You are Missing From Me

Tu me manques. You are missing from me.


It seems so much more fitting than just “I miss you” as we say in English. And 18 years after my mom’s death it almost feels redundant and insignificant to say that I miss her.

But I do.

I realize her absence when I’m really excited about something – whether it be a new job, a great day, a cute dress, a new friend, an exciting opportunity.

I realize she’s not there when I want to pick up the phone and call her to talk about a tough decision or challenge that I’m facing in my life. Even up to age 13 I always felt that I could talk to her about anything. I watch friends and family members and colleagues and movie characters and complete strangers talk with their mothers, and I am reminded that I can’t do the same. That’s what moms are there for, right?

I miss her every single day and over the 18 years that she’s been gone I’ve noticed the mom-shaped space in my life. It's not empty, but more like a shadow that is always present. 


This year we lost my Nan. It brought up old feelings and more sadness. While our relationship had its challenges, I loved her and she was still a connection to my mother. Hearing that her house had been sold was a blow to my heart – I had so many memories of my mom in that space and visiting there was such a comfort. That’s gone now too.

With each passing year that she’s gone, it reinforces the fact that she’s not coming back. This isn’t some long vacation or holiday or visit to another country.

As the years go by I continue to wonder what my mom would be like - would she be happy to celebrate her birthday? Would she be on Facebook? What would our relationship be like? What kind of music would she enjoy? How often would we connect? How different would my life be with her in it? I don't know.

Today would have been her 55th birthday. I like to think we would have celebrated. But instead she is missing from me and every single poppy reminds me of my loss. I know that they carry a strong significance, but I can’t help but associate Remembrance Day with another birthday that I won’t get to celebrate with my mom. 11/11 feels like an extra painful day.

Every day my mom is missing from me, but today I'm feeling the loss more significantly.

Happy birthday mom. Tu me manques. 

Let's Go - Starting with Core De Force


Today marks day one of my journey with Core De Force, and as I talked about last week I don't think I've been this excited to get started with a program in a long, long time!

I've spent the week test-driving the Core De Force workouts and I'm stoked to officially jump in with the full 30 day calendar today. This has been a tough year and my body is not where it was. To be completely honest, I'm feeling frustrated, sad and a bit embarassed about this. I am such a huge advocate for healthy living and loving your body, but that's something that's been really tough for me of late. I want to write more about this in the future, but I'm feeling optimistic and empowered today to be starting with this brand new program and really giving it 100%.

In anticipation of getting started today I've gotten ready by:

  • taking my measurements
  • snapping before photos
  • making a meal plan
  • doing some grocery shopping
  • prepping some meals
  • I did my meal plan and grocery shopping from Monday - Thursday by hand and then hit the grocery store yesterday!


    The little colour coding system at the bottom of my meal plan refers to my allotted containers for the meal plan each day. This program follows a similar version of the 'Portion Fix' program that is used in 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Cize, and more. I'm in the 'A' category for the meal plan. I kept things fairly simple for the week and I'm also looking forward to sampling a few of the recipes from the Core De Force meal plan guide. 

    I spent some time on Sunday doing a little meal prep (which included protein waffles and chilli) and made a couple of tweaks to my meal plan:


    This is mostly based on the fact that a) the protein waffles didn't really turn out as planned (the first one was a COMPLETE disaster!) and b) I realized I was going to be eating out on Thursday night and needed to move things around a bit. In any case, I'm all set with meals!

    I'll be getting up each morning to get my workouts done. The workouts are 30-47 minutes long, so I'll be up at 6-6:30 each day to get them done! I'm thankful for our November accountability group which is getting started tomorrow because I'll have an awesome group of challengers and coaches to help keep me accountable!!

    You may be wondering why my meal plan only goes Monday-Thursday... well that's because I'll be in New York City Friday-Sunday! I'm thrilled to be spending a weekend in my very favourite city. It's been 2 years since I've been back (check out my last trip here for the food and the fun) and I've been missing it! I'll be drinking my Shakeology, carrying on with my workouts but visiting all sorts of restaurants and having great adventures. I can't wait!

    Okay Core De Force, let's do this! 

    Core de Force launch

    Core de Force is here! (And so am I!)


    This is a brand new mixed martial arts (MMA) style program from trainers Joel Freeman and Jericho McMatthews. I have been excited for this new home workout since it was announced at Summit in July and even more so after trying it out twice in October.


    I fell in love with Joel and Jericho when I was on the cruise. I loved their energy, the intensity of their workouts and found them both to be super motivating. I've had the chance to meet both of them a couple of times now and workout with them live, and not only are they awesome trainers, they are just wonderful people!




    What can you expect from CORE DE FORCE?


    A super fun, results-driven workout that will blast your core and shred your entire body using fight-style combinations and simple, but highly effective conditioning exercises that'll make you feel invincible!

    Joel and Jericho have packed authentic MMA-inspired moves and interval training into a 3-minute round structure. This allows everyone to work at their own pace, learn the combinations, and spike their heart rate all within each round!

    The workouts mix moves from boxing, kickboxing and muy thai with bodyweight training and core conditioning to pack a real punch in 30-45 minute workouts over the course of 30 days. There are 8 workouts that you rotate through over the 30 days including MMA Speed, MMA Shred, MMA Power, MMA Plyo, Power Sculpt, Dynamic Recovery + 2 relief / recovery workouts. There are 3 additional advanced workouts that you can add in as part of the 'deluxe kit' which include Agility Strength, Agility Power and MMA Kick Butt.


    There is a modifier for each exercise and the workouts don't require any equipment! So this workout is awesome for anyone looking to change up their fitness routine, push through a plateau, work specifically on their core or get started with a workout to work towards their health and fitness goals. This program would be amazing for anyone who enjoys MMA or kick-boxing workouts, or previously loved Joel and Jericho in BodyCombat with Les Mills! 

    The meal plan is based on the portion fix, which is all about fuelling your body with delicious foods in healthy portions. If you've ever seen those rainbow-coloured containers or dabbled in the 21 Day Fix you'll be familiar with the eating plan. If it's brand new to you - that's a-ok! It's easy to follow and there are great resources and recipes included with the workout. I'll also be there every step of the way!

    Because you KNOW that I'm jumping into this program too!

    I have been needing some extra motivation of late and really need to get my butt in gear -- so this program is EXTRA exciting to me right now. I would love for you to jump in with me in November!

    I'll be sharing my journey throughout the program and am stoked to have some added accountability from a group of folks doing it with me. What do you think we could accomplish in 30 days?? 

    Fill in the form below or RSVP to our November group. We're getting started on Monday November 7, and this would be an awesome way to make November count as we get ready to head into the holiday season.

    Fill out my online form.
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    Meeting Shaun T

    Shaun T has quickly become one of my heroes after beginning my Insanity journey.

    Even when I wasn't able to complete Insanity the first, second or third time I tried, I still admired him and loved his motivation style - I just couldn't get my butt in gear! Completing the original Insanity 2 years ago was an awesome accomplishment and since then I've gone on to do Insanity Max:30, Cize as well as workout with him live and hear him speak. I follow his adventures through social media and love to look to him for motivation during my workouts. He is genuine, authentic, inspiring and seems to be an all-around awesome human. I'm a huge fan!

    With all of that being said, you can imagine how excited I was to have the opportunity to workout with him live in Toronto during canfitpro's world fitness expo in August.



    It seemed like a dream come true to have the chance to do a live workout and enjoy a Q&A with him. I was even more excited when I realized that my friend Amanda would be there since we have been Insanity buddies!



    I scoped out a great spot for the workout and managed to get a space for us near the front. By the time the area filled up, I sort of felt like we were in a zoo - there were people watching us on every side and they were probably 5 rows deep - everyone wanted to get in on the Shaun T energy and vibe!

    Extra sweaty selfie from Tony Felgueiras
    The workout kicked our asses with 3 sweaty rounds that got progressively more intense. Shaun brought his signature motivation to go along with a tough workout. I finished my water about halfway through but kept pressing onwards! It was awesome. 


    At the end of his workouts, Shaun always gives a great talk that always provides the right amount of inspiration following something so intense. You can catch it in my video and I think it's going to be something that I watch many more times down the road when I need a little kick of motivation.

    After the workout, we all scrambled to get seat for an hour-long Q&A. It was really interesting to hear what people wanted to know and what he had to say - from his own workout routine ("I hate Shaun T sometimes too" - on his feelings about himself during his own workouts), on being transparent on who we really are, allowing yourself to be creative in finding your own motivation, telling yourself to 'trust and believe', really taking the time to listen rather than just talk to get the most out of life, and encouraging people to really push themselves to their MAX during Insanity Max:30 to go beyond what's comfortable to get the best result. I felt like I was smiling the whole time, still delirious from our workout, while trying to soak it all up.


    And then it came time for the meet and greet.

    I want to say that I was cool - but I was so not cool. I started crying as soon as we got into line, out of disbelief. I worked hard to make this event happen, interview some awesome people (like Tony Horton!) and be present for every second I was there. To have this include not only a workout and Q&A with Shaun T but an opportunity to MEET HIM felt so special and surreal. So the tears were flowing.



    I tried to pull myself together before it was my turn, but then figured - the hell with it. This is my authentic reaction right now and this is how it's going down! He was so kind and lovely and genuine. I got a big hug and we chatted for a split second before snapping our pics. I said thank you for the workouts and the inspiration and just everything. It was such a happy moment and I'm so grateful.

    Definitely a highlight of my summer and absolutely brought my fitness journey full circle. I've got some extra inspiration to dig deep as I head into month 2 of Insanity Max:30.


    Interview with Tony Horton

    I was sitting in a coffee shop sometime in July waiting on some friends and I saw a flyer for canfitpro's World Expo. Now I'm familiar with canfitpro and their annual event, but what really struck me about the flyer was that Tony Horton and Shaun T were staring at me from the front.

    I NEED TO BE THERE.

    I have a passion for health, fitness and wellness, but these were my people! And I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to see Tony and Shaun here in my hometown!


    The world fitness expo is Canada's largest fitness expo and an opportunity to hang with 15,000 other fitness enthusiasts, trainers, instructors and vendors. 

    I scored myself a ticket, planned out my day and the next thing I knew I was gearing up to interview one of my favourite Beachbody trainers - Tony Horton! I was persistent about getting this interview and felt so lucky to be able to make it happen bright and early on the Saturday morning. What do you ask someone who you've been following for years and who you recently spent 8 weeks for 22 minutes a day?

    Tony and I talked about motivation, his favourite workout program, letting go and more. Check out our interview below!


    You’ve trained celebrities, people in the military, everyday people like myself

    Tony: you’re not an everyday people, you’re an extraordinary people and you know it

    So what is one struggle that you see among all people – is there any common challenges that you see?

    Tony: Is there one? We always want that one, when it’s really about a dozen. 

    But if anything was to pop into my head I would say that motivation and diet are the two biggest issues in people. I think if they’ve figured out a way to stay motivated, and their reason why is rock solid and they were able to make healthy food taste good, then I think the problem would go away. It really comes down to those two things. 

    Obviously hydration, sleep and the company that you keep – these are all things that matter as well, but really just understanding why you exercise, how often you exercise and the kinds of exercise, and you should have a variety of exercise and you shouldn’t be so attached to the outcome of exercise. You shouldn’t focus so much on your appearance and your ego and what people say about you and all that nonsense, and just focus on what you need and do whatever you need to do and do it poorly – but poorly is a helluva lot better than not doing it at all. And then the second part of that equation is just eating well. I mean there’s a healthcare crisis because people can’t eat well. And it seems so simple – it’s crazy.

    I saw a study last week that said that 75% of Americans think they’re eating healthy.

    Tony: yah, a lot of them think they do. And they tell me “I’m doing everything right” and then I’ll just kind of be at an event and watch them eat and I’ll think “Are you out of your mind? This is garbage” Because they’re avoiding bacon at three meals a day, they think they’re killing it. 

    But all the fruit juices, and all those sports drinks and all the chemicals and salt, and the sugar and the garbage, and saturated fats that’s really where people are getting into trouble. I had an event recently where I asked a room of 800 people who ate 5-6 servings of vegetables a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner, and of the 800 people maybe 12 hands went up. So HELLO!

    It’s easy when we get excited and we have a goal, but then it’s making it a habit. What would you say to someone who has been working out for awhile and they’ve started and they’re stoked, but they struggle to keep that momentum and motivation going.

    Tony: Without [health, wellness and fitness], you’re surviving just like anyone else. But with it you thrive and it gives you the energy and enthusiasm to take on more in your life. And so if you understand that and you want to take on more, and have the energy and enthusiasm to really get outside your comfort zone, think outside of the box, have more experiences, have more adventures, improve the quality of your life today, avoid the illnesses that occur as we get older, that’s why I do it. 

    The whole idea here is to try and stay as youthful as you can. If you train every day, you will stay as youthful as you can and if you don’t, you’re going to slip. And you’re going to age at the typical rate. 

    I have this expression that people give me a hard time about, and that’s ‘aging is for idiots’ and what I mean by that is aging is for people who aren’t willing to do the work to prevent the typical form of aging. It can’t be sporadic and it has to be for that reason – not for the typical reasons that we do it. For the inches, the weight and the dress sizes and for the compliments. Those things are nice, but if you’re living and dying by that, then you’ll never succeed.

    You’re known for saying ‘do your best and forget the rest’ – so often we dwell on ‘the rest’ – how do you let go of that.

    Tony: Well you know a lot of time, the rest doesn't have to do so much with our thoughts of what we can or can’t do and how we compare ourselves from the past and how we hope to be in the future; A lot of it has to do with our expectations. 

    If you have very low expectations you’re going to succeed. Just have really low expectations, but show up. But don’t try to knock it outta the park or concur the world. "I want to go rock climbing so I’m going to start with Mount Everest". You know, for a lot of people 22 MHC or P90x is Mount Everest. You have to kind of start with the modifiers – I’m the modifying king. But the rest also has to do with the company that you keep. 

    I talk about it in my book – new haters and blockers. And sometimes we’re a new hater and what I mean by that is we don’t like new things. New things intimidate us, they scare us and so we avoid them even though that new thing is going to improve our lives – say like, a smart phone – that’s a new thing in the last couple of years, but everyone is willing to figure it out so that we can participate in the process of communication better than they used to. That’s what P90x and 22 MHC is – they’re a new thing and you have to figure it out. And you have to be willing to do that because you care about who you are. 

    And then the other group of people are blockers. And blockers and new haters are pretty much in the same category. New haters hate new things and they’re always going on about how much this sucks and that sucks and times are changing. And they’re afraid to learn and they like it the good old fashioned way. Whatever the hell that was. They’re walking around with a horse and buggy? No. Forget it. Catch up with everybody else and participate in the modern world. 

    You are the company you keep. Can you imagine if your best 5 friends were world class mountain bikers or rock climbers or surfers or snowboarders and that’s who your peeps were? Then you’d be really good at one of those things and you wouldn’t have a health issue, you’d just be kicking ass every day because your environment is awesome.

     But most people’s environment – their friends, their family, their bosses, their coworkers, siblings or whatever are bitching and moaning about how shitty life is and you need to run from them. Run away from them and find some really cool people. And if they’re not in your immediate area, you can go sign up for a class or go on the internet and find people who are doing neat things and join them or you know, that’s what Beachbody coaching is – it’s an opportunity to find like-minded people online or at events in your area, like Super Saturdays or Summits so that way you know, there’s a change in mindset because there’s a change in physical environment and who you’re around. You can do that if you’re willing to do that, and you’re willing to be a little bit uncomfortable and a little bit scared, then life will get better. Yay!

    Do you have a favourite one of your workouts or is that like picking between your children?

    Tony: My favourite right now is 22 Minute Hard Corps


    Tony: It’s so good. And here’s what’s so great about it. There’s a bunch of new people coming into the fray who would have never done one of my programs. A lot of people look at my programs, like P90X or P90X2 or X3 and they think they're too extreme. And for a lot of people who have 100 pounds to lose, they took an approach that allowed them to get through it. But a lot of people don’t even want to go there. 

    And so 22 Minute Hard Corps gives a lot of people who are maybe doing 21 Day Fix or maybe just going on walks an opportunity to participate in an intense 22 minute workout. That time frame – if people can’t do 22 minutes then you just don’t care. 

    But P90X is what brought me here, that’s my first born child and 22 Minute Hard Corps is my youngest child. And you always have to have a strong feeling about that.

    If you look back at your career what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken?


    Tony: Probably stand up comedy. That was a major stepping stone for me – getting up onstage with my shtick and trying to be funny in front of people and it’s such an immediate thing. 

    Unlike if I’m developing a program, I have a lot of time to look at it and see what it will be like and even all my “jokes” are not predetermined. They’re spontaneous. And having been an improv actor and liking comedy, I’m just a fan of laughing. Making people laugh, it takes your mind off the pain and the agony. But just getting super comfortable in front of large groups of people and interviews like this, on camera with 3 cameras and a cast. That’s what acting did and taking those classes did, you know it’s all about presentation and delivery. It’s about creating a persona that is interesting for people to watch. 

    Why is anything popular? If it were somebody else in P90X, would it have been as popular? I don’t know – maybe. Maybe they would have had to bring their own persona to that equation. But that’s it – just making this whole process fun, that was a big stepping stone for me. Learning that it was okay and I could do it my way, using my style and my technique.

    One of the things that I talk about a lot on my blog is mental health, depression and anxiety – is that something that you’ve faced in your life and in your career?

    Tony: Hell yah. I mean anyone who is eating poorly and not exercising is going to have some sort of that, especially if they’re lacking purpose. People who are fired up on what they’re doing then they don’t have as much of that. 

    What ends up happening when you’re depressed or sad or frustrated or overwhelmed is that you’re usually spending most of your time thinking about you. Like “woe is me and my problems and I don’t have this going” and then there’s a combination of that and a lot of finger pointing, typically. Like “oh my life sucks and I’m not doing well, and I don’t have enough money and I don’t have a boyfriend” and yadda yadda yadda – it’s his fault, her fault, their fault and mom and dad’s fault. Yah – you gotta stop doing that. 

    There’s two things you can control to help turn that around. And that’s what you eat and whether you exercise or not. And so when you eat well and you exercise, you create a chemical shift inside of your brain. Because all those feelings that you have are chemical reactions inside of your head. It’s lack of dopamine, serotonin, brain drive, neurotropic factor – these are chemicals that occur when you breathe heavy for 20-30-40-50 minutes. And the harder you work and the more you breathe and the more often you do it, then there’s a dumping of these chemicals inside the temporal lobe. And so you read John Ratey‘s book Spark and you think “Oh wow, I have to work out today because I’m not in a good mood". If I work out today there’s a sort of a shift that goes from “I can’t” to “I can” and that’s what physical exercise does. 

    You have to combine it with food because food is another form of chemicals. You’re not going to see the physical, mental and emotional shift if you’re not eating well. Both of those things are hard. Both of those things require discipline. And they both require a plan. And they both require you to hang around the kind of people who are doing it as well. 

    And if you can figure all that out – then you just feel fired up, and you feel like you can try things and you’re less fearful. And you’re less anxious. You’re less frightened. And you’re less scared. And it’s purely because you worked out. I mean – most people don’t know that. They just think that working out is something they do so that they can run faster or lift more or look good. And those things occur as well but those are just ancillary after effects. They aren’t as important as exercising purely for the purpose of becoming a happier, joyful person. That’s what really it’s about.


     I loved chatting with Tony! He's got lots of fun stuff coming up including a cookbook, a couple of TV shows / web series, and continuing to travel across the globe sharing his awesome workouts and approach to life with the masses. 

    I can't wait to share more with you from my time at canfitpro world expo!