Tag: goals

Lifting Is Easy – Nutrition Is Hard!

Ain’t that the truth! 

For me staying motivated in the gym is no problem, finding programs to keep me interested- no problem. 

Figuring out how to fuel these workouts BIG PROBLEM! 

I’m someone who needs to read everything , every study , every internet snippet of info I can find on what diet/lifestyle is the BEST OUT THERE. Well guess what – I ain’t found it yet? I have been following Avatar for months now and the reverse dieting was easy – you just keep on eating more. Then I decided I got way too fluffy and I needed to cut – so I entered into fat loss phase- no bueno! No pounds lost no body fat lost. So what do I do ? Start researching again. I go and pay for a custom meal plan ( which was ok but I’m not convinced yet) , then I start researching Keto again – oh god No Dawn remember what happened last time see link Here

Then I find Jim Stoppani’s 6 week Shortcut to Shred plan. I started reading and I do not like his workout plan – I’ll stick to Kris Gethin Hardcore Trainer 2 plan that I’ve just finished week 1 BUT his nutrition plan piqued my interest. I Fear Carbs! I always have and as a Bariatric pt I have to. It is rule #1 to eliminate carbs!!!!! So , Stopanni suggests that you eat 1g of protein per lb of body weight (1.5g preferrably) and 0.5g of fat. He uses a scenario for carbs but I picked the phase 3 one which was 0.5g carbs per lb of body weight. Now – listen up ! I set my new goals is My Fitness Pal to read 

I weigh 185 – so I went with a little more than 1g of protein but not 1.5 because I simply cannot eat 277g of protein in a day. 

Fats are perfect at 0.5g = 93g fat per day

Carbs 155g which is a little more than 0.5g per lb. I’d have to be at 93g /day if I calculated it. I chose to go a little above it the first week , then I’ll reduce next week. Monday is my weigh in day with avatar so this is when I will start this plan- give it a week see how I feel and if I want to continue. 

I’m kinda at a point right now where I just want to give up on the macro tracking and constant weighing of myself. I’m becoming too obsessed with numbers and targets. I think I’d rather focus that energy in the gym lifting. That’s the easy part! 

After I weigh in tomorrow my kid is hiding my scale, I won’t step on it till next Monday. If I find the tracking and counting becomes to obsessive then I’ll stop. Easy as that , I’ve lost weight in the past just intuitively eating – I can do it again. 

My bariatric program is great and I still have all the paperwork and handouts and notes from my surgery. I will just go back to the those easy simple basics- Eat All Your Protein and Don’t Eat Carbs! 

Until then , you will catch me searching the web for the perfect weight loss solution and googling fat loss help! Lol – mostly kidding but other than that I’ll be in the gym 5 days a week killing workouts and making fat cry! 

Macros – Are they important?

*This post has been written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blog Ambassador program. All opinions expressed are my own. 


We all know you must move your body through exercise daily if we want to reach our goals But does it matter what we eat? Duh, of course it does! Like the old saying goes “Abs are made in the kitchen”. If you have been following this blog lately you will notice that I am tracking my macros very closely. My coach has me set up on a set of macros designed around my activity level and weight. 

Let break down what exactly “macros” means. 

First off – to macro count you need to count the number of protein (4 calories/gram), carbs(4 calories/g) and fat( 9 calories/g) grams you consume in a day. You absolutely must have a good food scale to do this correctly. Macros are important for both cutting (getting lean) and bulking (building mass). The first step in macro counting is to set up your own goals. But how????? 

Well let me show you – you can easily Google “macro calculator” plug in your numbers and it gives you are pretty accurate number of calories to consume . I chose to do it old school with math and a calculator.

Here is how I figured out mine – 

1. Figure out your BMR ( basal metabolic rate) 

370 + (9.8x lean body mass) = BMR 

You need to determine your body fat % by estimating if you don’t have calipers and a trainer to figure it out. I guessed at mine using online pics of people and their body fat % and I estimated I was at 35%. 

So my lean body mass is 175lbs X 35% = 61.25  

now 175-61.25= 113.75 is my lean body mass 

So I plug that into the BMR formula 370 + (9.8×113.75) = 1484.75

2. Now I need to figure out how “active” I am , my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure)

If you are not active then BMR X 1.2

If you are lightly active BMR X 1.375

If you are very active BMR X 1.55

I’m very active so 1484.75 X 1.55 = 2301.36

This is my “Maintenence” calories , the amount of calories I need to maintain my weight. Now I don’t want that because I am cutting/leaning out. 

3. So I Subtract 20% to lean out or add 20% to bulk 

2301.36 X 20%  = 460.2 

2301.36 – 460.2 = 1841.09 

So I need to consume 1841 calories a day to lose weight.

BUT WAIT – we haven’t even figured out “macros yet” 

4. This is actually the easy part – for protein you simply need to eat your weight in grams. 

So I’m 175 therefore I need 175g of protein. Now protein is 1g = 4 calories so 175×4= 700 calories . So 700 calories a day is coming from protein. 

Now we figure out fats – 25% of your calories come from fats so 1841 X 25% = 460 calories now divide that by 9 ( because 1g of Fat has 9 calories) so 460/9= 51g of fat per day 

Now the balance is carbs!!! Yeah!!! 

Take your protein calories + fat calories = mine are 700+460= 1160

Subtract from your daily goal 

1841-1160 = 681 calories leftover divide by 4 (because 1g of carbs = 4 calories) 

So 681/4 = 170 g of carbs 

To break it down my daily goals look like this 

P 175g

F 51g

C 170g 

Totaling 1841 calories. Simple right! 

Now you can totally do the online calculator as well and see if it gives you the same # or close to it. 

I get most of my info from Bodybuilding.com as they have the biggest source of info I can find so I trust their calculator. 

Now that you have your macros figured out, you still need to workout and push yourself. My favorite place to do that is at GoodLife Fitness because all the equipment I need is there. I simply can’t get the kind of workouts I need at home. I Must have a Squat Rack !!!!! 

Next step – The absolute most important this is to TRACK YOUR MACROS!!!!

You can do this in My Fitness Pal which is the easiest way to keep track, their app is fantastic and I track everything I eat and drink!

So if you get confused figuring out “what should I be eating” just remember IIFYM ( if it fits your macros) then eat it! 

Good luck and shoot me a message if you are super confused. 

Running is Not my Job

Today is one of those days where I ponder…….

I’m a very busy professional in my everyday life. I do not work a scheduled 9 to 5 job. I’m on call 24/7 and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

I used to find myself overscheduling my busy days because I was always training for a race. I would put running ahead of work appts and sit and think all day long how I would fit in a training run. It was overwhelming. I got hurt. I overtrained. 

Running started to feel like a job! 

I see posts everyday about people and their run streaks , logging all the miles, team “no rest days ” and I think – good for them. I don’t have to compete with them. I am not part of some secret running society that will judge me by the miles I accumulate. I needed to take a step back a focus on why I run. I love to run , it is my escape from day to day life. I am not a sponsored elite athlete who gets a pay check for running. I get a pretty decent pay check from my real job! 

Running has to be about you and your why’s. For some it may seem like and be a job for them . Kudos , Do You! 

I have decided , maybe very foolishly , to train for my upcoming 50 miler sans training plan. WHY? Mostly because my goal for this race is to simply finish , claim my medal and chalk it up as another personal victory for me. It can’t feel like a job to train for this race or I will hate it by the time race day rolls around. I will run as many miles as I feel like on days when I feel like it. I have found through my own experiences that if I just listen to my body I can accomplish the tasks I put forth. I have run many races ill prepared yet still finished them . The ones I trained hard, vigorously and without altering from the plan – I got hurt. 

Basically what I need to do is continue on with the thoughts that for me running will always be about finishing. Finishing what you started and completing goals. I don’t place on the winners podium, never intended too , it is for me simply doing what I set out to do. 

I will finish this 50 miler, it will be hard, I will probably cry a few times but in the end it will all be worth it. 
Running is FUN but it’s not my job. 

2014 , The Year I Found Myself

*This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program , however all opinions expressed are my own .

Every year around this time we start to look forward and plan out our goals for the coming year .

This year I’m looking back on what was one of my greatest years ever. I did things this year that I never ever thought I could. I challenged myself , I encouraged myself and I became someone who isn’t afraid to step outside of the comfortable box .

I travelled a lot this year to run some very exciting races with some amazing people, people who inspire and encourage me .

In March I travelled to Kentucky to run my first ever 23k trail race and I was hooked. Running in the woods has become my new addiction . I love being one with nature and using muscles I never thought of when tackling those technical trails, I’m a trail junkie now .

April had me in Washington DC for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and this was a great time . It was well organized with some great swag. I spent a lot of time wandering the streets of DC being a tourist .

In May I ran the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Women’s Half Marathon . I love running in Toronto because it is such a pretty city and running through their parks is almost peaceful .

My biggest accomplishment and the race that thought me the most life lessons was in June at Run Under The Stars (RUTS) in Kentucky. This was a 10hr endurance race that started at 8pm at night and you ran 1/2 mile laps all night long. I spent the majority of this night thinking and pondering. Talking to myself and wondering if I could do it? I hadn’t even run a full marathon yet and here I was contemplating doing an ultra distance . The support I received from my club Run It Fast was incredible, they were there every step of the way always speaking kind words, motivating me . I completed this race doing a total of 35 miles in 9 hours and 40 minutes. I had become an Ultra Marathoner.

I found myself during those long hours going around in circles. I realized I could do anything I set out to do.

I took the rest of the summer off from races , other than doing a Warrior Dash with my daughter in July . I started training for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas full marathon. I trained really hard for this one, it was my first road marathon.

Fast forward to November when the race was held and I basically had a DNF because they forced me to go an alternate route which was shortened by 5 miles because I was apparently too slow and did not meet their timing standards. I was absolutely mortified and felt like I had been cheated , I worked so hard for this and they took it away. I vowed that I would never run another road marathon again .

During my marathon training I started to lift again and followed a 12 week program . I diligently went every morning to my local GoodLife Fitness to lift and run . I found myself again . I realized that I liked how I felt when I lifted weights . When I had DOMS the day after a workout I felt like I had succeeded at pushing myself beyond what I thought capable. This would be my new focus , cross training by lifting.

So as I enter into a new year I do have new goals and big ones too. I have already signed up for a 60k, another 10hr endurance race and a 72 hour endurance race where my goal is to get my 100 mile buckle!
2014 was an amazing year but it set the bar high and I’m going to far surpass that goal and make 2015 my Year!

Running will be epic and I am going to get so fit by lifting at the gym that you won’t even recognize me !

I am ready for you 2015 , let’s do this !


I’ve been Cheating on you , and I like it


This is a Confession to Running.

I am truly , deeply sorry but I have been at the Bar (bell) cheating on you . Since my hip injury sidelined me from my running “career” I’ve heavily implanted myself back in the gym.
I feel guilty not running everyday , until I pick up some weights and realize I really feel good here – at the gym , lifting things .

So I start to reminisce about running
“Do I miss those 5am Sunday wake ups” NO
“Do I miss loosing toe nails” NO
“Do I miss feeling absolutely devastated when I realize I am no longer PR’ing anything ” YES !

This is a very touchy subject for me because deep down I “Am a Runner ”
What happened in those 10 days off for recovery?
Did I loose my MoJo?
I think so .
I just do not have any desire to run far and long right now. Short bursts on the mill get my heart rate going and the sweat dripping but can I even fathom running for 5hrs right now , the answer is No . Sadly

I think it’s time I revisit my life goals .
I turn 44 next month and all I really want to focus on is being in the Best Shape of my life . I want to stare 50 down with vengeance. I want sculpted biceps and back muscles , I want to be lean and fit .
So what is going to get me there I ask ?
So far the answers seem to be – Eat Clean and Lift Weights!

But what about running and the races I’ve already signed up for in 2015?
Well I am still doing them because deep down I do love it. I just think that my training plan has taken over me , hurt me actually . Maybe my body is not capable of running a fast marathon or half ?
I actually prefer endurance where there are no time goals , just go until you are done – Like when I did RUTs in June . Just run till you can’t run anymore .
So I think my mind is made up , however , my mind is in a constant battle with my body and they fight each other like brother and sister.

I will run , My Pace
I will lift , My Choice

I am still a Runner!

My fear is the running community won’t see me as the same ? If I no longer want to do a long run on Sunday’s am I less of a runner?

I think not, so let’s not discourage people based on their mileage . A 12 minute mile is still the same distance as a 6 min mile, right ?

So I will continue just doing what I am doing , running and lifting , Letting my body dictate to me what it likes. If that involves less mileage and more weights , so be it . I am still 284lb Dawn deep down inside and I will beat her .
I will be fit and healthy because that really is the most important goal here . Not PR’s

Just keep doing what you are doing my friends , be happy , be healthy – BE YOU !

National Running Day – A Personal Post


Today is the day we runners celebrate out passion and share with others the reasons we do this crazy sport.
This is a very personal day of reflection for most of us as we all started somewhere. None of us jumped out of the womb and declared ourselves runners, there was a reason .

Here is mine
Back in the day I was always athletic , yes even at 284lbs I still played competitive ball hockey and I golfed. Was I good , not really but I stayed active. Running was something I hated , never understood why anyone would want to do it? Isn’t that why we got our drivers licence? So we didn’t have to walk or run anywhere?
Then I decided I needed a change in my life , I had to get the weight off and I had to learn how to do it.
After my revision Gastric Bypass in 2010 it took a year for me to drop some serious weight , that’s when I had to begin some kind of exercise program because I did not want to look like this anymore


I started out like many by downloading the Couch 2 5k app on my iPhone and I would only “run” after dark so nobody would see me.
It sucked and I hated it. I graduated to running the High school track and when I could run the full 400m I felt like I was getting somewhere.
I finished the program and decided on my first 5k race , it was March of 2012 and this was the beginning of my running career.

I ran that in 31 minutes and I did not die! So what did I do , I signed up for a half marathon in April of 2012 , no training , no friggin idea of what I was doing but I wanted to try it.
Well , I did it and I didn’t come in last! I ran that half in 2:30 minutes and I almost cried at the end.

Since my running career in 2012 , just 2 years ago I have run 8 half marathons and a handful of 5k and 10k races.
I am not fast , I have injuries and I also am not quitting.
Today on this day of recollection I wanted to break some records and I DID , look





This day has me so proud of myself and the fact that Fat Dawn is no longer in my head , she is now fit and happy !

Running is my sanity , my quiet time, my ” I’m not a mom right now” time and I will not give it up !

Today was my last taper run before I travel to Kentucky to run my very first Ultramarathon and by Sunday I will be announcing my status as an Ultra Runner!

Thank you to my Run it Fast family who motivate me everyday and by following your journey you continually inspire me !
Here is that very first 5k race pic!


My very first half medal



Running on Empty

I’m really not sure what is happening with me and my runs lately but I’m on E !
Work is really stressing me out and I’ve lost all focus. I’m finding that I’m bored of my routes , I don’t want to run over the same 2 bridges in town , my shins hurt and I’m sucking at my pace?
What the heck is going on and how do I get my MoJo back?
I’m finding that running that first mile is a killer , it’s like back when I first started running and the first 2 miles were horrible.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day and I ran on my favorite waterfront path

But , 1:08 to run 6 miles ? This is so not like me. I’m a lost little runner .
I have the Toronto Women’s Half on Sunday and it’s in threat of being cancelled , by me , due to work issues and I’m kinda pissed but I’m also thinking maybe I don’t have it in me?
I gotta shake out of this funk and find my focus again. I’m feeling like a newbie runner all over again.
I do believe too much treadmill running over the winter has left me in piss poor shape for road running.
However , I did PR my half just a few weeks ago in DC so maybe I just need to shake my head and kick my own ass. I know I can do this but my head keeps quitting on me .
I’m going to suck it up Sunday , if I make it , wear a pair of old but reliable shoes ( not a fan of my new Brooks Adrenaline) and just embrace e the race.
You see , I am attempting my first ultra June 6 when I travel back to Kentucky with my Run it Fast peeps and run RUTs – a 10 hr endurance race . I’m not spilling the beans on my plan , my goals or what distance I want to conquer because I want to surprise myself before I officially announce it!
So it’s time to suck it up buttercup , fix those dang shin splints and just run my little arse off!

Running is Not for Quitters!

Week 2 Nike Women’s Half Training Done!

Week 2 and I have not faltered from the plan at all! I haven’t switched up training days or slacked on mileage , I’ve done it all to a T !


I want to run this race strong but I am not worrying myself with PR’s or race goals , I just want to run injury free.

When I first downloaded the Nike app for the WerunDC race is was a bit worries that the mileage seemed kinda high , could I really do this without risking injury?
I told myself to follow it and if it becomes a chore or seems to be too much , then I can back off.

Has not happened yet , I know I know it’s only been 2 weeks but I’m sticking with it .

Here is a look at my runs this past week



My treadmill runs have been great and have allowed me to run a little faster than normal . Today’s long run was outside and it was Epic!! Not because I was fast , which I wasn’t , but because I was outside and the sun was out and it wasn’t freezing. My lungs have longed for fresh air and I sucked it back as hard as I could! I ran a totally new route which was great , down some country roads , and it allowed my mind to wander. No cars , no people just lots of animal tracks and peace and quiet.


I managed my required 31 miles for the week and feel great .


This week calls for the same mileage with 1 less run . A lovely 10 miler is on tap for next weekend!

Now my body is looking forward to a complete rest day tomorrow watching some Olympic hockey and major lounging!

Hope you all have had a great week of running too!

Challenge MET!


If you read yesterday’s post you saw that I needed only 6 miles today to make my challenge pledge of 20 miles for the weekend ! Done

It was a beauty run too, not fast but gorgeous. As you know I gravitate to water and today after a busy day of work I wanted peace! I got it

I ran the walking path at Centennial park

I even saw some swans

I really didn’t care about time or pace , the was just a nice easy run to reflect.


Here’s my stats


See I don’t even look tired


But I was hungry as I worked through lunch , so in honor of the American holiday I BBQ some amazing steaks

Then ate this plate of goodness


The perfect end to a great day!
Now I take on the Runners World Run Streak challenge and think up some new challenges for the What’s Beautiful campaign!

Happy Memorial Day my friends !

%d bloggers like this: