We are really honoured to share this special guest post by Sea to Sky personal training client, Tara Crone.
She is a local North Shore girl - intelligent and driven, with a heart of gold. She's worked really hard over the last year and a half to reach her fitness goals and has made substantial gains - both physically and mentally.
In this post, she shares her fitness and body transformation journey with us - candidly sharing the story of her relationship with her body, and her renewed relationship to personal health, fitness and how it has now just become part of everyday life. She reminds us all of the importance of fitness for health and strength, for loving your body and for seeking balance in life.Thank you for sharing your story Tara!
Like many women, when I made the decision to get serious about working out again, I was motivated by my negative body image. As a strong feminist woman, I knew that it should be about health and strength, but, to be honest, I just wanted to look like an Instagram fitness star! I had recently gained quite a bit of weight and was having trouble losing it. My weight, and body image, has been something that I have struggled with since I was in early high school. I have been on every diet and in every fitness class. I have had short term success in the past, but I have never found something that really stuck. This time, nothing seemed to be working, and I realised that I needed help. I knew that my fitness level was a large part of what was holding me back, so I started to do research on getting a personal trainer. I was initially overwhelmed by the number of trainers online and by the common presence of a “fat negative” rhetoric. I forced myself to ignore my apprehensions and I sent out a ton of emails and made a lot of phone calls. One of my emails was forwarded on to Nikki, at Sea to Sky Fitness. I met with a few people, including Nikki, and I quickly realised that a connection, with whomever I was going to be working with, was going to be important to my success. I was instantly attracted to Nikki’s laid back nature and comforting enthusiasm.
I started working out with Nikki twice a week and my fitness level quickly improved, but the weight wasn’t falling off like I had hoped it would. I was blinded by my issues with body image and I couldn’t see all the progress that I was making. Nikki consistently gave me positive feedback and talked about how strong I was getting. She was enthusiastic about the inches I was losing, and continued to challenge me by changing up my workouts. She encouraged me to take progress photos so that I could see the changes in my body. I was eating healthy, loosing fat, meeting fitness goals and gaining muscle, but I still didn’t look like an Instagram fitness star! I knew that my way of thinking was unhealthy (and common!), but it was engrained in me and it was going to take time for it to change.
I have been working out consistently, with Nikki and on my own, for about a year and a half now. A few months ago, I realised that I was starting to shift my thinking. Working out had become a part of my life and it was something I had started to really enjoy. I was able to keep up with my friends on hikes, and I had the confidence to ask the “Instagram fitness stars” at my gym if I could “work in”. I was lifting heavy weights, and felt pretty badass doing it. I started to see muscle definition and I was stoked about being strong. With the risk of sounding cliché, over the past year and half of my life, my relationship with myself has changed for the better. I am getting more comfortable in my own skin, I am excited about reaching new fitness goals, and most importantly, I feel good! I feel less groggy when I wake up in the morning, I have more energy throughout the day, and my mood has improved in a big way. It has been incredible to experience just how much CONSISTENT exercise has improved my mental well being.
Don’t get me wrong, my body and I still have moments, and days, where we are at odds with each other, and I still wouldn’t mind rocking a bikini with a flat stomach, but it’s not the end goal. I don’t think I really have an END goal anymore. I want to meet my current goals and then set new ones. I want to get stronger and increase my endurance. I want to continue to work on my relationship with myself and be kind to my body. I want to be healthy!
Nikki has been such an important part of this journey that I am on. She always has a positive attitude, she never seems to be worried about the number on the scale, and she is consistently celebrating my successes. I feel lucky to have found a trainer and friend like Nikki to check in with me each week. She is genuinely invested in my growth and in helping me reach any goal I set. I have become a strong believer in the power of body positivity, and over the last year and half I have witnessed the beneficial role that it has played in reaching my goals.
Nikki Johnston Beaudoin is an outdoorsy Mountain Mermaid, and the Owner and Operator of Sea to Sky Paddle Fit, based on Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver.