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Fitness Friday: Christmas Eve Edition

Merry Christmas Eve!! Today we are talking about fitness. Christmas style.

Thankfully, my family understands that fitness is a huge part of my life. I mean, it is my job after all.

Even more, I have people who are willing to workout out with me! Such as…

  • Going to spin class with my dad
  • Long walks with my mom
  • Hot yoga with my best friend
  • Running with my sister

It’s hard to stay on top of exercise when travelling with family, so that’s why I like to rope my loved ones into it with me ;) It’s a great way to get them motivated and moving, but also a wonderful bonding experience.

Of course, we are all on vacation here too. Perhaps a some “lighter” activity is required as well. Such as…

Walking the dog.


Making meat pies with your mom.



Baking cookies, like these snickerdoodles.



Wrapping gifts.



Protecting your food from ravenous canines.



Cooking a turkey.



Picking people up from the airport.



Cautiously rolling desserts up in towels.



Hugging your family.


Decorating the house.



Making the rounds to all of your Nana’s snack trays and dishes.



And laughing. A lot. Especially at the ridiculous flowered hankerchief my mother put on this MALE poodle. He thinks he’s so pretty ;)




191 Days.

For 24 years I always lived in my home province of New Brunswick. Population: 730,000.

I grew up in a town of 16,000 people.

In high school I moved to a city of 100,000.

At 18 years of age, I moved to a city of 60,000. It was a mere 160km away, or a 90 minute drive.

Six months ago I moved to Toronto, 1200km away and home to 5.5 million.

It’s been 191 days since I was last home to my small Atlantic province. The longest I’ve gone in all my 24 years.


After 6 months away in a bustling urban centre, I thought my small home city would seem too dull. Too small. Too ugly.

But you know what? It’s still home.


It’s where my mom’s raunchy sense of humour is.


My favourite furry poodle and wet poodle nose (who still busts through my door at 7am every morning).


It’s where you fall into conversations with people walking their dogs along trails.


Where you can go anywhere and see a familiar face.


A place where you don’t have to fight your way through the sidewalks, but go at your own pace.


Where baristas take your order without a snooty face.


Where bacon is always fully stocked in my mother’s fridge. Perfect for maple bacon oatmeal with fried eggs.


Along with the expensive ezekiel bread I love but can’t afford.


Home is where even after torturously bathing and clipping my dog, he’s still ready to be my best friend a mere 15 minutes after being dried.


It’s where the haddock is fresh and flavourful.


And lobster rolls are a weeknight dinner.


My friends and co-workers in Toronto keep asking me if I’m actually going back after Christmas because I miss my hometown in the Maritimes so much.

The answer is yes, I’ll reluctantly return. But I’m now officially back to plotting operation Grand Theft Poodle.

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Not Your Typical Anniversary

Hello friends! I hope everyone had wonderful weekends! Mine was pretty good actually! The highlights:

  • Meeting everyone doing the Santa Shuffle at the running store this weekend
  • Doing my first sub-freezing run of the season (it was slow)
  • Drinking whiskey and watching a game of beer pong
  • Going to my first Bikram yoga class! (review coming in a couple weeks once I get the full experience – promise!)

You will have to bare with me today, as I will not be yammering about nutrition for the Food For Thought Sundays series. It will continue next week – double promise!

Today, December 5th, is actually a bit of an anniversary for me and I wanted to take pause to acknowledge it.

Exactly one year ago today, I worked my last shift at the radio station. It’s an important day for me because it was the beginning of so many changes and wonderful things that started happening in my life.

For those of you catching up, it’s good to know that I wasn’t always a personal trainer living in Toronto!

After getting a Journalism and Communications degree in the spring of ‘09, I accepted a full-time position as a radio reporter. I loved working at that radio station throughout university, loved the people, and in theory was the best job for me. But once I was there permanently, I got that gut feeling I was in the wrong place. My heart was pulling me in another direction and I quickly became miserable in the city I once loved as a college student.

After crying to my mother one night, she convinced to just set a date already and stick to it. That date was December 5th. I left the station’s doors with almost three years of great memories and learned experiences. I left what had defined me for so long. I had no idea what lied ahead. No clue what my future “career” would be or how I would make enough money to live.

I worked at a Starbucks for three weeks until I got offered an amazing job out of the blue at my old university.

Not even a week after I started this new job, my four-year relationship ended. I never blogged about it much, but it was another huge adjustment.

My university job was only a four-month contract. I loved it and it was the type of environment I could see myself being in for a long time. But I was still getting that pull. I knew I needed to get out of my small city and experience life elsewhere.

I made a decision I never thought possible, to move away from my home and family and come to Canada’s biggest city.

When my contract was up in April, I packed up my car and moved home for a month.

I’m not sure if my family knows it, but that month spent at home was hands down the best I’ve had in recent memory. A psychic once told my mom that her and I could grow old together, so it was imperative she get me out of the house or else I’d never leave!

So even though we both sobbed when I left, my mom and I knew I was off to live the life I was meant to. To experience, adventure, and act my age again.

That included a life-changing week in Banff, Alberta.


Followed by two weeks in Ottawa with my sister. We’ve now lived more years apart than together, but I feel like I left that trip with a much deeper sisterly bond.


Then, in July, I arrived to a Toronto heat wave.

Got a full-time job as a personal trainer where I am honestly blessed with the most amazing clients and space to work in.

Got a part-time job in a running store where I spend all day talking about running with runners. And eating candy.

I re-connected with university friends and met new friends through blogging.

I’m in a city that never sleeps. A constant hub of activity with never a dull moment.

I went to Chicago to meet 200 other healthy living bloggers.


I went to San Francisco to meet 400 other food bloggers.

In short, I’ve done things I never imagined possible from my little Fredericton bachelor apartment.

Leaving the radio station was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. It was more than a job to me. After so many years of hard work, it felt bizarre to just throw journalism away.

But I learned something very valuable that day, one year ago.

If you want something to change, you have to initiate it.

Happiness wasn’t going to fall into my lap. I had to make a lot of tough choices in order to find it. I just had the best year of my life, and none of it would have happened had I never had the guts to take that first step. Once I set that date, it put everything else into motion. It got the ball rolling. My life has been nothing but rich, fulfilling, and amazing ever since.

The best part is, a year into this adventure, and I know I still have more left :)

Pssst! This is your last chance! I’m doing a special giveaway tomorrow open ONLY to Facebook friends. Are you one yet?