The Non-Camper’s Guide to Hiking the West Coast Trail

The Non-Camper’s Guide to Hiking the West Coast Trail

“Next time I’m picking the vacation,” was all loving husband could say to me on day three of our adventure hiking the West Coast Trail.

I am not sure what compelled me to drag him (and I) on the infamous backpacking trail that skirts the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island.

Yet, here we were. On a breathtaking trail, with mud under our feet, thunder and lightning in the sky and rain coming down because Mother Nature decided that today (on our 17-km hike day) was the PERFECT day we needed to experience the real west coast.

West Coast Trail MapNow, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love hiking and prefer to be outdoors as much as possible. We are both avid hikers and the West Coast Trail hit my radar last year when I was personal training a client for it.

The trail is rated as one of the most beautiful and challenging hikes in the world, and I love a challenge.

But, sadly, there are no cute B&Bs on the trail. You have to camp, and camping is not what I do. In fact, it is an activity that I have successfully avoided my entire life.

I am not a powder puff, though. I am pretty tough, mentally and physically, but I stand firmly in the belief that roughing it is a hotel without a gym.

For thousands of years man and woman have evolved from caves, to tents, to Winnebago’s, to motels, to finally, 5-star hotels.

That is, my friend, vacation evolution.

However, here I was in the pouring rain, hiking six to eight hours a day for seven days, with my life on my back and a tent as my home. To make matters worse for those in my closest circle, I also dragged along a good friend of ours who has since vowed to block me from his email (sorry Brodie).

PJ, Brodie & Loving Husband at entrance of West Coast Trail
Me, Brodie & Loving Husband – Day 1

Preparing for the Hike

Preparing for the West Coast Trail: first, the obvious get your body ready for a 75-kilometer hike. This means hiking prior to, and with weight on your back. Hiking with 42 pounds on your back (which is what I started out with) is a whole new ball game. So start hiking with weight at least three months before you go.

Locally we have a set of stairs that a lot of people head to for a workout. I used this as my training ground and then two months prior, every Sunday, we hiked the local mountains. I began with 20 pounds in my pack and worked myself up to 35 pounds.

When in the gym focus on the most obvious muscles, your lower body and core, with a HUGE emphasis on the glutes. I was amazed at how much my glutes worked during the trip.


Let me send you the leg and glute workout I used to get strong for the trail.

Click Here to gain access to the workout video.

I also recommend balance training.

You’ll need to do a ton of balancing on the trail. Whether it’s on boulders, skinny pieces of wood as you jump from one mud hole to the next, or rickety bridges and logs, you need to be able to balance – and balance with weight on your back. Try this workout.

West Coast Trail Pics #1

Second, pick which end of the trail that you are going to start hiking. We started north (Bamfield) to south (Port Renfrew). This is the recommended route, according to a lot of books, because the first part of the trail is the easiest giving you time to get your hiking legs and lighten your pack as the trail progressively gets harder.

However, on the trail we actually encountered more people doing it the other way around. Their theory is that they get the hard parts done first.

Personally, I am glad that we did it from north to south, easy to hard. However, everyone has an opinion on this, so do your research and then start on the end that you think is best for you.

FYI: be forewarned, some people are very passionate about their opinions on how you should hike the trail. Case in point, I had one hiker email me quite angry when I wrote a piece about my hike in my newspaper column for our local paper. He believes that the trail should only be hiked south to north and was disgusted that I suggested otherwise. Start your adventure where and when YOU want to. Do not let certain jackasses of the world make you feel that their way is the only way.

West Coast Trail Pics #4

Booking the West Coast Trail

Once you figure out your route, you can go online and reserve your place, or head to the Parks Canada headquarters (located at each end of the trail) and enter by standby.

During high season (May 1 – September 30), Parks Canada only allows 50 hikers a day with reservations, and an additional 10 spaces for standby. And, be forewarned, there is a standby list.

When we finished, we chatted with one group of men and they had been waiting two days to get on the trail. So, I suggest reserving your spot online and in advance.

Third, head to the Parks Canada website, check out the recommended gear and follow that checklist. Do not deviate from it. This was complied by pros who have done the trail. So, if it is the middle of August and you are reading “bring a warm hat”, bring one. I wore one most evenings and we were hiking during a heat wave in the middle of August.

The Non-Camper’s Guide to Hiking the West Coast Trail

If you are also like me (and will never camp again), borrow as much as you can from friends, keep an eye on Craigslist, and watch for sales at MEC and Atmosphere (and REI for my American readers) – because hiking the trail can get pretty expensive, awfully quickly.

We were very lucky and borrowed half of the equipment that we needed – again because I knew there would never be a chance in hell that I would camp again.

West Coast Trail Pics #6

Additional Items to Pack

I also suggest some of what I call “PJ-essentials” to make your hike and camping a bit more bearable:

  • Body wipes (there are no showers on the trail)
  • Dry shampoo (I used it more to mask the smell of campfire in my hair than anything else)
  • Comb
  • Deodorant – if not for yourself then for your fellow hikers. I kid you not, we ran into one group of guys and I smelled them well before I could see them.
  • Moisturizer (no one wants dry, tired-looking skin on the trail)
  • Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm – I am addicted to Red Dahlia
  • A portable battery to re-charge your phone. No, there is no WiFi, but if you use your phone for pictures you will need to give it some juice at some point. And trust me, you will take a lot of photos.
  • Twizzlers – you need a treat at the end of the day, because dehydrated food leaves a lot to be desired
  • Glasses –  sun and regular glasses (if you wear them). Tick me off, I lost my sunglasses on the very first day!
  • If you are a woman, and it is even remotely near your menstrual cycle, bring feminine hygiene products. I also suggest a separate bag that is not see-through to pack out what you use if you do get your period. (Yup, it’s gross, but you have to pack out what you pack in baby.)
    • Side note: on the only day it rained for us we also used one of my maxi pads as a fire starter. Sprinkle a little camp stove fuel on a pad and “whoosh” Bob’s your uncle.
  • If you are a woman, pantyliners. You are going to spend 80% of your bathroom time in the bush. Now, I personally do not like to use toilet paper when peeing in the forest because now I have to pack it out. So, I drip dry and wear a pantyliner to… well you get the point.
  • A ball cap to hide the hideous-looking hair you will have by the end of the week
  • More toilet paper than you think you will need
  • Biodegradable soap
  • A micro-fibre towel
  • Two hiking poles (I only took one and wish that I had brought the other one)
  • A bathing suit
  • A spork that has a long handle. This is crucial if you are eating packaged dehydrated food from MEC etc. The bags are deep and if you have a stupid-ass short spork like I did it will not reach the bottom of the bag. Therefore your food will not be fully mixed and your hand will be covered with your dinner. It’s very irritating.
  • Starbucks VIA instant coffee – however, take twice as many packs as the days you are hiking as I found it takes two packs to make one good mug of coffee
  • Bailey’s – to make the mornings, and the instant coffee, more bearable (thank you Brodie)
  • Electrolyte replacement tablets – this will not only replace all the minerals lost from sweating, it will also mask the taste of the water purifying tablets – because guess what? There is no running water on the trail; you have to seek and purify your own.

West Coast Trail Pics #2

In addition, bring cash for the ferry at the Nitinat Narrows and to purchase the amazing and super fresh seafood at the crossing. You will also want to bring big bucks for a cheeseburger at the infamous Chez Monique’s – that was a $70 day for us after burgers, pop, chocolate and rum.

Yes, I bought a bottle of rum, and yes it adds a lot of weight to your pack. At least that’s what my friend Brodie told me because I coaxed him to carry it for me. Brilliant, aren’t I?

Salmon lunch at Nitinat Narrows & burger heaven at Chez Monquie's
Salmon lunch at Nitinat Narrows & burger heaven at Chez Monquie’s

What You Don’t Need

  • An eyelash curler. You know those questions that fashion magazines ask, “if you were stranded on a deserted island and could bring ONE beauty product with you, what would it be?”. My answer, since I was 16 years old, is an eyelash curler. So, there was no way I was hiking without one. Well, guess what? By day two I did get a poop about what my eyelashes looked like.

What Food I Packed

There are a ton of amazing websites and books on eating gourmet while camping. I, however, work 60+ hours a week and did not want to add dehydrating food for a 7 day trip on my list of things to-do.

So, instead, we bought all pre-packaged dehydrated food from MEC for our dinners, and they ranged from not-too-bad to not-so-good.

My favourite (which completely shocked me) was the Mountain House lasagna with meat sauce. I also really liked the brand, Mary Janes Farm. They make all vegetarian meals and the southwest couscous and lentil soup were pretty damn good.

Do not buy Mountain House Shepard’s Pie though. Just walk right on by that display.

West Coast Trail Pics #7
Thrasher Cover & lunchtime at Tsusiat Point


All 7 days we had the same thing. I made individual oatmeal bags for each day containing:

  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Dried apples & strawberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pack stevia for me, 1 HEAPING tbsp brown sugar for loving husband

Coffee (2 Starbucks Via packs for 1 mug)
Coffee Mate – apparently you can buy dried whole milk on Amazon. Do that!
Bailey’s for coffee (again, thank you Brodie)

Mid-morning snack

  • Mixed nuts – I had also brought 7 Kind bars, but I left them in the truck when I started downsizing my pack (which you will do at least two times before you head off)


With the exception of the ferry crossing day and Chez Monique’s, we had the same thing every day for lunch too and for this meal (if I were to do it again), I would do differently.

  • Whole grain tortilla shells with almond butter and dried bananas – not banana chips. I found a company that dries long slices of bananas. They are soft and really good.

What I also wished I had brought, for variety, were cheese and pepperoni, and a few of our hiking mates we meet also had crackers and humus for lunch. But, nonetheless, choose a quick-lunch that does not require a lot of prep, or your stove. It’s a total pain in the you-know-what to set it up for lunch.

Mid-afternoon snack

  • Quest bars – I am completely addicted to these protein bars, and even though they weigh heavy I still brought 7 of them and was very happy that I did.


  • A pre-packaged dehydrated dinner-delight

After dinner

  • Tea or hot chocolate and Twizzlers

Clothes I Packed

  • Hiking boots
  • Gators
  • 2 sports bras
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 3 pairs of hiking socks
  • 1 pair regular socks – to wear to bed
  • 2 short sleeved dri-fit tops
  • 1 long sleeve dri-fit top
  • 1 merino wool lightweight pullover
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants
  • Camp shoes
  • Running tights (these, my camp shoes and my long sleeve dri-fit top were my camp & sleeping attire for the 6 nights)
  • Baseball hat and toque
  • Waterproof gloves (I am always cold)

Yoga at Walbran Campsite
Me teaching a yoga class at Walbran Campsite

What To Expect When Hiking

When hiking, be ready for any weather and condition, and for lots of mud.

In fact, I am considering designing an online fitness program for the trail and one of the workouts would consist of step-ups while standing in three feet of mud, performed for seven hours straight.

What else will you be encountering? Well, ladders for one – over 70 of them, with some of them over 30 feet high. You also have four cable cars and 130 bridges to cross, and a section of bouldering that makes your ankles wish that they stayed back home.

Also expect to meet some very cool people. There are five people, in particular, that I will never forget and I am grateful that I meet.

The first two were a couple of amazing women from our great province of Alberta. They added laughter, humour and wisdom to our nightly campfires.

The other two were a mom and son doing what she thinks will be their last hike together before teenage-hood takes him away from her. Their bond and kindness towards each other really warmed my heart and her son gave me hope for the future (he was such a great kid!).

And, the last person I am grateful I meet was an interesting character from Alberta, where he lives in a small shack with no running water and an outhouse. He was just completing his third trip through the trail in 17 days!

We ran into him a lot during our 7 day hike and finished the last leg with him. He told me that he doesn’t own a cell phone (I doubt he even has a regular phone either), or a vehicle, and he only works enough through the year so that he can head back into the bush. He explained that he didn’t need much in life to make him happy, just a trail and his boots.

I found that inspiring and refreshing, considering everyone else has that gotta-have-the-latest-gadget attitude. In fact, I was a little jealous of him.

Selfie in West Coast Trail
Selfie in the forest with our new buddies.

Getting Back To Your Car

Wow, getting back to Bamfield (and then out of Bamfield!) was an adventure unto itself. By the time we finished the trail and arrived to Port Renfrew the West Coast Trail Bus was gone, which we knew it would be, so we stayed a night in Port Renfrew.

To get into Port Renfrew from the Parks office all you to do is call Evan. Yup, he’s a one-man taxi service, tour guide, and local dump manager. He’s your rural Uber and small town concierge all wrapped up in a pick up truck.

To reach him, just ask the Park ranger or anyone on the street. Yes, Port Renfrew is that small.

To stay in Port Renfrew I recommend the Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages. They are beautiful, located right on the water and are only a short walk to the pub (which has awesome food!). In the morning you must have breakfast at The Coastal Kitchen. This was one of the best restaurants we have ever been to for breakfast.

To get back to Bamfield you have a couple of choices. First, you can book a ride with the West Coast Trail bus, or you can head back by ferry.

We choose ferry and if I knew how rough the waters were going to be I would have chosen the bus – or walked back.

I was so seasick! For 3 hours I was over the side of the boat throwing up and wishing that I were dead. It was the worst 3 hours of my life.

So, the moral of the story is: if you get even the least amount of seasickness take the damn bus.

West Coast Trail Pics #8
Post-Lunch Yoga at Pachena Point

Once in Bamfield there are always locals available to drive you from the marina to your car for a few dollars. And then the fun drive home on an 82 km gravel logging road begins.

At first, when loving husband told me were going to be on a logging road, I thought he was joking and when he told me he wasn’t I thought, “well, it can’t be that bad”.

It is. Very bad.

The road is dusty, bumpy and long and we also had the misfortune of blowing two tires. The first tire blown was no problem, because we had a spare ready and waiting. The second was a ROYAL pain in the ass and we had to flag a local down to drive loving husband to the tire store in Port Alberni.

FYI: the truckers along this route are not allowed to pull over and help. So, don’t get angry at them and swear and flick them the finger when they barrel right past you as you are standing there exhausted and helpless. You will want to, but it’s not their fault. The companies they work for have this stipulation.

Oh, and then we got the ferry, only to miss that sailing because it was full.

Like I said, it was an adventure just getting out of Bamfield.

What The Trail Gives You In Return

But, what do you get in return, hiking the West Coast Trail?

Some of the most stunning views in the world, a chance to reconnect with yourself, some quality time with a good friend, the opportunity to share an experience of a lifetime with a loved one (thank you loving husband), the satisfaction of completing something both physically and mentally challenging and a whole new appreciation for running water and Wi-Fi.


Check this out:

Top 50 Long Distance Hiking Trails in the USA

West Coast Trail Love







PJ ox

30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata

30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata

There is much data and research available to us now on how  higher intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts can get us just as fit, in a shorter amount of time, as lower intensity and longer workouts can.

HIIT workouts have been proven to: increase our human growth hormone (our anti-aging hormone), decrease our body fat, improve our blood pressure, blood sugar regulation and triglycerides, as well as improve our muscle tone and aerobic endurance.

In fact, I am almost ready to give up my one long run every week due to these studies.

I mean, who wouldn’t want the same effects that a long cardio session can produce, but in half the time? But, alas my 4-legged running partner would be very upset if I stopped.


To write about shorter and more intense workouts you need not to look too far before your come across the name Tabata.

Tabata workouts are named after this gentleman, Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physician and researcher.Dr. Izumi Tabata

He conducted a study using an interval-based workout to see if athletes would see the same gains from a shorter training program as they do with a longer duration one.

His initial study used the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating team as his test subjects and the workout consisted of 20 seconds intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 rounds on a stationary bike. The whole workout took 4 minutes for the athletes to complete.

In just 6-weeks of training his subjects improved their anaerobic capacity (the ability for the body to work without oxygen, which in turn promotes speed, strength and power) by 28%, and they increased their VOmax (the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use, which improves endurance) by 14%.

While this is a pretty cool study, it is used with elite athletes as the test subjects. Would this type of training work for us mere mortals, as well?


In 2013 the American Council on Exercise enlisted a research team of their own to gauge how effective a Tabata-style workout really is – with normal people.

They took a group of 16 men and women who were deemed healthy and either moderately to very fit and between the ages of 20 to 47 years. After their initial treadmill test (to assess their starting VOmax, maximal heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion – RPE) they had the participants perform 8 rounds of 4 different exercises, using the 20 seconds hard and 10 seconds rest interval for a total of 20 minutes.

The participants used full-body calisthenics with exercises such as: push-ups, mountain climbers, high knees, split squats, box jumps, burpees, jumping rope, side skaters, plank and punch, lunges, squats, high-knees and Russian twists.

The subject’s heart rates were  monitored throughout the workout, while their blood lactate levels were tested with a finger prick blood test and RPE was evaluated after every four-minute segment of exercise.

Immediately following the sessions, the researchers crunched the data and on average showed that during a Tabata workout their subjects averaged 86 percent of HR max and 74 percent of VOmax —both of which meet or exceed established industry guidelines for improving cardio fitness and promoting fat loss.

As for calorie burning, the 16 subjects burned between 240 and 360 kcals during the workout, for an average of 15 kcals per minute burned.

Again, Tabata met established guidelines for calorie expenditure for improving health and facilitating weight loss.

I love this study due to two reasons:

  1. They used body weight exercises (instead of a stationary bike like Dr. Tabata used), and they used exercises that can be easily replicated at home.
  2. The researcher’s also increased the total workout time from 4 minutes to 20 minutes. You see what a lot of people don’t understand is that the intensity that Dr. Tabata used on his athletes was extreme. Even the most fit person would most likely puke at the 2 minute mark. So, by increasing the time of the workout, and dropping the intensity, it makes this type of workout a lot more doable for the average person.


While Dr. Tabata’s study was done in 1996, almost a decade later the fitness industry has embraced it. I don’t know why in the last few years his protocol has gotten so much attention. Interval-type training is nothing new, but now you can find Tabata-type training in almost every gym.

I’m happy that people are embracing this type of training, though. It gives people who are short on time a workout option, while providing us trainers some fresh ideas on how to keep our clients motivated.


When performing a Tabata-protocol on your own make sure that you use whole body movements and that you train at an intensity that leaves you unable to talk! Anything less will not put you in your “anaerobic threshold” and will therefore not give you the same results.

A true Tabata is also 8 rounds of one exercise for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds rest in-between. I quite often teach my Tabata workouts using 4-6 exercises, cycling through these exercises, one after another, instead of performing 8 sets of lunges and then 8 sets of push-ups, etc.

The workout below uses 4 exercises, for a total of 40 rounds (exercise #3 is done with the left leg stepping out and then the right leg).


Who should do a Tabata-type workout? This is a question that many of  us in the fitness industry are struggling with. Clearly this type of training is intense and is not for everyone.

There are three types of people that I feel should avoid Tabata training until they get their doctor’s clearance:

  • Anyone with a history of heart disease and/or that check “Yes” on any question on a Par-Q
  • Anyone with a injury
  • Anyone just starting out with fitness

30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata Workout

30 Min Dumbbell Tabata Blog graphic


 Looking for some tough love training? I’ve got small group classes, one-on-one appointments, and online personal training. In other words – everything you need to get started! Check out my website here.

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PJ ox

What I’m Eating This Week

What I’m Eating This Week

What I’m Eating This Week #1

Week 1

I thought I would try something new. Something to help you out if you are struggling with weight loss, or weight maintenance.

Each week I will be releasing my meal prep guide for the week ahead, including links to the recipes that I plan to use that week (where available).

For decades I have meal planned and prepped every Sunday, and I also coach my clients to do the same. When we are prepared, in the kitchen, we make healthier choices. It’s that simple.

You see, once our week starts the busy-ness and craziness takes over, and if we haven’t set ourselves up with some planning and prepping come 6′ o’clock we will be forced to follow our stomaches instead of our hearts.

And our stomaches, sadly, can get us into trouble (ie. take-out versus garlic chicken kale sauté).

I also love prepping on a Sunday because then I really only have one big mess to clean up, once a week.

In addition, it forces me (and it will force you too) to eat the healthy foods that I bought on Saturday and Sunday at the grocery store – because I have a recipe and a home for them.

What I’m Eating This Week – October 12 – 18, 2015


Monday & Tuesday Breakfast

  • Greek yogurt mixed with blueberries (I froze a bunch of boxes from the summer), mixed with Weeds & Seeds Cereal (freaking love this stuff, and locally you can buy it at Meridian Meats.)
  • I prep this the night before by simply mixing in a cup of frozen blueberries in a 3/4 C 0% Greek yogurt with 2Tbsp of Weeds & Seeds Cereal. Cover and put in the fridge. Yes, that was a cup of blueberries. I love blueberries. Don’t judge.

Wednesday – Sunday Breakfast

  • This morning I made a big batch of Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats and will bowl and re-heat through the week.
  • I also like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top of my pumpkin oatmeal. This makes it creamier and ups my protein.
  • Click here for the recipe.



  • Southwest Kale Power Salad – Cookie + Kate
  • I eat the same thing lunch every week Monday – Thursday (Friday’s are my meeting days with peers, business contacts or my business coach, so I usually eat out) and prep it on Saturday or Sunday so it is ready to go for the week.



  • Since this is the Thanksgiving long weekend for us Canadians, and loving husband and I will be eating pizza and pumpkin pie tonight (yup, that’s how we celebrate. – that and sitting on our butts all night and binge-watching StrikeBack. Addicted to that series.), I have a light, meat-free, low sodium dinner planned for us for Monday.
  • Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes for me, baked potatoe for loving husband (he won’t eat sweet potatoes, sigh), and a kale salad.
  • Recipe for my Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoe is an old Go Fit Gals recipe that my sister from another mister developed, Risse. So, I suggest that you go bug her nicely (click here to find her), and let her know that you would love to see the Twice Baked Sweet Potatoe recipe re-released. Tell her PJ sent ya.


  • Larry has volleyball Tuesday nights so it’s usually an easy grab and go meal.
  • This week he’s making dinner and will be making his favourite (and only) dish, Tuna Salad.
  • All you do is:
    • Mix 6 cans of tuna, 6 chopped hard boiled eggs with some mayo and relish. He LOVES this and eats tuna fish sandwiches, non-stop, for days whenever he makes this. I enjoy mine on Wasa Crisp bread and will have some of the leftover kale salad from the night before. He will have potatoe chips, sigh.


  • I work late on Wednesday nights, so Wednesday’s are all about whatever I have prepped either on the weekend, or made double batches of in the past and froze.
  • This week it’s Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken, that I found in the freezer. I totally forgot that I had this prepped, so how excited was I to learn that I had one less meal to prepare today? Very. Excited.

Asian Peanut Noodles & Chicken - Skinnytaste
Asian Peanut Noodles & Chicken – Skinnytaste


  • Baked salmon, with lemon juice and dill, accompanied with baked sweet potatoes (for me) and baby potatoes (for loving husband) and baked green beans. Wow, that’s a lot of “baked”, isn’t it? Haha.
  • Baked green beans is my newest obsession. They are so easy! Simply toss green beans with some olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degree. Yup, they are that easy.
  • Green beans are also one of the few green vegetables loving (picky) husband will eat.


Grilled Steak Fajitas - Two Peas and their Pod
Grilled Steak Fajitas – Two Peas and their Pod


  • Date night! Out for dinner.


  • Sunday’s I leave loosey-goosey. You see if it’s not raining (and I can convince loving husband), we go hiking. This means that I need to get a slow cooker meal going because we won’t get home till late.
  • However, if we don’t go hiking then I check the food blogs on the ol’ web and pick a recipe and double batch it so I have a meal in the freezer for the future.
  • Yes, I double batch new recipes. I know this is risky, since I don’t even know if the recipe is good, but I love trying new recipes and I have really had only one dud in all the years that I have been doing this.







PJ ox

How To Bounce Back From Failure

How To Bounce Back From Failure

Stopped Working Out? How To Bounce Back.

Having been a trainer for over two decades now (wow, I’m getting old. When the hell did that happen?!), I know there are a lot of people who have a hard time getting fit and losing weight.

In my 20-plus years of being “in the trenches,” I have found that most people can find the energy and enthusiasm to start a fitness plan, or a new eating plan. We make a commitment to ourselves and we start.

No problem.

Where the challenge lies is in staying committed to those goals on an ongoing basis.

I’m Starting… Next Year

Think about how many times you have triumphantly told yourself that “today is going to be the day!”, only to have that same enthusiasm wane as the days pass.

Or, how many of you have promised yourself, “I will start on Monday,” only to have Friday come and everything we promised ourselves, and were kicking ass doing on Monday and Tuesday, is slowly starting to fall to the “not so important anymore” category in our daily lives.

All these broken promises to ourselves can leave us feeling resentful, frustrated and angry with ourselves.

We wonder, why we can’t do this? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever succeed? Ha, trust me, there nothing is wrong with you.

You are human and we ALL fall and slip with our health goals. I even fall prey to this. There are some weekends where pizza, cookies and rum dominate my Saturday and Sunday nights and then Monday comes for me too.

How To Bounce Back 

Now, first off I want you to know that making poor choices with your health, when you promised yourself that you wouldn’t, is not failure. Failure is9, not even recognizing that you need to change your lifestyle.

Ignorance is the biggest indicator to failure.

Whereas admitting that you need to change some (or a lot) of things in your life to feel better, and then falling on your face every so often, is completely, utterly human.

So, what can you do next time you fall off the wagon? You have three choices. You can:

A) Crawl back into bed and throw the covers over your head,

B) Yell and scream and blame everyone else for your slip up

C) Dust yourself off and bounce back

While A can be tempting, and B we may do at times, it’s C that’s the clear winner – dusting ourselves off and bouncing back is the only way to bounce back from disaster and failure.

5 Steps to Bouncing Back

To successfully pick ourselves up takes:

  • Strength from within
  • Support from those around you
  • Responsibility on your part
  • An ability to embrace challenge and change
  • A never-stop-bouncing back attitude

First, strength within happens through self-love. You have to convince yourself that you are worth it, that even if you are starting over again you are still way farther ahead than you would be if you didn’t.

You need to remind yourself that you are making better choices in your life – for your life.

To help accomplish this new love affair with yourself you may need to reframe your thinking. Instead of thinking of exercise as a form of punishment, think of it as a choice you are making because you love your body. Sounds corny eh? But, it works.

Case in point, would you rather do a workout if someone said to you “This is going to hurt like a motha and leave you crippled for days”.

Or, “You are going to feel amazing after this”. Person A would get a punch in the throat, I am positive.

Yet, this is how we talk to ourselves all the time. We either guilt ourselves into doing something, or we take the most negative aspect of it and focus on that.

Your grey matter can play a huge roll on whether or not you put those runners on.


Second, lean on those around you. Don’t feel like a burden; get help from your family, your social circle and even social media. The more people that know you need help staying on track, the more people can help. And, who knows, maybe one day they may need your help too.

Third, take responsibility for your actions. This is a tough one. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but recognize that you are completely and utterly in control of your actions.

No one is stopping you from exercise (example, you are the one creating the “I am too busy…too tired… too unmotivated…too sore…too old…” excuses that stop you from getting those runners on), and no one is stuffing bad choices down your throat in the form of burgers and beer.

Take responsibility, learn from your mistakes, bounce back up and move on.

Finally, it’s important to embrace the challenges and the inevitable adjustment that has to happen to change the direction of your health.

Don’t put up stop signs (such as “I’m too busy… too tired… too unmotivated…too sore… too old…”). If you want to make a change, start – and then get the hell out of your way and let the changes happen.

Work on those little grasshopper, and then you will find that you can bounce back, come back and live through anything.







PJ ox

10-Minute [Killer] Ab Workout

10-Minute [Killer] Ab Workout

10-Minute Killer Ab Workout

Training your abs. You either love doing it, or you hate doing it.

There’s usually no grey area I’ve found when it comes to working your abdominals.

But, regardless you know you gotta train them and you know you should train them.

Now, the great news is if you do moves like squats, lunges, deadlifts, mountain climbers, pull-ups and push-ups you are training your abs and core – and in a functional way (and double great news if you follow my YouTube workouts).

You see, your core muscles are designed to stabilize the spine, as well as flex, rotate, twist and laterally bend the torso.

When performing the big moves I mentioned about you are firing up the core to stabilize the spine. Hence, a good weight training workout (try this one – it’s awesome) will train the heck out of your abs.

However, we also love a little extra, when it comes to our abs. Which is precisely the reason I developed and filmed this 10-minute ab workout.

It’s effective, fast, works all of the ab muscles and is perfect to do after a strength training or cardio workout, or while binge watching your favourite TV show (my current fave is “Strike Back”. I am obsessed with it right now.).

10-Min Killer Ab Workout

The Workout

10 Min Killer Ab Workout - workout described







PJ ox

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