Food Dreams, Photo Fears and Keto

I’m now entering week 20 of prep. It’s been an interested first few weeks as I’m feeling incredibly under the weather, yet I have managed to stick to my diet.

I’m obviously withdrawing from all of the food debauchery that went down on my trip to Philadelphia at the end of October because I’m having very vivid dreams about eating buttercream cupcakes. The kind of dreams that when you wake up, you actually thought you ate cupcakes and blew your diet.

In addition to that, this week I overcame one of my largest fears, letting anyone from my gym see me in a swimsuit. One of my biggest hurdles with prep is getting someone to take my progress photos and my lack of enthusiasm for taking progress photos. I never want to do it, my husband never wants to do it, so I decided to take them when I’m at the gym. I was too shy to ask any of the staff so one day I just asked a girl in the change room. This worked great until yesterday when there were no girls around to ask. Crap! I’m in prep now, I can’t put off sending in my photos to my trainer now! I had to swallow my pride and ask the gym owner to take photos of me. I was mortified, but he was professional and reminded me that I was going to stand on a stage in front of 1000 people in my swimsuit so it’s time to stop being shy. That was it, all the pain was brought on by myself, he didn’t make fun of my amateur posing and I sent off photos to my trainer. Virtually painless, except for one bruised ego, lol. But hey, I gotta do this 11+ more times in the next 20 weeks and then it’s showtime baby, so I better get used to it!

What’s going on for the next few weeks? KETO! Time for me to introduce some new veggies into my diet! I’m getting sick of broccolli and lettuce!


Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Turning Point


Some of you already know that I used to be a very unhealthy person. I used to smoke, drink and live off of kraft dinner and boxes of cookies. I was luckily never overweight, but I was the definition of skinny fat.

In 2004, my father who has chronic lung disease and a number of other chronic ailments was told that he was very close to being put on oxygen. The idea of my father carrying around an oxygen tank just horrified me. I couldn’t imagine him lugging an oxygen tank while he worked in the garden or going fishing.

At the same time, I was in my second year of Multimedia Production at our local community college. Summer was about to start and I was thinking about how much I would have to work to be able to afford my next year’s tuition. It was around this time that I realized the reason why I was in financial turmoil. My financial disaster was direct result of the fact that I smoked cigarettes. To my surprise, I calculated the cost of my smoking habit and realized that every year I had smoked my tuition’s worth of cigarettes. I was disgusted that the only reason why I couldn’t afford school, and the reason why I was having to work fulltime while going to school fulltime was because I smoked my tuition away.

I quit immediately.

Quitting smoking to this day was one of the hardest things I have ever done and the best decision I’ve ever made. In order to be successful, I knew I had to replace my bad habit (smoking) with habits that would help me avoid the chronic diseases I saw my father struggle with, so I decided to start exercising. It started with drop in aerobics classes and then eventually it developed into an obsession with the treadmill. I grew to love running and was addicted to pushing myself to run faster and longer.

At the time a friend of my husband encouraged me to enter a local race and I was hooked. I spent the next three years running 5-6 days a week.

One day a sign at the gym for Team Diabetes Canada enticed me into fundraising and running a marathon on behalf of the Canadian Diabetes Association. What seemed impossible and scary became one of the best experiences of my life. I did something I never thought I could do with a group of other enthusiastic motivating people and I fundraised $6,100 for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

This moment changed my life. Shortly after running that first marathon a position for a Team Diabetes Coordinator came up in the city of Thunder Bay. I applied for the position and got it! My life officially became about running and it was fantastic! I ran 3 more marathons, taped a national commercial for Team Diabetes, helped 20 people a year fundraise and prepare to run their first marathon. Sounds like a dream come true and it was. But sadly over time my body got beat up. I continued to push through injury and run marathons, but eventually by body started to hurt while I was running and also when I wasn’t running. Having spend thousands of dollars on physio, I had over-trained to the point where I had to give up running and let my body heal. In fact I was so filled with inflammation I had to give up all the activities I had learned to love and I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Honestly I spent a summer pouting, eating and feeling sorry for myself. I was so upset about not being able to run, upset about not being able to enjoy running with my friends and not really knowing what was next for me.

But eventually I got sick of myself and my extra fluff (I felt like crap and laying around doing nothing wasn’t going to make things any better) I signed up for dance classes. I knew if I was going to get fit again, I was going to have to find an activity to love. But eventually that dance class just wasn’t enough, I wanted to dance better, be stronger and regain my endurance. During my running streak I worked out at a local gym, which was a local sponsor for Team Diabetes. I had a membership there, but just played around with the weights and used the cardio equipment. I never thought of lifting heavy and the gym owner told me to stop wasting my time running and start bodybuilding, I just laughed at him, but now that I was no longer able to run like I did before I had a different perspective.

I went directly to Dave (the gym owner) and ask him to show me how to lift weights. I showed him a picture from an Oxygen magazine and said, I want muscles like this! The rest is history! After 6 months of lifting heavy, I wanted to compete. For me competing was exactly the challenged I needed in my lift to replace the empty void of the marathon.

Now 1.5 years later. I’m finally training for my first competition. There are many people that have influenced me along the way, but first an foremost, my number 1 motivator has always been myself. It’s always me who wants to go big or go home. It’s me who drags my ass to the gym even when I don’t want to go and it’s me that is going to make this competition be my best, because I am the one who will do the work. But, I’m not going to take all the credit. I have Dave (my gym owner) to thank for being patient with me and teaching a girl who once couldn’t lunch properly how to train and have good form. I have to thank all the people that workout at my gym who have spotted me or tutored me.  I have my friends and family to thank for being a sounding board and putting up with my crazy health priorities and most importantly I have my Bobettes, my online group of fitness friends who I learn from and enjoy the friendship of everyday!


Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Down Lo!

Well, well, well, it’s been a few weeks and a variety of things have occurred in the life and times if Tiffany.  But let’s chat about the exciting stuff!

My fitness life is just getting better and better by the day! I really missed working out this summer, I didn’t have the opportunity to do as much as I would have liked 😦  However,  I’m happy to be training 4-5 days a week again and I’m really starting to look forward to my first competition prep.

I’m 24 days away from starting my first prep.  Last year I decided I was going to prep for show October 29th, 2011 in the fitness model category, but in June decided that was not feasible due to my work schedule (and boy was I right! The summer was ridiculously busy, I would have miserably failed if I tried to attempt prep in that madness)

Since then I have made the decision to switch from the fitness model to bikini category and here are the reasons why I’ll be competing in bikini April 7th, 2012:

  • Posing: I feel more comfortable with the bikini posing.  Especially since I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around the back pose/lat flare and there are no posing coaches in the city I live in, so I’m on my own here, much easier to practice bikini posing on your own.
  • Expense: We all know that competing is not cheap.  But bikini is still less expensive than fitness model because you only need to buy a swimsuit (not a suit and a athletic wear/costume as required by fitness model.  This tacks another few hundred dollars onto your competition tab).
  • No costume round in the Spring UFE Competition: My reasons for originally deciding to compete in fitness model was because I was going to participate in UFE Halloween Mayhem.  I wanted to participate in this event because I love Halloween, just as much as Christmas.  I was originally hell bent on competing in fitness model because I wanted to make buy a super cool costume that I could potentially use over and over again. However, now that I changed to UFE Spring Bash I’m not as excited about the sportswear round.
  • Advice from a Trusted Friend:  Over the last year I have met a variety of amazing fitness gals online.  Just the other day I took some progress photos of myself and sent them to my friend Kari (yes, I’m still to chicken to post progress pics online, maybe in a month when I loose the flubber I collected this summer).  To give you a bit of background on Kari, Kari is an experienced figure competitor, who writes an awesome blog called Figure Girl World, blogs for Fitness RX Magazine and is very knowledgeable about bodybuilding culture.   When Kari saw my pictures and asked why I wasn’t competing in bikini? I really had to think twice.  Now that I didn’t have the exciting costume to look forward to, I really didn’t have a legit reason.   At first I just said I wanted to be a little but more muscular, but then she asked me to take a look at the bikini Olympia photos, immediately I was inspired by the look and conditioning of the athletes.  Seriously, when an awesome experienced girl like Kari says I’ll be successful in bikini, I’m going to take her advice.
So there you go folks.  That’s what is new in my life at the moment besides that I’m participating in Donloree’s Fitmass Challenge (and I’m loving the kick in the pants btw). I look forward to continuing to tackle each challenge.  But in 24 days, I’ll only be doing what my coach says so, because as Kari says, during prep do exactly what your coach says no more, no less 😀
p.s. I apologise in advance for any poor grammar.  I’m a wee bit ADD, I starting writing this blog at 9pm then did a little website updating in between, then came back to this a very tired girl.  My eyes are crossing and I’m not even sure I’m reading things correctly.  Time for bed!

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


Sugar and Wheat Detox

So last week I seriously got back on the wagon and unfortunately after a summer of eating oodles and oodles of junk food I’m now having to detox from all that sugar and grain.

Withdrawing for the white stuff (sugar and processed flours) feels just as bad a withdrawing from a drug (I am a reformed smoker).  Your body becomes so addicted to it, one little taste makes you want more and when you don’t have it your energy levels drop and you feel grumpy and lethargic.  It takes time for the cravings to go away, but eventually they do start to fade and you begin to really feel the positive effects of a clean food lifestyle.  Sadly you first have to feel crappy before you can feel good.

I’m in the rough stages, but I know there is a light at the end of the two week tunnel.  In the meantime I’ve been sticking to my guns and using hot water with cocoa and a wee bit of stevia to ward off any crazy sugar cravings. It always seems to do the trick.

Already enjoying having the time to experiment in my kitchen with grain free, dairy free and sugar free recipes.  I love fall!

How do you ward off your sugar cravings?


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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


Look out Jack, Tiff is back!

It’s been too long.  Wayyy tooooo long.  This summer I buried myself in work. I buried myself in work so much I didn’t workout more than two days a week and I didn’t eat more than 3 meals a day (and trust me they weren’t healthy and I have the gut to prove it.)

Regardless, work is slowing down, but my body and mind have shut down.  I feel and look terrible.  But what can I say, I have done nothing good for my body and mind this summer.  The body needs rest and nourishment and the mind needs relaxation, so what did I expect would happen.

There have been many times over the last few months that I have said, I’m going to clean up my act, I’m going to get my shit back together, but to date I haven’t been successful.

I must admit I’ve been making myself feel guilty over dropping the ball this summer, but it’s really hard to get motivated on an empty tank.

Alas, it’s time for NO MORE EXCUSES, time to change and evaluate why and how I let things get out of control and take the necessary steps to avoid setbacks next summer.

  1. Be Prepared: I should have known this because it’s the girl guide motto and I was a girl guide for 12 years. The first thing I will do to ensure my diet succeeds next summer is become my grandmother and stock pile a freezer full of food.  I wish I had a photo of her freezer to post on this blog, however instead I will describe it to you. Imagine a deep freeze filled with little labelled meals in recycled containers, enough meals to feed two people for probably 3 months (cooking instructions attached). My super grandma somehow manages to always have these meals so that when she doesn’t feel like cooking she just warms something up.  Well next summer I’m going to have this, so when times get tough, I don’t eat hot dogs!
  2. Set SMART Goals: The R in smart goals stands for realistic, but I often times don’t set realistic expectations of myself.  I always want to do everything and expect to not have to compromise anything.  Usually it’s my relationships and mental health that suffer.  I must remember I’m a super woman not superwoman.

    Now what’s in store for the fall!

    First and foremost I need to eat clean. Tomorrow I’m going back on the Paleo diet for two straight weeks.  After those two weeks, I go back on the off season diet my coach would like me to be on. Paleo eating everyday, with one treat meal.  This treat meal must be high carb so that my metabolism stays good and healthy.

    Secondly, get my ass back into the gym four days a week

    Three, spend Sunday’s at home watching football with the love of my life and food prepping for the week.  I love R&R especially when it’s paired with making yummy delicious healthy food.

    So there you have it folks.  There is my start to what is going to be an amazing fall.  The plan is to pick up where I left off last June.  Start prepping for my first fitness model show April 7th, 2012 (that’s only 199 days away).  I miss all my fellow blogging fitness gals.  Really looking forward to being back in the loop!



Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Uncategorized


CSA time!



I’m so excited that it’s CSA time.  For those of you that don’t know what a CSA is, it’s Community Supported Agriculture.  As a member of a CSA you purchase a share in a farm and give them money up front to grow vegetables for you.  In Pass Lake, where I live my friends Brendan & Marcelle own a farm, called Sleepy G Farm.  The name comes from the farm’s location, which is on a peninsula/mountain called the Sleeping Giant.  Sleepy G farm is an organic farm and I work here two days a week in the summer.  Great food and friends what more can you ask for.

This week we received box number 1.  It has been a slow start to summer, lots of rain and overcast days, so stuff is growing at a slower pace, but our first box was still full of fresh veggies.  We recieved: bok choy, koho, cilantro, scallions, radishes and fresh baby salad greens.

My first CSA meal was fresh sauteed greens with onions and bacon.


Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


Falling off the Edge of the Earth

For a moment it may seem like I have fallen off the edge of the earth.  But the reality is I was so busy living and making a living that I didn’t set time aside to blog about it.

Those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile know that I run a campground with my husband.  Since this is seasonal work and it’s summer time, we have now officially stepped into high gear (days off, what are those?).  Life has been busy.  In the midst of the June craziness, my prep start date was creeping up on me. I could feel panic setting in.  I was starting to crack.  Workouts and meals were being missed and I was just doing my best to try and get everything done (and obviously failing).  How on earth was a I going to be able to workout 6 days a week, when I’m struggling with 4?

I was hit with a brick of reality.  There is no way I can give competition prep 110% during the summer months.  As much as ONE truly can do whatever he/she puts their mind to, one should be realistic with their expectations of themselves.   I needed to tell myself NO.  Prep is something that will consume a lot of time and energy and at this point in time I would not be able to commit to both a demanding job and competition and maintain my sanity (or what’s left of it :P).  It was a hard reality for me to swallow. I didn’t want to share this reality with too many people right away, because I wasn’t even sure how I felt about it. I was relieved and disappointed all at the same time.

A few weeks later, I have finally made peace with the fact that Spring 2012 will be a better show date for me, I’m feeling much better, I’ve accepted this new goal.  Furthermore, after a weekend in Southern Ontario and having appointments with my posing coach, trainer and swimsuit seamstress, I’m getting excited about tackling a Spring show (instead of feeling disappointed).  I’m now motivated to use the extra time I have wisely.  There will be no doubt that by Spring I will be my best body!  I can’t wait to spend the next year practicing my posing, experimenting with my diet, supplementation and I’m eager to train, train, train.


Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Uncategorized