Healthy Holiday Fitness Challenge – December 1st-25th, 2017

Have the healthiest of holidays by participating in my fitness challenge from December 1st to 25th!

You’ll receive:
🎁 Customized fitness plan
🎁 Suggested meal plan
🎁 24/7 digital support

Investment: $25
(That’s just $1/day!)

What I’ll need from you:
 Commit & register by Nov 25th
 Submit ‘before’ photos by Dec 1st
 Submit ‘after’ photos by Dec 26th
(Let me know if you would not like your photos to be shared on social media)

Prize: Your $25 investment back, and a special gift sent straight to you!

WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN DEC 27TH!
Must live in North America to receive gift.

Summer bodies are made in the Winter! 👙 And this is your final push to get in shape for all your holiday parties and maybe even a Polar Bear Swim on New Years Day! ❄️ Who’s with me?!

Comment below or email me at xo@sheenalouie.com to sign up today!

xo,
Sheena

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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

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

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

How to Manage Holiday Junk Food

Here are some tips on how to get through all the holiday parties and potlucks while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, good energy, and your waistline! …because Summer bodies are made in the Winter!

Have Your Own Pre-party

Just like it isn’t wise to cruise the grocery store on an empty stomach, you can’t show up to a holiday party feeling ravenous. Avoid this scenario by having a small meal or snack before you hit the party. You’ll arrive less famished and more prepared to make healthy selections.

Follow the 80/20 Rule

The “80%” is the clean, healthy, unprocessed, high-fiber foods we should be eating most of the time, while the “20%” is the junk food or cocktails of your choice. If you plan to have a few drinks with dinner, opt for something like baked fish and a salad with an oil-based dressing. If you don’t drink, then you can order that bacon cheeseburger. Refrain from allowing the 20% to grow to 30 or 40%. Or bank it – eat extra healthy over the week so you can indulge a little more on the weekend!

Be a Buffet Hover Hater

Certain holiday gatherings can be awkward, and too often we find ourselves making small talk while using food as a distraction. Try positioning yourself AWAY from the buffet. Get a drink (non-alcoholic or otherwise) to occupy your hands, and purposely hang out far away from the food. You’ll find you graze less and mingle more.

Give a Healthy Hostess Gift

Don’t let your healthy habits lapse just because it’s holiday time. If you’re going to contribute to a party, why not bring something healthy? That also ensures there’s something there you can eat and will enjoy.  Costco has some great options like kale salad, veggie/fruit platters, hummus dip, or apple chips!

Put Extra Effort into Exercise

Don’t wait until the New Year to get your exercise program on track. If you know you’ll be eating and drinking more calories than usual this time of year, double down on your workouts. It’s true that you cannot out-exercise your diet, but a few extra minutes of cardio will help minimize the guilt. Parties should be enjoyed, and exercise is one way to allow for that.

Choose the Healthier Alternative

There are many reason why alcohol isn’t good for you, but if you must have a celebratory holiday drink, opt for healthier alternatives like Vodka soda with lime or a splash of juice, Gin martini, Red wine, Whiskey on the rocks, etc.  Basically, the less sugar, the better.

Indulge on Your Terms

Eat and drink what you’d like, but consume less of it. Low-calorie does not always translate to better nutrition, so enjoy smaller portions of full-taste and full-fat foods. If you like dessert, then a 3” x 3” double-fudge brownie with a single a scoop of ice cream is a better choice than half a pan of low-fat brownies made with applesauce.

Do you have any strategies to avoid completely indulging in holiday junk food?  Share in the comments section!

xo,
Sheena

My Fitness Journey – 17 Weeks Out

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-12-51-56-pm[Photoshop’d by my good friend, Charles!]

First of all, special thanks to Steph & Charles for making my birthday card out of this photo, to help me visualize getting tanned as a mofo and competition ready.  My first “oompa loompa” photo! lol Love you guys!

As some of you may know, from following my Instagram, YouTube or blog, I’m competing next year!  I’ve committed to compete at the Leigh Brandt Muscle Classic on March 18th, 2017.  That’s only 17 weeks away, which is not a whole lot of time to completely transform one’s body.

As the countdown begins, I want to share my journey with you – the ups and downs, and my learnings.  I’ve actually been wanting to share for awhile now, but I had writers block.  I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to share, and to be honest, I was little ashamed of my lack of progress.

Six months ago is when I officially made the decision to compete.  The first few months were great!  I started to clean up my diet, was meal prepping my lunches regularly, was consistently training hard at the gym, and my abs were starting to come through…then Summer hit, I had some life changes, and I moved to Downtown Vancouver.  I allowed these events to completely distract me and throw me off track.  I would still go to the gym consistently, but my workouts would be half-assed.  I would still meal prep, but only made lunches and I would eat whatever else I wanted.  Then, when I realized I wanted to pay more attention to my meal plan, I would buy only those healthy foods on the list, but I would eat too much of it!  I wouldn’t portion control and I would snack all. day. long.  It was getting ridiculous, but I kept eating and stayed in denial.  I noticed that my pants were feeling tighter and I looked/felt more bloated first thing in the mornings, when I usually had a flat stomach upon waking.  I finally acknowledged that I was getting in a bad habit of constantly eating, even when I wasn’t hungry and even when I was super FULL.  It’s very possible that it was emotional eating, as I’ve been putting a lot on my plate lately (pun not intended) and under a fair bit of stress for the past few months…but if I want to compete, I need to learn to overcome this and build self-control and discipline!

Whenever I mentioned my struggle with keeping to my diet or brought up my 15 lb weight gain to friends or colleagues, they would say that I still looked fine, think I’m fit or healthy enough, or help justify my not so great eating habits.  I can assure you that I didn’t tell them because I was digging for compliments…deep down, I was actually hoping someone would react in a way that would kick me into gear and validate that YES, I did gain a bit of weight and should smarten up and start focusing on my goals.  I appreciate that they only had good intentions to make me feel better, and it’s not on them at all to get me back on track – it’s 100% on me.

There’s a fine line between being constructively critical of myself and being destructively insecure.  The difference is becoming aware of what I need to improve on so that I’ll do well in my competition versus beating myself up and not growing from it.  I believe that I’ve experienced both sides through the last few months, and yes, it’s a very fine line…but I’m ready to grow from this learning experience because DAY 1 (December 1st, 2016) of my OFFICIAL COMPETITION PREP is fast approaching!

How I’m overcoming this struggle:

  • Measuring/weighing out my meals
  • Preparing breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks on a weekly basis
  • Measure, weigh, and take progress pictures myself weekly
  • Write affirmations related to my health, fitness, and self-discipline
  • Stay connected with you here and on social media to help keep me accountable

Some may wonder why I bother to compete if it’s this much work – having to sacrifice indulging in certain meals, spending so much time at the gym, losing some of my social life, battling with willpower, struggling with this mental challenge… but in the end, it will all be worth it.  I will have proven to myself and my friends/family/followers what can be done with 100% commitment and focus, I will have achieved my best bikini body yet, and I will have inspired others to challenge themselves and go after their goals.  It’s pretty amazing what we can achieve when we pour our heart and soul into something.  Yes, I know my stage body won’t last, and I don’t want to be that skinny/ripped on the daily, but I will be in the best shape of my life when I step on that stage.  I love pushing my limits and I love challenging myself, it’s motivating!  And when I feel motivated in one area of my life, I feel more motivated in ALL areas of my life!

After the competition, I plan to maintain a healthy, fit body while continuing to train hard and eat well.  I want to continue to inspire others to be the BEST and HEALTHIEST version of themselves, in whatever way makes them feel confident and happy.  We must always continue to grow, as that’s what makes us feel truly alive.  And now I’ll leave you with this quote…

“Be yourself, but learn to be your best self. Don’t use being yourself as an excuse for laziness or mediocrity. Be what you ought to be. Stretch toward what you are created to be and in the stretching, you’re certain to become a better and more effective person.” – Bill Glass, former Cleveland Browns’ All-Pro

Your only limit is you!  Never deny yourself of achieving your dreams, goals, and desires.

xo,
Sheena

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My Saje Wellness Haul

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Picked up some new products from Saje recently and absolutely LOVE them.  All of the smells make me feel relaxed and happy, I just love breathing them in.

Goddess Natural Fragrance Roll-on Perfume
Consists of: sweet florals, uplifting citruses and rich vanilla.
Purpose: to connect us with our femininity, to uplift the spirits and to instill feelings of love, happiness and even euphoria.
My Review: It’s a nice light scent, not too overpowering.  If you like a stronger scent, you may need to reapply but I will happy with the strength.  And yes, it does make me feel a bit of euphoria 🙂

Goddess Euphoric Mist
Consists of: ylang yang, neroli essential oil, jasmine, and rose.
Purpose: helps balance hormones, instills feelings of peace and harmony, encourages feelings of confidence, and comforts the heart.
My Review: Similar to the Goddess roll-on above, and nice to use on my pillowcase.  I don’t see myself using this a lot but it a nice, happy scent.

Sweet Things Euphoric Body Lotion
Consists of: jasmine, rose, and sandalwood.
Purpose: same as Euphoric Mist but sweeter 🙂
My Review: Absolutely love this body lotion!  It’s light, spreads well, smells beautiful and moisturizes very well.  It consists of essential oils but does not leave your skin excessively oily, just nicely hydrated!

Muscle Melt Comforting Mango & Shea Body Butter
Consists of: sweet birch, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, and roman chamomile.
Purpose: help soothe and relax overworked, stiff and tired muscles while nourishing and hydrating your skin.
My Review: This body butter is very moisturizing but I’d recommend only using it before bed.  It’s very thick and the scent is stronger than the body lotion above.  It does a nice job at moisturizing, just a bit heavy/sticky for going out with.

Kiss Mint Breath Freshener
Consists of: spearmint, peppermint, and fennel.
Purpose: to freshen breath and revitalize the senses.
My Review: This breath freshener is great!  It’s not overly strong and shocking like Listerine or those other brands.  It’s very gentle yet does the job.  There are two different mint flavours, so you can choose based on personal preference.

Hope this helps with your next Saje shopping experience!  As I was getting these links for you, I noticed a few more items I’m already planning to get on my next visit…like the Sunshine Smoothie body scrub and some essential oil blends for my diffuser.

What are your favourite Saje products?

xo,
Sheena