Keeping off the Holiday Pounds GWA Style


Here we go again, another holiday season. If you are anything like me your social calendar is really starting to fill up. With dinners every other night, parties, lunch events, all involving food and all typically involving alcohol, how can anyone possibly avoid gaining weight over the holidays? Well that’s where I’d like to help. Keep reading for some good information and informative tips on how to keep off the extra holiday pounds.

First let’s take a look at how many calories are in some of our favorite holiday items:



Calories in a typical serving

Egg Nog

1 fl oz = 43

1 cup = 343

Milk 2%

1 fl oz = 15

1 cup = 122


1 fl oz = 24

4 oz glass = 92


1 fl oz = 13

1 can (12 oz) = 153


1 fl oz = 56

56 + whatever you mix it with

Tall Starbucks non fat latte


Tall Starbucks whole milk latte


Starbucks shortbread cookie(1)


Can of Coke


Chocolate chip cookie (1)


Butter Tart (1)


Now let’s compare some common ways to burn those calories:

GWA 60 minute spin class: if you weigh 130 lbs = 750 calories; if you weigh 200 lbs = 1200 calories

GWA group class: very similar to spin, but can vary a bit depending on how hard you work that day

Running for 60 minutes at 8mph if you weigh 170 lbs = 955 calories

Running for 60 minutes at 6mph if you weigh 130 lbs = 607 calories

Walking for 60 minutes at 2mph (very slow) 130 lbs = 118 calories; 200 lbs = 186 calories

Walking for 60 minutes at 4mph (brisk) 130 lbs = 300 calories; 200 lbs = 745 calories

First of all I would like to start by saying this, “Do not attempt to lose weight during December,” why bother frustrating yourself? Instead make it your goal to maintain your current weight.

Tip #1


Train hard the day before a party or event. If you plan on drinking wine doing a GWA spin class beforehand would allow someone like me (170 lbs) to have approximately 5 smaller glasses of wine and 2 half cup 1 oz rum and egg nogs. If I wanted to eat deserts and other treats that I normally don’t eat it would be smart to cut back on some of the drinks (I would rather cut the snacks and keep the wine however).

Tip #2

Snack before going to an event. This will make it less likely that you will be starving when you get there and absolutely gorge on all the wrong things. A few treats are fine, but some control is smart.

Tip #3

Substitute your calories. Try drinking only black coffee in December freeing up valuable caloric space for other holiday treats. If you have one or two lattes everyday (150-300 calories) you could substitute those and consume those ‘banked’ calories as chocolate or shortbread instead. Try mixing your egg nog with milk to bring the calorie count down a little.

Tip #4

Don’t be afraid of protein and rich foods. These foods actually fill you up and stay with you a lot longer than foods equally high in calories containing too much sugar. Fat is not a bad thing.

Tip #5

Sleep. Lack of proper sleep has been shown to contribute to weight gain and added stress.

Tip #6

Relax. Stress is a major contributor to weight gain. Take some time to stretch, do yoga, exercise, and go for walks – anything that will help you relax.

Tip #7

If you end up gaining weight over the holidays, don’t panic. Just come down to GWA first thing in the New Year and we will set the ship right for you.

GWA Christmas Gift Idea's


Christmas time is always fun with family and friends and food and drinks and GIFTS. We definitely go overboard with the gift giving portion so much in North America— I personally think that we should only receive gifts that are our ‘needs’ not ‘wants’. Why not make a list of 2-10 needs only??? Receiving something practical trumps getting something that might be cool initially, but in the long run not needed, nor wanted. That being said if fitness is on someone’s ‘needs’ list you know we have a number of GWA Christmas Specials. See below and contact us today!

Gift Certificate Any denomination

One-on-One Starter Package

  • · 4 sixty minute sessions
  • · 20% off of the regular cost
  • · $245

Partner Starter Package

  • · 4 sixty minute sessions for you and a training partner
  • · 20% off of the regular cost
  • · $160 each

Stocking Stuffers:

GWA Water Bottle $6

1 Personal Training Session $75 (one-on-one)

1 Group Personal Training Session $30

1 Spin Class $15

1 Functional Movement Screen Session $75

1 Stretch Session $40 (thirty minutes)

Ironman 2012

troy-and-kate-im-2 Ironman 2012 was Troy's 3rd consecutive and his girlfriend Kate Pecknold's first.  Below is her account of the race.

Over the last year I have been training to race in the 2012 Penticton Ironman and on August 26th that goal was finally realized. The morning of the race I anticipated being extremely nervous, however, as the day approached I realized that I had truly worked too hard and thought about this moment for too long to ruin it with my nerves. So I slapped on my brave face and went in with confidence. Getting to the race start was part of the process- my best girlfriend and sister drove Troy and I in, and we blasted my theme song of the day to really get us going- Callie and Char were both in tears by the time we got out, but I felt pumped! Of course it didn’t hurt to have my coach/boyfriend guiding me through the morning. Prior to the race before walking down to the water he gave me some final words of encouragement: stay focused, use your head, and enjoy the day… Now let’s do this.

The race started with the 3.9km swim and by some miracle I was the most comfortable I have EVER been in an event. Normally I am gasping for breath and sighting out a canoe to come and rescue me, but this time just felt different. The morning was bright and sunny, the lake was clear and I just became another body in the mass of people dodging and weaving their way along the course. I had gone over this swim in my head probably 200 times before, so part of me couldn’t believe when it was over… I popped out of the water and was proficiently ripped out of my wetsuit by two amazing volunteers. I was so proud of myself, and we were only an hour and a bit in!

Heading to the tent to get into my bike gear was seamless as there were tons of people helping out, laying out my shoes, lathering me up in sunscreen and generally just being there. I quickly put my sunglasses on to hide the goggle imprints lining my face and just as I was pushing off on my bike, heard Troy’s name being announced meaning that he was out of the water. I beat Troy- another point for me on that swim! Sorry Troy… now I just had to hold him off on the bike.

Again, things could not have gone better on this 180km ride. My legs felt amazing and I was still flying high from my swim, not to mention the amazing support crew I caught a glimpse of as I rode past (My family, Troy’s family, and our friends). I was full of energy and rode that way. About 130km in, Troy and I were lucky enough to bump into each other and so rode the last 50km together. Riding back into Penticton after 6 plus hours on the bike felt incredible! I was actually looking forward to stretching out my legs, busting out this marathon, and pushing myself through the final leg of my day.

Troy and I started off together, but since he was averaging 12km/hour and my pace is 10, I hung back and did my own thing. Over the course of the run, which is an out and back to Okanagan Falls, I basically planned the next five years of my life, held back some (but not all) tears, passed a lot of walkers, sang to myself, or sometimes just coached myself under my breath… It can get pretty lonely out there. On the other hand, I was also blown away by the support along that course- shouts of “Good job Kate, nice pace, looking strong etc” rang consistently throughout, and seeing my family along the way was one of the most special feelings. There was a lot of love on the side of that road. Just bearing witness to that was a big part of my day and my motivation to keep going no matter how tired, how sore, or how anything, I was.

I ran those 42km in 4 hours and 8 minutes, but it was probably the last 5km that were the hardest both mentally and physically. When I actually got back to the city center where hundreds of people were standing on either side of the street cheering for ME I knew that I had done it. I could see the finish line, I could see my family, and I knew that Troy would be there waiting for me to cross… Really we had put in so many hours training together, and having him at the end was extremely emotional. I balled my eyes out immediately (Seriously, if you ever want to deepen your relationship, go ahead and train for an Ironman together- there is pretty much no ground you don’t cover after the 100th run together… I’m just sayin’)

But really, the day couldn’t have gone any better and I really am proud of what I was able to achieve out there… 12:35 minutes. Only 20 minutes behind my Veteran boyfriend. I mean, I am 9 years younger, but who’s askin’?

I will definitely do Ironman again… already thinking about next year in Coeur D’Alene.


Troy looking lean, mean, and fast


Kate looking quite comfortable and strong


Well done!

End of Summer Blast

capitol-forest-2 Capitol Forest 50/100 Mile


Tyax Adventures: 3-day back country mountain bike trip

What an amazing end to the summer.  I signed up on a whim for a really tough mountain bike race: The Capitol Forest 100 mile race in Washington near Olympia on August 25th.  I also just finished a 3-day trip in the Chilcotins doing some back country mountain biking this past long weekend.  Needless to say I'm feeling a little tired today...

The Capitol Forest 100 mile was a last minute decision.  My friend emailed me on the Tuesday and said, "I'm doing this epic race in Washington, you've got to come."  So of course I signed up and 5 days later I was suffering through a grueling 10.5 hour 160 km race on a really hilly but extremely fast and fun course.  I felt great for the first 5 hours (no wonder since I've been doing mostly 3-5 hour races this summer) and then started to hurt around hour 6.  I managed to pull through after spending some time at an aid station stuffing my face with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, banana, and watermelon.  All in all I finished well and was quite surprised to have finished 11th overall.  The best part was that I finished 3rd in my age category, but had no idea.  I missed my chance to stand on the podium and receive my cheap and tacky medal. hahaha.  I didn't check the official results until 2 days after the race.


Graham Tutti and I in the first few minutes of the race, it was still dark when we started.

This past long weekend I was in the back country doing some really cool mountain biking.  Day one was a grueling 9 hour ride into Trigger Lake.  We spend at least 4 hours pushing our bikes up some brutally steep climbs.  At one point we crossed Dear Lake Pass at an elevation of more than 7500 feet (hard to breathe up there).  We spent the night in tents at the Trigger Lake Camp and our camp cook who brought all our food and beer in on horseback the day before was great.  Super fun night.

Day 2 was an incredibly fun day.  We road a route that is best described as gravy with a few lumps.  Super fast and fun downhill with the occasional steep punchy climb.  It was a 6  hour ride that day so much more sane.  Tyax Lodge hosted a great dinner/party Saturday night which made the final ride on day 3 a little tough...

Day 3 was a 2 hour rip in Whistler on the trial called Train Wreck.  What a great weekend.


Top of Deer Lake Pass: way up there above the tree line: 7500 ft elevation

Valley First Gran Fondo: Really Hot!

in-the-start-chute Sunday was race day for many GWA clients and myself.  More than 2,500 riders braved 34°C heat in the South Okanagan to ride the second edition of the Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan on Sunday.  Congratulations to the following riders: Dan Shepansky, David Schaffner, James Demens, Justin Cheng, Matt VanNostrand, Kate Ramsay, Laura Bertram.  For a brief summary of my personal race and few photos see below.crv-loaded-up

CRV loaded and ready to go to the Okanagan


Justin and James doing some much needed 'carb loading' the day before the race at one of 8 vineyards we visited (I somehow bought 2 cases of wine that day...)


This is me at 6am ready to head to the start of the race, it was already 25 degrees out there


Dan Shepansky doing some last second email/texting on his phone


In the start line, ready to fly...


A few riders in front of me (started too far back and had to work way too hard to get to the front group...)


Many more behind...


After the race, Laura looking better than me as usual.


My Ride:

I was a little bit nervous about this race because I wasn't feeling rested going in.  On Wednesday I ran stairs with some of our hockey players (only because they were calling me a wuss for not wanting to do them because of my upcoming race).  My legs were so sore after that and it wasn't until the morning of the race that I could properly walk down the stairs (I knew better than to do something like that before a race...)

My legs felt fine however so no excuses there.  I started a little too far back in the start line so I had to work really hard to get up with the front group.  I got there after about 10 minutes and settled into a furiously fast pace for the first 50 km.  The lead peleton relaxed a bit after that.

I stayed with the race leaders until the 120km mark where I got dropped on a steep climb.  I was too far back in the peleton and when some of the riders in front of me started falling back I just didn't have the legs to bridge the gap between us and the lead group.  The gap was only about 50m but it might as well have been 2km.

I ended up riding solo a bunch during the last 40 km, and there was a viscous head wind for a lot of it.  Needless to say I was suffering something fierce.  I was low on water (you don't stop at aid stations when you are in the lead group - stupid I think...) and the heat was getting to me.  I managed to cross the finish line only 16 minutes off the winning pace so all in all a pretty good ride.

Next time I will pay more attention to where I am in the group before the climb and carry an extra water bottle in my jersey pocket.  It was a great day and I had a blast.  My average speed was 36 km/h over the 160km course.  Top speed was a blistering 79km/h.  Average HR was 153.  Max HR was 184.  Burned in excess of 3200 calories, no wonder I've been hungry all day.