Welcome to our blog about our experiences in the Healthier You program put on by CTV Edmonton.

First, we would like to thank everyone involved in this 3 month process. Doctor Maya Nikawashi - Our GP during this process, Mallory Becker - Our therapist, Loreen Wales from Revive Wellness Inc, Simon Bennett and Laura from Body By Bennett and of course everyone at CTV - from the media department to the anchors and everyone in between. Carmen, thank you for this opportunity and as we have told you a million times already - YOU HAVE SAVED OUR LIVES, in so many ways.


This week (where do we start? We apologize this first blog might be long). We met with Doctor Maya Nikawashi this was our first stop. She discussed with us:

  • She made sure we had no restrictions or limitations when it comes to eating and working out
  • Our starting weights and waist measurement
  • Discussed our histories and our families histories for disease
  • Assured us we will meet again months’’ time  (April 19th we see her again)


Next we met with the team at Revive Wellness. Loreen is such a gem as are the other people we have met. You know, it is probably the first time we have walked into a “diet place” (more on that comment later) and didn’t feel like an overweight, ok let’s be real. We didn’t feel like fat people. They saw us...FOR US! Our chubby “brothers” and “sisters” will know exactly what we talking about when we say that. Even though this is likely a mental thing, we assume all eyes are on us when we are the biggest in the room. And this just doesn’t apply to being overweight, chubby, big-boned, whatever you want to call it. This could be happening to all shapes and sizes. Bottom line… It was a great feeling to NOT feel this way.

  • What did we learn at this first appointment?
  • We had our first body composition done
  • Were told to track our first week of meals and continue on the same path as we were currently following- WHAT? No Meal plan to stick too? No “don’t do this or that” - So confused!
  • We talked about snacking at night as this is our nemesis.
  • When and what to eat after vigorous exercise, Have you tried Elevate Me bars? So good and actually very satisfying.
  • That was it. Did we feel like we should be put on a strict “diet” ASAP… YES, Did we feel like something was not right with this? Maybe? Till next week.


Our next appointment was with Simon and Laura at Body By Bennett. The cameras were here for our very first workout?! Are they insane? They want us to workout on camera when we are inexperienced at working out??

Have you ever been to Body by Bennett? Let me tell you a little about them. So we are very inquisitive and research almost everything we do. We watched videos of this gym and the super crazy but inspiring workouts they were doing. There was one video of a young man doing foot work with the agility ladder (I know some fitness-i.e. lingo) and my mouth dropped! What is this place? They train the Oilers? Oh Man, we are going to die.

Well, we didn’t die; this place is actually the most amazing gym I have been too. The Trainers ALL of them that we met, are super encouraging, kind and respectful. Laura is AMAZING. Again, something I have never experienced before. As an overweight woman I often walk into a gym and feel eyes on me in a discouraging way - again this is all my imagination. Do I actually see anyone watching me…? NOPE.

Dean has never been to a gym and this was all so brand new for him. Terrified is not the word, and to be at the gym for the first time with cameras...uh Hello, nervousness almost took over. But he stuck true to himself and did what was needed.

  • We had sweat bands on and were ready to rock it, what did we do our first session?\
  • Breathing:  Lay on your back, legs flat. Put your right hand on your heart and your left on your belly. Inhale slowly (6 seconds) through your nose, hold for 3 seconds and exhale loudly through your mouth for 7 seconds… slow and steady. Loud breathing, sounds weird right? Well do it or the trainers will be all up in your business seeing if you are breathing properly (Ha Ha!).
  • What did you notice? Did your chest rise and fall or your belly? It should be your belly, Open that diaphragm up. This should be done morning and night for 5 mins. Don’t have 5 mins, do it for 1! Make time for you!
  • Stretching: Lots of stretching! Lay on ground, pull knee to chest while other leg is straight on the ground. Repeat on the other side and do 3 x per side for 10 seconds each. Get your S.O to help if you want!
  • Get yourself a Lacrosse ball and work those foot muscles (I know sounds weird, but you will love it) Roll your foot over the ball and clench those toes as the ball reaches them, as the ball reaches the heel you should have stretched toes and pointing them up. 30 seconds each side.
  • Foot Waves- Sit on floor, stretch one leg out front, and bring other foot to inner thigh. The leg stretched out you will try to point your toes back to you and keep them bent towards you as you stretch that foot forward. Soon as your foot is pointed straight forward curl those toes and bring it back with curled toes! Repeat on other leg 10 times each.
  • Door frame stretch. Place your forearm and elbow on a door frame/wall and twist your body slightly to stretch out your pec/chest muscles. Do as often as you want!
  • First workout DONE! Do these EVERYDAY! Trust us in this, Laura has us doing it and it has made big differences.

I hope you continue to follow us as we move on through this life changing program. And if you do, I am sure it can be life changing for you too!