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Officially Obese


In the fall of 2011 my husband Doug and I began on a new journey toward healthy.

If you have read our profiles, you have seen that it has been quite a journey. We made a commitment to doing whatever it took to get our health back. Although I was in good health, according to my doctor, I was officially obese. Yup, I was officially obese and yet, each time I had visited the doc, it was not recommended that I lose weight to better my health. Doug,by the way, was also officially obese. Check out this page if you want to secretly look at your own range. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases­onditions/obesity/in­depth/bmi-calculator/itt­20084938

According to Wikipedia;

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems.[1][2] In Western countries, people are considered obese when their body mass index (BMI),[3] a measurement obtained by dividing a person's weight by the square of the person's height, exceeds 30 kg/m2, with the range 25-30 kg/m2 defined as overweight.

We set out to find a trainer. We simply put out a request on Facebook to our friends. So right from the start our journey to get healthy was a public one. Accountability is a funny thing. We received a couple of recommendations and did some interviews. Yes, we interviewed them as they were interviewing us. Dean and Leigh Brandt at Body by Brandt http://www.bodybybrandt.com/ was who we chose to turn to for our transformation.

We told Dean and Leigh right up front that we would do whatever it took to get us back into a weight zone that we really belonged in. We were given a meal plan, and a workout schedule. Three days a week in the gym and a brand new way to eat. You would think after eating for over 40 years, we would know how to feed ourselves. Well, like most North Americans, we knew how to eat A LOT, but not properly.

Today, nearly 4 years later, there are aspects of our ‘new’ lives that I love and some aspects that I still struggle with. Some I don’t mind dealing with, some I would love to get rid of, but won’t.

Love it, not so much

1. OATMEAL :­ I have never loved oatmeal, still don’t, but I eat it before the gym on gym days.

2. WEIGHT and MEASURE DAY :­ This is still a bitter pill to swallow. The results are never what I want them to be.

3. 6 AM ALARM ­: I don’t do mornings. Still don’t do mornings. Three days a week, we are in the gym by 7am.

4. BREAD :­ I do miss the ease of just slapping a sandwich together because I can’t think of what else to eat.

5. MEAL PLANNING ­: Planning meals ahead of time so that they are not just a feast of starch is real work some days.

6. STINKY GYM SHOES : ­ With several days in the gym each week and outside activities too, our shoe cupboard is full and smelly.

Love the new

1. REWARD MEALS :­ Some of these are epic, some are comfort food, but I love them all.

2. NORMAL SIZE CLOTHING STORES :­ There were a lot of years that I couldn’t shop in regular shops. Now, I can. Sometimes, it still makes me teary in the change room. I hope it always does. I don’t want to ever go backward.

3. WINE ­: we still love wine. Now, we have it as a reward and it tastes so much better.

4. GYM CLOTHES : ­ Thanks to Lululemon, gym gear has become comfort wear everywhere. It really is comfortable when you get stuff that finally fits right.

5. GROCERY SHOPPING :­ When you eat mostly in the outer aisles, you spend less time label reading. You buy whole, real food, with very few ingredients.

6. ENERGY : Although I fall into bed exhausted each night, I have so much more energy during the day.

7. FEEL BETTER :­ I just feel better generally. Better moods, rarely sick, skin and hair are healthy.

8. MUSCLE ACHE : ­ In the beginning, I really didn’t like this, but now I wait for it because I know I earned it.

9. PRIVATE TIME ­: Not something I talk about normally, but when you are stronger, more flexible, not out of breathe, somethings are WAY better! wink wink nudge nudge

Embrace the changes, learn to adapt to the new and different things. Don’t settle for just ok when great is what you were meant for.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly. — Proverb

Want to Get More Done in Less Time


Increasing productivity, reducing stress, and getting stronger with the hike around Buntzen Lake, Anmore, CANADA.

We are all aware that exercise provides a lot of benefits to our body. Whether the goal is to burn that unwanted body fat, to lose those extra pounds, or just to keep our bodies in shape; exercising will make the human body stronger.

Being strong is always equated to survival. And in this modern world, survival also means keeping up with our everyday work. Work productivity is necessary to all of us now since we balance a lot of things in our lives. Being productive gets the job done faster and this serves as a parameter for an employee’s effectiveness at the workplace too. Therefore, the lack of exercise in our lives might actually put our day jobs at risk.

There are ways in which exercise can boost productivity.

  1. And one is that it boosts up our alertness level. This is due to the fact that exercising increases blood flow to our brain which then helps us sharpen our awareness and our sense of readiness to whatever task we are about to take.
  2. Another thing is that it provides us energy; and having more energy means we are more awake when we tackle on our work. Having the extra energy assures us that we could execute our work correctly and with the best of your ability.
  3.  With exercise in our routine, we help improve our cardiovascular health that gives us the stamina we need to meet the physical demands of our jobs.
  4. Not only is exercising good for physical health but it also benefits our mental state. Done regularly, it could actually reduce anxiety and the effects of depression. This is due to the fact that when we exercise, our brain signals the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that stimulates a good emotion, thus aids in improving our state of mind which makes us handle the stress in our work easier. Stress has been known to have caused significant damage to our bodies. A certain amount of stress is necessary though for our bodies to improve. However, each of us have different level of stress threshold. A body that could no longer take a certain amount of stress results in sickness which impairs any of our physical activities and ability to be productive.

Regular exercise therefore is essential to all of us. It doesn’t have to be a hard core exercise routine if you’re just a beginner on exercise or someone who’s into working out. Simple exercises would include power walking, lifting moderate weights, jogging, running or swimming are enough to raise our heart rates. By that, we could reduce our risk in developing certain illnesses. With a strengthened immune systems, this means we avoid our chances to have those sick days at work which is commonly caused by simple colds and influenza. It has been found out that regular exercise reduces our risk for 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other heart diseases – all of which can interfere with our work productivity.

Let’s not think of exercise as a difficult regimen.

● Using the stairs instead of taking the elevator,
● walking a few blocks to work,
● taking a walk at the park or within the office premises during lunch breaks are simple ways to exercise.

Optimally, at least 30mins of exercise for 5 days is substantial to achieve our health goals. So, with the increased energy and productivity, the excuse of “I don’t have time” will melt away just like the pounds.

Remember, it takes 90 days to create a new habit, so give yourself time.

It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Eliot

Simple Shortcuts


Part of making change in your world is finding new and different things to experience.

Today I wanted to talk about a few of the tools that we have used and that we still use and that we love. Finding tools is really key to watching and tracking your own improvement. Unless you are using a magnifying lens, change will be small and slow and hard to see.

1. Accountability Partner

­ When Doug and I started out on our new health journey, we were doing it together. That is probably the best thing that you can do. Find an accountability partner that you can celebrate with, gripe with, complain to, laugh with and most importantly have your own personal cheering squad. But doing this journey with your partner is unique, I get that. But, nobody does this stuff truly alone unless you choose to. Not sure why you would want to go it alone, but some do. You don’t need to find somebody that will do all the things that you do, although that would be awesome, just somebody that is there for you. Somebody that truly is in this partner thing for YOU. And, if this person turns out to be less than helpful, move on. Just as you would need to fire an employee who is not performing, you don’t need to fire them as a friend, just as an accountability partner. You can join us at Q4fit.com on Facebook, we will be there for you.

2. Food journal

­ There are a lot of ways to journal your eating habits. Journaling is super important especially in the beginning. You can’t begin to change and fix what you don’t see is broken. It comes down to measure, and nutrition in what you are eating. Writing it down with pen and paper works, but then you need to have somebody interpret what you have done. Not a bad plan, unless you don’t have
somebody. Most programs have this component in some capacity. Even the programs that have you eating prepackaged foods do so in order to monitor the food intake. I have had a great experience with https://www.myfitnesspal.com/.

a. First of all, it is FREE. You enter in all your personal stats, your weight goals, and you are off to the races. I like this site for a few reasons. Free is always good with me.
b. You can record either on your phone or desktop.
c. If you eat out, generally most chain restaurants are already in the program. You can enter your own complete meals if you tend to eat the same things each day.
d. There is a bar code scanner to enter foods that you can’t find by the search. If the manufacturer has put this info into their barcode, all the nutrients get entered at the same time.
e. There is also a community aspect if you want to get some encouragement from people on the same journey as you are.

3. Fitness tracking

­ Recording your workouts is really valuable for your own knowledge. Yes, some people like to post on social media every time they workout, so what. That is not what I am talking about. The more you do, the better you will become. Progress will happen. You will improve. You will do more. You will forget what it felt like when you started. This is your journey, so keeping track of your personal progress is really important. Again, lots of apps out there, too many to list. Even most smartphones come with their own fitness tracking system. The app we use and love is http://www.mapmyfitness.com/.

a. This app is again FREE. It records a huge amount of activities.
b. It can be recorded on your phone, with GPS, for tracking trails and routes. It
can be accessed through your desktop too.
c. Also it talks nicely to other programs.
d. Again, there is a community component here too. There are also friendly little
challenges that you can participate in for cool prizes. Why not??

4. Heart rate monitor

­ This has become a really important tool for me. When I began my health transition, I had no idea where my heart health was. A heart rate monitor was a suggestion from our trainer. When we began our journey, he has told us since, that he did not think we were capable of the kind of fitness things that he wanted us to do. So, we started tracking our heart rates so that we could see if we were working too hard, or not hard enough. Again, there are lots on the market. Everything from watches, your phone, and then the route we went. We chose to use the Tickr monitor. http://www.wahoofitness.com/

a. It is worn under your shirt and this type gets the best reading of your heart rate. This keeps you in the best heart rate zone for working out.
b. It helps keep track of the calories burned during your workout.
c. It talks to your other workout apps.

Keep in mind that these are all just toys to accumulate if you are not going to use them. If they are not simple to use and they don’t talk nicely to each other then they are not going to help you. Do what works for you. Keep yourself accountable to YOU. After all, this is YOUR journey, YOUR health, YOUR body, nobody else will want you to succeed more than you.

Well, except for us. 🙂

Your success is all that really matters.

To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.– Picabo Street

Love Yourself

Think back to a day that you sat on the bus, sat at work or dinner and all you could think about was, what was the person across from you was thinking about. They can probably see my (fill in the blank). Oh I didn’t do my (fill in the blank) this morning! Wow they are so much thinner than me. Their makeup/hair is perfect. I bet they have a good looking spouse. I wish I was that attractive.


Where is this all coming from? Did you really get so caught up in the moment that you missed how beautiful your hair looks today, that the person across the room can’t take their eyes off of you, that you have lost weight and it does show. Did you even consider that this person you are so worried about what they think…is thinking the exact same thing about you, or that they are so consumed in themselves they haven’t even noticed you? It feels nearly impossible to not worry or think about what others may be thinking…it’s practically an instinct. But if you were to go out and just focus on the people you are spending time with, the scenery, or how beautiful you are, would it be worth it?

Every week I teach girls and boys dance from ages 6-­13. To be blunt, the 6 year olds are not worried for one second about their tummy in their body suit, one another not having to wear glasses, or at all what they look like to others. That age is so precious when it comes to confidence. The sad part is that I admire the young girls and boys I teach more than the girls my age. They come and talk to me no matter what I look like, because it doesn’t matter to them. They know (from my experience) that everyone is beautiful, it’s not even a question.

Do you remember what it was like as a kid…before you identified yourself with the ‘flaws’ you think you have? The fact that it didn’t matter what you wore or who saw you.

I want my daughter in the future to love herself…and if I can’t learn to love myself for exactly what I look like, what am I teaching her? Can you picture a 7 year old girl talking about how fat she looks in her bodysuit for ballet, or that her eyelashes aren’t naturally curly before she is even allowed to wear make up? The thought alone kills me.

Sam selfieeee

Now, do something for yourself here:

1. Write down all the things you do love about yourself.
Is there something you want to be able to add to this list?

2. Write down all the things you don’t love about yourself.
Would you ever point those things out about someone else?

3. Write down all the things you want your kids to love about themselves.
Are these also things you want to love about yourself?

4. Which list is the longest?

I would encourage you to go about your day knowing in your heart how beautiful you are and be an example to all.


Samantha Morneau

I am a young girl who strives for happiness through Jesus, Family, and Friends. We were not made to do things alone, so let’s work at this together one step at a time.  “For Nothing is Impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Twitter: SamanthaMorneau