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

A Fun Twist On A Classic Dish: Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom Pasta!

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Hello everyone!

Our recipe for this month is a fun twist on a classic meal involving pasta. One of the best things about pasta is that it is generally a very quick meal to make and is oh so comforting. This dish is no exception!

Here is what you need:

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If you don’t have tamari at home, that’s okay! You can use soya sauce instead - tamari is gluten free though so keep that in mind if that is something you require in your diet.

Why we like it: Let’s be honest, we all get stuck in this pattern of repeating the same old standby meals and find it hard to think outside the box - we are creatures of habit after all! This recipe is still close enough to something you may already be familiar with - a simple pasta dish - but with a couple small adjustments (especially the addition of the tamari).

Substitutions: Add any veggies you like to give this dish even more colour and fibre - perhaps some bell peppers, peas, or even zucchini! Vegetarian? Swap out the chicken for tofu! Want a cheesy taste? Add some shredded mozzarella, parmesan OR why not try sprinkling some nutritional yeast on it?!

Also - there are so many amazing types of pasta out there, so think outside the box! You could swap in some lentil pasta or quinoa pasta.

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If you try this recipe, make sure to let us know and we would LOVE to see pictures!

Stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to our newsletter because there are going to be many more recipes coming your way!

Have a request or something specific you would like to see? Let us know and leave your comment down below, or send your suggestion to info@loyobofit.com :)

Enjoy!

- Lori

New Zumba Video - Come Alive from The Greatest Showman !

Hello everyone!

Guess what??? We just posted a new Zumba video to share some of my choreography with you!

Now you can dance with us at home or on the go to one of our favourite tunes.

Huge shout out to Kathleen for being my superstar partner for this one.

Want to be in a future video with me? Let me know! Let's dance together and share the Loyobo love.

And if you want to dance in person - join us at the studio! We offer Zumba on Tuesdays at 5pm, Wednesdays at 9:30am and 7pm, Thursdays at 12:10pm and Sundays at 6pm!

In fact, you can try a Zumba class free during our April Open House Event, from April 23rd to 26th. Click here to get your free pass!

Enjoy it and see you in class soon!
- Courtney xoxo

Yummy Snack Recipe: Apple Dips!

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Hello everyone!

We have heard your feedback and the one thing that we know you want more of is nutritional support and recipes!

So, we are going to help by sharing meal ideas, recipes, and our favourite tips that you can use to create a healthy relationship with food.

And to start - we are sharing one of our favourite, super simple snack recipes that you can make at home with less than 5 ingredients and NO baking.

Here is what you need:

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If you are vegan or dairy free, use a coconut yogurt, or substitute out the yogurt and use melted dark chocolate with a bit of coconut oil instead!

Not digging the coconut? Other ideas include almond slices, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins, granola, or dark chocolate chips. Feel free to get creative, and make sure to share if you try something new!

Need a little bit more sweet? Try mixing in a bit of honey or maple syrup.

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Hayley - One of our Energy Exchangers enjoying some Apple Dips!

Hayley - One of our Energy Exchangers enjoying some Apple Dips!

Our Kid-Friendly Secret: Try piercing the apple slices with a lollipop or popsicle stick and making a DIY dipping station!

Why we like it: This snack is a killer combo of many things we crave daily - sweet, crunchy and instant (well near-instant) gratification; plus, there’s room for variety with multiple options for substituting ingredients! This snack is a great balance of macronutrients - the protein and fat from the yogurt and nut butter will help you to feel more satisfied and for longer than just eating an apple on its own!

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If you try this recipe, make sure to let us know and we would LOVE to see pictures!

Stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to our newsletter because there are going to be many more recipes coming your way!

Have a request or something specific you would like to see? Let us know and leave your comment down below, or send your suggestion to info@loyobofit.com :)

Enjoy it and happy snacking!

- Courtney & Lori

Meet Karissa - Our March 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 Karissa Lawrenson, who is one of our VIP members and regularly attends a wide variety of classes, but her favourite is definitely Body Sculpt & Sweat! Karissa has been with us since the very beginning (2 years next month!) and was a participant in our 2019 Loyobo Challenge, which ends on March 16th.

We have seen so much progress over the last 6 weeks with Karissa and we have been so proud to watch her have some very powerful mindset shifts regarding how she views her body, how she defines success, and learning how to love the skin that she is in!

Karissa is an example of what can happen when you are not willing to give up and when you are brave enough to recommit and reapply yourself, even when it isn’t convenient or easy to do so! We love having her as part of our morning crew and feel so incredibly lucky to have had her support along the way as Loyobo has grown and as we have learned and figured ourselves out. We absolutely adore you and cannot express our gratitude, Karissa! We truly think you are awesome.

This month, Karissa, 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?

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I have been coming to Loyobo FIT … since before it was Loyobo! I started when Courtney first offered classes out of a rental space downtown (April 2017). My friend (and workout buddy) Sarah told me about the super energetic fitness instructor (that’d be Courtney :) who was starting her own business and was going to offer classes a few times a week. It was close to my work and my workout buddy was doing the classes too, so it was a win-win! I was also ready for a change in my exercise routine, so I thought I would try - I was hooked from there.

I was happy when Loyobo opened at their current space - it is a quick 5 minute drive to the studio from my house (and - thankfully - has significantly fewer stairs than her downtown studio did!).

What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?

My top 3 goals changed slightly after doing the Loyobo Challenge. Now, they are:

1. Be consistent with my exercise (that was always - and still is - my #1)

2. Eat mindfully (eat healthy but still enjoy life)

3. Focus on how I feel rather than the numbers on the scale.

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?

Food, and my relationship with it. Overindulging and feeling guilty about it, depriving myself and being hungry - ugh! I have found that listening to my body cues and eating more mindfully has helped. I also think more about what I am eating - if I am offered something sweet but it isn’t something I really like or enjoy, I keep that in mind and decline. However, if it is something I love and I know it is worth it, I enjoy it (aka - pecan pie, pumpkin pie, rhubarb pie … essentially anything in pie form. :)

Karissa rocking a high five plank with Kurt!

Karissa rocking a high five plank with Kurt!

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

Physically, my body has changed. It was gradual, but I eventually noticed that consistent exercise was helping (who knew! ;) Exercising has become a routine and not something I do on and off - I can’t imagine starting a weekend without the Saturday morning class.

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

My favourite achievement is that I reached one of my Challenge goals, which was my #1 goal - develop a more consistent exercise routine. I’ve always liked exercising, but disliked afternoon or evening workouts - at that point it always felt like another chore to do. I decided I would commit to the 6:30 am workouts on Wednesdays and turned that into a habit. Now I have started coming to the Monday 6:30 am class. Do I love getting up for a 6:30 am class? No - who does?! But I love the way I feel the rest of the day for having done it. I just make sure I set my alarm with the exact amount of time to get ready and drive to the studio - I’m halfway there before my mind has fully realized what is happening and how early it is!

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

Find what works for you and take it one step at a time.

What is your favourite class and why?

My favorite studio classes are the Saturday and weekday morning Sculpt and Sweat - I like a lot of bang for my buck, so I like the full body workout offered, the option to increase my intensity and challenge myself, and the variety in the workouts. I especially like the “sneaky exercise” games we play at the Saturday class:) I also love the outdoor classes and am looking forward to them again in nicer weather.

What is your favourite healthy snack?

My go-to snack is apples slices and peanut butter

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Congratulations Karissa! 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 consistency and patience is where we will find success. There is value in showing ourselves kindness and staying committed to our goals, even when life makes it hard sometimes! 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! All you need to do is take the first step on your journey, just like Karissa did two years ago! Try a class today and make sure to say hi if you see her around the studio!

See you all again soon!

-Courtney


Thinking about trying a Yoga class? Here's a few things to know!

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We totally get it - trying a yoga class can feel overwhelming. The pose names sound unfamiliar and are sometimes presented in a different language, and it can feel like everyone in the class seems to know what they are doing - except you! Although it might feel uncomfortable at first, the health benefits of yoga (which has been around for thousands of years), are plentiful and worth it! We promise. :)

To help you feel more comfortable coming to try out a class, we asked a brand new yoga participant what their top burning questions are about starting a yoga practice. Read below for our answers!  

What are the benefits?

Although many people roll out their mat the first time thinking about the physical benefits, traditionally yoga is about so much more. Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system. In addition, yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Other physical benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone.


Do I have to be flexible to do it?

No! Yoga is a practice of building flexibility, among other things. So come as you are, flexible or not, and you will soon start to see improvements in your range of motion!

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Our instructors are always willing to provide modifications to those who are just starting out, and you can also use props like a yoga block to help you feel supported in certain poses.


Where do I start?

It can be intimidating to try something new. That’s why all our yoga classes can be adapted to the participant. The best way to start is to try a class! The instructor can give you lots of options and demonstrates the movements so you will be able to follow along.

Let go of the idea that you have to do it all “right” on the first try! Just show up with a curious mind and enjoy the freedom of movement that can happen when you let go of being perfect and getting it right. If you want to prepare in advance, you can read about different types of yoga or look up poses online before your first class, but it really isn’t necessary.

An example of a child’s pose. Hips tilted back towards the heels, arms stretched out overhead to open up the back and chest, resting the forehead on the mat or a block can be used to support as well.

An example of a child’s pose. Hips tilted back towards the heels, arms stretched out overhead to open up the back and chest, resting the forehead on the mat or a block can be used to support as well.

What are the poses I need to know to get started?

Some of the most common poses found in most yoga classes include child’s pose, downward facing dog, warrior poses, and sun salutations.

If you want to learn these basics poses before attending your first class, we will be hosting a Beginner Yoga Workshop in the Spring. This will be a great opportunity for you to ask questions and get your feet wet before diving all the way in!

What should I expect in my first class?

In your first class, focus as much as you can on your breathing. The instructor will explain and demonstrate different poses, but don’t worry if you can’t do them all on the first try. Yoga is an ongoing practice, and the intention as you start should be around getting into and feeling your body and learning the breathing techniques.

We hope this answers some of your questions about yoga and eases your mind on what to expect in your first class. If you have any questions that we didn’t answer here, feel free to leave a comment or email us at info@loyobofit.com.

Hope to see you on your mat soon!

- Jen Oke

Group Fitness & Yoga Instructor at Loyobo FIT

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