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Want to know the best thing about getting in shape? It’s not showing off your bod (although that’s cool too). It’s knowing that you set a goal for yourself…and you reached it. You can’t buy the kind of confidence that reaps.

And so with that said I’d like to wrap up my one month fitness challenge with trainer extraordinaire Stephanie Joanne on a very positive note.

With her help I have hit every, single goal I set out for myself!

On April 1st we decided together that with hard work and clean eating I would be able to pump out more than 30 push ups, get my body fat down under 30 per cent and want to go running into the nearest bikini store to try everything on.

I can now pump out 34.5 push ups (the boy kind!), my body fat is at 29% at last check, and I bought three new bathing suits and STEPPED OUT OF THE CHANGE ROOM WITH THEM ON (if you are a woman you understand why this is in caps).

Because I’m so proud of what my body can do I’ve decided not to disrespect it by stepping on my scale at home. I see that it’s strong and that’s good enough for me.

Stef has also filled you in on all of my weight and measurement details in one of her previous blogs.

Check her link for details!


Proof of Strength

When I first met Stef at the start of the Dundas Square Fit for Vic(toria Day Weekend) Challenge I told her I wanted to shed the last of my baby weight and fit into my old clothes. At the time she told me that fitness and health was about so much more than that. It was about feeling good in your body and feeling strength in everyday life. To this I looked at her blankly while daydreaming about my skinny jeans.

But I can honestly say that now I get it.

The other day both my babies were having a particularly needy moment. Both wanted to be held and cuddled and carried everywhere. And I was thrilled that I could do it! Up the stairs I bounded with both of them in my arms. Back down to the basement with both of them to do the laundry. Back upstairs to the kitchen with both of them to pour some juice. Now I don’t recommend doing this every day because children need to learn to live OFF of your body as well. But the point is I could do it without breaking my back or a sweat. And I felt really good about it.

Those who follow me on Twitter or read my blog also know that I am and always will be a sucker for sweets. I’m not really committed to changing that. But there is something in me that has changed. I’ve seen the results that clean eating reaps and therefore I feel confident that I will fall back on it as the way I eat 80% of the time. I am also aware that my body needs to have some protein at every meal. That’s tough for me so I’m happy I can lean on Stef’s MyProtein supplement for my breakfasts and sometimes my snacks.

So now when I eat cake or a big Italian meal I do it with happiness knowing full well that the next day (or even the next meal) I will be eating clean. I don’t doubt myself at all. I also know that even if I have big dinner plans that evening I’m still getting up to workout in the morning. Fitness has become non-negotiable for me. I want to try new activities with friends and family. I’ll be doing a 5K run with my hairstylist Janice and Stef in June. And Stef has started incorporating boxing into my workouts. I’m also trying to up my yoga so that I can have core strength and flexibility for life.


Fitness Shoot

Because I had so many Aha! moments this month Stef came up with a great idea for my ‘after’ shots. We’ve posted the ‘before’ and ‘after’ so you can see the changes yourself but she went beyond that and had the awesome photographer Duro The Third ( do an entire fitness shoot with me. Usually I HATE photo shoots. When I have to do them for magazines there are always a bunch of people standing around staring at me and whispering to each other. It’s very nerve-wracking. With Stef and Duro we just danced and played and sang! I felt like a club kid again in his totally cool downtown apartment with music blasting! I’ve included a little bit of behind the scenes video so you can catch the vibe yourself.

The lovely Suzanne Ellis, CityLine’s web writer has put together a few shots from the shoot so you can see the physical changes in my body. It was an incredible way to celebrate a victorious month. What you can’t see in the pictures is the great respect and love I have for Stef. She’s more than my trainer now…she’s a friend and a truly incredible person inside and out. Lastly, I have received nothing but love from CityLine viewers and Twitter followers out there and you have buoyed me beyond belief.

For all the new momma’s who have emailed me looking for tips and tricks don’t get discouraged. It ain’t easy, but it’s worth it.

We’ll get Stef on the show soon to show us all the ropes on losing that baby weight and living a healthier life.

Alright baby girl…it’s your turn.

Stef’s Part:

It was a WIN-WIN month in April!

If you know me you know 2 things that are certain about me, first, I LOVE challenges, second, I’m BIG on keeping promises.

So with that said, I’d like to challenge YOU to take the necessary steps to reach your own fitness goals. Now, the promise I made (beginning of April) was that I would tell you how. Here we go…

How does it happen (I’m talking about Tracy’s WOW Bod)? First, I take all new clients through the same routine, a strategically planned system that I have developed. After years in the fitness industry obsessing about people’s results I’ve figured it out. I NEED TO FOCUS ON WHAT MY CLIENTS ARE DOING THE OTHER 23 HOURS A DAY WHEN I AM NOT WITH THEM JUST AS MUCH AS THE ONE HOUR I AM TRAINING THEM. Sure, I can put you through the best workout of your life but if what you are doing with the rest of your day doesn’t support our goal then….you know what! MySystem picks apart each and every part of your day. I need to know EVERYTHING including when you are waking up, when you are having each meal, snack, water, when and what your cravings are, your challenges, allergies and much more. Once I have this, I can create your “perfect” day. Its work…but isn’t it worth it?

The body is a machine. It is the most complicated machine you will EVER need to operate. I always wonder why on earth this machine did not come with an instruction manual. This is just it; you have to invest the time in yourself. Learn how to operate your machine. It is my mission to make this process as easy and manageable as I can. At the end, what you will have is a strong, powerful, healthy body that is running at its maximum potential. When you have that moment…that moment when you say to yourself “ohhhh..this is what I’m supposed to feel like in my body”….that’s when I say “I have the best job in the world”!

I could go on and on about this and my thoughts and feelings about fitness. For more on MySystem please visit my website ( and see the posting ‘how to succeed with Stephanie Joanne’.

So where did we begin with Tracy..

It all started at the best gym ever Extreme Fitness ( when I was doing a challenge for City and Omni TV and Tracy walked in as my 7am appointment.She later learned that if you train with me before 9am you are privileged to my pre-hair and makeup look. Doesn’t she roll in with a video camera to record the entire thing! YIKES! This was the beginning…its been laughs ever since!

Her main concerns (like everyone else’s) were image related. Lose the baby weight, break her plateau on the scale that was stuck at 150lbs,fit into skinny jeans, flat tummy, smaller thighs and that kind of stuff. I like those goals, but lets set some better ones! I PROMISE YOU IF YOU FOCUS ON TRAINING FOR A FUNCTIONAL-HEALTHY- NATURAL BODY THESE RESULTS WILL JUST HAPPEN as everything falls into place! I want you to obsess about your strength and the way you FEEL! So Tracy and I set some new goals…and guess what…WE HIT THEM ALL. Now with that said it was a win-win!

Tracy is now strong and powerful, she has increased her lean muscle mass, decreased her body fat percentage, she can support and lift her own body weight. All this while fitting into her skinny jeans, rocking a bikini with pride, and looking like a fitness model while doing so. Are you kidding me! THIS SCREAMS FITNESS!

Sure, you can lose 10 pounds in one month. Get excited about it and before you know it gain it back. Yes, you can under eat and over train (cardio usually) and lose weight. This does not excite me, nor is this my definition of fitness. Tracy is my definition of fitness. YES you can be too!

A huge part of my motivation was to inspire you, to show you it is possible. Lets set some REAL goals. I want to remind you that Fitness is for everyone. Don’t think that Tracy was able to reach her goal because of any one reason or that she had a starting point that is different than where you are today. Small steps and wherever you are right now is your starting point. This is my Challenge to you RIGHT NOW (yes, literally right now!) and my Promise… I’m here to help! To makes this even easier for you I will ask John Foulkes who is the Regional Health Centre Manager at Extreme Fitness as well as a fitness and life coach to help break down your goal setting strategy. I turn to John’s guidance all the time and it just makes everything that much more manageable. Just as a side note, the article would have been done in time for this blog BUT I just thought about it as I was writing this late Sunday night and haven’t even asked John yet..teehee…I know he will be happy to help so stay tuned! Tracy and I will Tweet when the posting is up…but you already knew that, we tweet about EVERYTHING!

Tracy and I are going to be setting some new goals…

What I have in mind for May/June…10 non-assisted pull-ups, a 5k run, Muay Thai training, and increased flexibility (especially in her hips).

Be sure to also follow my ‘Stephanie Joanne’s life in fitness’ blog ( and see what I am up to in my own journey with fitness and get a sneak peak into some of my training sessions behind the scenes at Extreme Fitness.

Tracy and I had a talk just before the end of April, now what that the month is over, do we stop training? IT’S NOT OVER! Fitness is a journey. It is a lifestyle…so Tracy…you’re stuck!

I am thrilled that together we will continue to show you that Fitness and Health is about so much more than being skinny, hungry and self conscious. We want you to feel fit, strong and confident! This is our mission and we are happy to take the lead…so follow along!

I have lots of new and exciting projects on the go so be sure to stay tuned. Follow us on our networks and join us on our continued journey of health!After all….LIFE IS GOOD!

Yours in (natural) health,

Stephanie Joanne

Fitness Professional/Extreme Fitness Manager/ Fan of everything Naturally Fitness