Archive for A Healthy Lifestyle Blog

Sometimes You Need A Push!

I’ve had a lot of people telling me recently that I’m looking great and are asking if I train everyday and for how long but I want to set some things straight: yes, I do workout everyday, I only work out about 1 – 2 hours, and above all I love to do nothing with the rest of my day.

When I say that I love to do nothing- I mean if I could lay in a blanket all day I would. Before I wrote this I was currently binging on Netflix. What I hope I can make clear is that changing your lifestyle doesn’t have to be a big change.

For me, my biggest challenge was that I needed to stop buying food that would make me feel bad about myself and start buying food that would fuel me. My motto is, “if I don’t have those bad foods in my house, I won’t eat them”.

My “big” change that I made was getting my tired butt out of bed an hour earlier if I had to work, or just do the damn workout first thing on my day off. I understand that to some people, that might actually feel like a huge change and implementing this cold-turkey method is daunting- trust me it is- but one day the light will go off from “needing” to change to “wanting” to.

It’s hard; I know. For myself, it took years until my light finally clicked and I haven’t looked back. All my life I struggled with my weight, self confidence, and my overall health daily. I would yo-yo between not eating enough to eating far too much; worst of all I would never eat the right foods for me.

Before I started my daily workout (and by daily, it is usually only an hour), I would take a dance class every single morning then go to the gym for far too long to try and make myself feel better to maintain my weight; coupling this routine with eating horrible foods made me feel horrible. Most days I HATED doing it but I didn’t know there was any other way to help me stay healthy.

My husband has always supported my insane ideas about working out, but he was blessed with a freakishly fast metabolism and can eat whatever he wants. He never has to think about what he eats before it burns right off of his body. Myself on the other hand, well I  have to chalk it up to another hour at the gym. We used to meal prep heavily to make up for his metabolism but this meant that I was eating the wrong foods (and frankly too much of them).

What I decided then was that I wanted to push for a change; luckily my husband was there to eat the remains of our junk food. Small changes (like not buying junk food) does not have to be a leap off of a cliff!

Slow and steady wins the race and you are your only competitor.

Start with one thing in your life that you know is bad for you- say you have a can of coke a day or you like an extra scoop of sugar in your coffee- try one less a week and see how you feel. Don’t be afraid to try that substitution- try a bag of baby carrots and dip instead of chips. The message here is to not starve yourself from nutrition or deprive yourself from necessities: make the changes that are within your reach one at a time. Tell yourself: slow and steady wins the race.

A good friend of my replaced his daily Pepsi intake with water for one month and has since lost almost 20 pounds. That one small change impacted his entire perspective on what he is capable all from doing that one thing.

If tackling your diet isn’t something that you’re ready for, try your fitness. Have you considered the stairs verses the elevator? Adding in those small changes can make the world of difference. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results the day after you implemented something; wait. Give your body about two weeks before you start to analyze it.

Small changes guys.

These changes have changed my life but I’m also doing this FOR A LIFE. I want to travel, I want to dance, I want to live a long life with my husband Matthew and not worry about later. I haven’t taken anything out of my everyday life that brings me joy though. I still sing too loud, dance when I get ready, paint pictures for my walls, and watch way too much Netflix. I will still say yes when I want to treat myself to burger once in a while but it’s nothing that I can’t live without. I still live my same life, only I have made healthier choices; all one by one.

 

If you start with just ten minutes a day, that’s ten minute more than yesterday. I just take one hour or less out of my day to work out and make smart choices in my meals.

 

THAT’S IT.

 

The rest of the day is mine.

 

So Netflix, stop asking me if I am still watching- YES!

 

Everyone’s path is different and I can’t stress that enough. So you need to decide what works for you and if you need to or want to, then let’s talk.

 

Treat Yo’ Self

I’ve been thinking a lot about rewards lately. And not just with fitness.

Whenever I did thing something “hard” or accomplish something, I used to think “Ah! This deserves a cupcake!” (Sorry I use cupcakes all the time guys, I LOVE THEM) Then I would eat said cupcake and it would all be over in 5 minutes (or less if I shoved the whole thing in my mouth).

But why does it always have to be food?

When I changed my diet last year, I didn’t let myself cheat AT ALL for the first few months. I couldn’t trust myself. I knew if I had a little piece of cake or a Richmond Station Burger (DROOL), I knew I’d fall back off. So how was I going to reward myself when I measured myself and lost a half inch in my waist?

I decided that I was going to make a reward Goal. If I lost 2.5 inches in my waist, at least 1 in my hips (the hardest place for me to lose) and 1 inch in my chest and thighs, then I would go out and buy myself a new outfit(s).

And that’s what I did!

2 Months later, I went shopping I bought 3 dresses and a couple of tops. And the best part? The shirts were a size small and everything else was a medium! (I was a large or or more before) I still have those dresses today and still love the way I look in them 🙂

blog pic2

This is one of the dresses! (Matt’s favourite)

Blog pic1

And this is another one of them! I LOVE how bright it is 🙂

When I started 80 Day Obsession, I didn’t really think about rewards. I just jumped in. But after the first week, I saw a lot of progress in my strength and began thinking of what would push me harder.

The problem is, with so many successes, I don’t have the money to go shopping all the time!

So I decided on a long term reward. This may not work for some people but I think it will work for me! When I finish 80 Day Obsession, I’m going to get part of costume I want to cosplay for Fan Expo in September. Now I haven’t decided on which cosplay yet, I have a few in mind and they are a little pricy for me so I’ll have to do it little by little.

So after I’m done 80 Day Obsession at the beginning of May, I’ll decide on a another program and make my reward goal from there.

blog pic4.jpg

I’m just using my planner to map out my days and tick them off. But you can use whatever format works for you! Example: A calendar on the fridge, an app etc.

Everyone is different and everyone needs different motivations. Some people need constant gratification for each step they take, while others are just madly driven by personal motivation. While some, (like me) are driven to better themselves but would work extra hard if there was something waiting for them at the end.

Goals also don’t have to be finishing a program! It can be like what I did before with losing inches or it could even be doing 20 push ups everyday for a whole week straight.

Whatever works for you and what you want to see progress in! Rewards also don’t have to be shopping. It could be a day with your friends, or maybe a movie or even taking the whole afternoon just to sit on the couch and watch Netflix.

One of the first things I ask my clients is “What are your goals?”

Ask yourself that, then ask yourself, “How are you going to get there?”

Please feel free to message me if you want set some goals for yourself, have questions about rewards or if you have questions about 80 Day Obsession! I would love to help and I swear, I’m a nice coach. (Not like the one I got at my old gym who just yelled at me to “PUSH HARDER!!” the whole time… anyhoo) But I will still give you a kick in the butt if you need it! 😉

 

Why am I doing this?

So I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while. I didn’t feel like I had anything to write and honestly had no time for it either.

But now I feel like this could be a great place to share my fitness journey and and my business!

So here it goes… Probably with a few tangents…

.

Many  people wonder why anyone starts these ‘fitness crazes’ and I’ve got a lot of people asking me why, myself. My answer is simple. It makes me feel AMAZING.

I never realized how little energy I had before I changed my nutrition. I was constantly bloated and usually nauseous. I thought this was normal.

Guess what??? It isn’t!!

Fitness blog 1

(This picture was taken from our AMAZING honeymoon in 2016. I had SO much fun but I was tired everyday and needed a nap. I was also bloated AF. It was just a few month before I decided to change my lifestyle.)

.

After I changed my nutrition (meaning I not only only started eating better, I added more protein to my diet and finally stopped eating things I was intolerant to) I felt SO much better. I wasn’t bloated anymore and wasn’t sick every day!

I also lost a fair bit of weight in only a few months, so not bad!

.

fitness blog 2.jpg

(This picture was from our trip to Europe in 2017, not even a year after the last photo. This was also taken on one of the last days of our 30 day trip around Europe and eating A LOT. But I was eating smarter and not gorging myself at every meal!)

.

I would work out as well, but I found it hard to motivate myself to do so, and I REALLY hated going to the gym. I was always self conscious there, unsure of what to do, and the weights I usually wanted were being used by other people.

It was also hard to get motivated when I had back pain all the time. (Back injury, ouch.) So I kind of stopped for a bit.

I didn’t gain anymore weight, I was still on track with my nutrition, but I wasn’t losing anymore inches and my energy was going down a little. I felt stuck.

Then I had a friend contact me asking if I was interested in being a fitness coach! While we were in school together, I had a great schedule of going to the gym after dance class in the mornings and I would always pack my lunches. She remembered that and thought this could be something I could share and improve upon.

I never really thought of being a coach until I realized I was kind of already coaching a lot of my friends and family on nutrition and fitness for a while after I had found success in my own nutrition. So why not coach officially? It would keep accountable for my own fitness and I’d be able to help others.

I’ve now been coaching for 1 month and I’m SO proud of progress of my clients and amazed by the progress I see in myself as well!

fitness blog 3.jpg

(This picture was taken TODAY at one month of coaching. I’ve lost 1.5 inches in my waist, 2 inches in my hips, and .5 inches in my thighs since I’ve started!)

One of the reasons why I love coaching with online tools is that I can reach people all over the world, I don’t have to live in the same city as them! I even have a friend in Switzerland who has been using the programs! It also comes with hundreds of different workouts so you can always find at least one that works for each person. There are also recipes, nutrition guides you can follow, as well as me, helping you along.

Most of all, the programs I use are NOT a gimmick.

I know you see ads on the internet or hear about certain “Diets” or pills that say you’ll lose weight. And yeah, maybe sometimes those work but I’ve also seen a lot of yo-yo effects with solutions like that.

How I want my business to work is by dedication to yourself and HARD WORK. That is the only way you’ll see the results you want and KEEP them. By changing your mindset about the foods you eat and taking care of your body by exercising, (and pampering it with baths! :D) you’ll find that your life will change.

Best of all, you can work out at home! All you need is a space in your living room, bedroom, or in my case, my “Princess” room and you’re set! Some of the programs do need weights or resistance bands but you can get those online or at Winners for a great price.

fitness blog 5.jpg

(This is pretty much all I use to work out now. Bands from Winners, my tablet with the workouts on it, and exercise gear! It doesn’t have to be Lululemon. My go to is usually Hyba or Winners. Or honestly you can work out in your pjs if you want to. Who cares? No one to impress at home but yourself!)

AND

It costs MUCH MUCH less than paying a ridiculous gym membership each month. (I was paying $80 a month at one point to go to the gym!)

.

 

So what is really the reason why I want to coach others?

Let’s be honest, the past few years have been hard for a lot of people. And now that I’m getting older, I’m finding it harder to focus on my health and happiness so I know others are going through the same thing.

I remember how I felt when I wasn’t treating my body right. I had no idea where to start and I felt like nothing was working for me. It can make you feel awful. I want to encourage everyone I talk to that it IS possible to make a change and live a happier, healthier life without sacrificing everything! I don’t want anyone to feel the way I did before. If I could transfer the energy I have now, into another person someway, I would! It feels amazing!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! Or if you want to just see what I do on a regular basis, follow my Facebook Page: Fitness and Nutrition with Cassandra Clifford

I look forward to talking to you!

fitness blog 4.jpg

 

Can I Eat That? And Other Things (A Healthy Lifestyle Post)

One of the most important things I thought about before deciding to do Isagenix was: Will I be able to eat regular food still??

The answer?

YES!

Even though I’m doing a “strict” diet, I’m still eating real food.

I’ve been sticking to having at least one meal a day under 600 calories that is good for me. At first, I thought 600 calories wasn’t enough. Then I did some research…

A lot of salads, sandwiches, soups, and meals with protein and veggies are well under 600 calories!

I also love doing rice or green bowls with avocado and making your own is easy. And guess what??? Most of them are under 600 calories! 😍 When I’m out, I like to go to Freshii. Most of their bowls and salads are under 600 calories and are a WAY better option than other fast food places.

Today I got the Oaxaca Bowl from Freshii for lunch and I was literally dancing in my seat while I was eating it. (My coworker can attest to this, she was giving me a WTF face the whole time I stuffing my face).

I also really love to go to BGood. My favourite thing is the Southwestern Chicken Salad:

LOOK AT THAT.

SO FREAKING GOOD.

And it’s under 600 calories!!

Just goes to show, if you do just a little bit of research and thought into what you’re eating, you can make 600 calories go a long way. (And taste delicious!)

 

Now for the first week I was doing this, it was a little hard. I’m not going to lie.

I wanted cake.

I wanted pizza.

I wanted a Richmond Station burger (Heaven).

But by the 2nd week, my body started craving other things.

I couldn’t WAIT to eat my veggies and hummus.

I was SO EXCITED to eat my cherries.

I appreciated the taste of healthy food so much more.

My whole body had changed.

I had a lot more energy than before and I felt stronger after my workouts.

And I wasn’t bloated!

I honestly had no idea that you could go through the whole day without feeling bloated. I thought it was normal.

BUT NO!

So life is pretty good.

Some things I got in my first Isagenix order! :

With the kit I got from Isagenix, I got a lot of great things to help me through cleanse days, I got snacks to have between shakes or meals and supplements to help boost metabolism and digestion. I also got a blender and of course, the shakes!

This is just a few things that I got in the kit.

I love everything that I got in this kit but I especially love the Cleanse for Life. If you’re like me and your body LOVES vitamin B6 and B12, it’s going to love this. It’s full of it, amount other great ingredients and every time I have it, my body feels SO good. (I used to get shots of vitamin B12 so it’s nice not having to anymore!)

I also got a great schedule for regular days and cleanse days that my friend gave me, so it’s easy to follow along and know when to have all of these products.

If you want to know what else was in the kit, shoot me a message! I’d be glad to tell you about it 😄

 

OH! And guess what flavour came out today??? Peach Mango! I already ordered one and I won’t be surprised if it sells out. It looks delicious. I’ll let you know how it tastes when I get it!

Shake it up! (A Healthy Lifestyle Post)

One of the best things about being on Isagenix is the fact that they have lactose free shakes that are plant-based protein instead of whey. Yay!

Being pretty lactose intolerant myself, that makes my tummy feel good.

Although, I recently did a test with their Isa Pro powder and I didn’t react to it like I do with other whey products so I’ll be ordering some of the seasonal shakes that usually just come in whey form. It’s probably because of the quality of whey they use.  It’s undenatured whey that still has all of its nutrients because it hasn’t been boiled down like most whey products. Whatever the case, my body seems to handle it well.

 

 

Seasonal shakes you say??? Yes! Every two months or so, they come out with a fun new flavour that is available for a limited time. (There’s one coming on Tuesday and one coming out in August that MIGHT be cookies and cream flavour and if that’s true, I will surely cry happy tears of joy)

Seriously, I had a dream that the shake tasted like an Oreo blizzard and I was very disappointed when I woke up.

 

But that doesn’t mean that their normal shakes are bad!

I’m OBSESSED with my lactose free chocolate shake. I like to add ice cubes made of some coffee and unsweetened almond milk and this makes me happy every morning.

It’s also really good with a little bit of peanut butter too, or just on its own!

Bliss.

I also really like the lactose free Berry flavour. BUT you need to add some frozen berries into it. Otherwise I find it a little sweet by itself.

They also have a lactose free Vanilla Chai flavour that I personally don’t like because I don’t like chai flavour. My friend that I’m doing this with, is obsessed with it though. She likes to add matcha into hers sometimes even! So it’s worth a try!

Now, I like to add a scoop of my Isa Pro to my chocolate shake in the morning after I workout to get me more protein but some people like adding to their shake at night. It’s up to you 😊

Isagenix also has lots of regular shake flavours and even some kosher flavours so there are lots to choose from.

But how excited am I for the new flavour coming out on Tuesday and in August??? SUPER EXCITED. Even though I’ll be in Europe in August I’ll probably be making a purchase while I’m there. I can’t wait!

Now, you must excuse me, I think I hear a berry shake calling my name….

 

 

After the Jean Shorts (A Healthy Lifestyle Story)

So after I tried on those shorts and had my revelation, a couple things happened.

I cried. Hard.

Because that’s a logical reaction to potentially shorts shopping right?

Then I decided to workout more and eat only healthy things.

No more chocolate. 😭

Then I went to work the next day and the most amazing thing happened.

My coworker told me she was going to an event that evening with her friend against her will.

How was this amazing?

When we came to work the day after she told me that she went to an Isagenix event.

I already knew about Isagenix because my dad had tried it a few years ago. (Although, he didn’t stay on it long because he’s lactose intolerant and didn’t realize he should have been getting the lactose free shakes instead of the whey shakes…. Love yah dad!)

But what is Isagenix?

 

It is program to help people cleanse their bodies on a cellular level and get rid of visceral fat and gain muscle. Or it can just help someone start eating more clean and make better eating habits.

One of the biggest reasons I decided to join her on Isagenix was because the last time I had a blood test done, the results came back saying I had a warning of 10 years before I could possibly have heart disease. It wasn’t a huge shock to me given my family’s medical history but when I thought of having heart disease at 35???? I needed to make a change.

I needed a way to not only get rid of the extra pounds I’d accumulated, but change my eating habits and lifestyle even further. And besides, what’s the harm in trying it for just one month? If I didn’t get the results I wanted, I’d stop. Easy.

So I picked the 30 day system that my coworker was also doing so we could at least encourage each other throughout.

And guess what happened??

Within the first two days, the gut that I had shrunk like crazy.

Within a week, I wasn’t craving chocolate and chips as much.

And I had SO MUCH ENERGY.

One of my favourite things about the Isagenix shakes is that they promote the development of lean muscle, which went great with my exercise regimen.

Now I am going to post something I thought I’d NEVER post. Before shots.

Ugh.

Now, I know most people would say I look fine but for me, I felt sluggish and huge and it wasn’t sitting right in my head.

Now almost 4 weeks later and almost at the end of my 30 days, here’s where I am:

Please excuse the mess that is my room, I was too excited to take these photos to clean.

Again, doesn’t seem like much, but I had lost 2 inches in my waist, 2 inches in my hips and almost an inch in each thigh. No inches lost in my arms but now they are more muscular than ever.

I would say that’s a win right???

So I’m going to keep going with this to see just how strong my body can get.

 

I plan on posting about the shakes I like and how these products work and how they have benefitted me, so stay tuned!

OH!

And did I mention I fit into my jean shorts again????

Maybe by the end of the summer I’ll have to go shopping for new smaller ones! 😄

 

Update: My husband has now informed me that my jean shorts are looking really big on me. I may need to get new ones before Europe. Ahhhh!