Health & Fitness Conference

On Saturday, I attended the Parliament Hill Bootcamp Post-Season Conference.

For those of you who don’t know about Parliament Hill Bootcamp, it’s a free workout class that takes place every Thursday of the summer on Parliament Hill. How AMAZING is that?! You can thank Mia St-Aubin and a slew of Ottawa trainers and professionals who have helped bring this awesome free workout to Ottawa over the last few years. Their mission is simple: to create a fit and healthy community aaaaand to get us to all stop dieting.

Seriously you guys. Stop. Dieting.

I agree 100% with Parliament Hill Bootcamp’s philosophy that we all need to quit dieting. Although I’ve always been interested in health and fitness, I must admit that I have not always been against dieting. Confession: from age 11-ish to… last year-ish, I’d been on a diet. In fact, I’d been on many diets. Let’s just go ahead and call me a serial dieter.

There was just something about starting a new diet that was almost addictive for me. I would feel hopeful and excited when I imagined how great my body would look and how wonderful and energetic I would feel. Except, in this imagined post-successful-diet life, it wasn’t just my body that would be different. I’d have awesome friends, a great job, and I’d be rich. Haha, a bit of a jump, I know.

See, for me, a diet was never just a diet. Deep down, I believed the source of all my problems was my weight. So I figured if I achieved a perfect weight, I would have a perfect, problem-free life. If I achieved a perfect weight, I would be happy. That’s the real selling point of a diet in the end, right? Happiness.


I’ve written before about my struggle with diets and how I’ve taught myself to stop the vicious diet-binge-diet cycle, but here’s the bottom line: a diet will not make you happy. A diet will not make your problems go away. And thinking that way, my friends, is an unhealthy mindset. In fact, there is no ultimate thing that will make you happy and erase your problems forever. If you’re treating your body right and giving it the nutrition it needs to function at its best, you will have vitality and energy. These are essential to taking on and dealing with the problems you do have to face.

Parliament Hill Bootcamp has stopped for the winter, but it will pick up in 2018 when the weather warms up. On Saturday, Mia and her Bootcamp gang hosted their first Post-Season Conference. It was a day of wellness and empowerment. We heard stories from women facing adversity, overcoming cancer, learning to be happy, meeting Oprah, making life-changing choices and discoveries and accomplishing their dreams.

The Venue

The Snacks

+ Juice Rx
+ Carb Free Cafe
+ SVRY: savoury granola and topper
+ Tea by G: Sweet Orange Rooibos

The Speakers

Mia’s talk REALLY resonated with me. She promotes the idea that getting fit doesn’t have to mean pain. It should come from a place of self-love and that means eating, sleeping, and cutting yourself some slack.

When it comes to workouts, Mia says that less is more. You don’t need to kill yourself with hours on the treadmill. A few minutes of intervals can be just as effective. Strength training is just as good as cardio for fat loss, if not better.

As for nutrition… EAT! Take it from Mia: “Do you know that the more times you have deprived yourself of food, ignored your body’s natural signals, consumed only juices or only shakes, the more your body’s metabolism has significantly slowed down?” YIKES. So, make sure you eat your macros (proteins, fats, carbs) and get the nutrients you need.

Finally, for quick fat loss and overall health, BREAK UP WITH SUGAR. All extra sugar that is not used by our system is stored as fat. As if you needed any more reason to cut out sugar, last week scientists made a breakthrough in linking sugar to cancer.


Samantha discussed how she uses a vision board to help her achieve her dreams. A vision board can consist of anything that inspires you: words, images and quotes. You don’t need to buy a bristol board and a glue stick and start cutting up magazines. Samantha says it can be as simple as using the Photos app on your phone; use it create an album of images and quotes that inspire you. If you’re too lazy to make a vision board, or you’re not sure where to start, check out our new Pinterest account– I’m curating a few a vision boards for you guys to keep you motivated and inspired.

+ Cultivate a Healthy Mindset with Genevieve Chloe

As I mentioned earlier, dieting is often the result of an unhealthy mindset. If you want to actually change your body, accomplish your goals and achieve a better state of wellbeing, it starts with the mind. There will always be problems in life.  Genevieve shared some of the adversity she faced and explained that the answer to overcoming it was to adopt a healthy mindset. How does she suggest you do that? Firstly, understand that you can’t always control what happens to you, but you are responsible for how you perceive and react to situations. Take time to be alone in youth thoughts every day. Finally,  you have to truly want something to make a change. Success follows “from genuine intention” and from taking action.



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