2019 New Year Resolution, Goals, Core Desire Feeling

2019 New Year Resolution, Goals, Core Desire Feeling

Can you believe 2018 is almost over?

It flew by for me, what about you?

Take a deep breath and ask yourself

How do I want to feel in 2019?

Starting right now and moving forward?

I want 2019 to be a transformational year. As most of you know, I am currently enrolled in a three-year Practitioners Training program to become a Therapeutic Counselor with Clearmind. I’ve started to peel off layers of myself and look at my beliefs and the different ideas about myself I created early in my life. I want to keep growing into the person I want to be and my goal for this first year of my program is to remain peaceful and centered.

New Years resolutions are great opportunities to write down intentions and goals for the upcoming year. I love making resolutions and every year I refine my process a little bit more. Last year I found Core Desire Feeling program by Danielle Laporte and it really inspired me. Danielle taught me that:

“Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have.”

If you don’t know how to start, pick the 3 areas of your life that are the most important to you; (for example: relationship, work, health…) and then pick a feeling for each area of life. That will be your 3 Core Desired Feelings for the New Year.

Taking the time to choose your Core Desire Feeling will helps you align with how you want to feel. Setting this intention is powerful and important to have clear direction of where you want to go into your life. Choose how you want to feel, and move in the direction of it. You can also set your goals around your Core Desire Feeling. I also like to remind myself of my core desire feeling on a daily base, like a mantra. It can help you to make clearer decisions and to return to your center. 

These are my three Core Desired Feelings:

Acceptance also called an agreement
Accepting the present moment and  what’s happening without attempting to change it or protest it; see the positive, and choose a peaceful state of mind; instead of fighting against it, be miserable, and struggle against the universe. Acceptance invite us to find the lesson or purpose behind every challenge to help you embrace it instead of fighting it. Choose not to judge what happens to you. Instead, believe that everything happens for a reason and that better things will always follow. That’s the beginning of true acceptance.
 Buddhism‘s first noble truth, “All life is suffering”, invites people to accept that suffering is a natural part of life. Radical acceptance is about accepting life on life’s terms and not resisting what you cannot or choose not to change. Radical acceptance is about saying yes to life, just as it is.  When you practice acceptance, you are still disappointed, sad, and perhaps fearful in such situations, but you don’t add the pain of non-acceptance to those emotions and make things worse. Practicing acceptance in these situations also helps you prepare for more difficult circumstances. In order to move on, we must first acknowledge what’s happening now. Acceptance is acknowledging what’s already happened. Do not confuse with approval. Approval is consenting to more of it in the future. Failing to accept reality creates suffering where there’s already pain. It creates confusion where there can be clarity, anguish where there can be peace. We don’t accept things in order to change what’s happening, nor do we do it in order to feel better about it. We accept because it’s the only logical thing to do. Whatever is happening is happening; whatever occurred already occurred. We embrace reality because it’s already here, right now, and resisting it won’t make it go away.  What becomes possible when you release your ideas about what should be and embrace what is instead? Acceptance is an active process, one that must be practiced consciously. Practice compassion to yourself alongside acceptance. 

Light Hearted

To feel free, happy and playful. Being easygoing, cheerful, optimistic and hopeful.


Feeling affection and tenderness. The act of love is when you care about other people happiness, safety, and health, because you truly want the best for them.  Love is a very selfless act; love is giving away the last piece of cake, no matter how much you want it, love is giving your whole self and not holding back, love is commitment, love is that tingly feeling you get and you don’t know why, love is looking forward to waking up early in the morning, making yourself vulnerable to someone, to share experiences, pleasures, problems and pain. Love is the deepest level of emotional connection between people.

Vibrant and Alive! (Okay, I cheated and had more than three!)

Filled with energy, glowing, healthy.

After I chose my Core Desire Feelings, I wrote down my intentions. These are intentions for what I want more of in my life in 2019.

This list are a reminder to guide me throughout 2019.

  • Dream
  • Meditate
  • Be present
  • Be in nature
  • Be generous
  • Rest, relax, read
  • Practice gratitude
  • Be calm, joyful and center
  • Have faith, trust the process
  • Love what I see in the mirror
  • Complete the Course of Miracles
  • Be feminine, romantic and sensual
  • Meet new people, make new friends
  • Buy less, choose well, embrace simplicity
  • Embrace a mindset of learning; be a beginner
  • Change your relationship with time, no more scarcity
  • Follow my heart, be authentic and vulnerable; choose to stay open.
  • Having courage to speak up from my heart; limit assumptions, instead be open, communicate and take initiative

I H.O.P.E (helping other people evolve) everyone can envision a wonderful 2019. Let me know if you need any help achieving your health and fitness goals. Contact me at info@choose2be.ca

Peace Bliss and Love,


PS: I am also super excited about the upcoming Spring 2019, 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training. 



Inspirational Person: Dominique Matthews IFBB Fitness Pro and Bodybuilder

Inspirational Person: Dominique Matthews IFBB Fitness Pro and Bodybuilder

Why do I want to feature an inspirational person in my newsletter?

I want to feature people like Dominique who have crossed my path and touched my life, inspiring me toward greatness. Too many of us fail to see greatness in ourselves. Somehow, it doesn’t seem to matter what we have achieved; we often need others to point out to us how we excel. People display “greatness” by their attitude, their lifestyle, their choices, their actions… I want to recognize the people in my life who lead by example.

How did I meet Dominique?

I’ve met Dominique through the Athletic Club in Nanaimo. She had just moved from Quebec and started to work at that facility. She told me that she was a body-fitness competitor and also a pro. I checked her on social media and was literally mind blown. Competing in the fitness category requires so much ability, you need to be strong, flexible and agile. You need so much discipline and commitment. I really admire her and wanted to make sure everyone in Nanaimo knew that we have such an amazing and talented person in our community. Check her out.

1.What motivates you to exercise?

Since I begun weightlifting in 2008 I would say the thing that motivates me the most to keep on pushing everyday is first the chemical reaction that is so rewarding after a hard workout. We all have different body types and genetics so for me it’s to always try to create the most balanced body possible.

2. What activity/workout do you prefer?
I LOVE training shoulders and back! You feel like Hulk when I finish haha

3. What is your biggest accomplishment?
From this day I would say to have participated in the Olympia 2016 (it’s like the Olympics of our sport)
And the Arnold Ohio + Arnold Australia

4. What is your superpower?
My MIND! Everything starts from a strong mind. Instant changes can be done if you focus on positive and powerful thoughts! I’m not a super woman, I do have my days to. I simply always try to push myself outside of my comfort zone to create new opportunities.

5. What is your favorite dish/recipe?
Then my healthy treat are my home-made No-cooking Protein bars that I can share with you!

6. What is your cheat treat?
So, my favorite Treat meal is: Pizza and Glosettes!
Or those ice creams mixed with all kinds of chocolates and cookie dough in them!
When I treat myself, I enjoy a lot of yummy things 😊

7. What are your goals and dreams?
I always live 1 year at a time. I plan my fitness shows and focus on achieving everyone. I’m that girl that takes 1 day at a time. If there are to be changes I go with the flow.
My dreams might seem to be boring, but I just dream to have a fun life! I enjoy the simple things and love challenges!

8. Advice for a newbie?
First, do it FOR YOU! Fitness is not for everyone but is certainly the thing that lights me up. Find that reason you want to push and push everyday. We have only 1 life so make sure everyday counts.
Second, find a GOOD coach. You need someone that will guide you towards a healthy and fun journey!

Third, be patient and proud of EVERY progress you make! Remember baby steps 😊
Like any goal in life, you must start somewhere to create your empire. When you get discouraged because you find you get stuck on a plateau, give it your all because your probably just by the tip of the mountain!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dominiquematthewsfitnesspro/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dominiquematthews_ifbbpro


How I discover Zumba and why I am still loving it after over 10 years of teaching it

I am super passionate about health and fitness. I spend lot of time searching for the new trends and ideas that come out. In 2006, I found a DVD set on amazon and ordered it. It was Zumba’s first dvd set, Beto, the creator of Zumba couldn’t even speak English. He only spoke Spanish on the dvd. I loved it right away. My bellydance and fitness background made me feel like Zumba was the perfect combination for me. There was nothing like it on the market and its not a surprise Zumba became such a popular dance fitness revolution because it blends so many styles of music.

The following winter, in 2007, I saw a Zumba teacher training at a Can Fit Pro conference in Montreal. I registered right away and did my training in Montreal with Beto himself. When I started teaching Zumba, I realized how much people loved it. The music variety and the fitness aspect disguised into a dance party were the perfect combination. Over the years Zumba expended it’s musical repertoire a lot. At first it was mainly latino music; Salsa, Batchata, Merengue, Cumbia, Quedradita, Reggeaton, Calypso, Samba… Since then, many new styles of music have been added, from Funk to Afro- Cuban, Brazilian, Flamenco, Bellydance, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tango, to name a few. I have now been teaching Zumba for over 10 years. I taught Zumba to seniors, in high schools, in elementary schools, for fundraisers, for university students; I love that it get so many people together that simply have a love for music and moving. Dance is also good for your brain to, it increases coordination, balance, agility. On top of being good for your brain and body of course it feels so good for the soul. Each time I teach a class, it brings much joy and happiness to me and the participants. I often hear people telling me how they didn’t feel good before coming to class and how the class completely changed their moods. In the last fews years I’ve been enjoying adding more pop songs into my Zumba repertoire. I love that we can relate to a song we hear on the radio and can sing to it. I you feel intimidated by a Zumba class, just know that its purpose its simply to move. There is no right and wrong, and no dance show to perform to. You are only there to move your body, sweat and smile. The advice I give to participants its to start from the ground up; try to do the steps, then add the hips, the arms, then the hands. Make sure you add your special flare to it, after all we all have different bodies and we all move differently. Simply have fun and move your body!!!

A fews Zumba videos I took over the years. Hope you enjoy!






Check my Zumba bundle

Click here for my calendar of current classes and click here for more information about dance classes I offer. 

You can also check this article: Bellydance help understand how your hips and torso can move; 5 basic movement explain. Simply click here.

How does muscle affect your metabolism?

How does muscle affect your metabolism?

Many people blame their weight on a slow metabolism and even genetics, but what does that mean? Can you boost your metabolism to burn more calories?

Yes, but not all types of exercise will help you with this goal.

Contrary to popular belief, excessive cardiovascular training like running, biking, elliptical training at the gym – when combined with a reduced-calorie diet – further speeds the loss of muscle mass and slows down your metabolism. I witnessed that during the years I worked in a weight training room. I saw the same people doing the same cardio exercises for hours without any strength training, and they didn’t get the results they were looking for at all.  Either their bodies stayed the same year after year, or they even gained weight despite all their efforts.

There are lots of “skinny fat” people: They may wear a small size jeans, but that doesn’t make them strong or healthy. I once read a quote that people who do cardio to look good dressed up and they do strength training to look good in bathing suit (or naked!). That made me laugh, but it is also true.

What is metabolism?

Metabolism is the process in which your body converts what you put into your mouth into energy. Even when you are at rest your body needs energy for all basic functions such as breathing, adjusting hormone levels, growing, repair, circulating blood and digestion.  The number of calories your body needs to carry these basic functions is called basal metabolic rate, aka your “metabolism”. Several factors determine your metabolism:

  • Body size and composition; the more muscle you have the more calories you burn, even at rest.
  • Gender/sex; men usually have more muscle and less body fat than women, so they burn more calories
  • Age: as you get older you lose muscle mass so you burn fewer calories

I have been working in the Health and Fitness industry for almost 15 years. I worked in a weight training room for many years and most women that came asked for my help because they were afraid of gaining muscle mass. I often wonder why they were so afraid until I discovered some magazines in the 70’s and 80´s of women working out. Most of them seemed to be on steroids, they looked more like men than women!

There are still many myths and misconceptions that need to be clarified about weight training. I need to reassure everyone out there, without steroids, gaining lean muscle mass is not easy. It is actually pretty difficult for most women to “bulk” up unless you are very serious about your training, train everyday and eat lots and lots of protein. It is important that you understand how to maintaining and building muscle mass not only boots your metabolism, but can do so much more for you.

Your metabolism is not to be blamed for your weight: Ultimately your physical activity, food & beverage intake will determine how much you weigh. There are some factors that we can’t control to help our metabolism burn more calories; such as genetics, lifestyle, environment, sleep, stress. One factor that we can control is strength training to increase our muscle mass. The American Council on Exercise has found that the average person loses approximately one-half pound of muscle per year after the age of twenty. To even maintain the muscle you have today, you need to take action. If you don’t know how to get started on your strength training journey; contact a personal trainer or join a group fitness classes that focus on strength building instead of cardio.

If you need other reasons to increase your muscle mass, check my post about Benefit of Strength Training.

Benefit of Strength Training: Weight Training, Bodyweight exercises, HIIT

Benefit of Strength Training: Weight Training, Bodyweight exercises, HIIT

To give you even more motivation I’ve put together this list of reason why you should incorporate strength training activities like lifting weight, bodyweight training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your weekly workout schedule. Enjoy!

  • Increase your metabolism: The more muscle you have the more calorie you burn, even when you sleep. Amazing! Check out my post about how muscles affect your metabolism.
  • Improve your health: Strength training can help you manage symptoms of chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, diabetes, obesity, in order to live a more independent lifestyle even as you age.
  • A stronger immune system: Exercise increases the production of macrophages; the cells that attack bacteria so you can heal faster. With consistent exercise, you can improve your immune system on a long term as well. A word of caution: Be careful as overtraining can also do the opposite. Health is all about finding that balance.
  • Appearance: Muscles take less space than fat, if you don’t know about this, read my article: Muscle versus fat. By increasing your muscle mass, you can look lean and toned and fit in your clothes better. Even if you have a thin frame you can create beautiful curves in your body.
  • Controls blood sugar and decreases the risk of diabetes: Muscle mass will help maintain a healthy weight and prevent long term disease. Part of the reason aging people experience a rise in their blood sugar is because of the loss of muscle mass.
  • Decrease your resting blood pressure: Strength training makes your heart stronger so it can pump more blood with less effort.
  • Physical performance: If you just get started, your nervous system might need up to 8 weeks to adjust to your new routine. After you will start seeing gain in strength and performance.
  • Decrease risk injury: When your body is stronger, mobile and flexible, your will decrease your risk of injury. When you do weight bearing exercises not only your muscles get stronger, but your tendons and ligaments will as well.
  • Live longer study from Tufts University found the more muscles you have the better your chances of a longer life. More than either blood pressure or cholesterol, muscle mass was determined to be the top biomarker for longevity.
  • To have more energy: When you are stronger, you can handle more. You will be better equipped to deal with life’s stresses.
  • Stronger bones: That’s right, resistance training even strengthens your bones!
  • To improve your posture
  • To elevate your mood and reduce harmful stress. When you workout, your body releases natural painkillers, opiates.
  • Sleep better at night, which helps everything.

If you don’t know how to get your strength training journey; contact a personal trainer or join a group fitness classes to help you boost your metabolism.

Muscle versus Fat

Muscle versus Fat

So many people want to lose weight but it is not so often that I hear people wanting to lose fat. When I was young I did lots of cardio in the hope of being skinny That was a long time ago and now I know better!

Now I mainly do weight bearing exercises to be strong and remain injury free. I often ask people what their goals are and I am in shock each time I hear someone say that they want to be skinny. I believe strong is the new skinny and there are so many advantages to being strong and healthy. First, let’s clarify the difference between muscle fat.

Myth: Muscle weighs more than fat

So many people say muscle weighs more than fat. Actually that is not true. 1 pound of muscle and 1 pound of fat weigh the same. The trick is, they do not the same density. Look at the picture and see how much more space fat takes compared to muscle. That is why you should not worry about the scale when you start working out but see results by how your clothes suit you. So the goal is to change your body composition by having more muscle and less fat.

Body composition, not weight, affects the way you look

This picture show a men and women on 2 different rows having the same weight but with different body composition. The % written above them is their fat percentage. So as you can see, because an image is worth a thousand words, having more muscle versus fat can affect your body image a lot. Some of you might already be wondering “How do I know how much body fat my body carries?” There are a few different ways to find out.

How do you measure body fat?

The most accurate way is body submersion (also call hydrostatic weighing) which takes place under water. This is highly accurate, but expensive  and not too practical for most people. There are many other ways of finding out your fat percentage, to varying levels of accuracy. For example, most personal trainer use a fat calliper tool (which pinches the fat at various locations around the body) to help theirs clients determine fat percentage. Another way is by using a biometrical impedance scale, if you want to know more about it, check this wikipedia link. I have used a fews different varieties of these scale and I am not convinced how accurate they are, because so many things can interfere in the reading. When I did my body fitness competition I was so surprised that my weight on scale didn’t change. I might had lost 1-2 pounds, but my body composition was changing. I didn’t use any fancy tool to mesure my fat percentage. I actually only use my eyes and the eyes of my trainer at the time, Isabelle Vincent.

The main thing to remember is that whatever method you use to track progress (measurements, photos, fitness test, etc.) to use the same method the next time so you are comparing apples to apples. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away: Fitness is a lifestyle and a journey.

This is part of the 8 week online program.