Meet Erynn - Our September Member of the Month!

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to another edition of our Member of the Month series, where we feature some of the amazing people who are part of our Loyobo FIT family. We think it is important to share their stories to help inspire others and to celebrate their amazing accomplishments!

This month, our member is Erynn Wiltzen, who is one of our VIP members. It has been an absolutely joy to watch and be a part of Erynn’s journey. From her very quiet beginning, she has quickly become a pillar of our Loyobo family and community. She is always so encouraging and supportive of others, is always willing to challenge herself and try something new, and we adore her joyful smile!

This month, Erynn, we celebrate YOU! We are so grateful that you found our studio and have embraced the Loyobo way of life. Thank you for being a part of our family and for sharing your story with us!


How long have you been coming to Loyobo FIT and what initially inspired you to try a class?
I have been coming here since May, when i was looking for a yoga class online and stumbled across the gem that is Loyobo Fit. After meeting with Courtney i decided to try the 30 day trial, but it didn't take me that long to realize this was where I wanted to be!

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What are your top 3 health and fitness goals? 
My top three fitness goals are to be stronger, to improve my cardio endurance, and to simply maintain a healthy active lifestyle long term.

What is one of the challenges that you have faced in your health/fitness journey? What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?
My biggest challenge along my fitness journey has been staying motivated. I have been going to the gym on and off for several years but I was never able to stick to it long term. The ability to preregister for my classes, and knowing there is a consequence if I don't show up, is really helpful for me. It prevents me from getting comfy on the couch after work and deciding to stay home. The tight knit community at Loyobo also helps me to keep up my routine, having people who will notice and care if I stop showing up.

How has your life changed since becoming a member of Loyobo FIT?
Since joining Loyobo I have been more active than I ever have been long term. I still have a lot of work to do on my journey to healthy living such as learning to eat better, but I now feel like I've found a fitness routine that I can stick to, so I can focus more attention on improving my diet. My mental health has also improved so much since I joined. I never expected to find a gym like this, with so many wonderful, encouraging, supportive people. I am so grateful to have stumbled across this family.

What is your favourite memory or achievement of your time at Loyobo FIT?
My favourite memory/achievement was probably the One Year Anniversary, doing all three master classes. How could I pick just one? It was a long day but lots of fun! And I loved seeing everyone at the member party that night as well. 

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What advice would you give to someone just starting their health and fitness journey? 
My advice to someone at the start of their journey would be not to stress about what you can do now, just focus on where you want to get to! Also, don't worry about numbers on a scale. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat!

What is your favourite class and why? 

My favourite class is probably a tie between Kickboxing (punching and kicking things –need i say more?) and Zumba, because I love to dance but I'm not very good at it and Zumba makes it easy!

What is your favourite healthy snack?

My favourite healthy snack is watermelon. :)

Anything else you would like to share?

I would also like say what an honour it is to be responsible for dethroning Mr. August ;)


Congratulations Erynn! You deserve this moment in the spotlight as we celebrate the awesomeness that is YOU. THANK YOU for always being such a positive presence in the studio and for including us as part of your journey. We are so proud of you and are so grateful to have you as part of our Loyobo Family!

Feeling inspired? You could be our next Member of the Month! Try a class today with our 30 day trial for first time participants or contact us to book a studio tour to find out what we are all about. And make sure to say hi if you see Erynn around the studio!

See you all again soon!
- Courtney


Back To School..... Or Work?

Banana Coconut Protein Bars

Banana Coconut Protein Bars

It’s that time of year already - which I playfully call the second new year - when we return to school and work, and try to regain consistency with our everyday routines. With busy schedules, juggling so many things (extracurriculars, long hours at work, time with friends and family), it can be challenging to get back into the swing of things (let alone prepare meals and snacks for the entire family to enjoy on the go). When this is the case, I believe simple is best, and creating a consistent, purposeful habit of planning and scheduling time to shop for and prep your meals and snacks accordingly is key. 

It’s easy to grab empty calorie snacks while juggling everything on your to-do list, so to help you get started here’s a more nutrient dense recipe that is sure to be a hit with every member of the family - Banana Coconut Protein Bars!

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Why We Like Them

Honestly… they taste like cake!!! But seriously, I love making batch recipes to have at the ready whenever I need something to grab and go, especially because I know exactly what went into them. The ingredients listed are generally ones I always have on hand and, given that it only takes about 20 minutes (prep and bake time), I can whip them up at a moment’s notice…. AND since it’s a batch, I have enough to get me through my work (or for some school) week.

Substitutions

Knowing that many school environments are nut free you can swap out the almond butter for a seed butter (sunflower for example) or keep these at home for an after school treat. 

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If you try this recipe be sure to let us know by using the #loyobo on Facebook or Instagram. Good luck only eating one at a time! Enjoy;)

- Lori

6 Ways Yoga can Bring more Balance to your Workout Routine

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When we think of yoga, long deep stretches, lots of breathing and the relaxing effects of Savasana/resting pose come to mind. The benefits of practicing yoga, though, are not just limited to a calmer mind and a more flexible body. Making yoga a regular part of our workout routine also helps to increase cardiovascular endurance, strengthen our muscles, improve form and aid muscle recovery thereby preventing injuries.

In this blog, we are going to share with you six ways that adding yoga into your class schedule each week can help bring more balance to your workouts, improve recovery and help you feel stronger in your body!


It builds long and lean muscle

We all love “the burn” after a Tone & Flex (weight training) class, where our muscles ache for a day (if not more) afterward! Weight training relies on the principle of concentric contraction, where the muscles become smaller as they contract. Muscle fibers heal close together, resulting in that “pumped” look or feeling.

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Yoga, on the other hand, relies on eccentric contraction, where the muscles stretch as they contract giving them a sleek and elongated shape. It also reduces muscle fatigue and tightness! It can, therefore, be a great pairing for your muscle or strength workouts!


It tones both large and small muscle groups

In yoga, we use both large and small muscle groups and move in many different directions (twisting, arching, rounding, etc.) which works muscles much harder than exercises that only use one motion and work one major muscle group at a time, such as squats or bicep curls.

This can also help with coordination and brain function!


It increases endurance and stamina

We have two main types of muscle fibers in our bodies; fast-twitch and slow-twitch. The fast-twitch muscle fibers which are primarily activated through high-intensity cardio exercise can generate powerful movements, but are low in endurance. If you are only focusing on cardio or high intensity classes / workouts, then your fast-twitch muscle fibers may be over-developed and you may be missing out on other components of training your body!

Through slow movement and holding postures, yoga activates the slow-twitch muscle fibers which can help to increase stamina and concentration. This in turn, can help in all elements of your training and strength, so that both types of muscle fibers are able to work better together!

It aids muscle recovery

Yoga supports the muscle-building process through its ability to aid in the overall recovery and repair of the muscles we may have worked out that week. Certain resting yoga postures allow the muscles to stretch and relax, thus increasing blood flow to the worked areas of the body. This increase in blood flow also brings an increase in oxygen, which assists the muscles in healing and growing stronger.

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It improves form & posture

Due to its focus on alignment, practicing yoga can decrease risk of injury for other exercises and also improves the performance of everyday tasks like walking, sitting, twisting, and lifting. This focus on alignment can help to improve your posture and strengthen your core, which we use in so many aspects of our life! And, it can help reduce lower back pain and injury.

The breathing techniques taught in yoga can help bring more oxygen in your body and better control the way we move from one pose to another, and this is not something we generally learn in strength training and cardio routines. It can help us to improve our focus during movements, to increase our mindfulness during exercise to get more out of the movements and classes!

Yoga also increases our overall flexibility = better range of motion so we can reach higher and squat lower!  

It’s a well-rounded approach

And let’s not forget about that calm and peaceful feeling after a good yoga sesh! Yoga nourishes the body, mind, and soul, unlike any other exercise form. It can help to improve mental health, reduce anxiety and stress, and help you re-focus your energy in a really positive way.


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So , our challenge to you this week is to give one of our yoga classes a try! Follow up your strength and cardio workouts with yoga for a beautifully balanced workout. And, make sure to let us know what you think and how you feel afterwards.

For the full schedule of classes and to sign up click on the link below!

See you at the studio!

- Sobia


Sobia Nusrat

Hi I’m Sobia and I teach yoga, Pilates and Zumba. My work-out philosophy is all about moving mindfully and working my body in different ways to keep myself healthy and fit and I bring the same approach to my classes. And I love being a part of the AWESOME Loyobo Family :)


Beat the Heat with this Tasty Treat!

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Hello Everyone! Summer is in full swing and with that comes hot days and, for many of us, cravings of ice cream and other cool summer treats. I must admit that while I don’t generally crave it, there’s something about the summertime that leaves me wanting to enjoy some ice cream, as well as my all-time favourite summertime treat - s’mores! When I stopped to think about the context behind my seasonally based cravings, I realized that it was more about the experience of the food itself, how it ties into my childhood memories, and that over time it’s just something we have associated with summer.

So, our recipe this month is one that you can add to your summertime repertoire - Chia Seed Popsicles! It is easy to make, versatile, creamy, fruit-filled deliciousness. Plus - it is a friendly recipe for those who are dairy-free or who have sensitive tummies.

Why We Like It

It’s versatile! You can try it with different fruits, experiment with making your own granola and it has no added processed sugar (assuming you use more natural honey/maple syrup and homemade granola). Most of all, it can fulfill our ‘need’ or craving for something a little more decadent and cooling in the hot summer months.

BONUS: we snuck in some protein with the greek yogurt to make it a more nutrient dense alternative or version of a new favourtie summertime treat - heck, for any season!


Here Is What You Need:

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Substitutions Ideas:

Vegan / Dairy-Free

Use unsweetened coconut yogurt and replace honey with maple syrup.

Mix it Up

Use any fruit that is in season, or any fruit that you have on hand.


Let us know what you think of this recipe; take a pic of your creation and share it with us!

As always, enjoy!!!

- Lori

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Meet Mark - Our August Member of the Month!

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to another edition of our Member of the Month series, where we feature some of the amazing people who are part of our Loyobo FIT family. We think it is important to share their stories to help inspire others and to celebrate their amazing accomplishments!

This month, our member is Mark Kennedy, who is one of our VIP members. Mark quickly became a rising star in our Family after joining us in February - quickly earning his 50 class bracelet at record speed! He is always a source of humour, laughter and joy in our classes and can always be guaranteed to make friends with other members quite quickly.

It has been an incredible privilege to be a part of Mark’s journey and to watch him gain confidence in class, and to see the huge leaps and strides he has been making towards his goals!

This month, Mark, we celebrate YOU! We are so grateful that you found our studio and have embraced the Loyobo way of life with loads of gusto. Thank you for being a part of our family and for sharing your story with us!


How long have you been coming to Loyobo FIT and what initially inspired you to try a class?
I started in the first week of February this year. I had picked up a Loyobo business card at the Robusta Cafe. For some reason the pic of Courtney leaping in the air caught my eye. My winter was poor for both nutrition and exercise. Too much of one, not enough of the other. I travelled to Trinidad to visit friends in January and I was the opposite of beach ready. I felt I had reached the bottom of my fitness barrel.  I checked out the Loyobo website while still in Trinidad, contacted Courtney by email for a meeting from Trinidad. I had no idea that I was on the verge of discovering my fitness solution. Over the decades I was not a complete couch potato. I taught Physical Education classes as a teacher, coached and played soccer until recent years. I like to hike and walk my dog. 

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What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?
Get down to a healthy weight (progress has been made, but the work must continue), improve posture and reduce my blood pressure. Ok, too serious - banish my beer belly and man boobs, improve my balance so that I can launch my senior citizen pro soccer career and dance like nobody’s watching…

What is one of the challenges that you have faced in your health/fitness journey? What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?
My knees have encountered their share of sports injuries and my doctor has warned that I have arthritic knees. So squats and lunges are challenging as they spark some inconsistent knee pain. Overcoming it seems a long journey, but I don’t shy away from those exercises, might keep weights light or just do with body weight. Hoping that overall improved leg strength will help ease things.

How has your life changed since becoming a member of Loyobo FIT?
Autograph requests, magazine covers, tv and movie offers, endorsements and cocktail party invites. Other members have assured me that all this is fairly standard.

What is your favourite memory or achievement of your time at Loyobo FIT?
Having my sister drive down from Shelburne twice to Zumba the morning away…. As for achievements, I think it is best to always value highest the one that is still to be reached.

Mark has earned his 100 class bracelet and is SUPER close to getting his 200 one, too!

Mark has earned his 100 class bracelet and is SUPER close to getting his 200 one, too!

What advice would you give to someone just starting their health and fitness journey? Don’t delay, think big in participation terms, try a variety of classes until you find your comfort zone, make an effort and sweat. 

What is your favourite class and why?
I am not very good at choosing favourites. I attend a lot of classes and see the good qualities in all of them. The best class is always the one I have just completed, the worst class is always the one I am trying to motivate my creaky old body to get started into…

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.” - Bill Shankly

 

What is your favourite healthy snack?

Olives, in a martini glass, but olives are healthy, right?


What is your biggest dream?
Two dreams - become the head coach/gm/president of Toronto FC AND/OR create and direct Guelph’s first pro soccer team.

Anything else you would like to share?
I think that the joy of Loyobo is the combination of the highly motivated and encouraging instructors AND the great people who are there to exercise along with you. A great sense of healthy purpose combined with a sense of community. I also enjoy the walks from home to Loyobo and back…


Congratulations Mark! You deserve this moment in the spotlight as we celebrate the awesomeness that is YOU. THANK YOU for always being such a shining light at the studio and for making us smile/laugh on a daily basis! We are so proud of you and are so grateful to have you as part of our Loyobo Family!

Feeling inspired? You could be our next Member of the Month! Try a class today with our 30 day trial for first time participants! Use the code “Birthday” to get the pass for just $30+tax from August 10-16, 2019, as part of our One Year Celebrations. And make sure to say hi if you see Mark around the studio!

See you all again soon!
- Courtney

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Meet Anita - Our June Member of the Month!

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to another edition of our Member of the Month series, where we feature some of the amazing people who are part of our Loyobo FIT family. We think it is important to share their stories to help inspire others and to celebrate their amazing accomplishments!

This month, our member is Anita Downes, who is one of our VIP members. Anita joined us a few months ago and got herself off to a running start! One of the first challenges she did with us was Loyobo FIT BINGO, and it was so exciting to watch. We quickly got to know her, to see her determination and her willingness to put herself outside of her comfort zone.

Anita is a joy to have in class and at the studio. She is so supportive and encouraging of other members, and we are so grateful to be a part of her journey as she works hard to fulfill her dreams! Her warm, kind energy is an inspiration to all of us.

This month, Anita, we celebrate YOU! We cannot wait to see what comes next in your journey and where your dreams will take you. Thank you for being a part of our family and for sharing your story with us!


How long have you been coming to Loyobo FIT and what initially inspired you to try a class?

I joined back in April when a friend had a month pass and wanted a gym buddy. I was reluctant at first because I was already a member of a gym which I rarely attended. Have to say I was hooked from the first class.

Anita & Ashley, one of our Energy Exchangers.

Anita & Ashley, one of our Energy Exchangers.

What are your top 3 health and fitness goals? 

  1. To become the best possible version of me

  2. To have more endurance and stamina

  3. To maintain an 80/20 lifestyle (no point denying yourself everything!)

What is one of the challenges or fear that you have faced in your health/fitness journey? What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?

I joined just as Loyobo Bingo 2019 was launched. Some of those squares really pushed me outside of my comfort zone – especially posting photos of myself. Having said that, I have always felt supported and encouraged by everyone at Loyobo. The bingo also made me try classes I would not necessarily have chosen and more importantly, I had the confidence to try.

 How has your life changed since becoming a member of Loyobo FIT?

I actually miss attending classes! Never thought I would say that. It’s not just the exercise but the people. I feel more confident within my body and realize I’m so much more than a number on a scale. It’s a slow process but such a great feeling knowing you are getting fitter and stronger.

 

What is your favourite memory or achievement of your time at Loyobo FIT?

Actually, being nominated to be member of the month. There are so many awesome members in our tribe I felt honoured to have been chosen.

 

Anita & Kenna, with their completed BINGO cards!

Anita & Kenna, with their completed BINGO cards!

What advice would you give to someone just starting their health and fitness journey? 

Be patient! It takes time for weight to come off and for you to build muscle, stamina and endurance so hang on in there. Also, try not to compare yourself to anyone else. It’s your journey and no-one else’s.

 

What is your favourite class and why? 

This is a tough one as I enjoy all the classes for different reasons. If pushed, I would have to say Pilates because those small movements can be very powerful and Body Sculpt & Sweat as it is a tough class which targets different areas of the body. Always such a sense of accomplishment when that class is finished!

What is your biggest dream?

To be fit and healthy and have the endurance and stamina to check off all the things on my bucket list when I retire.

Anything else you would like to share?

I would just like to thank Courtney and her amazing staff for creating such a caring, inclusive environment. Loyobo is so much more than a gym, it is a caring community. For anyone looking for a place to work out where you are recognized and treated as an individual please give Loyobo a try – you won’t regret it!


Congratulations Anita! You deserve this moment in the spotlight as we celebrate the awesomeness that is YOU. THANK YOU for being vulnerable and open to sharing your story and for reminding us that taking to be patient with ourselves and to push past our fears! We are seriously so proud of you and feel so lucky to have you as part of our Loyobo Family!

Feeling inspired? You could be our next Member of the Month! Try a class today with our 30 day trial for first time participants! And make sure to say hi if you see Anita around the studio!

See you all again soon!
- Courtney




Throwback Thursday: Why I cried at a Zumba Class in 2014

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Hi everyone,

For today’s blog, I wanted to share a memory with all of you. Fitness has not always been my calling or strong suit. Like many of you, for a long time I didn’t feel comfortable in a gym. I was struggling to lose weight, to feel confident about my body and I was searching for ways to move that felt good to me.

I was living in Ottawa and I decided to try a Zumba class. Very quickly, I realized I had found something special. The instructor was so welcoming and I truly had fun: for once, I wasn’t concerned with how my body looked and it just felt good to move.

Zumba was a huge milestone and turning point in my fitness journey. It is still something that I am incredibly passionate about and almost always can turn even the worst mood around, and bring a smile to my face.

A few months after taking my first Zumba class in 2014, I wrote this blog post and today I want to share with you, so you can see the emotional effect these classes had on me and my self-esteem. I wanted you to see that I started exactly where you are: I didn’t feel beautiful. I didn’t feel confident. I needed the help and support of someone else to start me on my journey to loving my body.

And I started Loyobo FIT to do just that. I have dedicated my life to helping other people, especially women, have the same experience and feel the same joy that I was able to feel in this special Zumba class. I want to help you feel joyful movement, to stop caring about what you look like and how you compare to others, and just enjoy how your body feels.

So… I hope you enjoy this little Thursday Throwback!

Oh - and if you want to come out to try a Zumba class with me (or Grace!), take advantage of our 30 day trial right now for just $39+tax! Use the code “summer” to get this special offer until June 14, 2019 and enjoy unlimited classes for 30 days!

(A bit of context for this blog post: Keith is my ex-partner who Iived with at the time in Ottawa.)


August 9, 2014

As some of you may already know, one of my favourite things to do each week is my Saturday morning Zumba classes.

I hadn't been to class in three weeks since we have been out of town every weekend, so I was really looking forward to it this week! Its my favourite workout class and it definitely felt like something was missing without it! But once we started dancing and getting into the music, something really unexpected happened - I started to cry. This didn't just happen once either... but probably 5 or 6 times over the two classes.

A picture of my Zumba B1 Training course to become an instructor in Dec 2014.

A picture of my Zumba B1 Training course to become an instructor in Dec 2014.

Ok-so I didn't actually cry during class (I definitely did after! :p ) but it was close. I had to take a few deep breaths to help me fight back tears. Why? As I was looking around me and thinking about the class, I was overcome with some intense emotions.

I had a rough week. Work was not fun (although, is it ever? :p), Keith and I have been butting heads over stupid little things lately (oh the joys of living together!), and I felt stalled in my weight loss. When I looked in the mirror, I felt fat and lumpy. I was not feeling beautiful when I walked into that class.

But, just like usual, I put my heart into those moves. I was rocking out, smiling and enjoying the music when I realized for the first time all week I felt safe and happy. In that moment. I was okay. I was more than that - I felt beautiful.

So often fitness classes and women use their appearance as motivation to workout. You want to fit into that dress, that bikini or those skinny jeans. You want a certain number on the scale or a certain clothing size. I am guilty of this myself, too. I remember many times using a mantra of "bikini, bikini, bikini" when doing a tough move to try to push myself through it.

Dana and Susana, the instructors for the Saturday classes, never use this type of motivation. They don't tell you to push harder to look better - they push you to have more fun and to enjoy yourself. They push you to put more energy into the moves and let go. They make us do moves that make you feel sexy - often winking and adding in extra cheers to reaffirm that they think you look great.

Its not about how your weight or how your body looks, but how you feel and the experience of just moving and letting loose. It's what I believe fitness should be about. These two ladies personify and bring to life what I want my attitude toward fitness to be.

One of my first times co-teaching a song on stage with Susanna in 2014 (or possibly early 2015!)

One of my first times co-teaching a song on stage with Susanna in 2014 (or possibly early 2015!)

When you look around the class, there are women of all colours, ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels. There are the older women who can't quite get the steps right or keep up to the same extent, but you can tell they are just loving every minute of it and are doing what they can. There are more curvy girls like me, who sweat a lot and are panting by the end of class. There are amazing dancers who make the moves come to life, and there are those that have two left feet and just kinda do their own thing. But, none of it matters - We are all just there to dance, have fun and get fit. For just this one hour, we are all on the same team.

I have been going to these classes for about 3 months now and never once have I felt judged or ashamed. I am not a morning person, so I often look like I just kind of rolled out of bed (which is usually true) with no make-up and no put together workout clothes. I screw up. I sweat like crazy and probably stink at times (what can I say? Those routines get intense!). I laugh and sing out loud; I smile and cheer others on. I watch all these women enjoying themselves and I forget about whatever is going on outside of that moment.

It is one of the only places I feel safe around other women. I don't have to compete or try to keep up. It's okay if I screw up and miss a move. It's okay if others do too. I'm not judging them and I don't feel like they are judging me. It doesn't matter as long as we all just keep moving and smiling.

After class, I let myself shed a few tears as I sat and wrote this post. I needed to acknowledge all these feelings and how much this class means to me. As I go through this fitness journey, it is important for me to share with you all the ups and downs - regardless of how weird and emotional they might be! And, most of all, I want to thank Dana and Susana for their weekly inspiration and energy. Thank you both for giving me something that I can't give myself yet - permission to just be me; the safety to let everything go and feel beautiful. I look up to you both more than you know and you give me us all so much more than 45 minutes of Zumba each week. You give me a reason to smile and feel good about myself, which is worth more than any fitness goal.

My first time teaching at a Zumbathon in 2016.

My first time teaching at a Zumbathon in 2016.

I know this is a super sappy post and I probably sound a little crazy, but this is what my journey is all about. It's not just about doing push-ups and getting to my goal weight - it's about feeling strong, being happy, and liking what I see when I look in the mirror each day.

I know I am not there yet, but at least for a few hours each week I get to feel like getting there is possible.

See you next week. xoxo

-Courtney


Be kind to yourself in your journey. Your health and relationship to your body will always be fluid. There will be ups and downs, but if you remain consistent and prioritize yourself, you will see changes.

You will feel better - this I can promise you. But it doesn’t happen right away - it takes time. So make sure that you give yourself the time and space to heal, to move, and to explore who YOU are and what makes you feel good.

And maybe sometime, while you are at it, come and try a Zumba class with us. Use the promo code “Summer” to take advantage of our $39+tax 30 day unlimited class trial offer. Who knows? It might just be a milestone in your journey too.

See you at the studio!

-Courtney

A photo of Joan (another friend & instructor), Susana, Dana, and myself in 2017 when I visited Ottawa to teach an outdoor Zumba class with them. Our first time all teaching together as instructors!

A photo of Joan (another friend & instructor), Susana, Dana, and myself in 2017 when I visited Ottawa to teach an outdoor Zumba class with them. Our first time all teaching together as instructors!

Meet Kenna - Our May Member of the Month!

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to another edition of our Member of the Month series, where we feature some of the amazing people who are part of our Loyobo FIT family. We think it is important to share their stories to help inspire others and to celebrate their amazing accomplishments!

This month, our member is Kenna Richardson, who is one of our Move Your Body members. Kenna’s time at Loyobo has been FULL of accomplishments. She was a participant and successfully completed our 2019 Loyobo Challenge, as well as our recent Loyobo FIT BINGO.

Kenna’s journey has been amazing to watch. To see her come out of her shell, to find her confidence and her voice, and to heal her relationship with her body. She has accomplished so much and we seriously are incredibly inspired and impressed.

On top of all that, Kenna is always a source of support for other members in our Loyobo family. It was a no-brainer to select her for this month’s special member.

This month, Kenna, we celebrate YOU! We cannot wait to see what comes next in your journey. Thank you for being a part of our family and for sharing your story with us!


How long have you been coming to Loyobo FIT and what initially inspired you to try a class?

I was following Courtney’s page on Facebook for awhile and I was interested in the classes that she taught at Exhibition Park. I then decided to purchase a trial pass in October of 2018. However, I kept making excuses on why not to start my membership. Courtney sent me a message encouraging me to sign up for my first class in November 2018, which was Zumba.

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What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?

  1. Increase my energy levels and mood

  2. Lose weight and gain muscle

  3. Fuel my body with nutritious food


What is one of the challenges that you have faced in your health/fitness journey? What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?

A major challenge that I have faced in my health journey is FOOD. Up until about last year, I did not understand the concept of nutrition. As I am sure many others have experienced, I am constantly been faced with various “facts” about nutrition and trending diets from the media! “Carbs are unhealthy and will make you gain fat”, “carbs are healthy”, “stop eating fruit, it is high in sugar”, “drink protein shakes and eat protein bars”, “use artificial sweeteners, they are zero calories”, “stop using artificial sweeteners, they are chemicals”, “you should try a keto diet, you can lose weight fast”, “the potato diet”, “eat this and lose weight overnight”, and the list could go on.

To overcome this challenge, I have been working with a naturopath to discover what my body needs and the foods that my body does not like (such as dairy). I have also been working with Lori, Loyobo FIT’s in-house nutritionist, who has provided the resources to make healthy delicious meals and snacks and has been there to answer all my questions. Now that I have gained information about nutrition, when I go grocery shopping, I will read the nutrition labels and the lists of ingredients.


How has your life changed since becoming a member of Loyobo FIT?

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Being a member at LOYOBO, I have found exercises that I enjoy completing! And because of that, going to the gym has now become part of my weekly routine. Because of LOYOBO, I have become mentally and physically healthier.   


What is your favourite memory or achievement of your time at Loyobo FIT?

I recently completed my second baseline workout. It was very rewarding to compare my results with my first baseline work and see the difference in numbers!


What advice would you give to someone just starting their health and fitness journey?

The key word in this question is “journey”. Health and fitness is a journey, not a race, so take your time. With that being said, it is also important to recognize when it is time to take a step out of your comfort zone. Speaking from experience, it will be worth it!


What is your favourite class and why?

I really enjoy Strong by Zumba and Tone & Flex!


What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“BE STRONGER THAN YOUR EXCUSES”


Anything else you would like to share?

Thank you to the LOYOBO tribe for the positive atmosphere, encouragement and continued motivation. I am thankful to be apart of this wonderful community and I look forward to seeing you in class!


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Congratulations Kenna! You deserve this moment in the spotlight as we celebrate the awesomeness that is YOU. THANK YOU for being vulnerable and open to sharing your story and for reminding us that taking that first step is so important! Everyone has to start somewhere, and while it can be incredibly scary, it can also be so worth it. We are seriously so proud of you and feel so lucky to have you as part of our Loyobo Family!

Feeling inspired? You could be our next Member of the Month! Try a class today with our 30 day trial for first time participants! And make sure to say hi if you see Kenna around the studio!

See you all again soon!
- Courtney

Healthy Fats for Breakfast!

Hello Everyone!

Our recipe for this month is Smoked Salmon on Avocado Toast - YUM! I can feel my salivary glands just anticipating the deliciousness of this recipe as I type (haha)!

Generally, I find that people either love or hate avocados and for most it falls towards the “hate” end of the spectrum. Often, though, I find that this hatred for this exotic and healthy fruit really stems from frustration, especially about how to pick a ripe one.

While I don’t have a magical, fool proof system for finding that perfectly ripe avocado every time, one trick that I use when shopping is to peel back the small stem or cap at the top. If the area underneath is green, the avocado is likely good to buy. If the area is brown or black, the avocado is overripe - and possibly mouldy on the inside - so it’s best to avoid it. Another helpful tip is to hold it in the palm of your hand, and squeeze gently. A ripe avocado should yield to firm, gentle pressure, but shouldn’t feel overly soft or mushy.

Now that you are better prepared for your next avocado shopping adventure, get excited to try this recipe! And remember - food is supposed to be fun and enjoyable! So keep an open mind, because you never know… it might just become your new favourite.

Here is what you need:

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Why we like it:

Lots of room for creativity and substitutions - make it how you like it! I find myself saying this often but that’s because it’s true … Eating a meal (or snack) loaded with healthy fats and protein helps us to feel satiated AND manages our blood sugar levels. This is because it takes longer for our body to break down these nutrients and digest them!

When we are not fueling our bodies with enough of these nutrients, we often feel lethargic, cranky, irritable (emotional and physical symptoms). Even if you are trying to lose weight, it is important to ensure you are getting these nutrients in your diet!

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Let us know what you think of this recipe; take a pic of your creation and share it with us!

As always, enjoy!!!

- Lori

 
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Meet Kelli - Our April Member of the Month

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to another edition of our Member of the Month series, where we feature some of the amazing people who are part of our Loyobo FIT family. We think it is important to share their stories to help inspire others and to celebrate their amazing accomplishments!

This month, our member is Kelli Arppe, who is one of our VIP members and regularly attends a wide variety of classes, but her favourite is definitely Mind/Body Unwind!

We have seen so much progress over the last few months with Kelli. She has an incredibly warm energy about her, and we always see her smiling! She is a light of positivity and is so kind, accepting, and welcoming to everyone she meets at the studio. We have been so proud to watch progress and build strength.

This month, Kelli, we celebrate YOU! We cannot wait to see what comes next in your journey. Thank you for being a part of our family and for sharing your story with us!


How long have you been coming to Loyobo FIT and what initially inspired you to try a class? Since December 2018

What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?

  1. To maintain a good energy level.

  2. To increase my strength, especially upper body.

  3. To enjoy doing it!

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What is one of the challenges that you have faced in your health/fitness journey? What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?

The main challenge the last few years has been time, because I have been the main caregiver for my parents as well as running my business (I know time is at a premium for everyone!)  One of the biggest assets has been Loyobo! I can walk in 5 minutes so no excuses there! But mainly because it is such a positive place to be with an exceptional community and so many great people.  The climate that Courtney has nurtured here is wonderful, physically, emotionally and mentally so I can cover a lot of my needs and goals in one place.


How has your life changed since becoming a member of Loyobo FIT?

I just feel better, I am already stronger and more aware of my body but I also feel better about myself for actually showing up to classes!


What is your favourite memory or achievement of your time at Loyobo FIT?

So far my best achievement is that I can now lift my shoulder blades off the floor when doing crunches!!  Wouldn’t it be something if I also learn how to ‘shimmy’ my shoulders in Zumba!

What advice would you give to someone just starting their health and fitness journey?

Join Loyobo.

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What is your favourite class and why?

My favourite class is mind and body unwind, it is like an hour of heaven, time I really feel just for me (not to say it is not challenging, especially the mind unwind), but I come away feeling so good, and taller too??


What is your biggest dream?

Kindness

Anything else you would like to share?

I would just like to express my gratitude to Courtney and Lori and Jen for what they offer everyone, and how they offer it.  I have never been to a fitness group that is so fun and kind and supportive. To have this type of atmosphere to come to is just perfect.


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Congratulations Kelli! You deserve this moment in the spotlight as we celebrate the awesomeness that is YOU. THANK YOU for being vulnerable and open to sharing your story and for reminding us that we need to prioritize putting ourselves first - even when we have busy schedules! We can’t pour from an empty cup, so especially if we have family members that need us it is important to always take care of ourselves and make sure we are doing what makes us feel good. We are seriously so proud of you and feel so lucky to have you as part of our Loyobo Family!

Feeling inspired? You could be our next Member of the Month! Try a class today or join us for our Open House Event on April 23-26, 2019 to try up to 2 classes FREE! And make sure to say hi if you see Kelli around the studio!

See you all again soon!
- Courtney