November 21, 2014 11 minute read
Meray Froese – personal trainer & nutrition coach. Her journey with fitness and nutrition started once she decided to focus on her health after years of struggling with yo-yo dieting. She turned to weight training and clean eating and began to see a positive transformation in how she looked and how she felt. This new perspective on health and passion for helping others lead her down the path to her dream job: fitness & nutrition coach. Now a graduate from Trinity Western University with a double major in psychology and human kinetics, she entered the world of personal training assisting as a strength and conditioning coach to the varsity athletes. Her passion for educating others on how to respect their bodies through healthy eating and exercise is evident in her inspirational lifestyle.
I love the natural feel that bronzed makeup gives. I think I’ve experimented with enough makeup over the past 10 years that I’ve finally nailed down exactly how I like to do my makeup day-to-day. I love a full eyebrow, so I always start off by shading them in. I just use a dark brown eye shadow from MAC and a thin eye shadow brush. Then I put on foundation – I use Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation, which I love because it still feels breathable. Then I apply MAC Bronzing Powder. I’ll put it under my cheekbones, on my forehead and on my chin. I also love wearing blush! I think it makes the biggest difference – it’s the one thing I always apply before leaving the house. I wear a blush by Dior, and only put it on my cheekbones. I’ll then put on my favorite eye shadow: All that Glitters by MAC. It’s a really natural eye shadow that looks good on everyone! Next I’ll use Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Push-Up Liner on the top of my eyelid. On special occasions I’ll do a cat eye, but day-to-day I like to wear it pretty thin on my top lid. To finish my look, I lather on Diorshow Mascara by Dior. And voilà! That’s my signature look.
That being said, I will never sleep with my makeup on, no matter how tired I am. I have a routine of taking my contacts off, brushing my teeth and washing off my makeup. I would have to have something major happen to break me off of that routine. Every morning I wash my face with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, and use CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30. My mom has the most stunning skin, and she’s always made a conscious effort to stay out of the sun. I’m trying to follow her guidance by wearing sunscreen everyday! In the evenings I just switch my lotion and use CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.
I sweat often during workouts, and I began to notice that my back started to break out because of it. This lead me to start exfoliating a few times a week with J.R. Watkins Sugar & Shea Body Scrub. I use the Coconut Milk & Honey. It’s all-natural, and leaves my skin feeling so smooth, so I’ll do that 3-4 times a week.
I’m obsessed with massages. On average, I get one every 6 weeks – I’m lifting about 6 days a week so my muscles tend to get really sore. My favourite place for a good deep tissue or Thai massage is the Scandinave Spa in Whistler.
When I prepare for a fitness competition so much goes into it. I feel like I’m preparing for my wedding day! You want to make sure that you are fully waxed about 4 days before the Saturday show, just incase your body has a poor reaction. By Wednesday I am fully waxed, nails are done, and hair is freshly trimmed. On Friday morning I will usually get my first coat of a spray tan, and on Saturday morning I will have 2 more coats of spray tan. You get your hair and makeup done by Saturday late morning and should be ready to walk on stage by noon!
For my hair, I wash it about 2x a week, and put coconut oil on the tips after washing it. I am blessed to have naturally thick hair that does not get greasy easily. Three years ago I heard a rumor that horse shampoo makes your hair grow and stay thick and shiny. Since then I have been using Mane ‘N Tail Shampoo and Conditioner. People say my hair grows abnormally fast, and I attribute that to the shampoo. I try and get my hair trimmed every 8-10 weeks by Alex Elverum at Salon Montage in Langley, BC. He is brilliant, and pretty much the only person I let touch my hair. I chopped it off last year, but I usually wear it long and thick with layers so it’s not too heavy.
Nutrition and fitness are EXTREMELY important to me in so many different ways. If I don’t eat well and exercise I’m grumpy, my energy levels decrease, and I constantly feel lethargic. I need to stay active and consume good foods so that I am the best version of myself. I also want to live a long healthy life and to do everything in my power to prevent future pain or illness. And lets be real, if you look good you feel good. It is such a great feeling being fit and feeling confident in your clothes or at the beach in a bikini. I never want my body image to prevent me from doing something in life. So my philosophy is to eat to fuel your body. Nutrition should give you energy for your workout, job, kids etc. If your diet is draining you, you’re not eating right for your body.
There is no cookie cutter diet that will work for everyone. You need to learn about your body and metabolism. Your body needs proteins, carbohydrates and fats to function optimally. The trick is finding the right amount of each for YOU.
When I’m preparing for a fitness competition, I love making protein pancakes. I blend half a cup of oats, 1 cup of egg whites and add about ½ cup of blueberries. Put some coconut oil on a pan and there you have it! A pancake! When I’m not prepping for a show, I absolutely love anything with goat cheese! Like a chicken breast with goat cheese and french fries. Yumm. But right now I’m carb cycling, which means my carb intake varies day to day. I make sure to have high carb days on leg day (which is when I burn the most calories), moderate carb days, and low carb days on the day that I’m not training. I love it – I’m seeing great results, and am always feeling fueled and energized for my workouts. I eat a lot of chicken, ground turkey, sweet potatoes, avocados, egg whites and oats!
I competed in my first competition in March 2014, and will be competing again this March 2015. It takes a lot to prepare for a show – I’m already well into preparing for this next one. You want to make sure that you have a good base of muscle before you start dieting and cutting fat. Every individual has a different experience with the prep. For myself, I had some stubborn fat up until “peak week” which is the term we use for the week prior to the show. I was water loading for a couple of months, and was drinking about 8L of water per day. During peak week I was eating minimal carbs, and very high protein. I remember eating a few tablespoons of crème of rice for breakfast with a chicken breast, and then 4-5 other meals consisting of chicken breast or tilapia with green beans. I start taking diuretics a week prior to the show, and cut water completely 24 hours before the show so I can get rid of any extra water weight. The day before the show I ate some more carbs to fill out my muscles. There’s no set criteria for what peak week should look like – it totally depends on your body, metabolism, and what you look like before the show. It is so crazy to see how your body changes every day in that one week!
In terms of supplements, I have low iron levels so I make sure to take iron supplements every night before bed. Every morning I take Formula Forte Women multivitamin and Super Concentrate Omega – 3 by Kirkland. I just recently started taking digestive enzymes 30 minutes before breakfast because I am finding it difficult to digest eggs in the morning. I’ll also typically have 1 scoop of protein powder per day post workout. I buy Kaizen Whey Isolate Protein Powder from Costco!
I have been working out consistently for about 5 years now. I really fell in love with exercise in my 1st year of University. Now the gym is like my second home – I’m there working out around 6 times a week. I love going there and seeing friends, and I always leave feeling so good. But I’m human, so of course I have days where I’m feeling lazy and want to stay home in bed and watch Netflix all night. That’s where having a workout buddy helps – they keep me accountable. Unfortunately watching Netflix is never a good enough excuse for her.
Since I’m a trainer, I practically live in workout clothes. So I try to dress as cute as possible. I wear a lot of Nike; I love bright runners and Nike workout pants. I do wear Lululemon and TNA, but I pretty much live in my Prospekt Supply windbreaker when I’m training clients.
I have 2 favourite workouts. I love doing deadlifts – it’s such a technical exercise, and if you do it correctly it has so many benefits. I love challenging my self to lift heavier every time. I also love doing lateral raises. Shoulders are probably my favourite muscle group to target. I love the look of nice defined shoulders, and getting a “pump” when I do lateral raises. And let’s set the record straight: lifting heavy weights won’t make women bulky! To be honest, I really wish it were easier for women to put on muscle. Our bodies just don’t produce enough testosterone to let that happen. In order to put on that much muscle you need to be eating a LOT of protein and carbs, and lifting really heavy – and probably taking some testosterone on the side. The absolute best way to get lean and toned is to lift heavy weight. Adding muscle speeds up your metabolism, and helps you lose fat.
Most people don’t know what to do when they walk into the gym. They don’t understand that exercise is a science, and you should be training according to your goals. My advice is to find something that is sustainable, and that makes you feel and look better. If you can’t find it, find a trainer. They’ll teach you how to exercise, guide you to reach your specific goals, show you how to train safely to avoid injury, and continually motivate you. It’s a lifestyle change. Above all make sure you fuel your body, not diminish it. Don’t try a new diet or cleanse just because you read that you can lose 10lbs in 1 week. Educate yourself.
-interview and edit by Emma Hansen, November 2014