Thursday, December 13, 2012


Up at 6:30am, at the gym by 8am for my last session with Andrew of 2012. It was a great leg workout, only incorporated 2 exercises; squats and lunges but if you go big and hardcore, that's enough!

Workout went like this:
Squats- low as possible
135lbs for 10, 205lbs for 5, 6 and another 5, 155lbs for 8 and 135 again for 10

Walking Lunges- come right down
45lb dumb bells for 20, 50lb dumb bells for 20, 35lb dumb bells for 30.
*50lb dumb bells is another personal best*

Beating personal bests is so motivational. I love it! I have so far completed all my December goals except the hot yoga which I will have to roll over into a January goal, I think.

Staying motivated can be difficult, especially at this time of year, however setting small goals for yourself helps to stay focused and driven. All those small goals eventually come together as a part of your ultimate, bigger goal.

So work is done for 2012. Hooray! Kevin will be done today, we are driving tomorrow morning, hanging out at Kevin's parents on Saturday and flying on Sunday. So excited to go home!

The remainder of the day today will be spent doing laundry, packing and hanging out with my hubby when he gets home.

My back is still so stiff and sore that I think a nice hot bath will be much deserved. I feel pooped but so great. I am generally all about pushing myself, Andrew helps of course, but I have learned that without discipline, consistency, desire and a willingness to get out of ones comfort zone results will never be achieved.

Stay motivated!
Until next time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Updates and Goals

Good Morning Everyone!

I’m on my last working day for 2012 and I can’t believe how fast another year has gone by. It has been a year filled with many blessings and accomplishments.

4 more sleeps until we leave to go home to see my family for the holidays. Yay!

So what’s new?
I have been thinking a lot about my fitness goals for the New Year and I think I would like to set my sites on completing a Warrior Dash; maybe, as well as competing in a couple shows, completing my personal training certification and trying out some new classes here and there, such as zumba, hot yoga and maybe a spin class.

For anyone interested in the Warrior Dash, here is their website:

I’m sore today; still stiff from my leg work out and Andrew and I trained my back last night; I got up to a 205lb dead lift for 3 reps so my back is stiff as well. Feels great!

Here is what we did:
Dead lifts x 4 sets (135 for 10, 165 for 10, 185 for 5 and 205 for 3)
Feet Elevated inverted body rows x 3 sets of 12-15reps
High mountain Row machine x 3 sets of 10 reps (55lbs each side)
Dumb bell Rows x 3 sets of 12 reps per hand (50lbs and 40lbs)
Straight Arm Pull Down x 3 sets of 12 reps (70lbs)
Additional 20 minutes of interval cardio

Nutrition and diet have been going really well. I have been feeling leaner in the last few days and so today I decided to step on the scale. I am sitting at 127lbs so I am pleased; crossing my fingers that I can keep my will power and motivation in check when I get home to eat clean and not go to crazy with holiday food. I think I’ll be fine.

I have my last appointment with Andrew for 2012 tomorrow morning at 8am. We have had a fabulous year of training and I have achieved some really great progress. Super happy and thankful for Andrew and all his help!

So I think that is it for today. Have a great Wednesday!

Until Next Time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Squashing my December Goals

Super excited today after last night’s work out session.

I went to the gym with the intention of trying to beat my personal best barbell squat and I did it!!

Last night, I completed 8 reps of a 225lb barbell squat; that’s almost double my body weight. Yay me!

Now I need to practice coming down into the squat position a little further.

Here is the video of both myself and my hubby. He also made the 225lb squat his personal best for 10 reps.

It was a great night at the gym.

*Me comlpeting a 225lb barbell squats*

*Kevin completing 225lb barbell squats*

Our complete workout last night was as follows:
Barbell Squats x 4 sets
10 - 135lbs
10 - 185lbs
10 – 205lbs
8 – 225lbs (me) 10 – 225lbs (Kevin)

Leg Extension superset with lying hamstring curl x 3 sets
10 – 105lbs/ 10- 70lbs
10 – 120lbs/ 10- 70lbs
10 - 135lbs/ 10- 60lbs

Calf Raises
10- 45lbs
10- 55lbs
10- 65lbs

10 minute intervals on the stepper

I love beating personal bests.
That's another one of my December Goals conquered.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Fun Times

This weekend was one filled with fun times and happy moments. I am getting super excited about going home to see my family in 6 more sleeps and I am on day 1 of my 3 remaining working days; then I will be off until January 7th.

So what wonderful fun things did we get up to this weekend?

Friday night we had our annual Christmas party. I enjoyed getting dressed up with my hubby, going out and dancing. The meal was tasty; I had a bite of my hubby’s desert and even a couple glasses of red wine. (I paid for the red wine with a major headache later however; could also be because I was in dehydration mode for my photo shoot the next morning. Yet red wine, is supposed to help with vascularity so that’s why I allowed myself a couple of glasses).

Saturday morning, I had my shoot for 3 hours, got some great shots although I don’t have any of them yet. Rick was great to work with and I enjoyed the shoot overall. Check out his work at northern Exposure Photography-
The dehydration method seemed to work well because I think I was tighter overall and other than the headache, I believe that the red wine did what it was meant to as well.

The rest of the day Saturday was spent doing Christmas cleaning, running errands and then that night my hubby and I had our annual holiday cheat meal. Every year before we leave for Christmas vacation, we indulge in a cheat feast and curl up to watch a Christmas movie with popcorn and a box of chocolates.

This year our meal was Ground Chicken Nachos. Yummy! And we watched the movie ‘A Christmas Carol’ with Jim Carey.

Sunday, I was back to cleaning house, laundry, cooking for the week and my work out. I tried a couple of new recipes which I have already posted; Ground Chicken Breast Meatballs, Baked Oatmeal and then the normal food prep which consisted of shrimp, salads, chicken breast, veggies, omelets and protein muffins.

Workout was a total body variety with 100 push-ups, 100 leg raises, 100 lunges per leg, 100 squats and 100 1-leg hip thrusts.

Overall, this weekend was an enjoyable one. I feel like I accomplished a lot around the house; I still have packing to do but everything else is done.

Main Goal this week: Work out every day until I leave on Friday morning and fit one last work out in on Saturday as well in Innisfail before we fly on Sunday. I have appointments with Andrew on Tuesday and Thursday, tonight Kevin and I are hitting legs and on Wednesday I will likely do shoulders.

Keep Training Hard!
Until Next Time.

Ground Chicken Breast Meatballs

Here is another recipe I tried yesterday and they are delicious.

Ground chicken breast
Green pepper
Green onion

Make into balls, place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25mins

*Note: you can use any veggies you like*

Baked Oatmeal

I wanted a change from my ordinary oatmeal so I decided to try this one. Also yummy!

2 cups dry oats
2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Dash of natural honey
1 banana
1/2 cup berries (I used raspberries)

Combine ingredients and bake at 400 degrees for 20 mins

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pushing Hard

What should we talk about today?

I’m so tired….zzzzzzzzzz!

I have been pushing myself fairly hard at the gym and Andrew pushed me really hard last night with legs too, I thought I was going to puke.

We started with running 7 flights of stairs, 2 at a time for 5 sets. My times for each set ranged from 29.9sec for the first one to 35sec for the last. Not so bad, I don’t think. We continued from there with 3 sets of 20 high bench step-ups each leg, holding 10lb dumb bells, 20 slow squats (5 sec down, 5 sec up), 30 goblet squats and 20 jump squats. Hmmm….I wonder why I’m tired today….lol.

On Wednesday, I did shoulders & abs, here is that workout:
*Tip: Be sure to use enough weight to fatigue those muscles*
Part 1- repeat 3 times
10 dumb bells clean and press each arm
Feet elevated pushups to failure
Bicycle crunch (count to 40)

Part 2- repeat 3 times
10 dumb bells front raise
10 dumb bells lateral raise
20 bench v-sits

Part 3- repeat 3 times
10 standing dumb bell overhead press
20 Swiss ball leg raise
1 minute plank

Tonight there won’t be a workout because we are heading to my company Christmas party. I will have to be overly conscious of what I am putting into my body though because I have my photo shoot with Rick from Northern Exposure Photography on Saturday morning at 9am.

I got my spray tan for it last night, picked out some poses and got my wardrobe put together. I’m excited! Photo shoots makes me feel so great and I have so much fun with them.

Today, I am in dehydration mode, trying to flush out all the water between the skin and muscle. I started to reduce or at least be conscious of my carb intake since Tuesday but I have included some dry carbs today.

It seems my body is back on track now that I have had my period, stepped on the scale and I have only gained 3lbs in the 3 weeks since the show which I am happy about. As I said before some post competition weight gain is normal because no one can sustain the competition diet long term; it isn’t healthy.

Here is a blog that I thought was helpful about photo shoot prep tips as well. Take a look:

I guess the only other news I have is that I will be taking the weekend off work and am hoping to catch up with things around the house, cooking, laundry, decorating for the season and sleep. I have 9 more sleeps before we go home and 7 more sleeps before we leave to visit Kevin’s parents. So I need to start packing as well.

Oh and by the way, I made that chocolate protein peanut butter dish again two nights ago and it was so great. I love it as a treat every once in a while. Find the recipe here:

Until next time

I’ll leave you with this quote: “Proud but never Satisfied”

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mind vs Body

Love this quote.  "That voice inside your head that says you can't; is a LIAR"


I have been pushing myself so hard for quite sometime now and you have no idea the number of times I have had to tell my inner voice to just SHUT

Fitness, getting out of your comfort is all a mind game. "The mind will quit a thousand times for the body does".

There are things that my body can do, weights I can lift, the amount I can handle in the gym that I never thought possible and there are so many times that my mind takes over and tries to tell me that I can't do it, I can't take it anymore, etc.

The trick is learning how to control that voice, learning how to fight it, take it on and prove it wrong!

Even the other night when I was working to beat my mile run time, that voice kicked in and said "you need to stop, you're tired, you can't do it!" So what did I do? I talked myself through it. I said, Melissa this is one of your December goals, PUSH, you got this, you can do it! And guess what? I did.

So next time that voice tries to take over your mind, remember your body is far stronger than the voice telling you to stop. Push and keep going just a little further, get out of that comfort zone and it'll leave you with the most exhilarating feeling of accomplishment.

Shopping was a Success

As previously mentioned, this past weekend was spent shopping, among other things of course and overall I would say it was a success. It started out to be more than a little frustrating but ended on a good note.

I shopped for myself mostly but picked up a few more Christmas gifts as well, however I was an early Christmas shopper this year so most of my presents are already bought.

The trip was mostly a splurge for me and a needed one because with my drop in size I had very little dress clothes left and what does one wear during the festive season if one has no dressy clothing. Exactly, nothing! So I shopped, spent too much money but got some things that I needed; and okay maybe a few things that I didn't.
I am still shocked by the size I fit, it baffles me!

So back to my purchases, I bought:
A wool jacket
3 pairs of jeans
3 pairs of dress pants
3 shirts
1 dressy sequinned tank
1 sweater
1 funky chain

And here it all is after I got it home.

Still need a few more things to add to my wardrobe, a new black pencil skirt for sure.

I just love shopping!!! but what girl doesn't?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Keane Classic- A Testimonial

It is with great pride and gratitude that I can say that I took part in the first annual Keane Classic Fitness Competition held in Fort McMurray, Alberta on November 17, 2012. It was my first time competing but it will definitely not be my last.

                                      *Elissa, myself, Naomi and Olivia during my photo shoot
                                           with Tim Rollans at World Gym, Fort McMurray*

The show, the organizers, the other competitors as well as the community support and encouragement were all well above my expectations.

I decided when I first met my trainer, Andrew Bambury, back in October of 2011 that I wanted to compete. It was always my dream, so with Andrew’s help; I worked my butt off to get on that stage. I went through some very physically demanding training, an extremely restricted, natural diet and some emotional turmoil as well but I made it.

                                                     *First Posing Class at YMCA*

I didn’t place in my category but, for me, that doesn’t matter because I think I found my niche…lol and I had such a fun time. Life is all about improving and setting goals anyhow so for my next show the goal is to do better.

More to the point of this blog, the Keane Classic was one of the most exhilarating and amazing experiences of my life. I can say without any hesitation that I enjoyed everything about the show even the months of preparation. It was well organized; the Keane Classic girls (Naomi, Olivia and Elissa) were terrific. They went over and above with their support, encouragement and just overall attitudes.

                                      *The Keane Classic Team: Olivia, Elissa and Naomi*

I hope to see more community participation and involvement in the next one as it is a great event for the Fort McMurray fitness community. If you are thinking of competing it is taking place in October of 2013. My only advice is train hard, eat clean and always have fun with it.

Here are the links to the Keane Classic and Keane2befit facebook pages as well as the Keane2befit website:

A big thank you to the Keane Team for hosting and organizing the event, a shout out to the community for supporting the event and selling out both shows as well as a last big shout out to all the competitors for having the courage to rock the stage!

                                   *Athlete Meeting night before the show at Keyano Theatre*

Looking forward to the next one!

Reaching my Goals

Good Morning!

Happy Hump Day! It’s even hump day for me this week as I am taking this coming weekend off. Yay!

Killer workout last night; my husband and I met at the gym and completed a back workout that I had gotten from Andrew plus some abs. A little stiff today which as you know I love.

The workout was as follows:
Back:  4 x 12 seated cable row

          4 x 12 lat pull down

          3 x 10 trap rows superset with
          3 x 10 barbell upright rows

         3 x 10 supinated barbell row superset with
         3 x 10 pronated barbell row
         3 x 20 pull ups (assisted) superset with 3 x 20 straight arm pull down
Abs: 20 each of decline bench reverse crunch, decline bench regular crunch and hanging knee curls to chest
And then I did it! I completed one of my goals for the month already. Yep, I beat my mile run time and am now at 6 minutes and 50 seconds for a personal best. I will admit I thought I was going to die and throw up…lol or surely that my legs were going to give out but I pushed and persevered and I DID IT!!! Yay me!

Tonight I think will be shoulder night.
Let me see now, what else is new and exciting?
See my previous blog about my gift from my husband. So amazing!!

I found out today that my photo shoot is scheduled for Saturday at 9am. Super Excited about that! A little weary as I am not quite as lean as I was 3 weeks ago but still excited. This one is with a local photographer who wants to increase his fitness portfolio; Northern Exposure Photography by Rick Lynch.
Only 5 more work days left for me after today. 11 more sleeps until I see my family for Christmas. Really getting into the Christmas spirit now as well, I was listening to Christmas carols on the drive into work today and am hoping to make the outside of our house look festive over the weekend .
Here is my favorite Christmas carol: Silver Bells

Until next time!
Have a great day!

Best Gift Ever

I have the greatest husband for many reasons of course but last night he gave me the sweetest gift.

It’s a picture that I hadn’t yet seen of myself from my shoot with Andrew turned into a motivational print. It’s simply fabulous!

Check it out:

I knew there was something suspicious going on when Kevin asked me for Andrew’s email and phone number because he never contacts Andrew himself…lol…I always do.
Those two are such scammers but what a great surprise!

Can you tell I love it?

I have to thank Andrew as well for his part in all this. The picture with the quote was all his doing and it came out amazingly.

Here is the original:

 *Andrew Bambury Photography*

I feel so special and so loved. I knew I had Kevin’s support and encouragement, don’t get me wrong, but I learned last night that he is also very proud of my accomplishments and that truly means so much.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Personal Best- Walking Lunges with 45lb Dumb Bells

Another Personal Best Video.

Walking Lunges with 45lb Dumb Bells. You can tell by the video that it isn't

That's Andrew cheering me on and pushing me

Train Hard and Lift Heavy!

It's an amazing feeling!

Personal Best- 225lb Dead Lift

Here is a video of my 225lb dead lift- Personal Best to date

My form kind of gives out at the end but I got it up there. I love to lift!!

Setting New Goals

Today I am inspired to set new fitness goals for myself.

So I have decided that each month I am going to set out to accomplish something(s) and see if I can get there, push through and kick those things in the face.

So my December Fitness Goals will be as follows:

#1: Enjoy the holiday season, don’t over indulge too often but when I do; don’t feel guilty and paranoid. Instead enjoy it and take comfort that it’s only once in a while and that it’s a well-deserved treat

#2: Try Hot Yoga

#3: Beat my current mile run time of 7 minutes, 2 seconds

#4: Lift heavier and beat some of my personal bests; currently aiming to beat my barbell squat weight which is now at 205lbs

Well there they are for the month of December. I am headed to the gym tonight to start working on them. Tonight will be back and biceps as well as working on beating that run time.

It will be my first day back at the gym in 2 days because I haven’t been feeling well. I finally started my period and yes, as expected, it was a bad one but at least my body should be back on track now.

Today is also my first day back to work for the shift but it’s an exciting one because it is the last shift before Christmas break. 8 more days until but I am also taking the weekend off again so there are really only 6 more working days left for me. 12 more sleeps until my hubby and I fly home to see my family for Christmas. I can’t wait to see my niece opening her gifts on Christmas morning. Yay!!!

My work Christmas party is on Friday and I also have another fitness photo shoot on either Saturday or Sunday as well.

Which reminds me; I got some more pictures back from my shoot with Andrew. Take a look below:

Keep setting new goals for yourself to keep you motivated.
It’s a fun challenge!

Until next time.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Latest Life Updates

It's been a few days since I have updated the events of my life.

So what's new in my world?

Training: Working out is going really well. I am pushing hard, lifting heavier, beating personal bests and feeling great. Had a rest day on Wednesday. Thursday, however I was back at it with Andrew for legs and ow, my legs are still sore 2 days later. Friday, I had another rest day but I walked around the entire West Edmonton mall all day. Today, I worked shoulders and abs and tomorrows plan is a total body workout.

Diet: Keeping it clean and planning ahead. Wednesday, we had another Christmas gathering and being that it was just finger foods, I knew it wouldn't be healthy, so I ate before I left to avoid being hungry and indulging in things that would make me feel gross later. Plus I made sure to drink only water. We also left to go out of town on Thursday and again I prepped snacks for the drive to avoid the gas station junk food along the way. Being that we are away from home, I am working out at a gym here, which is nice, quiet and an overall great facility.

Energy levels and overall health: Energy levels have been high and I am doing well with improvements in lifting, etc. I admit to feeling bloated and gross a lot since the show and I have gained approximately 3-4lbs since, however Andrew tells me not to be paranoid and that a few pounds is normal. I should be proud that I haven't gorged so much and gained double that or more. Apparently a lot of people do post show and a lot of people also avoid going to the gym because they lose that desire after having worked so hard for months. I also haven't had a period since October and therefore I am bloated and that could also be leading to me weighing heavier. Missing periods during competition prep with the heavy training and diet in not uncommon however but I hope I start soon to get my body back on track.

Shopping: I am having a difficult time finding clothes that fit; pants and jeans especially. Why is it that when I was a 6, there always seemed to be sizes 0-2 readily available and yet now that I am that size, there are loads of size 6 available. Grrrrrr! I walked all over the West Edmonton Mall on Friday, only to get 2 pairs of dress pants and 1 pair of jeans. (Sigh!)

Upcoming goals for the week:
* train hard/ heavy
* beat my mile run time
* eat clean
* pack for home for Christmas
* try some new recipes
* prep for photo shoot on December 8 or 9
* stay clean at my Christmas party on December 7

Tuesday, will be the start of my last shift before Christmas break and then I am off until January 7th. I am also taking Saturday and Sunday off next weekend. I am happy to be going home for Christmas this year with my hubby to see my family. Hoping to be able to stay mostly clean when I go home and to hit the gym a few times while I am there.

Until next time, keep training and eat clean!

Training to Relieve Stress

How many of you have used training as a form of stress relief or have had moments where you are just so pissed that all you want to do is head to the gym and lift?

Personally, I find training the best form of stress relief, especially lifting and lifting heavy.

You must all be wondering by now where I am going with this blog and what happened to create it. Well without going into too much detail, I'll give you two words to sum it all up.....EX-WIFE!!
Enough said! Anyone who has one of these in their lives needs no more explanation to understand my frustration.

In one respect, even talking about it, would almost make it seem as though she is winning, however little does she know that the more she pisses me off, the more I push and the more drive and determination I have at the gym. So, in the long run, yes, she irritates me but the frustration gives me a desire to pump it out, making me feel better and fitter for both myself and my husband. All the better for me so......Yay Me!

My point with this post; is not to explain how frustratingly annoying selfish ex-wives can be.  The point, however, is to explain how great training can be as a method of stress relief.

Remember this; instead of over-eating, drinking or whatever other unhealthy habit and excuse you use to avoid training when you have a bad day; get to the gym, train hard, sweat and push all that negative energy out. I'll guarantee that you feel better afterwards!