My motto is simply this Exercising+Eating Right+Consistency=Results...I started my fit4life journey in October 2011. I took my starting pictures in September of 2011. These pictures were never intended on being shared. I thought only God & myself would be the only one’s to see them. I just wanted to see myself through my cameras eyes. I didn’t look in the mirror too long at myself to admit I needed to make a change. Oh I knew I needed to but taking a picture exposing the places I tried hiding so much was something I needed to do. When I saw how I really looked I immediately was in denial saying to myself well it’s just the camera, oh it’s the angle, etc. In October I researched on belly fat and the risks associated with it. That was a wake up call for me. Plus I wanted to set a good example to my children. Most importantly I wanted to be a healthy me. I was tired of feeling sluggish & out of shape. This wasn’t my first attempt of losing weight. I’ve tried plenty times before but stopped after 3 weeks maybe the longest I’ve gone was close to 2 months. The difference between then & now is I made the decision to be fit for life not just for a short period of time. Not just until I lost a certain amount or until I got down to a certain number on the scale. This was going to become a lifestyle for me. I started working out to some Taebo dvds I’ve had for awhile. I could only do about 20- 30 minutes of a workout. There were times I couldn’t even finish an entire workout. It was so challenging doing some moves but I kept at it. I didn’t have a set schedule for working out I just got one in when I could. Being a stay at home mom of three children made it challenging finding the time to get in a workout. On average I worked out 5 times a week. I started with Taebo then I stated doing Billy Blanks Jr. Dance With Me workout, then I got Zumba. I also enjoyed doing some pilates since my midsection was a big problem area for me. It also helped a lot with flexibility as well. I also had an elliptical. that I would work on too in case I didn’t want to do a dvd workout. So I would rotate between those to keep from getting bored. Also my hubby & I found ways to be more active as a family so we would go play tennis together. We’d also go walking as well. Now as I began to become stronger physically my workouts increased. I did more. & I began to push my body to the max. To date I’ve lost 33 lbs and I’m telling you it seemed so hard to lose that amount. For some people they could lose that in a shorter period of time but for me it took awhile. I remember hitting a plateau in April 2012 I believe and started power walking. So on top of getting in a regular dvd workout I would also power walk in the evenings. That really helped because my body had become adapted to what I was doing before so it needed a change to be changed even more. I also added strength training in. Jillian Michaels workouts are awesome! They are tough and you may not like her during the workout but it will get you some results. I also did 4 weeks of Insanity. To be completely honest I’m ok with doing the Jillian Michael workouts for my strength training. I almost have all of her workouts. In my dvd collection.   As far as my eating I wasn’t really strict in that area. I didn’t count calories but I tried my best to make healthy food choices. Starting out I did have a journal where I’d write down how I felt during this journey & even to track what I ate. To be honest that didn’t last long because me personally it can be very hard for me to stick with writing stuff down in a journal daily. It was helpful when I did write in my journal, so I do encourage people to start one because they may need one to help them stay disciplined. Writing in a journal is an eye opener because you can see what you‘re really eating in a day. It allows you to be completely honest with yourself. . Ok back to the eating I didn’t like oatmeal so I learned how to make homemade granola cereal using oats. The recipe I found called for oats,honey,and butter. Yes butter I used that starting out. Like I said I wasn’t super strict with my eating.. .Now when I make this granola cereal I don’t even use butter in the recipe. I use a little bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Virgin Coconut Oil in the place of butter. So a normal breakfast for me is either my homemade granola cereal with fruit & nuts sprinkled on top with milk with a cup of coffee or just a granola bar with coffee. Sometimes I would make a fruit smoothie for my breakfast or maybe I would make Eggs & Turkey Bacon it just depended on what mood I was in. Even when I was trying my best to eat right I still slipped up & ate bad. I’m not going to lie. So I would recommend you researching healthy breakfast ideas. I’m telling you google can be your friend when it comes to finding some good recipes. J Now for my lunches I would have a spinach leaf salad with either avocado, onions ,carrots, and fresh broccoli. I would drizzle it with a little bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with a little bit of garlic seasoning on top. I’d either eat that with Tuna, Baked Tilapia,or Baked Chicken. I ate a lot of salad & fish. I would also have baked fish with a veggie stir fry. There were times when I would make a protein shake for my lunch too especially if my day was really busy. For supper I would usually eat something similar to what I had at lunch .Then there were times I would usually have what I made for the family. For example if I made chicken, veggies and mashed potatoes I would skip the potatoes for myself or if I really wanted some I only put a small amount in my plate. Just being honest with you. Even though I’ve heard to stay away from potatoes when you’re wanting to lose weight I haven’t completely stayed away from potatoes LOL! I don’t eat them a lot but I do still eat them from time to time. I also enjoy eating sweet potatoes which is even a better choice. . I still ate beef occasionally & I do eat turkey as well. Now I still ate out (fast food) from time to time on this journey. I don’t want you all to think I was super perfect with my eating all the time or that I was strict because I wasn’t. However I made sure that most of the time I was eating good. So again for good ideas please research on healthy recipes & meals. Some snacks I enjoyed were Fruit Smoothies,Popcorn,Pistacios,granola bars. I’d usually find a healthy recipe online for cookies & granola bars to bake. There was a lot of trial & error because I didn‘t always like them. I also started drinking more teas since I’ve been on this journey :Green Tea,Chamomile Tea, and Peppermint Teas are my favorites. I also like the Yogi Teas (Cold Season,Berry Detox,and the Regular Detox Tea,Cocoa Spice Tea). I also increased my water intake since being on this journey. The recommended amount of water that you should be drinking is half your body weight in ounces. I didn’t always drink my water like I should & I still struggle from time to time. Remember water is important in keeping your body healthy. I wanted you all to get an idea of some of the things that I ate & drank.. So the thoughts I’d like to leave with you is I've heard some people make the statement you can be healthy and bigger or they may say I love my curves. Nothing against that and I know that you can be bigger & in good health. I was bigger and my health was good BUT for how long?? For me I was bigger but I knew that belly fat was not good for my health. Oh I had curves but was that really good for my health?? My waist measurement starting out was almost 40 inches. I read in an article that a waist measurement of 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men is unhealthy. There are health risks associated with it like heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. So I knew I needed to change. As a mother I had to set an example for my three children & not allow this to become a cycle for my children & then their children. So thankful I made that change.. Remember there's no secret. I'm telling you Exercising+Eating Right+Consistency=Results...Never give up. Yes it's tough but you've got to stick with it & keep at it. You will see progress!

Philippians 4:13 (NIV) I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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