Where did HIITSTEP come from?
The workout was developed by various people. We had athletes from Team GB 🇬🇧 who had their input as well. The music we chose for the workout comes from the music we listened to ask we grew up, it’s a bit different but I believe that’s what gives the workout the extra edge. The workout lasts 30 minutes

SMART Way To Achieve Your Goals

It’s January 2019. Does that mean something to you? For some it’s a new beginning, a fresh start. To others it’s just another day. Those who look forward to stellar new beginnings might find that January 1st of each year is exactly what they need. A lot of people use New Years’ Day as the official end of the Christmas season and the start of new or renewed clean eating and exercise goals. The whole “New Year, New You” is what motivates them to start their next 365 days as a new book with fresh, clean pages to fill with their determination and accomplishments.

I too like to look at new beginnings, fresh starts, clean pages and refreshed determination. But do we need a new year to do that, or will any day or time actually work? What’s wrong with today for example? It’s currently Monday at 11:46 am. Isn’t this moment a great moment to start? It absolutely is! Who’s to say that this particular morning, someone woke up feeling like crap. They ate a high sugar breakfast and had a caffeine, sugar and fat loaded latte on their way to work…and still felt like crap. This exact moment might be the “Aha moment” they needed to say, “Starting with lunch I am NOW on a mission to stop feeling bloated, low energy, overweight and exhausted.” They might opt for a salad with lean protein for that lunch, plan a healthy soup for dinner and set a date to go for a walk with their sister in the evening. That’s just a grand of a kick start as New Years’ Day in my books!

Any day and any time is the perfect way to begin, as long as you begin! Yes, for those of us who like the stellar starting point….celebrate it and do everything you can to commit and crush it! For those who are just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, well they can do it on any day or time that the idea sinks in for them.  The whole thing is to do it!  Once started, never lose sight of your goals. Dig deep. Figure out what you truly want, and write them down. As a wish that is thought about is merely a dream, but once written down and dedicated to, it becomes a goal.

The most important part is HOW you do it, and something to consider is the SMART system. Is your goal specific enough?  What exactly is it you want to accomplish? For example, do you want to just lose some weight, or have you got it down to a specific amount of weight or inches?  Is your goal measurable? Use something as a unit of measure here….either weight, inches or percentages work for reducing your body size. Maybe your goal is to exercise 4x/week. That is measureable as well. Is your goal achievable? So many people fall into a trap of setting impossible goals, and then feel they have let themselves down by not completing it. For those who want to run a marathon by spring when they are starting with their first jog ever tomorrow morning….well, that likely isn’t achievable. Start with smaller goals, like a 5km by spring….and work up to that marathon in stages. Is your goal relevant? Not all goals have a high level of relevance, so it only has to be relevant to you. No one else has to get it….but you do, so make sure it truly matters or you’ll end up giving up. Is your goal Timed out? Are you taking this journey to be lean and fit for your wedding in 6 months or your school’s 25th reunion next fall? Pick a goal date you would like to achieve this by. But don’t forget….that date has to be realistic. Don’t expect to accomplish it in 2 weeks, or even 3 months. Always consider the depth of your goal.

Find a source for accountability. Whether it’s scheduling workouts in, a weekly cooking class, or regular food journal check-ins with a friend, sister or nutritionist, make sure you show up! It’s a great way to stay dedicated to your goal. Hire a professional to give you guidance. Whether that’s a certified Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Counselor or Life Coach. They are trained to teach you structure and provide tips on how to understand the concepts surrounding your journey.

Three Weight Loss Tips for the Busy Women


  1. Make your own food. Life is busy and often unpredictable, I totally understand that. I know it takes time to purchase and prep food, but in those times of busyness, maintaining healthy eating is often based on what is available. Remember the quote, “By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.”  Whether it’s part of a week day, or a Saturday or Sunday, choose a time that fits in your week for you to pre-make a few healthy whole food items. It might include filling your oven with trays of chicken, fish filet, diced potatoes and vegetables. You have 2 racks in there……use them both at the same time!  Have a bucket of mixed greens, a cucumber, a few carrots and a loaf of bread on hand. Whether eating at home or packing to take to work, you can make about 8 healthy, wholesome meals out of this. 
  • Drink water over all else. We already know that water is vital to life. If you are not drinking enough water, what are you consuming in place of it? Coffee? Tea? Juice? Pop? Iced tea? Snapple or fruit punch? Wine? Try to aim for 75% of your intake of fluids to be water. I’m not saying don’t have your coffee or tea in the morning! I would personally never want to skip my coffee! However, it is very easy to consume high calorie beverages that have minimal nutritional value in place of water that will add on pounds. An easy way to insure that you start out on the right foot, put a bottle of water at your bedside. As soon as you sit up in the morning, drink 10-15 gulps. You now have started your day with hydrating your body. Continue throughout the day taking sips BEFORE you feel thirsty. Trust me, your body will thank you for that!

Move your body. So your little ones have you running around the house all day. AWESOME! Movement is movement, and it’s all good! Try adding little rounds of squats, push-ups, planks and lunges into all that running around.



It’s Okay to Need Some Disconnect!

Healthy tip #5 is to just tap out! Sometimes it’s okay to say, “No” to an invitation. Not every event needs to be attended, especially if you are reaching your overstimulation limit. If you feel you can’t be absent from anything, then make sure you choose some time to disconnect and de-compress, however that looks like for you. Maybe you choose to shut off your phone and computer, take a walk under a star filled night, do a yoga class, soak in a hot lavender induced bubble bath with a book, or just lie down on the floor and breathe. Everyone has their personal limit, so listen to your body (including your mind) and learn what yours is!

So there you are! Five tips to help keep you and your family healthy over the Christmas holiday. On behalf of LiV Personal Training Studio and Nutrition By Shirley, we extend you and your loved ones a very safe, fun filled and Merry Christmas, and that the year ahead rings in with joy, love and lots of blessings!


Move, Move, Move!

Healthy tip #4 is to get up and MOVE! Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean we have to sit on our butts the whole time! Maybe plan a walk every morning, or a workout at the gym. Gather your family together and go cut down your Christmas tree. Go for a hike, have a bonfire out back, co-ordinate a dance challenge after dinner….or just pull out Twister and do some stepping, reaching and twisting. The holidays need to include more movement, so find a way to bring it in, and have fun with it!


Never Show up EMPTY HANDED!

Healthy tip #3 is all about your next social gathering. You might still be feeling a bit full and bloated from the last 3 you attended this week already! You are really trying to keep your eating clean, but it’s just so darn hard! The food is so rich, and there’s so much of it! An easy solution for this is to insist on bringing a contribution to the meal. I always strive to bring a non-starchy vegetable dish or fruit platter. This way it insures there is something to eat that won’t leave you feeling like you just downed another load of heavy seasonal treats. And the amazing thing was, I wasn’t the only one who appreciated it!


Know the power of PROTEIN!

Healthy tip #2 is regarding the stuff that’s main job is to repair your body…..delicious protein! At this time of year there tends to be a lot of visiting and eating going on, and it frequently include a LOT of carbohydrates, especially starchy ones like delicious baked goods, potato and squash dishes…..and the beloved stuffing! Let’s not forget the desserts, chocolate and hot apple cider! All of these festive treats break down to sugar quite quickly. I can see how easy it is to consume a lot of these though, they are all quite delicious!  By adding protein you are bringing a bit of balance to your meals, and repair to your insides. Protein also helps slow down the digestion process, which will help you feel full longer. Your options are endless….turkey, beef, eggs, yogurt and tofu to just list a few. Make sure your meals are complete by adding one of these.


You are what you….DRINK!

Healthy tip #1 is regarding the beverages you are consuming! Start your day with a tall glass of water, as soon as your feet touch the ground. We often are dehydrated upon waking, so to nip this in the bud right off the hop…..start sipping on some good ol’ H2O! You can add lemon or lime to add a burst of flavour!

When we get busy with our day we often forget to drink enough water, as we often opt for coffee, tea, pop, eggnog, or in the case of the holidays…..alcohol. Remember that water is the #1 BEST beverage for you. All the others contain caffeine, chemicals, sugar, artificial sweeteners and alcohol. All of these are fine in small amounts, but water is pure and calorie free. Consuming it as herbal tea is also an option. How do you know if you have consumed enough? A general guide is take how much you weigh in pounds, divide that in half, and drink that amount in ounces. And remember, your urine should be pale yellow and odour-free…..another easy indicator you can use.

Don’t Be Discouraged


Recently a client (let’s call her Andrea) commented to me that she accomplished a 25 km bike ride along a local recreational trail. She was so happy and felt incredibly accomplished, as the turnaround spot is at the very top of a very long and grueling hill. She proudly posted a comment about this on her facebook page to share her success! She told me her joy was so short lived as right after her post she noticed 2 other women posted they did 80 and 100km respectively on the same day. Andrea felt so defeated, fearing that her progress was too slow and was asking me what the point was?

I quickly responded, saying the other 2 had likely been riding longer, maybe had better quality bikes and maybe had more spare time than she has to invest in training. All of these are factors in someone’s result. This is exactly why we need to stop looking at other peoples’ goals as a marker for our own success. Andrea started riding in late spring of this year. She has young children and runs a business. She has been giving her all to improving her fitness level and health, and I thought how sad is it that her joy was deflated the moment she saw others do more than her.

Goals are a personal thing. Yes, sometimes we join a group to complete a goal together. But still, each person sets out on their own path to accomplish what they set ahead for themselves. I’m sure the other 2 gals have no idea that their successes that day negatively affected Andrea’s purpose or confidence. And they likely would have encouraged her to keep pushing forward. To not give up. Because they likely too were in her shoes when they were within the first few months of a new challenge.

This was such a clear reminder to me that we always need to put in our best effort when working on accomplishing our goals. We need to keep it in perspective of where we began, where we are going, and to celebrate every accomplishment along the way.

We also have to remember that there are always people ahead and behind us. Don’t be afraid to aspire towards some of those ahead of you, and don’t let their accomplishments devalue your own. Remember as well, to look back, giving support and encouragement to those who aren’t as far along as you are. You know how they feel because you’ve been there.  It’s great to accomplish goals. It’s great to feel successful, but most of us start with humble beginnings. And, thanks to Lao Tzu we know a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.