Top 5 Fitness Cop-Outs You Should Break Today

I was looking back through last edition’s CPA magazine and found an additional article on fitness that they published. I remember being interviewed for it, but I didn’t think that they ended up printing it. Turns out, they did. So I thought I would take the opportunity to add my two cents and discuss, in my opinion, the top 5 fitness cop-outs that you should break today.


As a fitness instructor, I’m often asked questions similar to this. Honestly, as we get older and more involved in our careers, it’s way too easy to succumb to excuses and let our bodies go. Time goes by in an instant. Before we know it, we struggle to even walk to the parking lot without getting winded.



On the other hand, it’s so amazing when I  see people taking charge of their own fitness.  My friend Michele is a prime example. I’ve known her for 16 years, and she felt that she had always battled with her weight. But in the last couple years, she took up running with her husband. She’s worked her way up and competed in multiple long distance competitions. Now she looks and feels absolutely amazing! She’s ultra-positive, and she’s never been happier with her body image.  I’m immensely proud of her.


Even insurance companies are catching on. It’s finally dawned on them that people who are physically fit are healthier and they make much fewer claims on their insurance. Lawrence just told me the other day that Manulife Financial is one of the first companies in Canada to strike a relationship with Goodlife Fitness, a national fitness center chain. They give their insured members attractive discounts to gym memberships at Goodlife to encourage them to take control of their health. In turn, their insurance premiums would be lower. Manulife Financial would eventually see a reduction in insurance payouts because their insured members are way healthier. What a great idea!



It doesn’t matter where you are working, what you are doing, and how much travel you need to do. If fitness is of value in your life, you’ll find ways to incorporate it in whatever your lifestyle is.

(as adapted from CPA Magazine, Fall edition, 2016)


If you work from sun up to sun down…

“Build in time for fitness during your commute. Take public transit, walk, or bike to work instead of driving. Get your juice in your body and brain flowing.  Meditate for 10 minutes for how you want your world to appear today. “Starting the day in a peak mental and physical state sets the tone for your entire day,” Cat says, “ Swap out the usual music or news fix for personal development podcasts into your morning routine. These fuel your mind to achieve what you want in your life”



My buddy at work used to frequently regale about a radio show where people would call in to share about their failed second dates. I kept thinking of all the amazing and ‘nutritional’ content you can feed your mind, why would choose to fill your head with this ridiculousness?


Last night I recorded a podcast on training your children to physically fit for success. One of the key points I discussed at length was the fact that it’s not only about your output via exercise and what you do in the gym. It’s what you put into your body that counts as well. Eating makes up the other side of the equation. If you train like a fiend and go home, eat crap and drink your face off on the weekends, you’ll still get nowhere with your body. You’ll still be frustrated and wonder why you can never get rid of that gut. Feeding your body with the right nutrition matters. How you train your mind also matters. To be honest, it’s passe to brag about how much you partied and drank over the weekend. The new sexy is to hold your body in high regard and taking ultra-good care of it. People respect you for it.



I once read a book, whose title, for some reason, currently escapes me. The one salient thing that spoke out to me, was the importance of feeding your mind the right stuff. You gotta admit. The world as we know it now has become pretty nutso. You have to be relentless in protecting what comes into your bubble. This is funny because I have long lived by this philosophy. Believe it or not, I’ve even lost friends over this.  For years I have been ‘accused’ of living in my own little bubble.  Damn straight I’m going to live in my own bubble! Why would I clutter my mind with the negativity, and devastation in your world? It is completely out of my scope. I can’t control it. All it does is cause undue stress. Why would I willingly bring it into my bubble? It’s literally bad for business.


Photo Credit: Destiny


Not to mention, it severely hampers your mind’s efficiency. Constantly having to process all that negativity that doesn’t even apply to you just makes you tired!  So block out the news! It’s the worst thing you can do to your precious mind. Having to process negativity does not make you mentally tough. It makes you insane. Same thing goes for violence from movies and video games. Take that sh*t out of your life! Your mind will thank you.


I remember when I was 7 months pregnant, Lawrence and I went to see Immortals, which if you recall was an action flick starring Henry Cavill and Frieda Pinto. I remember there was so much violence. I must have reacted to it. Zane wouldn’t stop kicking from the inside. I actually had to step out of the theater. As soon as I did that, he quieted down. If that doesn’t prove that what you take into your mind impacts your body, I don’t know what will.



If time with family trumps the gym…

“Cat, a dedicated mother, and working professional advocates incorporating fitness into family life: “Go on a family bike ride. Attend family kung-fu or join your kids on the playground and test out muscles you might not have used since childhood. Find an activity your family will enjoy and then join in!” The added benefit is that your kids don’t necessarily do what you say, but they will do what you do. By leading them that fitness is important, you’re instilling a lifestyle of healthy habits.”


Last year we bought Zane a trailer bike so that we could go on family bike rides that extended beyond the perimeter of the block. This will go down in history as one of the most special times that we experienced as a family. It was so simple too. On a Saturday morning, we would bike ride to Da Capo, our favorite Italian café on Whyte Ave here in Edmonton. (Best cappuccino’s in the city!) We would enjoy some fresh pastries with a delicious cup of cappuccino. Zane would have his staple lemon scone and orange juice. Then we’d ride back home. Along the way, one Saturday, we discovered a playground. Zane, of course, asked to stop and play there. We were hooked on American Ninja Warrior at that point and were eager to try out our ninja skills on the jungle gym. The three of us hung upside down from the horizontal ladder and scaled across draw bridges. I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun in a playground.



If you don’t know where to start…

“First, figure out what’s important to you,” Cat suggests. “Once your vision is clear, the next steps seem easier.” If a total body makeover is in your sight, then enlist the help of a personal trainer. Connect with someone who has successfully done what you want to do. Pick their brains for what they did. These are your next steps. Keep finding people who have done what you want to do. Surround yourself with them. As Ray Edwards said, “Positive peer pressure creates powerful people.” If you’re looking to cut extra calories, download a food journal app and invest in some healthy cookbooks.



If you’re always on the road…

“Cat is no stranger to intense travel schedules for work. At the height of her jet-setting career, Cat made a point of making sure she maintained a healthy lifestyle. “For a time, I spent my weekdays in Los Angeles,” she confirms, “so I rented an apartment – and cooked my own meals – and got a local gym membership. I made sure my health goals were a priority and built them into my daily life on the road. Now there are so many services that will help you do this. It’s so much easier to keep well on the road.”



In a recent podcast recording, Perry and I were talking about what we can do to be financially fit. No one will care more about your fitness than you, be it in finances and/or especially physical fitness. It’s a fabulous idea to engage a professional to coach you and keep you accountable. A coach will be in your corner to guide you every step of the way. But if you think that your success depends on your coach or trainer, you’re sorely mistaken. The onus has always been on you ultimately to be successful for your own success. This applies to everything in life, but especially fitness. No one else needs to live with the consequences except you. No one enjoys the reward except you. Therefore, your success depends on what you, not anyone else, put into your game.


If setting fitness goals aren’t your forté…

“Then you haven’t found an activity you’re passionate about.” Cat says. “If you’re a CPA, you’re likely goal-oriented, so if you’re having trouble following through with your fitness goals, Start small. Set little tiny milestones: one push-up, or run for 1 minute. Then the next day, add another tiny milestone: another pushup, fun for an additional minute. Keep doing this. Habits are known to stick after 3 months around the 66-day mark. Before you know it, you’ll have developed a habit and journey of fitness in your life.



I get it. I’m not necessarily goal-oriented when it comes to fitness either. Especially once you have reached your fitness goals, you’re much less motivated to work as hard as you did when you were frustrated with your physique. In the 16 years that I have taught fitness, I’ve taught Step, HIIT, Yoga, Muscle, Strength, and Endurance, and of course, Barre. What I can honestly say about all of these classes is that if fitness goals aren’t your forte, show up at a fitness class.



The magic of a fitness class is that all you have to do is just be there. Your fitness instructor is there to offer you a good workout. Though, as the instructor, may I remind you that you’re responsible for your own workout. The components of a good fitness class, though, offer various options to cater to a variety of fitness levels. Whenever I attend fitness classes, I know that I can forget about the whole world for an hour. I end up getting an amazing workout and I didn’t have to even think.



Two years ago, I discovered a magic little app called MindBody. I love this app! You can search for any type of fitness class you want from Cross Fit to Zumba, anywhere in the world. You can secure your spot in the class and even pay for it via the app. Then all you do is show up. Sheer brilliance. I’ve used it in Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle. I’ve even used it in Paris! It is truly a global app. You’re welcome. I just took away that last excuse of not knowing where to find a fitness class in whatever city you’re in.




It might sound cliché to say that the only way that you can operate at your optimal level is to ensure that your physique can support it. The level of your fitness very much determines how great a professional you will be. It exudes everywhere in your life, from your posture to your self-confidence. The way people treat you is a reflection of how confidence you are in body and mind. It’s time get off your ass. Get out there and get your fit on!

Also published on Medium.

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