Sunday, May 14, 2017

Jump Start!

"Summer Bodies are made in the Winter."

We've all heard that saying, however, let's face it: Most winter days are spent snuggled up with comfort foods and drinks avoiding the cold. Even with my fit lifestyle, I can admit, I don't break out of my winter shell until about February when the pressure of the approaching warm weather begins to mount. With pretty successful weight loss over the last few months, I am nearing my goal weight and only have about 12-15 lbs left to drop and I'm giving myself two months to do it. I love a good overhaul/challenge for myself and I'd love for you to join me!

Given my hectic job/lifestyle, I've been traveling like crazy and eating like crazy. I LOVE bread, pizza, pasta, and potatoes. (I call them the deadly P's!) And while I could cut them out completely, where's the fun in that. Remember, there is no finish line in a weight loss journey, only milestones! So we're going to break this last ditch effort into two three-week challenges. The first challenge will be geared towards nutrition and training our minds and instincts to reach for healthier food options. The second challenge will focus more on building endurance and strength!

Here is my Jump Start Plan!

Round #1
For the next three weeks I will be adhering to the following plan:

NUTRITION:
  • Drink AT LEAST 64 oz of water per day. (that's 8-8oz glasses, 4-16 oz. bottles, or approx. 1/2 gallon) EASY!
  • Eat 3 full meals consisting of the protein of your choice, a healthy fat, non-starchy vegetable, and a complex carbohydrate.
  • Rid diet of fast foods, fried foods, desserts, sugary drinks (sodas/juice), and alcoholic beverages
  • Set a cut off time for eating (I suggest 3 hrs prior to bedtime)
  • SNACK SMART! Reach for fresh fruits and veggies over packaged counterparts
FITNESS:
  • Cardio of your choice: 30 mins, 3-5x/week 
  • DAILY core work (keep it simple! A circuit of crunches, bicycles, and sit-ups will suffice)
  • Bodyweight circuits (home-friendly)
    • Example Bodyweight workout (Complete list of exercises 3x)
      • 20 squats
      • 10 lunges (each leg)
      • 10 side steps (each leg)
      • 10 push-ups (regular or modified)
      • 10 kick-backs (each leg)
      • 10 kick-outs (each leg)
      • 15-30 second plank
    • DONE!
As I always say, it doesn't take a lot to get in shape! Just a commitment to the process and a better, healthier you! I'll be starting this plan 5/15/17! Stay tuned for results around 6/15/17 as well as the second round of this plan!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wanna lose weight and look great? This might not be the post for you.

This is a post for people willing to be honest with themselves and make some REAL lifestyle changes.


I'm approached on a regular basis mostly via social media regarding my weight loss journey. People ask me for my exact meal and exercise plans and want me to write them a step by step plan for how to do what I did. I won't do it for a few reasons. One being that, until you're truly ready to change your life, it won't matter what tools I give you. Another being that my journey is unlike any other and yours will be too. 

I'm beyond flattered and humbled by people gaining such inspiration from my success, but I feel like my mission is far greater than shoving meal plans you might or might not shop for and exercises you may or may not do, down your throats. The goal with losing weight shouldn't be about fitting into a particular size or seeing a particular number in the scale. It shouldn't be about eating 700 calories a day or depriving yourself of your favorite foods. It shouldn't be about losing weight at all, actually. It should be about creating a healthier you and in turn, dropping unhealthy weight. 

It's often said that losing weight is 30% exercise and 70% diet. I believe it's 100% exercise and 100% diet. To truly be successful, you can't afford to only make good decisions 30% or 70% of the time. Don't misconstrue this as making nothing but perfect decisions, but instead making conscious decisions. For example, if you're having one of those days and have a sweet craving that only a Snickers will cure, choose that candy bar 100% conscious of what effect it will have on your goals. 

Have I had a fuck-up free weight loss journey? Absolutely not, but I will say my mindset  has helped me keep 90% of my weight off for over 2 years WITH some major life changes. Vegetarianism was not a goal for me from the start, but little did I know, decisions I had been making for months prepared me for it. First to go was pork, then beef, chicken and fish were the last to go. I tirelessly researched vegetarian recipes and food alternatives to ensure my transition would be as painless as possible. Preparedness is key. 

The key to maintaining a good diet is simply using the knowledge you already have. We all know fried foods and dishes laden with butter, cheese, and fat are unhealthy. CUT THEM OUT. Sodas/sugary juices? CUT THEM OUT. Cookies, cakes, pies, etc? CUT THEM OUT. Now let me be frank, I have a ridiculous sweet tooth, so I will proudly grab a cookie if I give in to my cravings but I also give in with the knowledge that while that cookie may help my mood, it will not help my results.  Remember what I said about conscious decisions? That's one I make on a regular basis. 

Your success with exercise will be a direct result of your work ethic and dedication to the process. You don't have to go in the gym on your first day and run an 8 minute mile or be able to bench 200lbs. I vividly remember my first day at Powerhouse and 10 minutes into a workout on the elliptical, I literally felt like I was going to die and had no intentions on going back. My friend was paying a daily rate for me to come because my commitment wasn't there yet. But I went back the following week. Then a few days later, then the next day until I was faithfully going each day after work for an hour. That <10 minutes turned into 15, then 20, then 30, then 45, then 60. Same with simple exercises like crunches, sit ups, and even jumping jacks. I started with what I could do and built my strength from there. With countless apps and Instagram pages devoted to beginner and unconventional fitness, it's not hard to run across an in home workout to give a try. My favorite apps are MyFitnessPal (calorie tracker/food diary), Freeletics (workout app featuring exercises that require little to no equipment) and I search Instagram on a regular for different exercises to keep my workouts fresh. 

I never treated my journey as if there was a deadline or an end date. Instead I approached it as a lifestyle change. I knew the changes I made would require my attention and effort if I wanted to truly live a healthy life. Now I understand for some, the goals aren't that deep and perhaps a bomb ass dress for a wedding coming up or a birthday outfit you've had your eye on is the goal. Even with that, your success will depend on the same factors I've outlined here. 

My secret to success isn't a secret at all. Stop making excuses, start making changes, and most importantly, hold yourself accountable.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Get Right Plan Check In

As I approach my first week on the 21 Day Get Right Plan, I am noticing so many positive changes in myself both physically and mentally! I will be taking weekly progress pics and posting them at the end of the 21 days to show how I progressed over the course of the plan. Even though 21 days is much shorter than the traditional 60 or 90 day plan, I still think weekly (7 day) check ins are necessary. They afford you the opportunity to reflect on what you ate, how you exercised and from there, allow you to evaluate your decisions and either adjust to increase productivity or stay on the course you're already on!

My first 7 day roundup revealed the following:
- I'm able to simply tell myself "no" when presented with unhealthy food choices.
- I'm able to self-motivate to exercise and actually complete an effective workout.
- I stop before purchasing and ordering food and ask myself "How will this factor into my plan/success?"
- My stomach has come down considerably and my arms and legs are slowly but surely looking more toned.

I am SO looking forward to seeing my results at the end of the plan!

Join Me! It's not too late to get started. Check my previous post for rules/guidelines.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Get Right Plan

Hello All!

I have gotten back on track health-wise in recent months, working out more regularly and eating better. I often pull motivation from my dedication to healthy eating and exercising when I first began my weight loss journey almost 3 years ago. After surprising myself and dropping 20+ lbs I had gained through stress, poor diet, and little to no physical activity, I am currently back to my previous "comfortable weight." As we all know, with this lifestyle, there is no such thing as a truly comfortable weight. The bigger issue is the fact that I have become more comfortable with my eating and exercising regimen (or the lack thereof) and needed a jumpstart to point me in the right direction. At only about 25lbs from my goal weight, I made a plan to discipline myself like I once had to lose the weight initially.

I give you, the 21 Day, Get Right Plan! Now, the great thing about this plan is that you can tailor it specifically for you and your food vices. I, for one, love sweets, cheese, and bread/pasta. With that, I'm challenging myself to limit these foods from my diet. These are my food vices and I realize that not everyone struggles with these foods the same. The goal of this plan is to challenge yourself to eliminate or reduce the unhealthy foods that you think you NEED in your diet and replace them with healthier yet satisfying alternatives. Below are the guidelines I will be following.

-NO Sweets
-NO pop/soda/juice
-NO unnecessary or added salt/fat/carbs
-NO alcohol
-REDUCE coffee intake to one cup per day. (**Allowed one cup of black coffee prior to workout**)
-LIMIT snacking to healthier options and carefully provisioned portions.

-Exercise 4-6x/week alternating muscle groups and full body workouts.
-Drink half my weight in oz daily (this will take a hit with my job, but I'm going to drink as much as possible)
-Protein Shakes 2x daily

I do pretty well with my calorie burn in the gym so my diet is where I needed to apply some real discipline and planning. I will be posting my starting pics on here and IG and Facebook! Let's see what kind of change we can make in 21 days of hard work and dedication!

This 21 day plan is running from May 11-June 1. If you're just starting today, that's ok! 21 days is the time frame.

Drop me a comment if you have questions or feel free to email me @ themulattotruth@gmail.com!

Here's to a healthier, happier YOU!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Progress Update

Hello All!

If you follow me on instagram (@mulattoimposter), you have seen me post about my journey to get back in shape given my new career and lifestyle. Well, I am happy to report, I AM BACK TO MY PREVIOUS LOWEST WEIGHT! I lost 25 lbs after gaining it back as a new commercial flight attendant. I attribute my weight gain to an ever-changing schedule, poor food options, and lack of creativity in regards to exercise.

With me used to cooking daily and exclusively using full service gyms (LA Fitness, Powerhouse) for the brunt of my initial weight loss journey, my knowledge of workouts that required little to no equipment, was minimal to say the least. After looking in the mirror and realizing that I had thrown away so much hard work, I knew it was up to me to make some serious changes. I'd always packed food with me for trips but much of it was processed and required a microwave. I began packing fresh fruits and vegetables when at all possible and ensuring I had healthy snack options. I ditched the Cokes and Sprites in the beverage cart, for bottles of water that I replenished throughout the day. As for my workouts, I browsed instagram and other social media outlets for body-weight exercises I could do anywhere, which was especially useful for hotels that didn't have large fitness centers. I also cut out all alcohol from my diet due to its high sugar content and the impact it has on your metabolism.

Within 12 weeks, I had lost 25 lbs and gotten back into my size 14 jeans comfortably. Now, with May approaching, I am about 20lbs from my goal weight and 35 from my stretch goal weight!! I couldn't be happier with the results. My lifestyle presents a constant challenge to stay focused, but I've learned that this journey has to be taken one day at a time and the end goal is just that, the END goal. As my favorite boss used to say, 'TRUST THE PROCESS!'

As always, if you need/want information on anything, please feel free to email me: themulattotruth@gmail.com!




Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Checking In...

Checking In

Hello All! Hope your 2016 is off to a stellar start! This isn’t going to be a full update post, as in about 3 weeks I will be doing my next official weigh-in and measurement update. Since my last post, I have made some awesome changes to my workout regimen and the proof is in the pictures! I went back to work on 1/15 and knew there was a possibility that I’d be gone for about 10-11 days. I decided to use it to my advantage as each day I’d have at least some cardio equipment available to me.

I’ve always struggled with finding a routine that works for me in the gym that I’m able to keep up with. So this time around, I decided to quickly jot down the exercises I wanted to do before I went in. It was an AMAZING help and is now a regular practice for me. I’ll share with you my original workout plan as well as my newly modified one that I have just started implementing. I have yet to complete it! I love being able to present myself with that kind of challenge. I recommend spending a few bucks on a resistance band to get the same effect if free weights/equipment aren’t available. **Keep in mind, the names of some of these exercises may be “original” but Google should be able to return some results for you. Also, these workouts are meant for scarcely equipped fitness centers. Your gym might have a machine that works just the same. **

My first workout was simple. It was just a reminder of my cardio goal and my core workout circuit.
  • ·      30 minutes of cardio (I choose the elliptical, but jogging or walking on an incline are equally acceptable.)
  • ·      3 sets/12 deadlifts (free weights of your choice)
  • ·      3 sets/12 weighted squats
Core Circuit (3 sets)
  • ·      20 bicycles
  • ·      20 crunches
  • ·      15 leg raises
  • ·      10 superman
  • ·      12 kick-backs
  • ·      12 kick-outs 

No break between exercises and 30sec-1min breaks between sets.

This is meant to be a quick and effective workout, great for those who work full time or have varyingly long workdays. If free weights were available, I would add 3 sets/12-15 bicep curls and butterflies. Amp up your fat burn by doing 50 jumping jacks between sets!

That’s the fun part of working out, aside from listening to your body to safely complete the exercises, THERE ARE NO RULES!

After doing this workout for a few days with no struggle, I added 5 reps here and there to continue building my resistance.

My newest workout is much more intense, addressing core, legs, and chest/arm exercises. This workout can also be completed with limited equipment. As this workout is meant to be “full body” you can easily choose one or two areas/day. I recommend doing the core circuit each day as those muscles recover more quickly than the others. 

·      30-45 minutes cardio
Core Circuit (3 sets)
·      25 bicycles
·      25 crunches
·      20 leg raises
·      20 toe reaches
·      15 superman
·      45 second plank
Leg Circuit (3 sets)
·      20 weighted squats
·      10 lunges
·      25 squat pulses
·      10 Bulgarian split squats
·      45 second wall sit
·      18 kick-backs
·      18 kick-outs
Arm/Chest Circuit (3 sets)
·      15 push-ups (I’m working on building my upper body strength so I do “girl” pushups”)
·      20 bicep curls
·      12 chest press
·      12-15 butterflies (light weight to ensure full range)
·      12-15 twist bicep/tricep curls

No break between exercises and 30sec-1min breaks between sets.

Be sure to stretch after your workout to minimize soreness/tightness. If you drink protein shakes, be sure to drink it immediately after your workout while your body is still working!

Staying true to the biggest part of any fitness plan, my diet, I have been staying away from known fat-laden and carb-rich foodI’ve been using the ever popular, but super helpful My Fitness Pal to keep track of my food intake. I’m not a huge calorie counter, but MFP is a good way to recognize flaws in your diet and/or help you stay on track if you do have caloric goals!

These are not "do or die" plans. Modify them to your fitness level! I workout daily but 4-5x/week is plenty! Get Active!!

If you have questions about any of these exercises or anything else for that matter, don’t hesitate to email me: themulattotruth@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Winter Workaholic

Hello All!

As I look back on 2015, I see a year full of amazing journeys and triumphs as well as some menial failures. As many of you know, I spent the end of 2013 and much of 2014 losing over 70 pounds! After relocating to Atlanta, GA last fall for a few months, then becoming a flight attendant in January 2015, I looked up and I had fallen off the bandwagon I worked so diligently to get on. As you can imagine, the life of a flight attendant is very hectic, unpredictable, and in my case, unhealthy. Looking to airport terminals and hotel bars for nourishment, I didn’t feel as well as I once had. I tried a few times throughout the year to get into a good workout/diet groove, but my streaks seldom lasted more than a few days.

I knew I had gained weight and lost my muscle definition but refused to get on a scale and face the truth. Much to my surprise, I had only gained about 10 lbs. But the extra weight along with a poor diet and no exercise, felt like I was back to square one. I found myself at a crossroads, struggling to take the blame off my lifestyle and accept the fault as my own. After many failed attempts at getting back on track, I found the perfect opportunity to make a change. With only a day or two off during the busy Christmas/New Years holiday travel season, I decided to load my schedule up, ultimately resulting in 17 straight days of flying! Included were 15 layovers, which meant at least 15 opportunities to get off my butt and get a workout in.

My workouts consisted of at least 15 minutes of intense cardio (I hate cardio!) as well as at least 25 minutes of weight lifting with a decent ab routine included. After only 7 days, I began to see and feel a great difference in my body. I drank one serving of a pre-workout supplement before each workout just to give me a boost of energy to get through my workouts after a long day. Immediately following my workout I drank a protein shake (Muscle Milk cookies ‘n’ crème is my favorite) I also paid close attention to my diet, cutting out alcohol (empty calories) and sweet or salty snacks and sodas. I LOVE my bread, but also kept that to a minimum, opting for whole grain or low carb options whenever possible. I stopped eating at least 3 hours before bedtime and drank a protein shake upon rising.  For the first time in nearly a year, I was able to have a routine!!

I’m currently down 14lbs and still working hard!! Pics to come! As always, if you or anyone you knows needs help with their journey, feel free to contact me: themulattotruth@gmail.com!!


Here’s to Healthy Living!!