So here we are, officially in spring 2016 and summer will be knocking down our door in less than a few months. Most of you who know about my health journey, know that I’ve come a long way on my quest to being my optimal fit self. I went from a major weight-loss journey to be eligible for organ donation to my Dad, to then receiving word that despite my efforts, my health could still be seriously at risk if I didn’t get healthier and stay healthy. There have been a lot of emotional ups and downs, but with that comes a long list of tips and tricks that I’ve accumulated that I hope will help some of you. Whether you’re doing this to lose weight, to maintain your health or just to look good, you can take something from this. Here are 5 ways to stay motivated on your fitness journey, that I hope inspire you all to keep going:
Eat Me Up Cuisine’s Chef Alexia Grant is on a mission to feed the world. When she’s not cooking up vegan feasts for celebrities, including fashion designer and reality star Angela Simmons, or developing creative healthy eating challenges to engage and motivate her beloved clients, she’s lending her services to charitable endeavors like the hashtag movement #TakeCareofNewark where with the help of local activists the New Jersey native worked to feed over 700 less fortunate members of Newark’s population.
Learn more about this amazing chef below!
Since my last update, I’m officially 4 more pounds down! I can’t begin to explain how excited I am that my weight loss program has been going so well. Not only am I more active now, working out 3-4 times a week, but I’ve been actively following the Nutrisystem meal plan (all except that one weekend in Nashville when I just HAD to get some Hot Chicken and authentic BBQ!) and I’m now 10 pounds down!
Hey guys! So you can officially consider this my Week 1 update on the Nutrisystem. As I explained in this blog post, I’m on a journey to drop 30 lbs this summer so I can get closer to being eligible to donate a kidney to my Dad. I’ve decided to ditch diets completely and instead focus on a lifestyle change with steady weight loss by healthy eating habits and fitness.
My good friend Lexi of LexiWithTheCurls.com was such an inspiration to me. She started off her personal weight loss journey by using Nutrisystem and told me that it really helped her with portion control and curbing the addiction to carbs. So I reached out to them and they were gracious enough to offer me a free trial of the program to see how it works for me.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been on the plus side of sizing whether it was in height or weight. As an elementary school kid, I started sprouting curves way before my peers. I was always the tallest girl in the class (yes I had to close the door behind the class and turn off the lights). I became comfortable with being different and larger in size from a small age, and subsequently with having more responsibility. It wasn’t until Junior High that I realized my size could actually effect everything from my love life to my shopping trips to the mall with friends.
One of the reasons I started this blog was because I realized the importance and impact of the statement “When you look good, you feel good.” So much of what we adorn on the outside is deeply connected to how we feel about ourselves on the inside. So it only follows that you are way more motivated and hyped to step out the door when you’re wearing something that makes you look great.
Well, that doesn’t just stop at your corporate suits or chic summer festival frocks. It also applies to your workout gear. You’re almost always more motivated to go on that run around the block when you have a shiny new pair of workout sneaks to flaunt. Or that matching pink sweatsuit you can’t wait to run the treadmill in at the gym the morning after you’ve purchased it.
We’re all guilty of it. Overindulgence is synonymous with the holiday season. From the calorie-laden cocktails to the salt and sugar-packed family favorite dishes, it’s pretty hard to avoid indulging during the season. You’re indulging at the store with your gift shopping and such, why not indulge at the dinner table, right? You’ve waited all year for this!
The truth is, the fact that you’ve been good all year is an even better reason NOT to veer off your healthy regimen. Why mess thing up by heading into the new year with extra pounds? And even if you haven’t been the best and healthiest version of yourself, you will no doubt have health and fitness as a New Year’s resolution, right? Negate the need for stretchy pants at your next holiday function. Here are three ways to avoid packing on inevitable pounds during the holidays. Thank me later.
1. Plan Ahead To Avoid Temptation
You KNOW you’re going to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving just for her famous pumpkin pie. And why should you deprive yourself? It’s award-winning after all. Well if you know that’s the biggest indulgence of the evening, save your calories for it. Pack healthy snacks to munch on instead of those chicken wing appetizers. Pile your dinner plate up with mostly veggies and salad. Minimize carbs and gravy-soaked meat dishes on your dinner plate. Once you finally sink your teeth into that pumpkin pie, you won’t feel nearly as guilty because you planned ahead and saved your indulgences for dessert.
A few weeks ago I announced to you all that LoveBrownSugar would be taking a brief hiatus. In celebration of the blog’s 5 year anniversary, I decided to take some time off, reflect and enjoy the last few weeks of summer with my new bundle of joy who is growing so incredibly fast. What I didn’t expect was how eye-opening the experience would be. Just having time to “be” instead of “do” was such a huge shift for me. I’m always on a tight schedule with multiple deadlines and somewhere to be, someone to see, or something to do. Having time to reflect and brainstorm and discover this little thing called “spare time” really helped me develop a sense of gratitude about my life and the wonderful things in it, including my daughter.
So a few weeks ago I did a post about my #FABFit challenge in which I made a promise to myself to do my best to eat healthier and cleaner, cut down on my calorie intake and start to work out. It wasn’t a “diet” or a “cleanse” or anything dramatic. Just me and some friends dedicating ourselves to doing better and making small changes in our lifestyles that would eventually lead to big results over time.
Well I’m proud to say that since starting my challenge to a healthier me, I’ve not only lost over 12 pounds but I’ve also gained a tremendous sense of awareness about how change REALLY takes place. It’s not about a crash diet or a crazy 6-week workout regimen, or even one particular “miracle” product. It’s about making healthier choices and decisions each day, no matter how small.
This is exactly why I was so excited to partner up with Crystal Light’s #TinyWin campaign. Cutting down on excessive calories is just one small piece of the puzzle towards being healthier. Crystal Light obviously helps with making the switch from high-calorie beverages by providing low or no-calorie options that are still delicious and make it easier for you to make the transition. Whether it’s mixing up a mocktail with one of their powdered mixes instead of a high-calorie cocktail or simply choosing to walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator at work in the morning, celebrating just one tiny win a day leads you to ultimately embracing a healthier you. So here are some of the GOOD habits I’ve picked up after my recent fitness challenge:
1. Drinking WAY more water.
One of the most important ways to live a healthier lifestyle is to drink more H20. As a building block of life, it’s the best way to hydrate yourself. I’ve never really had a problem with drinking water straight up without any flavoring or extra anything added to the mix. But I know so many people who need great taste in order to get their extra liters of water in for the day. Do what you need to! I’d suggest trying out Crystal Light’s Liquid on-the-go packs. They’re great for flavoring your water when you’re out and about and don’t have much time.
2. Exercising at LEAST twice a week.
So I started both Zumba and Kickboxing classes and I LOVE them. I’ve posted on my Instagram page before about my new love for my group exercise classes. I’ve found that working out in a group is best for me because I’m motivated around other people. It makes exercising easier for me.
3. Eating more GREEN.
Can I be real with y’all for a sec? I really don’t like vegetables. Yeah I said it. Eating more vegetables has been my biggest challenge and the only way I’ve been able to get more green into my life is with creative recipes and juicing. I’ve developed an affinity for green juices in the morning (and when I get a sweet tooth!) and I’ve also tried quite a few new salad and grilled veggie recipes that are now my staples. It’s not as difficult as you think. Once you being to experiment and find what works for you, the rest falls right into place.
So, what are some of YOU doing to keep yourself healthy despite the “lazy summer” draws of BBQ & beer every weekend. Share your #tinywin with the class and let’s motivate each other!
This post was sponsored by Crystal Light. Opinions expressed herein are my own and not those of the company.
I can’t believe it’s June already! 2014 is almost halfway complete and there is still SO MUCH I still have left to accomplish before the year ends. Unfortunately I got a late start on achieving my health/weight goals this year because of BabyBrownSugar. Instead of cutting down on calories and exercising more, I had to eat more (breastfeeding will do that to you) and stay in the house with a newborn for nearly 4 months. Sigh..not the best way to kick off my #operationsnapback.