Browsing Category

Weight Loss

Weight Loss

Why I will stop comparing myself to the perfect body

July 31, 2015

For the past 2 years I have worked as hard as I can to be in the best shape of my life. I have lost 50 lbs and maintained the weight drop while adding muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance and yet I still struggle that it’s not enough. Over the past year I have told myself that there is a certain way I should look, a certain perfect angle picture I am only allowed to post and that ultimately I haven’t reached my goal because I am not thin enough. I recently decided that I would no longer allow this to be my perspective!!

We live in a culture that bombards women with an ideal of what a beautiful figure should look like and as a mom it leaves me feeling that I will never measure up. I’ve had 3 children and bare the marks heavily on my skin, breastfeeding has taken it’s deflating toll and my hips have definitely spread and have no intentions no matter how much weight I lose to get any smaller.

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

I have been saying I want to lose more weight and while there is nothing wrong with making goals I have realized that over the past few months my desire to attain this has come from an insecurity from comparing myself to an ideal of what I’m suppose to be. I want to be beautiful and confident just as I am and not what anyone or anything thinks I should be. For this reason I have declared a makeover and a shift in my way of thinking and will no longer obsess over this ideal because …

I am confident in my imperfect body.

I have a strong body that has experienced child birth 3 times.

I have curves and big muscles in my calves that sometimes makes it hard to buy tall boots but thank God for booties.

I will wear a two piece at the beach and will even do a cart wheel. 

I am a size 10 and feel damn good about it.

I will post pictures that my kids, husband or friends take of me without worrying that I look fat. It’s their perspective of me and I will cherish it.

I will be confident in who I am for my girls so that they can grow up being confident in who they are. 

I have a living, functioning, healthy body, free from disease or chronic illness. I’m far from perfect and I definitely wouldn’t be winning any bikini competitions but I’d rather go enjoy a burger anyway.

I will stop comparing myself to others.

I will be as healthy as I can be for me and for the health of my family.

Every other reason to be skinny can go to hell.

So there. This summer quit trying to live up to an impossible standard. Be healthy as you can be and don’t stress over it all too much!

Go be inspired at “Healthy is the new Skinny“!!

 

Weight Loss

BEFORE AND AFTER: HOW CLEANING UP MY DIET & EXERCISING HELPED ME LOSE 45 POUNDS

July 10, 2015

Ever since I can remember I have struggled with my weight. I love to eat and have spent a great portion of my life addicted to processed, sugary junk food. I was never ashamed to be that girl who ordered the big mac meal and finish my friends left overs.  A normal day for me used to be filled with soda, fast food and anything that came in the form of bread. As long as my stomach was full it didn’t matter what I was consuming.

It’s been 2 years since I made the decision to change my behavior on health. While I did carry and birth 3 children to help add to my weight, my behavior was continuing me on a slippery slope of obesity and sickness. I knew I needed to change but was fearful that my cravings would be too strong to allow me to get healthy. I had lost weight before but had continually gained the weight back with each attempt. My previous goals for weight loss were just to look and be thinner with no thought to wanting my health to improve. My goal for weight loss was solely to be perceived a certain way rather than improving my overall health. Caring for my overall health has been the determining factor of my continued ability to keep weight off and even further new goals.

I have lost 45 pounds, improved symptoms like allergies and seasonal sickness’s, have more athletic stamina, improved my emotional well-being and have more energy as a wife and mom!

I wanted to change my habits so that my quality of life was enhanced. I began to realize that If I didn’t make the decision to change my health that I was welcoming sickness and possibly disease into my future. I want to be in the best shape of my life to enjoy my family and community at its fullest.

I suffered terribly with allergies and wanted to try healing my attacks through my gut. I began by simply cutting processed sugar from my diet. Which may seem easy enough until you begin to realize how much of our food is loaded with it!! After some detoxing (from no sugar) I began consistently consuming whole, clean foods like organic greens and veggies, lean meats, nuts legumes etc… If it came out of a box and I couldn’t pronounce the long list of ingredients, I didn’t put it my mouth.

My allergies were the first to improve which was huge because I was miserable! From there I began to see weight loss and that was even more encouraging! I decided to start exercising through a free online workout program called Fitness Blender, which offers over 300 different types of routines. I loved the idea of not having to compare myself to others in a gym and not feeling the pressure to wear fancy exercise clothing and most of all it was FREE!

 

If I can lose weight, me with the horrible addiction to fake food, then anyone can and it starts with a GOALl! Make it about optimal health and set a number or achievement you want to see! For me, my goal was to lose 60 pounds! I’m still working towards my goal and I plan on hitting it! Then come up with A PLAN! I cut out sugar and then tried to only eat real, clean foods and I loved it! Finally, COMMIT to it!! Consistency and self-will are key and if you stay consistent you will see results!

I’m a normal o’l gal that loves a cold beer and giant burger loaded with french fries. I decided one day that I’d make a goal to change my health and I’ve committed to daily carrying it out. I have taken it day by day and practiced a whole lot of self control (with a weekly cheat day to help me through) and am still on that journey today to achieve what I have set out to do!

Make goals today and change your quality of life! You will not regret it!

 

 

 

 

Health, Weight Loss

How I Lost 5lbs in 2 Weeks

November 25, 2014

For the past 2 weeks I have been focusing on eliminating grains and sugar from my diet. Monday- Friday I am strategic in choosing protein, bean, nut and green foods and allowing my favorite hamburgers and dark beers on the weekends. I have felt so great the past 2 weeks that I have no intentions in stopping this new routine. Not only do I feel great but I am noticing my body changing and responding differently to my workout regimen. I purposely have been doing shorter HIIT routines that give me a higher calorie burn to see what results I can gain with this diet. My workouts range anywhere from 15 min being the average or 30 min if I’m really in the mood to add a little extra credit burn and consist of a mix of  tabata, kettlebell, weight training and good o’l plyometrics. I posted last week on some of the foods that I have been eating and the simplicity of consuming real whole foods.

I have lost 5 lbs in the past 2 weeks and noticed that my abs (which have been through a lot in the past 7 years) are becoming more defined, leaner and stronger. It is possible to have a flat belly after birthing 3 kids! Hallelujah!

Here’s a little of my progress from the past couple weeks.

Cucumber, tomato, grilled asparagus with Avocado, dried cranberry, walnut tuna salad

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

(307 calories burn after 25 min workout)

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetDocumenting your progress is an amazing way to stay motivated and see how your hard work is paying off.  My 2 week progress, 5 lbs lighter and more defined abs. Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetI am finally seeing a little more definition and a flatter stomach which has been very encouraging! Next goal is to start healing the after baby skin 🙂 Im eager to see more progress in the next month or 2! Just in case this is your first stop to my blog here’s a recap of my baby belly progress from a year ago with a pretty distinct Diastasis recti! Read more of how I have been healing and repairing my Diastasis.  No matter where you are in your weight loss journey don’t give up and commit to change! It will happen through consistency and pushing through. I never thought it was possible until I set out to find it the truth. 50 lbs latter I am living proof that all things are possible with determination, a plan, commitment and desire for change!

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 1.16.56 PM

 

Health, Weight Loss

3 Ways To Build Muscles

November 20, 2014

I am so proud of my husband! He has been on this journey of health with me and has taken it upon himself to commit to achieving personal goals. 2 years ago he started with changing his diet by eliminating processed sugary junk and replacing with whole real foods. By changing his diet he lost 20 lbs, gained  incredible amounts of energy and became determined to build strength. He continually educates himself and more importantly he is committed to making workouts a part of his weekly routine.

We aren’t training for a body builder competition or desiring fast results but rather incorporating working out as a lifestyle. Through researching and following trusted health experts like Dr. Axe, Charlie has been following a wonderful plan to build muscle and strength. In just 8 months he has noticed major change in his overall strength and muscle growth.

unnamedMy husband is one the hardest working people I know. Not only is he a full time senior web designer but he also manages our photography business and does freelance on the side. Amongst all those things he is an amazing dad and never lets work come before his family. Finding time for himself has been difficult but we have given grace to each other so that we can purse our personal goals. Since he is so busy he has to find a workout regimen that was realistic for his routine and easy to commit to. After a  lot of trial and error, researching different methods Charlie now has a solid workout structure that he has enjoyed following and achieves weekly.

Here are 3 ways you can begin building muscle weekly:

1) Lifting + HIIT (High Intense Interval Training). You won’t believe this but you can build muscle in just 2-3 days a week! One of the methods that Charlie has learned is that REST is actually extremely important to muscle growth and that the best muscle-building results come from having 3-5 days of training with a few rest days within the mix. Because he’s a busy dad, entrepreneur and web designer his week doesn’t allot time for rigorous time consuming exercise. His results have come from 2 days of superset lifting and the opposite days of HIIT training.

2) Whole Food Superhuman Shake for Strength + Muscle. Every morning Charlie makes his whole food protein powder shake full of wholesome power packed ingredients. There is nothing artificial or processed in this shake making it an amazing whole food breakfast!

Dr. Axe’s Superhuman Shake (Charlie has a dairy allergy so he omits all the dairy)

  • 3 Raw Eggs
  • 1 Scoop Organic Protein Powder (whey or plant-based)
  • 4-8 oz. Coconut Milk or Kefir or yogurt
  • 1 Banana
  • 3 Tablespoons (TBSP) Almond Butter
  • 1 TBSP Flax Meal or Chia Seeds
  • 1 TSP Cinnamon

3) Clean Diet One of the best ways to increase strength and boost vitality is by what you put into your body! We avoid sugars and even grains as much as we can. Charlie struggles with gluten and dairy so we keep protein and phytonutrients at the forefront our diet! Through eating clean, organic and packing in protein and veggies we have noticed a huge change in our overall health.

If you are struggling to either commit or not sure where to start here is a basic laid out plan to building strength and muscle found on Dr. Axe site: You can commit to either 2-3 days of lifting while doing HIIT routines on your opposite days right in your home.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.07.03 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.07.15 AMScreen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.07.24 AM

Other amazing resources that we use,  Fitness Blender Videos that offer over 300 free workout routines including lifting videos.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.09.51 AM

 

There are even tons of IPHONE Apps that are wonderful resources that you can easily take to the gym for reference and structure or from home!unnamed

Make realistic goals that are easy to commit to so that you can achieve whatever your goals may be! Start with a decision, make a plan and you will succeed!

Featured, Weight Loss

5 Things I Have Learned About Maintaining My Weight

October 15, 2014

15 months ago I made a huge decision to clean up my diet, heal my allergies and finally lose baby weight! I was sick and tired of all the excuses I would tell myself and never felt content with my after baby size. Mostly because I knew that my decisions to stay overweight were completely unhealthy and the struggle to give up soda, fast food and all the rest of the comfort food would be really hard. I am not one of those girls that have eaten well my entire life and then just “poof” made a decision to lose weight. I knew that my desired commitment to change would be climbing a gigantic horrible mean mountain. I didn’t want to lose weight ONLY to be lean, I really wanted to be healthy.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 4.57.00 PM

Fast forward to present day and 48 lbs lighter I understand now that maintaing weight is just as much of a challenge as losing. Sure, there are way more perks but the battle against the foods that I have spent most of my life consuming will always be present and always trying to find a way back in as a habit. When I initially set out to lose weight my goal was 60 lbs. While I am so proud and thrilled that I lost 48lbs, I do intend in the near future to give it that last go and reach my goal. But until then, I have learned so much about the importance of maintaing my current weight:

1) I have learned that maintaining weight for a good amount of time is really helpful to teach your body to live at that weight. This is one of the reasons we go through weight plateau’s during weight loss. It’s your bodies attempt to balance and catch up to your new structure.

2)I have learned that losing and maintaing weight is not something that should happen fast. Losing weight too quickly can end in health problems like nutrient deficiencies, eliminating muscle mass, loose skin, hair loss, fatigue, dehydrations and in some cases heart attack.

3) Maintaining a 48 lb weight loss has given me a break from being consistently disciplined and lets me let loose! If I can’t enjoy this new weight then why work so hard for it! I love to eat and that will never change!! But this season of maintaining has allowed me to not be so strict when I’m craving my favorite grass fed hamburger and fries from Burger Up in Nashville. We have to live life and enjoy it too!

4) Maintaing my weight encourages constant exercise. The largest contribution to not gaining weight has been that I exercise 5-6 days a week. I’m not obsessed and spend tons of time away from my family. Quite the opposite really. My workouts consist of 20-30 min HIIT routines that I do in my guest room or Saturday morning runs with my husband. I love the way I feel after I have worked out and when I go a day or 2 without it my entire being feels off. It’s just a simple rule if you eat more than you burn you gain. So if your not exercising and eating high calories in most cases you will gain weight.

5) Maintaining my weight and not quite reaching my goal has taught me to be content with who I am and not who I want to be. It’s so easy to get caught up in the more, more game. I want to lose more, I want to be more lean and more..more…more. I have had come to terms with the fact that my weight isn’t my identity and no matter what size I am, I want to love who I am presently.

Losing and maintaing weight is a lifestyle change. If you decide to make this change commit to making this a part of your life and not just for a small season. This doesn’t mean your life as you know is over (I literally thought mine would be) It means you learn self control, discipline, how to make better choices and sometime see food as fuel and not just a craving. Besides making the decision to become debt free there is no other commitment I have made that I am more proud of then changing my diet, losing weight and now learning to live with my new weight. All my efforts, every single one of them have been completely worth it. I wouldn’t go back to my old lifestyle for anything!

 

Weight Loss

6 Free Workouts That Will Help Burn, Tone & Lose Fat

September 12, 2014

If you have been following my blog then you know that I am a huge advocate for Fitness Blender Workouts! With over 300 FREE video’s that you can stream from your desktop, iphone or ipad you have the ability to get in serious shape by just touching play from any location you desire!

image

I have been working out with Fitness Blender for a little over a year. There is so much variety that I never get bored! Since I have done over 50 routines I narrowed down my top 6 favorite workouts. I am getting in the best shape of my life at 32 years old by following a wide variety of exercise from HIIT, Tabata, Kettlebell, Barre, Kickboxing, weights and more!

If you have never tried Fitness Blender workouts then try one of these 6 routines this weekend! Go at any level you need and I promise that if you stick to it you will see overall improvement, you will burn, tone and lose fat!

Here are 6 FREE workouts brought to you be the uber cute married couple, Daniel and Kelly of Fitness Blender:

1) 15 min Total Body HIIT ( High Intense Interval Training) workout. In 15 min you will be dripping sweat with a calorie burn range between 223-364

Save time and Burn major calories!!

2) 25 min Tank Top Arms WorkoutBest Upper Body Workout for Toned Arms, Shoulders & Upper Back. Calorie Burn of 125-225

3) 23 min Fat Burning HIIT Cardio Workout – High Intensity Interval Training Calorie Burn 161-261

4) 56 Min Sweatfest Butt + thigh Cardio Workout. Calorie Burn 330-636

5) 38 min Kickboxing and HIIT Workout: 38 Minute Fat Burning Interval Cardio. Calorie Burn 334-519

6) 18 min Brutal Kettlebell HIIT Cardio Tabata Workout. Calorie Burn 252-432

No membership or cute workout clothes required. Just turn it on, commit, be consistent and get in the best shape of your life, from home and for FREE!! It couldn’t be handed to us any easier!

Weight Loss

How I Sweat Cheap

September 5, 2014

I have officially become one of those people who wear workout clothes all day. I workout pretty religiously every morning and see very little point in changing my clothes for the rest of the days activities. I have had to stock up my wardrobe with exercise gear and have been introduced into a whole new world of popular clothing brands!

Everywhere I go here women are adorned in the popular and beloved lululemon. I’ve heard wonderful things about the fit and quality of their yoga pants, I’ve seen the uber cute sport bra designs and can spot the logo anywhere I go! But at the end of the day we don’t have $82 for a pair of running pants in our budget and I am not sure if I would ever want to pay that much. However, no judgment for those that can and do wear it and like a beautiful expensive car that passes by, I will admire it and move on with my day.

When I workout I sweat….real bad. Not like in a “eww…what’s wrong with you” way, I just love to workup a good sweat. I have found that you can certainly find cheap workout clothes that allow breathability and comfort without breaking your budget. When I workout at home all I need is a sports bra and a good pair of shorts but for my out in public routines I have found that a good fitting pair of pants and a cut off shirt does the job.

image

You will be surprised what a decent amount of workout clothing you can find at your local Goodwill! Last year when I had just begun working out everything I owned came from thrifting! I had a hefty selection of name brands like Nike, Target and Athleta (Gap’s brand) and never paid more than $5 for a pair of pants!

image

I’ve complied a list of places you can shop for cheap workout gear to help those who have a budget.  Remember to always shop sales and clearances first:

Platos Closet!! (They are loaded with workout gear. I even scored these brand spankin new Nike Lunarlon for $25)

image

T.J. Max  (Always check clearance and sale racks first)

Marshall’s (Great place to look for exercise equipment)

Forever 21 (Stylish workout gear for CHEAP)

Fabletics  (Pay $25 on your first workout outfit promotion)

Old Navy (Where all my workout pants come from $10-12)

Target (Check in store sales and clearance)

Goodwill  (Check back periodically to find good stuff)

You don’t have to wear the latest trend in workout gear. You just need a little support on your feet, some clothes you can sweat in and heck of a lot of will power to get out and there and perform! You can easily have a small budget and stock up on a few options to wear day to day!

image

Weight Loss

How My Sister Empowered Me To Lose Weight

August 26, 2014

Ever since I was little my sister, Tabitha, has been a great influence over my life. Growing up it was just my mom, Tab and I and we certainly had a unique structure in our home. My sister has been my best friend for most of my life and I have always valued and trusted anything that has come from her. She is a remarkable woman with a unique heart!

Tab and her husband adopted 4 beautiful children (Now full grown teenagers) along side their boys Marcelo and Gabriel. I have watched my sister cultivate a beautiful family with such redemption and humility.

image

(My mom, sister and I)

image

For most of our childhood Tab and I were not fans of exercise. My mom would try to encourage us to be active but we were never interested. We both struggled and fluctuated with our weight as teenagers and by the time we both started having babies we really began to see weight pile on.

2 years ago Tab decided to make big changes in her personal health. I began watching her transformation and new mindset take course and I was truly inspired. My sister took hold of her health and began making positive changes!

imageimage

She was beautiful before she ever lost weight but seeing how much her overall health has enhanced her life she is absolutely glowing!

She is now a lover of running and has run 2 half marathons! Her lifestyle has changed and she is healthier now than she has ever been.

imageimageimageimage

Naturally, she inspired me to make changes in my life!! She lost roughly around 65 lbs and I was floored by her success and desire for change. She taught me the ease and ability of working out at home, encouraged me by her actions to eat better and I was motivated by her dramatic progress to begin making changes in my life!

image

My sister didn’t join weight watchers, she didn’t have a gym membership or a personal trainer. She dug in deep, disciplined and committed herself to make change. She made healthier food choices and began running and using free exercise programs like Fitnessblender.com to help achieve her goals. (sound familiar? she introduced me) She isn’t on a diet or a plan this is lifestyle commitment and this is her life now!

She empowered me to realize that we all have the ability to make change. You don’t have to grow up being an athlete or in perfect shape, my sister and I were certainly not. Make the decision to challenge yourself and muster up self control and you can experience life transformation through your health! She’s a mom with a powerful testament to what commitment and self-will can accomplish! Be inspired and make change!

image

 

Weight Loss

My 4 Hour Body Week

August 11, 2014

Last Sunday I began the 4 Hour Body weight loss challenge with my pal Kate. We had set out to do 120 days but after some review from this week we decided that 90 days would be much more realistic. Overall, I have immensely enjoyed the recommended eating plan. I am still experimenting and trying out new foods to match my workout schedule. The beginging of the week I found that I needed to be eating and drinking more water to match my workouts and half way through the week I figured out a good ratio and regained energy!

Boy have I experienced a sugar detox! Foggy brain, energy-less, moody and constantly craving anything with sugar. Day 2 & 3 I would have killed for bread and a taste of watermelon but I pressed forward and continued to find slow-carb options to fill my belly.  (Like walnuts, Almond butter with celery) The best part about this eating plan is you can eat as much of the foods that are allowed as you want and I definitely gave myself plentiful rations at each meal!

Here’s a look at my breakfast and dinner from Thursday:

image

Dinner:

image

My cheat day is on Sunday and I already have plans underway to indulge:)

Next week my goal is to add more greens back in my diet. I had a really hard time with green salads since I love my sweet honey salad dressings and can’t have honey (my main ingredient in my favorite dressing) I am planning to steam and roast some kale and zucchini to make up for the loss.

While it’s probably more water weight then anything I have had a successful 3 pound weight loss. Water or not, the scale changed from Sunday to Friday and I’m ready to conquer this new week!

image

Weight Loss

Sweat and Burn Under 20 min Everyday

August 6, 2014

unnamed

IF you think the only way to burn fat, tone and lose weight is with long rigorous workouts then allow me to rock your world. If you were told that you only needed to commit to 15 minutes of working out a day would it motivate you to start?

For the past year I have put this theory to the test and I assure you that I have never experiences results better than with burst and HIIT style training.

“Research from the University of New South Wales Medical Sciences found that burst (interval) cardio could burn more than 3 times more body fat than moderate cardio. The researchers studied two groups and found that the group who did eight seconds of sprinting on a bike, followed by 12 seconds of exercising lightly for 20 minutes, lost THREE TIMES as much fat as other women, who exercised at a continuous, regular pace for 40 minutes (4).

The reason burst training works is because it produces a unique metabolic response in your body. Intermittent sprinting causes your body to not burn as much fat during exercise but after exercise your metabolism stays elevated and will continue to burn fat for the next 24-48 hours!

Also, chemicals called catecholamines are produced which allow more fat to be burned and this causes increased fat oxidation which drives greater weight loss. The women from the study lost the most weight off their legs and buttocks.” (Dr.Axe.com)

Key Benefits of Burst Training

  • Can burn up to 3x more body-fat than moderate cardio
  • After two weeks of interval training, fat burning increased by 36%
  • Your body will continue to burn fat for the next 48 hours after you are done exercising
  • You can workout in less time and see better results

The great news is that you can see these results right from home or you can incorporate burst into any workout regimen by increasing your max effort for 20 seconds and then slowing your pace for 20 seconds.

I love using Fitness Blender workouts because they are all about burst, HIIT and Tabata routines. Yesterday, I did a 15 min HIIT workout. That’s it. Just 15 min and I was pouring sweat and burning!

tumblr_inline_n0e50ywy5r1qb6slj

If you begin to incorporate short burst workouts into your routine you will see a significant overall difference in your body without feeling like you are giving up your whole day!

Start today with any of Fitness Blenders workout! they are incredibly accessible and FREE!!

Other amazing workouts with a little bang for your buck:

Dr. Axe’s Burst Fire is an excellent burst workout and only $50 (for those that are interested)

Beach Body T25 would be an insanely good workout (I’m saving up for this one) $140 (Shaun T gives results)

Working out doesn’t have to take all of your time and according to proven studies short burst workouts are far better for you cardiovascular system! This is great news for everyone! Commit and discipline yourself and you will see change!