Tag Archives: tips

Fresh Start: 8 Tips for Developing a Gym-Habit

Remember that old myth that it takes 21 days to form a habit*? We are now 23 days into the first month of 2014, and as someone who began working out on the 2nd, I’m exactly 3 weeks into my goal of making the gym my new habit. So, how’s it going?

Short answer: good. Long answer: it’s far too early to decide whether this will end up being a long term thing, but so far I’ve been kicking butt. Along the way I’ve reflected on why this time is different and what has helped me to commit more time than I ever have in my life (embarrassing, right) to hitting the gym.

Here are my 8 tips for developing a gym-habit.

  1. Get a workout buddy. And not just anyone. I’ve been heading to the gym with my bestie/roomie Laura Clendenning (of Dedicated Not Addicted) who isn’t only passionate about getting in shape, but knows her stuff too. She’s currently training for her 4th (!!) fitness competition and is studying to earn her Personal Training certification. She’s energetic, committed, and knows exactly what she’s doing. Going with someone who knows which machines to use and how to use them takes away the intimidation factor of wandering around a crowded gym (which is ALWAYS filled with insanely good-looking people who appear completely at home.) The commitment factor is a big one here as well, as it’s harder to skip a workout once you told someone you were going to go. There’s also the added bonus of spending time with someone who’s dope- a little social time in between sets never hurt anyone.
  2. Plan your workout. Another trick I learned from LC is to write down your workout prior to hitting the gym. This provides structure and purpose, preventing you from giving up and saying “That’s enough” 20 minutes after you’ve arrived.
  3. Record your workout. It’s hard to remember which days you went, let alone which set of exercises you did two weeks ago if you don’t write it down. As someone who’s constantly learning new machines and sequences, it’s extremely helpful to bring a notebook and jot things down as I go. I’m able to record the weights I use and the times I run which means next time I can push myself to improve them. It’s been extremely satisfying tracking my progress and seeing improvements so far.
  4. Switch it up. Doing the same routine gets boring real fast and I knew that my gym-going wouldn’t last long if I was constantly doing the same thing every time. As a member of the YMCA I have huge flexibility with my workouts- I am for 2 days of weights (usually one arms/shoulders and one legs/back day), a longer cardio session, and one power yoga class every week. Not only does this give me balance, but I can shuffle my workouts based on what I’m feeling and have yet to feel completely bored. It’s a mini success, but I’ll take it!
  5. Equip yourself. I’m not saying that every piece of workout clothing has to be the newest, most expensive Lululemon, but there’s something to be said for wearing proper gear at the gym. I invested in some new shorts and quick dry tops last summer and just got an amazing gym bag for Christmas that I’m stoked to rock. If you look the part, you’ll start to feel the part, and a sleek luon tank is a lot more motivating than an over-sized stained T from high school. Pick up a cool notebook, stack a killer playlist, grab container of protein powder and you’ll feel like you belong at the gym in no time.
  6. Forgive yourself. I learned pretty quickly that there are going to be weeks where I don’t get to the gym as much as I’d like. Being busy is okay as long as it’s the exception and not the rule. If you miss a workout, let it go. But then get back on track and hit the gym hard the next day.
  7. Set a deadline. There’s nothing more motivating than a looming deadline. As one of my big goals this year is to run a 10K, I figured it was time to light the fire and sign up for the Vancouver Sun Run 2014. (I literally did it as I was writing this post- early bird goes until January 31st!) Knowing that I’m going to have to run 10K whether I’m in shape or not means I’ll certainly be training with some added gusto.
  8. Just get there. I’ve found that without a doubt the hardest thing about adding gym time into my routine is actually getting myself to the gym. Once I’m there, I’m good! I have two tricks for making this happen: 1) Drink a pre-workout shake because then I’m obligated to go work it off, and 2) Tell myself that I just need to do a super short workout and then I can hit the steam room- more often then not, I’ll stay for the full workout once I’m there.

There you have it, all my gym ‘secrets’ are yours for the taking! For all you fitness peeps, don’t forget to check out Laura’s blog here for workouts, recipes, challenges, and a heaping dose of motivation.

Happy Thursday!


*Turns out it’s more like 66 -according to this study– but can vary between 18-254 days.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Squatch ’13


Amazing. Epic. Stupendous. Whichever adjective you choose to use, Sasquatch 2013 at The Gorge was all of them. Camping with friends, perfect morning caesars (Thanks D!), sunshine, and most of all, the music; it all came together to form one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time. Here’s a breakdown of some of the performances I had the absolute pleasure of witnessing, as well as a list of must-brings/camping tips for any who are now tempted to attend next year. Let’s get to it!


Great Shows: Father John Misty, Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend

Fave Show: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was definitely one of my top three shows of the weekend. A bold statement, but those boys brought so much swagger, heart, and authenticity, it’s hard not to say it. The whole crowd moved to every song; my particular favourites were ‘ Same Love’, ‘Thrift Shop’, ‘Cowboy Boots’, ‘And We Danced’, and the most epic performance of ‘Can’t Hold Us’ ever. One of the coolest things about Macklemore’s show was that he brought out every supporting artist on the tracks; Ray Dalton, Mary Lambert, and a kilt-wearing trumpeter made for some seriously good live music. Great tunes aside, the other aspect that brought his show to the next level was the aura of genuine accomplishment and gratitude. Playing at The Gorge was obviously akin to coming home, and the Seattle native made it clear to all of us that he was extremely happy to be there. Infectious to say the least.


Great Shows: Robert Delong, Atlas Genius, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bloc Party

Fave Show: The XX I first listened to The XX last summer at the insistence of my friend Elan. They were the perfect mellow tunes to enjoy while basking on the beaches of Thailand, but I was a little apprehensive to how that would translate to the mainstage of a music festival. We spent this show lounging on the gigantic sloped hill, really listening to the music and enjoying every little nuance. It was hauntingly beautiful, made even more so by the impressive lights/lasers/smoke that accompanied every beat. Not the rowdiest performance I’ve every seen, but definitely one of the coolest.


Great Shows: Shad, Elvis Costello & The Imposters

Fave Show: Mumford & Sons When I saw that Mumford & Sons were attending this year, I didn’t hesitate to buy my ticket way back in February. I’ve been listening to them literally on repeat (as my roomie can attest to) for the past year and a half and knew that they would bring it at the main stage. Hoo boy, was I ever right. The boisterous Brits warmed up with ‘Lover’s Eyes’ before delving into the guitar-strumming, heart-pumping, arms-in-the-air numbers I was really looking forward to. ‘Thistle and Weeds’, ‘Holland Road’, ‘I Will Wait’, and ‘Little Lion Man’ kept me going through the main set, and an encore of ‘Babel’, ‘The Cave’, plus a rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros pushed me to the height of musical nirvana.


Great Shows: Imagine Dragons, Disclosure, The Postal Service

Fave Show(s): The Lumineers, Steve Aoki Monday night was debate night throughout the festival. With The Lumineers and Alt-J performing at the exact same time,  everyone was forced to choose a side or see portions of each. I had wholeheartedly decided on The Lumineers when I bought my ticket, but hearing more and more of Alt-J in the weeks leading up made for a tougher decision that I had initially planned. In the end I went with original choice and am so thankful that it worked out. The group from Denver put on an incredible show and even went out into the crowd to deliver a song (though truth be told, I can’t remember which one!) The entire gorge sang along to ‘Ho Hey’ and I also got to hear my favourite song of the last 6 months, ‘Stubborn Love’. I’d been dying to hear that one live, and hoo boy, was the wait worth it. I left the main stage on a musical high, dubious that anything else would come close to what I just saw. Steve Aoki made a damn good try, and in my humble opinion, he most definitely succeeded. He quite possibly put on the best electronic show I’ve ever seen, and I’d be surprised if I had every danced so hard. To add to the madness of the music, he started throwing full cakes into the thrashing bodies, and crowd-surfed on an air-mattress while showering everyone with a bottle of bubbly. The combo of crazy antics, epic dance party, and infectious music was the absolute perfect way to end the festival.

Necessities  Here’s the short list of items I brought or will definitely be bringing next time. I left out obvious things like a sleeping bag, shorts + pants, etc. and focused on what made my weekend easier/better/funner.

  • Thick sweater + thinner sweater (layers, yo)
  • Rain coat
  • Baseball hat (to keep sunshine AND raindrops off your face)
  • Boots (I brought my cowboy boots and was SO thankful when it started to pour)
  • Small backpack (to bring in all your goodies to the festival grounds)
  • Earplugs
  • Facial wipes (the only way you’ll ever wash your face before bed)
  • Air mattress (yoga mats don’t feel like much, especially on the fifth night)

Camping Tips

  • Arrive on Thursday to set up camp- we got there pretty late and waited a couple of hours, but it was glorious to wake up on Friday morning and be ready to enjoy the festivities
  • Bring half the amount of food you’ll think you need and twice the amount of booze. Copious amounts of snacks, Gatorade, and water are absolute must-haves
  • Bring tarps and appropriate ties to create shelter from the sun and rain (because it will inevitably rain), and don’t forget one for under your tent!
  • Don’t forget to bring at least a small bottle of hand sanitizer- when the soap runs out at the Honey Buckets, you’ll be happy to have a way to clean your hands

Did you go to Sasquatch this year? Tell me about it!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,