Member Highlight – Denise Spina

Le parcours selon Coach Jo

Je fais équipe avec Denise depuis maintenant 6 mois. Elle est venue me voir avec un objectif relativement modeste — une perte de 10lbs.

Un fait particulièrement intéressant est que le niveau de connaissance de Denise en termes d’alimentation et d’entraînement est bien au-delà de la moyenne des gens qui me consultent et me demande des conseils.

Elle priorisait déjà les aliments entiers et non transformés, et se fiait sur la préparation alimentaire du dimanche pour faciliter la tâche de bien manger, malgré une vie de famille, et un horaire très chargé.

Elle s’entrainait déjà fort, étant elle-même « coach » de CrossFit.

Le manque à gagner était au niveau de l’hygiène de vie. Le stress et la fatigue principalement, ainsi que les effets qu’ils peuvent avoir sur le métabolisme.

Dès le départ, nous avons mis tous nos efforts sur la routine « pré-dodo », l’AUGMENTATION de son apport calorique, ainsi qu’une prise de conscience permettant d’identifier les différents facteurs de stress que son mode de vie actuel comporte. (Une fois identifié, il est plus facile de les adresser et limiter leurs impacts sur ses habitudes alimentaires).

Trop souvent, nous soulignons les bienfaits de travailler fort et d’accomplir le plus de tâches possibles par jour (lire : la souffrance). On finit malheureusement par oublier ce que la récupération peut nous apporter. Et les bienfaits sont énormes.

Ce travail nous a permis de rectifier plusieurs problèmes digestifs, et débloquer un plateau majeur au niveau de sa transformation physique.

Denise sert d’exemple à tous ceux qui mangent bien, mais qui n’ont pas nécessairement les résultats qu’ils désirent/méritent.


Keep it up, Denise! This is only the start!


Jonathan Allard


L’expérience de Denise

Jo asked me to tell my story.

I guess it starts with the birth of my last child. After Luca was born, my fourth child in 4 years, my body was pretty beaten up. I made a promise that when he turned 6 months old I would start taking care of me. It’s about that time that I found crossfit.

Seven years later, I’m divorced, I’ve gone through a gallbladder removal and a tumour in my thyroid that had to be removed which left me without a thyroid and I own a CrossFit gym.

It took me a few years after my last pregnancy to lose my pregnancy weight but those last stubborn pounds never seemed to want to shed and although I was crossfitting 5 times a week I wasn’t able to get rid of the infamous pregnancy pooch, ugh!

This past summer, my coach and business partner told me that when I was ready to take it to the next level of dietary and athletic well-being that he would give me Jo’s number. In September I decided I was ready. So I met with Jonathan for the first time.

My initial thoughts were « How the heck am I going to be able to do this for myself? » And the sad part is Jonathan didn’t even ask the world of me. He gave me a meal plan yes, but nothing too rigid just a few slight changes and I guess the hardest part was no snacking!

The first month I struggled. I would make it through the work week but then have a hard time when it came time to sit down and enjoy movie night with my kids or enjoying dinner and drinks with my girlfriends. Then my period came around and the chocolate and candy cravings were so intense I wanted to scream. I don’t even want to get into how emotionally unstable I would get the days before and during my cycle.

I constantly emailed Jonathan with my ups and downs and to my surprise he never got annoyed. He walked me through every issue and answered every question never making me feel irrational or out of line.

So what’s my every day like? Well, it’s non-stop. I get up most mornings at 5am. I pop my Thyroïde pill in my mouth, make myself a glass of lemon water with salt and start making my kids lunches while prepping my breakfast. By 630am I’m out the door heading to coach the 7am class. The rest of my morning into early afternoon varies daily but consists mostly of coaching, training, administrative work for the gym and occasionally fitting in an errand or two.

My younger three get home from school around 245 so my goal is to meet them home for that time. We get homework done while I wait for my oldest to get home and then depending on the night we are either running around to a sport or I’m heading back to the gym to put in more coaching hours. My day normally ends around 8pm when I sit down to put in the following days programming while my kids are getting ready for bed. My bedtime routine has changed drastically since September. I used to get to bed anywhere between 930-11pm before starting with Jo. Now I make sure to be in bed by 930 with lights out. I think that was the hardest part.. disciplining myself to just shut down. Turn all electronics off and just focus on the fact that it’s time for my body to sleep.

I’d like to brag about the fact that I meal prep every Sunday for the upcoming week, but I generally don’t. My weekends are just as non-stop between coaching, laundry, house cleaning, groceries and spending time with my kids.

In the last 7 months, I have made huge improvements but I’m far from where I need to be. I still struggle with emotional breakdowns and every once in a while I could eat the entire fridge and everything in my kitchen cupboards but overall, I’m extremely happy with the progress I’ve made physically, mentally and emotionally. I feel better, I look better and I’m performing better in the gym. At the end of the day that’s all I can ask for.

Jonathan has shown me that if you take one thing at a time anything is possible and setbacks are just that. They do not rule your every day. They are just in the moment. It also helps to know that Jonathan has my back no matter what.


Denise Spina


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