A New Beginning  

And the winner is...

Monday was the Awards Night for Global Fitness’ Get it Back, Give it Back 2013 and everyone was waiting wide-eyed for the big moment. Who is the Biggest Loser? It was 12 weeks that changed a lot of lives forever, mine included. I have to thank Global Fitness Manager, Darcia Fenton for having this brainwave and letting it run now for  four years. Also worthy of a huge thank-you are the Sponsors because without them it would be nearly impossible to accomplish. These sponsors are (in alphabetical order):

  • Artix Custom Screenprints
  • Beyond Nutrition
  • Bread Company
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Castanet
  • Csek Creative
  • Edge Digital Media
  • Okanagan Naturopathic
  • Q103.1
  • Total E'Clips
  • Vital Waters
  • The Yellow House Restaurant

There were nine awards in total and they went as follows:

And The Winner is: Lillian Hill who has lost a whopping 40.2 pounds and also won The Most Inches which was 22 inches.

Sportsmanship: (Each team had that one person on their team that just got everyone going…..even when they didn’t want to.)

  • Q.103.1 - Deb Hudson
  • Vital Waters - Frank Castello
  • Total Eclipse - Nik King
  • Okanagan Naturopathic - Shawndra Wooden,
  • Castanet - Christine Burke

Team that lost the most weight: Castanet, who’s 10 person team lost a total of 192.4 lbs.

Team that lost the most inches: Q103.1 whose small 7 person team lost 110.75 inches

A special thank-you goes to my team who made me feel part of a bigger picture. I will miss you guys and I know that all of us will continue winning at losing……..weight.


Team struts their stuff!

Well it is almost April and spring has sprung. It is hard to believe that three months are almost over. The Global Fitness program, Get it Back, Give it Back is almost at an end. All I can say is…..WOW!

Team Castanet has been amazing. What a camaraderie! When we started we were unhealthy and way out of shape. We had bad habits and were not happy with who we were. When we started we were quiet and shy not knowing what we got ourselves into. I can honestly say we were all scared. I know I was.

As the weeks progressed we understood that there was no turning back and that this was a lifestyle change. And we hurt. Boy, did we hurt. We found muscles that we didn’t even know existed. We learned workout lingo and a million ways to exercise. We learned healthy eating and living. Best of all, we made friends.

Our glorious trainer Stephanie pushed us even when we thought one more burpee would kill us. She didn’t go easy on us and I am sure that there were words under our breath that we a glad we didn’t say out loud. We love her and if it wasn’t for her awesome drive, we would have gone back to being couch potatoes. Thank-you Stephanie….from the bottom of our hearts.

These are our stats as they stand right now. (I am sure these too will change as there is two weeks left).

Carla 12.2 6.25
Christine 26.0 8.0
Donna 14.0 9.5
Jasmine 23.0 15.5
Karly 4.2 3.5
Lillian 35.6 19.75
Sarah 8.0 0.0
Tammy 0.6 .75
Tracey 16.8 7.0

When you get to the gym now to workout with the team, all you see is healthy, vibrant, happy ladies. They have even joined each other and done such things as climbing Knox Mountain and running the bleachers at the Apple Bowl. The difference is unbelievable. Although we are not at our goal weight, we sure are well on our way.

A big thank-you goes out to Global Fitness for thinking of this great way to give back to the community. I hope that this will be a yearly habit. We would like to thank our 2013 sponsor's for all their support. They are (in alphabetical order):

  • Artix Custom Screenprints
  • Beyond Nutrition
  • Bread Company
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Castanet
  • Csek Creative
  • Edge Digital Media
  • Okanagan Naturopathic
  • Q103.1
  • Total E'Clips
  • Vital Waters
  • The Yellow House Restaurant

I am sure that when this comes to an end, we will still keep in touch and meet to exercise. In fact I think most of us have signed up for the “Get it Back Bootcamp” that will start soon after Get it Back, Give it Back has been completed.

Stop smoking or stop breathing

Hello Readers: My apologies for being MIA the last two weeks. I have been ill with pneumonia. Don’t feel sorry for me... I am a Smoker. I have been smoking for 40 years. Needless to say, our topic for the week is “how to stop smoking”.

Most people find it hard to quit smoking. Quitting can be hard, but it’s not impossible. Check out the tips below.

10 Tips for Quitting Smoking

1.  Commit - In the quits that failed, I was only half into it. I told myself I wanted to quit, but I always felt in the back of my mind that I’d fail. I didn’t write anything down. I didn’t tell everybody (maybe my daughter). This time, I wrote it down. I wrote down a plan. I am blogging about it. I told family and friends I was quitting. I went online and joined a quit forum. Give yourself rewards. Many of these will be in the following tips, but the point is that you have to fully commit. There is no turning back. Don’t make it easy for you to fail.

2.  Make a Plan - You can’t just up and say, “I’m gonna quit today.” You have to prepare yourself. Plan it out. Have a system. For me it is Champix.

3.  Know your Motivation - When the urge comes, your mind will rationalize. “What’s the harm?” And you’ll forget why you’re doing this. Know why you’re doing this BEFORE that urge comes. Is it for your kids? For your wife? For your health? So you can run? Because the girl you like doesn’t like smokers? Have a very good reason or reasons for quitting. List them out. Print them out. Put it on a wall. And remind yourself of those reasons every day, every urge.

4.  Not One Puff, Ever (N.O.P.E.) - The mind is a tricky thing. It will tell you that one cigarette won’t hurt. And it’s hard to argue with that logic, especially when you’re in the middle of an urge. And those urges are super hard to argue with. Don’t give in. Tell yourself, before the urges come, that you will not smoke a single puff, ever again. Because the truth is, that one puff WILL hurt. One puff leads to a second, and a third, and soon you’re not quitting, you’re smoking. Don’t fool yourself. A single puff will almost always lead to a recession. DO NOT TAKE A SINGLE PUFF!

5.  Join a Forum - One of the things that helped the most in this quit was an online forum for quitters (quitsmoking.about.com) .  You don’t feel so alone when you’re miserable. Misery loves company, after all. Go online, introduce yourself, get to know the others who are going through the exact same thing, post about your crappy experience, and read about others who are even worse than you. Best rule: Post Before You Smoke. If you set this rule and stick to it, you will make it through your urge. Others will talk you through it. And they’ll celebrate with you when you make it through your first day, day 2, 3, and 4, week 1 and beyond. It’s great fun!

6.  Reward Yourself - Set up a plan for your rewards. Definitely reward yourself after the first day, and the second, and the third. You can do the fourth if you want, but definitely after Week 1 and Week 2, Month 1, Month 2, Month 6 and a year. Make them good rewards, something that you’ll look forward to: CDs, books, DVDs, T-shirts, shoes, a massage, a bike, a dinner out at your favourite restaurant, a hotel stay … whatever you can afford. Even better: take whatever you would have spent on smoking each day, and put it in a jar. This is your Rewards Jar. Go crazy! Celebrate your every success! You deserve it.

7.  Delay - If you have an urge, wait. Do the following things: take 10 deep breaths. Drink water. Eat  things like carrots and frozen grapes and pretzels. Call your support person. Post on your smoking cessation forum. Exercise. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, BUT DELAY, DELAY, DELAY. You will make it through it, and the urge will go away. When it does, celebrate! Take it one urge at a time, and you can do it.

8.  Replace Negative Habits with Positive Ones - What do you do when you’re stressed? If you currently react to stress with a cigarette, you’ll need to find something else to do. Deep breathing and exercise have worked wonders for me. Other habits, such as what you do first thing in the morning, or what you do in the car, or wherever you usually smoke, should be replaced with better, more positive ones.

9.  Make it Through Hell Week, and then Heck Week, and then you’re Golden - The hardest part of quitting is the first two days. If you can get past that, you’ve passed the nicotine withdrawal stage, and the rest is mostly mental. But all of the first week is hell, which is why it’s called Hell Week. After that, it begins to get easier. Second week is Heck Week, and is still difficult, but not nearly as hellish as the first. After that, it should be smooth sailing.

10.  If You Fall, Get Up and Learn From Your Mistakes - Yes, we all fail. That does not mean we are failures, or that we can never succeed. If you fall, it’s not the end of the world. Get up, brush yourself off, and try again. Figure out what your obstacles to success are, and plan to overcome them in your next quit. And don’t wait a few months until your next quit. Give yourself a few days to plan and prepare, commit fully to it, and go for it!

BONUS TIP #11: THINK POSITIVE - This is the most important tip of all. I saved it for last. If you have a positive, can-do attitude, as corny as it may sound, you will succeed. Trust me. It works. Tell yourself that you can do it, and you will. Tell yourself that you can’t do it, and you definitely won’t. When things get rough, think positive! You CAN make it through the urge. You CAN make it through Hell Week...and you will. Millions of others have. I am just starting to quit and I am very positive that I will succeed. I will keep you all posted on the trials and tribulations and let you know when I have succeeded.

Anyways have a great week and remember - eat well, sleep well, exercise and...Be good to YOU!


Healthy lifestyles and mental health

It has been a month and I have a new found love for healthy living. I sleep better. I breathe better. My skin feels softer. I have so much more energy. I wish I would have tried this years ago. My team is "fantabulous". Each of us has set our own personal goals and have accomplished more than expected. The team morale has sky rocketed and we are all well on our way to a new life. Go Team!!!

This week a lady from Canadian Mental Health came in to speak to all the teams about  "Healthy bodies…Healthy Minds”. These are the facts that a lot of people don’t know. I know I didn’t.

Who is Affected

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.

Give Me the Numbers

  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.


  • A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
  • Almost one half of the population that thinks they are suffering from depression or anxiety never see a doctor about this problem.
  • Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.

Economic Cost

  • The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998 – $4.7 billion in care, and $3.2 billion in disability and early death.
  • In 1999, 3.8% of all admissions in general hospitals (1.5 million hospital days) were due to anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, personality disorders, eating disorders and suicidal behavior.

Sources: The Report on Mental Illness in Canada, October 2002. EBIC 1998 (Health Canada 2002), Stephens et al., 2001

Impact on youth?

  • It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide.
  • Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
  • Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
  • In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.

Eating healthy and having a good exercise regimen helps with illnesses such as depression and anxiety. That is a start to helping people succeed in overcoming mental illness but understanding more about it will make the world a better place. As the statistics say - we all have someone crazy in our family.

Have a great week and remember - eat well, sleep well, exercise and...Be good to YOU!

More A New Beginning articles

About the Author

Jan, the 411 Directory administrator for Castanet, has committed to being part of the Castanet team for the Global Fitness Get it Back, Give it Back 2013 fitness wellness challenge.  Her goal is to achieve "a healthier way of life!"

Here is Jan's story:

I used to be fit and very active when I was young - playing sports, hiking, rock climbing, biking - anything just because. I stayed active up until I was in my 30’s. After a number of bad injuries at work, kids, stress, bad relationships and life in general, I found myself at a life killing weight of 424 lbs! I could barely move and had no quality of life. Scary!! So, I moved to the Okanagan because this is where I was always happy and active, and a year and a half later I am down to a mere 300 lbs. and really ready to Get it Back ……life that is!

With the opportunity I have received from the “Get it Back Give it Back 2013”, I have started my upward climb to a better way of life….a healthier way of life! Follow me in my 12-week journey, through my new exercise regime, hopefully taking away good ideas and perhaps helping you through yours.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories