February 2015:

We always wait for the moment we are “ready” to begin our fitness journey. However, many people who are successful in the fitness industry, warn others who may be starting out that one can never fully be ready for such a commitment and lifestyle change. I have to agree. No matter how much research we do, we will never be fully ready to jump right in.

February 2015 was when I decided to cancel my membership at GoodLife Fitness, and get into a one year contract at a new gym that appealed to Bodybuilders. Let me tell you, it was scary walking into a gym full of fitness enthusiasts and people who all seemed to have figured it out. The one thing we all had in common: the desire to push our limits. The reason why I chose this gym, was for the simple reason that I wanted to be inspired. I wanted to be surrounded by people who were going to motivate me.

Since I had already decided that I wasn’t ever just going to be “ready”, I chose to do as much as I can in the beginning. I changed gyms, I hired an online personal trainer, I had a schedule of being in the gym 6 days a week, and I was setting up goals. My first goal was to lose some weight before my trip to Cuba in April 2015.

Personal Training:

For $175.00/month, I was receiving a meal plan and a gym routine. My meals were pretty simple, but also very plain. I had typical things like:

  • egg whites
  • fish
  • chicken
  • broccoli
  • brown rice
  • oats

on my meal plan. Oh, and veggies – lot’s of veggies! My training schedule was difficult to the point I didn’t know if I could maintain such a routine. I was serious about my fitness this time, and I wanted to do it right. In the past, when I lost weight on my own, I didn’t educate myself. I did the typical things most of us resort to:

  • detox’s
  • low calorie and low carb diets
  • weight loss pills

….you name it, and I did it! This time I wanted it to be different. I wanted to ensure the weight not only stayed off, but that it stayed off in a healthy way!

My trainer at the time had just given birth to a beautiful, healthy, baby girl. So as you can imagine, she didn’t have much time to constantly answer my questions, my concerns and help me in the educating process. So, within one to two months, I chose to part ways.

During those 2 months, I can’t say that I lost much weight. If I recall, I may have lost 5lbs (maybe even less). However, this was due to my nutrition intake. I figured that since I was training 6 days a week, I didn’t have to be so careful with food/beverage consumption. All of that hard work in the gym…was for what?

Cuba – April 7, 2015

My girlfriend and I decided to take a trip to Varadero, Cuba for 7 days. It was much needed. When the time came, I was very disappointed that I hadn’t felt more confident, that I hadn’t lost much weight – and all because I couldn’t stick to my meal plan. But, I wasn’t going to let that ruin my trip.

Here is a picture of me on my trip to Cuba:

It may appear that I was happy in this picture, but I was plastering a smile on my face because I figured

“fake it ’til you make it”

I’ve kept many of these memories hidden, out of reach of the web (until recently).

The Following Months

I got home from my trip to Cuba, looked back at my pictures and felt the same feelings I felt back in October 2014. I was tired. Tired of feeling this way. I re-evaluated my goals, I set up a plan, and I was going to execute it.

I stuck to a routine in the gym where I trained 6 days a week. I did approximately 50% weight lifting, and 50% steady state cardio. I was determined to change my life around for the better, so I was trying to take everything I may have known about fitness, and applied it.


I ate relatively healthy during the week, and I had about 2 “cheat days” per week. There was absolutely no holding back when it came to “cheating”. The funny thing about all of this, was that throughout these ten months, I never counted calories. I never looked at a label, I never did my research on foods or beverages. I was careless.

Steve is the one who slowly started teaching me about labels, about ingredients and about what I should look out for. Once I started doing that, that’s when it all made sense. I wasn’t progressing because I was over consuming by A LOT.

Importance of label reading

Food Comparison

Here’s a perfect example of the importance of label reading:

Smart Popcorn:

  • Serving size = 28g
  • Calories per serving size = 160
    • Fat = 10g
    • Carbohydrates = 14g
    • Protein = 3g


  • Serving size = 28g
  • Calories per serving size = 140
    • Fat = 8g
    • Carbohydrates = 16g
    • Protein = 2g

So for comparison sake, and relativeness to this blog, it’s normal for a non-educated person to pick Smart Popcorn over Doritos (as a snack). Why? Because Smart Popcorn makes one immediately assume that it’s the better option (caloric wise) between that and Doritos. In reality, they are equally as bad. There you have it,  a little bit of perspective on the importance of label reading!

Every single day, Monday – Friday, I would stop at Tim Hortons and get the following for breakfast:

  • 1 large French vanilla half coffee (with 2 cream and 2 sugar)
    • 345 calories
      • 13.5g fat
      • 48.5g carbs
      • 5g protein
  • 1 breakfast B.E.L.T
    • 570 calories
      • 26g fat
      • 65g carbs
      • 24g protein
  • 1 chocolate chip or blueberry muffin
    • 410 calories
      • 16g fat
      • 62g carbs
      • 5g protein

That alone has a whopping 1325 calories, and I had absolutely NO idea. On top of this, it would happen very often that I struggled with uncontrollable cravings. We had a little café in our building at work, where they served every pastry you can think of in addition to chocolate, candy, chips – you name it, you found it. I always justified my cravings. Here are some justifications:

  • I worked really hard – I deserve it
  • It’s only one treat
  • I’m stressed out, so I deserve it
  • I’ve lost 1lb this week, I deserve it
  • I forgot my snack at home, I’m hungry

The funny thing about these “justifications” is that they never ever seem to stop. I always felt like I deserved it, I always told myself it was just once; however, once you get a taste of something, you usually crave it even more. There comes a point where you just need to stop!

After my trip to Cuba, my next goal was to have a beach body by the second weekend of August. Every year for Steve’s birthday, a bunch of friends get together and head to the cottage for the weekend. I wanted 2015 to be the year where I felt confident enough to wear a bikini without having to hide my body. I wanted to fit in with all the other girls.

After setting this goal, things seemed do-able. Steve and I supported each other both in the gym and when it came down to food. However, from April 2015 – August 2015, I lost less than 5lbs. Why?

Because I wasn’t staying consistent

especially when it came to nutrition!

We went to the cottage in August and it was a blast! However, I spent most of my weekend covered up, even while on the lake! When you take a step back and you look at the last 10 months (February 2015 – November 2015), it can be an eye opener. In those 10 months, I had many goals and many wasted opportunities. I now had two choices:

  1. Dust yourself off, find the problem, and find a solution
  2. Give up. Your goal for 2015 didn’t pan out, so save it for 2016 instead

I chose option #1. I found the problem, and I was about to land on that solution!

Find out more in my next blog!

Roxanne (instagram: myjourney2fitness89)