Realistic Resolutions

Here we go again, New Year, New Me, this year I’m going to….

Be Better

Do Better

Live Better

Eat Better

Sleep Better

Move Better……

I have never been a New Year’s Resolution kind of person, I don’t believe in big resolutions, I believe in small steps, but that’s me.  Other people find the start of the New Year refreshing, they feel like they are getting a clean slate, that it’s time for a do over.  December is a kind of no man’s land, it’s a buffer between the old and the new where we fill up on cheese, wine and tourtiere and our exercise is stomping through shopping malls carrying bags of gifts and wine and cheese! 

We repeat that New Year New Me mantra in our heads out loud, “January I’m going to get back in the gym, January, I’m going to fill my fridge with healthy food, January I am going to get my arse to bed by 9pm. “  And many of us do start the year off right, the gyms are full, your belly feels nourished with loads of veggies, and you power through that 30 day challenge and feel super empowered for about 2 weeks and then old habits start to call your name, winter drags and chocolate is too delicious, that tv show begs to be watched and you start to slip off the wagon.  

Very few people ever end up sticking to their New Year’s resolutions through the long haul and that’s usually because the approach is overwhelming and unrealistic and you didn’t have a support system in place to make it through the tough times.  Many people think they have to start something new on a Monday or the New Year, because it feels like a new beginning. There’s also the tendency to think that once all the stressful stuff is out of the way, that’s when you can get back on track.  This idea that starting has to be done at a certain time, or that your life has to be settled before you can successfully do something has some merit to it but at the end of the day, if life being messy means you can’t adjust your habits, then you won’t be able to stick with those habits when life gets messy again.. And it will get messy, stressful, and busy again. 

Let’s talk specifically about exercise because that’s my area of expertise, there’s a lot to unpack here.  

How do you succeed in creating a healthy exercise habit?

With exercise, it takes discipline to succeed through the long haul.  There is no point starting a 30 day challenge and then going back to doing nothing afterwards, exercise must become a habit, a non-negotiable and part of your life for the rest of your life.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be ups and downs, of course there will be times where you get to the gym 4 times a week every week but then life comes up and you have to reduce that to 2 times a week or take a little break entirely because of illness or injury. Discipline is your ability to do the hard work in less than optimal conditions.  Maybe it means reducing the time spent at the gym one week because you have a lot to juggle but it doesn’t mean abstaining entirely.  

How does this apply to the New Year’s Resolution Mentality?

Most of the time, resolutions are too big, too unrealistic, they are viewed as a quick fix sprint to the finish line, not a long haul marathon.  You need to start slower so you can finish strong but most people start out sprinting and burn out quickly.  

So how then, do you make a New Year’s Resolution that you might actually stick with?

STEP 1:  Understand that improving any area of your life is not a temporary fix.  Stay away from the 30 day challenge and just concentrate on building on what you are already doing. Break your goal up into manageable steps or progressions.


You haven’t exercised since Jane Fonda leotards were the height of active wear fashion.  Telling yourself you are going to start going to the gym 5 days a week for an hour is just not a sustainable goal.  Instead start with 1 to 2 days a week and get that habit ingrained into your routine.  It may take a few months but that consistency and discipline will help you add on when you are ready.  

STEP 2:  Make a resolution that is fueled by internal success rather than external acceptance (weight loss for approval-not for health).  Exercise because it will make you feel better both physically and mentally not because you want to achieve a certain body type or look good for someone’s wedding, etc.


You have anxiety/depression and are a little overweight; your doctor tells you to start exercising to help with your mental health and weight loss.  You make yourself go to the gym because losing weight is your main motivation but within the process you discover that your symptoms of depression and anxiety are drastically reduced.  You discover that the best part about exercising are the endorphins and the blast of confidence you get from finishing a workout and getting stronger.

STEP 3: Find the right kind of exercise for you.  You don’t have to spend hours on a treadmill each week or go to every HIIT class available. Try out many options and choose the one that feels right for you. Strength Training is an optimal place to start, because it prepares your body for other activities that might help you reach your goals.


You hate all things exercise and can’t be arsed to go to gym, you need to look for alternative types of movement.  For example, did you know there is a drumming fitness class called POUND?  There is no shortage of dance cardio classes, or even get yourself into an adult karate class.  Think about the sport(s) that you enjoyed the most (or hated the least) when you were young, and revive the hobby.In Montreal, we are blessed with parks a-plenty for skating and skiing throughout the winter and easy access to cheap equipment rentals. You just have to get off your butt.

STEP 4: Get yourself some professional help.  No really, the worst thing to see at a gym is someone using youtube or tiktok as a means to learn how to strength train.  While there is a plethora of excellent information out there, if you don’t know how to weed out the good vs the bad advice or demo videos, you are setting yourself up for an inefficient workout and/or an unsafe workout.  As a trainer, going to a commercial gym, I have seen many very fit looking people doing very incorrect/ineffective movements, so don’t assume that someone who looks like they know what they are doing, actually knows what they are doing. Invest in Personal training or Small Group (Semi-Private) training, that way you get individualized workout programs and the attention you need to thrive in the gym safely.


You’ve read that strength training is beneficial to premenopausal women and you want to start lifting weights but you have never lifted more than a 2 lb dumbbell in your life.  Find a trainer or a small group training program that specializes in strength training. You want a trainer that understands your starting point and how to gently ease you into this new activity rather than one that forces you into doing things that are uncomfortable/painful solely for gains. 

STEP 5: Find a support system to keep you accountable.  Accountability will help with discipline and that is the number one factor for success because when the New Year New Me motivation wears off, discipline and accountability will see you through.

Example: You and a coworker decide it’s time to get fit, so you join a gym or studio together and make exercise dates each week to help each other go.  You walk/drive together and enjoy the conversation, you commiserate over the tough workout together and share laughs throughout.  You leave each workout fueled by endorphins from the workout but also the social interaction.

The best support system I ever had were a few exceptionally awesome gym buddies.  Trying to force yourself to class after a rough day of work can be too much to manage but if you’ve made plans to meet a friend there, you don’t want to let them down (and yourself) so you go and the more you go the easier it becomes to eventually get there by yourself. 

**If you don’t have a coworker or friend to workout with, hiring a Personal Trainer can help immensely with accountability and your success.  Joining a small group training program where you set your schedule and pay for a month in advance can also help keep you on track.

Whether you resolve to become a better version of yourself this year or next Monday, use these steps to make it worth your while.  At the end of the day you just have to get out there and do it!   Don’t worry about failure, if you don’t like the gym, try something else, just make sure you make your activity resolution a non-negotiable in the most realistic way possible.  Find a support group/friend/community of people who have similar goals.  Remember that in the long run, the things that are hard today will most likely be what you cherish the most later on. 

Finally, understand that most people don’t initially LOVE exercising, and we don’t love it all the time.  Today, I am struggling with the motivation to do my workout even as I write this but will I do it? You Bet! Because the reward for doing the workout is a better attitude, a stronger body and an overall better quality of life and the consequence for skipping it is a smidge of guilt and a little less patience with my kids today but over time…it adds up to slower progress, a more negative perspective and a less healthful existence.  

ELUSIVE ENERGY: Why does expending energy create more energy?

Busy, tired, stressed, feeling down, overwhelmed, if I had a dollar for every time…well you know!  As a mother, a former teacher, a broke ass university student, an occasional couch potato; I’ve used all the excuses myself but somehow I always find my way back to exercise as a way to cope with anxiety, stress, and even low energy.  I’ve mastered the art of the mid-afternoon workout, when my brain and body really just want to shut down, I get up and move! It works too, because while you constantly tell yourself that you are simply too tired to workout, that sedentary life is causing you to be more tired than you would be if you got a little sweaty a few times a week.  Regular physical activity actually helps to increase the amount of energy you have for other activities!

6 Reasons Exercise Increases Energy

Studies show that people who exercise regularly have more energy than those who don’t. You don’t need to HAVE energy to exercise, you need to exercise to CREATE energy! There are 6 main reasons why movement can increase your energy and decrease feelings of fatigue or sluggishness:

  1. Improves Muscular Strength and Endurance
  2. Delivers Oxygen and Nutrients to your Organs so they Work Better
  3. Supports Mitochondria Production (energy cells)
  4. Improves your Digestion and Nutrient Absorption.
  5. Boosts the Immune System

Improves Muscular Strength and Endurance

When you get stronger and improve the length of time you can exert yourself (endurance), you can, quite simply, move more.  Physical activity takes less out of you the more you do it.  If your children want to play basketball with you but you haven’t done cardio since college, it’s going to be a tough time. But if you regularly engage in exercise, this becomes a fun rather than daunting family activity.

Delivers Oxygen and Nutrients to your Organs so they Work Better

When you exercise you increase your blood flow helping your blood carry oxygen and nutrients throughout your body.  When your vital organs receive more oxygen and nutrients they can do their job more efficiently thereby stealing less of your energy to keep your body functioning optimally and giving you more energy to do the things you want to do.

Supports Mitochondria Production (energy cells)

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Our mitochondria or energy cell health is critical to our overall health, they help our vital organs function properly.  They are especially important for your cardiac system which requires a lot of energy to work.  In fact, mitochondrial dysfunction can cause heart abnormalities. When we exercise, we boost production of our mitochondria cells which regulates metabolic energy and gives our heart and lungs more power to work properly, increasing our overall energy.

Improves Digestion and Nutrient Absorption

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Photo by Kat Smith on

Exercise will not directly help your food digest, it is not advisable to exercise immediately after a heavy meal; but overtime, as we increase our cardio and muscular endurance, our body needs less energy to do physical activity and can divert that energy to digesting food.  After we eat a meal, our blood sugar increases, exercise also aids in regulating blood sugar which helps us digest our food easily.  

Another way in which exercise can help with digestion is by preventing or relieving constipation.  When we more efficiently digest food, it moves through our digestive system faster.

Exercise can also help prevent or reduce instances of reflux, diverticular disease, and colon cancer.  

If you consistently feel bloated and sluggish after a meal and it takes a long time to digest, you won’t have much energy to exercise, but by being an active person in general, your body will be faster at absorbing the nutrients it needs and putting the rest to waste.  If you regularly strength train, you know how fast food gets used up and how often you feel hungry throughout the day.

Boosts the Immune System

We know that regular physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle for preventing and treating many non-communicable diseases (diabetes, heart disease) as well as physical ailments such as arthritis, lumbar pain, etc. However, more research shows that exercise improves our body’s ability to fight off infectious diseases such as Covid, the common cold, the flu, etc.  This is because our body’s response to a virus or bacteria is to fight it, but if our energy is being used up to support regular organ function then we don’t have enough leftover to attack the enemy entering our systems. By exercising , we help our organs function better thus giving our body more energy to fight illness.  Getting sick frequently drains the body of energy for days, if our body is more efficient at fighting the illness, we get over it faster, or don’t get sick at all!


laughing woman practicing plank posture during training
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Many people feel tired frequently due to feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress, but when we exercise, we release those feel good endorphins which can give you a boost of positive energy to power you through your day.  If you struggle with mental health issues, try to bang out a workout before you get drained by the day.  For some people a morning workout will help immensely, for others it might be midday, and many enjoy working out in the evening so they are tired out for bedtime. Find a routine that works for you!

It’s Hard but Balance is the Key

man in gray tank top and blue shorts doing push up
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

So the old adage, “I’m tired because I’m busy, I’m depressed, or stressed is not necessarily true. Of course when we have a lot on our plate, we get tired and overwhelmed, but when we don’t take care of our internal systems and our mental health, our energy deflates leaving us fatigued on the regular. 

I often have people ask me, how do I manage everything; being a mom of 2 under 5, running a business, household chores, exercise, and finding time for myself.  It’s incredibly hard and I definitely suffer from some stress, and even though my little monster still wakes up every night, I still power through my day because I know that sitting all the time works against my best interests, that not taking 20-45 minutes to workout will make me feel worse.  I’m telling you this for perspective, not a “you can do it all too” lecture.  We all lead different lives and it’s extraordinarily difficult to manage everything. Balance is the key to life, sometimes we order food, sometimes we eat peanut butter jam sandwiches and sometimes my kid watches too much tv but overall, if we find time to be active together, eat well as a whole, and spend quality time together, then the hardest choices usually work out to be the best choices in the long run.  

My final thought for you is:

Imagine spending 3 hours less a week with your family to work on yourself but the time you do spend with them is amplified by your upbeat mood, your energy to do, to play, and to engage.  Imagine your children watching you taking care of your health and growing up understanding the importance of movement and self care.  How many times are you going to put yourself last before you realize that by neglecting your own self care you are impacting your ability to be truly present. 

MoFitness: A Love Story

By: Jessica Desgagnes

What would become MoFitness originated when 2 strangers living abroad in Abu Dhabi – Chelsie, an art teacher at an international school, Moses, a freelance fitness coach –  had a most auspicious chance encounter.

Having energetically bonded over a mutual love of fitness, healthy and active lifestyles, and an obvious passion for imparting knowledge, it did not take long for a partnership to evolve beyond an obvious attraction to each other. Chelsie and Moses began to put their heads together to develop Moses’ freelance career into a small business beginning with Teacher Fitness Training together while in Abu Dhabi.

Teacher Fitness at Maplewood International School, Abu Dhabi

The bonded enthusiasts relocated to Montreal wherein Coach Moses worked at various gyms, building a professional network, while Chelsie took on the management and marketing of the to-be community studio. Their determination and hard work pushed them beyond obstacles, and in the summer of 2019 the duo ran a Family Fitness program and began developing a series of workshops.

During the initial pandemic lockdown in 2020 they continued to challenge themselves by filming “Daily Tips” videos, which led to the creation of their outdoor fitness class series, “SWEAT in the Park”. Their business took off and as luck would have it, a perfectly-located studio opened and they didn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity. The studio remains open despite the challenging times as a result of the pandemic. The love for this fitness studio and its members never stops, as the small business owners continue to develop the programs and classes they offer, the newest being “Yoga Flow” and “Relax and Recharge”, a Yin class. Members continue to value one-on-one personal training, virtual small group training, and outdoor classes in the park, all in compliance with the safety codes. MoFitness is immensely thankful for it’s members both past and present, for their support and enthusiasm, which motivates them to continue inspiring an active and healthy community.

Classes In The Park Summer 2023!

Sweat in The Park is our original class series that we offered throughout the pandemic. While we no longer offer park classes during the weekdays, our Saturday Morning class will be in Parc Georges Saint Pierre during the sunny months and in case of rain, we will move the class indoors. Sweat is a high intensity cross training class that combines strength, endurance, and bootcamp style exercises. We bring equipment to the park to maximize the efficiency on the workout.

What : Group Fitness (Strength and Conditioning, HIIT, Bootcamp)

Where : Parc Georges Saint Pierre (Upper Lachine/Oxford)

When : Saturday 10-11am

Flow & Yin Yoga in the Park

Flow and Yin Yoga is held in Girouard Park (Marcil/Sherbrooke). This class is the antidote to all the intense training you engaged in throughout the week. We spend 15-20 minutes of the class warming our muscles and joints up with a gentle flow sequence and then we settle into deep Yin stretches for the remainder of the class. We bring blocks and straps to the park, you must bring your own mat.

What: Flow & Yin Yoga (Yoga Flow (Hatha/Vinyasa and Yin Yoga)

Where: Girouard Park (Marcil/Sherbrooke)

When: Sunday 11:15-12:15

Price : 20$ /class, class packs available.

***You must use our reservation system (PushPress) to pay and reserve classes.


You must bring your own mat or towel; we do not bring mats.

Don’t forget a water bottle.

Reserve your spot in advance to ensure you get a place. If you need to cancel, you must do so at least 3 hours in advance or be charged for the class.

If you have an injury or limitation, please let us know in advance so we can modify exercises accordingly.