No matter how much we want to deny it, as we get older, our bodies change. You may find your muscles are not responding to your usual sets and reps anymore, or you’re out of breath a lot faster after cardio workouts, or you don’t have as much get-up-and-go as you used to after long days at the office or playing with the kids. And then you notice the women in the gym are getting younger and younger... Ouch! Well I can relate.
Ever since I entered my thirties (ahem), I’ve had the undeniable urge to re-think my daily physical activity regimen and eating habits as well. Despite the fact that I still feel alright and think I still look alright – it doesn’t mean that my overall health and energy levels are the same as they used to be in my teens or early 20s. So what does this mean? It means the way we look after ourselves has to be updated too.
Let's face it, there’s so much more to life than dwelling on the fact that we’ve gotten another year older, or we don’t have the body we once used to. So raise your head up high and embrace what you have! Yes, things change, but it’s not all downhill from here. You just have to adapt to what life throws at you. Solution? Perhaps you should update your training logbook, or start one! Talk to a personal trainer to find out which exercises and how many pounds you should now be incorporating into your workout, or if you don’t already have one, get a gym membership – or go for a run!
Take a good look at yourself and evaluate where you think you need improvement: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or even sexually. Make a list and tackle each one in your time. But never rush. Your results will last longer. Remember, it’s never too late to adjust your lifestyle toward a healthier, happier you.
I've been thinking a lot about life lately and how we deal with so much unhappiness in the world. The problem is that we don't deal. No wonder we're all stressed. We're constantly bombarded with news stories that tug at our heart strings and we feel we can't do anything to change it. It eats at us and we fall victim within our own society. A society in which we've created. It's hard to believe there's any goodness in the world anymore. BUT THERE IS...
I've met some fabulous people lately through social media circles that have truly made a difference in my life. From women who have opened up their hearts to strangers and shared their personal, transformational stories to help young girls with self-esteem issues — to caring, compassionate professionals who realize their next step in life is mentoring and befriending others during a friendly chat over coffee. To people who are so determined to raise awareness for a meaningful cause that they live, sleep and breathe their selfless acts of kindness, literally. They are to be honoured for their effort and praised for their patience, love and humility. Yes, there is SO MUCH goodness in the world, but we need to be reminded every once in a while.
Sometimes when I feel like a pick-me-up, I change my hair. This may seem menial, but it's something I know I can control. And it changes my perspective on life (at least for a little while). This time I decided to add some colour to my life to break out of this desolate state we (society) has found itself in. With so much crime, terror, and natural disasters at every corner — we can only hope that human kindness will prevail in the end. It's the only way to think. To survive. So in honour of positive thinking, I've added a touch of purple to my newly cropped lid.
It's interesting to see how people react to my out-of-the-box hair choice, especially when some people may think I'm the last person on earth who would do something crazy. Little do they know. But the truth is, we should all be proud to live in a place where freedom of expression is celebrated. I know first-hand that showing your true colours can be liberating no matter how you do it — so I urge you, don't let anyone tell you how to think, feel, look or love — because it's you who has to live with the outcome, not them. Stay positive and add some colour to your life. Because it feels good and no one in this world can tell you otherwise.
How do you show your true colours? How do you celebrate your uniqueness? Take a moment to write down what makes you different and how beautiful you are.
Showing my true colours today and always,
Kerrie Lee xo
P.S. By the way, you can take my hair post as literal or metaphorical as you want. I just want you to live it up and smile.
One year ago yesterday, my first magazine mentor and long-time friend passed away. The following is a tribute article that I was asked to write for Robert Kennedy Publishing last April. Whether you live, work or play in the fitness or bodybuilding industry, I'm sure you'll be able to appreciate how much this man means to so many people.
I will never forget the first day I met Robert Kennedy (“Bob” to those of us who worked for him). It was over 16 years ago when I walked into the old office building on Airport Road in Toronto – the day that changed my life. Despite having just graduated from journalism school, I felt quite unprepared when I entered the MuscleMag International headquarters, which was housed on top of the infamous MuscleMag store. There were boxes and boxes of old magazines, tear sheets, clippings, file cabinets, signed pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and sexy girl covers everywhere. There was even a backdrop set up in the corner of the hall (out in the open) for impromptu photo shoots as well as a weight set and workout bench in case anyone wanted to “pump up” between meetings or on lunch… I had absolutely no clue what was to come of our meeting, and I certainly had no idea what crazy, exciting times were in store for me at his fitness and bodybuilding empire.
I would have died for any job in the magazine world at the time. All I needed was a chance, and Bob is the one who gave it to me. I had no real work experience, very little professional writing experience, and not one Rolodex contact to my name. But as soon as I met Bob, I knew I had found my niche. After spending two hours in the hallway with Bob (because that’s also where he kept his desk) he showed me probably every photo he had ever taken at either a bodybuilding show or sexy cover shoot. He also shared some of his trade secrets like the fact that he started his magazine business on basically what he had in his wallet, with no prior experience, and how MuscleMag was at first a newsletter of sorts. I felt at home and like somehow we could relate.
He hired me on the spot.
I never knew at that time how much Bob’s passion for the written word and beautiful imagery would have such an impact on me in a few years time. A short time after joining the company, Bob approached me about starting a mainstream men’s magazine from scratch. I eagerly took on the challenge and we started American Health & Fitness magazine (now Maximum Fitness), which lasted over five years.
His ability to see my potential continued to blow me away. At which point the position of editor-in-chief of Oxygen became available. Now only familiar with the men’s fitness world, I was surprised when Bob approached me to take over his women’s title. I was completely flattered and wondered how I would ever be able to run a magazine as good as he always envisioned it would be and that he held in such high regard. But for some reason, Bob had faith in me even when I didn’t. That’s what kept me going. If something didn’t work then we’d try something new.
I learned so much from Bob about life and work. He was my mentor, my boss, and ultimately my friend. I will never forget how much it meant to me when Bob and Tosca Reno (the Eat Clean lady) flew to Bahamas to attend my wedding in 2002. Bob said, “Of course we’re going – we can shoot on the beach!” when I sluggishly gave him an invitation. I felt honored to have him come to celebrate such an important time in my life and I will forever think of him and how much of a talented photographer he was when I look at my wedding pictures.
There was never a dull moment when Bob was around. Even if there were times when he challenged my cover photo choices, or when he would remind me to “stick with your diet girl!” and make sure I did a little weight training at least every day. Bob was unique and definitely a ‘tough love’ kind of guy. But no one can deny that he knew what he was talking about when it came to “losing the flab and tightening the right spots.” He believed in healthy living and strengthening the inside as well as out. I truly believe that if it were not for Bob Kennedy I wouldn’t be where I am today. In fact, I also met my husband in the hallways of MMI, and I know Bob always took a little credit for that (smile).
Bob was extremely passionate about anything that involved working out, weight training and eating clean. He was all about commitment and “living the lifestyle” and I’ll never forget his zest for life. I think if the angels above could pass along just one message to him from me it would be:
I will always remember how you took me under your wings when I didn’t know any better. I spent almost nine years working for you on your various magazines and the impact on my life you’ll never know. I will always cherish the time we spent mulling over photos at the old light table, arguing about the next theme of an issue, and traveling to industry shows like the Arnold Classic and Olympia for photo shoots and some fun. I owe a ton to you, Bob. You will be truly missed.
My thoughts are with Tosca and family at this time and always.
This past weekend was a real eye-opener for me. After a few stressful months and some personal health issues, my sister, mom and I decided to spend a weekend away at St. Anne's Spa. When we were finally able to clear our schedules at work and book, I couldn't wait to get there. We drove an hour and a half to east of Toronto just past Cobourg, Ontario. The weather was still brisk, yet we felt the warmth of the sun beam through the car windows. A sure sign that the next few days would be worth all the anticipation and saved pennies.
The reason for our brief getaway was to take some time to unwind and relax. And relax we did. In a matter of 48 hours I had experienced four r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g body treatments: A Thai massage (which I thought was amazing); a lush botanical resurfacing facial; invigorating back cleansing stone massage; and inspiring Reiki treatment to make sure all of my chakras were in tact. All four treatments were relaxing in their own way, but nothing short of rejuvenating. In fact, the entire spa weekend was nothing like I had ever experienced before. It was similar to a vacation-resort setting with hot tubs, pools, steam rooms, a gym and cardio room, dining area, complimentary Nicaraguan coffee (yum), snacks and beautiful grounds to explore. But the big surprise was that everyone walked around with their robe and slippers on (that's it). This took a little getting used to but we seemed to fit in quite nicely after oh... just a few minutes. We also enjoyed a yoga class to concentrate on the mind-body connection, and my mom attended a meditation session. Om.
We rented one of the off-site chalets (well it reminded me of a ski chalet anyways) that was located only a brief walk from the main house. We also made our way to the horse stables and the spa bakery on our way out. Just beautiful. What better way to enjoy some time away to concentrate on me? Nothing to worry about except to make sure we were on time for our next massage. Priceless.
During our stay I couldn't help but think of how valuable these types of mini vacations are to relieve the stresses of every day life. To think that a place such as this, with so much history and calmness, can actually transform you in a couple of days. I needed it, that's for sure! I'd definitely go back. In fact, perhaps we'll make it a bi-annual event
What do you do to relax? Do you take the time to get away from it all? Take a few moments to visualize your ultimate relaxation method. And if you can, plan a weekend away with the girls.
I've been doing a lot of soul searching over the past few months and have come to realize that figuring out your purpose in life is, well, what life is all about. Danielle Laporte, creator of The Desire Map, says that in order to bring the best out in someone – you should ask them how they want to feel and help them achieve that feeling. You have to play to their strengths. This is something I believe in too.
I know that what I’ve experienced during my personal journey has led me to where I am today – and the biggest learning I’ve come to accept is that every trip, fall or risk taken was meant to be part of the process. Whether we want to believe it or not, our life’s experiences are planned for us and as we move through life with a lot of effort or not much at all, our experiences and the opportunities that present themselves are what we need to realize our own sense of purpose. In other words, success can be measured – but the value of what one believes is successful is what’s most valuable.
What do you believe your purpose is? Do you need help finding out?
Contact me and let's chat.
When I was asked by Today's Parent magazine if I'd be interested in taking my boys to Orlando, Florida to visit 8 awesome attractions in 5 days...Well, I did what any other mom (I mean journalist) would do. I said "YES, of course!"
The kids were elated to miss school and my husband and I were just glad to get away from the Canadian winter... We stayed at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort (loved); swam with Lester the dolphin at Discovery Cove (awesome); took in all the rides at SeaWorld and LegoLand (very cool); and stayed late at Universal Studios, WonderWorks, and Magic Kingdom (whew!). No wonder we were all pooped when we got home. My article was featured in the March issue of TP and online. The kids still ask to go back every weekend.
Ya right, like we could afford that every year! Amazing trip.
Have you ever gone on a winter getaway with the kids? Where did you venture to and would you go back? Check out my story of our whirlwind trip (and make sure you scroll through all the slides to see my little guy pictured in the 3D glasses).
Dr. Wayne Dyer says it best:
“Writing is not what I do – it’s what I am.”
Reflection Work: If you're inspired by anything you read in this blog or in the articles, I urge you to get a pen and paper (yes, the old fashioned way!) and start writing your own manifesto. What are your goals today? What do you hope to accomplish tomorrow? What have you already accomplished that you'd love others to know? Share with a friend.
A couple weeks ago I attended the Hay House “I Can Do It!” Conference in Toronto with a few close friends. This was the first time I was introduced to such amazing authors as Louise Hay, Cheryl Richardson, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Doreen Virtue among others. I must say by the end of the weekend I felt inspired, intrigued and enlightened.
The premise of the talks was about personal development through positive thinking, looking at oneself, focusing on the good things in life, self-healing, and love. Ever since I heard them speak I have felt more and more inclined to follow my journalistic passions. I know now that I am on the right path and every decision I have made and will make is what is meant to be. I have learned to look inward and focus on my own areas that may need improvement and to send positive affirmations to myself and others throughout the day. I also know that I want to make this world a better place, free myself of any toxic energy and trust my gut.
In the words of the lovely, talented and awe-inspiring 84-year-old Louise Hay: “All is well.”
Kerrie Lee Brown is a sought-after health and lifestyle expert. She writes books, blogs and articles and is published all over the world. Kerrie Lee is also a heart-health survivor and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows sharing life-saving tips for women on how to listen to their bodies and slow down. Kerrie Lee is a mom and proud Canadian living in Denver, Colorado.