Work, School, Life Balance

Being a mature student is challenging. But I am embracing the challenge with open arms. I work full time for a software company and I am taking one class in the School of Communications at Capilano University that meets twice a week.

On the suggestion of the President of Capilano Students’ Union I am a candidate and running for Mature Student and Student Parent Representative. My candidacy was made official by the Chief Returning Officer and my Election Campaign began yesterday, Friday, September 27th .

I have embraced student life by becoming active on campus by joining Capilano Radio Club in which I will be managing the radio’s Social Media platforms with another Communications Student & I am hoping to start a podcast of my own . I will be a Consultant for YMIB’s, Young Women In Business, Marketing Department regarding their Social Media & Events and I have attended my first pitch meeting with Capilano Courier, the University’s Monthly Magazine. During my first volunteer shift as a Theatre Usher, I was fortunate to watch a great film by filmmaker, Tom Radford at the University’s theatre, Blue Shore Financial .

I am unapologetically ambitious. But I am grounded. I balance my work, school, and campus activities by:

  • Exercising – taking Pilates & Yoga classes at Lonsdale Steve Nash Fitness Club where I am a Fitness Ambassador.
  • Seeing my family & friends – namely my Ma, Mako and my Big Sis, Mona.
  • Taking & enjoying my alone time. Doing things that make me happy & indulging my inner child.
  • Attending the North Shore Alliance Church, volunteering at their coffee bar and reading spiritual & motivational books.

Want to Know a Secret to Lose Unwanted Weight? – Fitness Contributor Fawn Gill

Want to know a secret to lose unwanted weight? There is no secret. I wish there was a simple easy way to lose fat and to keep it off.

Trust me. I truly wish there was because if there was, I’d be all over it. I’d love to lose that last 10 lbs by simply taking a pill or getting rid of my cellulite by rubbing some cream on it. I’d buy that shit in a heartbeat!

But the reality is, there is no such thing. If there was, why is obesity such a major issue in our society? Science has proven time and time again, that in order to lose fat & to keep it off, you need to do 3 things:

  1. Exercise daily
  2. Eat a diet rich in whole foods
  3. Practice mindfulness

That’s it folks.

Now, within each of those 3 points are variables. For instance, there is debate as to what type of exercise is best for fat loss. But all agree that daily exercise is needed. Within the “diet” world, there is debate as to which way to eat is healthiest but all can agree that we need WAY more veggies & fruits and foods that are real and whole and not processed.

Mindfulness is a newer topic but again, all agree that in order to lose fat & to keep it off, people need to change their habits. And that is done through a mindfulness practice of some sort. Whether it be meditation or journalling or seeking the help of a counselor or all of the above. You can’t change your outside until you change your inside:)

I’d also like to add to that list “consistency” and “accountability”. Those are two subfactors that are just as important. We can all lose weight through radical dieting and sheer willpower, but it’s being consistent that will keep it off. You can’t change your diet, lose the weight, then go back to your old way of eating without gaining it all back. And you need to be accountable to someone other than yourself. Be that a support group or coach or online FB page, you need to be accountable in order to stick to your goals.

This is why the latest “fad” diet or weight loss supplement or whatever is being hocked out there at the moment does not work. They may temporarily work BUT if you don’t make lifestyle changes to support the change, it will not stick.

The diet industry preys on our pain. Our pain of feeling fat. Our pain of not fitting into our jeans anymore. Our pain of getting older and dealing with a changing body. I get it.

As a Fitness Expert and Accountability Coach, I’m doing the same thing. I point out your pain (not exercising, excess weight, lack of time, etc.) in order to get you to exercise with me. The difference being, I coach you through lifestyle changes to help support new eating & exercising habits along with keeping you consistent & accountable. I’m also going to be straight up and tell you this isn’t going to happen overnight. That you’ll have to work hard. And I’ll probably make you do push ups and burpees.

The diet industry is a billion dollar industry simply because we are in pain. We want an easier way to feel better. And quickly. So taking something that will accelerate our weight loss or suppress sounds really great. We want instant results. We want to feel better RIGHT NOW!

But then what happens? Do we take it for life? What happens when we stop taking it? Is our life magically better for once and for all? Yes, I know I’m starting to rant but this topic really pisses me off. I wish we wouldn’t get sucked into buying shit because we think it will fix us.

So, what’s the point of this blog? To remind you that ‘”f it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Fawn Gill is the Group Fitness Manager of SNFC for the North Shore. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor, Pilates Instructor, Barre instructor & Accountability Coach. Fawn has over 25 years experience teaching others the benefits of living healthy and has helped thousands of people lose weight & get fit. Check her out at www.fawngillfitness.com

Happy Birthday to ME ….

Bday ootd cupcake skirt

It’s my Birthday today … I’m listening to Elvis’ “Little Sister” and drinking Vancouver’s Ethical Bean coffee. If you have never tried it, you HAVTA. I am happy to say they serve it at my school, Capilano University.

I was born on Monday, September 20th at 10:40 pm to Masako & Hiroaki Izumi in Vancouver, BC on Oak Street. Coincidentally, it’s one of my favourite streets in Vancouver – not only was I born there, but the beautiful, Van Dusen Garden is located there as well as one other reason that shall remain unsaid . Yup, that’s riiiigghhht I AM A TRUE VANCOUVERITE, born AND raised! And OH, SO PROUD of it!

I am hoping my colleagues fulfill my desire for a Tiramisu birthday cake as I requested a month ago …. Hahaha ….I am not shy about asking for what I want. I am always the one who organizes everyone’s birthdays at the office so why not?!

Sooo this afternoon when I make my wish before I blow my birthday candles out, I do have everything I want or could possibly need BUT one thing – I’m not superstitious so I am going to share my wish with you … I wish for a family. A husband (or life partner), 2 kids (boy & girl), a Husky dog, and a house on the North Shore. And during the summer months we will live in Tofino, BC.

Well, I did receive my wish for a Tiramisu cake …. NOW, let’s see WHEN my other wish comes TRUE! I will keep you in the loop …

If this was a rom-com the man I wrote about in my Love blog: https://mayumiizumi.com/2019/09/07/man-of-my-dreams/ would appear at my work as he did in real life: https://medium.com/@mayumiizumi/unrequited-love-d723ce1388ab. I am no longer in love with him BUT … I once thought he was my IDEAL MAN …

5 Essential Exercise Elements – Featured Fitness Contributor Fawn Gill

As a Fitness Professional with over 25 years under my belt, I’ve seen many people start an exercise program only to quit in 3 or 4 weeks down the road.


Everyone starts with fantastic intentions but something happens along the way that makes them fall off the fitness wagon. After years of observation, I’ve decided it comes down to 5 Essential Exercise Elements that people don’t take into account when starting an exercise program.


If you are a beginner just starting out on your fitness journey or returning to fitness after a hiatus and you want to be successful at maintaining a consistent routine, follow my 5 Essential Exercise Elements.


Disclaimer: Before beginning an exercise program be sure to let your Health Provider know.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.


Here are My 5 Essential Exercise Elements:
1. Schedule Exercise into the Reminders in your Smart Phone.
Mistake #1 – What I see happen to new exercisers….they do not schedule exercise time into their daily schedule.
You must treat your exercise time as you would any other appointment in your day. Would you ever just not show up to your dental appointment? Or your work review meeting? No way!
To ensure exercise adherence, actually sit down with & SCHEDULE IT IN your phone’s REMINDERS. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real. Meaning, if life gets busy (which it will guaranteed), the first thing you will drop is exercise. If it’s not a notification popping up, it’s also super easy to get pushed to the end of your ‘to do’ list which pretty much guarantees it not happening.
Remember that it doesn’t have to be hours and hours of exercise.  A 15 minute walk does wonders for your health. Consistent exercisers schedule exercise in as the first thing they do in the morning. That way it’s done & off your plate for the rest of the day.  AND it fills you with great energy!


2.  Start with Baby Steps.
Mistake #2 – I see people at my gym going too hard, too soon.  After about 3-4 weeks of that, I don’t see the person anymore. They went big and then they went home.
To stick with an exercise program you must start small.  Plan for 3 days a week of 30 mins of exercise. Stick with that until it becomes a habit (which takes approximately 1 month). Once you have maintained that, then add another day. Once 4 days a week is a habit, add another day.  See where I’m going with this? If you start out too hard, too much you will end up either too tired to go or injured and then you miss a day and then you feel bad about that so then you’re hard on yourself and then you don’t go again, and on & on it goes. Set yourself up for success by starting small.


3.  Get Expert Help.
Mistake #3 – Another mistake I see is people do not hire a trainer to give them a program to follow.  Maybe they think it’s too expensive or just for celebrities but I have to tell you, successful exercisers have a trainer.
Do you know what to do when you’re in a gym? Most people do not. A trainer will give you a program to follow, based on your goals so that you do not waste your time while at the gym. It’s an investment in yourself.  A good trainer will cost you the same price as a good dinner out.  Going to the gym without a plan to follow is the same as trying to follow a recipe from the picture alone – impossible & frustrating.


4.  Set SMART Goals.
Mistake #4 – Why are you working out in the first place?  Is it because you’re training for a 5 km race?  Is it because you want to take up snowboarding this winter?  Is it because you want to lose 10 lbs? Setting fitness goals will help you “see the light at the end of the tunnel”. Goals will provide guidelines so you can actually see your progress & achievements. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, reward & time frame. I want to lose 10 lbs in 10 weeks is very specific, you can measure it, it’s attainable for most people and there’s a time frame around it.  Don’t forget to reward yourself when you hit your goal (not with food, you are not a dog).  Your trainer can help you figure out your goals and write them down.


5.  Get an Accountability Buddy.
Mistake #5 – Not being accountable to anyone. If you want to be super committed to your exercise plan, workout with a friend.  Not only is it more enjoyable & fun, but you have someone else to be accountable to.  We all know how easy it is to skip our workouts BUT if you are supposed to meet your friend there too, you are more likely to not skip it.
Consistency is key to see & feel real changes in our health & physiques when it comes to exercise.  If you follow my 5 Essential Exercise Elements consistently, you will feel & see the positive results in no time.

Fawn Gill is the Group Fitness Manager of Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for the North Shore. She is a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor, pilates instructor, Barre instructor & Accountability Coach. Fawn has over 25 years experience teaching others the benefits of living healthy and has helped thousands of people lose weight & get fit. Check her out at www.fawngillfitness.com

Finally – FOODIE with Andrea’s Restaurant!

Andrea’s 10 Rich Topping Pizza – Foget about ordering from anywhere else!!!

Finally a foodie blog! It’s about time, rigghhht?! I have loved Andrea’s for a long time … Since high school. I even remember the very first time that I had their pizza – namely their 10 Rich Topping… I was 14 years old and I was sleeping over at one of my BFF’s and her step-dad worked a second job delivering for Andrea’s and got it for us.

It was a Friday pizza & movie night just like tonight… Many unsaid years later …. Hahhahaha… And the best part is it tastes EXACTLY THE SAME! I kid you not!!! The same chef has worked at Andrea’s for 30 years. It is a family owned & operated restaurant that has 2 locations: North Vancouver and Langley. BC. The North Van location has been a staple in Central Lonsdale for 35 years.

Andreas and Matina started their first restaurant in 1984 with a combination of PASSION for food, Andreas’ expert knowledge of butchering meats & Matina’s family recipes. Katie, Andreas’ and Matina’s daughter, who I met for the first time last night embodies the “… fundamental Greek custom (to show) friendship to guests, and the Ancient Greek concept of hospitality … “filoxenia”, translated as hospitality, generosity and courtesy shown to guests. ” – Andreas’ Website

To me, Andrea’s pizza and meals are nostalgic. There are many memories attached to their food, ordering take-out and dining in their restaurant over the years. And my intuition tells me there will be MANY MORE happy memories in my future with them and their delicious, Greek comfort food – said the foodie in ME!

Leah’s Automotive – UPCOMING FEATURE

Leah at Leah’s Automotive

I have another exciting upcoming feature that will be written by my mechanic, Leah Gillanders, Owner & Operator of Leah’s Automotive in North Vancouver, BC. She is an anomaly being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry and she’s killing it! She opened a second business, Leah’s Nail Lounge right next door so that her customers can get their nails done while they wait for their car to be repaired in her shop. How cool is that?! I am fascinated by this incredible woman. And you will be too!

She has worked on my car and identified and repaired a problem that had the other shops stumped. There was an odour that initially was thought to be a coolant leak. It was a stressful time in my life personally when this happened last year, so when Leah was able to locate, identify the cause, and rid my car of this chemical scent that was like a vapour that was in my mouth every time I drove my car, she brought me peace of mind.

What’s also wonderful is Leah didn’t charge me an arm and a leg for it. She has reasonable rates AND the best part is that I trust her. She explains what was done, what parts were used and Leah will do a thorough breakdown of your bill line by line. She’s AMAZING! Go see her at Leah’s Automotive: 1107 West 14th, North Vancouver, BC off Marine Dr.

10 Reasons to Become a Member at Steve Nash Lonsdale Fitness Club

There are many reasons to become a member at Steve Nash Lonsdate but to keep this blog short and sweet like me I am going to share 10 reasons.

Reason #1 – You will receive awesome customer service from Mikaela, one of the nicest and friendliest staff members at the front desk. She will help you with any questions you may have such as the current promotions/contests, the sign in OR parking app.

Reason #2 – The Lonsdale location has one of the best views of the downtown skyline and Lions Gate Bridge.

Reason #3 – The club has plenty of cardio equipment to use: treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, and step machines and TV’s to watch with closed captioning so we can listen to our music but still watch the news OR see ME & other Steve Nash members and staff featured on the gym’s TV’s.

Reason #4 – If you’re like me and love North Van Firefighters you can ogle them from the gym.

Reason #5 – Great group fitness classes and instructors. Classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Cycling, Circuit AND many more…

Reason #6 – A stretching room with mats, foam rollers, and giant balls with enough room to stretch, do sit ups, yoga …

Reason #7 – You get points when you download the Steve Nash app onto your smart phone and it also serves as your membership card to sign in with. You can redeem your points for merchandise from the club. personal training sessions.

Reason # 8 – You will also receive free personal training sessions during your birthday month.

Reason #9 – You get 2 hours FREE PARKING when you workout and register your licence plate number into the parking app.

And lastly reason #10 – Shopper’s Drug Mart and Whole Foods are downstairs in the same building and you can pick up necessary items before or after your workout – very convenient.

Capilano University is Coming to the Shipyards District!

Shipyards, North Vancouver, BC

It’s my first day of class at Capilano University in the School of Communication. I am excited for many reasons – not just because it’s the first day.

I have to commend the University for the warm welcome they gave us, first year students last week at our Student Orientations – the Welcome Ceremony (which I wrote about in a separate post) and our Faculty Orientation.

I decided to go back to school because of a colleague’s suggestion that I take some Social Media courses at Cap U after he saw how passionate I am about Instagram. I completed 4 out of 5 courses I need for the Award of Achievement in the Applied Digital Communications & Social Media program. I will be taking the final course in November at the Historic Shipyards in North Vancouver, BC.

Capliano University is opening a second campus at the Shipyards in early November and I will be taking Writing Effective Web Content. How appropriate! Haha …

The original name of the Shipyards was Wallace Shipyard and was opened in 1906. Alfred Wallace’s shipyard became “… the largest employer of shipyard labour in BC. During the war it produced 109 of the 312 ‘Victory Ships’ in Canada. Entire subdivisions were created in North Vancouver to house the workforce. The Shipyard’s contribution to the war effort was so significant that at the end of World War II, Clarence Wallace was decorated as “Commander of the British Empire”. – www.cnv.org

I feel fortunate and grateful to be able to attend a class at a location so rich in North Vancouver and Western Canadian History. As I get older, my pride in being Canadian has grown. This year when my Mom, Mako and I attended the Canada Day parade in North Vancouver my eyes welled up with tears.

Travel – 5 Reasons to Visit Tofino, BC

Tofino - Mako’s Bday 2016

One of my favourite places to travel to locally is Tofino, BC. I feel a connection to the land. It is a spiritual connection …

1) There is a tranquility there that is calming, restorative, and balancing.

Three years ago Tofino called my name to come back. And I did. I booked a reservation at my favourite resort, Tin Wis Best Western. Tin Wis means calm water and for me and I am sure all their guests that stay there.

2) It’s a magical experience: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotel-details.62079.html?iata=00170260&ssob=PSPBM1704G&cid=PSPBM1704G:google:CA+%7C+Properties+%7C+Exact+%7C+Exp.+ATB:best+western+tin+wis+resort+tofino&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIuvrM5cbB5AIVj8DACh2oswKyEAAYASAAEgKUFvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

3) All 85 rooms of the resort face Mackenzie Beach. Every single room has a beach view! This is what the front desk told me the first time I made a reservation.

4) There is a lot of fresh seafood! OMG and it’s sooo good. My Mom, Mako and I went to Schooner’s and not only had the yummiest nom noms BUT ALSO received the best customer service! Their seafood chowder stayed hot until the last spoonful! I kid you not. If you visit Tofino you MUST GO to the Schooner: https://www.schoonerrestaurant.ca/

5) There a lot of art galleries to visit that demonstrate the rich Indigenous History. One of the artists that “spoke to me” is Jack Willoughby. I first saw his art at the Buchart Gardens in Victoria, BC (less than 5 hours south of Tofino). The first piece of his that resonated with me was a Tree of Life. I kicked myself for not buying it but years later I bought his “Hook Windswept” https://store.butchartgardens.com/collections/home-decor/products/hook-windswept-659h at the Spirit Gallery in Horseshoe Bay: https://spirit-gallery.com/artist/jack-willoughby/

Writing about it now I know I have to go back SOON! i think she may be calling my name again BUT this time I think I’m calling Tofino.

Man Of My Dreams…

I just woke up from a dream about a man I was in love with in 1999. It felt sooo REAL. I wish it was ,,,

In the dream I was somehow at his place and we were speaking with each other like 20 years hadn’t passed…

He asked me if I wanted to go play pool. He asked me if I remembered the night we made love. I answered too quickly in the dream and said yes, like it was yesterday and immediately regretted saying that and wished that I had played hard to get like he was doing.

I could tell he liked me but he was being coy. He enjoyed seeing how expressive I was in revealing my attraction to him even after so many years.

I wrote about Synchronicity yesterday and mentioned that I met my soulmate. It was him that I was referring to. Unfortunately, he did not feel the same way.

The last week or so I started thinking about him again. He was the ultimate unattainable love which is my MO – Modus Operandi which means the way one operates at work or in a criminal investigation. In my case, it is the way in which I chose men to fall in love with. I fall in love with men that initially are chasing me while I am cool as a cucumber but then after we are intimate, all of a sudden the tables turn. I start chasing him and he is only partly available to me. It drives me crazy and I become passionately challenged by the situation.

Fortunately, I am currently not in this unhealthy pattern of love. They say that male authors’ mistress is writing. It is mine also.