Returning to fitness as a beginner

For the past week, I’ve been trying to decide what to focus on as I return to fitness after the loss of my daughter.

I know that I need to get back to regular strength training (I can already see muscle loss and a quick push-up test confirmed that I’ve lost strength as well).

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I know that I need to challenge my heart and lungs (while daily walks are a great way to add movement and reduce stress, they aren’t quite intense enough to stave off cardiovascular de-conditioning).

I know that I need to stretch more (my lower back has been bothering me from too much sitting and my achilles tendonitis has been flaring up despite having been away from step class for a month).


I know that I need to return to a more balanced way of eating (the past month has been fuelled primarily by comfort foods; breads, pasta, baking and way too much wine).

I know that I’m not drinking enough water (it’s easy to tell; just check the colour of your urine).

I’ve been looking over past programs that I’ve written for myself and I have to say, my heart just isn’t into body-part splits or HIIT or pre-exhaust supersets. Not to mention that I’ve de-conditioned enough to make those inappropriate until I’m stronger and have more energy.


I’ve come to the conclusion that the best place to start is back at the beginning.

Returning to fitness as a beginner. Following a program that’s short in duration and doesn’t require more than two or three days a week. Focusing on simple nutritional swaps and being more mindful of my body’s need for water and whole foods. Re-creating the exercise and eating habits that have kept me healthy and happy for many years. One step at a time. Day by day.






  1. Just want you to know you’ve been on my heart. I’m thinking of you and praying for you. You’re very courageous.
    Marsha recently posted…Why Her Plan Won’t Work For YouMy Profile

    • Tomorrow is my 52nd Birthday! I thought it was a great time to do something for my body.
      I am still recovering from back surgery that I had almost two years ago. I still have a lot of pain and nerve damage but it is time to get my stagnant life and body alive again. I was bed ridden for 9 months, so my body is showing the signs of no exercise.
      Another motivation to looking good and feeling good again is my son got engaged this past weekend! We are very excited and looking forward to all the new adventures ahead.

  2. Hi Tamara – I don’t need a fitness reboot at the moment (sugar free reboot maybe!) but I would love to make a donation in Clara’s honor for Giving Tuesday today. Can you please send me an email with the link to the hospital (and her last name – is it the same as yours?) Thinking of you and your family.
    Erica @ Erica Finds recently posted…Tried It Tuesday: Grav-Gear Hydration Belt #GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Hi! I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. I need to start over at the beginning myself and would like to participate, but I’m in the U.S. Can I pay with U.S. dollars?
    Katy Kozee recently posted…Treat Yo Self Right This Holiday Season: Join Me for 31 Days of Holiday Self-CareMy Profile

    • Katy, thanks so much for your words of condolence. And yes, even though the price is listed in Canadian dollars, PayPal automatically converts the currency for you (and since our dollar is doing so poorly right now, it’ll probably cost your less than $20 US… 🙂 )

  4. Kim Swingle says:

    Count me in, my friend! I’ll be right there with you, each step of the way. Hugs!

  5. Count me in. ?
    Anything to help bring some much needed structure to my life right now.
    (Welcome back)

  6. I just signed up! Fell off the exercise bandwagon due to some health-related issues lately (more the noggin than the body) and like you need to start getting back into the groove slowly. I know HIIT routines are all the rage, but I find it really hard to do them consistently (due to energy level or intimidation!). Trying to take those on again out of the gate seems like a sure fire way to hurt myself or give up! I appreciate and can relate to your approach to your health in light of what you’re going through right now…thank you for being open and honest with all of us and continuing to inspire us to do what we can, where we’re at! Clara had such an amazing role model for her mom…<3

    • Thanks so much for joining in Kathryn. You’re right; HIIT isn’t always the best way to go about it, especially when a slow start is really what you need 🙂

  7. I’m in. I need it. And I’ll be so glad to be doing this with you.

  8. I like to do this more frequently. In fact, this the theme for my own next blog; body building light. Or as I like to think of it, Buddhabuilding.

    Rock on Strong Girl! Love you!
    Contemplative Fitness recently posted…Choose Your Trainer Wisely…My Profile

  9. Wow! What a challenge you and your family must be facing. This is my first time to your blog. I love seeing fellow trainers inspiring the world through online media.

    Your site looks great and your content is very inspiring. Thanks for contributing to the world, helping people become healthy and fit! I share a similar passion to help the world get fit, spirit, soul, and body!

    Much love!

  10. Keep it up Tamara. You are lucky to have a stockpile of wonderful wellness advice you have been writing for us all these years. I’m sorry that it is coming in so handy these days for self-care. It’s good stuff though. I’d follow Fitknitchick advice any day. Continuing to send you healing positive vibes. I love that picture of Clara peeking through the rock.
    Meg Root recently posted…Just Say “No!” to Holiday StressMy Profile