Let me ask you a question:
Have you ever (on your wellness journey) look at someone else's progress and you become jealous?
I will admit, I have been there.
Have you ever felt that the person you envy's journey is quicker than yours? Or that you wanted the results that they have?
Let me say this. I HAVE BEEN GUILTY OF THIS!
The truth of the matter is, everyone's health journey is different! Just like the milestones of life, we all experience them at different times/points in life. I will use myself as an example. I have been on my journey for a few years. I have lost close to 25 pounds as well as several inches off my bust and waist. I was on social media and saw a girl from high school who lost a significant amount of weight and looked really great. Although happy for her, seeing your amazing progress made me feel that I should be further along in the three years that I have been on the journey. I almost wanted my body to look like hers. The truth is, and this especially occurs in women, we see our fellow sisters as competition rather than a team player. Surely my classmate worked hard for her results, just like I worked hard for mine. That was when I realized that jealousy does not work on this type of journey. The journey is what you make of it. It isn't a "one size fits all".
Just remember the next time you want to envy someone else's results, that your results matter and that they are on the way! Like a horse that wears blinders in a race, wear your blinders. Focus on your journey!
Hello everyone! For starters, Happy New Year! I want to give you all an update on my health journey:
Earlier this month was a challenge emotionally. My dad passed away from cancer on January 3rd. His death was one that, although I knew that the cancer would be the cause of death, you are never really prepared for it. Things had seemed fine until two weeks later, when I went for a walk to the Target nearby. Being that my dad lived nearby as well, I often ran into him on my walks to the store. It wasn't until this particular day of walking to Target, when I realized that he was gone. I walked to the store with the expectation that I would see my dad in passing. I was almost looking for him on my walk, and that was when it was like, "No, I'm not going to see him." It stung a bit. To combat this, I started a walking routine in the afternoons to keep myself from spiraling mentally and go into depression. It has been two weeks and it has been helpful. For two weeks I walk for 30 minutes a day. Starting tomorrow, I will dedicate 45 minutes to an hour a day walking. I started tracking my food again to make myself more aware of what I am eating. Overall, my mood has been uplifted!
I will make sure to update next month!
Almost forgot about the birth of my baby! (Whew good thing I'm not a parent lol jk )
I started Fitness Slayers! as a weight loss/management support group on social media after a group I was a member of had disbanded. I liked the support I had from that group and wanted to help others who were on the healthy lifestyle journey. It wasn't until I was sitting in my living room four years ago today, when I heard God say, "This is it. This is the start of your career." So I followed that!
Fitness Slayers! has gone through quite a bit, having a presence on social media and expanding services to include Zumba and meditation in addition to health coaching. It has been a wonderful ride, one that I'm nowhere near ready to getting off. So Happy Birthday my dear baby, here's to many more!
Top: September 2018
The scale may not show much change (13 pound weight loss) but I'm losing inches!! 😁😁😁
My tip is this: Always judge your progress through ways other than the scale!
There is more to come!
So I had been stressed a lot lately between school and work (mostly work), but I am so glad that I am finding solace through going to the gym for the last two months. In the beginning of my gym routine/journey, I was seeing it as my daily workout routine wanting to crush some fitness goals. As time went by, I was enjoying it more and more, sometimes feeling bummed when I can't make it to the gym but I crush it the next time I'm there.
Exercise has always been one of the things that alleviated my stress, but this time I have found a more healthy way of doing it. I mentioned previously that I used to overdo the exercise to maintain a very small frame (one that I do not wish to have again) to the point that it became an obsession. It took some time but I have managed to enjoy working out without having to obsess over how long I should be working out and how many exercises I should be doing.
I know that I am making progress. The shirt I am wearing in the photo on the left is a large. Normally I wear either XL or an XXL, but realized those sizes were too big now. How exciting is that! I'm gonna keep on keeping on. Can't wait to share the next update (wink).
So after a hiatus I started going back to the gym in late August/early September, going in the afternoons after work. I go around the lunch hour, where the older crowd are finishing up their morning exercise classes. Because of my work schedule I can't make it to the early exercise classes, so I just go and use the cardio and weight machines. For cardio I use the treadmill and bike, and for weight machines I use just about all of them: bicep, tricep, leg extensions, and hip abductor/adductor to name a few. I have also made a habit to write my daily workouts in a journal.
The photo on the left is my post-workout selfie from today's workout. This week is the 7th consecutive week that I have been going to the gym and I am seeing progress. Skinnier arms and waist, more toned legs and booty, and a smaller face. There are still trouble areas that I am dealing with (and really who doesn't?), but taking these photos only motivates me to keep going!
About three weeks ago I went to the gym when it opened at 5am to get my workout in before having to go in to work later that morning. I was excited about going in that morning because I wanted to go to at least one of the classes and use a couple of the machines. I first went to the desk upon walking in to show my ID and get my gym key card. After getting that situated, I started to head toward the locker room so that I can put my backpack in a locker before going to one of the classes. Before I got far, a gentleman greeted me and knew right away I was new. He introduced himself and asked if I was going to the BodyAttack class that was about to start in a few minutes, located in front of us. Honestly, I was going to wait until taking the 6am class, but I decided to go to the 5:30am class. I went to put my backpack in a locker and headed to class with my bottle of water.
I looked around the room and was a little intimidated when I saw that there were people who you knew were regulars versus a first timer like me. Surprisingly, I saw one of my regular customers from work in the class, and that actually made me feel good. The instructor approached me and introduced himself, saying to listen to my body during the class, and to do modified moves if necessary. He stepped on the podium and got class started. At first I was catching up with everyone, but then it got intense! Class went into high gear, but I kept moving, even if it meant to do modified versions of the exercises. In such a little bit of time I was breaking a sweat (and I don't sweat much when I work out)! The last five minutes of class focused on push ups, so everyone had to get a mat. My regular customer handed me a mat and said to do my best, and added that it was nice that someone else he knew was in the class. The push up section was also intense, but I did my best without hurting myself. Then, class was over. I survived!
My intention was to take the following two classes, but I decided to go on the machines instead. I went on the treadmill, bike, and weight machines to get a full body workout before leaving to head to work. Overall it was a great experience and environment that I will be making a regular habit!
So it has been a while since I posted in the blog here. A lot has been going on with family and such that I hadn't updated on my progress.
My mental/emotional wellness took a dip in March, when I learned that my dad had a stroke that was caused by a malignant brain tumor. Although my dad and I never really had a relationship, his health condition still concerned me so I did what I could do given the circumstance (e.g., hospital visits, texting, etc.) This did put a damper on my progress as I felt tension among other relatives toward me, making me have feelings of being unwanted. Worse, it made me put a hold on business activities and my mother (God Bless her) had to snap me back to reality. Feelings leveled off until recently, that my dad was sick again and I felt this time I really needed to let go, forgive, etc., so that I can start feeling better again and focus on my health and helping others achieve better health.
With that said, I joined the gym last week! It is the YMCA and is walking distance from my job. I joined for two reasons. One, there have been times where I struggle working out at home. If I go to the Y on the days I work after I get off work, it will push me to go work out. Two, I would be helping my mom get some motivation as she likes going to the gym, but doesn't like going alone. We last went together a few years ago (as her guest) and we did the weight machines, and let me tell you we both felt the burn! My plan now is to tone using those machines and do cardio using a treadmill, stepper, elliptical, etc.
Prior to joining the gym, the cardio I was incorporating included weekly walks to Target and playing Michael Jackson: The Experience on my Wii. I would do some toning that focused on arms and abs in-between. My weight prior to all of what was going on was 228. During my stressful period it hung around 233, but now that I have taken control back on my health it has gone down to 231.5. I am on my way toward bigger progress. I still want to hit below 200 as my first major goal. The picture you see was a workout selfie from my walk to Target about a week ago. I noticed even in this picture my face getting smaller, so I know I am doing something right!
I will keep you guys (and girls) posted more on my progress. One day at a time!
Sometimes when you are on a lifestyle journey with certain goals in mind such as weight loss, you can get frustrated when you think you are not making progress. What I have done at the beginning of my journey is take a few "before" pictures to have as a baseline, and when I get to a certain point take new pictures and compare them to my baseline.
The photo on the left was my baseline. 242.5 pounds. Yes!
Now, the photo to the right is 228 pounds. 14.5 pounds! Wow!
It may not be much to some, but I can't deny the progress I have made in 4 months! Just like my last post where I saw the changes in my face, my body is following suit! I plan to keep this going, and I will post an even bigger update!
Any success is a great success, am I right??
The left photo was from my birthday in July, while the right photo was from my vacation at the end of November of this year. The difference? 10 pounds and a slimmer face!
Well, at the time of the photo it was 8 pounds lost, but I have lost 2 pounds since that photo, making it a total of 10 pounds lost during my journey!
This is kind of a big deal for me, because I had been struggling during the journey. I didn't think I would reach double digits before the end of the year (not that I was giving myself a timetable). One of my friends had told me about a month ago that she noticed that my face was slimmer. It was hard to see that given that I look at myself in the mirror everyday, but I decided to pull up some photos in my phone to see for myself. Wow, was she right!
In honesty, I had noticed the slimmer face in my vacation photos but needed some older photos for comparison. When I realized that I have really made some progress, I was excited and motivated to keep going! There is a saying that goes, "When you see results, it becomes an addiction." It is so true! The results make you persistent and consistent!
So a year ago after reading about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) I tried drinking it with hot water to see the benefits for myself. I had done it for two weeks and lost 3 pounds but I did not continue it because of the fact that I was drinking it hot. It was suggested to me by my mentor that it was best that I drink it like a hot tea.
Fast forward to three weeks ago. I was reading an article online from Woman's World magazine about an ACV detox drink, The article discussed a woman who had the drink twice a day and lost 11 pounds in one week, and over the course of some months, lost a total of 60 pounds. I was curious as to what else was in this detox drink, and as I read the detox drink included cayenne pepper, ginger, and turmeric. The spices in the detox drink both boost metabolism and burn fat. I became even more curious. Will this work for me?
So I decided to try it again but this time use cold water rather than hot water. Wow, what a difference! I also added a few packets of sweetener to cut the sourness of the ACV, and it is so tasty! Unlike the woman in the article, I started drinking the detox drink once a day. I had done it for four days and saw that I lost 6.5 pounds! Wow!
Since then, I have been drinking the ACV detox drink everyday before eating dinner. I have acquired the taste as well as noticed other changes. For example, my digestion is much better and it has curbed my appetite to where I do not overeat at meals.
Am I treating this as a cure-all for weight loss? Of course not. I have been doing the ACV detox in addition to diet and exercise for the past two weeks. (I have not weighed myself since the 4-day mark for I am allowing my clothes and photos to tell me that I have lost weight.) Who would have thought that the temperature of the water would make the difference?
Also, here is the link to the Woman's World article:
So a few weeks ago in one of the motivational posts I had discussed that healthy lifestyle change starts with making one step. I mentioned that I wanted to up my water intake. Today, I bought a 50.7 oz bottle of water to drink during the day. In most cases I would buy one of these bottles and never finish it in one day. Well, I was able to drink this whole bottle today, which is a little over six 8oz glasses of water. Although small, I felt so accomplished! It is the little things 😊😊😊
So about my progress:
I have been maintaining my workout plan, which is walking (cardio) and resistance training. I have been alternating the resistance training workouts, meaning one day I will focus on upper body and then lower body the next day. The weather has been very lovely for the walks, which definitely helps.
As for physical changes, I am noticing more on how my waist is getting smaller, especially today. I had been in search for a bathing suit because I am going on a cruise in less than 4 weeks with no luck. Today, I went to a plus size resale boutique and found a brand new bathing suit for only $30 (price tag $74). I hadn't worn a bathing suit in years and felt so cute, sexy even, when I tried it on. 😍😍😍
At this point, although I want to lose weight, I am focus more on how my healthy lifestyle plan makes me feel and how it makes my body look rather than be obsessed with a number on a scale.
So a little bit about my healthy lifestyle journey thus far:
Since my previous post I had slipped, but not much. When I did a personal weigh in about a month ago, the scale read 242.5 pounds. I was upset with myself. That was the heaviest I have ever been in my life. So I decided to make changes and commit to them. I thought about how I was able to lose 21 pounds back in 2016, and had the attitude that, if I was able to do it then, I can definitely do it now!
So I began to start picking up the following habits again:
1. Tracking my food, water, and caffeine intake on an app on my phone.
2. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day (e.g., cardio and toning workouts)
So a week after I began making these changes, I went down 3.5 pounds. How exciting! Not thinking previously, I decided to take measurements of my arm, leg, braline, etc., and use them as a baseline. Another week passes and I am down another 2 pounds, making it 5.5 pounds total. Excellent! I am on the right track. The next two weeks were difficult as it was that time of the month and just a stressful week, but I did not gain or lose weight either of those weeks. I will take that as a small success. Another small but great success, I had lost 2.5 inches around my braline! My baseline measurement was 40.5 inches. Last week, when I measured my braline (after noticing it was smaller) it was 38 inches! This week as I was putting on workout clothes after work, I noticed that my booty had more "pop" and a lift. I had been working on my legs and glutes about every other day, and I was seeing results!
This is just the beginning. I am excited to see where I will go on this journey. As always, I will keep you posted!
Try to keep a food journal of what you eat and drink each day. It helps you become more accountable of what you put in your body as well as help you work toward eating balanced meals and attain your health and wellness goals!
There are different ways to keep a food diary. You can use a notebook or journal book, or you can use your phone to record what you eat and drink. There are several apps that you can use to record and log in your meals. (I personally use Samsung Health.)
So happy logging!
This quote by Former First Lady Michelle Obama is so true. In the past, exercise was my form of escapism from life and stress, oftentimes living in my imagination through the music I would listen to while I exercised. Somehow along the way I had forgotten the awesome feeling I felt after I had danced to Michael or Janet, or whoever I was in the mood for that day. Recently, that feeling of peace came back in my workouts. Such a good feeling too! 💪💪💪
So a little throwback. This was me sometime around 2010 trying on a dress at Wet Seal (RIP). I was 148 pounds. No, I was not starving myself as I had a normal appetite, but I was obsessive (and excessive) about exercise. Obsessive, as I would do cardio (dance) for hours a day. I would wake up an hour before I needed to for work to do cardio, and intermix cardio and homework in the evenings every night until midnight. Shortly after this I came across some health issues which required medication that had increased appetite and weight gain as side effects. This number, of course, increased.
So as I am on this healthy lifestyle journey, I do not wish to become this small again. This was an unhealthy me. I do feel that it is important to discuss positive body image. I remember thinking that it was so important to keep a size 6 frame and did everything to maintain it, but it wasn't until I had gained weight and looked back on some of these old photos including this one and thought, "Damn I looked sick." Although I want to be under 200 again, never do I want to be a 6. Never again.
The goal here, is to be healthy. ❤️❤️❤️