Hey Hey Come Out and Play!

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Well folks it’s a busy month according to the calendar, it’s officially bike month, ocean’s month, great outdoors month, LGBT Pride month, safety month, and men’s health month. And while the latter is the most a propos I certainly don’t want to alienate the ladies all month and ignore other current issues that do effect our health and wellness, so there’s no official theme this month, we’ll keep things fun and fresh and touch on (at least) one of these topics each week!

Since Friday was the UN’s World Environment Day (every June 5th) we’ll acknowledge the oceans and great outdoors this week. Let me first say that if you can’t figure out how environmental wellness effects your wellness then remember that the Earth is actually not very earthy at all, but 90% water, primarily ocean. Thus, if they’re lacking in health we shall suffer, the air we breathe in our great outdoors is also relevant, but what I’m going to touch on today is in fact how we can take advantage of our open water (so we don’t have oceans here in Toronto!) and great outdoors to contribute to and engage in our fitness, health and wellness most effectively and enjoyably.

I love making lists, not everyone has this interest, but I excel at this and have made a list of things I’d like to do this warm-weather season, like a summer of 2015 bucket list, so that I do it rather than just think it. Not surprisingly they are all outdoor activities. Whether you’re a list maker or not you may want to make this one or at least schedule some time to do things that will contribute to your fitness and wellbeing. Yes, time spent in nature has positive effects on our wellbeing, but I believe few would argue that a hike or run outside beats a step class or elliptical session in what’s usually an air conditioned basement, or even an interval training session inside a private boutique studio (yes, I said that!). So here are just a few ideas to inspire your own Summer 2015 Bucket List

Become a Regular: at your local park, beach or pool and do your workout there.

Take a Hike Buddy! Or  a run, or a ride. Toronto has plenty of amazing parks for this including off road hiking and cycling trails. And if you’ve got a day off you’d like to spend outside many surrounding regions and townships have some incredible places to day trip with admission under $20/car. Try Rattlesnake Point to hike and Durham Region Trails to ride.

I’ll Race You! If you missed out on the offer to be trained for and personally coached through your race last year, it was as stated a one-time deal, but fret not, that doesn’t mean we can’t make your program specific to a race goal. Whether you’re a first timer, or an experienced athlete, we can optimize your program so that you can finish or achieve a personal best, no matter where you’re at. And if you think “I’d never run a race!”, well there are so many types of races you can participate in that require no running (cycling, sailing), or are based only in running from one obstacle to the next (obstacle races), or incorporate a bit of everything (triathlons).

Row Row Row Your Boat: Have you tried dragon boating? If the last time you played a team sport was in high school now is as good a time as any to join a recreational sports league. From the classic softball to the more recently popular ultimate frisbee there are teams for every level of athlete, and if you’re intimidated to the point of fear there is a league for volleyball and ultimate frisbee called “not-so-pro”, so really, you need not be afraid!

Come Out and Play! And if it’s a beautiful day and you wonder why the heck your trainer is keeping you indoors, it’s simply because that’s what your program says, and there are no assumptions about what your preferences are. If you give just a little notice prior to your session about wanting to go outside on a nice day, we can take much of what’s done indoors to the outdoors with little equipment OR we can go “naked” in what I call a Run & Play: we’ll use local parks and public landscape features in a running route to add body weight resisted exercises to create an interval workout. This is my favourite intense and effective strength and cardio workout style to get strong and torch calories!

There’s so much more I could go on all day, we haven’t touched on recreational activities like gardening, paddling, and many other water sports, nor adventure sports, hopefully this has got your creative juices flowing though. Happy Summer of 2015!

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Driven By Beauty

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Whether we like to admit it or not, no matter how shallow it sounds, it is true, we are wired to like beautiful things. Naturally then, we are more likely to enjoy a beautiful meal, a workout in a beautiful place, a fitness routine with beautiful form, or the beautiful feeling of a goal accomplished!

My point? When is the last time you focused on not just the beauty of weight loss or growing strong muscles, and focused on the beautiful fitness, health and wellness routine you are creating? Are you having trouble hitting goals or milestone targets? Are you bored of your routine? Do you like the food you’re eating? Does the idea of reaching your goal light a fire under your ass to go do it?! If not, then you need to find the beauty in these things, find the passion and desire to succeed by creating something you want to do, eat, or experience!

A few quick tips:

Make your food attractive and pick brightly coloured fruits and veggies, and even beans, seeds, and grains!

Take your fitness to a nice park, your backyard (outdoor space in your building, a terrace/courtyard perhaps?) find a yoga studio where you like the decor and feel comfortable, or a fitness gym/studio where the “toys” speak to fun and fitness in your language.

If your goal doesn’t offer strong drive for you, it’s time to revise or rewrite until the feeling you get when you think about achieving it–whether it’s crossing a finish line, feeling good walking by a mirror in the buff, on the beach in a bathing suit, or achieving a strength goal–is a beautiful feeling that has you magnetized and focused more on what you want for the long term than what may act as a distraction right now.

My Beautiful Goal: Did you know that cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and 30% of all deaths in our country are from cancer?! I am working towards a beautiful goal of raising $2500 for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital and Cancer Research Centre and riding my bike 200km! But there’s a story behind my goal that keeps me driven and passionate and is a beautiful full circle; in fact Canadian Cycling Magazine thought it made a great story and published it! And that’s a beautifully awesome feeling! I feel so honoured and so grateful that perhaps my story could inspire others, maybe it could help you connect with the beauty and purpose behind your healthy lifestyle goals. You can check it out here. And if conquering cancer is a cause you’d like to support, I’m so grateful for any donation you’d like to contribute. You can sponsor me in the ride here (all proceeds got to the ride and you get a tax receipt too).

Want to learn more about how to incorporate a beautiful routine into your life? Sign up for the weekly Awesomeness Update, or if you’re feeling ready to take action call 416-994-6267 or fill out an online request for a free consultation on how we can help create a program for you.

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

THE NINJA: March 2015

Hey thanks for stopping by, The NINJA format simply isn’t as beautiful here as it is on my main site, but don’t miss out head on over to check it out, and you can still always find the weekly blog right here!

THe NINJA: December 2014

The NINJA is The CREATE Fitness, Health & Wellness Inc. Newsletter bringing you the Latest & Greatest in Creating your Awesomeness!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Stop overcommitting and follow through with what really matters!

We’ve all made commitments we knew we wouldn’t be able to keep, nor wanted to make in the first place. There are commitments we make and want to keep but realize it was unrealistic and regretfully resign. There are the ones that we full on knew we weren’t ready for, and the ones that we didn’t realize what was involved, and so give up, or alter to make it work for us. And the best ones (usually)  are the ones where we follow through and keep our commitment!

I’ll talk briefly to the commitments we make to others today, but mostly the ones to ourselves, they are the easiest ones to break and to cheat ourselves of when it comes to outcomes that we seek.

I’ll speak firstly of those commitments we make to others. As I write this the song by Billy Talent “Try Honesty” just keeps popping up, so let’s go with that as starter to those commitments that we are being “nice” about when we weren’t able to nor wanted to do, and those that we realize we’re in over our heads, or just unrealistic. I’m not saying with the former that we should be rude or tactless, but honest and true will always feel better than avoidance or dishonesty. So find a nice way to decline or worst come to worst let someone down (try not to do this, obviously).

The ones we aren’t ready for are actually kind of the best challenges and leave you feeling the most accomplished. Let me tell you how never having travelled before nor cycled a long distance that I was not even close to ready to cycle across a continent. And my attempts in the beginning were embarrassing, but I overcame some overwhelmingly satisfying feats of awesomeness. These commitments and their accompanying challenges are the ones I urge you to persevere through, you will grow big time!

A view from the top: climbed 1375 m in 20 km. Descended the Blue Nile Gorge and then climbed it. A commitment I did plenty of screaming and crying through.

I crossed a border on km 206 of almost 208., This was my occupation on the border crossing form The furthest I’d ever ridden by far. Commitment completed just before cutoff time!

DSC_4045

Yoga with bright lights and interruption to photograph yourself. Not a commitment to mind-body focus I thought it would be!

The ones that we simply didn’t realize what was involved are tricky. I mean using the example above how could one actually know what to expect if one’s never travelled nor cycle toured. That’s a given that’s going to come with surprises, but let’s use a recent example of commitment I’ve made and had to alter: I created this challenge on Instagram for the last 100 days of the year, #100daysofcreateyourawesomeness, and started failing after only a week. Not failing to complete my personal awesomeness creation, but failing to post photos or video of it. I mean who wants to be all into their yoga and have to interrupt to press the capture button and then run and get back into pose perfectly and at the right angle in 10 seconds? And do you think that happens on the first try? And how does it affect this new daily practice I’m developing? Sometimes it’s not realistic to maintain as per the original plan. So I’m figuring out a way  to keep my followers engaged in an awesomeness creation mindset and still maintain my awesomeness creation commitment to myself.

This one’s a tricky one. Most of the time we overcommit, but sometimes we aren’t committed enough when we need to be, or we know we should be. When we said we’d do something and then we don’t put our all into it, but we try to take the I’m doing it credit. When we say we’ll help with something and then we do the bare minimum and make excuses and apologies for not doing more. And when we do the same to ourselves and even make excuses and apologize for not doing more. We’re really stealing from and lying to ourselves here. We’re telling ourselves we’re doing it, but really we know we’re not quite, and we’re stealing from the potentially fantastic outcome we would receive if we really were 110% committed.

And then there are those in which we follow through. And unless we committed to something that wasn’t true to following our hearts most usually these are amazing and help us to feel great about what we  contributed to another, others, humanity, the environment, a cause we believe in or most importantly ourselves. And that isn’t selfish, growing ourselves allows us to give even better of ourselves to everyone around us, humanity, the environment, a cause we believe in, etc.

So go ahead and be honest, challenge yourself when you think you can’t possibly go on follow through, and create you awesomeness!

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness with appropriate and specific direction to original content.

Unite for Awesomeness!

I’ve had some experiences lately that have left me uneasy. Experiences where competition was not friendly, where potential camaraderie among my peers with common goals and interests was trumped by a need to judge, puff up their chests and flaunt their feathers. I then realized that this week we celebrated International Women’s Day and it’s the perfect time to shed some light on these experiences and share how much power we have among each other to enable or disable one another; what kind of woman do you want to be? (and if you’re a man, what kind of woman do you want your wife/mother/daughter/sister to be? Sometimes we ladies need reminders from the important men in our lives!).

So two experiences lately that left me feeling ugh! And I’ll finish with a most amazing story:

I got a week trial membership at a new high-end, gym in Toronto recently (yes, I have a studio, but it’s always coo to check out new “fitnessy” places) that’s marketed for hardcore types. I went in a few times, well I was thoroughly enjoying some of the equipment that’s not ideal for the boutique studio and having a great time. But the women in there stared and competed with one another in ways that were awfully uncomfortable.We’ve all had that feeling when you can tell you’re being judged with every move, and I not only felt it but could see it happening all over the gym among others. It left a terrible “vibe” with me. Then there were the few that were friends, but then they would collectively be judging and watching, which of course was even worse. Ugh!

In large part I kind of wanted to join a gym again in order the hire a trainer for myself (why do so many trainers not see the benefit of having one themselves?). This attitude of non-support and unhealthy judgment and competition turned me off though. As it turns out some of the friendly girls were trainers at that gym working out in their off-time. Perhaps that because I clearly knew what I was doing they wrote me off as “not a potential client”. That’s a shame for them, but really that attitude is a shame for all of us!

Recently on facebook and elsewhere on the web I’ve seen a lot of posts of women who are hot plus size ladies being compared to thin and/or fit women in a way that’s judging/bashing them as skinny and unattractive. I’ve also seen fit women bashing skinny women… The whole gamut, except of course bashing the plus size women because that’s just wrong and no one would dare! BUT WAIT! Why is it okay to bash anybody for a shape or build that in large part is not their choice, but genetic? Or maybe it is a choice, but if you’re healthy (i.e. not anorexic, obese, suffering from body dysmorphism or disordered eating) why should you be made to feel bad about it? And if not healthy, well why is anyone like that save for either starving to reach ideals or stuffing emotions and food often but not solely caused by this judgement and competition.

You see fat girls have gotten the dirty end of the stick since the thin trend decided to stick around for so many decades. Ironically, North Americans are now heavier than ever (that’s a whole other issue!), so achieving the “ideal” is harder than ever to boot! Yup, plus size lovelies have a tough time, no denying that. And if you are having a tough time with that body image why on earth would you try to make anyone else of any other shape or size suffer in their own skin?! Why fit girls would  not inspire skinny girls rather than voice to the world “that” is not who I am and don’t compare me to it!” And why skinny girls would you make anyone not a size 00 feel huge?! Ugh!

Let’s face it, women are primed from childhood to compete with each other in ways that are less obvious and more insidious and isolating than men. Ways that cause us, rather than working as teams to take down another team in friendly competition, to tear each other down and break each other apart. Often in unfair matches of 5 to 1, without any rules (like competitive team sports), with simple words like fat, skinny, slut, prude, butch, priss, bitch, I’ll stop there. You know the words. You’ve used them or had them used on you, likely both. Sometimes it’s more than just words. Either way, it doesn’t matter: you get my point.

So now you’re feeling pretty UGH! Well let me tell you about 5 amaaaaaazing women. Jana, Esther, Marita, Femke, and Jenny; they were known as “The Girls” if you decided that the epic thing to do with your life in 2012 was ride your bicycle from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa.

Most of us came on the trip alone, only a few shared the experience with a partner or friend. None of The Girls knew each other prior to the trip, and in fact hailed from all different countries. But they bonded quickly and began riding together and supporting one another through the long tough days.

Me (red shirt) and "The Girls"

The Girls and I on a morning where they offered me much needed support to break a record.

This wasn’t some kind of exclusive club, they would sometimes split up or someone else would join them, but overall they stuck together and supported one another. And in doing so they broke records, had a heck of a time (we all did, I mean come on, we rode our bicycles across Africa, but they rocked it!), and added a whole lot of awesomeness to the days: dressing up to cross borders (not something I’m going to recommend doing but in all scenarios turned out fine), an interesting take on the classic Easter Egg Hunt (designed for 60 adults, that’s planning), a group quiz night (what a bunch of laughs!). I could go on and on. But I’ll finish with they supported each other through it all, and they all finished EFI (every f***ing inch of Africa) without ever hitching a ride, grabbing a support truck, etc. One of them had several broken toes, one had a crummy bike and found herself borrowing anyone else’s any time she could, another ended up with some nerve damage to her hands due to lack of shocks and excess of bumpy road, it’s amazing she could hold her handlebars the whole time. 12,000km (7450 miles)! In temperatures that went from 2C to 54C (35F- 129F). And while they are all strong and devoted women, and I don’t doubt that given the right circumstances they could do it on their own, they were able to do it (mostly) gracefully, enjoyably, happily because of one another, and contribute to making it fantastic for everyone around them too!

So do you want to be woman who tears others down OR do you want to be a woman who bands with others to be amazing?! Together we can do anything… well maybe we can’t fly but I’ve seen 5 great women ride bicycles the distance of 1.5 times around the Earth in 4 months, and I’m certain that’s “anything” enough!

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For more on epic cycling expeditions across continents I offer a 100% unsponsored shout out to Tour D’Afrique http://www.tourdafrique.com