Archive | January, 2012

The Model Regression

20 Jan

A couple of weeks ago I decided it would be a good idea to watch part of the Victoria Secret fashion show. Instead of leaving me envious of the models the show left me feeling hungry. I figured I might be able to feed the models through osmosis so I had some ice cream … don’t think that works.

Here are the three most popular angels right now at a swimwear launch. I mean come on! Eat a sandwich and do some burpees!

The twig-thin ideal was famously launched by Twiggy in the 1960s. From there supermodels’ sizes have gone up and down.

For awhile in the modeling world it seemed like role models were starting to get back on track…
















And by the looks of things now we’re in a model weight regression.

I have many female clients who are absolutely gorgeous and still think they need to lose weight despite being underweight for their height. It’s just nuts!

I must admit it has taken me 23 years to get comfortable with my body and appreciate it for what it is. Now I focus on physical function and less on appearance. In the words of my wise dad, “life isn’t a dress rehearsal”. With this in mind I appreciate what my body does for me on a daily basis and love it for that. It’s no use spending time dwelling on our body image woes, life’s too short and ice cream is too sweet! Exercise and eat clean (90% of the time!) and your body will love you for that.

Best Places to Buy Workout Clothes in Toronto

19 Jan

My life requires that I’m in spandex 24-7. And I LOVE it!

After years of research I think I’ve nailed down some great places to get workout clothes in Toronto.

1. One Hot Tamale

I can’t believe I’m giving away my top store secret here – this place is a little gem.

I get tons of compliments on their unique designs. I love their tops, very fun bright colours with great style to their cuts.

I have the shirt pictured here and love wearing it with my bright pink spandex pants! Woooo hoooo fitness!!



2. Joe Fresh

The prices at Joe Fresh are unbeatable and their active stuff is super cute!

It’s great to have some workout options that don’t break the bank. Especially if you’re doing the majority of your workouts outside with the Bod Squad!

Located at Loblaws SuperCentres across Canada.


3. The Gap

Like Joe Fresh, really reasonable pricing – especially on sale! I like Gap’s active section because it’s dressed up basics.

Their lounge wear is also incredibly soft for a post workout option!

60 Bloor St W



4. Sporting Life

This Toronto activewear giant has been around forever! My sister Lindsay used to work here actually!

I love Sporting Life because you know it will have what you’re looking for. There’s free parking and generally the people are pretty helpful.

In the summer they have great shoe sales that are good to watch out for!

Also, the annual Sporting Life 10k is my favourite Toronto race!

2665 Young Street

5. Lululemon

I can’t do a Toronto activewear post without including Lululemon. Talk about a great Canadian success story!

I love their clothing, it is basically my uniform.

Also, gentlemen please note this is a picture of Tom Brady wearing Lulus … if he can do it so can you!

130 Bloor Street W




Mayor Rob Ford’s Weight Loss – Owning it!

18 Jan

Yesterday our 330 lb Mayor Rob Ford, kicked off his “Cut the Waist” weight loss campaign challenge.

Rob Ford and his brother both pledge to lose 50 lbs by June 18th, 2012. I think that this is a realistic goal, losing 2 lbs per week is an achievable target. He will need to have the right team behind him and really up his output and cut back on his admitted nightly ice cream routine – I do feel for the guy here, ice cream is also my weak point.

Media outlets and individuals have been very harsh on Ford for launching this campaign. Hours after the campaign was launched his website was hacked. The website encourages participants to pledge $$ to their chosen charity for every pound the Fords lose. Hackers created joke charities, such as “save the libraries” and pledged their donations.

For some reason these hackers really got to me. Weighing yourself in front of an entire city takes huge gusto. Rob Ford, like 30% of Canadians, is obese. He’s taken the first step to changing this by publicly owning the fact that he has a problem and that he plans to do something about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been a huge Rob Ford fan. But this weight loss challenge has allowed me to see him in a different light. I hope he’s successful, carrying the weight of Toronto on his shoulders is enough of a challenge! I couldn’t imagine doing the job with 100ish excess pounds on my frame. Business tycoon, Sir Richard Branson apparently agrees with me here.

In Branson’s book “Losing my Virginity” Branson is asked in an interview about his productivity secrets. Branson said the single most important factor in his daily productivity is unequivocally working out.

So good luck Mayor Ford! I’m looking forward to your two-fold increase in productivity. Maybe once you’ve completed this challenge we can get a better subway!

Barefoot Running – Bogus?

17 Jan

I was first introduced to the concept of barefoot running in October 2006. At the time I was part of Western’s Triathlon Club and I was looking to make new friends. When the coach suggested we ditch our sneakers I didn’t want to be the odd one out so off came my shoes! I quickly realized October was perhaps not the best month to trial this technique. BRRRRRRRRR! The good news was my toes numbed quickly.

At first I felt like a gazelle, leaping through nature, wondering why I had never done this before – and then my calves provided an answer. OUCH! The total naked foot run time was 15 minutes. The pain in my calves lasted for days afterward, almost as long as the dirt stuck on the bottom of my feet.

The hype about barefoot benefits calmed down for a couple of years. Then out came these freaky looking shoes, Vibram Five-Fingers…

Neat looking, yes. But, will running barefoot do more harm than good?

“The Barefoot Professor,” Harvard University biologist Daniel Lieberman, published a study in the journal Nature in 2010. Lieberman used high-speed cameras shooting 500 frames per second and found that that experienced barefooters hit the ground very gracefully “[Experienced Barfooters] are like an airplane coming in for a landing; they have no impact at all.”

The trouble I have with Lieberman’s research is that his sample group was comprised of Harvard athletes; not your average human specimen.

For more on Lieberman checkout this excellent video by the MD himself!

Pretty interesting stuff eh?!

BUT barefoot running is not for everyone! In my experience the transition from shoes to no shoes can be extremely painful, especially if you start with too much barefoot running too quickly.

If you do want to try barefoot out I recommend looking at a shoe like the Nike Free. A barefoot shoe, yes, but not as high on the barefoot scale as the Vibrams.

I wear the Frees on my interval runs now and I love them. Keep in mind though, I’ve been running for 10+ years, I have relatively perfect feet as far as runners are concerned (no over supination or pronation, good arches) and I’m also a lightweight runner. The Frees are as close to naked as my feet will ever get again. No more October freezing feet sessions for me!

Bottom Line: For the majority of my clients I do not recommend barefoot running. Shoes were invented for a reason! If you’re going to try start with a model like the Frees and alternate running days with your old trainers. You need to gradually build your way up to comfortable and effective barefoot running!

Interval Running Playlist

16 Jan

I LOVE interval running.

Intervals have been proven to burn up to 9x more fat overtime than continuous running training.

If intervals are not part of your regular routine, you’re wasting your time!

For those of you who are new to intervals, a great way to inspire you to pick up the pace is to have some really great, fast music to follow along to.

Honestly, anything Madonna gets me to move my groove thang … but below shows some balance! Here is one of my favourite interval running playlists:

1. More Water – Zoelah

2. Edge of Glory – Lady GaGa

3. One (know your name) – Sweedish House Mafia

4. Hung Up – Madonna

5. Don’t Let Me Get Me – Pink

6. Escapade – Janet Jackson

7. Forever – Chris Brown

8. Crazy – Alanis Morissette


New York Times Debate: Can Yoga Wreck your Body?

11 Jan

The New York Times recently ran an article called, “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body”. The Times Interviewed Glenn Black, a yoga teacher of nearly four decades, whose devoted clientele includes a number of celebrities and prominent gurus. The article points out the fact that yoga can harm as well as heal. This statement seems to incite many yogis around the globe.

Summed up: The Times suggests that the intricate architectures of yoga poses are potentially destructive if the body is unconscious of its own blind spots or minor injuries.

My Two Cents: I believe this argument can be made for any type of physical activity. Whether it be a new runner who pushes their stride length out just a little too much and tears their hamstring, or a first time step class participant who improperly judges the height of their stepper and face plants into their mat. Yoga is no exception to general exercise.

Guru Black believes that, “yoga is for people [already] in good physical condition.. It’s controversial to say, but it really shouldn’t be used for a general class.” He makes an interesting argument here. When Yoga was invented 3,000 years ago, human beings were living very differently than the majority of us are now. Contrary to the popular paleo diet our lives now pose different demands and therefore have different exercise and dietary needs. News Flash: We are no longer cavemen. We therefore shouldn’t crave out an hour or two a week of our lives pretending like we still are. Most people after a yoga class will go back to their offices or homes and sit for hours, later they will likely go to the grocery store or down the street for dinner instead of hunting for it. Instead of only doing a yoga class here and there we would be better off working on general fitness before attempting some of the more difficult postures.
I agree with Black here: yoga for beginners, on it’s own without a general fitness base, could be harmful without proper instruction. Yoga is very difficult to do properly, the instructor plays a major role in the safety and enjoyment of a class. As I have become more fit over the years I’ve noticed more benefits from my yoga practice then when I started. It took me about a year of practice to actually understand the nuances of each posture and I don’t think I’ll ever master it! With yoga, the devil is certainly in the details.

Bottom Line: Yoga is a great addition to a training regime but it is important to mix it in and have other sources of exercise to create a balanced, injury-free, beautiful body.

If this video doesn’t inspire you to get fit and do yoga nothing will!

Here are some FREE Yoga class video links that I like to do when I can’t get to a class.

When you are at home resist the temptation to have your blackberry on your mat, I’ve tried and it’s totally throws off your chi!

Go Global!

10 Jan

When I was 8 years old Whoopie Goldberg had some great advice for me in Sister Act 2. She told me that, “If when you wake up in the morning and you can’t think of anything but singing first, than you’re suppose to be a singer girl.”

When I wake up in the morning the absolute first thing I think about is training. That is my truth and I’m going after it, so should you!

Ask yourself, like Whoopie asked me – what’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?

Is it…

Fashion, “what will I wear today?”

Travel, “when’s my next trip to South East Asia?”

Food, “what’s for dinner tonight?”

Unicorns … I can’t help there!

Whatever it is start to listen to that voice now and go for it! Don’t wait until you’re 65 to start doing what you want with your life – let’s start now.

Following my passion wholeheartedly is not easy. Some days (like yesterday, having a camera crew in my apartment with an hours notice) passion hunting can be down right nerve-racking!

I know firsthand following a dream is difficult because the thought of failure is just devastating. But what I know will make me successful, and those of you that follow your passion, is the fact that failing just is not an option, I care way too much and so will you.

Finding your passion is the key to finding your life. Start small – listen to that morning voice and sister act on it!

My 10 seconds of fame!