Why Personal Training is a Great Investment

Personal training. I think when many people think of it they think of the biggest loser, someone telling you how to eat, someone yelling at you all the time. This is all goal dependent. When I got my personal trainer last year my goal was to do military style push ups. Currently I can do them marginally well and currently I do not live near my trainer anymore so sad times, but alas what she has taught is transcending even 8 hours away!

At first, I was so sore – after every session. Then after a few months I wasn’t as sore anymore! Just felt like I knew I had good work out, but wasn’t sore. At some point I kind of gave up on running simply because my back was acting up and I fell down the stairs hurting my ankle, and my cardio was a lot more minimal. However, doing the strength has definitely helped with starting back up again this month!

I put on muscle throughout the year and have become stronger in my upper body then I have ever been before. I’m proud and happy to be a bit thiccer than I was but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t happy with my body before either. It just means as people our bodies are always changing and dependent on what we do and how we do it.

Investing in personal training, especially with my trainer, made it less about my body and how I looked, and more about getting me to this goal of doing the military style push up and working on push pull drills and generally learning to enjoy fitting in workouts. For example, I used to dread running after work or the thought of going to the gym because I could be doing “something else” but working out with my trainer made me look forward to fitness again. My trainer made me like going to the gym again, she made me like exercise again, and made me feel accomplished and we became friends in the process! YES running is something I will always do but her training has made my running and me as a person so much more confident to try new things. It’s not to say that I had some big transformation in my body, but I did gain muscle, and as my bestie puts it “I’m a machine now” and I’m going to keep doing strength and running because I like it, and of course my newly found love for Yoga with Adriene.

My main point of this post is if it suits your budget (as fitness is very privileged but I won’t get into that in this post) get a few sessions with a personal trainer to even just show you how to use equipment at the gym. I only saw mine once a week and it made a huge difference in my confidence and my workout habits. Did I still probably eat too many chips and a few too many chipotle nights – yes, but my overall thing here is that getting a personal trainer (even if it’s just for a few sessions) is a great way to create confidence in the gym and set small goals until you reach your larger goal!


Blune Day 16: Lets talk, running with asthma

It is no secret that I have allergy induced asthma. I get the question a lot from people who want to run “how do you run with asthma”? Well folks read on. I wanted to outline ways that I run and help myself keep motivated and my lungs healthy when doing a sport that is literally about your lungs.

Okay, first make sure it’s actually asthma. I was diagnosed way back before I even started running when I was around 11. So I have had it forever, regardless of exercise it is triggered by allergies and things in my environment, certain smells, pollen whatever. It has greatly improved since moving to a gluten free lifestyle and taking probiotics!  I often see this in people who say “I went once and my lungs felt like they were bleeding”. I hate to break it to you but it may not be asthma and you should go to you doc to actually get a diagnosis. The likelihood is is your lungs aren’t used to the running and working hard. If you don’t have asthma this feeling generally goes away once you consistently run. Also, this is from inexperience of starting too fast (which I STILL find myself doing).

Now onto actually running with asthma. I take my blue inhaler before I leave, and usually again after I get back if I am feeling like my lungs are having a struggle. Then, understand that when I run, I go very slowly in the beginning to get my lungs work, think of it as lung activation.

So what do you do when it gets hard? Well folks, running is a mental game. You mentally must keep yourself going, I like to listen to music so I don’t get distracted by my own breathing. Yes this sounds odd, but when I would try to run in my highschool days I never had music and would get so mad that I couldn’t go faster and then just give up entirely. I also have been dabbling into the podcast world while running which I love doing because it’s like I’m learning whilst running! Recommendations: the daily, Breaking beauty, full coverage, The Bustle Huddle, The Female Struggle is real! So many good ones!

Also, one key piece of advice at least in my personal experience is run alone. If you have a system, if you have a way that you keep yourself in check, run alone. Sure,  I do races, I would because you are literally just running but in a group and aren’t actually running like partners run, but its tough finding a partner that you vibe with breathing wise or who don’t have asthma or experienced with asthma. My mom runs with her friend who also has asthma so running together makes is good for both of them because neither feels judged by the other. Not that a non-asthmatic person would be judgemental because in all likelihood they aren’t, but if you prefer your system then go for it!

Lastly running with asthma is a great deal more difficult then running with regular lungs. I have great days and bad days. when the pollen count is out and about it can be very hard but when the weather is good my lungs are generally fine and don’t hold me back. The biggest thing to remember as an asthmatic athlete: David Beckham has asthma and he is a world class soccer player. Just because asthma can slow you down it doesn’t mean you aren’t a strong runner, it just means you have to train a bit differently and give yourself the time for your lungs to build up strength.

Happy Running!


Blune Day 8: Lets talk: Doubt

We have all known about the classic runners body for years, slim hips, small chest, long legs. None of which I have. Women are constantly bombarded with images of who is the ideal fitness person, who the ideal runner is, who can run, that only certain bodies can exercise, that if you are a bit on the heavy side you must be trying to lose weight. There is doubt from so many sides of the coin that runners, specifically in this context in which I am writing female runners.

Running isn’t always about being the fastest, sprinting, and being the best. It is a lot more than that. For many it’s a time alone for an hour, it’s a sense of accomplishment, it’s the adrenaline you have from running a race or it’s simply something you like to do with your time. This post is going to outline the doubts that are real in the running world and that should be discussed. People will tell you you don’t look like a runner and you have to remember that spoiler alert: we can all be runners.

My mom who has been running forever, was when one of my teachers said to her “your finally skinny, now you look like a real runner”. Excuse me sir? This isn’t old news, women’s bodies being policed by men. What sparked this post was a memory I had of teachers always telling me I could never run and reinforcing the chubby kid mentality that I had. I read an article in self about a runner who was always “too big” for running despite being an exceptional athlete. She recognized her privilege in the outside running world as being a small woman, but inside the running world it’s a different story.

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Why do I relate to this? Who on a good day can maybe do 7:00min per km? (always working to improve) because I understand this and this is a large feminist issue. Running is for certain bodies. I have a friend who is a lot smaller and faster but that doesn’t mean we both aren’t real runners? This idea of “i’m not built to be a runner” is a myth we all must bust.

I only came to this idea after starting running on my own terms, there was always a rhetoric in my personal life that the only purpose for me to run was to lose weight, and for some it is, but for me running means getting to a career I want, it means a time to myself, it means helping  my lungs get stronger. I am used to people not believing me when I say I’m a runner, but I’m getting more used to meeting runners are who are just happy to meet other runners. Two of the professors in my department run the blog fit is a feminist issue and it is a space to critically assess the fitness world and beautifully write about the being fit and female. The expectations and doubt surround women daily, you wear too much makeup, you’re fat, you could never do that etc. These are the things women hear and absorb through various avenues of life and thus police their every move whether they are aware or not. Yes certain body shapes can give you an advantage but that doesn’t mean you can’t run or call yourself a runner. Running doesn’t have to mean training for a half, there is not set way to be a runner, if you just want to do two runs a week just do two!

I wanted to write this post because I get it alot, “how can you run so far”, and I catch myself doubting myself, saying “omg why can’t you go faster” and especially before I began running on my own terms, I was very hard on myself just for not being the ideal runner. To me running is not about your body or how you look, if you only clock a few miles a week then so be it! It’s about consistency and different goals for different things and different goals to fit YOUR lifestyle.

Here are a few fun articles if you fancy a read. If you want me to post more about this topic, women in fitness and running, shoot me a message or leave me a comment!

https://www.self.com/story/im-not-built-for-running-myth-need-stop-perpetuating 

https://www.self.com/story/my-weight-has-nothing-to-do-with-how-good-a-runner-i-am


Things I liked and Did in May

May was such an interesting month. I turned 23, I got my degree awarded and I saw my wee Buttons this month. I discovered a few things makeup wise, got to see my bestie, and visit home.

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This month I have been loving podcasts, Full Coverage and Breaking Beauty are two of my personal favourites. Full Coverage is two British gals living in LA. Lindsey Kelk and Harriet Hadfield, they are hilarious and always have so many new products to discuss and also discuss real issues in beauty and consumerism! Breaking Beauty is two Canadian women who talk product and also talk with founders about how their companies came to be. Its inspiring and a great podcast for beauty lovers! 

I wanted to throw in a YouTuber favourite, Melissa Alatorre. She is an amazing makeup artist and I could watch her blend out an eyeshadow all day. It is so evident that she is passionate about her craft and I love that she really knows what she is doing. I have gained so many makeup tips from her that I do everyday.

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Ah, the Anastasia soft glam palette. Why is this so good? Dear me, I cannot get over the quality of these shadows. They are blendable, pigmented, beautifully and aesthetically pleasing to look at and perform. I never did get the Modern Renaissance (it is still on my palette wish list…cause that’s normal we all have one right) but when this one came out I knew it was right up my street. This is a great everyday palette, but you can do bolder looks and the shadows last all day. Big win!

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Colourpop supershock shadows. I have been enjoying these a lot, I’m doing an experiment currently so haven’t been dabbling as of late but at the beginning of the month these were my shiz.  Every time I wear them, particularly the shade Kathleenlights I get compliments. They have minimal creasage and are beautiful specimens of what drugstore priced makeup can be. You can’t find anything (in my opinion) comparable in any other affordable brand.

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Introducing Blune. I am so excited to introduce this fun challenge. If you aren’t (which how can you not know who she is) follow Estee Lalonde on her blog and YouTube you should!  She used to do Vlune back in the day on her vlog channel where she vlogged daily! I thought gee I should give myself a challenge to do that with blogging, hence the name Blune. I am only doing 27 days of content accounting for weekends and days I might be missing as well as not just posting content for the sake of content. I am so excited to do this and I think you will enjoy what I have planned!


Favourite Workout Leggings

Once you go lulu you never go back. Yes. I know. They are extremely expensive, like too expensive. But, they without a doubt, always fit. ALWAYS. Yes my size varies, but anytime I need a pant, lulu always comes through. I have been thinking, what are the best leggings for running? The gym? Etc. But not all leggings are made equal

So for running, I have a very specific criteria: can’t fall down, must feel comfortable and not constricting on my legs, should have a drawstring. This will be a future post because my expectations for running clothes are a lot different then for gymwear.

For working out/HIIT/lifting/personal training: My only criteria is comfort and breathability. More specifically, I also like a pant that doesn’t fall down while I’m working out.

Brand wise: I like Lululemon, Gymshark, and Adidas. Ah such a wide range. My personal problem with a lot of brands is they just don’t flatter my body. I find that Lululemon really knows how to make a legging that has a nice wide waistband and flattering on the behind. I honestly, have religiously worn Lululemon pants for everything. These leggings are ranked by favourite fit.

Lululemon aligns (for typical gym wear, a quick spin session, some weights). They are buttery soft, flattering and of course highly overpriced. But, I really like these for general gym wear. YES I would say if you are sweating a lot these will show sweat, but not to the point that I feel uncomfortable which I think is great. 

Gymshark seamless, lululemon aligns, lululemon fast and free

Lululemon crops, the fast and free and the pacer crop. Both of them are amazing and feel like you are wearing nothing. They also don’t fall down at all, they are good for ALL types of exercise and running, which is a bonus. I mean shouldn’t they be good at everything considering the price? I think yes.

The Gymshark fit and seamless legging. So I was very skeptical about purchasing Gymshark. Mainly because there is no physical store and its USD prices but I was convinced that I should try some stuff. AND THAT I DID. The seamless collection is my personal favourite, I have the blue and “black”. The blue is great, squat proof and sweat proof. I also enjoy the fit legging. While not as popular as the flex and seamless, I really like them.  I have heard a lot of people say they aren’t squat proof, but I have the black with the lilac waistband and they fit perfectly don’t budge during my intense HIIT workouts, and aren’t sheer, I give them an A+. I also recently got the ombré seamless: these also hide sweat. I’m very impressed.

Purple Gymshark leggingsMy adidas mid rise climalite leggings. They feel similar to the align pant just slightly thicker, ever so slightly. Link is similar but not the exact pair I have.

What are your favourite workout leggings!?


Things I liked and did in February

Ah February, or as i like to say, the shortest month in the universe. It was a decent month. I had reading week (my last one ever, tear) and it was basically my last month of semi – relaxing. March is all the events and all the assignments. But you know what, I am also (hoping) to start training for my half marathon. However, I had an incident with the stairs so I’m put on hold currently.

Whittle Buttons bo-boosk. My wee kitty bitty! I saw her on reading week, (my very last one) and I also got to see my mother and my bestest friend. Whenever I go home, I really appreciate the home vibe. I love the throwback to when I used to skate, and the easiness of having an at home gym set up and laundry. Back to Buttons, she is a lovely wee bean and is just such a little girl and is so affectionate! She also has the cutest meow (okay I will stop now but just look at this adorable photo) IMG_0755.jpg

While I was at home I did some cardio workouts in the basement because my town was an ice rink and I wore my blue gymshark seamless leggings. I have to tell you they didn’t show my sweat – at all. This was so impressive to me because I have long since been a hardcore black or super dark blue workout pant gal; but these impressed me. Good job gymshark, thank you for diversifying my bottom half of my workout wardrobe. 

My physicians formula butter bronzer. Gee I forgot how great this was. Fun fact: this was my first bronzer EVER that’s right it’s probably 2 years old when I got it at Walmart two summer ago. It’s LITERALLY the never ending bronzer. It’s more of a sculpting bronzer than one that warms you up but I really like it for daily use, and then layer on a shimmery bronzer if I feel like it. They came out with a few more shades which is tempting but I must resist!

Decluttering lipsticks. Ahh letting go of my liquid lipstick phase. I finally parted my Colourpop liquid lipsticks, they just smelled so bad and same with my Too Faced one in Queen B! The only ones I haven’t brought myself to get rid of are the NYX soft Matte lip creams…they are just so good and creamy! I have tried time and time again and I just find myself not wanting to get rid of them. They are probably (embarrassingly) around two years old so its probably time for them to do, but I predict during spring cleaning I may have to part with them. But decluttering has really been enjoyable and at some point I’m going to have to move so decluttering was inevitable!

My project pan. This has really made me think about product, value and what I gravitate towards (hence my ongoing decluttering of products to pass onto friends). And it’s not that the colours or formulas of the products I’m not using are bad, but they are just not things I gravitate toward in my everyday. Which relates to the first point: when moving I want to lighten my load in all aspects of my material life.

What have you been liking and doing this month?


Let’s Talk Motivation

It’s snowing. It’s raining. It’s too hot. I’m tired. All excuses we all as runners have used before. Lately in my city, it’s been so snowy, and guess who doesn’t plow the sidewalks? The city. They are markers for ankle sprains and sore hips.

I have been missing more runs than I’d like and the reasons have been two fold: I’ve been lacking motivation to put my layers and hit the road and its hella snowy here and they don’t plow. I have been doing more HIIT workouts at home, going to the gym etc, and maybe running 2 days a week and at that shorter recovery runs. I have done a few above 5K.

However, I am starting half marathon training next month (pray for me folks) and I want to try and do as much running as possible.

My first tip: adjust your expectations for the length of your runs. Especially if you live in a city where they don’t plow anything. Even if you just get in 2km tempo run or 4km, it’s still a run, it’s still exercise and it’s still training.

My second tip: adjust your speed. I know, as so many runners know, when you are going slower than usual this is mentally tasking. Its hard, its not easy, I don’t care what anyone says, asthmatic or not, running is difficult. When the terrain is rough you have to slow it down so you don’t injure yourself, yes it’s frustrating if a 5K takes you 5 mins longer than usual but that’s the nature of the beast.

My third tip: enjoy the slight break from running. Add in more HIIT workouts to get cardio and keep your lungs going. Do cardio at the end of your strength workouts. YES none of these replace the feeling your lungs get when running. Also you can hit up the treadmill, but the treadmill is just not my cup of tea. I’d rather hit the storm outside! (and yes I have done this multiple times this winter).

Remember, sometimes not having motivation as a runner can be your body saying slow it down. Maybe that’s not true, but with this terrain my muscles, shins and knees are a lot more sore then when my terrain is smooth and I think it’s good to shorten distance when you are lacking motivation as to not get even more discouraged.

What do you do when you find yourself unmotivated?


Things I liked and did In January

January was such an odd month for me, I am in my last semester of university, I am a bit scared for what is afoot next year but excited. It was also a month where finding motivation (oddly enough) to run has been a bit lacking, but that is all part of the running journey! Despite my lack of motivation, I have discovered and rediscovered some great stuff! 

First I discovered a new favourite legging. The Gymshark fit legging. Okay maybe not favourite but I have to be honest, when it comes to the gym I wear my lululemon aligns or fast and free crops 90% of the time. But, when I received these last month I started wearing them and they are great! Not as flattering as the aligns, but it’s exciting to find a brand that has leggings that ARE FLATTERING and fit, as well have great material. Stay tuned for a post about workout and running leggings!

My mineral fusion lip tints. These have been so nice to use when I want some colour but don’t want the fuss. when I need a red lip but don’t want to fuss these are great.

The Body Shop Drops Pure Translucency Essence Lotion. In December I bought this because i wanted to add more hydration to my routine. This is a great addition of hydration to my routine.  I layer this one after my toner and before my serum.

My DIY facial oil. This bad boy is made out of argan oil, lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil and lemon essential oil and I really love it. I would like to try rosehip oil as my carrier oil next time as i make it cause that one is a bit more hydrating. BUT this keeps my spots at bay and hydrates my skin.

My crossroads candle in cranberry muffin. This was something that my best friend convinced me to buy. I have been guilty of loving bath and body works candles but they don’t last long at all and this is something that really bothers me. This candle smells natural, it’s a clean candle (meaning it burns clean into the air) and smells like fresh baking AND it burns so slowly which means it is worth the price.

What did you like and do in January?


Running: the Winter Edit

The main question I get from non-runners: how do you run in the snow? How do you run in the cold? And it got me thinking, how do I run in the cold? I have grown up with a mother who ran in -30 at 5:30 am with a head lamp…so you could say I had an advantage in terms of having someone to go to for winter running advice. But many people don’t have such a person, so I’m here to shed some light on the big bad world of winter running.

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Shoes: I hate to break it to you but you will have to purchase a new pair of winter runners if you don’t want to fall and break something.

A hat: you should get yourself a running hat and a headband in case it’s a bit of a warmer winter day. A hat is a must when it’s freezing. You need to cover your noggin folks

Gloves or mitts: keep those hands warm. I recommend the Lululemon ones (as I always do) but you can get great pairs at Marshalls or Winners. My mom got me these ones for Christmas  My friends. Trust me you’ll thank me for this.
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A neck warmer and a buff: covering your neck is essential to keeping you warm and also when you cover your face with them it warms the air, which is especially good for those with asthma.

IMG_0601.jpgA base layer long sleeve and a jacket or a vest: depending on the weather I like to wear a vest and base layer long sleeve like this one for the days that are -6 Celsius however say it’s -25 Celsius I will wear my base layer long sleeve, my fleece half zip and my thinner running jacket that is a nice added layer. It really depends on where are you located because where I live it is warmer then where I am from so I don’t need as much as say my mom wears, but the key is layering. Layering and base layers are essential to running outside in the winter.

Lastly: safety and reflective wear: I don’t usually run when it’s dark but even so it’s very important that your are seen! I have a bright orange vest and bright purple pants with reflectors on them in case it gets dark while I run or is grey and overcast.

Thanks for reading this post ma friends! Happy winter running!


2018 Intentions and Goals

This is my second annual New Year intentions and goals post! 2017 was a good year for me personally. Of course, there were highs and lows in my life personally and events in society that have affected the world at large, but nonetheless 2017 has been a overall good year for me. 2018 will be the year of transition for me and I can’t wait to see what it brings after I graduate the big bad university.

Run 21km. I feel like this may have been a goal last year but I made it to 12km. This may have something to do with my injuries that interrupted me but this year I shall do a half marathon.

Keep up with blog content. I really felt this year like I honed in on my skills. This was more towards the second half of the year. With my current job I have learned a lot about Abode illustrator and want to foray into Lightroom to improve my photo qualities. I also feel like I have found what I enjoy writing about. While those that know me know that I am an activist and enjoy long discussions about world happenings I also love running (WHO AM I) and beauty/lifestyle/skin care/becoming more environmental and I can’t wait to create more content.

Drink lemon water (super millennial I know). My mom got me this snazzy water bottle that has a little shield so the fruit doesn’t go through the top. Also I want to drink more matcha lattes so I’m going to order a snazzy whisk from amazon so I can finally make them properly.

Get a real bullet journal. In the summer I ordered one from amazon, but it’s a bit too big to drag around at school so I want to get a legit one from Chapters, so I can take it everywhere and keep up with my habit tracker and purchases and inserting events and such into my calendar etc.

Buy less crap. In general since I have begun a capsule wardrobe I have actually been really good in 2017 with clothing purchases. But it’s other random things that make me go “where did all my money go” you know? I haven’t been horrible with makeup, I bought four palettes over the course of 2017, not too bad for me but excessive for others but I find myself going to “run errands” because I am bored when I could likely use that time for something that is a bit more productive.

Eat out less. I used to think I didn’t get fast food very often and then I started tracking my expenses and by god Chipotle gets me every time. I spent more on fast food then I thought. I am going to limit myself to the eating out once a week. While the max I would do in a normal week is twice, I think it’s doable with my school and work schedule for this semester to only do once a week.

Read more. Particularly more career books and more personal finance books.  I know this is a goal I had last year and did not follow through. I read hardly any books in 2017. My goal is to read more both nonfiction and fiction. I got Estee Lalonde’s book Bloom: Navigating life and Style for Christmas as well as and the Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and her Flowers. I finished Bloom in a day and can’t wait to start Rupi’s novel once I get back to school.  I will start with that then move my way onto what is on my shelf currently.

Find a great clean and green mascara. I have been eyeing the lily lolo one and the 100% Pure black tea ones but I want to find one that doesn’t flake easily or run easily. It can be done it will just take some searching. Any suggestions for green beauty mascaras?

Do 38 military style push-ups. Again, this is a goal that will hopefully be attained. It will require a lot of work on my part as I know I slack on the strength but not this year!

Graduate. Obviously this is the goal of university, but it is coming so fast and I’m really excited to see what 2018 brings!

What are your goals or intentions for 2018?