My fitness journey + routine

You've clicked here & I'm so sorry to disappoint but it'd rather say it now: there will be no typical workout routine in this blog post. The truth is, I used to have a "workout routine" section included in my ebook TheMindfulLife but as of 2018's update, I have decided to take it off because that wasn't a true reflection of my current life, and I hated somehow being "lying" or "inaccurate" to you guys. I don't do well with routines, and you'll soon find out why! 

You're here to read about my fitness journey (not yoga journey, but i could plan that post if you wish!) and what my typical week of physical activity looks like, so that's exactly what I'll deliver. All the inspirational and overall exercice philosophy/motivation can be found in that post instead. So, take a few minutes off what you're currently doing, sit comfortably and get the kettle boiling because there will be some juicy things & story time going on!

fitness -

Alrighty, if you don't really know me or haven't been following me for long, I like to define my lifestyle as a "healthy active mindful & vegan lifestyle". just that, haha! In fact, being active is part of my daily and I could not envision my life otherwise. 

But let’s just get back to ‘how it all started’ for a minute!

I cannot say that I was the sedentary type of person before I started to ‘properly’ incorporate working out into my life a few years ago. Growing up, I’ve done a «little bit of everything», mostly because I wanted to do what my girlfriends/sister were doing! That list looked something like: swimming, basketball, tennis, gymnastic, a little acrobatics & circus on holidays, a little athletism sometimes too, skiing & snowboarding, hip-hop dancing & Tahitian dance, a little surfing, horse-riding and mostly : hiking long hours (if not days!) with friends and parents, to our great dismay (at that time!). Here's the list if you're a visual person:  

Having my mom always cook balanced homemade meals for us, you can say that I’ve been put into the healthy tracks! I’ve never considered any of those exercice as «working out». For me, they were just activities to have fun, feel good, see my friends, get a little competitive & tough spirit and pass time.

Then a little later, after high school finished and once I moved to Canada for studying, things got a little bit… off track, to say the least! 

I was living abroad on my own at 16 years old and, although that didn’t scare me at all because I’ve been a pretty independent girl all my life, I very soon was faced with ‘adult things’ taking a lot of my spare time - some that I didn’t even realise existed before. Like, going grocery shopping, cleaning the living space, washing clothes, fresh sheets, cooking meals for myself, dealing with toilet leaks and clogged bathtubs, banking & admin stuff - all this, while 1. being a serious full time student  2. trying to make new friends by living the 'student life' aka many parties, drinks & sleepless nights, and 3. taking time to get to know this new city!
What I’m trying to say is : I lacked time to exercice, or better said : my priorities were elsewhere.

I remember about 6 months in - a little afternoon when I finally had time to do nothingI had this thought that I hadn’t been doing anything active for MONTHS. That scared me for a split second because I purely associated exercice with health, and so I thought I may get super sedentary and sick. It was around February, and if you’ve been to Montreal, i know you know how that feels : freaking freezing! Basically the only activity I was doing was a 30 second walk to the bus that would drop me at my school 3 minutes later because it was freakin' -40°C and there was no way I was walking longer than that. So back to my thought: I remembered hearing there was a gym membership deal with my school or something. THE GYM: something I had never put my feet in, except when I was on holidays with my family and me and my sister would just have fun with the machine doing biceps curls and legs press and see who'd last longer on the treadmill.

So, I went at the gymdesk and got this 6-month membership to finish off my first year right! It was quite expensive, and mostly, I had no clue what I was gonna do. The place was this huge complex with swimming pool, stadium, climbing walls, tennis & basketball courts, and a big gym. After my subscription, I just had a quick glance at that gym and it looked horrible: old, grey and white, like a big factory with pumped up guys and a terrible smell. Next day, after class, I decided to go. I went on the stationary bike first and that lasted about 5 minutes, then the treadmill where I tried to run (and realised how un-fit I had become!), and that lasted 10. I snucked in a little push-ups and sit-ups because those were the only things I knew and thought would look cool to do in that environnement...i was way too intimidated to try the machines and was out in under 20 minutes! I went 2 days later and lasted about 25 minutes and then.. i never stepped foot in that gym again! That was a crazy expensive gym session! yeeeeks !!! I just couldn’t do it. Gym was not for me: not fun and mostly, I wasn’t about getting fit for aesthetics like everyone seemed, so what was the point? I just wanted to move for health.

If you're still reading CONGRATS, because that sounds seriously super self-centered until now, but I hope at least entertaining: bare with me - the motivation & concrete stuff is coming soon. Here's an inspirational photo to keep you waiting.

Running in Bondi Beach, Sydney on the coastal walk

Back to my story: few years later of no-activity, I obviously took on a little bit of weight and mostly was TOTALLY out-of-shape, stamina wise. My cardio was so bad, I felt weak, my posture was horrible, I basically just felt super crappy inside out and had lost my whole self-esteem. I'll skip through more crusty details (which you can read about in my ebook), but I finally one day decided that if I wanted to stop feeling sorry for myself, I had to stop making excuses! ‘Go big or go home’ as they say! I changed my priorities and that’s when I started being more interested into ‘fitness’ and all that weird vocabulary around it: HIIT, LISS, burpees, TRX, squats, triceps dips and russian twists. (that's when I created my instagram account to find workouts & healthy meals inspiration!). I started a well known fitness guide (‘bikini body guide’ by Kayla itsines - which wasn’t as popular back then!), along side with following youtube videos from XFit and Victoria’s secret channel, the nike app workouts and some dancing and kickboxing twice a week - those last two being super important to my sanity as they were fun and got me out of my little flat where I was hibernating ! 
To be honest, the workouts as such weren't so fun at start, but... I finally felt like I was me again ! Of course I dropped some extra weight, but above that, I just felt whole and strong and able to take control of my life again! My brain was so sharp, my mind was clear and fast thinking.

From then, the journey has been somewhat chaotically consistent (note: not consistently chaotic!). If that's a thing. I have practiced many, many, many different fitness activities like weight lifting, pilates, body pump, grit, circuit training, barre, crossfit, trx, boxing... I have started a regular yoga practice and became a certified teacher..  I've also been injured way too many times. I have participated into epic events and have hold fitness challenges on social media. I have been trained by amazing people & former athletes including Kirsty Godso, Rebecca Wilcock, Kayla Itsines, Steph Bruckner, Kali burns, Liza Gishen-Kloechkner, Tatiana Avila-Bouru (yoga), Phoebe diTomaso.., which I'm so thankful for! All their tips & inspiration + my own experience & dedication have been printed and mixed & matched into my brain & body and believe have shaped me to where I am today!

Here to some of my 2015 trainings!

workout motivation -
workout motivation -

This is when I tell you again that I don’t like routines. The reason I keep mixing & matching all those different styles of fitness and activities like yoga, running, hiking, biking, dancing, surfing.. is because 1. I don’t like to feel stuck and bored 2. My job isn't a classic 9-5 and days are so different to one another. 3. I like to travel and don't like to feel stuck with memberships 4. I have little time to exercice and can't fit everything to my days, but still wanna do all of those so I switch it up! and 5. I don’t live to exercice, I exercice to live! I have no one to become or body to achieve, just be the best version of myself and strive for progress every day! Having a set routine worked well at first to give me some structure, but now that I’ve found what works best for me and what I love the most, I do not need that anymore.

my exercice routine - yoga inspiration paris -
my exercice routine - yoga inspiration -

So concretely, how do I exercice & what's my workout week like?

The only rule I follow because I want to keep healthy is move my body in some ways at least 45minutes everyday. That doesn't mean a 45 minutes workout daily, that just means: moving my body 45 minutes and that's super easy to get in. Let me fill you in:

Today, I have no gym membership anymore because my gym opens at 8 and that doesn’t fit with my life (I like really early workouts to get things moving and done!). All the workouts I do I do at home with body weight or small weights & resistance bands. Or with my friends outside in the park! I love quick efficient HIITs like those I have on my Youtube Channel. I love to travel with a jump rope because that’s a really good cardio, although I refrain from skipping in my flat because #neighbours. I go for a run on days I want to go for a run (which is sporadically but at least I’m not forcing myself into it), or when friends ask me to join them! I dance till I sweat when I hear some upbeat music, and I get off my chair every now and then to kick into a few handstands or burpees. I practice yoga everyday, even if that’s a 15 minutes because it makes me feel so good, and I take few classes a week,.. and teach (well, I plan to teach soon). I take the stairs to my 4th floor apartment all the time, despite having an elevator. I commute to places by walking or cycling and would take a bus/metro if it’s raining or the bike service doesn’t work. My favorite activities remain everything outdoors which is why I love active holidays! 

hawaii Kauai canyon-
hawaii Kauai-
hawaii Kauai watefall Kalalau-

Now that you've read about my fitness journey, you can have a little read at my Exercice Philosophy in which I go more in depth about what really motivates me to workout, my thoughts on working out for looks (might not be what you think ;)) and how I get inspired!

I would LOVE to know what ignites your inner fire ! What are your favorite ways of moving your body and if you relate to my journey in any ways! Feel free to shoot me all those + questions in the comments below - and if you need a little kick in da butt, I’ll be here to make ya sweat! come workout with me on my youtube channel, and learn more about exercice science in my ebook TheMindfuLife ! 

Lots of love,

xo Amélie