in Vancouver.  Friendly service, delicious food… here’s what we had and what I thought of it:

“Momma’s Style Poké Bowl”

“Loco Moco”
with potato salad and seaweed salad

“Momma’s Plate”
with pulled pork teriyaki, spicy tuna, chicken karaage, salad

What I loved about this place was the cuteness, the range of items on their menu, the flavorful dishes, and the easy parking out front.  But what I didn’t love was the cost of the food (poké bowl is $17.95!!) , the amount of rice compared to the amount of protein, and the saltiness of some dishes.

Personally, I don’t know if I’d go back again when there are so many other poké places, especially in Downtown, which are a lot cheaper AND customizable. (And I looooove when things are customizable.) HOWEVER, I think this place is worth trying at least once, because they may have other Hawaiian dishes that you enjoy!  We have lots of poké restaurants in Vancouver now, but not many that also serve Loco Moco and those other hearty Hawaiian dishes!

So YES, give them a try and let me know what you think 🙂

Enjoy, foodies!

xo,
Sheena