A RANT ON ROUTINES: THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS EDITION

I have been getting a TON of questions since The Bach ended in regards to health and wellness - mainly my weight loss, fitness and skincare routines - and through reading this messages I learned something new about myself: my life has been lacking routine for way too long. It is not that I haven't cared for my skin or exercised a lot, or worked on a career, but I haven't every really sat still and been consistent in many areas of life. It's funny because I have expressed so much to myself and others that I need more structure, especially lately after the whirlwind that was 2017, yet here I am injecting no real routines into my daily life; just dilly dallying around like some sort of entitled millennial (eye roll).  My plan with this post was to share with you guys what I have been up to in terms of working out and taking care of my skin, but I want to give a little bit of back story before that to keep it real! I take care of myself, but I haven't really been consistent with working out or a specific type of exercise ever, nor have I always religiously stuck by a skin care line or daily/nightly routine. I have been all over the place in more than one way in my 27 years, and finding more structure is one of my main goals for 2018. So here is the low down on my work out and skincare game and how I got to where I am with it now! 

W O R K I N G   O U T 

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Don't get me wrong, seeking more routine in working out doesn't mean I am never eating a litre of ice cream again or that I will not run away to Mexico on a whim and ingest 31 margaritas, but I want to incorporate daily healthy practises into 2018 and STICK WITH THEM.  Building structure starts with adopting new, positive habits. Things don't happen over night and you cannot do it all at once. When people asked me how I lost and kept off weight in the past (about 40 pounds), my answer always surrounds these two words: BABY STEPS. Drastic goals and over-ambitious expectations will only end up bringing you down. I am not saying don't aim high, just aim smart! Settling unrealistic goals is just not fair to your amazing self! The fact that you are taking the initiative to make a change is HUGE and something to be proud of in itself. Start small and work your way up. With your exercise journey it is all about the process. If you have never worked out or been to a gym, do not tell yourself that you will be at the gym 6 days a week for an hour before work. Commit to 2 for 2 weeks, 3 for 3 weeks and so on. Don't cut out sugar, diary, carbs and fried foods (God bless them) if that is what you have been eating each day the last 5 years. Cutting out one or two bad foods while simultaneously cutting down portions is what really helped me. Trust me, I have tried to go cold turkey more times than I can count and end up eating an amount of food that would shock people on TLC's my 600 lb life. NOT good for your metabolism and it is so hard on your body to crash diet.  

I love this quote:

"One day you wake up and you just say, enough."

That is what happened to me one summer when I was travelling as a nanny. The mama of the family had previously been a trainer and she taught me some easy exercises I could just do inside. I also started doing just 20 minutes of cardio. I could not run for longer than 16 seconds at the time, so this mostly considered of walking (unless I saw a bird and then I ran more). I had a little bit of an elliptical phase after that trip but it was soon after that I had an itch to learn how to RUN. When I started training, even though I was in slightly better shape I could run for 2 minutes. My best friend Katie was such a good runner and we lived in the same condo building in Toronto so it was so amazing to have a running buddy to push and inspire me. Workout buddies are KEY. It took me a year but 40 minute runs became a daily activity and my body had never felt more ABLE. Running is also so helpful for your mental state. It is a great environment to clear your head, zone everything out and just focus on your steps and speed. I always try to run and stay in good shape but I am guilty of letting weeks or even months go by without working out at some point during the year. It is SO easy to get off track with work, events, vacations, filming reality tv shows (LOL), family dinners, dates, pure laziness, WINTER - the list goes on. Trust me, I get it. The days you are just like FUCK NO I am not doing anything try to throw on a 10 minute core workout on YouTube in your bedroom and bang it out. Trust me, you'll feel better and you might even want to do another after.

Running has always been a part of my fitness routine since then, with some "I AM A YOGI" phases mixed in on the side, but I have recently become more interested in building muscle tone - yet another goal for 2018. I love yoga and pilates so I want to be doing that once or twice a week too.  For me changing it up every day or so is KEY because I get bored easily. It was SO hard to workout during the Bachelor and REALLY easy to eat. After the show I just couldn't get motivated to get back into exercise. My preferred method of dealing with stress is eating my feelings, but in the fall I joined LA Fitness with Jessie in Toronto and she taught me about lifting weights and properly working out. Actually, I shouldn't say I joined, she LITERALLY forced me to join so we could get a family plan and it was the best push for me! 

What I have learned think what is most effective for my body and tightening up is HIIT work outs with a day of strength or cardio each week. While I am in Laguna I will not be hitting a gym so I am going to incorporate some weights into my HIIT work outs.

Here is an example of a HIIT circuit I like to do in the morning before work 4x a week that Brendan from LA Fitness designed for me. I literally die but that's how you know it's working, right? Throw in a couple of beach runs and that is my Laguna routine. DM me if you have any questions or leave a comment!

It seems like a lot but this work out is just over 30 minutes, and with changing up exercises so quickly it flies by. The HIIT section exercises you perform 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 3 rounds. The strength section exercises you perform 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off for 3 rounds. I died the first time. 

HIIT

1. Kickout + Leg Lift
2. Double Pulse Squat + Star Jump

Strength
1. Deadlifts
2. Squat to Lunge
3. Thrusts

HIIT
1. Jump Squats
2. Lateral Jumps

Strength
1. Bulgarian Split Lunge
2. Sumo Squats
3. Curtsy Lunge + Side Raise

HIIT
1. Burpee Squat Hold
2. (3) Squat Pulses + Jump

Strength
1 Reverse Lunges
2 Clean and Press
3 Other Side

HIIT
1. Knee + Kick + Touchdown
2. Plank Jack

Cool Down & Stretch water etc!

S K I N   F O R   T H E   W I N

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It really means a lot to receive compliments on social media about the appearance of my skin. I grew up with AWFUL acne and pores galore so to hear words like glowing and asking for my secrets warmed my heart - thank you!

When I was younger I just used Neutrogena products or rolled with whatever my big sis was using because, copycat, but when I had acne and skin issues it just felt like nothing worked. I tried proactive once when I was younger and my already uber chubs face swelled up like a balloon. Not cute. I honestly never really stuck with any particular products and I wasn't all like CLEANSE. TONE. MOISTURIZE - EVERY NIGHT OR ELSE, but I always cleaned the thang one way or another. BTW - that wasn't cool. I should have been more regimented with my skin care routine earlier in life but I recently have jumped on the bandwagon and am hooked on Institut Esthederm (Vitamin C Se rum and Vitamin E Cream) and Kiehl's products (Daily Toner, Cranberry Seed and Tumeric Mask, Ultra Facial Cleanser)

I also used to WORSHIP the sun, with an "I don't burn so I don't need sunscreen" mentality, but now I always wear SPF 50 or at least a tinted moisturizer with SPF 30. Wrinkly lips are real so a lip balm with an SPF is a must have for me.

Other than that I think my skin remains relatively level in terms of no break outs these days because for the past few years I stopped wearing makeup 94% of the time. I did not do this for the sake of my skin I think I just got really lazy TBH, but then realized it was so awesome and liberating. The first summer I was in Laguna for a couple months I did not wear mascara and my eyelashes went straight Benjamin Button back to their soft, long, youthful roots, which really inspired me to slow my caking it on roll. Now I try to keep it au natural but when I want to add a litle somethin'-somethin' for evening or an occasion I will do mascara, brush/powder my brows and play with some lipstick.  I recently discovered and have been experimenting with lip liner (I know), which I like because it makes your lips look juicier.

Even though I don't know how to do my own make up, I low key L O V E getting my make up done by a pro! There is something so fun about letting someone play around with your face and do things you'd think of or have the skills to do! I am sorry if you were expecting more tips and tricks, but real talk if you asked me to hand you a highlighter it would be neon and from the stationary section. 

SO RECAP OF THIS RANT:

1. Structure is important. Set manageable goals and take care of yourself. 

2. Workout. I am committing to a consistent workout routine 4-5 days a week consisting of HIIT, Pilates, Running and Yoga. Hold me accountable and I will you! Keep the number of weekly workouts manageable and change up the activity to reduce the risk of boredom.

3. We are aging - I am committing to a consistent skincare routine. Twice a day. I cannot commit to one skincare line because I am a Dora the Explorer when it comes to products, but for now I am rolling with Institut Esthederm and Kielh's. Please send me any and all of your skincare favourites so I can try them out. :) 

XOXO ANGELS

THE JOUR-NAY - aka my TRUTH

Today, December 26th marks the official end of Christmas. Since the show ended on the 20th my head has been spinning, and I just wanted to focus on family and make it through my first Christmas without my Nana and Grandma. I appreciate everyone's patience and I of course know that everyone is confused about what went down with Chris and I. Since you have all been so supportive and ultimately emotionally invested in the process, my journey and our relationship, I am happy to share a final piece on the situation before I close my Bachelor Canada chapter and fully move FORWARD with my life. So here we go:

What Chris and I had was special from day 1. It is undeniable. Guys, I am WEIRD. And there haven't been too many people in my life who not only get my weirdness, but think it is the most endearing thing in the universe. Both full of sarcasm wit, and inappropriate jokes, the comfort level was REAL. It was easy for us (until it wasn't) We got each other immediately. Chris and I both knew it wasn't our time to get engaged during the finale. With me understanding divorce, and him understanding a 40 year marriage, we simply did not take it lightly. I also had concerns and had seen some red flags, but it was hard to tell at times if they were because of the unique nature of the situation we were in or if they were real. I just wanted to do real life with Chris and see how the relationship felt when existing outside of our little love Bach Bubble. With love, there is no rush, and I totally and completely fell in love with Chris. He made me laugh, he made me feel special, he made me feel safe. (until he didn't)

Following the finale in Mexico we flew back to Toronto and maintained our relationship for about a month. He seemed so completely invested in me for that short time and I found myself saying WOW... I am actually experiencing pure happiness for the first time.. I have everything I want in this moment - LIFE IS GOOD. Until it wasn't. One day Chris came over and told me he had a change of heart and didn't want to even have a girlfriend never mind start a life with me, he just was not ready. My heart shattered. Having that feeling of happiness ripped away from me so quickly and with such confused reasoning was something I had never dealt with before. I have experienced heartache via mutual break ups, but it was the first time I had really been D U M P E D. And it killed. I sobbed in his arms and when he left my house I sat there wondering W T F just happened? Why? What was wrong with me that he didn't love me and want me in his life when all I ever did was love, cherish and be there for him. He had tried to explain himself to me but I still had no clarity from his words, no closure. I thought we were so happy. In other words I was in SHOCK. Chris told me that day he simply realized he wasn't ready to settle down. That he needed to work on himself and be a better man and figure out his life, his next career move. I told him I wanted to figure it out with him but he felt this was something he had to go through alone. It hurt like hell but I understand the importance of self growth and self love, and at the end of the day all I wanted then, and still do now, is for the guy to be happy. You have to find your own happiness before you can properly show up for a partner. And the bottom line for me is always this - I don't ever want to ever be with someone who doesn't want to be with me. No one deserves that. But It was still so hard not to take it personally, I struggled with it and still do, but in life you have to know your WORTH. YOU need to set the standards for how others treat you. 

I continued to be there for Chris as a friend as much as I could, but it got to the point that we were no longer talking. I tried very hard to move on and was finally feeling strong and confident again. Without my BachCan girls I would have been a serious disaster. Going through this all was hard, but on top of that there is a contract in which you cannot speak on what happened until it is over (obviously). I couldn't call up friends to vent. I could talk to my family but the situation of the show, especially my specific situation, was so unique and difficult for anyone who hadn't DONE the show to truly comprehend. It was a very lonely time for me. Jessie, Lyndsey, Catie, Stacy, April, Lisa, Meaghs - you guys listened even when you probably didn't want to (heck, we all dated the same dude here) and made me feel like it was going to be OK. Through all the ups and downs, the countless tears, anxiety, panic attacks to the point of vomitting, and general SPIRALS they were THERE. I don't know where I would be without these newfound angels. Especially my roommate Ms. Baker. My rock. 

I wish it ended there, and some people wonder why 6 months since filming I am still quite hurt. I had essentially healed, until in mid November Chris entered into my life once more. We spoke on how he had grown over the past 5 months, and he expressed his undying love for me in a way that felt so honest I believed it. I truly thought a second chance would provide the happy ending to the love story I so coveted in the summer. I felt that sense of happy all over again. Until I didn't. A week later he shut me out and broke my heart for a second time in telling me "I'm sorry, I can't do this." It felt even worse than the first time. I haven't ever felt as dumb as I did that week for letting him back into my heart. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. I publicly apologize for calling him a rude name on my live feed - that is not who I am. I would be lying if I said I felt emotional stability the night the finale aired. I hadn't yet properly processed the second heart break and I reacted poorly. Chris has work to do as he expressed in his finale IG post, and even after all of this I still care about him as a person very deeply. We have been through things that I will never share, as they are our own. I know the true, real, beautiful sides of Chris and I know him in a way most people never will. I may not ever fully understand why he did the show, why he didn't see how special what we had was, and why he wouldn't fight for me, but I am moving on and I know I will one day find someone that will.

Thank you to EVERYONE for the messages, love, support and kind words. Without it I wouldn't of been as strong as I am now. Everything happens for a reason and everyone who comes into your life is either a blessing or a lesson. I thought Chris was my blessing, but he has been the biggest lesson and I am grateful to him for helping me realize what I truly deserve - unconditional love. 

Always trust the process. 

XO - MIK

A BACHELOR CANADA EVENING WITH ONE KING WEST HOTEL

O M GEE. I am sure you all caught the action as well as the recap on my Instagram stories, but I think we need to take a minute to just go over the magic that was created for Episode 4 of the Bachelor Canada at our One King West Hotel viewing party in the beautiful Suite Fifteen Hundred . It is hard to put into words how I felt walking into the the beautifully decorated space filled with my ever-so loving and supportive blogger family - so let's review in photos! A HUGE thank you to One King West for hosting us, Smash Events Designs for thinking of every detail, and Wishbone and Clover Media for making it all possible!

THE SPACE

Suite Fifteen Hundred is a brand new, stunning multifunctional event space at the historic One King West Hotel. The suite had everything we needed to host the PERFECT Bachelor Canada viewing party (and then some!). For me when I am involved in hosting events, the space is your number one building block. The suite was fully equipped for food and beverage service, had tons of seating, a balcony with incredible city views, and ample room to mix and mingle. The team at One King West was incredible to work with, handled the entire set up of the space and ensured our entire evening went seamlessly. The decor was provided by Smash Events Designs and literally brought tears to my eyes. Every single detail made the night even that more special. From the personalized suckers and pillows to the endless flowers and rose petals, I could only use one word to describe it - DREAMY. Not to mention the champagne rose candies....FANTASY SWEETS? I wish I came up with that one! #brilliant. I honestly couldn't have asked for a more incredible viewing party!

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THE MENU

We decided for the event to keep the menu light and tight (my fav saying) and went with mini-sliders, small containers of fries and onion rings, s'more for dessert during the after show, and OF COURSE..bubbly! There is something about a flute with a sugared rim and strawberry on the side that says G L A M O R O U S! Again, those tiny details are really what makes everything even more special! The food was absolutely delicious and everyone enjoyed nibbling during the the episode! I love a good slider and was so excited all day that I forgot to eat - so maybe I had a couple, or 5? 

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THE COMPANY

The guest list was nothing short of spectacular.. because all of my blogger babes are such beautiful, authentic, creative souls. The energy in the room was undeniable and I could feel the support from everyone. I wouldn't have wanted to watch myself  win a rap battle with any other group! (LOL). Special shout out to M Boutique and Boro It for my all pink look for the evening! And thank you again everyone for coming and making my night! I certainly will never forget it. XO

All photos taken by the amazing Costabile Carpinelli. Check out his website and Instagram page!

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