I found fitness at an early age. After my dad died in 1983 I began running to ease the pain of grief. My mom and I then stumbled into Patty’s Physical Fitness Freaks in our small town of Hudson, PQ. We pumped our heart in Hi/Lo Aerobics in our church basement a few nights a week – walking down together through a wooded path. I cherished this time – where we would go down stressed and come home laughing.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, exercise served as an antidepressant and a motivator. I got A’s in school, wrote for the town newspaper, had a busy babysitting business and volunteered. I now know this was also tied to how active I became.
I put myself through university teaching fitness; in my twenties, I became bulimic and had issues with alcohol. I don’t think it is a surprise I fell away from exercise at the same time. When I moved back to Toronto in 2001, I became recertified as a fitness instructor and personal trainer, and have loved this career since.
After having kids, I needed something that just for me. I reconnected with running and began racing half-marathons. I focus on training and goal-setting and enjoying the time along trails in Toronto and around the world. Running has helped me get through the difficult years of divorce, and through sobriety. Research says to replace a bad habit with a good one: I replaced Sauvignon Blanc with running.
Exercise will change your life. It is a known antidepressant and will help you achieve balance in your life. You only need 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly to offset many preventable diseases, like stroke, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer. We have inactivity and obesity levels of epic proportions. Share this website with a friend who needs it.
I believe in living the 80/20 way: how we eat, exercise and live our life. You are never going to be perfect – with family, at work with that waffle and chicken special. But you should eat the waffles and the chicken! Drink the wine. Enjoy life. If we eat well and take care of ourselves most of the time, we can live our life all of the time.
Most importantly, be grateful. Keep a gratitude journal. Writing down 5 things you are grateful for each night in a notepad by your bed is the easiest way to improve your health. This one act will change your life more than anything.