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. ❤️❤️❤️
So a couple of weeks ago I went to my first yoga class with one of my friends. She had made an open invitation on social media asking if anyone wanted to join with her on Wednesday night at the gym. Thinking that this would be a cool experience to have with other yoga students, I accepted her offer. Right away I was excited, while at the same time didn't know what to expect in class that evening.
I have had some yoga experience. Well, very little experience. Years ago I had bought a yoga DVD that catered toward weight loss and gave it a whirl. I have done about 20 minutes of the DVD and felt myself having become so drained. I had been discouraged about the DVD because most of the poses/stretching were done from a chair, rather than on a mat. I had not given it a chance since then. That is, until this year. While on a crochet date with another friend at the bookstore, I had bought a 5-minute yoga book that offered several sequences that were to help in a variety of things, including weight loss and focus. I had done some of the sequences in the book while playing some soft music in the background to give the vibe of peace and relaxation.
Back to the yoga class with my friend. I got to the gym about a half hour before class started and met with my friend, who was with one of her friends also going to the yoga class. I was nervous about taking the class at that point because I knew that there would be students who probably had practiced yoga for a long time, but my friend reassured me that I would like the class and that I didn't have to be perfect with the poses. We go into the classroom and the lights are already dimmed down and the music was playing, giving that ambiance of peace and tranquility. The instructor explained yoga to the class and reiterated the importance of listening to our bodies: if we felt discomfort, modify the pose. We had our mats ready and began the class.
Some things that I realized as I was going through the class:
1. I am not flexible. I was very thankful for the ability to modify poses, but I knew one day that I wanted to master the poses exactly.
2. I am a very tense person. Even as the instructor was telling the class to relax, I found it a challenge to do. This is probably because I feel that I have to be "alert" at all times. I realized that this was something that I needed to work on.
I enjoyed the class so much that I have decided to make it a routine in addition to my diet and exercise (cardio). I'm really excited about it!
One thing that I notice about health and wellness enthusiasts is that they display themselves as the "final product" to those who want to get a little bit healthier. They never present the "human" side of the process: the slip ups, the cheat days, none of that. What I always hope to do as a health and wellness enthusiast is to show the process, not just the final product. I am human just like any other person. I have my days where I go over my calorie limit, miss a workout day, or just slip up. With that said, I began my wellness journey again today.
The photo depicted is from Easter Sunday, but it reflects my current weight. You may not want to believe it, but my current weight is 240 pounds. I have your usual trouble spots, such as belly fat, jelly arms, and the double chin. I think it is so important that I share this fact because it brings out the authenticity of the wellness journey.
My first goal is to reach 200 pounds by the end of November, as I will be going on a cruise. I am starting this journey through healthy eating and exercise, nothing more. This time, I want to take you along on my journey. Because I am only human...
Progress will come soon!
A common product that has been increasing used recently is the Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV. It has been used in a variety of ways over the years, but a common use is in weight loss and management. Having had experience working in grocery retail where I have often stocked the Bragg's ACV onto the shelf, I have had customers tell me how it has helped them lose weight. Initially, I was a skeptic about how could one product such as ACV help in losing weight. I always felt that making changes to eating habits and proper exercise was the way to becoming healthier, and that other methods (e.g., diet pills, lose-weight-quick schemes, etc.) may bring you temporary results but not overall effective. It was after I had a conversation with my health and wellness mentor that I decided to research more about the benefits of ACV:
ACV can help with:
1. Upset Stomach
3. Sore Throat
6. Stuffy Nose
7. Weight Loss
10. Increased Energy
11. Nighttime Leg Cramps
12. Bad Breath
13. Whiten Teeth
14. Fades Bruises
15. Lower Blood Sugar (Reader's Digest Editors, 2017)
In my research about ACV, for these benefits to work the ACV has to be unfiltered and "from the Mother". As it relates to weight loss, a tablespoon of ACV is mixed with 16oz of warm water and is taken once or twice a day.
Because I am a member of the health and wellness community and that I have been asked about the benefits of ACV (more so the question, "Does it really work?"), I chose to add it to my healthy lifestyle journey a year ago. I continued with healthy eating, exercise, and proper water intake, but incorporated a glass of water mixed with ACV. I did this for two weeks and I ended up losing three pounds. However, I could not get past the taste to continue the routine, so I had returned to just healthy eating and exercise. I ended up losing just about the same amount of weight in four days than I did while drinking the ACV with water.
Drinking ACV is not for everyone, but if you do decide that you want to try it, remember to always mix it with water. ACV is very acidic and therefore should not be taken by itself for it can burn your esophagus.
Reader's Digest Editors. (2017). 13+ Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. Retrieved from http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/
So I was reflecting on my first year of college at the University of Tampa in the fall 2005 semester, when I decided to fight against the dreaded "Freshman 15" and begin a walking regimen around the campus before my early morning classes. I was not overweight, but I did not want to gain weight. Plus, I wanted to take the time to explore the campus and become familiar with campus buildings and offices for future reference. The campus was in the heart of Downtown Tampa, and I made a point to arrive on campus an hour before class every morning (I commuted to school everyday) to walk. I found those walks to be peaceful, relaxing, and they set the tone for how my day was going to flow. In addition to these walks I had stopped drinking sodas and watched my portions, and by the end of the fall semester I had lost 23 pounds.
Fast forward to 2017. I had started my healthy lifestyle journey once again, and I missed those days when I would take my walks. I began to start walking again, this time along a fairly new trail in my neighborhood. The trail is about a mile when walking one lap. I started making it a routine to go walking when I get home from work in the afternoons, changing into comfortable clothing and packing water to keep myself hydrated. Walking has not only a physical benefit for my body, but an emotional one as well.
Walking has helped me in dealing with stress, stress that is often developed from work. It allows me to clear my head from the unnecessary mess when I walk as well as provide hope and optimism concerning my health and wellness goals. Walking reminds me that the stress that I may feel at work will hurt me if I allow it to. For me, walking is my form of escapism, even if it is for 20 minutes.
A few days ago I had recorded some statistics from one of my afternoon walks using an app on my phone. I wanted to know the exact length of the neighborhood trail as well as record how many steps I took and the number of calories that I had burned. I was right that the trail was a mile long going one lap, and learned that I walked almost 2,000 steps and burned 214 calories in just 20 minutes. This is what brings the hope and optimism. Although I am active at work, my afternoon walks boost up the activity levels, with the potential of reaching my health and wellness goals at a good pace.
So now I am walking for both my health and my peace, and I recommend it for anyone who wants to be more active and achieve a sense of serenity in their life. The way I see it, it is a win-win opportunity!