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Melting Off That Evac Fat

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The first time I saw the term “evac fat” was when our local DJ/crazy man Pete Potipcoe posted it on Facebook. The trainer (and fellow crazy person) in me had a good laugh over the name and of course it become a term most of us are now far too familiar with. But Pete actually hit the nail on the head when he called it that. The evacuation and the ensuing weeks that followed have been riddled with stress for all of us.

There are several ways in which stress can contribute to weight gain. One has to do with cortisol, a stress hormone. Whether we’re stressed because of work, family or we’re really in danger, like escaping a huge fire perhaps, our bodies respond like we’re about to be harmed and need to fight for our lives or run away. In response we experience a burst of energy, shifts in metabolism and blood flow, along with other changes. Too much cortisol can also slow your metabolism, causing more weight gain than you would normally experience. This can make dieting more difficult.

A lot of my friends and clients fell victim to stress-related weight gain during the last few months but of course they have the luxury of having a custom program to follow upon their return. It helps a lot in such unsettled times to have a plan laid out for you by a professional. That being said there are a lot of options available in our community if you are looking for ways to shred off those additional pounds or simply looking for a stress release. I’ve asked a few of our local clubs and facilities what they will be offering in the coming months and compiled it here along with links to their websites.

CrossFit Crude has definitely been growing since their re-opening on July 11/16 at their new downtown location, 8112 Fraser Ave beside Town Hall. CrossFit’s vision has always focused on a sense of community- that’s a huge part of what they are about. Now with a bigger facility and longer hours, they are able to offer classes to more McMurray residents- which really couldn’t have happened at a better time. People are looking for stress relief and the camaraderie they offer now more than ever. You won’t find machines here but instead sleds, kettlebells, tires, medicine balls, pull up racks, barbells, and boxes. The constantly varied workouts are a great addition to any lifestyle.

For the month of August, they are offering several promo rates to thank the community for supporting them. They also offer a Newbie 1 Week Free Trial to anyone who has never tried CrossFit before. All membership options can be found on their website

Keyano will have fitness classes back up and running as of September 6th. They include all level classes for yoga, spin as well as strength and conditioning classes. A few that caught my eye were Beach Bootcamp on their beach volleyball court. Soft sand training adds increased resistance, which creates a higher calorie burn than hard surface training. Plus, who doesn’t love to feel sand between their toes? Also, Stroller Fit, for mothers with stroller aged children. It’s a great all levels class for mom’s returning to activity from pregnancy or looking to challenge their current routine.

Future options include a learn to 5km in September, SHRED Fitness Challenge in January, and two youth physical literacy programs September-May. Updated program information and registration can found on their webpage

If you’re a fan of military type classes then Iron Camp Fitness is the place for you. With seven unique classes both indoor and outdoor you are sure to find a time to suit you. I really love the fact that they do a lot of donation driven classes that benefit a host of local charities. To check out what they offer go to

For all you runners out there, don’t forget that the Fort McMurray Marathon happens each year in September. It’s a great event for the entire family to attend, and with almost a year to train, you’ll be ready to go next year! For more information, visit

There is a good selection of experienced personal trainers in town that either have private studios or offer online training and nutrition. They include:

Rachel Spirig of BUF Fitness (

Andrew Bambury of Body By Design  (

and yours truly… Terri Windover of Define Fit (  


You are unique and what suits others may not work for you, so give a couple of these a try and find your definition of fit. 

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Terri Windover is a certified nutritionist and certified holistic nutritionist as well as a former O.P.A. bodybuilding judge. She has been involved in the fitness industry as a coach and a trainer for over 26 years and there has never been a day where she has not enjoyed the career she has chosen. Along with the fitness and nutrition education she gives her clients she encourages them to open themselves up to adventure and new experiences along the way.