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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.

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. 

Hello my fitness loves! I hope you all are having a splendid week so far. For today’s fitness post I wanted to focus on the 90/10 rule. For those of you who do not know, the 90/10 rule simply states that weight loss is 90% nutrition and 10% exercise. When I learned this a few years ago I was in complete shock. I knew that I couldn’t “pig out” and expect to be in shape, but I would think that exercise would be only 10%. You can do all of the crunches, planks, and sit-ups in the world, but if you are not eating a balanced diet, then you won’t see results.

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When it comes to nutrition you should consult with a health professional to find a plan that best suits your lifestyle. I don’t have a set nutrition plan but this is what works for me.

  • Breakfast (Monday-Thursday) oatmeal and a boiled egg or a green smoothie
  • Morning Snack- Greek Yogurt and/or piece of fruit
  • Lunch (high in protein and lots of greens,multi-grain/fiber)
  • Afternoon Snack- fruit and/or nuts (almonds, pistachios, peanuts, or trail mix)
  • Dinner (high in Protein, greens, multi-grain/fiber)
  • Snack- fruit and/or nuts or a protein shake (after my evening workout)

Some people have eliminated carbs out of their lives completely, but I love bread too much to do that. I just minimize the amount I eat. I only eat whole wheat pasta, unless I’m at a restaurant. I may have pasta 3-5 times per month. My carbs mainly come from fruit. I am now in love with quinoa, but I’m starting to like couscous. If I eat rice, it’s brown rice. I’m looking to try zucchini “pasta” and spaghetti squash. For my greens I either have kale, spinach, asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, or string beans. I try to spice everything up a little bit whenever I cook so I don’t get bored. I also eat lots of salads with baby spinach, arugula, mesclun, or romaine lettuce. I rarely eat fried foods any more. Everything is either baked or grilled.

I give myself two cheat days per week, which are usually Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday. I try to have 3-5 times per week. It is very time consuming! I have eliminated soda from my life, well 95%. Since I started this jersey, I haven’t had the urge to drink soda. I did a few times when I was stressed lol (don’t judge me). If I drink juice it is 100% juice and must have less than 25 grams of sugar. I mainly drink iced green tea. It helps with stress and belly fat as well. I drink a lot more water than before, I’m about 16 oz shy of the required 64 oz. I also try not to eat a heavy meal after 7:30pm. I try not to eat anything heavy 2-3 hours before going to bed. I will have a light snack though.

This is what I’m doing so far and I have a lot more energy as well and I don’t feel heavy.

So what do you do to make sure you are eating right? I need more options!

Once a week I workout with a personal trainer. He’s actually my coworker and he offered to train the entire staff. Only 4 of us took advantage of his offer and I don’t mind at all. We work out on Tuesdays and each week he targets a different area. This week the main focus besides my triceps was my abs.

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I will post an update next week on my results so far but my core was one of the main areas I wanted to focus on. The workout was on Tuesday and two days later I am still feeling the soreness! I guess my pervious ab workouts weren’t intense enough. He told me that one problem that many people have is that when they feel a little pain or burn in their muscles they rest and that is the worst thing to do. You must be consistent with the workout so your muscles can become stronger. If you take too long of a break it’s like you are starting from scratch again. It is ok to pause in between sets but it should not be too long to where your muscles return to their original state. Ok that was this weeks lesson now below you will find a list of the ab activities I did for my workout. I didn’t do all circuits straight through. I would work on my arms, shoulders, and hips in between. He says, “always let one muscle rest while you focus on the other.” So in between my ab circuits I would do other activities to rest my core.

Circuit 1 (3 reps)
1. 20 full sit ups
2. 20 half sit ups
3. 15 knee lifts in the captains chair
4. 20 side ab crunches (10 on each side)

Circuit 2 (2 reps)
1. Squat/Core rotation with 5 lb. weight (go in squat position hold 5 lb weight with both hands center for 2 counts, then to the right for 2 counts, then to the left for 2 counts, then back to the center for 2 counts) Do this 5x
2. 30 second superman
3. 30 second plank

Circuit 3 (2 reps)
1. 30 second plank touching knees simultaneously
2. 30 second superman with shoulder rotations
3. 30 second plank touching knees with alternating hands

Circuit 4 (3 reps)
1. 20 full sit ups
2. 20 half sit ups
3. 15 knee raises in captains chair
4. 20 side ab crunches (10 on each side)

Imagine this in addition to everything else I did. I dread Tuesdays! When it comes to targeting your abs you have to do more than sit-ups to see actual results. If you decide to try this workout let me know how it works out for you.

Hey my loves,

I have finally written down my workout goals and taking the necessary steps to achieve them. I took my measurements and everything. So here are my goals and I want to accomplish all of this by the end of April. I think that’s a fair timeline.

Goal Weight: 130 lbs- I gain most of my weight in my upper body. My face has gotten fatter, my arms are getting bigger and it’s not muscle, and my midsection is not bikini ready.

Target Areas for Toning: Thighs, Arms, Abs- this will require lots of cardio and strength training. I’ve been consistent the last week with my strength training, but I can’t tone muscle if it is covered in fat and so I need to step my cardio game up. I’ve been consistent with my lower body workout as well. The amount of squats and lunges I do is record breaking for me. I also started this ab challenge to tone that area. Dr. Oz says that a waist size over 32 inches means that you are at greater risk for heart disease. So I would like to lose about  3″-5″ off of my waist. I want to make sure that I am below 32. That’s the largest that it should be.

Miscellaneous: Improve my eating habits. I’ve really gotten better with this over the last month or so. I did have a few set backs, like when I went to Philly and one day at work when I was bombarded with every carb you could imagine. Since my small slip ups I’ve been increasing my water intake, my protein intake, and minimizing the amount of bad fat in my diet.

I’m seeing small results, but I am seeing something. I’m surprised at how much my upper body strength has improved. I gain most of my weight in my upper body so cardio is important and also strengthening my core, arms and shoulders.

I’m using my Prabal Gurung for Target dresses as measurements of progress. Both dresses were a little tight in the upper body so hopefully I see results soon because as soon as it gets warm I’m wearing those dresses!

Here is the new cardio circuit that I’m going to try. This is in between workouts that I have at my job’s bootcamp. The trainer said we need to do at lead 2-3 workouts in between our sessions. I had to go on YouTube to figure out how to do some of the moves but I have them down now. So here is the new circuit I’m starting today. I’ll do this 3 times this week in addition to other strengthening and core workouts.  I found it on Instagram by the way lol

I’ll report back next week on my progress.
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What are some of your fitness goals?

“Fitness is always in Fashion”