5 Easy Tips to Avoid Overindulging & Reduce Stress During the Holiday Season

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Hello everyone!

It is that time of year - the days are shorter and darker, our weekends are taken up by family get togethers and Christmas events, and the temptation to overindulge on holiday treats is almost ever present.

It’s a stressful time of year for a lot of people, so we wanted to share 5 tips to help you keep your sanity, avoid the post-holiday guilt, and help you to make it through the next few weeks.

1. Set your boundaries and remember to put your own health as a priority.

This is so important and why we put it first on the list. There is a lot of pressure over the holidays to participate in family functions, work events, or other types of social gatherings. It is so crucial to remember that you always have the power to set your boundaries and say no!

If something causes you a lot of discomfort, anxiety or feels more like an obligation rather than something that you enjoy, it is perfectly okay to politely decline an invite or to say no without giving a reason.

Depending on who is hosting the event and your relationship with them, you can even be honest and let them know that you appreciate the gesture and their desire to include you, but you are taking steps to make sure you are managing your stress over the holiday season which means limiting the amount of events you commit yourself to. Maybe even suggest a post-holiday get together instead, when things aren’t so busy.

If the person cares about you and your well-being, they will understand and appreciate your honesty.

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So often we let ourselves slip to the bottom of the priority list during the holidays and it is so important to stay as consistent as possible and put yourself first! Your sanity and well being matters, so say no! :) And feel good about doing it.

This also means, don’t let your routine or habits completely fall off the wagon! Keep getting out to class, doing your yoga, taking your supplements, and moving your body. While it is okay to have days off, don’t think of the holiday season as a write off. It makes it so much harder to get back on track in January. Instead, make a plan and stick to it!

If you have trouble, don’t be afraid to reach out to a coach - that is what we are here for! We can help you find a balance and create a personalized strategy of helping you continue to make progress in your goals, even when life gets a bit more chaotic.

2. Get lots of sleep.

When we are tired, we are more susceptible to feeling stressed, making food choices that may not make us feel great, and frankly - feeling crabby and moody!

Holiday parties and family get togethers often mean late nights, so try to manage this as best as you can by planning ahead. Before leaving for an event, plan your exit time and try to stick with it, even if you feel pressured to say later (set those boundaries!). Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and you your body will thank you!

3. Avoid late night snacks.
This tip goes hand and hand with #2 - avoid eating and drinking late at night! Research has shown that hunger is perceived to be stronger in the evening, and stress hormones exacerbate the intensity of these cravings…. meaning you may not actually be hungry even though you are feeling the need to binge!

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Research also shows that our bodies benefit from a period of fasting overnight, because then our body can focus on healing itself when we sleep and regenerating cells rather than digesting the food we ate.

So, once again, plan ahead and set a cut off time that allows you to get between 8 and 15 hours of fasting and you will feel so much better in the morning - in so many ways!

Seriously - a little bit of planning can go a long way and will help set you up for a successful, stress-free, happy holiday season!

4. Be conscious and choose your indulgences wisely!

Don’t eat something just because its there. Just because a coworker brought something in, or you are looking at a table filled with goodies doesn’t mean you have to indulge in everything!

We aren’t telling you to avoid it all, but just choose wisely. Ask yourself if it is something you really want and will enjoy, or is it just tempting because its there?

I jokingly call this the “waste of calories” line of thought. If there is a treat that you know you absolutely love, then yes - go ahead and indulge. Enjoy it and savor that moment! That is what life is all about and you don’t want to feel overly deprived.

But, if its a cheap sugary treat that you don’t even really like that much - then don’t waste the calories! Save it for the good stuff and you will feel way more satisfied (and less of the guilt!).

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5. Drink lots of water and be mindful of sugary drinks!

There are many holiday cocktails and beverages that are very high in sugar: eggnog, hot chocolate, alcohols and liqueurs, artificial fruit juices, etc. Liquids can be a sneaky source of calories that are often consumed quickly, without a lot of thought.

So, be mindful of what and how much you are drinking! These drinks can cause your blood sugar to spike, which can again increase feelings

of hunger, stress and make you feel not so great - especially the for the morning after.

Try enjoying a glass of water before and after each alcoholic beverage at a party, or use a smaller glass size and limit the number that you have. It may also help to take magnesium, vitamin B and/or C supplements before bed, which helps the body to metabolize the alcohol.

What are some of the ways that you use to reduce stress over the holiday season?

We would love to hear from you so please make sure to leave a comment down below. :)

Of course - if you need us, we are always here for you so don’t be afraid to reach out.

We truly hope you have a wonderful holiday season, filled with family, friends and lots of joy.

See you in class!

- Courtney
Owner & Founder of Loyobo FIT

Meet Jeff - Our November 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 Jeff Wilson (aka - Mr. November), who is one of our VIP members and regularly attends a wide variety of classes, including Tone & Flex, Body Sculpt & Sweat, and Power Tabata. His journey showcases the power of perseverance, patience and self-belief.

In February 2018, his wife Lori convinced him to try his first Body Sculpt class, which didn’t feel like the right fit. In March, she once again pushed him to try a class again: this time, Mind/Body Unwind which ended up being a hit! He began coming a few times a month. Getting to know the other members, the instructor, and slowly opening himself up to the possibility of exploring new fitness and class options.

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In August, however, something changed. Jeff started trying new classes like our Outdoor Bootcamp and Tone & Flex. A few times a month turned into a few classes every week! We have watched him make the choice to commit to himself, to turn desire into action, and to push outside of his comfort zone. He has become a huge part of our community, connecting with others and especially encouraging other male members to try more classes!

We could not be more proud and filled with excitement for Jeff and everything he has accomplished. It was a no-brainer to make him our first member of the month in our new studio space.

He is an example of what can happen when you put your health as a priority and incorporate movement as a positive aspect of your daily routine.

This month, Jeff, 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?

 Jeff & his wife + workout buddy, Lori.

Jeff & his wife + workout buddy, Lori.

“My Wife had been going to Loyobo FIT for the better part of a year and was trying to get me to come out for a class, after my first class (Mind/Body Unwind) I was hooked and slowly started going to more classes. Now I am up to 4-5 classes a week and loving every second of it!”

What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?

1 - Establish a healthy lifestyle that revolves around regular workouts, clean eating  and a
positive mental attitude.

2-  Hit my overall weight loss goal.

3 - Run 5km and be able to do at least one pull up before my 30th birthday.”


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 biggest challenge I have had in my health/fitness journey has always been weight loss and self confidence. What has helped is reminding myself that everyone progresses at a different rate and you have to find what works for you specifically rather than what someone says is supposed to work for your body.”


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

“Since becoming a Loyobo FIT member I have seen massive improvements in both my fitness as well as my attitude toward everything in life. My confidence has gone up and I have learned to embrace fitness as a staple in my life.”

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

“Being able to come to 4-5 workouts a week! When I first started I had to force myself to workout once a week, Now I look forward to workouts and even try to squeeze in mini workouts while I’m working on the computer or cleaning the house.”


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

“I would tell them this. You have to be willing to put in the effort to make changes. It will take a long time before you start to see differences, but if you are willing to stick with it and embrace the journey then you will be rewarded with results.”


What is your favourite class and why?

“Tone and Flex is definitely my favorite class. Lifting weights is always fun and combining that with highers reps as well as slowed reps makes for a great workout! Your arms and legs will hate you when your done :) “


What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Dead Set On Living, Dead Set On Life” - Liam Cormier (Cancer Bats lead singer)

Anything else you would like to share?

“I would just like to say the biggest THANK YOU to Courtney and Loyobo FIT for helping me with my fitness journey and giving me the self confidence that I now have in my life! I couldn't imagine my life without Loyobo FIT and everything that brings with it.”


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Congratulations Jeff! You deserve this moment in the spotlight as we celebrate your Mr.November status. THANK YOU for showing us the type of amazing things that can happen when you are willing to be try hard, be open to the journey, and show yourself forgiveness. We are seriously so proud of you!

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 Jeff. Try a class today and make sure to say hi if you see him around the studio!

See you all again soon!

-Courtney


Meet Morgan - Our July Member of the Month!

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to another editon 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 Morgan Baker, who is one of our VIP members and regularly attends a wide variety of classes, including Tone & Flex, Mind/Body Unwind and Zumba. Morgan's journey has been an exciting one.

In February 2018, she tried her first Mind/Body Unwind class. This gentle, low impact class was a perfect fit and introduction into movement. Over the last 5 months, we have watched Morgan gradually push outside of her comfort zone: trying more and more new classes, taking on new challenges, and working to incorporate more movement into her life!  

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Watching her progress has been amazing and, quite frankly, inspiring. Her confidence now shines through during class and we know that she is going to have such a bright future ahead of her! We cannot wait to see what she accomplishes.  

We are so excited to celebrate Morgan this month! We love her kind energy, joyful laugh and fearless attitude. She deserves a huge round of applause for her dedication and progress towards her health and fitness goals.  

So, without further ado, we are pleased to introduce you to Morgan!

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

"I’ve been coming to LOYOBO Fit since February (I think?). The first class I attended was during the free week, and I loved it and was looking for more activity in my life and LOYOBO fit right in."

What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?

"I want to feel strong, build confidence, and be energized in my life!"

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?

"I have an autoimmune disease that often leaves me uncomfortable and fatigued, and makes activity and exercise really challenging sometimes. I had gotten to a point in my health where even so much as going up a flight of stairs would leave me winded and tired, and being so out of shape discouraged me from pursuing activity of any type.

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I found that starting at Loyobo Fit in the Mind/Body Unwind class was a great way to ease myself into fitness classes. It was the first step I needed to make to start changing my lifestyle and bring health and fitness into it."

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

"I definitely feel stronger already, and I can see change in my body. I feel more energized and active and ready to take on the world!"

Can you describe one of your favourite achievements or #Loyobo moments?

"My first Tone & Flex class was really rough for me. I got very dizzy and light headed and had to sit out for half the class. Courtney was really cool and checked up on me, but it was kind of embarrassing anyways. This was really typical for me when I would over exert myself before. Recently, I did 2 classes back to back, gave it my all, and sweated a storm. Not once did I feel light headed or weak. It was a moment when I realized how much my health has already improved."

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

"You do you! Take the high paced cardio classes if you’re looking for fun, take the relaxing stretching classes if you want something slower! Whatever you do, whatever you try, it’s a step in the right direction!"

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What is your favourite class? (And why?)

"My favourite class is Zumba. It’s so much fun, and makes me excited to work out!"

We are so happy to have Morgan as part of our Loyobo FIT family and look forward to seeing what comes next in her journey to health! Congratulations Morgan and THANK YOU for showing us the type of amazing things that can happen when you are willing to be open, vulnerable, and step outside of your comfort zone. We are seriously so proud of you!

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 Morgan. Try a class today and make sure to say hi if you see her around the studio!

See you all again soon!

-Courtney

We are moving! New Studio Location Opens August 12, 2018!

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Hello everyone, 

This past Friday, I made a very special, very big announcement about our Loyobo Family: WE ARE MOVING! 

I cannot express how incredibly excited I am for this next part of our journey together. So, here are all the juicy details!

For the last 15 months, we have been renting studio space by the hour from Guelph Youth Dance and Stone Lantern Studio Arts at 42 Quebec Street in Downtown Guelph. As amazing hosts as they have been, my dream has always been to open my studio and create a proper home for Loyobo FIT. I had originally wanted to keep our downtown location, but after many, many (MANY) months of looking, I knew that it was going to be very hard to find a space that a) didn't require a massive amount of renovations, b) had the features I wanted, and c) didn't cost an absurd amount of money. 

On June 21, 2018, an opportunity fell at my feet and it has been a whirlwind ever since. On July 15, 2018, I took posession of our new home at 199 Victoria Rd South. While I am sure some of you are just as sad as I am to leave the downtown core, this is an amazing opportunity for us to grow and offer more services to our members! The space is HUGE and I am absolutely full of Pinterest-fueled ideas of how we are going to make it our home. 

I hope you are open to joining me in the new space. 


The Dream

The Loyobo FIT mission is to help people, especially women, learn to find their strength, confidence and love their body for what it can do. The focus is on building a community where members connect with one another, providing education and individualized attention, as well as creating a safe environment free of judement and full of #loyobo moments.

I want to show that there is a different, better way of doing fitness. I want to offer a holistic space, collaborating with other instructors and health professionals to help support you in all aspects of your journey to health and feeling like the #awesome person I know that you are. 

This studio will be a safe space, with 2 dedicated change rooms, 2 washrooms and a large open concept studio. There will be two other spaces available that I hope will be home to complimentary services and professionals. It will be bright, modern and fun! I want it to make you feel better just by stepping through the door.

To give you a small taste of what the new studio will offer, we will be working to expand our schedule, bring on new instructors and introduce new class formats: 

- Pound classes
- Yoga classes
- Heels classes (yup. dancing in your sexy stillettos!)
- Happy hour classes on Fridays (different classes every week that are new and exciting, featuring guest instructors and special formats to provide options for Friday Nights Out!)
- More live workshops, courses and special events that provide additional support, opportunities, and ways to engage our community!

The Plan

Classes will start at the new studio on Sunday August 12, 2018.

Until that time, the current schedule will continue at 42 Quebec and Exhibition Park. Once we start at the new studio, some of our outdoor classes will be moving inside... but we are going to work hard to keep a few for you until the end of August. 

Over the next few weeks, there is going to be a LOT of work to do in order to get the new studio up and running. Make sure to follow us on Instagram (@LoyoboFIT) where we will be posting lots of sneek peaks and progress updates!


How You Can Help

  • If you are willing to help paint or build shelves, please let me know! 
  • If you are a current member or class pass holder, please fill out this survey!
  • If you are a new participant or do not currently have a class pass/membership, please fill out this survey!
  • Follow us on social media, like and share our posts! Help us spread the word about Loyobo FIT.
  • Come out to try a class, become a class pass holder or a monthly member. 

And the big finale - We would like to invite you to join us for a pre-launch party, to get an excusive first look at the new studio location before we open to the public!

There will be food, drink and dancing, as well as giveaways, raffle prizes and more! 

As you can imagine, taking this leap comes with a big list of start-up costs! All the funds from ticket sales to this event will help us cover things like paint (its a really big space!), signage, equipment, and of course the amazing prizes at the event! 

Tickets are available for $30 in our online store.

Think of this as our Loyobo FIT Baby Shower. :) If you are not located in Guelph or are unable to make it to the launch, please still consider buying a ticket to help support us and build this dream! We would be very grateful. Seriously. SUPER DUPER grateful. 

A big, official grand opening will be taking place sometime in the Fall once we get a little bit more settled. 

Stay tuned as well - the new Fall schedule for the studio space will be coming by the end of this month! 

If you have any questions, please let me know. 

And a BIG thank you to each and every one of you for making this possible and believing in me, and Loyobo FIT. 

I cannot wait for you to join me at 199! 
See you all soon, 

LOTS OF LOVE,

-Courtney

Meet Judy - Our June Member of the Month!

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to another editon 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 Judy Keheler, who is one of our VIP members and regularly attends a wide variety of classes, including Tone & Flex, Strong by Zumba and Body Sculpt & Sweat. Judy turned 60 this year and used it as an opportunity to make the choice to re-commit to herself and her health.  We are so happy she did because it has been so awesome to get to know this amazing woman and see her progress. 

We are so excited to celebrate Judy this month! We love her energy and sass (especially when Courtney is making her do burpees) and are constantly amazed at her strength, as well as her willingness to push herself to try new things outside of her comfort zone. She deserves a huge round of applause for her dedication and progress towards her health and fitness goals.  

So, without further ado, we are pleased to introduce you to Judy!

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

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Going on my 3rd month. I tried Zumba with Courtney at a Ladies Night event with Fun Fearless Females.

2. What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?

To become fit, healthy and lose weight.

3. What is one of the challenges that you have faced in your health/fitness journey?

I find it very hard to get down in my weight and maintain it. I also find it difficult consistently getting to workouts more.

 4. What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?

Keeping up and just trying and working harder.

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

Well, I feel good after my workout. If I'm down or frustrated it picks me up.
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6. What is your favourite memory or achievement of your time at Loyobo FIT?

I think it is pretty good that I do my best to keep up witht the younger ladies! At least I do my very best to. :) 

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

Try Zumba, its fun and it's not like working out!

8. What is your biggest dream?

To be healthy and in good shape in my old age.

 

We are so happy to have Judy as part of our Loyobo FIT family and look forward to seeing what comes next in her journey to health! Congratulations Judy and THANK YOU for being the awesome lady that you are. 

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 Judy. Join us for our FREE WEEK today, which starts June 4 and runs until June 10th. First time participants can try up to 10 classes FREE (once per format). 

See you all again soon!

-Courtney

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Work the Booty with this new Zumba Choreo!

Hello everyone!

I am so excited to share my latest Zumba Fitness video with you! It is a fun and simple way to work the lower body. In just 3 minutes, you will work help firm up your booty and feel the burn! Plus - you will have a lot of fun doing it. 

The song is called Down by Fifth Harmony. 

A few quick tips as you do the workout:

  • When you squat and side lunge, make sure your weight is in your heels. Sit back like you are sitting in a chair. 
  • Keep your core engaged, flex the abs towards the spine.  
  • With all the movements, make sure both feet are facing forward!
  • Squeeze those glutes! Especially on your way up out of the squat or lunge movement.

If you have any questions or requests for future videos, feel free to email me at info@loyobofit.com ! 

And, of course, if you are in the tri-city area - come and join us for a LIVE Zumba class to experience the fun firsthand! First class is just $5 and you can find all of our class info here !

See you all again soon. 

Don't forget - you are AWESOME. Be kind to yourself today. 
-Courtney <3

Meet Kathy - March's Member of the Month!

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to another editon 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 Kathy Rawson, who is one of our VIP members and regularly attends a wide variety of classes, including Tone & Flex, Strong by Zumba and Body Sculpt & Sweat. While she hates burpees, she loves working on her core strength and using fitness not only to feel better about herself, but also to manage diabetes. 

We are so excited to celebrate Kathy this month! We think that she is absolutely incredible and deserves a huge round of applause for her dedication and progress towards her health and fitness goals. Just look at her posture! Her confidence is absolutely beautiful.

So, without further ado, we are pleased to introduce you to Kathy!

 

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

"I've going since around April 2017.What initially inspired me to get back to working out is my husband. He became very ill at a young age and I almost lost him. It made me realize that I needed to take my health more seriously."

2. What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?  

"Keep my diabetes in check, stay in shape and eat healthy."

3. What do you find challenging in your health/fitness journey? What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?

"Most challenging for me is the up and down movements when working out and I tend to get light headed and my heart rate gets really high. So far I have not been able to overcome this, but Courtney provides me with modifications to help reduce the effects."

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

"I have more energy, sleeping a little better and I am in better shape and more toned."

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

"My favourite achievement is that I have been able to reduce my insulin intact from my workouts which in turn will make me healthier in the years to come."

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

"Don't give up, it seems very hard at first but when you start feeling better and start see the results of all your hard work it is well worth it."

7. What is your favourite inspirational quote?  

"Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You"

8. What is your favourite healthy snack?

"Celery and peanut butter!"

9. What is your biggest dream?

"To retire and travel in a RV south during winter months."

10. Anything else you would like to share?

"I really enjoy my workouts at Loyobo Fit.  I have always struggled with self esteem issues and social interactions. Courtney’s classes have a great atmosphere. Friendly, outgoing, motivational and the right amount of push to help you reach your goals."

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We are so incredibly proud of Kathy's dedication to her health and are so happy to have her as part of our Loyobo FIT family! She always brings such a warm energy to class and is so welcoming and friendly to everyone who walks through our doors. Congratulations Kathy! We can't wait to see where your fitness journey takes you next and look forward to many more workouts with you in the future. 

Come meet Kathy and the rest of the crew by trying your first class today! You never know where your journey will take you: all you have to do is take the first step. 

That first step might be entering our Class Pass Giveaway, where you can win a 5 class pass completely free! All you have to do is click here to enter. The giveaway is open until March 30, 2018 and there are three prizes up for grabs. 

Do something today that your future self will be thankful for and who knows - you might be our Member of the Month soon! 

Thank you so much Kathy! <3

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My Story - Why I started Loyobo FIT

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Hello everyone!

If we haven't met yet, my name is Courtney McCarthy and I am the founder of Loyobo FIT. Today I wanted to share with you my story: how I discovered fitness, made the choice to become an instructor, and why I started Loyobo. 

 My heaviest years, right before I moved to Ottawa in 2012. I was unhappy, struggling with IBS and hated my body.

My heaviest years, right before I moved to Ottawa in 2012. I was unhappy, struggling with IBS and hated my body.

It started back in 2014. I was overweight and unhappy, living in Ottawa working a job I hated with the federal government and in a relationship that was taking a toll on my self-esteem. I was dealing with an IBS diagnosis and eating was a daily struggle with a lot of bloating and digestive discomfort. I was desperate and willing to try anything to make me feel better. 

I tried a pole dancing class (which was a lot of fun), all sorts of gym classes, I paid a ton of money for a personal trainer, I ran or did yoga every single morning. I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I felt. I lost a little bit of weight, but nothing really seemed to work.

I tried eating vegan, and then raw/vegan. I tried the FODMAP diet, which involves excluding a very high number of foods from your diet to try to identify IBS triggers. I tried supplements and read books. Nothing really worked. I was still unhappy. I was still overweight. I was still fighting with my body every single day. 

Then, one day, I made the choice to try a Zumba class. I REALLY didn't want to. I had tried other dance fitness classes before and I always felt uncomfortable. But, as I said, I was desperate and willing to try anything: so I went. 

That class changed everything. 

It was lead by a woman named Dana who was funny, full of smiles and incredibly welcoming. The dances were easy and for the first time in a long time, I had fun at the gym. For one hour, I forgot about hating my body and I just moved. It felt AWESOME! Right away, I knew I was hooked. 

 Co-teaching a song with the amazing Susana after I became an instructor in 2014!

Co-teaching a song with the amazing Susana after I became an instructor in 2014!

For the next few months, I was up every Saturday morning for that 9:15am Zumba class. Nothing could stop me from going. It was a date with myself that I looked forward to all week. My confidence started increasing, I was making friends in class, and I finally started to see some results! I was sweating and feeling stronger and some of the weight was coming off. In fact, I started doing TWO Zumba classes back to back with another amazing woman named Susana at the same club. 

Dana was the first one who brought up the idea of becoming an instructor myself. With encouragement from both her and Susana, I signed up for a training that December. I knew that I had a very strong desire to give other woman the same feeling that those two ladies had given me: a safe space to enjoy my body and have fun!

Around the same time, I also started working with a nutritionist who rocked my world: Jumanah Beck from Earth Suit Nutrition . She helped me identify my IBS triggers and figure out what foods worked with my body. Between my new love of Zumba and this amazing new relationship with food, before I knew it I had lost over 35lbs. I still wasn't happy with myself or my body, but at least I was seeing change.

 Top photo: 2014, Bottom photo: 2016 After moving to Guelph, teaching 3-5 Zumba classes a week &amp; learning to love my body!

Top photo: 2014, Bottom photo: 2016
After moving to Guelph, teaching 3-5 Zumba classes a week & learning to love my body!

Things went on the back burner, though. In February 2015, my grandmother became terminally ill and I took time off work to take care of her and my family in her final months. During that time, I did a lot of soul searching and it hit home just how truly unhappy I was in Ottawa. It was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make, but I made the choice to leave the man I was with, quit my job and move back to Guelph. 

After a lot of change and transition, it took me until December 2015 to finally feel settled and find my own routine in Guelph. My attention then got pulled back to Zumba. I decided to take a chance and begin applying for instructor jobs. Very shortly after, I accepted my first job at LA Fitness in Milton. 

As soon as I started teaching, I knew this was it. This was my happy place and I loved every second of it. My view was beginning to shift: now my body felt like home and I recognized that the more I took care of it, the better I felt and the more I could do both as an individual and as an instructor. I had lost a total of 45 lbs and my IBS symptoms were gone! 

As the months went on, I began accepting more classes at other facilities: Shake it Off Studio in Guelph, the University of Guelph Athletic Centre, World Gym (now Crunch Fitness) and others. I was learning A LOT about the fitness industry and there were many things that I found incredibly frustrating!

 Teaching Zumba in Guelph, Summer 2016.

Teaching Zumba in Guelph, Summer 2016.

The industry revolved a lot around money and making people huge promises of life-changing results that often were unrealistic or unhealthy. Instructors were underpaid and undervalued - especially when it came to Zumba. There seemed to be a lack of empathy and such a huge focus on one ideal "bikini body", extreme results and on outer appearances. Women above the age of 50 seemed to be ignored. I felt stifled by strict rules, a lack of innovation and a low interest by management in truly listening to what member's wanted. 

So, in April 2017 I decided I wanted to do it my own way. I wanted to follow the journey of what worked for me: focusing on movement, helping people find joy in fitness and learn to love their body by defining their own version of health and success. To help people, especially woman, learn how to listen to their bodies and see their own strength. So, I offered my first round of bootcamp classes (3 times a week) in downtown Guelph and at Exhibition Park.

In December 2017, after a lot of hard work and planning, those classes became "Loyobo FIT". The vision for my business has grown and my desire is to prove that fitness can be done differently. In the next two years, my goal is to open my own studio which will offer group fitness classes, training, educational workshops, online classes and other services that help people to learn about fitness, nurition, mental health, and healthy living. 

I hope that you are as excited as I am to be part of this journey! We have started this amazing #LoyoboFamily and I cannot wait to see what comes next. 

If you have any questions or would like to chat about your own health and fitness journey, please reach out to contact me either by phone (519 400 8528) or email (info@loyobofit.com). I would love to help you feel better inside and out. :) 

See you in class!

-Courtney xoxo

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 Joan, Susana and Dana. Without these amazing women, I would not be where I am in today! Summer 2017

Joan, Susana and Dana. Without these amazing women, I would not be where I am in today! Summer 2017

Meet Lori - Our First Member of the Month!

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Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking hard about how I can help to foster and build our community, celebrate your successes, and provide motivation based on real member stories. So, I have created our new Member of the Month Series! Each month, I will be featuring one of our members and sharing with you their story, tips for success, and a little bit of fun information about them! 

For January, and our very first member of the month, I am so excited to introduce you to Lori! 
 

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

"My Loyobo FIT journey began when I saw an advertisement on Facebook in August of 2017. I was in a rut with my workout routine and realized that I needed to make a change. First I tried a Total Body and Zumba class; Immediately I was hooked! I bought a 10 class pass and started with Total Body classes on Thursdays."

2. What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?

"
Goal #1: Chin ups! I would love to develop enough upper body strength to be able to do this challenging exercise.

Goal #2: Improve posture/form. Like anyone, I find that my form gets sloppy when I fatigue during my workouts and with some exercises I just struggle in general (i.e., push-ups!)

Goal #3: Develop core strength - I suffered from a back injury several years ago and while I have healed and moved on, I still find it difficult to work this area as I lack strength in it." 

3. What do you find challenging in your health/fitness journey? What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?

"My workouts generally consisted of trail running and doing some cardio/weights in my basement. Inevitably I would plateau regularly and didn't see the results I was hoping for. When I tried Loyobo FIT, I realized that group classes were the missing element, as I need an external force to guide and push me outside of my comfort zone."

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

"1. GAINS! Increase in muscle/definition (especially arms and legs).
2. I have a fitness community that I belong to and I love seeing the other members each week; we joke with each other, encourage and push each other in a non-competitive way. 

3. Exercising is something that (as an adult) I naturall love to do. I don't generally have to force myself to workout because I love doing it and feel bettwe when I do. Before, when I was workout out solo at home, I sometimes struggled to schedule it in, but now I don't even think about it! I know I have classes on certain days at certain times and I hate missing them. Nothing gets in my way of attending a class ;) not TV, social plans, appointments, work... I've made it a priority."

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

"Going from 1 class/week to now 8-10 classes/week! The first few classes I could barely move for a few days after - going up and down stairs was painfully hysterical! I couldn't even fathom attending another class/week, but now I recover much more quickly and can go to classes on back to back days AND do 2 classes in the same day."

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6. What is your favourite/least favourite exercise or type of workout?

"I don't necessarily have a favourite/least favourite. I guess I would say that any type of exercise where I feel a sense of accomplishment for having pushed myself a litle farther than usual/completing something I never had previously is my favourite. I love a mix of cardio and resistance training - a well-rounded approach to fitness."

7. What is your favourite healthy snack?

"Currently - hazelnut butter on sliced granny smith apples OR popcorn with herbamare and nutritional yeast!"

8. What is your biggest dream?

"To see my business Fun Fearless Females thrive. Through FFF, I support adult women with developmental disabilities in all areas of health and wellness (nutrition, fitness, social & emotional well-being). I have big plans for it and I hope that I can make them a reality!"

9. Anything else you would like to share?

"I am so grateful to have found Courtney and Loyobo FIT; I feel like it was meant to be! Sounds sappy but I'm being sincere ;). Courtney's energy and personality are what really drew me to join Loyobo FIT and I only wish that I had found her sooner! I look forward to continuing to be part of the Loyobo FIT community and I can't wait to see what's next!"

We are so incredibly proud of seeing how much Lori has found her strength and are so happy to have her part of our Loyobo FIT family! It was a no-brainer on our end to make her our very first Member of the Month. Congratulations Lori! We also can't wait to see where your fitness journey and business adventures take you next. 

Come meet Lori and the rest of the crew by trying your first class today! You never know where your journey will take you: all you have to do is take the first step! 

Do something today that your future self will be thankful for and who knows - you might be our Member of the Month soon! 

Thank you so much Lori! <3


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Friends & Family FREE Week - February 5 to 11, 2018!

Yes that is right - we are offering a FREE week of fitness classes from February 5-11, 2018. First time participants and new members can try any of class formats completely free during this week! The pass can be used once per format - so that means they can try up to seven classes TOTALLY FREE!

Yup. We know. Its pretty exciting. 

You can check it all out on our Facebook event or you can sign up to get your free pass now at www.Loyobofit.com/events

Please help to spread the word and invite anyone who could use a little fitness boost to help them reach their goals and feel better. 

Also - if you are a current member or pass holder, make sure to preregister for classes during the Free Week to save your spot!

We will see you all again soon. 
Be happy. Be Healthy. Be a Stronger You!

-Courtney

(P.S. Want to get these blogs straight to your inbox so you never miss a beat? Sign up for our newsletter today!)

Welcome to our blog + Our first Zumba video!

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Hello everyone!

First of all, welcome to the new Loyobo FIT website and our blog! I am so excited to start this new part of our journey together. This blog will be used to share healthy living tips and tricks, information on fitness, online workouts and videos, and all sorts of other goodies! 

The website is still a work-in-progress, so make sure to stay tuned for additional features coming in the near future! If you haven't yet, click that little button on the top right of your screen to subscribe to our newsletter! Then you will always be the first to know about the hot happenin's over at Loyobo FIT.

To kick things off with a bang, I wanted to share with you my first ever Zumba video! If you are on youtube, you can subscribe to our channel by clicking here. I will be honest with you - posting this video was a bit of a scary moment for me! Even though I am no stranger to YouTube (you can check out my personal vlog channel here ), this was a really vulnerable moment for me - sharing my passion with the world... so I hope you like it!

Please leave your comments down below if you have any requests for future blog posts, online workouts, or Zumba choreo videos! 

And - don't forget: Next week is the start of our brand new expanded schedule! We are so excited to be able to offer you even more classes to choose from. If you haven't joined us for a class yet, we would love to have you join us! Your first class is just $5 to try or you can get a 30 day unlimited trial pass for just $45. There are currently two zumba classes a week and we always add more outdoor classes once the weather gets warm.

Well, that is it for me! I will see you all again soon. 

Now - Let's dance!

Lots of love, 

-Courtney