GETFOXFIT | IFBB Bikini Fitness Athlete & Kidney Cancer Survivor Lisanne Keir

Contest Prep | Weight Training | Fitness Motivation | Nutrition & Healthy Living Inspiration


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Bikini Contest Prep| 6 Weeks Out FlexCup | Do It…

Do it for pride

Do it for growth

Do it to be more

Do it for strength

Do it for greatness

Do it for confidence

Do it for the lessons

Do it for the passion

Do it to find meaning

Do it for the learnings

Do it to be accountable

Do it to push your limits

Do it for new experiences

Do it to achieve your goals

Do it to create a better you

Do it for new opportunities

Do it to overcome your fears

Do it to make yourself proud

Do it to change your attitude

Do it to get out your comfort zone

Do it to overcome your insecurities

Do it for all your past disappointments

Do it for the greatness you can achieve

Do it for the changes you want to make

Do it to change negatives into positives

Do it for the gains (mental and physical)

Do it to push yourself and your boundaries

Do it for all the drama you want to leave behind

Do it for all the cool and new things that will happen

Above all…

Do it for YOU! 

It is never too late.

One life, no rehearsal.

It’s You vs You.

Whatever it is you want to achieve – Do It!!!

Lisanne Vos (getfoxfit) www.getfoxfit.com

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How far have you come in a year?

Lisanne Vos (getfoxfit)

Have you ever taken the time to think back to where you were 1 year ago today?

Too often we get caught up in our day and week that we seldomly think about and, more importantly, appreciate how far we have come.

I have done it myself throughout the years – focusing on wanting things immediately (or yesterday) and not taking the time to realise what you have been though in the last year and what you have achieved.

A quote that speaks to me today, more than ever, is the following:

 

Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.

 

Especially as I look at the date and remember that 1 year ago today I was in the hospital having surgery for renal cell carcinoma or, more simply put, kidney cancer.  I remember it like yesterday, as pictured above – walking to the hospital with Mr Fox, Universal gym bag on my shoulder in my sweat pants and Nike Free’s and an “Athlete” mentality.

No matter the pain or what my body had to go through that day I would recover as best as I could with this new found athlete way of thinking – from this day out, after the Surgeon had ‘cleaned’ my body I would respect it as best as I could through the proper nutrition, exercise and mentality, and as an extra bonus work towards getting myself on stage and compete in my first IFBB competition.

So, how far have we come?  Well – 1 year ago I couldn’t walk, or even sit up in bed.  Even with the epidural and endless pain medications my body felt like it had been ran over by a bull dozer and any movements I made felt like an internal thunder and lightening storm.  Just crazy.

No words will ever say how grateful I am to my Surgeon who saved my life, as well as all the Dr’s, nurses and specialists who diagnosed me and got me ‘back on my feet’.  As weird as it sounds the Maasstad Ziekenhuis holds a very special place in my heart, and it’s always a pleasure to go there every 3 months for my check ups and tests – I have safe in the knowledge that I’m in the best of hands there.  (If ever you are in need I would highly recommend this hospital!).

The conclusion of my little story… take a moment and think about where you were this time last year.  What has changed, what have you achieved?  Take that knowledge and think about how far you would like to go.  Where would you like to be 1 year from now?  Set yourself goals and execute them day by day.

Wishing you all a wonderful day, make magic happen!


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Why you have to lose sight of the shore…

Bikini Competitor Lisanne Vos (www.getfoxfit.com)

“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” – Christopher Columbus

 

Coming from a person who would always take the least riskiest approach, these are such awesome and powerful words.

This quote really helps you to re-think not only where you are currently at and what you want, but how you have to leave your ‘safe zone’ to reach your goal.

Please don’t waste your energy on worrying

If you want something in life you need to ‘un-worry’ yourself about the things that may go wrong; the doubts, the risks, what could, or may/may not happen… those emotions and thoughts serve no purpose.  As a born worrier I know what it’s like to over think things and worry about ALLLLLL the things that could happen – it’s wasted negative energy.  And that precious energy can be far better spent on positive thoughts, ambitious thinking and actionable doing.

Why you need to lose sight of the shore

Over this past year I have had many learnings, the biggest being that in order to progress in life you have to let go of the safe and the familiar.  You need to take that first step and you need to get out your comfort zone.  If you want to move forward with your life you need to make a choice, make a plan and take steps that may seem scary at first but will bring you closer to what you want.

No matter what it is – a new career move, a new friendship, a new hobby, a new lifestyle, a new family tradition, a new place to call home, a new study, a new way of eating, a new venture… whatever.

You have one life so, seize the day and do what makes you happy.

What’s the worst that can happen?  It doesn’t work out?!  So what!  You tried and that’s more than if you were to just sit there and wonder ‘what could have been’ whilst worrying unnecessarily about all the stuff that may/may not happen.

In order to get to where you want to be you need to leave the shore.

Just Do It

To those who keep thinking about changes they want to make in their lives: stop thinking – start doing.

Start planning and start taking small baby steps each and every day to inch yourself further to your dream / ambition / goal / idea.

Use your internal compass to guide you, start drawing your ‘map’ and set sail.

And please please enjoy the journey – the hours, weeks, months it may take you.

The joy and the pleasure and the hard work and the sweat and the tears and the frustrations and the moments when you want to throw in the towel – those are the moments that make you, build personal progress and growth.  Good character building stuff, as my mum would say.

You will look back and cherish both the good and challenging memories so dearly – they make reaching your goal all that more worth while.

Your journey and your voyage is your legacy, don’t forget that!

So, un-hook your anchor, set off on your exciting voyage and spread those sails!  New, and magical, lands are waiting for you…

What would you lose sight of the shore for?

Special thanks to Dave Vartan for my beautiful leg piece – a total work of art, which is a constant reminder to set sail and embark on new journeys.


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It’s never too late to change your body (true story)

It was 1995, Rhythm of the Night was playing everywhere and there lived an insecure teenage girl.

She used to look in the mirror and wonder why she was “blessed” (ahem, sarcasm) with a bigger behind than fit the rest of her body.  She used to cover it up with long jumpers and by tying things around her waist.

One summer she was lying out in the garden reading Cosmo and came across an article that said “…no matter what training exercises you do, you cannot change the shape of your butt”, well this utterly depressed her and made her think  ‘Oh well, why bother if nothing will change it’, so she lived with it, covered it up with long tops and wore baggy trousers.  No, she was not a fan of this body part at all.

Luckily a sort of “Booty Saviour” came along in the late 1990’s, in the form of J Lo, who made it cool to have a bigger behind.  This helped a little in making Ms Insecure feel a bit better BUT she was still very self conscious.  Let’s flash forward to last year when she started eating clean, lifting weights and doing some cardio – changes started to happen, however bigger and better significant changes started to happen since January this year (under the guidance of her coach and trainer Jerry Koolhoven).  By sticking to a strict, but healthy food schedule and by focussing on specific weight training exercises (namely in the form of squats and kickbacks), this booty of her’s transformed and still is transforming, one squat and one rep at a time and by carefully choosing specific foods to fuel her body, and glutes.

In her head, she is still the girl with the bigger thighs and booty than fits the rest of her body, but progress photos and the mirror shows a different story.  It is indeed possible to transform your body and health.

Learnings

Insecure about your body?  So are many many others.  Embrace those parts and make the most of what you have!  If you want to make them more toned, all I can say is There Ain’t Nothing to it but to Do It (thanks Ronnie Coleman).  It won’t happen over night, but by eating right and working out, you can make changes where you want them.  Have faith, persevere and Just Do It.

Do not believe everything you read, that article all those years ago in Cosmo was very questionable – who was the source? Who was it tested on? Over what period? Through exercise only or also diet? Data and stats can always be questioned so make yourself aware of which to disregard and which to see as true.

That article really made an impact on me and all I can say is that I wished I had started having more confidence in weight training and eating clean way before last year.

So whether your goal is to be healthier, eat cleaner food, cut out sugar, get involved in fitness, take up running, do a marathon, compete for a contest or competition, drop a dress size, tone your muscles, whatever.  Have a clear focus of what you want and go for it.   Try and surround yourself with people who believe in you, or have similar interests, as this will help support you and give you more confidence to reach your goal whilst helping you see body changes that you sometimes don’t see.

The good news – it is never too late to change your body.  Why wait and why be self conscious like I was?  You can start today!

I would love to hear your stories!  Is there something would like to change or have changed?  Please leave your comments below.

getfoxfit

getfoxfit

Sneakers: Asics

Leggings: Nike Legend 2.0 tights (similar here)

Tank: H&M


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How to Start Eating Clean – Tips and Essentials

Lisanne Vos (getfoxfit)

Why we decided to Eat Clean

Just over 1 year ago we took the steps to “eat clean”.  We always ate what we thought were healthy options, but the more we read into it and really paid attention to our choices the more we realised we needed to clean up our act.  Seriously.

Many of the healthy foods we had consumed were marketed at being healthy but truly weren’t… so the best way forward was to cut the crap, and go simple and by simple I mean clean.

After cancer reared it’s head last year I deepened myself into nutrition even more, reading loads.   If you are looking for a great book on how the body reacts to food and nutrition then this is a must – Clean – Dr Alejandro Junger.

I won’t lie – it was an interesting transition and learning curve especially when it comes to your attitudes to food, cooking and eating.  Eating clean is really a lifestyle choice, not a diet, as you want it to be sustainable (not just for a few weeks).

We have taken up clean eating to cut out sugar / toxins / chemicals / E-numbers etc. in order to fuel our bodies with the right nutrients they need to be healthy and in turn clean eating has had a very positive impact on how our bodies look – we have both lost weight, dropped clothes sizes and our body fat % has decreased.  We also feel much more energized through the day (no more sugar highs and lows).

Want to see results and changes in your body?  Then you have to eat like it.

Abs are certainly made in the kitchen!  I can testify to that one.

What is Clean Eating?

There are a few definitions but to me it means eliminating sugar, processed / refined foods (baked goods, candy, sodas, white flour, white rice, etc.), chemically charged foods, preservatives, E-numbers and anything high in saturated, trans fats or fried food.  Eating clean is consuming foods in their most natural state.

Tips and Where to Start

Clean eating is something that I am passionate about and always happy to help others who are interested to start, so I thought I would put together a few tips:

  1. Remove the processed foods you have in the house. If you remove temptations, and not have it lying about in a cupboard / or the fridge, then you will have more success in sticking with clean foods and options.  So the candy, crisps, fizzy drinks, microwave meals, pasta sauces, white rice, white flour etc. gotta go.
  2. Read labels and ingredients – it will amaze you!  Especially how many products marketed as healthy really aren’t or have a heap of sugar or E-numbers in them.  For example, prawns.  Many of them contain additives and E-numbers, so I always opt for the one that says “Ingredients: prawns” and that’s it.   Nothing more, nothing less.
  3. Water, water and water. In order for your body to function it needs a whole load of H20, so please make sure you are drinking enough through the day and evening.
  4. Start your day with lemon water.
  5. See it as a new exciting journey and creative outlet.  In the beginning I had to find my groove, but I loved the process of gaining confidence in my food choices and creating new meals and snacks.
  6. Be prepared!  I have been caught out on many occasions when I have been out and about without taking my own snacks.  I learned the hard way and I plan, prepare and pack snacks / food.   By having food with you it’s much easier to eat clean (when there may not be any clean eating options available).
  7. Keep an eye on your portion sizes.  My biggest learning.  I was eating the same as my hubby (who is twice the size and weight of me) and I wondered why I couldn’t feel / see any changes in my body.  Since having smaller portions – with more protein and veggies and less carbs (I was a carb monster) I have noticed the biggest change.
  8. The green grocer is your new best friend.  I have been a combo of macrobiotic / vegan for the past 7 months so have been veggie crazy, I used to hate them and now love everything.  Veggies are awesome for snacks, smoothies, and always included at lunch and dinner.  Buy and try new veggies.  Try out different combos of veggies in meals / snacks / smoothies and just have fun it all.
  9. Pinterest has really helped in my clean eating journey, there are loads of recipes, and boards to follow that are dedicated to clean eating.  You can check out my clean eating board here and clean eating snacks here.  Want more inspiration, then just do a search on Pinterest for whatever you fancy, for example – “clean eating dinner” “clean eating snack” “clean eating breakfast” etc. – there is a huge amount of good stuff on there!
  10. On Instagram?  You can lose yourself for hours searching hashtags and finding users who have the same interests as yourself.  So try out a search for #cleaneating #cleaneats #eatingclean #cleaneatingrecipes etc.  I’m constantly inspired.
  11. Need some more clean eating recipe inspiration?  Click here.

Main Shopping List Essentials

  • Lemons
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts or cashews (Important: unsalted and raw)
  • Rice crackers
  • 100% organic peanut or almond butter (you can easily make your own – click here)
  • Veggies
  • White fish (We only eat salmon or prawns once a week)
  • Chicken & beef (for my hubby and son)
  • Coconut oil
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brita water filter
  • Seasonings (unsalted) and herbs
  • Green tea (no added flavors, just green tea)
  • Nan Yu tea
  • Coffee (I drink mine black)

In conclusion

It’s not a diet or a phase, it’s a LIFESTYLE

If you have a goal in mind (a weight / a dress size / toning up etc.) please give your body enough time to deal and react to clean eating.  You won’t see a change over night, but you will start to see improvements around 4 weeks.

There will be times when you crave sugar but the less you eat it, the less you crave it.  It really is like a drug, crazy!

Trust the process and give it a shot.

clean eating


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Exercise and fitness at home

Lisanne Vos (getfoxfit)

After being out of the game for 4 weeks due to pneumonia.  Being out of the gym has been weird but I knew in order to build strength and recover properly would take Relaxing, with a capital R.  So that’s just what I did and blogged about it here.

Today was the first day I put on my fitness gear and attempted to get back on track.  If we are going to compete next year then it’s time to make stuff happen.  In the words of Nike – Just Do It.  Since I put myself into the “Chill Zone” and didn’t allow myself to Do It for the last month I felt today was time to test the water.

I felt proud to have managed some short sprints in the winter sun and start my mission of Project Yoga and Fitness at Home.  Over the past months I have been building a Fitness at home Pinterest board loaded with yoga poses and various other exercises that you can do at home or if you are traveling.

I was aware that I was just adding to that board but not doing any of it, however today marks the first day of actually doing some of those pins, practicing yoga and taking advantage of exercises you can do anywhere.   In the words of Mr Fox – Life is an Exercise.

It is never too late to start, it just takes that first step ;)


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Where does motivation come from? Simply put – YOU!

Why are we motivated to get ourselves in the gym and train?

Why are we motivated to make the food choices that we do?

FIRST A LITTLE STORY

Mr Fox was always sporty, you could say he was born with an ‘athlete mentality’.  From a young age he competed in tennis tournaments, inline skating contests and studied sports education.  He was focussed on pulling crazy inline skating tricks, even though the sport cost him a severe knee injury, a broken elbow and fingers.  But that didn’t stop him as he continued mountain biking and staying fit…. until he met me.  He moved from a rural area to the inner city and together we had a thriving DJ career together where we played in Europe and the USA.  After many years of hitting the club scene it was time to ‘settle down’ and then came Baby Fox.  This ignited a fire and passion in him again; he wanted to be as fit a father as possible so he entered the gym and started a relationship with the weights, which then grew into a dedication for bodybuilding and weight training.  He delved deeply into it, reading blogs, joining forums and watching  videos.  He is passionate about bodybuilding and after seeing a drastic change to his body has the motivation to go further.

Me, on the other hand, was born without the ‘sporty’ gene.  Through the years I tried aerobic classes and strength training at the gym but never really had the motivation for doing either on a regular basis – I just didn’t enjoy or like it at all.  One sport I do absolutely love is snowboarding but, unless you live beside a mountain, that’s not something you can do regularly.  The ‘athlete’ mentality was born through illness – initially through the worst migraine attack/flu/sinusitis infection of my life and then through kidney cancer.  After the birth of our son I developed hypothyroidism (an under active thyroid  where you tend to be tired and find it hard to shift weight) so I tried to get back in shape and went to the gym, but that’s about all I did – I ‘went’.  I pulled and pushed weights around but my heart wasn’t in it.  I went through the motions but of course saw zero results from the zero effort I put in.  After the migraine/flu/sinusitis fun filled weekend I vowed to get healthy at all costs, which meant changing my diet to eat clean (no processed food) and hit the gym – HARD!

Earlier this year we had a great few months in terms of weight training but then came kidney cancer – out of the blue, a shock to us all, especially since I felt the fittest I had ever felt.  For those interested I blogged about the whole experience on R U Kidneying Me (including photos of my kidney and tumor, scars, the robot and more).  I was gutted when the Dr said ‘no gym until after recovery’, this reaction surprised me going from a person who had no love for fitness and sports to one who longed to be in there lifting heavy weights and doing cardio.  So the least I could do was undertake the diagnosis, surgery and recovery with an ‘athlete’ mentality.  I longed to get myself back to 100% health and strength.

Ecstatic to say the radical right nephrectomy surgery went well – I lost a kidney but I also lost the cancer.

6.5 weeks after surgery it was time… “Let’s go and see what my body can manage”.  So we entered the gym to a mass of encouragement and support from all our gym buddies, which truly added an extra ‘oomph’ of motivation.  It went well, much better than expected and I was so happy to see that the muscle I had built pre-surgery was still there.   The  lines, definition and tone had even improved and we put this down to my new diet (as I have chosen to follow a part vegan / part macrobiotic diet – no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no sugar and of course no processed anything) since the kidney cancer diagnosis.

Earlier this year (pre cancer) we decided the next step in our fitness journey together would be a contest.  He – a bodybuilding contest and myself a bikini fitness contest.  I have had many people worry that I will be pumped up to look like a dude, but no – I am talking about toned and lean (not huge and dude like).  It will be a new experience for both of us, especially to stand on a stage but I am determined to reach this goal and prove that if you set your mind to something you can do it.  In my case, stand on stage after you have had cancer, with one kidney and hypothyroidism.

We also wanted to undertake an activity and challenge that we could do together as a couple.  What better way to enjoy each other’s company and get fit at the same time and above all, create a healthier and happier future for our family.  We want to be around for many many years together with our son who, by the way, has the sporty gene from his father.

So competing in a bodybuilding / bikini fitness contest – it’s not an easy sport, but where is the fun and challenge in something that is too easy?

A year ago I may have been quick to judge the sport, even wondering why bodybuilders were called athletes, but let me tell you it is a 24/7 sport, where every decision counts.  Food counts, working out counts, sleep counts.  It takes dedication, tough (but the right) decisions: focus, motivation and hard work.  Everything from making the choice of having a salad over a baguette sandwich to hitting the gym at 8pm instead of staying curled up on the couch under a very cosy blanket.  Yes, it can be tricky to manage when you have kids and especially if you have no babysitter on hand – but you can make it work.  There are many sporting activities that you can do as a family – cardio anyone?  Whether it is biking, walking, jogging, climbing, skating… anything that involves moving!  If you are wondering how we manage  getting to the gym so often,  we switch with each other – one of us goes first and then the other.  Our son still sees mom and dad and even benefits from one-on-one parent time when the other is not there.  An added benefit is that he sees how focussed, driven and motivated we are (in sporting and the healthy food we all eat as a family) and we hope he can learn from these characteristics and implement them in different areas of his life – be it in school, following his passion, making healthy decisions or continuing his activeness.

So after going through the year we have had, life changing to say the least, one thing that remains constant and provides therapy to us both are those pieces of metal waiting for us in the weights room.  There is a HUGE sense of control and confidence over what you put in your body (diet and nutrition) and what you make your body do (weight training, cardio, sports etc.) in a life where unexpected things can be thrown at you without any warning.

MOTIVATION

So onto motivation.  I have learnt that it takes one person to truly drive yourself to get proactive and change your food habits and working out/sportiness… and that is YOU.  You can have others that encourage and inspire you, but until YOU make the decision for yourself then you will not give it 100%.

We all have different reasons to get healthier, or more lean, toned or shredded – be it losing a few pounds, shedding baby weight, building general stamina and endurance or just  wanting to be as healthy as you possibly can.

Now, let me also tell you something that really drove me to make a change, get focussed, hit the gym and make dietary changes:

“It is never too late to get the body you have always wanted”

This litte, but oh so huge sentence ignited a flame in me.  At 34 I thought, well after pregnancy and your 20’s your body takes a new shape… well I was determined to make this the best shape of it’s life, especially after freaking cancer.  I can honestly say my body looks and feels a lot more toned and healthier than it did when I was a teenager or in my 20’s (I made very questionable nutritional decisions back then).  Not only that but I am 100% dedicated to remain cancer free for the rest of my life and I firmly believe my ‘health’ choices will play a huge part in that.

People, it is NEVER too late.

You can have the body and  health you want starting today, all it takes is for YOU to decide on that.

As a very good friend told me – ‘Make Good Choices’ and that’s what it comes down to ;)