Tag Archive for Fitness


I put my new swimsuit to work this week.  In my mind, I saw myself arriving at the pool, delicately climbing down the ladder into the pool (have they not heard that stairs have been invented?), and beginning to walk/run lengths of the pool to loosen up my sore knee.  I was certain the water would support my old joints and I would become poetry in motion in the water.  I expected that after my time exercising and stretching in the pool, I would nimbly climb back out and be amazed at how much easier it was to move.

Umm, not so much.  While attempting to climb backwards down those narrow steps to gracefully enter the pool, I lost my grip on the metal handles and proceeded to fall unceremoniously into the pool, gasping as I hit the cool water!

“Well, at least there was only one other person in the pool and he was busy doing laps so I don’t think he saw your performance,” snarled Munch.

At last, I had reached my destination…I was waist deep in the buoyant water where I felt more at home than on dry, solid land.  Finally, I would be able to walk without pain, at least that is how I imagined it would be.  It turned out, even in water my knee acted up, but it wasn’t nearly as painful as walking on solid ground, so I just carried on and hoped that the pain would die down once the joint was stretched out and lubricated.

I had every moment of my time mapped out that morning.  I would walk/run for 45 minutes.  Then after 10 minutes in the hot tub, I would still have almost a full hour to shower and do my full beauty regimen before climbing in the car and heading to work.

What I hadn’t planned for, was how bloody boring it would be to walk laps in a pool for 45 minutes.  I tried to make it more interesting by timing myself and trying to better my best time each lap.  I also changed it up by alternating between walking and swimming.  Finally, it was over!  That wasn’t so bad, was it?  Uh huh.

Now it was time to jump out of the pool and head to the hot tub – my second favourite spot on earth!  What I didn’t allow for was how bloody tired my body would be from a mere 45-minutes of exercise.  I placed my foot on the bottom rung of the ladder and started to climb out.  O M G!!  Once my body emerged from the buoyant water, it suddenly felt like it weighed twice as much!  In addition, my leg muscles were fatigued from the exercise and I was having a terrible time to pull myself up out of the pool!  I gripped the metal bars with every ounce of strength I could muster and finally managed to step up onto the pool deck.  Thank goodness the other swimmer had already left and wasn’t witness to this performance!

Back on dry land, I wasn’t able to move with the grace I had shown in the water.  I kind of shuffled over to the hot tub (thank the universe the hot tub had stairs I could walk down), I turned on the jets and walked down into the soothing water, crossed to the other side of the hot tub, sank down into the rolling, soothing waters, closed my eyes, and burst into tears!

I felt so ashamed!  How had I allowed myself to get into such sad shape again?  Similar to my experience in the airplane washroom in 2009, even though no one had witnessed my humiliation, I felt totally, overwhelmingly ashamed!  But this time, I knew better than to try and hide my shame.

What I have learned since 2009 is, there are very few things that grow well in the dark…mushrooms and shame are the only two I know.  I’ve learned if I hide my shame, if I refuse to acknowledge what I am feeling, the shame will paralyze me—I won’t be able to get past the experience and I will shut down and will continue eating to try to numb the feelings…and we all know how that ends, don’t we?  In fact, while I was sitting in the hot tub, Munch was already planning what wonderful foods I could buy that evening that would make me feel better.

Just a couple days after my pool adventure, I am still so sore and stiff I am having trouble moving.  This wasn’t how I pictured this adventure would go, but I am dealing with the cards I am dealt.  I will give my body a bit more time to recover and then I will head back into the pool.

Hell, no, I am not giving up! Hell, yes, I will always pray for an empty pool with no witnesses to my ineptness until I improve my agility!  But witnesses or not, I will keep trying!

Do you have a shameful secret you are hiding because you don’t believe anyone else has experienced it and no one else will understand?

What would happen if, today you choose one trusted person in your life and share your story with them and tell them how it made you feel?  Maybe you will find out you are not alone?  Maybe the simple act of sharing your story will give them permission to release their own shame?  Maybe by shining a light on your shameful secret you can finally release it and forgive yourself?  That is what I wish for you!

You, like me, are doing the best you can.  Forgive yourself.  Just keep trying to do a little bit better every day!  You’ve got this!



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That’s what Munch is telling me this weekend.  You remember Munch, the annoying voice in my head?  I know I need to move my body more, but I have given up the walking I love because it is excruciatingly painful for my knee with the extra weight I am carrying again.

As I puzzled over how I could begin to move more, a lightbulb came on!  I remembered how easy it was to move in the water when I was at my Aquasize class.  Ta da!  I could walk in the pool at my gym without pain!

On Friday, I went shopping and bought a new swimsuit.  I was totally excited about getting back into the pool…and then Munch chimed in.  You’re too fat to wear that swimsuit in public!  WWTT?  (What would they think?)

Dreaded WWTT disease was back!  This disease used to control my life.  I was paralyzed by it.  I thought I had conquered this years ago, but here it was raising its ugly head again and I was letting it dampen my excitement about going to the pool.

I love this saying…People who care, don’t matter and people who matter, don’t care.  But I also know it’s not easy to turn the other cheek when people say unkind and sometimes downright nasty things to you in public.  I keep telling myself they are saying more about themselves than me when they spout off, but that still doesn’t make it easy to ignore the hurt and pain they cause.

Before I head to the pool this week, I have armed myself with a come-back that I will use if I hear any comments about my weight.  I giggle every time I think of it.  I almost wish someone will make a derogatory comment just so I can look them in the eye and reply:


That may be too “out there” for you, but you do need to think about how you will react when, not if, there are comments.  There are a lot of damaged people out there who think that putting you down will make them feel better.

Maybe you are the type of person that can just let the comments fall away and totally ignore them.  Maybe you, like me, need to mentally prepare yourself to deal with the hurtful comments.  Whatever you do, you must push WWTT to the side and begin moving your body.  Your body will thank you for it!



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I was walking a beautiful, new trail I discovered in my neighbourhood today. I had some great tunes playing on my iPod, the air was fresh and clean, and the sunshine was beaming down on me. I felt wonderful! Suddenly, I looked up and the trail had come to an end.

I was really disappointed because it was my first exercise in a few days and I was having a great time. This week had been busy at work and at home, and I kept telling myself, “I am too busy to exercise,” and “I will just apply myself and get caught up, then I will do something for me.”

I wonder if you have ever thought something similar? Do you sometimes (often?) put the needs of others before your needs? I sense a few heads nodding yes.

Next time this happens, I want you to ask yourself, “Who and what is more important than me?” Hint: the answer is no one and nothing!

I was reminded of two very important lessons during my walk today:

First, by putting off exercising, I was avoiding the very thing that would have relieved all the stress I had allowed to build up. When I move my body, I feel my head clearing and the weight of the world being lifted from my shoulders. I cannot feel depressed or stressed while I am moving. Try it and see if it works for you… I am betting it will!

Secondly, to never let obstacles stop me. They may slow me down temporarily, but anything can be overcome if I put my mind to it. In the past, I might have allowed that dead end to signal that my walk was over, considering it a sign. Today, I just altered my course and continued on.

These lessons apply to all facets of life, not just to fitness. Never let obstacles stop you! Alter your course and carry on!

One of my favourite quotes about fitness is, “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch!” Start moving your body today. It’s not about weight loss (although that might be a positive side effect), it’s about feeling better – mentally and physically.

Even if you only walk around the block, breathe and move your body. Small steps taken consistently, will propel you to success!


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These stretches are saving my knee…. DAMN FITBIT!

I was recently introduced to the Fitbit by someone near and dear to my heart. If you are not familiar with this gadget, the Fitbit Zip is a tiny little wireless device you attach under your clothing that tracks the number of steps you take in a day. You can also track your food intake, exercise, water and sleep on your computer or smart phone. It is a terrific health aid!

My friend thought the Fitbit would ignite my competitive spirit and get me up and moving! She was so right! But I may have overdone it in the beginning in my desire to compete with my friends on Fitbit and now I am having some issues with my bad knee.

No problem because I have a personal trainer. Maarten Van Nus knows some wonderful stretches that are really helping! Did you know that often, knee pain is caused by problems with the muscles supporting the knee and not the knee itself? That is the case with me because his amazing stretches make my knee feel better almost instantly.

Not everyone can take advantage of Maarten’s training in person so I was delighted to be able to announce on my Facebook Fan Page that Maarten now offers his stretching exercises in video format. For only $18 US funds (approximately $20 Canadian), you, like me, can have lifetime access to these videos.

A couple of women I had not previously met, discovered the videos on my fan page, purchased them and both are already experiencing improvements in motion! You can too! Sample the videos prior to purchasing them at this link now: http://bit.ly/1tuKvR7

Even if you don’t have a Fitbit driving you to walk more and more every day (Damn Fitbit), these stretches can do amazing things for your body.

Do yourself a favour and check them out now!  http://bit.ly/1tuKvR7



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Cambridge Dictionaries online define excuse as “the explanation given for bad behavior, absence, etc.”  Other definitions say it is “an attempt to lessen the blame” or “to seek to defend or justify”.

What excuses have you been using?  Are you trying to justify bad behavior?  Are you trying to avoid doing something?

I confess I have been off and on my eating program since before Christmas.  It started when I traveled to the US for an extended stay with friends.  I told myself if I ate differently than the other people, I would not be accepted (excuse).  I told myself I didn’t want to be different and stand out (excuse).  Isn’t it amazing the BS we accept when it comes from a trusted source (ourselves)?!

What happened was no surprise… I gained weight.  So I went back on my program and lost the weight I gained.  Now I am back on track; I am fully in control.  So now I can allow myself the odd treat, drink and decadent meal.  Right?

Wrong!  I find when I allow myself “one”, it leads to two, then three and suddenly I am out of control again.  Does that happen to you?  It has been over five years since I began my weight loss journey and I find that no matter how long I have been doing this, I can still fall into the “excuse” trap.  It can happen to anyone.  It is how you deal with it that will determine if you are successful or fail.

Did you know that failure does not require you to do something?  No, to fail you just have to do NOTHING:

  • Don’t plan ahead for meals and snacks
  • Don’t prepare healthy foods
  • Don’t shop to ensure you have healthy food on hand
  • Don’t exercise regularly
  • Don’t accept responsibility for your behaviors

The next time you hear yourself explaining why something has happened or has not happened, ask yourself if it is just an excuse.  Ask if you are trying to justify or avoid something.  Don’t let complacency steal away your dreams and goals!

You can do anything you put your mind to!  And remember, you do not have to go it alone!

Logo Revised April 2013 with TM (1)

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Catch Deb Live Today at 2:30 PST at the PNE Forum in Vancouver!

Having a great time at the Body Soul & Spirit Expo! Meeting lots of interesting people, but would love to see you, too. I know, you’re probably coming down today at 2:30pm to catch my presentation at the PNE Forum. I look forward to see you there!”

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I heard something the other day that reminded me of the year 2009.  That was the year I hit my highest weight of 430 lbs.  Can you imagine walking with an extra 250 lbs. on your shoulders?  The pressure on my knees and feet was excruciating!  I used a cane to walk and I could not stand on my feet for more than 30 seconds at a time.

I traveled to work by public transit, but when I got off the skytrain I was still 2 blocks away.  It was too painful to walk even that short distance so I would cross the street and take a bus.  That particular bus ran every 20 minutes, but sometimes as I was crossing the street the bus would just be pulling away.  I wasn’t able to run, so I would just resolve to sit down and wait 20 minutes for the next bus.

This was frustrating and humiliating to me!  I felt like I was on display; that people from work were passing and wondering why I didn’t just get off my butt and walk!  I would have if I could have!  I didn’t make a conscious decision that I wanted to weigh 430 lbs. so I could be in constant pain!

It is my hope that sharing this story will inspire compassion; compassion for people that are struggling each day.  And don’t we all have our individual struggles?  Let’s not add to each other’s burdens…

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If you like me are a woman in your 50s and have had children, you have likely experienced some loss of bladder control / urine control aka urinary incontinence.  Maybe you experience a minor loss of urine when you sneeze, cough or laugh?  This happens to me on a regular basis so I often wear pantyliners for protection when I expect that a difficult situation might arise.

The gym is one place I always come prepared because of the jumping and bouncing that goes on.  Now, I am not a treadmill person, but one day recently my trainer decided it was time to change that.  As I was running on the treadmill that day, I was aware that I was having some leakage, but it was not until I stopped running that I realized how bad it might be.  I immediately called “time out” for a bathroom break and jumped off the treadmill.

In the washroom I discovered some major leakage…  I was soaked and humiliated!  Now I had to go out and face the music, so I cleaned up the best I could and walked back into the gym.  I told my trainer that we were done for the day and of course he was confused.  No way around it, I had to tell him what had happened.  But as I was explaining, I burst into tears!

My mind had carried me back to elementary school.  I was that little girl who had an accident and wet her panties and was being sent home to change.  Of course all the kids back then had a great time making fun of me!  In my mind I expected to be ridiculed again, but my trainer is a very compassionate man and knew just the right way to handle the situation.

This loss of control may be caused by weakened muscles around the bladder and pelvis.  In addition, carrying extra weight can put pressure on the bladder.  Urinary incontinence is a condition affecting millions of adults.  The majority suffer in silence.  Many women resign themselves to the idea that incontinence is an unavoidable consequence of having had children, aging or being overweight.

We not only put up with the physical symptoms, but the emotional pain as well.  We feel isolated, ashamed and avoid social activities due to embarrassment, which may ultimately result in a loss of self-esteem.

If you or a loved one is affected by urinary incontinence, you are not alone.  The National Association for Continence advises that approximately 25 million people in the US are affected and it is estimated that 75-80% of those are women.  Women are 4-5 times more likely than men to have urinary incontinence problems due in large part to the trauma the body experiences during pregnancy and child birth.

Do not put your life on hold!  There are products you can purchase to protect your clothing and there are exercises you can do to strengthen those weakened muscles.  On YouTube there are hundreds of videos available.  Just search “kegel exercises”.  An example is attached below.  (Thank you Michelle Kenway!)


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Are you living your life on your terms?  Or are you letting the deadly disease WWTT hold you back from doing what you really want?

WWTT – What Would They Think.  Are you waiting to start that exercise program until you lose weight, you fit into that new gym gear, your stomach gets smaller, your butt gets flatter, tomorrow?

Tomorrow never comes!  It is time to push WWTT to the side!  All those things can happen if you just start moving.  Just take one step at a time!

Stop missing out on life because of what someone else might think or say!

They don’t matter!  You matter!  You can do this!


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Definition of champion:  A Warrior, a Fighter / A militant advocate or defender / One who does battle for another’s rights or honour

I am here to be your champion in weight loss!  I’m not a champion because I’m a winner; because I lost weight and have kept a healthy weight range for the past 2 years. No, that’s not what makes a champion. What makes a champion is getting up every day knowing it’s a new day and you can’t get by on what has gone before.

Look closely at people like Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali and you will see the discipline, the perseverance and the commitment that went into their success.  They didn’t sit back and relax once they had achieved a certain level of success.  They realized they had to keep at it every day to retain that success!

The problem with trying to win the weight loss game is that “winning” suggests there’s an end. So of course you say “I’ve lost the weight… I’ve won!  Now I can go sit on the bench and not bother any more.”  Well, that’s not what a champion does.  A champion says “I won the race, now the work begins”.  This is a winner attitude vs a champion attitude.

Do you have what it takes to be a champion?  I’m betting you do!  You just need a little help along the way.  You need someone to talk to that knows where you are and what you need.  I wish I had me, this me, the one that’s talking to you, to come talk to me before I got to 430 lbs.  Maybe I wouldn’t have reached 430 lbs.  Maybe I would have stopped at 230 instead of adding another 200 lbs. on top of that! 

Reach out to me today.  Let me be your militant defender.  You can be a champion!

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