STRESS!! Don’t let it get the best of you!

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a high amount of stress, and I’ve been noticing that quite a few of my clients have been feeling the same way. The frustrating thing about high levels of stress, is that it usually perpetuates more stress. The frustration, at least for me, comes from the fact that I feel overwhelmed, and because of this, I find it difficult to properly take care of myself and do the things that make me feel good about myself. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, and I’m sure this is true for the vast majority of us, our worries and anxiety takes center stage, and our bodies, our minds, and our spirit take a back seat. It’s frustrating, because the worse we treat ourselves, the worse we feel. We start to feel guilty for not doing the things we know we should be doing, and we start to punish ourselves for it, and around we go again, our stress only climbs.

Now, there are a few of us that don’t really notice how badly our stress is effecting us until it’s gotten to a point where it is out of control. We tend to let the smaller things slide, but every time we let something slide, it starts to add up. What was once a “one time thing,” has quickly developed into a terrible habit. The saddest thing is, is that a lot of people have just assumed that this is their life. That stress is a part of life, and this is how it is.”I will forever have back pain because I work at a desk, and I’m old.”  Or, “I don’t have time to cook, so I eat out a lot.” Simple things like getting enough sleep, and feeding ourselves properly become a burden, when in reality all of the crap that we have piled on ourselves to manage is the real burden. Our stress is mostly self-inflicted. Sure, there are stressful things that happen to us that are out of our control, however, how we choose to deal with these situations is up to us. On the flip side, sometimes, our stress doesn’t always start in a negative place. Sometimes, we are having the best time! You’re always hanging out with your friends, going on adventures, doing whatever makes you happy, and before you know it, you feel a little lost.

I personally find that my stress, at least right now, is a combination of feeling a little lost, and putting a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to my business. I’m finding myself in this limbo of trying to balance my hectic summer social life, work/developing my business downtown, and moving into the city. I do not feel grounded at all, and I feel as though I’ve spread myself a little too thin. When I didn’t really have plans last weekend, except going to my friend’s cookout on Sunday, I was so happy! I finally got to do nothing, and it felt so great. I watched Netflix, went to the movies, did my laundry, and spent a good amount of time looking for places to live. I finally got to do what I wanted, which was really nice. Because it’s the summer, and I decided not to compete, I’ve been taking full advantage of all the hangouts with my friends. It’s been amazing! But at the same time, I have gone too far to the extreme, where hanging out with my friends has become a bit of a distraction from the things that I need to get done, and the things that really make me happy. I am not training as consistently as I like (I like to train at least 6 times a week), and I’m not eating as consistently as I would like (6 small meals a day). This makes me feel worse about the situation that I’ve put myself in, and because I’m not working out as much, or eating as well as I usually do, it’s becoming progressively more difficult to deal with my stress. It’s a vicious circle, where I’m not grounded and I’m overwhelmed, which stresses me out and demotivates me from working out, or meal prepping, this makes me feel guilty, which again, stresses me out!

That being said, I know what my problems are. I know what I do that makes my situation worse, and I know what I need to do to correct the issue. The key is to start off small. Because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, and I’ve been busying myself with my friends, I haven’t been able to do the things that make me happy, like write this blog, or workout everyday, etc. So here I am writing a new piece for my blog and I packed a proper lunch for myself today too. Small wins! But I’m already starting to feel a bit better, and it all started by putting myself first this weekend, and realizing that the shenanigans need to stop. I need to get back to practicing what I preach, which is “YOU are the most IMPORTANT person in YOUR life, and YOU need to take care of yourself because no one else will.” Doing small things like this for yourself, help you feel better, and they motivate you to continue to do these things for yourself. Eventually, your stress and the mounting pile of crap that was so daunting before, starts to become more manageable. This is because when you stop taking care of yourself, your work starts to suffer. Actually all areas of your life start to suffer, and your stress only increases. You need to take care of yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself to conquer life. Don’t ever be a victim of circumstance, and let life conquer you. I say this all the time, I just needed a little personal reminder 😉

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, ground yourself in the things that bring you happiness. Listen to your favorite artists, read the book you’ve been meaning to read, join a house league, or a group fitness class. Do these positive and productive things for yourself during your down time, instead of smoking weed, drinking, watching Netflix , or playing video games. You may think that these things bring you happiness, and sure, they’re fun, but in the long run, these things take more from you than they give. When you do positive and productive things in your spare time, like a dance class, not only doesn’t it bring up your mood, but you feel so much more accomplished than if you spent that time on the couch. Plus, when you choose to do something positive and productive in your spare time, like a hobby of some sort, it can actually turn into something more. It can help you meet new people, help you with your current career, or heck! It could become your new career.

Either way, when you’re feeling stress and overwhelmed the best things that you can do for yourself is as follows:

  • Participate in regular physical activity, whether it be a sport or going to the gym, either way it is one of the best ways to combat stress.
  • Secondly, you should socialize with friends and family, but don’t fall into the trap that I often fall into, where I would rather be with my friends having fun and avoiding the things that are stressing me out in the first place.
  • Try to relax! Do this through therapeutic breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, meditation, or even a good massage!
  • Set time aside for hobbies, like crafts, reading, listening to music, baking, whatever brings you happiness
  • Lastly, and this may sound dumb, but stay positive! Laugh! Try your best to have a sense of humor about your situation, because crying isn’t going to change anything, so you might as well laugh! I would be lying if I said I never cried from stress or frustration, but I always try to cut it out quick. It only makes you feel sorry for yourself if you let it go on for too long, and having a victim mentality isn’t going to get you out from the pile of crap you put yourself under.

Handling Stress

Life can get really crazy sometimes, and sometimes we let things pile up, but lying down waving your white flag is going to get you no where fast. Slow down, take a breath, and re-focus. Take it one day at a time, plan out your day, set daily goals for yourself, and conquer them. When you need to take a break? Workout! Read a book! Do something positive and productive. Something that raises your spirits, and gives you the strength to keep going. And lastly, surround yourself with positive and productive people! People who push you and encourage you to be your absolute best. This is how you secure your overall happiness and success.



How often should I be working out?

I get this question a lot, and the simple answer to this question is that you should be working out or doing some sort of activity everyday. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be doing some sort of exercise everyday. You can walk, run, bike, dance, do yoga, or any other activity everyday. When it comes to weight training? You could weight train everyday, however, I personally like to take at least one day of rest from weight training a week. So normally, I weight training six times a week, and I do some sort of cardio everyday. This does not include some of the group fitness classes that I teach where I participate with the class. Obviously, during these classes I’m not pushing myself as I would be for my own personal workouts, but it is exercise nonetheless.

Personally, I don’t know where the fear of “doing too much” comes from? Especially when most of us barely exercise at all! Over training is really difficult for the average person to achieve, in fact, the average person tends to avoid working out on a regular basis. However, if you do plan on seeing results, well you need to be hitting the gym more than twice a week. Two hours a week of exercise is simply not enough exercise to change your body in a significant way. It’s a good start, but you will need to raise the frequency of your training, whether you are training for muscle growth, or weight loss, the frequency of your workouts are very important. For example, if you want larger glutes, or bigger arms, then you should be training those areas at least twice a week. However, that does not mean you should be avoiding the rest of your body. You still need to look proportionate, and therefore, the rest of your week should be dedicated to training the rest of your body. This means that there is no way that only training twice a week will help you get a better looking butt. You need to train your butt at least twice a week, but you still need to do your cardio, and train the rest of your body too so that your butt, legs and body all look proportionate. Especially if weight loss is your goal, you need to do some sort of cardio everyday. Either fasted cardio, or post workout cardio, but you need to do your cardio! I don’t love cardio but it is necessary for weight loss and your overall health!

In conclusion, there simply is no avoiding it. If you want to make a lasting change to your body. If you want to make a significant change to how you look, and feel, then you MUST train more than twice a week! You MUST do some sort of activity everyday if you want to make a significant change in your lifestyle, and your body. Working out, two to three times a week is a good start, don’t get me wrong! But it is not enough in the long term. If you work with a trainer two to three times a week, great! But you should be doing workouts and activities on your own to speed up the change in your body, and to get you on the right path to a healthier lifestyle.


My sister and I enjoying some coconut water at the Toronto Yoga Show! 


Merry Fitmas Day 7: I worked out hard in the gym, I can eat whatever I want right?

No, just because you’re working out in the gym, does not mean you can now reward yourself by eating whatever you want. Even if you’re trying to grow and make gains, does not mean you can hit up McDonald’s post workout all the time.

There are so many myths and there is so much confusion about nutrition and eating! When it comes to fitness, I think nutrition is the biggest hurdle for most people. It is the most confusing part of trying to reach your fitness goals, and to be honest, I don’t blame you! We’re always being told different things when it comes to nutrition. My goal is to try and clear up as much of the bogus that is out there, in a way that is plain and simple.

So, when it comes to eating and working out, you should always eat within your macro-nutrients. As a general fitness enthusiast, meaning you’re not a high performance athlete, or competing in a show, you can generally eat whatever foods you like, as long as they fit within your daily macro-nutrient allowance. However, that being said, a lot of the “treats” that are out there will max out your macro-nutrients for the day fairly quickly. Generally speaking, the more processed foods you eat, the quicker your calories/macro-nutrients get eaten up, and the less amount of food you get to eat through out the day. Eating this way, and trying to stay on a diet is very ineffective. “Flexible dieting” is great in the sense that you can have a treat once in a while, but if you’re eating processed meals all the time, you will not perform as well as you could be if you’re eating whole foods.

So, even though you are working out, you MUST stay within your macro-nutrient/calorie limits each day. If you’re working out consistently, you must eat consistently as well in order to reach your fitness goals, whether it be to lose weight, or to gain size. The more “cheat meals” you have where you eat whatever you want and you don’t count it in your macros, the further away you get from achieving your goals. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t indulge and treat yourself, but it is no longer a treat when it becomes a weekly thing. If you’re treating yourself every week, it is a part of your regular diet. It is a habit that you have created. Even binge drinking every weekend, is an indulgence that you do every week, and it is considered part of your lifestyle. Cheat meals or indulgences are a once in a month thing MAYBE! That is the only way you can really call it a “cheat meal” LOL is if it is a treat that you don’t have often. Something that you will enjoy, because you only really have it once in a while. That is when a cheat meal can truly be enjoyed without any guilt, because you eat and workout consistently, and your cheat meal is something that you earned.


My sister and I posing with Santa at my Ugly Sweater Christmas Party this past Saturday 🙂 So excited for Santa to pay us a visit this Friday!!!



Day 5 of the 12 Days of Fitmas: Sleep and Stress Management During the Holidays

I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited for Christmas! It’s about 11 days away, and I’m ready to go! Gifts are bought and wrapped under the tree, all I have to do is get things ready for my Annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party this coming Saturday 😀

For this blog post, I got inspired by watching one of my all time favorite Christmas movies, Home Alone Two, Lost in New York. The holidays can be a very stressful time. Probably not as stressful as losing your son for the second time LOL Especially in New York City haha but either way, the holidays can feel quite overwhelming. Even though you may have a million things to take care of in the last two weeks before Christmas, shopping, baking, wrapping, cooking, holiday parties, school exams, end of the year work projects, whatever it may be, please remember that Christmas happens every year, and some how you seem to make it through 😛 So don’t stress!

LOL This is a scary photo right? hahahaha

I know this is easier said than done, and sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that may make this holiday season a little more stressful than usual. This is why I am writing this blog post. No matter how out of hand your life may be, you must take care of yourself first. So many of us get ourselves sick with the cold or flu at this time of year because we have not been sleeping properly, or managing our stress, and eventually our immune system breaks down, making us susceptible to the common cold.

In addition, if we don’t manage our stress properly, or get enough sleep, we tend to over eat. Emotional eating is a real thing! Many of you may think that you don’t change your eating habits when you’re stressed out but you do. I didn’t realize how much stress affected me and my eating habits until I was on prep for my first show. When I had a rough day at work, and then I came home, ate my last meal, I thought, “that’s it?!” I was so disappointed. I ate my fish and asparagus and thought, “that’s really not what I wanted.” 😦 I wanted chocolate in that moment so bad LOL and there was nothing I could do about it except for going to bed, because I was prepping for a show. That’s when I realized how comforting food can really be. When you’re really upset, tired, stressed out, or all the above, you tend to crave “comfort foods.” That’s why they’re called “comfort food,” they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now I can get all scientific on you and explain to you how these foods release certain chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy, and warm inside but I really don’t want to get into that. Basically the foods we eat can have a major effect on how we feel.

The Christmas holidays happen in the middle of winter for this reason actually. Usually the cold dark winters bring people down, and because we do not know the exact date of Jesus’ birth (if you celebrate this part of the holiday), Christmas is celebrated in December. Celebrations like Christmas bring people together, they lift our spirits, and help us cope with a lot of the doom and gloom that comes with the winter season. Along with all the celebrations, come all of the fantastic comfort foods. I think Thanksgiving is like the trailer for Christmas LOL Thanksgiving really feels as though it is just preparing you for the crazy feasts, and parties that are soon to come your way! However, high stress, lack of sleep and the holidays are a lethal combination! If you’re tired, and upset, you will be craving high calorie foods, and because of the holidays season, there will be plenty of these sorts of foods at your disposal.

Please don’t let this be you! LOL You WILL eventually regret it! Even if it’s not at first…

I already wrote a piece earlier about nutrient timing, and how long hours of not eating will cause your blood sugar levels to drop, as well as your energy levels, which causes you to crave high calorie foods. Well so does lack of sleep. Lack of sleep causes low energy, and because you feel sluggish, you reach for the coffee, energy drinks, and carbohydrates to give you a boost. In addition, if you’re having the Christmas blues, you will eat your feelings. It’s so easy to reach for a shortbread cookie at this time of year when things are getting rough. Plus if you’re stressed out, running around trying to get everything done, a lot of us forget to eat properly. Most people are not like me, they do not prep their meals ahead of time, weigh and measure them so that they hit all their macro-nutrients properly. Especially at this time of year, it seems as though nutrition flies out the window, and  it’s a free for all, where people grab whatever they feel like eating, or what ever happens to be available. And 9 times out of 10 it is high calorie comfort food, from either a fast food restaurant, company Christmas party, staff potluck, or any holiday party you go to.

So please guys, no matter how busy you are at this time of year, make sure you don’t forget to eat, and you let yourself get enough proper rest!! You will eat less junk and you will feel so much better! There are better ways to deal with your stress, and lack of energy, and that is proper nutrition and regular exercise. It may not be the “easy” thing to do, but it is the option that is most worthwhile. Comfort foods are a quick fix, but at the end of the day they will have you feeling worse than when you started. Enjoy the holidays! But don’t let it become an excuse to derail your fitness completely! You will regret it trust me!

Day 3 of the Twelve Days of Fitmas: Is Meal or Nutrient Timing Important?

Merry Fitmas Boys and Girls! So the question of the day is, is meal timing important? And the answer is yes! Nutrient timing is very important, however, it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not hitting your macro-nutrients properly. You need to make sure that you’re eating the right amount of calories, and the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats first before you start worrying about when you should be eating what. BUT for the sake of this post I will give you some general guidelines for meal timing/nutrient timing that I follow 🙂

Last week, I wrote a post on what you should be eating post workout, in this post, I will basically be covering general meal timing for the entire day. First of all, I generally spread my protein out evenly between all my meals. Right now, I’m eating about 140 grams of protein a day, so that’s about 24g of protein in each of my meals (I eat 6 “meals” a day, 3 snacks lol). As for my carbohydrates, I reserve 30-40% of my total carbs for the day for my pre-workout meal, and the same amount for my post workout meal. Then with whatever carbohydrates I have left, I spread them out through out the rest of my meals. As for my fats, I like to eat a good amount of my fat for breakfast or “meal 1.” A lot of breakfast foods tend to be high in fat, like eggs, nut butters, bacon, the list goes on. Plus it’s always good to eat fats after you haven’t eaten in a while (like in the morning), or when you know you won’t be eating in a while, so dinner is a good time to incorporate fats. I don’t eat a lot of fat pre-workout, or any fat at all really. Like I said, I eat fats for breakfast and in my meals post workout.

Now that we’re in the Holidays season, there are so many tempting treats around us all the time! Today in my spin class, someone asked me if I “indulge” at all… And to be honest that’s kind of a tricky question LOL I mean I just finished reverse dieting and now I can eat up to 220g of carbs! Which is pretty exciting stuff haha Especially when not too long ago I was eating no carbs at all before my show! So, the answer to that question is yes, and no. I fit treats into my diet if I want them, and I typically eat these treats around my workouts. So for example, Christmas Rice Krispie treats, I’ve made two batches of these so far, and sometimes I will fit a square or two into my macros pre-workout or post workout. These simple carbs go straight to my muscles. They give me a wicked pump if I eat them pre-workout, and I get super vascular which is always fun 😉 Or I eat them post-workout, and they are absorbed quickly by my very depleted muscles. Treats are best consumed around your workout. Like I mentioned earlier, the majority of your carbohydrates should be eaten around your workout. So, if you want to eat some simple carbohydrates like cookies, or rice krispies, it’s best to fit them in then.

As for “cheat meals” I have not had one yet. I just got this boost in carbs last Friday, and so far I’ve been able to fit everything in pretty nicely. However, if I do eat something like a burger or pizza and I’m not counting the macros of that meal. I would eat it post workout, or as my very last meal. This is because I would want that high calorie meal to re-feed my muscles so that they can grow, instead of my waistline! Cheat meals are one meal, and maybe desert. CHEAT MEALS ARE NOT CHEATING DAYS!! It is not an excuse to go insane, and eat everything in site. Cheat meals are a reward and they do have a purpose. They can help you lose more weight by raising your leptin levels during a diet, and they can help with muscle growth in the off-season. Cheat meals are earned. You don’t just have one cause you feel like it. There’s a science behind using it to increase your leptin levels, and for helping with muscle growth. Either way, you need to earn the meal in the gym with some hard work first before crushing some pizza.

However, cheat meals are not really necessary during the off-season. Like I mentioned above, so far I’ve been able to fit in all the foods I want to eat on a daily basis within my macros. Flexible dieting has been awesome this off-season! I don’t feel deprived at all! This is because, I can eat whatever I want within my macros for the day. As for Christmas day and MAYBE Christmas eve, those will probably be my “cheat meal” days… Every day leading up to that, I will be counting all my macros and fitting all the holiday parties into myfitnesspal.


A bad picture of my first ever “cheat meal” for my first bodybuilding show LOL As you can see from my face, it was literally like Christmas haha Deep Dish Pizza, an amazing, and well deserved meal! Oh and my friends got me this awesome shirt for the occasion! It says “slice of heaven” on it and trust me it really was!!10647030_10154573418250285_7859368366089892288_n


My Bodybuilding Journey so far PART TWO!


I am writing this blog post the day after my first Figure Competition and I could not be happier with how my weekend played out! I may not have gotten first place, but I definitely feel as if I did! I placed second this weekend at the KWO Show and I had the absolute best time doing it! Over the past 11 months I went from my first show as a bikini athlete placing 8th, to a first time figure athlete and placing 2nd. I am so proud of all that I’ve accomplished over the past year, and if you need a recap LOL feel free to read Part One to this post! I have poured my heart and soul into this sport this year, and I know that it shows! I went to the Oktoberfest Natural Classic planning to win 1st place and overall Figure. Or at least that was my ultimate goal! The girl who achieved this actually happens to be the girl who won 1st place in my class! Her name is Brooklyn and she was definitely deserving. Not gonna lie I feel really good placing second to the overall Figure winner, just saying LOL

First Fitness Comp

Me at my first show on November 8th 2014 where I placed 8th


Me performing my front pose during pre-judging at the KWO Show on October 10th 2015 where I placed second in Figure Tall.

But in all seriousness, to do this show in Figure was my goal since I stepped off the stage at my last show. This show meant the world to me, and I made sure that everyone knew it. I could not have been more serious about this goal! When my coach told me last year that I should take a year off, grow, and do figure. I thought to myself, yeah… I don’t want to wait a whole year. I will take the time to grow, and I do want to do figure, but I am going to do it within the year. I never told Josh of my intentions at first because I didn’t want him to possibly say to me that I was too small or something like that, but I told everyone else. I  told my family, friends, clients, everyone but my coach (until later of course) because this is how I hold myself to my goals. By telling everyone my intentions, it makes it real, and it holds me accountable. I worked super hard in the off-season to add on size, I probably didn’t need to eat as much as I did LOL but I really wanted to make sure that I put enough size on to compete in Figure come October 2015 and be competitive! When my coach told me I would be ready to compete in October at the Oktoberfest show I was so happy! That’s when I told him that, that was my goal the whole time haha He laughed and thought that was awesome LOL But I couldn’t have been more excited! I ate hard, lifted a ton, and packed on about 50 pounds from my first show! At my first show I was about 130 pounds, when I first starting cutting for this show in June I was about 180 pounds. On stage this weekend as a Figure athlete I was 140 pounds. I lost 40 pounds naturally during this prep and my God was it hard! I literally transformed myself 3 times this year, from a non-competitor in August 2014 to a Bikini Athlete in November 2014, to a heavy bulk of a 180 pounds, to a 140 pound second place Figure Athlete.12105953_10100989911253590_8789591572612930421_n

Left is me at 180 pounds and right is the morning of my show still doing my hair LOL and not pumped up etc


Front pose at the beginning of prep on the left, day of the show on the right

Even though this prep was tough, I never thought about it while I was doing it. Honestly, I think if I stopped to really think about all the shit I was putting myself through to be ready for the stage, I probably wouldn’t have made it through. I just kept my head down and kept grinding. All I thought about was winning this show! I would practice posing any chance I got. Literally almost every time I saw a mirror I would pose LOL so embarrassing but true! I would “practice winning.” I even wrote down a bunch of goals that I wanted to achieve within the next little while. So I had immediate goals, and long-term goals, and Winning first place Figure Tall and Overall Figure at the Oktoberfest Natural Classic was on the top of my list of immediate goals. Some of my other immediate goals were to write at least two blog posts a week, and to read everyday. So, I put the sheet of paper with my goals in the book I would read everyday, so that I would see my goals everyday, read them and find ways to work towards each of them. Especially near the end of my prep, I was doing two 45 minute cardio sessions a day on the stair master LOL That made plenty of time for reading, and visualizing my goals.

It was this drive for my goals that got me through my prep. Every time I felt like giving up, or complaining, I thought “you’ve made it this far Alex, come on! You can do it! First place Figure!” I also talked about my plans, my goals, my prep all the fucking time LOL Pretty sure everyone hated how annoying I was about it, but I was and still am so passionate about this sport! I was so passionate about my goal. It was this passion, my drive to win, and to better myself, that wouldn’t allow me to think about how hard it was, or about stopping. I literally just thought, “well this is the plan, this is what I gotta do to win, so here we go!” I just trusted what Josh asked of me, I knew that if I followed the plan, and did the work, I would be stage ready. Complaining, or crying wouldn’t change the fact that I still needed to put in work to be ready for the stage, so I just didn’t see the point. I just did whatever I could do to be ready because I wanted it that badly!

Now if you’re wondering, why is this so important to her? I don’t get it, it’s just a bodybuilding show? A regional one at that! But if you read my post called “Why do I do Bodybuilding?” You would know that I love this sport because I know that it makes me a better person. It pushes me in all aspects of my life. My ultimate goal is to one day make a career in this sport. I want to be a Pro Figure Athlete, and I want to be paid to do this sport. That is why I am so driven and focused. This show is a stepping stone towards that future. In fact, I am so sure that I have a future in bodybuilding. This future of mine became more and more clear ever since my first show. The more I grew in my off-season, the more I believed I had potential in figure, and during this prep, the more I focused, the harder I worked, the more I knew that this was for me. I just felt it in my gut. I knew that I needed to do the Oktoberfest show, that I needed to be in Figure, and the rest would fall into place. It is this strong belief that I can really make something of myself in this sport that pushed me through the hard times of my prep, and now that it is all over I am so excited for the future! I have already started working on my reverse diet and training. Got my first cardio and training session done today (Thanksgiving Monday), and I have all my reverse diet food packed for tomorrow! This is not a one time thing for me, I take this sport very seriously, and I take myself as an athlete very seriously. This is how I got through my show prep, a very strong belief in myself as an athlete and future pro. I knew that if I could do this prep, I can do anything! And well, here I am! Haha


Figure tall top 3

It is because I take this sport and myself as an athlete so seriously that I was so successful this past year, and when others recognize that, it really makes my day! I appreciate when people compliment how good I look, or my weight loss. But it is when people recognize my hard work, my discipline, athleticism, strength of character, and are inspired by what I do, that’s what really touches my heart and makes me feel extremely proud of what I do! That is what’s important to me. My ultimate goal in life is to foster a strong career in the fitness industry as a pro athlete that motivates and inspires others to better themselves. This show is a step closer to my future goals. Stay tuned guys! Because this is just the beginning of an exciting ride! So buckle up! Because now that I’ve finished my celebrations for the weekend, it is time to refocus and start steam rolling ahead on my personal and professional goals. Watch out world because here I come! Provincials 2015, and so much more lies ahead!


Me and my coach Josh after my show! My hair is messed up LOL but this is the man who helped me make my goals possible and he is the same man who will help me make my dreams come true! I know it 🙂 Awesome Coach and an awesome friend!


Want to feel more Bootylicious but you’re not seeing the results? Here are some reasons why you might not be getting the JLO butt you’re looking for…


Me at my first show November 2014, next weekend is my second show and let’s just say the booty has improved 😛

Lately there has been a huge obsession with booty! Boys and Girls, everyone is liking big butts and they cannot lie LOL Sorry! I had to! Anyway, the problem is, is that there are so many myths and misconceptions on how to make your butt look better. There are also so many products out there on the market that claim to “tone” and “shape” your glutes, or make them look higher, rounder, and so on. Now this is coming from a girl who is quite proud of the junk in her trunk! LOL I would say my booty is one of my selling features hahaha or at least it’s remarkable enough for people to remember me by 😉 So I am here to let you in on a few things that you may not have thought about when trying to achieve fuller, rounder, tighter, glutes.

  1. First of all, if glutes and legs are your main focus you should consider training them at least twice a week. You don’t need to train them everyday, and if you trained them properly you shouldn’t be able to train them everyday when you’re trying to grow them. You should give at least a day in between leg sessions for your legs to rest. recover, and grow. If you’re training legs please stop doing the “30 Day Squat Challenge,” or Donkey Kicks with 3 lb weights doing like a million reps. You may feel the burn doing that, but how many reps in did it take for that to happen? Your butt is a very strong and powerful muscle. Actually, your legs (this includes your glutes) are your strongest and most powerful muscle group! They can take a beating! I mean they hold up your weight all day don’t they? Every time you sit and stand up, or climb stairs your legs are pushing your own body weight. So don’t be afraid to lift heavy with proper form (obviously), and a spotter if needed. Superset your leg workouts, give yourself a good pump. An example of a killer superset would be a reverse hack squat, and then 20 seconds of jump lunges. Basically what I’m trying to tell you is, is that putting a 20 lb barbell on your back and doing squats isn’t really doing much… Don’t waste your time doing extremely low weight exercises. Give your legs a challenge!
  2. However, that being said, there are so many people who cannot squat for the life of them OMFG it kills me inside! You need to get depth in your squat to properly engage your glutes and the rest of your legs. Please, please, please, ask for help first before attempting to squat any weight LOL including body weight. If you know any good trainers, coaches,  or athletes, like a bodybuilder, a powerlifter, or Olympic weight lifters, someone who knows what they’re doing, have them look at your squat. Let them show you how to do it properly, maybe film their squat? Then film yours so you can see the difference? Maybe work with them on several occasions until you’ve gotten the mobility and depth in your squat so that you can start achieving the results you want!
  3. If you want better glutes, you should do more than just squats. If anything, you should really focus on your posterior chain. A lot of people are quad dominant, and their hamstrings and glutes are flat. There are a variety of exercises that are great for focusing on the hamstrings and glutes. Like single leg hamstring curls, lying hamstring curls, stiff leg deadlifts (lift your toes up on plates to really put an emphasis on your hamstrings), glute bridges, cable kickbacks, and more. Like I said before, if you want your glutes to grow then you should have at least two legs days. In the past I’ve done a more quad focused leg day, and on the second day a more posterior chain focused day. You really want to create balance in your legs. Not only because it looks better, but it will help you perform better inside and outside of the gym.
  4. Now that we’ve discussed common training mistakes, there are other factors that need to be considered when trying to grow your glutes that you may never thought of. For example, many people suffer from what is commonly known as Lower Cross Syndrome. This is where the person has weak abdominals, tight hips flexors, tight lower back, and weak glutes. Lower cross syndrome affects a person’s ability to engage their glutes properly. Many times, the person thinks they’re squeezing their glutes and flexing, but really their cheeks are barely coming together, and if they are, it’s not for long. Lower cross syndrome affects the person’s mobility, this is because their tight hips, and back do not allow them to sit properly in a squat, or achieve the depth they need to properly engage their glutes. If you are not able to perform any exercises properly, then how are you able to achieve the results you want to see? In addition, most people who suffer with lower cross syndrome have really tight hamstrings as well. This will only make mobility that much more difficult, as well as glute activation more difficult. If you think you suffer from lower cross syndrome, there are corrective stretches and exercises that need to be performed before you try to build your legs and glutes!
  5. Last but not least, if you want to have a better looking butt you need to consider your body composition as well. If you’re a naturally lanky and lean individual you need to look at your nutrition. If you want your muscles to grow you need to feed them, and if it is difficult for you to put on weight then you really need to increase your caloric intake and make sure that you’re lifting weights accordingly. Ladies, this means you need to disregard the scale a bit here. I’m not saying jump off the deep end and eat all the cake you want. LOL What I’m saying is increase your protein intake, and your carbs as well. Eat clean nutritious sources of carbs like oats, rice, sweet potatoes, and on a really tough leg day feel free to eat a treat. However, you need to earn your calories in the gym, lift heavy, and eat accordingly. Don’t be afraid of getting “fat” if you’re working hard in the gym, and lifting properly then you should feed your body accordingly. If you are over weight for example, you need to bring down your weight and body fat percentage first. This is because you need to be able to see more of the muscle under your fat to know what you’re working with. Dropping your body fat will automatically improve the shape of your glutes. The leaner you are the easier it is to increase your lean mass aka muscle mass. Your butt is a muscle in case you didn’t know, so if you want to improve their shape and size,you either need to increase your caloric intake or clean up your diet so that you can lean out for your butt to shine. Be honest with yourself, and tailor your diet accordingly.

Bulking… some tips to adding on quality muscle and size

So, the other day I posted a blog on weight loss and I got some feedback about wanting some advice on making gains. Since summer is officially over, I can’t think of a better time to talk about bulking. Bulking is basically a building phase, where you put your body under construction, wear all the sweaters, lift heavy, and eat all the calories required to build and maintain strength and size. However, there are some key do’s and don’ts to a successful building phase.

  1. Yes, in a building phase you get to eat more calories, and have a little more fun with your food. However, this does not mean you can go to McDonald’s on a regular basis and say “no worries guys, I’m bulking.” If you’re going to have “dirty” food, make sure that food is earned!! Push yourself in the gym, put on extra weight, go for a few more reps, really get yourself a pump and then go and enjoy something delicious like a burger and donut. You can’t just eat like shit, say you’re bulking and not put the work in at the gym. For example, the day of my birthday during my off-season I decided to do a back day because I knew I would get a bunch of treats that day and I really wanted my back to grow. So I pushed myself super hard, I added on weight to my exercises, pushed for more reps, and got a crazy huge pump! When I got home my mom had delicious treats waiting for me from San Remo Bakery. I had a cannoli, a zeppole, and a tiramisu cup with my protein shake post workout 😛 However, there was no guilt felt there!! It was my birthday and hell I earned it! So much so that when I taught Zumba the next night my lats were still so pumped that they chaffed against my tank top! So what I’m trying to say, is that bulking is not just about eating, and eating whatever you want, it’s about putting in the hard work at the gym so you can justify eating the calories required to grow. Plus the cleaner your bulk food is the better you’ll feel in the long-term.


2. You need to have a goal in mind and you need to have a plan. A building phase is the perfect time to improve on your weaknesses. Find out what areas you want to see the most improvement and then develop a plan of execution on how you’re going to improve those areas. A training plan as well as a plan for how you’re going to eat. Make sure you’re getting enough protein, carbs, and fats to help sustain consistent muscle growth. Figure this out based on how much you weigh and how much you want to grow. Then figure out what numbers your should be hitting for your macro-nutrients in order to make that happen. There are a tone of calorie counters, and resources to figure out the protein amounts in foods like chicken and so on. You need to at least be eating 1 g of protein per pound of body weight. When I first started my bulk phase I was eating just under 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight everyday. Make sure you’re hitting your macros, and try not to go over too much either. At first it may be difficult to get all the food in. This is where protein powder and carb supplements can really come in handy! You may be feeling overwhelmed and don’t worry, I found it a bit overwhelming at first! So ask for help! From someone who has done a successful bulk before, a trainer, or coach. But it is very important that you have a plan for your eating, that you’re not just eating whatever. If you want consistent long-term gains, you need to eat consistently. Hit your numbers everyday and you will be successful in putting on muscle.

3. For me, in my bulk phase, my upper body needed a lot of work. I had a good amount of muscle and shape in the glutes and legs, but my arms, shoulders, and back were quite small. So my coach developed a plan where I would hit all of these areas twice a week. I had a back day, a shoulder day, an arm day, a back and bicep day, a shoulder and triceps day, and a leg day. That was my training split. Just because my legs were not a focus does not mean you should completely forget about them!! Boys I’m talking to you!!! TRAIN YOUR LEGS! No girl wants to date a Johnny Bravo first of all LOL and second, most guys need bigger legs anyway, so it should be a point of focus. Plus training your legs will help to improve your gains!! This is because your legs are your biggest muscle group and they help to stimulate an increase in the hormone testosterone. So have a plan, and don’t forget your legs!

4. REST!! Your body needs proper rest to recover and grow! Make sure you’re getting some good sleep and you’re allowing your body enough time between workouts to recover, So if you’re training back one day, train shoulders, then legs, then back and biceps, and so on. Give yourself at least one day in between training the same muscle group.

5. Alcohol… sorry friends but it really hurts you in the gym. I used to love to party, but once I started bodybuilding I’ve really stopped my drinking. Obviously, I don’t drink at all during prep, but even in the off-season I have really cut my drinking down. Not only does it make you feel like shit the next day if you drink too much, it leaves you tired, and dehydrated. Everything becomes so much harder after a night of drinking! Plus, I would rather save calories and eat them, than just drink them away with alcohol. Alcohol is empty calories, and can really add up quickly on a good night! These empty calories will only pack on the fat, and increase your cravings for McDonald’s! Which will only make you more fat LOL and to top it all off, alcohol makes it more difficult for your body to break down fat and it slows down your metabolism. If this doesn’t convince you to slow your roll, then let me tell you how alcohol will also slow down your gains. This is because alcohol decreases testosterone levels and increase estrogen levels in the body, making it harder for your muscles to grow. Plus your body needs to be fully hydrated for your muscles to contract properly and grow. I can go on, but I won’t. Alcohol is fun, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy a night out once in a while, but if you drink on a very consistent basis then you won’t see the results you would like to see in the gym.

Anyway, I have two weeks left of my prep and then soon enough I’ll be back to the drawing board for another building phase! Woo Hoo! I’m so excited for my upcoming show! It’s my first time doing Figure and I’m so proud of the growth I made over the past year from my last show in bikini! Soon, I’ll be enjoying some wicked post show pumps once some carbs are re-introduced into my life! Haha I can’t wait 😀