Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment- Jim Rohn

In December I set my goals for 2015, and I have to admit, it has been a rocky start. It is the first week of March and I am not where I thought I should be at this point in the year. I can’t cry over spilled milk. I just have to keep it moving. On Instagram I constantly see people meeting their goals and seeing results. I am super happy and proud of them all, especially the people that I actually know like my bestie Erica who is a meal prep goddess! I see everyone making progress and I’m just scrolling and double tapping on IG, which is not helping me meet my goals at all.

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On one of those posts from the IG_Weightl0ss page was of a woman who was my height and roughly 7-10 lbs pounds heavier than me said something that clicked with me…

“It wasn’t until my 5’4″ frame hit 160 lbs that it really clicked- our bodies are a direct reflection of our lifestyle. So I changed mine- I started exercising, eating clean, and laying off the cocktails. I started goal setting, 5 lb milestones at a time…The process has taught me the ability of the body to transform when you train and feed it with the right foods. Patience and perseverance are key in any transformation.” Source

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OUR BODIES ARE A DIRECT REFLECTION OF OUR LIFESTYLE!

Boy did that resonate with me. In order for me to see change, I have to truly change my lifestyle.

She started small with goal setting. Usually when I get on this fitness and healthy lifestyle track I try to go all in at once. That was my first mistake. Humans are creatures of habits and it takes a lot to break those bad habits. We have to make a conscious decision to break those habits by setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals. Yes SMART Goals. I need to set goals that I know will require discipline, but I will have a greater chance of success.

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So my first set of goals is to increase my water intake (At least 6 glasses daily-It is a struggle for 4) and minimize the amount of times I eat out per week. Last week I ate out at least 4 times, and I want to bring that number down 1. Sometimes I get lazy and don’t want to cook, or I don’t want to eat what I did cook. I need to get over that. Also, I just need to increase drink more period. It’s not like I’m drinking juice or soda, I’m just not drinking anything at all, and that is a problem.

Next week I’ll report back on my progress. Do you set fitness and health goals?

How do you stay on track?

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On December 30th I held a Vision Board brunch with a few of my friends, sister, and niece (yes my, then 7-year old niece, made a vision board). On my vision board I have the words and phrases like, “Health, Love Your Body, Stronger than Ever…” to keep me motivated throughout the year. Last year I had lost a tremendous amount of weight on the Daniel Plan (over 15 lbs, that’s a lot for me) and I was the smallest that I had been in years. In no way am I saying I was overweight or obese…far from it, but I wasn’t healthy. So as I was motivated to keep this new lifestyle, but it was definitely hard to maintain. Eating healthy is so expensive. I mean a package of quinoa can be over $8. That’s a lot compared to a bag of white rice.

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I joined the gym with my mom and sister and was going consistently for about three months. I participated in the crazy physical challenge Tough Mudder in April, and after that my motivation to workout went down hill. I was “training” for Tough Mudder so I had something to work toward.

So then comes May and I went to New Orleans for Memorial Day and ate and drank more than I should. I didn’t realize what the food and liquor did to me, but when I returned my family members were asking why I looked swollen. I was confused. I looked at my feet and they resembled the feet of a pregnant woman in her 9th month. My godmother is a nurse and told me to get dandelion root tea to detox from the sugar, salt, and alcohol. I did and my body went back to normal after a day or two.

I had to complete my last summer of my 2nd graduate program and the schedule was 8-5 Monday through Friday and a few Saturdays. If I wasn’t doing school work, I was sleeping, looking for a new apt, or a new job. It felt good when my classmates noticed my weight loss, but it was extremely difficult for me to maintain my new healthy lifestyle because the food near Columbia is just ridiculously expensive and I didn’t have time to meal prep.

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I’ll speed this up…from September to now I have been totally inconsistent with everything. My weight has been fluctuating also but the last month it has been steady. Some of my clothes don’t fit, hence why I don’t post outfit photos anymore on the blog or IG. I refuse to go shopping lol. I did the Daniel Plan 10-day detox, I did the #FitGirlsGuide challenge, and I saw success with both, but I wasn’t consistent. So I went back to my old ways. Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family. It’s in my genes. My family is pretty good when it comes to eating healthy and working out, so to still have member inflicted with these diseases is scary. I don’t want to change my lifestyle so I can be thin, but I do want to be healthy. That’s the bottom line.

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This healthy lifestyle is hard to maintain! I love food too much, and it seems like that’s the one convenient thing to do when dating and hanging out with friends. It’s always let’s meet for lunch, brunch, dinner, drinks, happy hour. These are the essential social activities for young modern women in NYC, but it ends up being very expensive and sometimes takes you off track of reaching your goal. This lifestyle takes creativity (for meal prep), commitment, and discipline.

This woman recently wrote an article “Being Thin Didn’t Make Me Happy, But Being ‘Fat’ Does.” I read the article and she raised interesting points. Being thin should not be anyone’s goal. Being healthy should be the goal. You can be thin and out of shape, have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, but because you are thin you think it is ok. It is not. If your goal is to be thin, then you will be miserable. Your goal should be health and happiness, and to look good in and out of your clothes (whatever looking good means to you).

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So let me break down the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: I know what I am capable of doing. I have seen success when I was disciplined and committed to this new lifestyle.

The Bad: I became lazy and inconsistent with meal prep and working out. I said yes to too many cheeseburgers too often (nothing wrong with a cheeseburger once in a while) and said to too many opportunities to workout and eat right

The Ugly: I’ve gained all the weight back that I lost and a little more. I’m back a square one.

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2014 was an AMAZING year for me. That was definitely my season to flourish and bear amazing fruit in many areas of my life and I thank God for it. 2015 has started off a little shaky in a few areas, but I know this season, this winter I’m feeling, is temporary because no season lasts forever. So I’m done with the challenges. I cancelled my gym membership because I know I’m not going to go, but I have been taking advantage of the on-demand fitness options that I pay for with Fios lol. I’m not going to take baby steps, but I’m not going to do the extreme. I’m going to eat, I’m going to workout, and I’m going to live a healthier life.

I have a love-hate relationship with fitness. I know it should be more about love, but sometimes I hate it because of the time and discipline it requires. About 2 months ago my mother ordered Pastor Rick Warren and Doctors Daniel Amen, and Mark Hyman called The Daniel Plan which is a New York Times Best Seller. Long story short it is based on the book of Daniel in the bible (Get more info here). The plan is different from the fast or diet because it focuses on a lifestyle change with the 5 Fs Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, Friends. The plan is designed for you to do it with another person or group of people for support. I wasn’t really interested in following the plan, but my mother asked me to do it with her, so I did. So we set a date to start and began preparing. We also took a toxicity test and I realized that food was making me extremely toxic. I did not realize how something I love so much could make me feel so horrible. Over the last few years I would experience crazy headaches that lasted about 30 seconds but the pain was ridiculous. I went to the doctor and they said I was healthy, they don’t know what it could be. In January the headaches started happening more frequently and I started checking ingredients and looking at side effects for food allergies and all. My last headaches was the last straw.

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On January 27, 2014 we started our 10-day detox (not required, but recommended) before we started the Daniel Plan which would mean clean eating for a total of 40 days. During this 10-day detox I had to eliminate dairy, breads, pasta, caffeine, sugar, fast food, and everything else that I used to survive on. The first 2-3 days were the most difficult, but then it became second nature. I never realized how flavorful and sweet foods were without all of the “stuff” we put in it.  I mainly eat lots of veggies, protein, sprouts, nuts, and whole grains. I eat lots of quinoa, avocado, kale, broccoli, spinach, almonds, celery, carrots,  pumpkin seeds, blueberries, strawberries, bell peppers, chicken, shrimp, lamb, wild salmon, lean beef, beans,  hearty white fish like swordfish, fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, apples, tomatoes, lots of garlic red potatoes, onions, and citrus. I have yet to have any pasta (I purchased gluten-free pasta though). I use almond butter (try some with an apple OMG!), raw honey, and stevia extract as my sugar substitute. I bought a juicer so I have fresh juice probably once a week. I mainly drink herbal tea without sugar and maybe some stevia, water, or infused water. I’m having fun making different meals! The options are limitless.

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This process was difficult when it came to meal prep. I had to make sure I had breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks for everyday of the week. My eating habits on the weekend were terrible and I has a huge snacker. I love chips and cookies. Working with high school students I tend to pick up their bad habits. I had to make sure I could fight the temptation with plenty of healthy snacks.

Not my photo, I just thought it looked cool.

Not my photo, I just thought it looked cool.

So for 21 Days I’ve been eating clean. This would actually be 23 days of clean eating, but I had two cheat days (my best friend’s birthday and Valentine’s Day). Here are the changes that I noticed since I started:

  1. More energy- I have so much more energy! I would come home from work and just be tired, now I have the energy to cook, workout, and complete assignments for work and school.
  2. Clearer Skin- I never had “bad skin” but the winter has taken my skin in a different direction. My skin is so much brighter. My mother’s dark circles started to get lighter
  3. Lost weight! I lost about 5lbs after the detox. 
  4. Inches off of my waist!- I’m now on the last hole of one of my belts and the second to last on another.
  5. I feel lighter! Food weighs you down. Now that I’m eating clean I feel the total difference.
  6. My mood has changed. I didn’t realize how moody I was until now. I am so much happier! I never considered myself to be unhappy or miserable, but I don’t stress about a lot of things anymore.
  7. Clarity- my mind is a lot more clearer. I feel like I can hear God’s voice more. I’m more focused than ever before.

One thing that I learned throughout this process was how important it is to be disciplined. God gave me the word discipline to be my focus for 2014. I know that he has great things in store for me this year, but they will not be handed to me. I know that I need to be disciplined to achieve my goals.

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I have discovered great recipes, ordered the Daniel Plan Cookbook, and I actually enjoy meal prep. I need to stock my house with more snack options to feel complete lol. I’m working on transforming my kitchen into a Daniel Plan Kitchen complete with all of the appliances and necessary foods and spices to continue going strong. My last day on the plan is March 7th, but this is definitely a lifestyle change. Now I just have to be consistent with my workouts (I’m getting ready to join a gym) and then I’ll be on my way to a healthier lifestyle. My brother is starting to eat clean and my god mother purchased the book as well. I can’t wait for the rest of my family to join in.

One site that I go to frequently for food inspiration is Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. She is AMAZING! I made some lemon poppy seed pancakes one day and they were awesome. Check out her site.

Stay tuned for more updates and maybe even some recipes!

About a month ago, well May 13th to be exact I emailed my friend from high school Cimone telling her I was about to unfollow her on Instagram because of her updates. I wasn’t serious about unfollowing her, but she had become an Herbalife coach and of course she had to promote her business. Watching her progress with Herbalife made me inquire about the benefits for my fitness goals and lifestyle. She gave me the rundown and answered all of my questions, I mean all and there were a lot.

So here is the abbreviated version of the 52,000 emails between us. I basically told her the goals that I wanted to achieve and how, if at all, herbalife can help me. She gave me an option of three plans based on my lifestyle and goals. I chose the first option which consisted of a cleanse, tea, and other tablets. I was only required to work out 2-3 times per week (minimum) and basically “eat clean,” which I have been doing anyway. I sent in my payment and then the magical box appeared lol.

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Ok here’s the part you are here for is it the real deal?

Yes it is! It is as simple as that. I have been on this plan for two week and I have lost 4 lbs and have seen a significant change in certain parts of my body such as my stomach (yes it is going down!) and back. I know that I have a small frame, but my back fat was pretty gross for my size and shape. I looked in my fully body mirror yesterday and was like whoa…where did I go?

Not only have I seen a change in my body I also feel amazing. I told her I needed to increase my energy levels, especially with me going back to school this summer. I can HONESTLY say that I have more energy and I feel lighter. I sent Cimone a text this past weekend telling her how much lighter I feel. I used to feel really heavy, but that is not the case now and i don’t feel like I am carrying extra weight. I but admit that it has been difficult keeping up with the eating schedule, exercise, and water intake, especially on weekends, but in order to see results you have to stick with the plan. I’m still working out the kinks like consistently working out and keeping up with my meal plan on the weekend.

Recap

1. I feel lighter

2. I have more energy

3. I have seen REAL results in just 2 weeks (weight loss)

So for the people that have inquired if Herbalife really works, I can honestly say it does. Some people have inquired about my exact plan and the pricing, but your coach customizes a plan specifically for you based on your lifestyle and goals so each plan may differ. I can’t wait to see my results after a month. I’ll post pics then. If you want more information or if you want to see real deal results follow Cimone on Instagram: Monie_Gee

Disclaimer: This product was purchased with my own money. The reviews in this post are strictly based on my own experience. I have not been influenced by anyone or anything. 

With only a few more weeks left of April I have to find new ways to stay motivated on this healthy lifestyle journey. Last week I attended a spa week (there’s still time to book your appointments click here ) and I received a Spa Water book, which sparked this challenge. This book contains tons of recipes of various types infused water recipes for healthy eating and drinking. My coworker also randomly gave me an infused water recipe and so I took that as a sign.

So what is infused water exactly?

Fruit infused water is exactly what it states. It is water mixed with fruits and herbs with amazing health benefits, including getting rid of belly fat.

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The most popular fruit infused water is lemon water and some of the benefits of drinking lemon water include:

  1. Boosts your immune system
  2. Decreases wrinkles and blemishes
  3. Flushes unwanted materials out of your system
  4. Relieves respiratory problems

Health Benefits of drinking Fruit and Herb Infused Water

  • Weight Loss
  • Younger and Healthier Looking Skin
  • More Energy
  • Better Taste/Flavors
  • More Nutrients, Vitamins, and Antioxidants
  • Improves Digestion
  • Improves Immune System
  • Improves your Mood

So for this challenge I will be replacing my usual fruit juices with fruit infused water. My goal is to drink at least 32 oz. per day for the next 14-days.

The ingredients and materials for the next 14-days.

1. Spa Water by Pam Wenzel (for inspiration)
2. Pitcher
3. Mason Jars
4. Fruit and Vegetable brush (for the non organic products)
5. Lemons
6. Limes
7. Peaches
8. Mint
9. Cucumber
10. Grapefruit
11. Basil
12. Berries (strawberry, raspberry and blueberry)
13. Peaches
14. Kiwi
15. Ginger

I will use 6-10 recipes over the course of the two-weeks. I will not try a new recipe each day because of my schedule and prepping for the week is easier than a new prep each day. I will be using the Spa Water book for inspiration but I will mainly “freestyle” my recipes. I will also be noting the effects of drinking fruit infused water as well. So stay tuned for the updates and if you are going to participate leave a comment below!

I will be using the hashtag #HGBInfusedH2O on all social media posts. So tag your pictures and recipes!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with the recipes. I will begin the challenge Sunday April 21, 2013 and the challenge will end May 5, 2013.