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Celebrating Another Milestone

Celebrating our new gym, new routine, change is good. Crossfit is our new workout. Q4fit.com

Today I am celebrating.      Woohoo!

Today it occurred to me that my new routine is no longer new.  This time last year, we, Doug and I, had just left the gym and the routine that we had known for six years.  We had started at that gym at a crazy time of the year but it would also end up being one of the most chaotic seasons in our lives.  

Seven years ago we were going through an amazing time in our lives.  We had some crazy great stuff happening. Our son was newly engaged and to be married in a few weeks.  One of our daughters was embarking on a year in school in Sweden. Our business was going crazy. But, on top of all of that, Doug was sick with pneumonia for the last several weeks.  So Dec 1 of 2011 we hired personal trainers and started on our journey to get healthy.

For six years we were in that gym no less than three days a week.  We changed our eating habits. Our drinking habits. We started learning about what made us healthy and what we needed to change in our lives to make us better people all around, starting with our physical health.  

But as with everything, the only thing that is constant is change.

We decided to change our routine.  

So, last year, we left that gym. As things happen we ended up being several months off of a gym routine.  Some of that was because we were really busy. Some of it was because we knew what we were doing, so, we got this.  Then complacency set in and we just kept moving on.

As the months rolled on, we both became aware that we actually missed the activity in the gym.  We missed being around like-minded people. We missed the physical activity. Even though we were active people, even though we knew that we needed to ‘move’, even though we wanted to go to the gym, we did what most people do, nothing.  We knew what we needed to do and just kept putting it off, until one day, we decided enough was enough, we were going to go back to a gym.

After a fair amount of looking.  After a fair amount of research. After a fair amount of soul searching, we made an appointment to check out a new gym. Port Coquitlam Crossfit.

So now here we are six months in.  WOW!!

From the outside, not much has changed.  As a matter of fact, I am totally upset with myself because I expected that I would bounce back into my routine and the pounds that I put on in my inactivity would just melt away.  Ya right!

I should know better but, I am after all not only human but a hormonal, middle-aged, menopausal woman.  I spend so much time online learning about why weight loss is so tough. I am always learning about nutrition and love my time working up a good sweat and with all of this knowledge, I should have my act together.

Well, actually I do have my act together.  But, my body is not always in agreement with what my mind wants it to do.  And my mind does not always agree with why I eat things that I know are not in my best interest.  And my tummy still yearns for chocolate, wine and crunchy salty snacks that make my body take on a look that is definitely NOT what I want it to look like.

I may not be entirely happy with the shape of my body, but I know that I am doing more things with this body than a whole lot of women my age.  For that reason, I am happy.

In the last six months, I have learned to move in a whole new way.  I am lifting so much weight. I am pushing and pulling and grunting and groaning and loving the whole process.

The gym that we now spend so much time in is so amazingly supportive that I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.  Not only are the trainers cheering us on, but the other gym members will actually ‘hooray’ us from across the room.  We may be the oldest couple in the room, we may be old enough to be parents to a lot of the people we spend our gym time with, but nobody makes us feel that way.

Ultimately that is what you should be looking for in your gym routine.  It needs to be YOUR right experience. Not mine, not your Mom’s, not your kids’, nobody but yours.

So, hooray for me!!  Here’s to another six months and many more to come.

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order. – John Adams

2018 Dirty Dozen

Dirty Dozen; pesticides on your produce toxins we don't need. Q4fit.com

I love that we seem to be getting much more aware of the foods that we eat.  Now we are still the fattest generation ever, but that has to do with the over processed foods we eat and the lack of movements that we do on a general basis.  

We are no longer eating the food we grow or raise and we no longer know which farm the rest of our food comes from.

We are also no longer working the farm, walking to work, or even tending to our yard.  As a society, we are no longer the people the last few generations were.

But, there are good things about this time in history too.  One of the best things is the access to information. We have at the tips of our fingers more information than we can even imagine.  This is both a blessing and a curse.

It is a blessing because if you want to know something it, Google it.  Easy peasy. There are multiple search engines, Safari, Bing, Yahoo. From there the info is almost endless.  You can find info in video form on youtube. You can search with images on Pinterest. You can find info like your old encyclopedia in Wikipedia, and that is just barely the beginning of ways to search and find.

Now that you have the world at your fingertips, the problem becomes what do you do with it.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t do anything with this knowledge. We play games, we watch mindless cute cat videos, we look at other people’s lives on Instagram and Facebook and find other ways to fill the small spaces of time in our days.

This week I became aware of a list.  Well, actually two lists. These lists are lists I think we should all be aware of.  The lists are irrelevant if we don’t do anything with this information, but I truly feel that if you have info that you know that others will benefit from, you NEED to share it.

According to the   Environmental Working Group, there is a list that they call the Dirty Dozen and then another list called the Clean 15.  These are lists that the EWG has put together in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP) report.  The Dirty Dozen is a list of fruits and veggies with the highest concentration of pesticides on them.

This sounds really scary, well it is.  Pesticides, although intended for insects, are at its source, poison.  That is why the farmers use them. Now, the pesticides won’t kill us the way they do those little critters, but when we eat the produce, we obviously eat the toxins.  The problem with ingesting these toxins is that we just hang on to them. The toxins are chemicals that our bodies don’t know how to get rid of, so our bodies store them.  As we eat more, we store more. Not cool.

I am in no way saying don’t eat these fruits and veggies, quite the opposite.  You should still eat them. Eat lots of them. They are still good for you. I love to eat all the things on this list.

The Dirty Dozen List

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

What a great list of produce.

There is good news to go with this list.  There is a pretty simple solution. Actually, there are a couple.  First, when you choose to eat organic, you are generally choosing to eat pesticide free.  Not always, but generally it is the better option.

There is another option. Wash your produce.  Yup, it really is that simple. You can use dish soap.  You can just use water. From what I have learned, it the action of rubbing that has the largest result in removing the toxins.  You can also use the little method below.


  1. Fill a large bowl with water.
  2. Then add a teaspoon of baking soda.
  3. Add the veggies.
  4. Soak for a minute or two.
  5. Scrub with a brush.
  6. And finally, rinse off the veggies.

The most important thing is that you are now informed and you have the power in your hands to choose to do something or not.  Let’s face it, knowledge is power. It is up to you.

In the next blog, we will talk about the Clean 15.  In the meantime, eat your fruits and veggies.


Accepting your own mortality is like eating your vegetables: You may not want to do it, but it's good for you. -Caitlin Doughty


Moving On From Stress

Stormy clouds to blue sky. Better times ahead, concept. Window on improved weather. Q4fit.com

We live in a very busy complicated world.  We are told on a regular basis just what we are supposed to do and feel.  We have invited strangers into our lives through social media and we feel that their opinion of us is needed, necessary, and worth listening to.  We are feeling totally overwhelmed if we don’t have our act together, we don’t have a plan, we don’t have a specific goal, or even have a clue what is going to happen next.  But I am here to remind you of something you already know, but have forgotten.

You are going to be ok.

  • Maybe not today.
  • Maybe not tomorrow.  
  • Maybe not next year.
  • Maybe not what you used to be all about, but ok just the same.

We have become used to being in constant stress and when we try to de-stress, we are supposed to know how to do that too.  We hear words like self-care, you do you, and total relaxation, yeah, like that is actually a thing.

With the world at our fingers in the form of our laptops, pads, phones, we should have things totally figured out or at least know where and how to find the answers.  And yet, we are actually living in a world with more stress, or so we are made to feel.

The thing is that life was never promised to be stress-free.  Ok, maybe that doesn’t make you feel any better either, but it should.  Life is stressful. It always has been, it always will be. It is just different stress than ever before.

A hundred years ago when people lived to the ripe old age of  40ish, not kidding for men it was 26 for women it was 42, they had stress.  They just didn’t tell everyone. You just dealt with it. Now, we know so much more about how to handle such stress.  We know that just ‘handling it’ isn’t the answer either. We are way more complex beings for that. And it is totally possible that ‘handling it’ may have lead to the lifeline being as short as it was. Hhhmmm

Learning how to deal with stress is really important.  The stress isn’t going anywhere so it’s time to find what works for you.  We all have different levels of stress. We all have different kinds of stress.  We all have different ways we deal with stress. So with all those variable is there any one thing that is constant? Actually yes, there is.

It won’t last forever.

Does that seem lame?  It shouldn’t. I know when you are up to your eyeballs in whatever it is you have to deal with.  That is the last thing you want to hear. It’s like hearing someone tell you to cheer up when you are sad.  ‘ yeah, sure, I’ll get right on that!’ But it is truer than true. Nothing lasts forever.

  • Tomorrow the sun will come up and a whole new day will begin.  
  • Jan 1 will happen and a new year will begin.
  • June 21 will come and another summer will be here.  
  • Babies are born and people die.
  • Nothing lasts forever.
  • Your stress won’t either!

When you are thinking about that stress, think about when you were all upset about studying for finals in high school.  You got through that.  You asked that girl out for a date.  Maybe she said no, maybe she is your wife now.  You got through that.  That job interview that was making you sweat through your shirt.  You got through that.  You survived so many things that you have totally forgotten about and then moved on to the next great adventure.

It’s time to move on to that next great adventure that is waiting for you.  Take a breath. Close your eyes for a moment. Take your shot at the next thing that will cause you stress and deal with it.  

  • Have a cry.
  • Have a laugh.
  • Eat the cake.
  • Drink the drink.
  • Drive that car.
  • Take that flight.
  • Show up for that interview.
  • Be on time for that meeting.
  • Call that friend.
  • Forgive that family member.
  • Pet the dog.
  • Feel the sun on your face.


Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There's going to be stress in life, but it's your choice whether you let it affect you or not. – Valerie Bertinelli


Food is Not the Enemy

Food fight nutrition concept as a fresh healthy broccoli fighting an unhealthy cheese burger. Food is Not the Enemy Q4fit.com

Do you feel like you are all alone out there with no support?  There are a lot of people that are trying so hard to make positive changes in their world and they are doing all the right stuff and yet feel like they are doing it all by themselves.

Anytime you are trying to change something you know that you will be up against resistance.  Even if the change is for good and even if everyone wants the change. But, the ugly truth is that we are sometimes our own worst enemy.

Weight Loss is hard. 

It will never change. Some people are never going to know the struggle of someone who has thought about how much they weigh, what size they are, if people are watching them eat, is this the right amount of food, am I eating too much or not enough, how many calories are in this, or can others see the jiggle that I feel when all I am doing is walking?

These sound awful and even hurtful, and they are, but someone who is struggling with their own self-image and weight loss knows all too well that these kinds of conversations that never really end inside your own head and yet would never in a million years say them out loud to another human unless they really, really want to hurt them.

When you want to know the real secret to lose weight you actually only need to look inside your own mind. Not your plate.  Not your gym. Not your fridge. Not your jeans. Not even your genes. The real secret to weight loss is…you need to get your own mind and attitude in the place that it needs to be to make it happen.

  • Anyone can order a meal and eat it.
  • Anyone can show up at the gym.
  • Anyone can get off the couch and burn some calories.
  • Anyone can restrict the number of calories you consume.  
  • Want me to go on?
  • Or do you get my meaning?

Until you truly ready to deal with why you eat too much, move too little, eat more unhealthy choices than is good for you and everything that you do to yourself to slow or halt your progress, you will never be THAT size and stay THAT size.

Food is not bad for you.  Remember that, food is not the enemy.  You really should not have that kind of attachment to any one or group of food.  Food is meant to sustain you. Yup, some of it tastes amazing. Some of it smells like you have wakened in a dreamland.  But until you can get a handle on why you are eating and when and how much, food will always feel like the bad guy.

We, as humans, have attached way too many feelings to the food we eat.

We need to stop using food.  

Take a look at the people you will see today.  Whether it is on the train to work. The people at work.  The kids at school. Even the people on the tv. When was the last time you saw someone who was actually going to die of starvation because they missed a meal?  Going hungry is not a punishment. Being hungry should not be a cause to grab the first food item you see and stuff it in as quickly as you can and not stop until either it is all gone or you are so uncomfortable you lost track of what you were actually doing.

It’s time to spend some introspection.  Being overweight is not normally a death sentence, although it can be.

When you are ready to start one more time, let’s make sure it is the best time and the last time.

I have actually created a “Fast Start Weight Loss & Better Health Guide”

You can download it for free.

We can and will walk through your journey with you.  As I sit here writing this, I am yet again, recommitting myself to my own goals and will be right there with you.

It’s time to live the life you were meant to live in the size that you were meant to be.


Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. – Og Mandino