The 13-Week Medpoint Health Challenge
When I started my 13-week health challenge at Medpoint Health Care, I wasn’t out-of-shape by any means. In the last year, I had some experience outside of Medpoint working out with a trainer to look and feel my best as a bridesmaid in a few weddings. I grew up competitive dancing, and let’s just say that my love for beer took over after college and university. I didn’t really have a specific goal weight in mind when I began this challenge; I was simply looking to tone up and get into a routine that my hectic life often doesn’t permit.
An FM96 listener by the name of Harry Edison was selected to take the 13-week health challenge as well. We both have different struggles and motivations with our health, and I’m going to tell you about a couple of the things I wanted to tackle with the help of a nutrition plan and personal trainer at Medpoint. There will be some video of Harry’s accomplishments coming out in a few weeks.
I struggle with time management. I have a very busy schedule both in and outside of work with friends, family and work in both London and Toronto. I don’t know how to say ‘no’ sometimes in both my personal life and at work. Dinner with friends? If you can squeeze it in to your schedule, by all means!
Being so busy also cramps my nutrition in a few ways. I used to eat when I could, and not often enough, or too much only once or twice a day to make up for the missing meal. Travelling back and forth to Toronto often would mean buying something on the way. Convenience was at the top of my priority list, and convenience often comes with a lot of pre-packaged foods that are full of preservatives (among other things that aren’t the best for you).
I’ve chosen a very social lifestyle, that’s something that just comes with the gig. There are many voluntary FM96 appearances that happen outside of my afternoon show, and most of them go hand-in-hand with a crowd that enjoys a drink or two…or three or four. Work hard, play hard. Right? I’ve accepted that a couple times a week I will be having an alcoholic beverage of some sort, so my goals revolve around balance. If I am going to drink on a Friday night, I am working out on Saturday morning (which would normally be an off-day).
I LOVE BEER and I LOVE CHEESE. If I ignored those two delicious items I would be a toothpick. But I can’t. How can you watch a Knights game without an ice-cold beer in your hand? How do you enjoy a salad without a little boccaccini? Impossible!!! Again…I’ve accepted that I won’t give those things up, so I overcompensate in other ways.
My solution? Work hard-er to play as hard as I play. That’s the only way, and Medpoint helped teach me the ‘how’.
The 13-week challenge came with a little bit of homework at the beginning to help determine what needed to change. I filled out a food journal for a week and found that I often eat TWO decent meals a day, and slack on one. My metabolism was working way too hard to spread out my energy between meals. Often those meals were very far apart from one another. My first challenge was to eat MORE…and quickly I found that I needed a lot more protein than I was having too. I successfully gained almost 8 lbs of muscle between training and increasing my protein in-take and my total body weight pretty much stayed the same over the 13 weeks….protein will help do that!
I needed to add more snacks into my routine too…again to help my metabolism keep up with the calories I’d like to burn over the course of a day. I’ll be honest…if I ever packed a lunch before September…I’d be eating it between 4-5pm… From 2pm until after Connect the Rock Block my show is really busy, so I often ignore everything else. Boys…food…nothing matters while you are on the air! Heck, J.P. Arencebia could be standing outside our studio window waving at me before Connect the Rock Block and I’d tell him to go away (that’s the ONLY time I’d tell him to go away heh heh).
If you take a look at these results, you’ll notice that my resting metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories while resting) and my muscle mass both did what I wanted them to do. I have one person to thank for all of that…
I think it’s pretty rare to sign up for personal training and end up with a new friend…
Meet Kate Lein (in the video below). She doubled as my nutrition guru and my personal trainer over the course of the 13-week challenge. I caught a glimpse of some of her ink when we first sat down to talk about my goals, and before we knew it we were talking about tattoos and punk rock.
Kate graduated from UWO in Kinesiology (as all Medpoint trainers have), and she totally understood my lifestyle and time-management challenges. Not only did she pass along some new, easy recipes that EVEN someone who burns toast can handle, she also suggested a new spin on things I already knew I liked. For example, adding some whey protein into my yogurt and berries with some oat flakes… now filled with even more protein! A touch of cinnamon to sweeten things up…MM MM! Hooked. I literally have that every single morning now.
When you say you’re going to go to the gym in the morning and it’s cold, you don’t go. When you say you’re going to go to the gym in the morning and it’s cold and you tell Kate you’re going to be there, you’re there. Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do first thing in the morning was jump rope for a minute (which seemed like 15 minutes every single time)…but 13-weeks later, check out my calves.
What’s also really cool is Kate would motivate me to fit in some extra cardio…sometimes that persuaded HER to do some too. You just need someone to tell you to SUCK IT UP. We did that for each other. A death-metal playlist one day, a ska-punk playlist the next…it was a win-win situation for two gals that can both lift! And row. And sumo-squat. I hated those, but damn my gluteus maximus look good. Apparently my biceps are huge now too!
There’s also something to be said about the team at Medpoint. Everyone wants to see everyone’s clients succeed. Getting a high-five from one trainer, Ron, when the Leafs would win a couple games in a row, or a ‘good job’ from Katie, another trainer there, made the entire experience very comfortable. You’re working in a small environment with lots of one-on-one attention, you get to know everyone.
For me, this wasn’t the type of situation where I had a goal weight in mind. My goal was to wake up in the morning, eat healthy and be active all week so I can enjoy and let loose on the weekend. And the occasional Tuesday (these things happen in this business!!) I feel good, even though I’m still having a few beers every time the Leafs play. Balance is a beautiful thing, and Medpoint has helped me figure that all out.
If you need a push in the right direction, whichever direction that may be, this could be great for you too. Check’er out.
2 weeks until Jamaica, 2 weeks left of @MedpointHealth 13-week challenge. For the first time since 19yrs cutting out booze until then.— Sarah Burke (@Burke_FM) December 9, 2013