Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Roller Coaster: Weeeeeee!

Guest post by my wonderful friend Karen who blogs over at Cr8tivecontent.

Tis the season to be jolly and to be grateful, for last minute shopping, for Christmas cookie food comas and for the love/hate relationship with food to spiral out of control.
First, let’s make it clear that food is not the enemy. Indulge. Partake. Drink and be merry. The truth is, for some of us, it isn’t that easy.
Let’s face it - holiday eating can virtually unravel every effort and sacrifice we made and shatter most of the self-esteem and confidence we’ve built up in the previous months. Its almost as if all the pounds lost, the hours logged in the gym, and money and time spent on food and meal prepping was all in vain. A treat turns into a meal, then it turns into an all day eatingpalooza and before you know it, weeks have gone by.
 Suddenly, we snap back to reality. We dust the sugar cookie crumbs off our shirt, wipe chocolate from our mouth and resolve to make RESOLUTIONS to end all RESOLUTIONS (cue Gladiator music).
“I’m going to take the stairs whenever possible.”
“I will walk to work unless it rains.”
“I am going to buy all new workout clothes.”
“I will do boot camps till I puke. If I puke I’m doing good, right?"
"I will punch myself in the face everytime I eat somethng bad."
STOP! Before you go any further. Before you make a resolution. Before you set another goal.
Dig really deep and ask yourself WHY AM I DOING THIS? There have to be reasons why so many of us put ourselves on this roller coaster of emotions.
In Alan’s post Why I Keep Going?, he goes beyond the usual reasons – to lose weight, to feel good or too look good, etc. Those are good reasons but they don’t fan the spark that burns into the fire of what keeps us going.
Our motivation has to literally have us jumping out of our skin we want it so badly. Otherwise, we are merely wishing and hoping, hoping and wishing.
Alan’s core reasons:
1.Vanity – Nothing wrong with that. We live in a very visual world.

2. Family - To ensure he is there for them whenever and however they need him.

3. Future Family - This is probably the anchor, a family of his own, where he can give his best because he is at his best.  

Looking at Alan’s reasons this is what we need to do to help control the yo-yo effects of establishing a new fit identity. The achievement of our goals need to be life or death, as important as the air we breathe or we won’t be successful.
In the next few weeks, if we can answer the following questions we can MASTER our food impulses because we UNDERSTAND them better and we now know WHY we must succeed.

1. Chart your relationship/associations with food throughout the major stages of life. Not all associations are bad but some are. What was/is food to you?

2. Write down why you think your life would be better if you were in better shape.

3. Make two columns marked pleasure and pain. If you do achieve your goals, what pleasure and what pain will you gain? If you do not achieve your goals, what pleasure and what pain will you get?
Hard to believe, but we have been wired to derive pleasure and comfort in eating patterns, even if destructive. If we can change those associations, and visualize them as real consequences we have a better chance. For example, for Alan the mental image of leaving his family to go to the gym or dreading a visit to the doctor, are practically unbearable.
 We encourage you to write your answers in a journal and share whatever you are comfortable with in the comments. Though our paths may be different and we started at different times, our journey is the same.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why I keep going...

Why I keep going? What keeps you motivated? How do you bounce back after a bad week? I get these questions A LOT. Truth be told a lot keeps me going.

 I would be lying if I didn't say that part of what keeps me going is the vanity items that come with weight loss. It's true I want a nice body. I want nice large biceps, I want to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. I want to be able to buy clothes from any store of my choice. All these things are great and I think many of us trying to lose weight want them. However these items are only a small portion of what keep me going. Don't get me wrong, I WANT all the vanity items that I talk about above but they aren't what keeps my fire inside raging. They aren't what pushes me to get to the gym even when I am dead tired, they aren't what get me to prep my meals every week, they aren't what gets me through the workouts when all I want to do is give up!

First and foremost I want my health, I want control of it. I want to tell my body what it can and can't do and not the other way around. I want to keep my blood pressure in the normal range which thankfully it has been for awhile now. I don't want to be scared to go see a doctor because of what they will say about my weight. I NEVER want to have sleep apnea again, thankfully I got rid of it after the first 60 lbs I lost. I never want to hear a doctor say to me again  "You are pre diabetic". We often take our health for granted until we no longer have it, I dont want to take mine for granted.

Also another HUGE part of what keeps me going is that fact that I want a wife and a family. I want to meet a woman and fall in love and I want to spend the rest of my life exploring everything her. I want to build a family with her, I want all that very badly. I am really tired of being alone and not sharing my life with everyone but that is how I need to be for right now. I know many people have told me I can lose weight and have a relationship and family at the same time and many people I know have done it. But honestly everyone's journey is different and we all will reach our goals in different ways and this is the way I have chosen to reach mine. Some of the reasons why I have decided to do it this way is because when I have a wife and kids I want to give myself to them whenever they need me. I don't want to have to tell my wife I will be home late every night because I need to go to the gym. I don't want to leave her so that I can go deal my MY weight issues. Yes I would love for us to both workout together and go to the gym together but  I want it to be a choice we make together and not because I MUST do it to save my life. I don't want to miss doing homework my with kids, I don't want to miss tucking them in and reading to them. I don't want them to always wonder why I am always working out and not home with them. I don't want to tell them I am too tired to play outside. I want my future family to know that they come first to me and that everything else comes second. Of course I plan to continue living a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life but like I said before I want it to be a choice of staying healthy at that point and not a must to save my life. I am not saying I have 100% locked my heart away until I reach some magic number on the scale, all I am saying is that I am very focused right now and it is possible that I would let someone into my life but I would have to feel that it was THE ONE I wanted to be with forever.

On top of all of this another HUGE thing that keeps me going is my Mama, Sisters, Brothers, Nieces and Nephews. I want to be there for all of them. I want to take care of my Mama as she gets older, I don't want her to ever worry about getting older because I will always be there for her as long as I am breathing. I want all my siblings to know that their big brother is someone they can always lean on and come to when they need anything no matter how big or small. I want my nieces and nephews to know that I love them as if they were my own. That I love them with all my heart and even when I have my own children one day they will always remain in my heart and that I would move worlds for them if they needed it.

That is what keeps me going!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One of Those Weeks...

No real easy way to say this but I had a really bad week last week. I knew it was Thanksgiving and I knew I would be out of town most of the week but I didn't expect to feel so unmotivated. The first part of the week I was just getting over a sinus infection and hadn't really done much for a few days. I started to feel better on Tuesday but the feelings of not wanting to do anything really didn't go away all week.

Wednesday afternoon my Mama, Sister, and I all piled into my truck and headed north to spend Thanksgiving with my Sister who lives in Baltimore. I woke up Thursday morning and started my Thanksgiving with a workout. My Coach Amer wanted me to take a week off from weightlifting to give my body a break so I just went for a 4 mile walk that morning. While on my walk I told myself that I was going to enjoy a nice meal that night with my family and not freak out about calories and food choices, I just wanted to enjoy being with my family without constantly thinking about what I was going to eat and what I should and shouldn't eat. That is exactly what I did and I enjoyed it, we had a wonderful time together. 

The problem was that my care free attitude and unmotivated feelings carried through to Friday. I did wake up Friday Morning and get a quick workout in. Honestly I wanted to stop about 10 minutes into the workout but I kept going but that was my last workout of the week. Food wise I really didn't watch was I was eating, I mean I knew what I was doing and exactly what I was eating but I just didn't stop myself. There is really no excuse for it at all, in the past I would say "Oh I am out of town and its hard to controls what I eat", That was an EXCUSE. The truth is I chose not to eat the right foods, I chose not to workout, I chose to have that bad week. 

With all that being said I did not have a weigh in this week. I never really weigh myself after a road trip anyways because I always retain additional water when I travel and after the week I had I am glad I didn't weigh in. I know I had a gain, I am not OK with it but I am also not going to beat myself up over having a bad week. It's happened to me before and as I have in the past I will get through it. The gain is not what really upsets me the most, the fact that I felt like I was out of control with my food is what upsets me. It's been a good while since I have felt that out of control feeling.

Last night I called Amer to talk about last week and he said something that stood out to me, he said "You know what you have to do and you know how to do it". He is 100% right about that! I know exactly how to turn things back around in the right direction and thankfully I have done so this week. I am back to my normal workouts and eating the foods I need to be eating. I am not sure what the scale has in store for me this week but no matter happens I will keep moving forward. I always tell myself I don't need perfection, I just need a winning record...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lifetime Fitness Cafe Review!

Check out my review of the Lifetime Fitness Cafe! 

FTC DISCLOSURE: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hurricane Sandy & Plus Size Clothes

Imagine you lost all your clothes over night? As someone who is larger this would put me in a very tough situation since I cannot just walk into any store and find clothes that fit. Please if you have ANY clothes especially plus sized clothes please consider donating them to Hurricane Sandy victims.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lifetime Fitness - Commitment Day 5k

Why wait until January 1st, 2013 to commit to a healthy lifestyle? Join the Lifetime Fitness sponsored Commitment Day and start your healthy lifestyle today! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The "Girl" Pushup

What in the world is a "girl" pushup?! .... Don't answer that. I know what it is implied to mean but why is it called that? For those of you who don't know what a so called "girl" pushup is see the pic below.

I recently did my first "real man" pushup for the first time in my whole life. Before that all I could do was the "girl" pushups. All those years that I was doing the "girl" pushups I never understood why people called them that. I have seen plenty of women who can do "man" pushups and I have seen plenty of men that can only do "girl" pushups. Why is there a gender placed with it? In my opinion they are all just different variations of PUSHUPS.

Now some will say it is called a "girl" pushup because women naturally don't have a upper body as strong as men but like I said before I have seen PLENTY of women who can do normal pushups with ease. It took me almost 30 years to build the strength I need to do a normal pushup and I weighed 380 pounds when I did it! It never really bothered me that people would call my modified pushups "girl" pushups, it just bothered me that the easier modified version of a pushup was labeled a "girl" pushup. I have seen ALOT of amazing women athletes who can blow away a lot of men!

I feel like if I keep writing I am going to start rambling. My point is lets drop the "girl" from the pushup. It's a modified pushup.... bottom line. Man or Woman can each benefit from them as they are a great stepping stone to doing normal pushups.

That's my 2 cents!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ask Alan - Video Blog Series!

You asked for it so here it is! Ask me anything about my weight loss journey or anything else! I will start answering these questions in my video blogs every week!

Submit questions here : Submit Form

**Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer or nutrition expert. Any questions about working out or proper nutrition will only be answered with information about what I have experienced or tried in the past. Morally I cannot answer certain questions that should be directed towards trained professionals.**

Monday, October 1, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pre-Fitblogging Song from my Nieces and Nephew!

Weight Loss Success Story - Mini

Another success story!  My friend Mini is proof that it can be done even if you are always baking sweet creations! :-) I hope you enjoy her story.

You can find her on Instagram at @SweetMini_ and on MyFitnessPal under the username LaSweetMini. 

1. Why did you decide to change your lifestyle to a more healthy one & lose weight?
I was 7 months away from turning 30 and I realized that I have been overweight for most of my teen and adult life. I didn't want to continue the path to destruction. I didn't want to continue being the fat friend, the frumpy wife and the girl with just a beautiful face. I wanted to feel and look beautiful outside as well as inside. I made a choice! I refused to step into my 30's being sad, depressed and overweight! 

2. How and what changes did you make?
My changes began slowly. I joined MyFitnessPal and just monitored my calorie intake. By that alone I started losing. After a month, I plateaued. It was then when I started to eat clean, natural and nutritious foods. I started to educate myself about proper nutrition and the power of healthy foods. This is the way I eat now for life. I also exercise 4-5 times a week. This is a crucial element to not only achieve weight loss, but to achieve a happier me. I love the how I feel after a killer cardio session and how strong I feel after lifting! It's a must in my everyday life.  

3. What have been the hardest and easiest parts of this journey?
The hardest has been overcoming my many plateaus. The body adapts to routines. The same eating and exercise patterns make my body stall with WeightLoss. Switching it up consistently is hard once you get used to routine. The easiest part has been the exercise. I love it!! 

4. How has your life changed?
My life has changed tremendously! I feel that being able to conquer WeightLoss has given me the courage to conquer anything I put my mind to. I have always feared my own talents and abilities and now that I know I can do anything, I will do anything.

5. What advice would you give to others trying to become more healthy?
You have to want it bad enough. You have to realize that we do not have the benefit of eating whatever we want and not gain weight. This is a lifestyle not a diet. Reprogramming your mind and body to know how to properly eat for fuel and exercise for fitness is the only way. Im not saying you cant occasionally indulge, because I sure do but you have to have balance. You don't stop eating healthy once you reach your goal. This is for life. You have to believe that you are worth looking and feeling good and that you are worth the hard work and dedication! Believe in yourself and love yourself enough to become the best version of yourself that you could ever be! 

Starting Weight: 198 lbs
Current Weight: 138 lbs
Goal Weight: 115 lbs

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weight Loss Success Story - Larisa

Another success story!  My friend Morgan is proof that it can be done. I hope you enjoy her story.

You can find her blog at Zero To Twenty Six Point Two on twitter at @0to26point2 and on Facebook at 0to26point2

1. Why did you decide to change your lifestyle to a more healthy one & lose weight?
I started to feel depressed and lazy. The turn around point was when I was not comfortable enough to run around with my kids. I noticed them starting to become lazy. I realized that since I have a background in health and fitness, there was no excuse as to why I had "let myself go". From that day on, my journey has been to be healthy and active.

2. How and what changes did you make?
First of all, I joined a gym. I treated my gym time like it was a job. I went the same time everyday, treating it like a job, made it easier for me to not slack on it. I also changed my eating habits. Its not rocket science, people know whats good for you and whats bad for you. Its all about making better decisions in your eating habits. I also started counting my calories with MyFitnessPal. It helped a lot for me to see what was going into my body everyday. 

3. What have been the hardest and easiest parts of this journey?
Easiest parts was remembering how much I loved working out and being active. Its an amazing feeling to know I can run 15 miles straight, when a year ago I couldn't run to the end of the street. In a years time I have ran over 40 races, including 4 half marathons and i am currently training for my first full marathon on October.
Hardest part has been balancing my eating. My body does not respond well with food. I have had to lean how I feel when I eat certain foods and to try and stay away from those foods.

4. How has your life changed?
WOW, how has it not. I am more active. I have more energy than ever before. I am no longer depressed. I am able to run around with my kids. My marriage is a lot more fun. I have made a lot of new friends that share the same goals as me. I have something to look forward to by training for races. All these things make you feel like you matter in this world. I think being a SAHM, we tend to lose ourselves too much into our kids. So this had been MY journey and I am enjoying every moment of it.

5. What advice would you give to others trying to become more healthy?
A lot of people start a healthy journey and fail at it. Trust me I have been down that road. Treating it like a job is the only advise I can give you if you keep failing. Schedule your gym time. Sign up for a class. Sign up for a race. If you have something to work towards your guaranteed not to fail. Also tell everyone what you are doing, put it on Facebook/Twitter. it 
makes you more accountable, plus you get people motivating you. Trust me, it works.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Egg White Avocado Frittata

I love this dish for an easy breakfast! I make it and cut it into slices and eat from it for 2-3 days for a quick breakfast on the go in the mornings.

What you will need:
  • Eggs (I used 8, 2 whole and 6 egg whites)
  • Spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • Bell Pepper
  • Tomato
  • Leek or Onion 
  • Avocado
  • Salt & Pepper (Optional - feel free to season as you please)

 Keep in mind you can choose any veggies you want, these just happen to be the ones I used this time. Experiment with different things!

Chop up the leek (used about 1/4 of the whole leek), bell pepper and add with some spinach in a sauté pan with either olive oil or coconut oil. Cook these on medium heat while you get the eggs ready. Also if you use fresh spinach you might want to wait until the other veggies are cooked a bit before adding it, fresh spinach cooks very quickly.

Crack open 8 eggs and place them in a bowl. I chose to keep 2 of the yolks and removed the rest. You can do the same or if you prefer you can remove all the yolks and just have egg whites. After you do this beat them for about a minute. You can also season the eggs with salt and pepper if you wish.

Next you will want to chop up half an avocado and a small tomato.

Hopefully by now your veggies have cooked about half way through. You will want to turn down the heat to low so that the pan cools down a bit before you add the egg mixture. If the pan is too hot when you add the eggs it won't cook properly.

After the pan has cooled down a little add the egg mixture evenly over the veggies and turn the heat back up to medium.

Then place the avocado and tomato on top and go ahead and turn the broiler in your oven on.

Once the bottom of the frittata has cooked through and it start to form around the edges take it off the stove and place it in the oven under the broiler to finish the top.

Make sure you keep an eye on it because it can easily burn. The frittata is done once the top of it sets up. Make sure you used an oven mitt when you take it out of the oven, it will be hot!

What it looks like when it comes out of the oven.

Slice it up like a pizza and store in the fridge for a quick and easy to go breakfast. You can either eat them cold or heat up in the microwave.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Are you Hungry?

I stumbled upon this picture on Facebook this morning and my first thought was, "wait what?!" I started to think about it for a few minutes and I came to the realization that this was very true for me in most cases. As someone who has struggled with food addiction/binging in the past I have learned to recognize when I am wanting food because I am just stressed and when I am wanting food because I am actually hungry. When I am craving food to cure stress I NEVER want anything healthy, I always want pizza, burgers, chinese, anything greasy and super filling. When I leave the gym after an intense workout I usually feel like I am starving! With that feeling I can't wait to get home and have my protein shake, fish, chicken, veggies, or any healthy meal I have waiting for me at home. I don't know why its like this, I just know that its important that I always think before I eat. I ask myself Why am I eating this? Do I need to eat this? Am I ok with eating this?  This has greatly helped me in my weight loss. That doesn't mean that I never eat unhealthy foods, I am human just like everyone else. The key to me is as long as I can answer those three questions honestly with myself no matter what I am eating then I will be ok.

I am currently craving a huge bowl of satueed spinach, cant wait for Dinner :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Appreciate What You Can Do...

Three years ago I could barely walk up stairs without feeling pain in my knees, I would have to take it one stair at a time. This would often frustrate me as someone who was a former athlete and  used to squat over 300 lbs. When I started my weight loss journey in 2009 I could not do a squat, I tried but physically and mentally I was not ready. Over the last few years I have worked hard at building my strength and tearing down the mental walls that were keeping me from doing them. On May 3rd, 2011 I finally broke through that wall at Lifetime Fitness and did my first real squat in over 10 years. It was such an amazing feeling and I will never forget that day. You will never appreciate what you can do until the day comes when you can no longer do it.

First Squat Video -

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Never Been Able To Do A Pushup In My Life..

I have never in my entire life done a normal pushup, today I attempted the wide leg version! Did I do it? Watch and see! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

@Blenderbottle Sportmixer Giveaway - WINNER!

The winner of the @Blenderbottle Sportmixer Giveaway is......

elizman @_12 from Instagram!

Monday, August 13, 2012

BlenderBottle Sportmixer Review & Giveaway

Check out my BlenderBottle SportMixer Review and Giveaway!!

Here are the rules to enter the giveaway:

- A maximum of (2) entries per person.

- 1st entry leave a comment on this review post telling me why you would like to try the BlenderBottle Sportmixer.

- 2nd Entry Tweet a link to this blog post on twitter making sure you tag @BlenderBottle and then leave another comment stating that you tweeted.

- The giveaway promotion will run until Thursday August 16th at night 9 pm EST time.

Make sure you check out BlenderBottle on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Weight Loss Success Story - Shazie!

Another success story!  Shazie doesn't believe in giving up and neither should you! 

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram: @ThisIsShaz

1. Why did you decide to change your lifestyle to a more healthy one & lose weight?
Right after my 18th birthday, weighing in at 298lbs; I started getting strange symptoms. blurry vision, had to pee every 5 minutes and no matter how much I drank, my mouth was constantly dry. So I took my curiosity to google. Type 2 diabetes, the doctor reassured me that google was right. At that moment I felt embarrassed, shocked and I couldn't believe it. That was the push I needed to get myself educated on nutrition and fitness. 

2. How and what changes did you make?
The first change I made was cutting every beverage except water out of my diet. I educated myself on nutrition and fitness. Dusted off the elliptical my Grandma had given my Mom a few years back and started on a brand new journey.  

3. What have been the hardest and easiest parts of this journey?
I think the hardest part of this journey was the first couple weeks when the weight loss is hard to see. It's hard to keep yourself motivated when you see no results. the easiest part for me has been healthy eating because my family and people around me are so supportive. I no longer have that urge to eat the bag of chips in the fridge or glass of Pepsi in the fridge because I don't keep any of that in my fridge or cupboards. 

4. How has your life changed?
My life has changed dramatically. I went from being 298 lbs and the most fitness I engaged in was walking down the street to get fast food to losing just over 100lbs and being in the gym 5-6 days a week. now I LOVE being in the gym! it used to be a chore, now it's fun to me.

5. What advice would you give to others trying to become more healthy?
The best advice I could give anyone trying to live a healthier lifestyle is whatever you do, just DON'T give up! Keep at it, just make sure you educate yourself on nutrition and fitness. 

Before & After