Monday, July 25, 2011

Wtloss is 85% Mental

Having lost 90lbs (pictures below), I can HONESTLY say, the process has been 85% mental.
From taking my first walk and turning it into a run to eating my first avocado and taking my first sip of green tea, I had to mentally choose to do all of the above.  I am a very self-driven individual, so it hasn’t taken a lot of others to motivate me.  I did it because ‘I’ wanted to.  However, I had to be ready.  I had to make the choice to do it for ‘me’. No one else.
Through this process of getting fit, and gaining a whole new respect for myself, I had an experience just yesterday that brought me to tears.  All of my insecure feelings came rushing back through my body.  As many of you know, I made a career change into retail.  I love my job because I get to be myself and love people as they walk through the door.  I love God and his people, so when YOU walk through our doors, I try to demonstrate the same love that I have received from our Heavenly Father.  And so, yesterday, when a woman was convinced I was talking bad about her, raised her voice to me saying;
“You are not management material!  I’m in management and I would never hire someone like you.  You have no talent but standing around looking like eye-candy.  You have no brains and were only hired for your beauty.  You have no idea what REAL HARD WORK is.  You just stand around to get guys telephone numbers.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  I think you are disgusting not only on the outside, but the truer beauty, on the inside, it’s even uglier!”
I honestly have no idea where this came from, she obviously was having a terrible day and I was the one to get her steam.  My assistant manager wanted to make sure I was ok after she marched away and one look from him, I just started sobbing.  I COULD CARE less what I look like on the outside, but what brought me to tears was that she thought I was ugly on the inside and that I didn’t know what hard work was.  Anyone who has lost 5 lbs knows what hard work is!  I took 5 minutes to settle down and returned to the floor, but I’ve allowed her words to echo in my mind. But not anymore. 
This is what I’ve come to figure out through this situation:
I am loved.
My beauty isn’t found in the mirror.  It isn’t found in a number on the scale or on the tape measure.  My beauty isn’t found in others or their opinions.  My beauty is found ONLY in and through Christ.
I have this song that my brother sent to me a while ago.  It’s by Lil’ Wayne, but I like this version sung by Crushon ft. David Sides.  These words at the end bring tears to my eyes:
See I just want you to know
That you deserve the best
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
And I want you to know, you’re far from the usual
Far from the usual

The reason why I like this song is because my brother sent it to me in a facebook with a message telling me that he thought I was beautiful and proud of what I’ve done.  It was a simple message but brought me to tears.  It ended with a ‘I love you A’.  And to hear that, from my brother who is younger than me, but I’ve always looked up to, reminded me that those who loved me before I lost all my weight, loved me for me.  Obese or thin, my heart has nothing but love for everyone.  I learn so much from others and their experiences.  Which is why I appreciate all of you reading my blog and the awesome feedback I get from you.  You help challenge and grow me as an individual.  I desire to grow and not grow stagnant in anything I do.  Just like you have to change up your workouts to get results, you have to be challenged before you can grow.  I’ve grown from this experience and look forward to the next set of tears to be shed.  Ahh, gotta love growth!
My Success: Accepting myself and learning to love the (fit)skin I’m in.
Your Challenge: Love on those around you.  Encourage others, it goes a lot farther…
2 yrs ago!

2yrs ago
4 yrs ago

Currently before getting my butt kicked in TRX circuit training ;)

90lbs down->> Toning*

8months ago

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Success in Various Forms: My Success Story w/ Oxygen Magazine

July 19th's BLOG: Success in Various Forms: My Success Story w/ Oxygen Magazine: "With my recent Success Story in Oxygen magazine, I've had a lot of great fitness conversations. Conversations consists of topics concerning..."

My Success Story w/ Oxygen Magazine

With my recent Success Story in Oxygen magazine, I've had a lot of great fitness conversations.  Conversations consists of topics concerning eating, workouts, and supplements.  I want to answer some of those through my weight loss experience.  And I will always promise to give you my honest thoughts and opinions.

Question 1:  How did I do it?I changed my diet!  Here is the point with diet, you can't look at it as a short period of time where you can reach a number on the scale and go back to eating chips and salsa, candy, and sugary drinks.  That stuff harms your body!  My TOUGH LOVE:  You need to change your eating habits!  Get rid of the fried foods, processed foods, and sugary foods.  Beware of foods that make you 'think' they are a 'healthy' choice because they say "0 Trans fat", "0 grams of Fat", "No Sugar", and "Whole Grain".  READ THE LABEL!  Things like Wheat Thins really aren't any different than eating tortilla chips!  Look at how much sugar is added to your yogurt or "whole grain" granola.  So many of these things we think are 'healthy' and we don't see the results, and wonder why.  Things you eat need to be raw!  Carrots, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, squash, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and more!  (Eat small amounts of potatoes and corn).  Don't exercise because of what you ate, but eat to nourish your muscles!  Your muscles need the nutrients!
Question 2: What do your workouts consist of?I'm just going to say it... If your getting on the treadmill or elliptical and going at the same pace for 40 min- hour, your doing nothing for yourself.  Your heart needs to go up and down!  Intervals, intervals, intervals... Or in Eva Shurts' classes: plyos!!!! haha!  Burpees, jump rope, running, Tabata... these are all great for getting your heart rate up.  My elliptical workout looks like this: 20 minutes total! 1st two min are warm up at level 5.  Minute 3, level 6. Minute 4, level 7.  Minute 5, level 8.  Minute 6, level 9. Minute 7, back to level 6. And repeat this process for 19 minutes.  The last minute, push yourself to level 10 and you shouldn't be able to talk during this time- It's all out!  Then take a few minutes to cool down.  This should get your heart rate up and going, as well as sweating!  This is also why I recommend getting in a spin class if you have access to one!  Whew! It killed me the first couple of times!

I also do a lot of body weight and suspension training.  I'm not a fan of machine weights, but more free weights.  I like toning each muscles and find that working upper body then lower body on separate days brings great results!  Remember to check out for your home workout!  I've done this and it was one of the best boot camps I've done!  Get a friend to do it with you!  I know Boonie will kick your booty, but it's shows great results if your eating correctly.  (Speaking from experience)  :)

Question 3:  What supplements do I take?Now I bet your thinking, answers 1 & 2 aren't quite what you wanted to hear and you just want me to get to the supplement- THE MAGIC PILL so you can skip the other steps right?!  WRONG!
-->>The MAGIC PILL is called 100% Heart & Dedication and it all starts in your mind!  I've literally taken EVERY diet pill and supplement their is to take!  Pills, shakes, bars, and cleanses- don't cut it!  I promise- there is NOTHING out there better than EATING CLEAN.  That is why I read Oxygen Magazine.  They have great eating tips and workout tips!  I highly recommend you to get a subscription, it'll help anyone who is just learning, or who is a fitness buff!  One thing I also appreciate about the magazine is none of the photos are photo-shopped!  They are 100% awesome women dedicated to fitness and clean eating!  Those are their bodies that they have worked hard for and they show that it CAN be done.  I've done it and continue to work on my fitness!  

*What do I take?  This year I switched to Complete Nutrition's VCore protein shake.  It's by far the best tasting, and best muscles builder I've personally found.  I love the company and what they stand behind.  I'm not endorsing Complete Nutrition by any means, I'm endorsing a protein substance.  I personally don't do a good job at getting the recommended amount of protein in each day, so adding a shake helps significantly, especially after a workout!  It'll help build muscle for sure.

My success:  Remembering fitness is a process and not get frustrated.  I have to remember, I didn't get out of shape over night and I'm not going to get back into shape with ONE workout and ONE clean meal! 
Your Challenge:  REMEMBER: Fitness is a process and it's not going to happen over night.  Set one long and short term goal and be determined enough to follow through.  I'm not giving up on you, so give yourself some credit!

Last thought: Fitness has no end date.  It's all about setting a goal, working to achieve, and setting a new goal.  We can't allow ourselves to become complacent.  We have to keep striving for success in mind, body, and soul.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Continued from last week...

Many of you read about my 28 day DoBCx online workout program with Bonnie Pfiester's. You all commented, e-mailed, texted, facebooked, and messaged me with great responses and advice. I can't say thank you enough! As if you couldn't tell, I was bummed. I was bummed about the lack of weight I wanted to lose, but found the positive in what I had gained. However, I wasn't really sure where to go from there. After several e-mails back and forth between Bonnie and I, we decided to crack down on my eating.

Previously, I had mentioned I was stuck on what to eat and what not to eat. Cutting out grains and dairy really threw me for a loop! I sadly had to admit that I was under eating. If couldn't find something to eat that fit in the category of 1.healthy 2. easy to grab & go (w/ my busy work schedule) I would opt out of eating if it didn't fit into the 1-3 categories. I wasn't consuming enough calories for my body to release fat.
Bonnie described it nicely and so I would like to quote our last conversation.

"When someone starts working out and dieting (and they have a lot to lose like you once did), it's relatively easy to lose weight. A heavy body burns a LOT more calories than a skinny body. IT takes more to run an overweight body. Because you burn so many calories and you cut back your calories by eating healthier, you lose weight relatively easily. BUT as you get thinner, your new body doesn't take as many calories to run so the margin gets smaller - meaning your daily deficit is smaller. As you close the gap, you have to be more purposeful about making absolutely sure you are eating a certain amount of calories in order to be in a caloric deficit for weight loss. (It takes 3500 calories to burn one pound of fat). That means you must be in a 7,000 deficit to lose 2lbs a week. I hope that helps explain your body a little more. :)"

For this post, I felt it was important for readers to understand this mathematical equation. If you're not getting the results you want, you have to take a step back and look at what you are or are not consuming.

Diet can't compete with exercise... exercise will lose every time. And this is where I went wrong this last week. I was upset with the lack of weight I lost, I went back at the gym in full force. But, my body wasn't quite ready. 3-4 hours at the gym doing double early morning workouts and double late night workouts left me exhausted and injuring myself. And of all workouts, in yoga! I wanted to push myself, but my body was exhausted. I hurt my shoulder going into a back bend and was left with a numb right hand and a shooting pain through my right forearm all through the 4th of July weekend. After talking with my friend Francisco, we decided I should not set foot in the gym for a couple days. I had the hardest time doing so, because I'm really great at over training! Resting during that time helped significantly though to refocus. My should is getting better: still getting adjusted, sonogram treatment, and stem 3 times a week. But I've learned my lesson... an expensive lesson to say the least! I need to rest.

This week's 'My Success': Learning that Over training is Counterproductive, Under Eating is Counterproductive, and Over Eating is Counterproductive. There has to be a balance in my life. Too much of anything is bad. I was filling my time with God, with working out. He's my number one and I can't do that. I've found that the more I focus on Christ, the more my life is balanced. My priorities had gotten off track, but I'm back and at it full force. (Never failing, always trying)

Your challenge: Find the balance. What is important to you and decide what your willing to give up or walk away from to achieve the goal you desire?

Want to check out Steve and Bonnie Pfiester in Florida? Or find them both on Twitter! They also have facebook :)

BeBlessed Family!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BootCamp Results

BEFORE PHOTO: 6 Months ago

6 Months ago

Currently 7/5/2011

As many of you know, I took this last 28 days to go through Bonnie Pfiester’s DoBCx Boot Camp  Being at a new gym, I wasn’t really sure where to begin.  So many times when I’d show up at the gym after work, the many male lifters would stand and crowd around the weights.  I decided that I needed to have a plan when I walked into the gym so that I could maximize my efforts while there and Bonnie’s regimen can be done with little equipment.  I found a little upper room at my gym and that’s where I did my workouts.  *Hint, hint- to the AT HOME worker-outers ;)  I had taken my measurements a week before I started the workout regimen and promised myself I wouldn’t weight or measure until I had completed the 28 day workout cycle.
Here were my starting measurements:
Chest: 36”
Waist: 30 ¾”
Hips: 36 ¾”
Calf: 14”
Bicep: 11”
Thigh: 20 ¾”
BMI: 23.2
Weight: 141lbs
The workouts consisted of working different body parts such as lower body, upper body, cardio, lower body, upper body, core, and cardio and alternating days.  Every serious of 3-4 exercises included a cardio interval and was more like a circuit.  One lower body circuit looked like this:
20 alternating lunges/20 squats/ 10 burpess/ 1 min jumping jacks/ 20 alternating lunges/ 20 jumping jacks/ 10 burpees/ 1 min wall sits.  Do this 3 times through as quickly as possible and record time and then to the next circuit.
First week, yes, I was dying.  I usually didn’t mix weights with short cardio intervals.  And can I say… I HATE burpees with a passion, but I still did them! (Eva Shurts, you’d been proud)  My diet has been off the chart this last month too.  When I first started the boot camp, I was still running 4 miles a day or sprinting intervals.  I found yoga at my new gym and began incorporating that in 3-4 days a week.  I was working out 3-4 hours a day and found myself starving.  I decided to add more healthy calories to my diet.  Then those of you who have kept up with my previous blogs, know I visited with a nutritionist and reflexologist that took me off of dairy and grain.
My body went into shock, and I think I even went into shock!  I didn’t know what to eat or where to begin.  Dairy and grain has been a big part of my diet.  So around day 15, I started a new diet, but began to feel stronger.  I pushed through my workouts quicker, changed weight around, and forced myself to rest my sore muscles!  Bottom line, I challenged myself because it’s only through the challenge that I’m able to become stronger.  I won’t lie, my body loves grains.  Have a slipped up?  Sadly, I have.  But the point is, I didn’t give up & tried the next day.  I will continue to push forward and make small changes in my diet.  It’s only through my diet changes am I able to really get the results that I desire.
Chest: 34 1/2”
Waist: 31 1/2”
Hips: 36”
Calf: 14”
Bicep: 11 ¾”
Thigh: 19 ½”
BMI: 22.8
Weight: 146lbs
I took my BMI down a 1.4%, lost a total of 3 ½” inches, but gained 5lbs.  I’m happy with my BMI percentage going down; however, it really frustrates me that my waste and weight increased.  To get at the real heart of the problem, we all see OUR OWN faults in the mirror.  My stomach is my troubled area.  It always has been.  Thus, the reason why I do so much running and cardio.  The past 90lbs I’ve lost, has been because my mix of interval training and body resistance training.  My body responds well to the mix of the two. 
My Success:  I look back at this last month and can honestly say I have gave each work out my all.  No skipping and 100% heart.  I learned more about my body during this 28 days and I’m happy with that.  I know what to eat and how to eat.  I just need to train my mind and keep pushing forward.  I actually set my next long term goal and that is to run the London Marathon within the next 5 years.  (I have some saving up to do for sure)  I desire to take off my belly weight and eventually see the abs that I train so hard.  Not the overall success I wanted, BUT, I tried and YOU ONLY FAIL IF YOU DON’T TRY.
Your challenge this next week:  Take time to sit down and write out your goals.  It may be in fitness and health, but it could also be in your career, family, current relationship, or spiritual.  Whatever you desire, sit down and make a game plan to achieve.  Only by setting goals will you be able to rise to the challenge set before you.
Did away with milk, soy, & Almond milk... embracing Flax Milk! YUMM!