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Trying to Make a Come Back

First, I would like to say thanks to everyone who has supported my journey since day one. Second, I would like to apologize for being MIA. Since the last time I did a post I have relocated and changed jobs twice. Yep, I moved three years in a row. I’m not going to make any excuses but all of my hard work and dedication was in vain; I’m back at day one. Being an educator is VERY tough and its extremely hard trying to reach a generation that doesn’t want to be reached. BUT, I’m determined to get back to where I finished and find my strength, courage, and fitness motivation from somewhere. I have a personal trainer and I joined the Y. So with all the money I’m willing to spend to get back in shape I need to get focused. We all know losing weight is just half the battle; keeping it off is war. I have beat myself up enough and even let my self esteem nose dive. But I’m going to keep fighting even if I fall off the wagon again. I have a lot to blog about and I will keep you all posted on my progress. So, if your wagon has collapsed and you are ready to get back on this crazy fitness roller coaster with me just buckle up. This time its going to be better and I’m armed with more fitness weapons. I’m trying to make a come back and I will need all my fitness and prayer warriors on the battle field with me.

#HealthyMakesYouSexy

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All New Everything

allneweverything

YES, I have been MIA from my blog and I just realized how long it has been. WELL, let me say thanks to everyone who has been supporting me on this roller coaster ride. ALSO, thanks for not giving up on me. Let me give you a quick recap on what’s been going on in my life. As most of you know I resigned from my job at the end on 2011 to complete graduated school, do my student teaching, and prepare for exit exams. WELL, I graduated, got a teaching job the following month, and had to relocate to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Me being a die hard Vols fan living in Tuscaloosa is like sleeping with my enemy; literally!!! BUT of course I wasn’t going to turn down a job after not having one for 6 months. So now I’m trying to find some kind of way to get my “fitness life” back to where it was before I moved.

This move honestly has not been the best for me. I’m still trying to play catch up with my finances, adjust to living in a small very small town, and find my fitness mojo. It’s has been months of “all new everything” for me. New career, new city, new life, new everything. It took me months to decide on a gym to join. As much as I loved the YMCA this small town was very limited in options for me and my best option was Planet Fitness. The gym at my apartment complex is way too small for the number of residents living here. UGH, don’t even get me started on living in a huge complex, but that is another rant entirely. Of course I have gained some weight back. I have literally got rid of all my “fat girl clothes” and replaced them with all thrifted clothes. My eating has been all over the place. Being a school teacher I never know what type of day my students decide they want to have. Therefore,  I am constantly ripping and running some days. My eating schedule is pretty much nonexistence. My “all new everything” is not the new things I was hoping for.

I said all that to say that I worked to hard to almost reach my fitness goals to give up and go backwards. Even though I am not happy with what my scale keeps telling me I know I can reverse the roller coaster ride. I know it will not be easy and I know the road will get worse before it gets better but I’m determined to reverse the roller coaster ride. With my current work schedule my only option is to work out at home or work out in our crappy fitness in the morning. I will be working out more after work. I also have very limited places to run which is the one thing I miss the most; running. BUT I’m still determined to reverse the roller coaster ride and make positive “all new everything.”

SOOOO, if you are still fighting the good fitness fight like me PLEASE don’t give up. Life will always get in the way but it’s how you recover that matters the most. I’m determined to get this weight back off me AGAIN and reach my goals. I have some great info and thrifted finds to post so I promise I will not stay away for so long again.

You can check out BACK TO ME to see some current pictures of me. SO stay in the fight and let’s continue to make being healthy sexy!!!!

#Healthymakesyousexy

It’s My Blogiversary

 

WOW, I cannot believe it has been a whole year since I started this blog. It’s even more amazing I have kept it up for an entire year 🙂 WELL, I have been one busy bee since I started this blog. I have participated in several races, did a mud mania challenge, officially joined Black Girls Run, AND manage to graduate from grad school all while losing weight. I am in the best shape I have ever been since high school. Have I fallen off the wagon? Of course I have. Getting in shape and staying in shape in just like a full time job. Sodas is still my worst enemy and I have not mastered kicking that habit for good yet. Fast food is still my second worst enemy and I’m working on kicking that habit as well.  I have managed to stay beef and pork free for over a year and counting. I’m not going to give a ton of excuses why I’ve been on and off the wagon. But sometimes life gets in the way and you take the quick easy options when it comes to eating. WELL, I am in the process of starting a new job and moving to a new city. I am more excited about getting back on my fitness grind once I am settled into my OWN place. I have been keeping Back to Me updated with current pictures. So you can click right on the words “Back to Me” and you can see how I returned back to my former younger body 🙂 I still have to tighten, tone, and lose the 10lbs I gained during my student-teaching. BUT I’ll take a 10lb weight gain over gaining it all back any day. Sooooooo, I know you all are wondering how much weight have I lost? WELL, you will have to read my update in the “About My Journey” section to see where I am now 🙂 I truly appreciate all the love, support, and positive encouragement. This has been a long and hard journey BUT staying healthy and in shape is a part of my lifestyle. Yes, sometimes life gets in your way and you fall off from you daily routine. BUT, don’t stay off the wagon just get back on and keep working hard. I found my fitness notebook loaded with great info while I was packing for my big move.  At one point I wanted to right a fitness manual so  loaded up with research info. Therefore, I will be bloging more about food, exercise, and other healthy tips. I’m so excited about what’s in store and I hope I continue to inspire others as well. This year is not over yet so let’s get back on the grind and continue to make the world sexy by being fit and healthy. Thanks again for all you love and support and please feel free to share my blog with others.

#HealthyMakesYouSexy

30 Day Cardio Challenge Summer Edition

It’s that time of year again for another addition of the 30 Day Cardio Challenge.  If you have been slacking this summer due to the heat here is a perfect time to kick your fitness up to another level. It’s free, you can choose the time, and place to complete each challenge. It you don’t believe it works read My Journey and check out Back to Me. Via email you will get the weekly challenges and a daily motivational email to keep you encouraged. Did I say it was free?

 

Have a safe and blessed Holiday. Eat all you want, enjoy your family, and get ready for the next 30 Day Cardio Challenge.

 

 

#HealthyMakesYouSexy

 

Eating Healthy While Traveling!!

It’s that time of year where people are getting prepared for their summer vacations. I remember as a child my mom ALWAYS packed two coolers with food, drinks, and water when we traveled. She never bought food; never. I’m still trying to figure out how she kept the fried chicken warm for hours. Yeah, I know fried chicken is not healthy 🙂 But anyway, don’t let ALL of your hard work go down the drain and use a vacation as an excuse to over indulge. A LOT of people pack on 10lbs or more after all of their vacations are over. Between loading up on gas station junk food, pit stops at fast food places, and eating at restaurants those calories really add up. And let’s not pretend we will workout, run, or do any other form of exercising while on vacation. I know you are looking at this post sideways and saying to yourself, “well what am I supposed to eat then.” In the words of Erykah Badu, “pack lite.” You need to do like my mom and load up on your own travel, HEALTHY, foods!! One cooler should be filled with food and the other filled with water. AND if you have kids my mom’s methods will save you a LOT of money. TRUST me, the money my mom saved on food meant more money to shop and buy amusement park crap. So here is my summer FREE advice on what foods you can eat while traveling 🙂

FOOD

FIRST, you need to buy snacks and other foods based on how long you will be in the car or plane.  SECOND, you need to buy food based on how long you will be on your trip. You know what HEALTHY foods you like and dislike. Load up on the foods you like the most. Here is a list of great snacks that are healthy and NOT processed foods:

Apples

Oranges

Grapes

Plums

Cherries

Peanuts

Walnuts

Almonds

It is so much cheaper to make your OWN trail mix. I always go to the baking section at the grocery store and buy the big bags of nuts used for baking such as pecans and walnuts. I buy the big sandwich bags and make my own mix. You can add raisins, cranberries, and other sweet fruits to get the sweet and nutty taste.

String cheese

yogurt

If you are going to the beach grill your meat the night before and use an insulated cooler to keep it warm. Make sure you heat it in the oven, wrap it tight in aluminum foil, and place it in the insulated cooler. Or you can cook your meat at the beach. Prepare all your other side dishes the night before. Chips and dip is processed foods BUT it is okay for a beach treat for kids. The bottom line is preparation makes a BIG difference.

If you are traveling to an amusement park research the restaurants BEFORE you travel to that city or state. A lot of businesses now have official websites or facebook pages. Check out their menu so you can let that be your “cheat or indulgentment” meal. You thought I wasn’t going to give you slack 🙂

DRINKS

WATER, WATER, WATER, WATER, WATER, WATER, did I say WATER 🙂

It’s HAWT as HELL no matter where you are going unless you leave the country. Whether at the beach, water park, etc get some WATER in your body. It’s SO very easy to get dehydrated and some people don’t know they are dehydrates until it is too late. Sports drinks are also great to have handy. YES, they are high in sugar BUT, they are great for keeping you hydrated and recovering your body IF you are showing signs of dehydration. SIGH, yes my mom packed sodas on our road trips BUT she ALWAYS had water and she made sure we stayed hydrated.

PIT STOPS

Finally, if you have a lead foot like me you will have to stop at a gas station to refuel 🙂 This is the PERFECT time to make sandwiches for the kiddies, give them a water or juice out the cooler etc. BUT don’t buy the gas station junk food; DON’T YOU DO IT 🙂  I know you are like this heffa ain’t doing all of this. WELL, I DO practice what I preach. When I kicked off my healthy journey last year I had a road trip with my best friends. I packed apples, cereal bars, and a few other snacks. I didn’t buy ANY gas station food and my best friend’s husband even asked for some of my snacks; LOL!!! Since I was practicing Lent I didn’t eat any meat but fish ONLY when we went out to eat. TRUST ME, it was not easy BUT I had gotten 100% serious about my health and that road trip was an ultimate test for me. Remember when you cheat you are ONLY cheating yourself and further setting yourself back. So start making healthy choices in EVERYTHING you do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with “treating” yourself. But you MUST know when a treat becomes over indulging on unhealthy foods. Don’t let the summer set you back and be an excuse to fall off the wagon again. Stay on course and continue to make life long life style changes.

SAFE and Healthy Travels!!!

#HealthyMakesYouSexy

Summer Challenge: Let the Miles of Madness Continue!!!

 

First, let me pay my respect to the soldiers who have lost their lives while serving and protecting our great country:

May God continue to comfort those families who have lost a love one and protect our troops still fighting on foreign soil!!!

NOW, one of my friends posted a summer challenge on facebook yesterday and of course I was ALL on it 🙂 The challenge was posted on Runner’s World called

RW Summer Running Streak 2012

And you ask what exactly are you supposed to do? Just run/walk/wun at least one mile per day until July 4th. If you have lost your mojo or falling off the fitness wagon this is the perfect time to hop right back on. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall what matters the most is how you recover. I personally have not reached all of my fitness goals and I’m not going to go into a laundry list of excuses why. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, who is ready to get fine during the summertime?

So AFTER, you finish eating all the BBQ, baked beans, potato salad, etc all you can stand go take a nice long walk right before the sun goes down. YES, I know it is HAWT as hell I live in HAWT Alabama. You can get up early or go late in the evening BUT save the excuses. Drink plenty of water, Gatorade or powerade and you will be good to go.  One mile a day for 38 days is a breeze. HOWEVER, the ultimate goal is to make them consecutive days…….meaning you MUST do this everyday. If you are on vacation you can do a mile walking around a mall or shopping center. Just “Get ER DONE!” If you have ever done any of the 30 Day Cardio Challenges Mr Shut Up and Train has been sending fitness challenges every week. Also, the ladies of Tone it Up send out weekly challenges. These are things you can do for FREE at home. There is really no excuse for letting your health go. Time to get back to fitness business. Are you in on the challenge?

 

 

#HealthyMakesYouSexy

Bye-Bye Big Belly!!!!

YES, I have been MIA for a while BUT thank GOD I am finally finished with school (for now)!!! LOL, well one of my professors said she was giving me a break then she was coming after me to come back 🙂  BUT anyway you can see a couple of my graduation pictures here —->Oh Happy Day!! SO, now that I’ve finally gotten that out the way I can use ALL this free time job hunting and getting back on the fitness wagon. My internship derailed that train so fast I forgot what I was doing 🙂

One of myfitnesspal sheroes did a great blog post a few months ago about working your abs. I know we all have struggled with the belly fat BUT she hit on some key exercises to help get that Janet Jackson (when she skinnty) abs. Of course I asked for her permission to copy her post and she gave me the thumbs up. PLEASE follow and check out her personal blog Gwen She has a wonderful testimony and very inspiring fitness journey. So grab your note pad and take notes on what you need to do to say bye-bye big belly 🙂

The Quest for Flat Sexy Abs

Posted on 03/05/2012 by Gwendalyne

Yes this is my constant quest, my very own personal desire. This is my very dream to run this summer in a sports bra and shorts. Some may say after having 3 large babies, I should give up, be happy that I’ve lost the weight and wear a one piece bikini for the rest of my life. Well somehow, I just can’t accept that.

I know there are different elements to having a flat abdominal area, in which I am not referring to in this particular blog, such as excess skin or just fat around the middle. Excess skin or abdominal fat, that’s worked off w/the right eating and cardio/strength training. I lost tons of inches on my stomach doing these 3, yet I still get the bloated look. The moment I put a piece of food or liquid in my mouth, my stomach pokes out. Not to mention other times (the ladies know what I mean). It was all kind of getting frustrating. I do my ab work, I can literally feel my 6 pack, but my stomach still pokes out.

I’m not one to take matters lying down you can call me a researcher. If there’s a solution, I’m going to find it. So it really helped me to understand the whole concept of working your core and the different areas of your abs.

  1. Rectus Abdominis
  2. Transverse Abdominis
  3. Obliques

Most of us work the Rectus Abdominis (that’s the 6-8 pack muscles), obliques. We will do tons of crunches…But most of us do not workout the Transverse Abs.

What are those 0_0? Glad you asked

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Transverse abdominis is the deepest, innermost layer of all abdominal muscles. The transverse abdominus holds in the rectus abdominus. So this is the muscle supports the rectus ab and gives you the flat stomach look. Similar to how it is when we ladies or gents suck in your gut. I want that look w/out having to suck in the gut.

Then it dawned on me, after 3 babies of course my inner deepest layer of abs were pretty out of shape. I have been working out hard core for a year now, and just didn’t give any focus to my my Transverse Abs. I notice this also not w/just me but my husband. We both do lifting, cardio, clean eating, and our outer layer of abs are very strong, but we both lacked the slimming look from the side.

So I said of this to explain why I think (my personal opinion) the incorporating a Plank Routine 3-4 times a week is very beneficial to your workout regimen. I have always heard that planks were great for abs, but I never really understood why. In fact I hated planks, they were hard and tough and just not fun. But the moment I realized what they could do for me, planks just moved up in my book. Planks are wonderful at working the Transverse Abdominis (planks work full body as well). Now I’m not saying you don’t ever have to do another crunch again, but I’ve been there and done that and still didn’t have the flat look I was looking for. So I begin to research the plank, and found tons of wonderful information, that helped me to understand what I wasn’t doing.

Again I am not saying this is the cure for excess skin or losing fat around the tummy, this is something to add to your current strength/cardio program.

How to Do the Basic Plank

  1. Get in the pushup position, only put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders. Toes on the ground.
  2. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abdominals.
  3. Keep a neutral neck and spine.
  4. Create a straight, strong line from head to toes – a plank, if you will.
  5. Hold that position.

Things to Remember

  1. Don’t let your hips sag down to the ground. Sagging hips makes the exercise initially easier, but it’s not a plank and it defeats the purpose of the exercise.
  2. Look down at the ground. This is a good prompt for maintaining a neutral neck position.
  3. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

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the is a modified plank for beginners

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This is a basic plank on elbow

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This is harder version, for those who are stronger

If you aren’t use to doing planks, they will be tough. You will feel it in your arms, shoulders, back, and abs. You may have to start w/30 sec holds and work your way up.  Start out on your elbows, if need be

I have listed 3 different examples of plank workout routines, that I myself plan to follow.

Plank Routine 1

Beginners start w/30 sec holds and work your way up

2 Min doing right side plank

2 min doing left side plank

Rest 30 sec

2 min regular plank

Rest 30-60 sec

2 min doing exercise ball plank

Plank Routine 2 

Spiderman Planks 10-15 reps each side 2/3 sets

Plank Twist 10 reps each side 2/3 sets

High low plank 5 starting w/right 5 starting w/left  2/3 sets

Plank Hold 30sec-2 mins 2/3 sets

Plank Routine 3 

Plank Straight leg lift. Hold 10/15 reps each leg. Do 2/3 sets

Plank hold w/feet on bench or stability ball hold 30sec-2 mins. 2/3 sets

Plank feet elevated s/march 1 min  10-15 sec hold on each leg, 2/3 sets

I am in no way an expert, but thought I would share w/you guys. if you are like me and want to have that nice flat look for the summer, try to incorporate plank routines.

Thanks again Gwen for allowing me to use this great blog post.

#HealthyMakesYouSexy

DISCLAIMER:

NO, I’m NOT a doctor. NO, I am NOT a nurse practitioner. NO, I an NOT a nutritionist. NO, I am NOT a certified personal trainer.