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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Its getting HOT in here.. so....

Sweat... I love it. I can feel the toxins, the dirt from my environment leaving my body. I can feel my immune system getting stronger. I can feel my body relax. Any way you can get your body sweating is a good thing!  (Ahem) 

The Sauna is my reward after pushing my body hard through a workout.

There are so many benefits to having a sauna.. just internet search and you will see why you should also be feeling the heat.

Here is a couple tips that I use to get the most out of my 10min down time post workout.

Brush or rub your skin... you will bring your blood to the surface of your skin and promote circulation in your body. It also feels incredible and your skin is more touchable and smooth (bonus!) .

Enjoy the heat..sink into it, relax, clear your mind by dismissing thoughts that enter.. focus on the present and not the thousand things you need to do today.

When you are dripping with sweat, jump into a cool shower... seriously.  It will close your pores,  get your immune system pumping and invigorate you for the rest of your day. I love to give my skin good rub down with my Arbonne sea salt scrub. (Did you know your skin is your biggest organ? Treat it well!) .It is made with all marine botanicals and really completes the detox process.

This, my friends, is the best reward you can give yourself. Trust me, start your day with a hard workout (today was chest and back with my girl Maddy.. ouch!!) Sauna, and scrub, you will feel more energized, friendlier, more social, better able to take in work tasks, family issues, child meltdowns, and the regular crazy run that we call life :)

Deep breath and take a few moments for yourself ~> YOU deserve it!!

Enjoy the ride! Xo

Ps... just to cover myself.. check with your doctor before! :)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

You Are what You Write

YES, this is what my journal looks like..welcome to my brain!! ill post a pic every now and then so you can get a good idea :)
LOVE my Journal - Reminds me of a dear friend. Get something personal to you!
preprinted addition to my Journal - add in weight lifted

You need to keep a journal. You can talk about your time in the gym, your clean eating, how you are doing Everything right..but guess cant fool your journal. Looking at it in black and white really shows you how you are taking care of memory loss, no embellishing the truth, no white lies...

There are many many reasons to keep a journal!!

#1 - it keeps you accountable... you cant cheat your journal and so you can ACCURATLEY see your progress, where you need ot improve, when you cheated etc.  I have Not eaten a whole pie simply becasue i didnt want to see it in print! and the same goes for your exercise plan!

#2 - You will notice your habits, the things you do over and over again. This is important as your body gets used to things.  You cannot repeat the same workout for months on end and get the same results.  Or another example, you dont notice results in your obliques (side of your belly) but looking back you see your "regular" ab workout, and maybe it doesnt contain enough exercises you need to address that trouble area.

#3 - Your Goals will appear before your eyes!  Honestly - you write it down and becomes real, tangible, and your subconscious brain will put things in place to accomplish it! - Write it, Read it, Believe it!

#4 - It will help you track your progress. I LOVE seeing when i go up weight.  For example, Bicep curls - I am currently curling 12lbs.. the last time i did biceps I noticed I could be doing more, so in my journal I wrote - "Up weight to 15 next round" - well actually i just wrote an up arrow and a 15, but you get the idea.  Then I track my progress from 15, did i complete all reps? was it hard? etc SEEING NUMBERS go UP is such an incredible feeling!! your prgress is also shown in your body measurments, your BMI, your weight loss/gain etc.

#5 - And finally - it keeps you motivated! You are writing your workouts, your food, your progress and your feelings!!!  You add in motivational quotes, dream board pictures, recipies...whatever makes you happy, and keeps you going!!!

Do a little dance★★★★★

I am currently away in the beautiful city of Montreal for the annual Canadian Arbonne Conference to learn and grow as a consultant and to have some crazy fun with my team and sidelines.
Although technically I am "working" really, it feels much more like a vacation..and we all know how hard it is to stay on track on vacation right!'s my thing.... no matter where you eat there at always good and not so good choices. I hope that when you're away you choose unique restaurants that are very much a part of the local foodie scene. .fresh, local ingredients. Last night some friends and I went to an incredible restaurant, shared many dishes (incl dessert) and had a few glasses of wine... food is one of the greatest joys of this life..and indulging a little is ok.... fantastic even! This is not what kills the diet and packs on the is the every day habits that do that. 
Ive attached a pic of the, pork chop, steak, scallops...OMG ... really truly amazing and restaurant is owned by an incredible chef Chuck celebrity crush going on.. especially after tasting his food!!!!!

\ of my favorite exercises... DANCING!!! When you dance the night away. As long as you at not consuming copious amount of booze and soda.. you are golden!
An hour of dancing can burn anywhere from 300-600+ calories depending on your moves ;) ... plus it works different muscle groups and gets your heart rate pumping! Personally I need little alcohol to become a dancing queen and at this point on my life dont care what my crazy moves look like to anyone else! Just there for a good time :

Lastly - Make sure you drink Loads of H20!!!

Flying home tonight and cant wait to see my family and back at the gym! Before I depart going to take a 8km round trip hike up Mount Royal here in this beautiful city.... always looking for ways to burn calories, bring a sense of self and peace!! Decided instead of the large hotel, to stay In a Buddhist Meditation Center and it was amazing to be able to come back after fun and craziness and relax, mellow and meditate!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Turnip the Beet

Turn it up... way up!!!! Well, at least loud enough that you cant hear your own panting through the beats :) .

Music while working out is a must for me.. at least for sure when im doing cardio, intervals,  HIIT. You just go harder.. plain and simple.

There have been quite a few studies on the benefits of music while work in out.. lots of boring stats about who did what and how it helped and what percentage increase in output etc etc... if you want that info.. its on the web.. for me, I just know it works and here are some of the benefits I've experienced:

Fast beat - Fast feet.  You keep the pace of the tunes your pump in in your ears.... music makes you want to move.. and whether you are walking, skipping, sprinting, or dancing for that 2miles.... 2miles is 2miles... any Pitbull song seems to make those steps fly by.

Its a good distraction. Five minutes looking at the clock, time dragging on, counting rep after rep, working out feels like a chore. Put on your favorite tune and that 5min you just sang through, you sailed through your reps and sets amd barley noticed. Today at the gym Eric Clapton's "Layla" came on.. and while that is a lovely wasnt helping push out that last set of chest flys.... Welcome to the Jungle by GnR followed and the seated row reps didnt seam so laborous. Disappear into the music.

You can hear yourself breathing. This is huge.  As soon as your brain registers deep, heavy, hard breathing, first thing thats going to happen is its going to try to make you stop.  Excuses slip into your thoughts, you feel more tired, your head is giving up on you... my friends, your mind will be sabotaging your progress.. drown it out!!! Cardio for me needs techno/dance music.. my playlists constantly change but currently here is my go to list:

*Anything Pittbull - Feel this moment, Wild wild love, timber, gov me everything
*Fall out boy - my songs know what you did in the dark
*Gotye - somebody that I used to know
*Kongos - come with me now
*Weezer - Undone (the sweater song)
*Avicii - wake me up
*Eminem - Lose yourself
*Nelly - Ride wit me
*T.I. - Live you life
*Karmin - I want it all
*Lady Gaga - Do what you want
*Meghan Trainor - All about that Bass

When I'm lifting...especially heavy, then I want to be more in the zone, get a little more pumped up, and slower pace - and my play list titled "Iron" comes out and looks a little like the following:

*Cracker - Low
*Mad Season - Slip away
*Black Sabbath - Iron man
**any Metallica - ♥
*Alice Cooper - Poison
**Pearl jam - all love love love♥
*Bush - swallowed
*Creed - Higher
*Staind - something to remind you
**Any Rancid tune ♥
*Theory of a dead man - Bad girlfriend
*Puddle of mudd - She hates me
*Live - I walk the line

¤¤¤¤¤¤ all of the above MUST be cranked right up ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

And of course in yoga/stretching mode the music is again changed up to more soothing, relaxing songs like the following:

*Poison - something to believe in
*Taylor swift - everything has changed
*Zaz- Eblouie par la unit
*Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - over the rainbow
*Joni Mitchel - River
*Paolo Nutini- Last Request
*Pearl Jam - Crazy Mary

Treat yourself to a new song every week. If it gets you through your workout easier, or even better, pushes you harder, then it is a great investment in yourself. It is also a great reward for a week of putting your time in and eating healthy!

Rock this day my friends!!! xo


Measurements. .. own it!

Throw out the unless you are preggers, get to of that bloody emotional roller coaster.

First off.... if your lifting weights you are going to gain some muscle and muscle weighs more then the scale really isn't giving you a true reading of your progress.

Second.... weight can vary in a short period of time...within the same day even. is so hard for the mental game when you see an increase in numbers...often giving us the "well im up half a pound, this half a cheesecake wont matter much now" rational. 

There are many great ways of keeping track of your success, with #1 being how you feel, how your cloths fit, and by keeping a journal.

The other two...more scientific ways, are by tracking you BMI or Body Mass Index. Your doctor, chiropractor, personal trainer may be able to help you with this. I personally do measurements as this is convenient,  can be done with your workout buddy, and really lets you know your muscles gain and fat loss.

For men..most are looking for continuous gains until competition time when they are cutting for definition. Myself and most women are looking at losing size, flab and gaining some muscle and definition.

Here are my starting measurements...significantly different from pre knee injury..but im owning them, im proud of myself,  and liv my body and know I will be able to make it even better.

Chest 35 1/5".. yes yes..this is.pretty much the width around my lats and back.. nursing babies really does a number on breast tissue

Biceps 12" . This is non flexing measurement and you tape half way between inner elbow and shoulder. Once I get my curling weight up and I notice an increase I will probably measure non flex and flex

Waist 30 1/4"this is measured right at the belly button

Hips 38" im curvy, what can I say ;)

Thighs 24 1/4" this is my "problem" area... the first place I gain weight and the last place I lose it. Working on it!

Calf 15" I have always had muscular calfs and my goal here is to cut and define so high high reps and low weights are  in order

You xan also weigh yourself if you really MUST. Try to do it at the same tine every day so that you can keep it as consistently as possible , and whatever you do, dont let the read affect your day.

Ok so here is my call to action for everyone:

Grab a friend, a flexible tape, and your journal and record your measurements. You dont need to show a sole..just record and every couple of weeks or I will be doing it monthly, record your progress! Seeing it in black and white will help keep you on goal.

Own your body, own your choices and decisions, own your time, and own your life. Dont make this commitment becasue you are not good enough; make this commitment becasue you deserve to be the best you can be and you want more.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Workout - chest & hammies

I like to get the job done quickly and efficiently.  I like to keep my heart rate up and I work on two (or 3x) muscle groups at a time.

I begin my workouts by warming up....ALWAYS!!!! It is so important tonmake sure your muscles are warm and flexible before you start straining them .. cold muscles + workout = injury

I do my cardio which is very often a form of interval training or HIIT. ... because I get super board, and because it is super challenging. I am definitely NOT a marathon runner.

Cardio :

Elliptical (easy on the knees) 5ish min warm up level 2  .im trying to breAk a sweat here.

Then intervals..for 12 min I do 45seconds, level 5and keep my strides at at least 9 then 15seconds level 1

Then followed that with 12 min of 30seconds  keeping stride at 9+ then 15seconds all out hard as I can then 15seconds maintaining a 7+stride which brings my heart rate back down.

I then cool down level 1 5min. 

By the end of this cardio session I am dying..exactly what I want to be doing.

I then do an overall body stretch.

Chest exercises:

Flat bench press
Incline bench press
Push up

Hamstring exercises:

Dead lift
Seated leg curls
Cable/pulley dead lift

***if you are unsure of any of the exercises, definitely search them first..there are proper ways of do I them to get the best results and without injury.

Always use a slow steady motion...NO jerking the weights around and becasue we are not bulking up, high reps at better. So always aim for 15 reps..and 3x sets. Weight should be heavy enough that you are struggling on your last 3x reps..and dying on your last set :) . If you get to 12reps and cant do another. Take a 5ish second break and complete your last three..dont give up, always finish... these reps you struggle through will give you MOST benefit ~ mentally and physically!

Alternate hamstrings then chest with no break in between. This is called a super set and I typically always do this as it saves time and keeps the heart rate pumping!

Here is my example:

Dead lift with free weights (hamstrings) 25lb weights
Alternate back and forth with
Flat Bench Press on smith machine 15lbs per side.

I always keep my journal to know if I need to go up or down in weight for next time and to see my progress.

Next time I do dead lifts  I will use 30lb dumbbells.

When I completed the exercises I did some crunches/sit ups and push ups.

The humble push up is incredibly good for chest, back, shoulders and core. It is an exercise that can be done anywhere....I have been known to do pushups, squats, crunchies, lunges, and leg lifts during layover in the airport.

If you cant do a full push up with straight back and tight core, then try a GI Jane where you split your legs. It will give you more leverage and balance. Thrn go to you knees.  Always start with a full, do as many as possible (even if that is 1!) And drop to Jane's and then to knees..over time, as your strength grows, you will notice an increase in the full ones!!!

Check out the picks to help you!

Rock this day my friends!

Find a friend

Workouts are always harder ~ and more fun!! ~ with a friend!!!!

You wont wimp out, you wont "forget" your last set, and you wont notice time flying by when you have someone pumping right beside you :)

IF you find the right match.

I once worked out with someone who didnt like to didnt last long :/ . .

I have had some of the most incredible workout partners..My dear friend Debbie Loach is a trainer, competitor, has 6 kids and is an amazing mom, and has taken home more bling from more competitions. .I thi k she has a seperate room now ;) . Deb pushes me past my limits.

Val Kennedy is also a dear friend and one of the most loving open hearted people you will ever meet. We had been talking about competitions for quite some time as she has trained some excellent fitness, figure and body building competitors.

A very new friend, met through Roller Derby, Cider Queen :) is completing her personal training and kick boxing and we have been fast friends since we met. Love being on the Track with Maddy and working in some gym time too.

With these ladies, my time at the gym fly by. Yes, usr I like working out on my own, blaring the music (I almost said I giving away my age ;) ) and ignoring every soul in the place while I hit the iron. .but mostly..I want it to be fun.

Find a buddy..some one you can call when you feel like eating the entire brownie pan, someone who will get you to the gym, who will give you an honest opinion about your progress, and someone you love to be around. Surrounded yourself with positive people my friends!!!

AND if you cant find that person who fits with your beliefs, and your schedules. HIRE SOMEONE! it will be the best money you will ever spend on your journey to a better you. (More about the benefits of a PT in a later post)

..for example my BFF and I are alike on many many ways but gym time isn't one of them..thats ok! Lorna and I hang out and do many other things togther (beer olympics anyone? :) ) including raising our kids side by have many people in your life that fill different roles. .embrace those roles and dont be afraid of dropping a partner to find one that is a better fit.

Love you ladies, and thanks for being in my blog and in my life!!!!

Xo Kara

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Dream stealers

Dream Stealers.. you know the ones.. they come by many names but in general they are all critics...some even come across on a loving way but the agenda is the get you to stop work I towards your goals.

9times out of 10, in my experience,  you are drawing attention to something they are lack in in their life and so, it makes them feel better to bring you down rather thwn acknowledge their own feelings. The last one.percent cones across from a loving heart "oh honey, you are looking too skinny, better eat and get some.meat on this bones" . ... I've heard this comment when I was a size 8 size 10 and size 12 and weighed from 100lbs to 150lbs. . . Seriously.

Point being- be confident I  who you are, know that you DESERVE to be fit, healthy, successful, independent and anything else you want to be. Be strong enough to thank the people who are "concerned for your health & well being" and do whatever the &#^#of* you need to do to achieve your goals.

  I am in no way saying develop an eating disorder, workout so much you will burn out, or throw common sense out of the window.. im just saying that the person who is scoffing at your premade healthy lunch of chicken, veg and quinoa may be the Same person biggie sizing their drive through takeout. The Same person telling you your new busienss venture wont work is complaining daily about their monday to friday office J.O.B (in direct sales we refer toma job as Just Over Broke :) ) ... and the very same person criticizing you strutting your stuff on stage in a tiny bikini is wishing they could do the same.

Be your own best motivational speaker. This is your life and no one can walk in your shoes, be comfortable in your own skin, pay your mortgage, or walk on life's stage like you can.

My friends, every day, tell yourself that you are worth it and there will be a day that you believe it will be true. I wish you could see yourself how others see you. You would be surprised at how amazing you are!!!! Be it, live it, dream of what you want and dont, for one second, let Dream Steelers convince you otherwise.

Love you health & happiness, always letting your lights shine! !!


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Fitting it all in

Janitor, accountant, judge, chef, business woman, entrepreneur, taxi driver, mom, wife, sister, friend..that is a lot of hats to wear and each of these has certain duties and requirements that may take a significant amount of time to accomplish. ..and is it thwn also possible to fit in the the things I want to do...just for me - gym time, roller derby, pottery, quilting and craft projects, reading, get the idea... and i am not alone! This is how we run right? !?!

Here is the answer my friends:

If you Own your Time, you Own your Life

Ok ok do you "own" your time? My putting priorities first. .by pick I the activities that at non negotiable and work I the rest in around it....hence the need for a calender!  Sure, there are many apps and online scheduling calendars. .personally I like the old fashioned paper and pen..well correction.... paper and (many) coloured pens.

Physically write in whats on tap, colour co-ordinated and you will be amazed how much time you will "find"

For example..on the calender:

Orange: work/weddings
Pink: Graces activities
Blue: Blake's activities
Yellow: Roller Derby
Green: Arbonne
Red: Date night
Purple: Gym

Etc etc... have as many colours as you want... and stick to the schedule!!!

This doesnt mean their wont be some unexpected changes..I mean we have kids sometimes plans go right out the window :) but you will get so much more accomplished AND fit in time for yourself too.

Have an Amazing week! Xo Kara

Thursday, 4 September 2014

8 glasses.. pfff…. not even close!


If you get nothing else from this blog, PLEASE , read this one!!

Water makes up 60%+ of our body, EVERY cell in your body needs water to properly function and I know, I know, you have heard it over and over again - drink your water, at least 8 glasses a day. The whole 8 glass rule - 64 ounces - really only replaces the water your body uses to exist and does not take into account temperature, activity level, weight, hight, diet etc.  This is the MINIMUM you need to drink in a day..and we are talking water here - not coffee, not soda pop, not beer :)

Ladies you should be drinking a min of 3 litres up to a max of 5 or 6 litres (men..even more!) - again, depending on water loss and here are the main (not even close to all!!) the reasons why you should:

-Your body functions better.  Bodily fluids are required for all of the body systems - digestion, circulation, transporting nutrients, elimination of toxins and waste. If you are not getting enough water, these systems are compromised and many health concerns stem from that.  Your car won't run without gas right?  How about oil? Coolant?  Nope, nada - and damage happens when these liquids run out…why then do you take care of your car better then you take care of your body?

-You won't retain water.  Our bodies are made to survive and so when we are not getting enough water our bodies store it, unsure when we will get more. Swelling, water retention, bloating can all be reduced when your body starts flushing water, knowing it will be replenished.

-Regular digestion…yep…I'm going there.  Cramps, bloating, constipation - gone when you get enough H2O.  As soon as our bodies don't get the liquids it needs, your brain tells your colon to start pulling water from your stool..ouch...hence the hard time on the potty. "bottom line" ;) he he- more water = regular poops

-Weight loss - guess what!?! - Water has ZERO calories.  even just swapping out your evening soda on ice will make a difference over the course of a year (never mind reducing sugar intake - and this legal cocaine addiction we all have will be a later post)  ALSO if you are drinking your 3+ litres of water won't feel hungry, you won't want to snack, you will reduce calorie consumption by filling your belly with the good stuff.

-there are so many more benefits - better sleep, more energy, firmer skin, less acne, lower muscle fatigue, balance of acidity/alkaline interior health, i could go on and on….basically, if i haven't sold you yet on the benefits of Water, search it on the old inter web and there won't be one credible study telling you otherwise.

Here is my own Water schedule:

Wake up - drink a glass (at least 8 ounces) right off the hop.  Your body has been without water take for 7 or 8ish NEED water when you wake up and it gets your metabolism off to a good start.

Then, on my (1 litre) water bottle I label the times 10, 1, 4, 7   I want to drink a liter of water by each of those times. having it written is just a little mental reminder and i tend to get it done when i see it every time i take a swig.

Glass of ice cold water at supper

Herbal tea at night

REPEAT day in and day out :)

Let me just touch on one of the biggest complaints I hear about drinking a lot of water, and I must say I can't help but chuckle when I hear it..even writing it now..  :D

"But i have to go to the bathroom all the time"

SERIOUSLY…. wow..K, here's the thing - first and foremost - urination is a GOOD THING.  Every time you go pee you are ridding your body of toxins and cellular waste - our bodies are made to do this!!!  Urine should be light in colour and have no or little smell . Concentration, when is comes to urination is not a good thing. Your kidneys do an excellent job of elimination when they have sufficient  fluid to do so.

Secondly, your body will adjust. Give it some time and you won't be going as often.

Before I say goodbye I would like to offer a few ways of making it easier to get in your 3 litres. I mentioned my system, and to add to that - I always keep it with me…when you have your water bottle in front of you, you will grab it without even thinking.

Maybe you need to bribe yourself?  Print up a card, have it on the fridge, and every time you get in your litre, mark it off. after a week/month whatever treat yourself to a fitness magazine or new sports bra or something.

Set your phone to remind you or i'm sure, like everything else -  there is probably an app for that :)

Make today the day you start to get your water consumption up to where it needs to be, you can do it, and your body will thank you for it!

Here's to living your best life!!
XO Kara

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Don't "find" yourself...Create yourself!!!

How do you walk the stage of your life?

So often we just kind of bump along the road, absorbing what is thrown at us, managing as best as possible, juggling, balancing, trying our best to be a good mom, sister, wife, janitor, chef, friend, accountant, boss, employee, etc…. and we don't actually sit down and think "what do i truly want? what would make me happy? what would make me better at all of those things? what do i want my life to look like in a year, 5 years, 10 years?"  

Grab a notebook, open up an app on your phone, power up the laptop..time to ask and answer!

Create the life you want, create the body you want, create the opportunity that lets you make the decisions as to your five year plan from here on out.  You can only do that by putting yourself first sometimes.  Taking a couple hours out of the day to write a journal, hit the gym, read a self help book, plan and cook your healthy meals for the week…WHATEVER…as long as it helps you get closer to who you want to be.  DO WHAT SERVES YOU.  Does crushing candy for two hours make you a better person/mom/wife?  How about endlessly creeping old BF on Facebook? Be strong enough to put some limits on yourself - want to build an online farm?????  Ok - how about allowing 30min to do that, set an alarm and Turn It OFF when it goes off?  then taking the rest of that hour and half and create a collage, go for a walk, play frisbee wight he kids, learn a new recipe, have a round of Crazy 8's with your hubby .  

I don't want to harass or parent anyone reading my blog, I just want  you to realize that the decisions you make and the actions you take Directly reflect the Life you have.  Want something different?   Guess what!  You have to Do Something Different!  Better Decisions = Better Life  

Walk your own Stage. Make decisions you are Proud of.  Let go of mistakes.  Bring on each new day, each new challenge, with your best self.


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Let your light shine!

Walking the Stage…why this title?

Well - with any fitness competition you are actually walking on stage, bikini clad (mini, teeny, tiny bikini i might add), in froth of hundreds of people… takes some guts right!  I was more nervous stepping out on that stage then almost anything I have done thus far in my life..and to put that into perspective, I like sticking my neck out  - from starting a new business venture (multiple actually), trying out for regional and provincial sporting competitions, walking down the isle, learning something new, talking in front of large crowds, putting gym heart and opinion on the line..I'm the kind of girl who believes in the saying "If your dreams don't scare you…they aren't big enough".  Not sure who said it, but i defiantly live by that mantra.

Walking across that stage, wearing next to nothing, being judged on my body. My body that took hours  upon hours of work, sweat, blood, and some tears (mostly from the full body waxing ;) )…having people look at you and tell you what parts of you just isn't up to park for the competition can be really really tough. Especially as women, we are so self conscience of the numbers on the scale, of the latest fashion trends, of the "role models" (please note i use this term with a large dose of sarcasm) that we see in every magazine & movie, constantly comparing and very often bad mouthing ourselves in the process.

We can be our own worst nightmare.

Imagine saying out loud to someone else what we often say to ourselves .. never would right?  because it is to insulting?  because you would lose that friend forever?  Why then, do we allow ourselves to talk down, to embarrass, to diminish our self worth?

I was SHOCKED at my own reaction when it came down to stepping out on that stage… I LOVED it!  Was i nervous..absolutely! Most things worth doing take you out of your comfort zone.  I did not care one little bit what the judges thought or where I placed against my competitors.. I was just so stinking proud that I did it that i could have finished dead last and it would not have taken that smile off my face.  Did I set new, more difficult goals for the next competition? Yep.  Did I want to be leaner, see more of my lower abs, have more definition in my back, etc etc..of course!  that is what sport is about…..being better every time you go out.

I can guarantee you, that if you make it through the program, stick to your diet plan, get in the cardio and weights, and really make that commitment to yourself, you will walk that stage like you were born to do it!!!  Set the deadline, get a plan in order, and see it through.

Looking forward to this journey!!
Let your light shine my friends,
XO Kara

Walking the Stage

Welcome!!!!  Thank you for taking the time to read my Blog.  This is my first endeavour into this form of social media (yes..i'm a late bloomer) so bare with me as i learn the ropes!

My name is Kara and I have started this blog because I have had a lot of friends asking about fitness/figure competitions and how to get started; what i did and do to stay healthy, and how to manage all of the aspects of life successfully and with excitement and passion and proudly Walk the Stage of life.

This is the Goal!! I am a long way from it but i know with your help and support I will get there and hopefully inspire you to give it a shot as well. I definitely don't claim to be an expert on any of the above, but will offer my humble opinion from life experiences. I look forward to learning and listening from you as well so please drop me a line!

Starting the first week of Septemeber I will be gearing up to begin my figure competition training and want to provide a platform for anyone who has questions about this form of sport.  this will really be geared for beginners as I am starting from "scratch" in terms of exercise and diet.  For the past 8 months i have been out of commission post a patella tendon tear and surgery. It has been a long recovery and still will take another 2 years before i am back 100% and free of pain.

Lovely railroad tracks :/

 I am cleared for returning to sports as long as i am careful and so all exercise plans will be easy on the knees :) .  I have noticed a lot of muscle loss, a lot of fat gain :(, a change in my metabolism (feeling cold all of the time - which was NEVER an issue) and a lack of cardiovascular endurance.  My cloths have never been tighter (thats what 4 months of sitting in a llazy boy will get you :/ ) , I have never had less energy, and I have never questioned my choices more then in this past year which also shows you how much my own mental health is directly linked to my physical health.  Exercise is one of the best de-stressers out there!  I have never owned a scale or worried about calories or BMI when i have made exercise a daily endeavour. Before I hurt myself I LOVED going to the gym!!!  If this seems like a stretch for you- you're thinking- she is crazy!! - I can guarantee you - You do it daily - you will miss it when it when you can't!!  Those little endorphins can be pretty powerful and adrenalin can be your best friend :)  I want that back!!!  I don't care if it will take me 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years, that is a non-negotiable in my books - that feeling of energy, health, craving the burning lungs and the sore muscles, not worrying about what bathing suit I'm wearing, throwing out the spanx, and being happy in my own skin

If you are also looking for these things, we can do it together!  I will be blogging my exercise plans, my food/recipies/diet, beauty routine, even my (i can't believe I'm doing this) measurements.  I will blog about the lead up to competition, the post competition, if and how it affects my family and work, how i fit it into other sports and everything in between.

I want to be honest with you - this is not easy…far from it!  I have played many sports at many levels of competition and I can say that this is one of the hardest.  It takes more commitment then probably anything you have ever done. It is also the most rewarding and affects every aspect of your life, including something that i think is the MOST important…. it shows you that YOU ARE CAPABLE OF ANYTHING. YOU ARE IN CONTROL, and that By YOUR OWN WILL, Your LIFE CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE!!!    Join me, keep me accountable, design your life how you want it to be, share and learn, surround yourself with positive energy and be a light in this world for others.

In health & happiness

XO Kara