Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year...New Hope....New Dreams!

I'm enjoying my down time right now because I know that right after the holidays, the gym will become very busy as most people pledge to themselves to get into better shape.

Unfortunately I've seen this happen all too often and most of the people who swear that they will come to the gym 3 times per week are hard to find by the time April comes around. Why does this happen? I really think it's because the people who join gyms in January don't realize that they need to change their lifestyle in order to truly see good results. Many feel that if they work out a little bit but don't change how they eat, they will get results. Once they figure out that it takes a commmittment to healthy eating and exercise in order to get results and keep those results, they lose their focus.

What I preach isn't a "quick fix" as there really are no quick fixes that work long term. Of course you can pick up a diet book and follow along religiously for a few months. Ultimately, though, these books are not looking at the long term implications for people. It requires someone to really look within themselves to find out what changes they need to make. This is something that many people struggle with.

We all have different "triggers" when it comes to food and until we can pinpoint what these are, no program will work. What excites me most about my job is my ability to really get to know my clients. Many of my sessions are not just about what kind or the amount of food they need to consume, but rather what is going on within their lives to prevent them from making healthy choices. It really doesn't matter if I have a good plan for them if they are not able to follow it.

My hope is that this year many of the people that join the gyms in January, or decide that this is the year for them to get in shape, really make an honest committment to improving their health.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

50 Mile training is in full gear now

I just completed my longest run since my trail race in September. During that time I've still run, but my longest distance has been 21.1 K and that was on Christmas Day.

Training for a 50 Mile race requires lots of long distance training, but to avoid injuries it's important to add mileage slowly each week. Although I feel that I have a very good "base" mileage, for some reason it's been difficult for me to go out longer. I can come up with plenty of excuses why, but it's really all about being mentally prepared to run for 2, 3, 4 and eventually 5 hours.

Today was a giant step forward in that direction so I'm very pleased with what I was able to do. I went out early at 7 AM and did 8 K's on my own. Then I met up with a group of friends who were doing about 18K's. This would have brought my mileage up to 26 which I would have been very happy with. However, they decided to run a little longer and the 18 K turned into about 20 K. I had to take a few more walk breaks than the group, but I was happy with my strong finish.

Besides the fact that I was able to run 28 K today, what really made this day special was the fact that I was able to run with some truly great people. Although running is such an individual thing, having group support is very important.

We all ran at different speeds but it really didn't matter. The fact was that we were running together. We would take turns running with each person for a few K's and that kept our minds off the fact that we were out for so long. During various parts of the run I had to listen to some music to keep me motivated. Thankfully my friends understand that I need to listen to music when I run and they don't take it as a sign that I'm being anti-social.

After our run we all met up for coffee/tea at the local coffee shop and I was asked by the Running Room store manager if I would do a nutrition talk for the 1/2 Marathon clinic. I haven't been able to do one of those in a long time because of my schedule at the gym, but I'm available this week so I'm glad so I was more than happy to oblige.

Now that I have my recent run "bookmarked" in my memory bank, I know that things will only get better from here on out. Getting past that 20-25 K mark was a big barrier for me so now that I have, I can start building on this every two weeks.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My run/walk adventure in the trails today

As soon as we headed out from the Rouge parking lot at 8:00 AM this morning I knew that this was going to be an adventure I wouldn't soon forget. About 20 or so runners showed up today but when they saw the icy conditions, many of them decided to run on the roads.

The group dwindled to 7 of us and even though it was extremely difficult at times, I'm glad I decided to do it. Each of us took turns falling at least once on the trails, which resembled more of an ice rink than anything else. We managed to run/walk almost 10 K's which was enough for all of us. A run that usually takes us about an hour to do, took 1.5 hours instead. All I kept thinking about, besides falling, was that this was great training for my 50 Mile race. Running at such a slow pace is something that I'll be doing plenty of in May of next year.

There was something special about doing something that most others wouldn't think of and even though it would have been very easy to turn around and run somewhere else, I'm very glad that I made the decision to run in the trails.

Tomorrow I'll be doing my long slow run and I'm hoping to get in anywhere from 17-18 Miles. It will be nice to do the majority of this distance with a group of friends. As my mileage increases on my long runs, I'm finding it difficult to find running partners to join me. Most of my friends are not training for anything right now so that makes it difficult to convince them to run longer than they want to. Tomorrow I'll have to do a few miles on my own before joining the rest of the crew. Hopefully we won't have to worry about any ice on the roads......

Friday, December 28, 2007

I am surrounded by positive people and for that I am lucky

As a nutritionist, the biggest joy I get is seeing my clients getting closer and closer to achieving their goals. They have no idea how inspiring they are and I use their positive energy to help me with my own goals.

This holiday season I received lots of gifts and cards and I had to share one of the cards with you. It comes from a lady who has unbelievable drive and determination as she works well over 60-70 hours per week at times. Despite these hours, she still is committed to doing the best she can to reach her fitness goals.
Here's what she wrote in her card:

Why you are special to me

Usually at the end of an adrenalin rush, the brain is always craving for the food that is on the Greg's meal plan. The time is often between 4 pm and 6:30 PM. The Doctors always make sure that there are boxes of donuts or muffins with coffee at the nursing station. When all the nurses are reaching for the quick fix, I can hear a still small soft voice saying, "Why don't you just have a yogurt and a few almonds?" These are the haunting words that keep me in check in maintaining my goals.

Thanks Greg for the changes you make in my life. I really appreciate it. I hope to achieve a lot more.

Alleth, and many clients like her, are overcoming huge odds in their personal life while they try to make healthier eating choices. Each healthy choice they make is bringing them closer and closer to actualizing their goals.

Thanks Alleth and keep up the great work!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I am a Runner!

Christmas Eve was a mixed bag emotionally for me. It started off with a great run with a few friends but as the day progressed it became tough on me. Knowing that I wasn't going to see my two boys opening up their presents on Christmas Day was something that I knew was coming and yet when it arrived it was harder than I thought. I wanted to be left alone and yet I was lonely at the same time. Anyone who has children can relate I'm sure.

I had planned long ago, to do some kind of run on Christmas Day to take my mind off of things and to reflect on the year that just went by. I tinkered with the idea of running 30 K but because I'm going to be doing two long runs this weekend, I didn't want to go that far. I was thrilled when I asked one of my best friends to join me and she accepted. We haven't run together for months so I knew it would be an amazing experience but it surpassed anything that I could have imagined.

Our route was very hilly but we were able to go through some really nice neighbourhoods. It was amazing to see the roads so barren. Some of the places we were running through were simply breathtaking and we both reflected on how truly lucky we were to be out here on such an amazing journey.

On our way back home we stopped off at one of our friends’ house to wish her a Merry Christmas and then went off and finished our run. We were just at the 20K mark when she said that she wanted to do another 1.1 K to make it an even 1/2 Marathon distance. Not one to turn down running I accepted and we finished the run and made our way back to our cars.

We talked about so many things but one of the things that she said really struck home. She mentioned how she is defined by her running and that she is first and foremost a runner. I couldn't have summed that up any better myself. It truly is who I am and what I'm all about. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't found running. I know that I'd be a different person and probably not the type of person who I am today.

You don't have to run long distances to be defined as a runner. You simply have to understand the important part that it plays in your life. I'm proud to call myself a runner.

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Developing inner strength

It's not secret that I believe in the power of inner strength. It's also no secret that I feel that running has allowed me to not only find my inner strength but also to improve it as well.

As I was doing some last minute shopping today, (hey I'm a guy that's what we do right?) I ran into someone I hadn't seen in a long time. He used to workout with a friend of mine a few years ago. As I continued with my shopping I saw him heading towards me. I actually didn't even think he remembered who I was. We exchanged a quick hello and he made a point of telling me that I still looked good. It's amazing to me what little it takes to lift someone’s spirit up because that's what he did for me.

I find it extremely difficult to accept compliments so when I get them I tend to bookmark them for when I really need a boost. A big reason why I run in the first place is to improve not only my physical appearance but also to improve my mental game as well. Running allows me to work on my core strength and endurance. It also challenges me mentally to go further and further. There are times when I run when I feel like I could go on forever. Other times, though, it's a struggle just to get out the door.

To develop my inner strength I need to be away from any distractions. I've become better at becoming more independent and that has built up my self-confidence. Whenever I feel that I can't go on, I can always bring myself back to a time and place where I felt the same way but was able to continue.

Some people surround themselves with too many distractions and they never develop that inner strength. They rely too much on outsiders to provide their motivation and then when those people aren't there, they are lost and have a difficult time carrying on without them. Unfortunately, I see too many of these people at the gym. It's usually the ones who will only workout if they have a trainer to push them. Personal trainers can be a great asset but they shouldn't provide you with all your motivation should they? You should want to workout because it's something that YOU want to do for yourself.

Listening to music can be another way to escape from reality for a few hours. I guess that's why when I run on my own I simply must listen to music. There are some songs that really inspire confidence during a particularly tough run. I usually pay very close attention to the lyrics and have become very good at picking out a particular phrase which I can use as a metaphor for my running.

The stronger you can become mentally, the easier it will be for you to achieve the many goals you have for yourself. Nothing is out of the realm of possibilities as long as you continue to work hard at developing your inner strength.

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I seem to get stuck on one song for a long time before I listen to it to death and then it loses it's meaning. I've pretty much accepted the fact that that's the way it is. Right now, one of my favorite running songs is "Believe" by Suzie McNeil. The lyrics are so inspiring that I just had to share them with you:

moment is fading
One minute's past
But I've got this moment
To make it all last
I'm standing before you
Taking my chance on
Everything I never thought that I could be
Cuz you can do almost anything

If you just beleive
You can move mountains with dreams
The higher you climb
The better it gets
Cuz you will see things
You'll never forget
If you just believe

It's like I'm falling through my own fears
They used to haunt me, but now they're not here
There's no looking back, my future is clear
No giving up
And I'm holding on when it gets rough
Cuz you can get through most anything

If you just believe
You can move mountains with dreams
The higher you climb

The better it gets
Cuz you will see things
You'll never forget
If you just believe

No one says it's easy
And no one says you have to be perfect
But as long as you try
You're always gonna find
It was worth it

If you just believe
You can move mountains with dreams
The higher you climb
The better it gets
Cuz you will see things
You'll never forget
If you just believe
You can move mountains with dreams
If you just believe
You can move mountains with dreams

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Don't make excuses.....make a PLAN instead!

These next two weeks are probably the hardest time for people trying to lose weight but it doesn't have to be. It's so easy to give ourselves reasons for not sticking to a plan especially when those around you don't seem to care about what they eat/drink.

One of the many things I've learned since I started running is that I can improve my mental focus more than ever before. I've tried to channel that same ability to my daily life. During my run yesterday I spoke to Ken about some of the things that really get me upset. One of them is the fact that because I run so much, people just assume that it's "easy" for me. This couldn't be further from the truth. Each run I have I battle my own mental demons to continue. There are various points either before or just as I start to run, that I ask myself why I'm doing this? Thankfully I can recall plenty of runs that I've "bookmarked" in my brain which I can use to motivate me when things are getting tough.

Running has also allowed me to think more clearly and solve problems. This is probably one of the main reasons why I get lost so often when I'm running. There are times when I'm running that I literally forget where I am as I'm so lost in thought. During my run, my thoughts will often turn to my kids, work and specific clients who I've been lucky to work with. I often will feed off the positive energy of my clients.

Many of my clients have overcome so many obstacles in their own life. Each one of them have their own set of personal demons that they are trying to battle but the one common thing that they share is they have a plan. The clients who do really well won't settle for excuses. They may not always have a "perfect" week of eating but they will acknowledge this and move forward instead of dwelling on it. I often talk about having “bounce back" ability. It's alright to get knocked down but it's NOT alright to stay down.

During this holiday season, if you want to indulge in something then make sure you do so when YOU want to do it. Don't feel obligated to eat something just because you don't want to hurt someone’s feelings. Food tastes much better without a side of "guilt!" People often will encourage you to eat more during the holiday season without even thinking about how this may affect someone who's been trying hard to lose weight. I really think this comes down to being selfish. Misery certainly does love company so be wary of that. The more control you can take with regards to holiday eating the better you'll feel.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More inspiring Isagenix stories

This is one incredible womans account of her 9 - day cleanse. You are amazing Karen!

Karen Macfarlane

Day 1 – Wed Dec 5 -Weight 155lb, upper right arm 12.5 inch, waist 35in, hips 39in, upper thigh 22.
7am – Cleanse drink – Berry and accelerator capsule
10am - snack 1
12pm – Cleanse drink – accelerator capsule
2pm – snack 1
3pm – snack 1
5pm - Cleanse drink
6pm – snack 2
7pm – 10 Almonds
8pm – Cleanse Drink
8:30pm – hardboiled egg 1

The Berry cleanse drink tastes like watery prune juice, tastes not bad, make sure it is ice cold, I prefer to drink it straight and then water. Throughout the day no hunger but by 6pm really hungry chewable snacks aren’t cutting it. Very hard to not eat when use to consuming 6 meals a day. OK after eating egg, went to bed at 9:30pm so I wouldn’t think about eating, had a cup of boiled hot water . I hate being hungry. Still very skeptical but will push through this day trying to convince myself as to why I am doing this when I have spent the last year losing 54lb and am at my goal weight. Will give an honest opinion when complete.
Day 2 – Thurs Dec 6
7am – Cleanse Drink and accelerator capsule
9am – snack 1
10: 30am – snack 1
12:00 – Cleanse drink and accelerator capsule
12:30 – snack 1
1:25 – snack 1
2:30 – snack 1
5:00pm – Cleanse Drink, 10 blackberries
6pm- snack 1, 10 almonds
7pm – handful of plain croutons
8:00 – Cleanse Drink
8:30pm – 1 hard boiled egg

Had a cup of boiled hot water this morning, made my brain think it was tea. Not too hungry this afternoon, very busy at work. By 3:00pm I was starting to get really hungry. Missed my Boot Camp cardio class due to incident at work, not very happy. Really hungry by the time I got home. After 8pm, I had the egg, the urge to eat everything in my kitchen cupboard went away. Went to bed at 9:30pm. Still asking myself why am I doing this.
Day 3 – Friday, Dec 7 -Weight 150lb, upper right arm 12 inch, waist 34.5in, hips 38.5in, upper thigh 21in.

7am – Replacement Meal shake (Vanilla), accelerator capsule
9:30 – snack 2
12:00 – accelerator capsul, chicken, green pepper, tomatoes, 2 slices whole wheat bread
1:00 – snack 2 (before I work out)
3:00pm – snack 1 almonds
5:00pm- Replacement Meal (Vanilla) shake with blackberries
7:00pm – snack 1
8:00pm – hardboiled egg 1

Had to drag myself out of bed this morning, not sure if it’s the weather or not going to the gym yesterday. Got on the scale, what a surprise 5 lbs in two days and ½ in on all measurements. Feeling lighter all over. Prepared my lunch, looking forward eating food today. Lunch was delicious. Went to the gym 1:00pm, had a good workout 45 minutes Heavy Compound weight routine, 15 minutes of abs, 20 minutes interval training on the bike and felt my energy was good. Replacement meal for supper, used the blender and added blackberries to it and ice cold water, tasted pretty good. I found I was very thirsty today. Not really making any more trips to the bathroom as my body was already use to drinking over 2 litres per day. First day of getting rid of solids from my body. Feeling better about program and will stick with it.
Day 4 – Saturday Dec 8
8am -Replacement Meal Shake (Vanilla) with blackberries
11:00am-Snack 1
12:00 – accelerator capsule, lunch chicken, tomatoes, green pepper, spinach, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, whole wheat bread 2 slices
3:00pm – snack 1 and almonds
5:30pm – Replacement Meal Shake (Vanilla) with blueberries
7:00pm – almonds and 1 hard boiled egg
This is my recovery day and I do not work out. Feeling full of energy today and enjoyed my lunch. I find eating mid day is best for me. Keeping busy all day putting up Xmas decorations and out shopping (this is my workout today). The hardest time was making supper for my family and not eating. Just went and watched T.V. I feel that the excess fat I was carrying around my middle and my legs is less. I won’t weight myself until tomorrow. I have been drinking about 6 cups of boiled hot water in a mug, it gives me something to do when I want to eat. This is in addition to the 8 cups of water I drink during the day. Many trips to the bathroom but I do not feel as dehydrated today. Getting rid of solids from my body once a day instead of 3 times a day is taking a toll on my system. The hard boiled egg at night takes away the urge to eat and I do not wake up starving in the morning. I am motivated to stay on the program to see how I feel at the end.

Day 5 – Sunday Dec 9 – weight 150lb
8am – Replacement Meal Shake (Vanilla) with blueberries, 1 accelerator capsule
10 am – 2 snack and almonds
12:00pm – Replacement Meal Shake (Vanilla) with blackberries, 1 accelerator capsule
2:00pm – 2 snack and almonds
5:00pm – Salmon, broccoli, asparagus
8:00pm – 1 egg

Went to the gym 11:30am. Workout today was 45 minutes Heavy Compound weights, felt the quad muscles weak but pushed through the workout. I prefer the shake with blackberries, more flavour released from berries once put in the blender. Had my meal at supper time.
Day 6 – Monday Dec 10 – weight 150lbs
8am – Replacement Meal Shake (Vanilla) with blackberries, 1 accelerator capsule
10 am – 1 snack and almonds
12:00 - chicken, spinach, celery, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, 2 slices Whole Wheat bread 1 accelerator capsule
2:00 – snack 2
6:30pm – Replacement Meal (Vanilla) with blackberries
7:30pm – 2 snack
8:00pm - almonds
Half way through and feeling great, had lots of energy today, my whole body feels lighter. I am off work this week getting ready for Xmas, worked all day cleaning the house that was a workout in itself and at 4:00pm worked out in the gym for 45 minutes lifting weights and then went to Abs class at 5:00pm. Feeling lighter all over and energy was good through workout and abs class
Day 7 – Tuesday Dec 11 – weight 148lbs
7:00am – Replacement Meal Shake (Vanilla) with blackberries, 1 accelerator capsule
10am – 2 snacks
12:30pm – chicken, spinach, celery, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, 2 whole bread slices 1, accelerator capsule
3:30pm – 2 snacks
5:00pm – Replacement Meal Shake (Vanilla) with blackberries
7:00pm – almonds
Personal Trainer session. This is the day I was really interested in seeing how my energy level sustained as I push myself to the limit for 1 hour. Had a great training session, felt lighter on my feet today and sustained my energy for the entire session. Weighed myself prior to training 148lb. The excess fat or water I was carrying at my waist/hips and legs has gone. Just need to improve the strength in my legs without affecting my knee joints.
Day 8 – Wednesday Dec 12
7:00am – Cleanse Drink – 1 accelerator capsule
9:00am – 2 snacks
11:00am - salad
12:00pm – Cleanse Drink – 1 accelerator capsule
2:00pm – 2 snacks
5:00pm – Cleanse Drink
7:00pm – 2 snacks
8:00pm – Cleanse Drink
8:30pm - almonds
This is my recovery day, no weights or cardio today. I found the 2nd round of cleanse days was easier than the first two days, as I knew what to expect and how I would feel. I haven’t had the urge to clean out my kitchen cupboards. Energy is good.
Day 9 – Thursday Dec 13
7:00am – Cleanse Drink – 1 accelerator capsule
9:00 – 2 snacks
12:00pm – Cleanse Drink – 1 accelerator capsule
2:00pm – 2 snacks
4:30pm – Almonds – Pre Boot Camp class.
5:00pm – Cleanse Drink
7:00pm – 2 snacks
8:00pm – Cleanse Drink
8:30pm - almonds
5pm Boot Camp – 45 min. cardio/weights, 45 min abs class back to back. I did this class just to see if I could on my final cleanse day. I made sure I was fully hydrated and my energy was good all the way through. I made it.

Recap: Weight 147 lbs, I lost ½ inch on my upper right arm, right thigh, hips and 1 inch on my waist.
The hardest time was the first two cleanse days. I had to dig deep mentally to get through. The next 5 days were easier. I think it would be easier to do when it is warm outside and light at night so I could keep busy outside. Once I come home from work or gym at night and it is dark all I did was think about what I couldn’t eat. It felt like, you know you can’t have something the more you want it. I kept telling myself, if I could take myself to the gym for 9 months straight, workout 6 days a week and lose 54 lbs and become physically fit I could certainly handle 9 days to rid my body of toxins and hopefully feel better by the end. I have my ‘Positive Thoughts’ in front of me all the time, “Guard your goals like a knight would guard his castle and don’t let anyone get in your way”. Half way through my whole body was feeling lighter, have lost my love handles at my waist and my legs feel lighter, don’t know if it was excess water I was holding or I reduced fat but when I put my jeans on this weekend there was nothing hanging over the waist. My final two cleanse days were excellent as I knew what to expect. I was hungry by 3:00pm on both days, but I am feeling better mentally and physically. I felt my energy levels for the 9 days stayed the same throughout the day and did not struggle with my physical ability but sometimes had to dig deep with my mental. After both cleanse days I found I was very dehydrated even though I drank in excess of my 8 litres of water daily. The next day I drank all day to rehydrate. It was definitely worth doing the program and I will continue with the products.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Getting better at taking it easy

Yesterday, because of the weather, I didn't get a chance to run. In anticipation of that I did 2 runs on Saturday so Sunday was going to be a "bonus" day. If I made it out great but if not I wasn't going to get too upset about it. Similarly, as the snow is melting outside right now, I am tempted to go for an afternoon run. However, I'll take another day off and get ready for my run tomorrow morning with Ken. I decided to ride the stationary bike for an hour instead.

Each week or two, I've started to increase my weekly mileage and I think that's the best way for me to prepare for my race. It will be unlikely that I'll be able to get my long runs in every week so that will mean going out twice on some daysc and taking more days off.

I have even come to the realization that I MAY have to do some of my runs on the dreaded treadmill. IF that day comes you'll know about it as I'll be complaining the whole time. I can't remember the last time I actually had to do a run on the treadmill instead of going outside but I may have no choice in the upcoming months.

As I get wiser with regards to my running, I've learned to relax more and take a day off here and there to rest. In the past I used to count down the minutes until my next run and while I haven't lost any of my passion for running, I've learned that taking some time off to rest is better than feeding my obsession from time to time.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Running with my 2 boys

I cannot wait to run with my 2 boys this morning as we do the Snowflake run at the Ajax waterfront. I really don't care whether we run for 5 minutes or 30 but I'm hoping that my love of running rubs off on them a little bit. Running has changed my life so much and I hope that it has a similar impact on their lives.

Whenever I pick up my youngest son, Marcus, from the babysitters he throws his backpack in the back of the car and then runs home, which is around the block. I follow him slowly in the car and can't help but smile from ear to ear. Whenever my oldest joins him, it's twice as nice.

Today will be a great day indeed!

Well, the weather today was one of the worst running days yet and my oldest son decided not to run. My youngest was with me and I left the decision up to him. He made it VERY clear to me that he was going to run no matter what the conditions and so we ventured out.

The temperatures were actually not too bad but it was the blowing/swirling wind that was the hard part for him. We went out for about 1/2 K but the conditions were just too much for him. We ran back into the comforts of the Rotary Park pavillion as fast as we could. Marcus was very disappointed that he didn't finish but I couldn't have been any more proud of him today. He was the only child who showed up and he was rewarded with a medal for his accomplishments which cheered him up.

On the way home I told him how proud I was of him and that I knew he was disappointed in not finishing. I know that there will be other races and he made it a point to tell me that he wants to do more of these in the future.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Twice as nice!

After weeks of trying to do a long run, 20K's or more, it happened this morning. Of course I had to pick one of the coldest days of the year, -20 with the wind chill, but it least it happened in the trails.

Two of my friends joined me at 6:45 AM and we ran through the trails with the help of Ken's trusty headlamps. The footing wasn't as bad as I expected it to be and although my two friends each took a tumble, I was fortunate enough to stay on my feet. We finished the first loop in just over an hour and then met up with the rest of our friends at 8:00 AM to do another loop.

As soon as we got to my car I split half a banana with my friend. I also had to replace my water bottles which were now frozen. We had to wait for about 5 minutes before heading off with the rest of the group. This may not seem like a long time but when you are sweating in the cold, the last thing you want to do is stand around. Once we started out on the 2nd loop I started to warm up though.

The 2nd loop was all about staying mentally tough. My main goal wasn't about just running for 12 Miles today but I also wanted to increase the amount of time I was running. I knew that the slower I went, the better it would be for my training. At the same time, though, I was getting so cold that all I kept thinking about was getting home as fast as I could. I had visions of drinking a cup of hot chocolate and was imagining how nice it was going to be to have a hot shower.

Just as we headed towards our cars, I realized that I was going to be about 1 mile short of what I wanted to run today. Thankfully one of my closest friends also wanted to run a little longer so we both decided to run a little longer until the goal was met. It would have been easy for me to be satisfied with doing the 2 loops and I could have justified it by saying that the trail run was harder than doing it on the roads. In the end, though, I wouldn't have satisfied myself so I was happy and proud that I decided to keep going.

This was the longest run I've been able to do since my race in October and it will help with my confidence as my runs increase in time to over 3 hours or more.


Since we are supposed to be getting a large amount of snow over the next 24 hours, I decided to do another run this afternoon. I've been slowly trying to increase my weekly mileage and I was about 5 miles off from last week (43 miles). Being as competitive as I am, I wasn't going to let the day go by without making sure that my weekly mileage was where it needed to be. Last week I went out for 2 runs on my birthday and because of my schedule at work and when I watch my 2 boys, getting two runs in from time to time will have to be something that I'll have to do to get my mileage up.

The 5 mile run was at a nice slow pace. I realized that the more running I can get my body accustomed to, the better it will be for my race in the spring.

By the time I had finished I had run a total of 17 Miles (27 K's), 3 hours and burned over 2,000 calories (the best part....LOL)

Friday, December 14, 2007


It seems like such a long time since I was able to do a long run of at least 12-14 miles and come hell or high water I'm going to get in at least one and possible two before the weekend is over.

My plan is to do a long trail run on Saturday of approximately 2 hours and then follow that up with at least 1.5 hour run on Sunday. I'll also be running with my kids at the snowflake run at the Ajax waterfront (Rotary Park) on Sunday. I'll probably get there extra early, run on my own for 6-8 miles and then do the fun run with the kids. They're probably not as excited as I am but I'm hoping that changes when they see all the people there on Sunday.

I took today off from running so I'll be ready to go early Saturday morning at the Rouge Valley. The key to my training for my 50 Mile race is to make sure that my body is ready to run for long periods of time. This is why the runs this weekend are so important. I've been averaging just over 40 miles per week and want to slowly increase that by about 3-5 miles each week. I'm hoping that the weather co-operates with my play.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Isagenix success story

"After training for about 3 months I noticed that my weight loss was pretty minimal. After speaking with Greg about my low weight lost he suggested that I consider doing a cleanse. I am not the type of person to try anything unless its prescribe by a doctor but after working with Greg I knew that I could trust his recommendation.
I began the 9 day Isagenix program at the begin of December with great hopes to lose some weight,cleanse out my body and mostly to build some self discipline. After the 9day program I had lost 5 pounds and went down 2 inches in my waist!
The weight loss was great to see but the best part of this program was how great I feel. My energy level has skyrocketed...and I just feel upbeat, light, and simply...healthy!
This is a great product, which I will continue to incorporate into my daily life!"

Jennifer Chadwick-Hartley
Scarborough, Ontario

For more information about Jennifer, please visit her blog:


What is Slindy? It's a new word I created to describe the conditions of my run today, slushy+ice+windy. A run that usually takes me about an hour, took an extra 10 minutes because of the conditions today. I was happy that I ran, and even more fortunate not to fall. Instead of running on the sidewalks, which were unbelievably icy, I tried to stick to the snow covered parts. This resulted in running through mostly slush.

The run up the Westney hill was by far the most difficult part and I did everything I could to avoid slipping backwards. The wind picked up toward the end of the run, (of course) and that made the last mile more difficult.

During the run a few songs would come on my mp3 which would inspire me to continue. I also thought about the fact that these slower runs are what will help me when I do my trail race. I tried to put myself mentally in the trails and didn't worry about how slow I was going.

I hope that the roads are a little bit better tomorrow morning but if not, I'll use today as a reminder that it's the tougher runs that build character. Today certainly was one of those days.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More amazing Isagenix stories keep coming in.....

I've been telling anyone and everyone about how great the Isagenix products are and the reviews I've been getting from my clients is letting me know that I made the right decision to endorse this product.

The average weight loss I've seen from my clients is 5-8 pounds. Beyond just the weight loss, though, my clients have reported feeling "lighter" and having more energy as a result of the cleanse. What's even more exciting is the fact that they have all managed to keep the weight off.

I am so convinced that this product works that I'm including it in the mealplans I'm doing for my clients. Whether you do a cleanse or simply decide to use some of the product you will notice a big difference in the way you feel.

Many of the members of my family, all of whom suffer from Diabetes type II, have started to use the Isalean shakes and as a result they have seen their weight reduced and their blood sugars stabilized. One of the main reasons why I'm so excited about this product is the fact that it contains a balanced amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also contains a very important mineral called Chromium, which helps control insulin levels. When insulin levels become too high or too low, especially for Diabetics, this can cause enormous health problems. However, you don't have to suffer from Diabetes to see the benefits of these products. By keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels stabilized, it reduces your cravings for simple carbohydrates. Eating too many refined/simple carbohydrates can result in storage of body fat.

Another key element to keeping blood sugar levels stabilized is exercise. I still cannot believe how much energy I had during my cleanse. I now realize that as my training picks up for my 50 Miler in the Spring, I can feel safe knowing that I can continue to use the Isagenix products to ensure that I'm getting the proper amount of nutrients.

For all of you who are using the Isagenix products, keep up the great work. For those of you who haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Taking two steps back to take one giant leap forward

Since I started running my biggest dilema is how much should I run. I honestly think that I could run every single day for the rest of my life if it were up to me. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look it, my body tells me otherwise and I eventually run less than I'd like to.

Without fail, everytime I take a day off from running I'll see someone running on the streets and immediately feel like I should be out there. The guilt about not running can be tough to overcome for me and all I can do is look forward to is my next run. I tend to map out my week in terms of what days/times I'll be running and the distance I'd like to run. Some people would say that my priorities are distorted but I know that personally if I don't run it has a negative trickle down effect on other aspects of my life.

As I begin to train for my 50 Mile race in the spring I'll need to be even more disciplined with my running. Running for speed will be replaced with running for time out on the road/trails. I haven't been able to do the distance that I'd like for the past two weekends so this week I'm going to ensure that I get in a run of at least 2 hours once and possibly twice this weekend.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

How "big" is your shadow?

One of the best things about running at 5AM, besides not having to worry about too much traffic, is that at the beginning of my run I seem to cast not one but two shadows. As I run down Church street and just before I head East on Rossland, I always see two shadows. I'm sure there is a logical explanation for this but I tend to see things more philosophical than others I think.

Whenever my clients start to "get" the message I'm trying to teach them with regards to nutrition it makes me feel like I have done my job. I'm lucky that I get to help so many people achieve their goals and because I follow the same plan myself, it's easy to talk with my clients about their struggles and how to overcome them.

My "shadow" then is quite large and I take great pride in the fact that I can be a positive influence on so many people. I'm sure that many of my clients are in turn helping others which is also something that I'm happy about. We have a chance to influence so many people by simply starting with trying to make small changes within our own lives. You never know when your positive "aura" will motivate someone to begin to make healthier eating choices. That's the benefit of surrounding yourself with positive people.

I told my oldest son this week that I do whatever I can to avoid negative people because they are trying to unload their negativity on me directly or indirectly. Misery certainly does love company and I told him to seek out people who are trying to make positive and healthy choices in their lives. I'm sure like any 9 year old the message will be lost somewhere but I'm hoping that he grasps a little bit of what I'm talking about.

You never know how big your shadow is and how many people you can influence so try your best to stay positive, you'll be amazed at how many positive people you will attract as a result.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Isagenix Recap

Here are the final stats from my first 9-day cleanse:

Starting Weight: 163.5
Ending Weight: 155.5

Starting Waist Measurement: 32
Ending Waist Measurement: 31

Starting Body Fat%: 14
Ending Body Fat%: 13

More than just losing an inch and 8 pounds though, what I actually gained was far more impressive.

I was very sceptical when I first started and actually a little nervous as well. I didn’t and won’t let anything get in the way of my running so I was afraid that this would hurt my performance. What I learned is that I actually improved my strength by losing those 8 pounds. As a runner I know the pounding that I place on my joints and feet and by running at a lighter weight I was able to minimize the “foot strike” mechanism which causes most of the problems for runners. I’m constantly trying to have “quick choppy strides” to lessen the impact of my feet hitting the pavement. Running at a lighter weight allows me to do that well.

Beyond that, though, I learned to dig down deep to find energy that I didn’t know I had. Some of the runs were mentally tougher than others. I think that just knowing that I didn’t have a lot of food in my system probably caused me to second guess myself. Would I have the energy necessary to complete this run? The mind can play some serious games with you when you are running and I was happy that I was able to win most of these battles.

If I was to grade my ability to follow this detox on a scale of 1-10 I would probably give myself an 8. I had one semi-bad day and one really bad day but otherwise I was pleased with what I was able to do. The next time I do this I’ll make sure it’s not during football season.

The next step for me is to slowly incorporate a regular eating plan while still using plenty of the Isagenix products. There’s no use in messing with a formula that works which is why I’ll do a cleanse day once or twice per month and will use the meal replacement shakes to replace at least one or two meals per day.

I constantly talk to my clients about trying to eat healthy at least 80% of the time. Nobody is going to eat perfectly everyday but if you can strive for perfection than the times where you stray should not have a negative impact on your long term goals.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Isagenix Last Day!

Current Weight: 155.5
Current Body Fat: 13%

It's OK to get knocked down but it's NOT OK to stay down!

I've been following the Isagenix program very well for the most part but yesterday I strayed a little bit. I was given an amazing gift by one of my clients (a food basket containing one of my favorite things) and I ate it when I got home from work.

I went for an amazing run this morning and was thinking about what I had done. I felt guilty for a little bit but then I realized something very important. I can't undo what happened but I can move forward today to get back on track.

Instead of avoiding the scale I jumped right on it to see where I was. I realized that my weight would probably jump up but was surprised to see that it remained at 155 pounds. Today I'm going to make sure that I finish this cleanse off the way that I started it and that is to make sure that I do the best I can.

I know that those of you who are also doing this cleanse will have your own personal demons that you must fight. The important thing is not to dwell too much on what you didn't do but instead focus on the positives that you are doing.

I'll post my final stats tomorrow morning. Thank you all for your support through this.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Isagenix Day VIII

Isagenix Day VIII

The Final Homestretch!

Current Weight: 155
Current Body Fat: 13%
Exercise: 40 minutes on stationary bike

Those who know me realize that I truly do believe in the “Running Gods” and that was never more evident than yesterday.

A group of 5 runners joined me yesterday as we trudged along in the deep snow and icy roads for about 11 K’s. The intent was to go for about 18 K’s but sometimes you have to play it smart and that’s what we decided to do.

The sidewalks were not ploughed which meant that we had to run on the roads, most of which were also not ploughed. There were parts of the run where we had to literally dodge out of the way of oncoming cars into the deep snow. This put all of our conditioning to the test and we were all feeling pains in our calves because we had to constantly lift our knees high to get out of the snow.

I was surprised at how much energy I had but I attribute that to the decrease in body weight and of course the detox that I’m on.

These last few days, as I start the final cleanse days, will be a good time for me to reflect on my first detox and the changes that my body has gone through during this time. For me, it’s not just about dropping those extra pounds as it’s made me more focused on my own eating habits. It’s allowed me to dig down deep and discover energy reservoirs that I didn’t think I had.

Here’s today’s’ “drinking” schedule:

7:30 AM: Cleanse for life drink with accelerator
10:00 AM: Isagenix snack (2)
1:00 PM: Cleanse for life drink with accelerator
3:30 PM: Cleanse for life drink
5:30 PM: Isagenix snack (2)
9:00 PM: Cleanse for life drink, 2 hard boiled eggs

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Isagenix Day VII

Less weight = better running for me!

Current Weight: 155.5
Body Fat %: 14

After seeing my weight drop from 163.5 to a low of 154 and now holding at 155, one thing remains clear and that is my “running weight” seems to best at this weight.

Today will be my 5th run since started my Isagenix detox on Monday November 26th and losing that extra few pounds has made me lighter on me feet. This in turn has helped my running tremendously. Although I realize that weight training would probably benefit me, I don’t want to put on extra weight, even if its muscle weight, as I wouldn’t feel comfortable.

When I was running at 160 or higher, I felt very sluggish and each step seemed harder and harder. I don’t anticipate losing more weight between now and the time my detox ends on Wednesday morning, but my goal is keep my weight at 152 to 155 pounds, as I feel that anything less or more than that range may hurt my running.

After my 18-20 K run this morning, I’m sure my weight will drop a few pounds because I’ll be losing water and electrolytes, but it will no doubt stabilize itself throughout the day as I continue to drink fluids. Still, I cannot complain about the fact that I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds in less than 1 week.

Here’s today’s eating plan:

7:30 AM Pre-Run: Tea with ½ banana
8:30 AM to 10:30 AM: 1 serving of HEED electrolyte replacement drink, 1 GU sports gel
11:30 AM: Isagenix meal replacement drink with 1 accelerator capsule
1:00 PM: Isagenix snacks (2), salad, 2 hard boiled eggs
2:30 PM: Isagenix meal replacement drink with 1 accelerator capsule
5:00 PM: Isagenix snacks (2)
6:30 PM: Chicken breast, 1 med red potato, green beans, beets
8:00 PM: Isagenix snacks (2)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Isagenix Day VI

Putting my energy levels to the test!

Current Weight: 155
Current Body Fat %: 14

After taking a day off on Friday from running, I was back out on the trails early this morning (7 AM). Two of my friends joined me for a nice and easy 6 Mile trail run in the Rouge Valley. The temperatures today were a bitter cold -12 when we started out and the Sun was just starting to rise.

I had my usual ½ banana and tea before my run and was surprised at how much energy I had today despite the fact that my calories consumed were quite low. Trail running presents more challenges than running on the road as there are various terrains and hills that I must overcome. However, it is by far my favourite type of running course to run in and even though some of the footing was treacherous at times because of the ice, it still made for a great run.

After getting home I decided to volunteer at a 5 K race in Whitby. I barely had time to have a quick shower and take my Isagenix shake before heading off again. I took 2 Isagenix snacks with me which I consumed while providing support to the many runners/walkers who were participating in the race.

For many of them, it was the first race they have ever done and I was happy to be able to lend my support at this event. I still remember teaching my “learn to run clinic in Pickering. Seeing the excitement on the faces of my clinic members when they crossed the finish line at their graduation run is something that I’ll never forget.

After the race I took my last meal replacement shake for the day with a small salad and some light dressing. I’ll have another 2 Isagenix snacks and possibly 2 hard boiled eggs or a cup of hot chocolate in the afternoon.

Tomorrow I will be running with a group of friend for anywhere from 18-20 K’s. It will be very interesting to see what kind of energy I have for that.

Here’s my eating plan for today:

5:45 AM Pre-Run: 1 cup of tea, ½ banana
7:00 to 8:00 AM: HEED electrolyte drink during run
8:30 AM: Isagenix shake with 1 accelerator
10:45 AM: 2 Isagenix snacks
12:30 PM: Isagenix shake, 1 accelerator, 1 small salad
3:00 PM: 2 Isagenix snacks
6:00 PM: Chicken breast, baked potato, beets and green beans
9:00 PM: 2 Isagenix snacks