If you’re like me, you’ve probably been working out in the same old clothes, free t-shirts, old sweatpants…you know the uniform! When I first started my workout journey, in order to make the process of getting to the gym as easy as possible, I didn’t fuss over what I was wearing, as long as I matched and the outfit was clean, it was a go! I actually kept wearing the same clothes, even after losing 50+ pounds, just tying them as the became to big. There was no reason for this other than being lazy, and as I began to enjoy and look forward to my time in the gym, I wanted to also step up my style! I slowly began building my workout wardrobe and realized that looking nice, feeling good in the clothes, helped me to feel and perform better during my workouts! I also began to use the purchase of new workout clothes or equipment as a reward to my wellness goals, vs rewarding myself with food or cheat days. For example, when I hit 300 miles run in my new running journey, I bought myself a new pair of Nike tennis shoes for working out!

Three things I consider when I’m purchasing new active gear:
1. Quality: Will it the stand the test of time? Well at least the test of my workouts? Too often have a gotten less expensive items and I am often reminded, “buy cheap, buy twice”, I had to replace items that either fell apart at the seams or didn’t last past 1 wash. I like to read reviews to help with this or buy familiar brands/from familiar stores.
2. Cost: Not to contradict looking for great quality, I also am mindful of costs as I will be sweating in these items, so I prefer to not break the bank. I shop during sales, I use coupons, I shop on sites like Amazon, etc. to make sure that I am getting a great deal!
3. Fit: “Does it pass the squat test?” The squat test is exactly what it sounds like, when you get into a squat position or any position with extreme bending and lower body movement, do the pants stay in place? Also, is the item comfortable? What is the material? If it’s a sports bra, is it built for high impact vs medium vs low? I stick to high impact as I do a lot of HIIT workouts!

So, with all of these qualifications, where do I shop? See below for 11 recco’s for purchasing your activewear sets:

  1. NIKE: one of my favorite brands, Nike is a well known and well respected brand in the fitness industry, most of our favorite athletes train in Nike, so if it’s good enough for Serena Williams, it’s good enough for me! I love Nike’s sports bras, the Nike PRO line, and their various tops! In my opinion, the quality of the shoes have gone down when compared to price increases, but these remain my go-to shoe brand! I typically shop for Nike items at my local Nike store, my favorite place-the Nike outlet which offers deep discounts, or at retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods!


Purchased from Dick’s Sporting Goods (Pants); Nike Outlet (Sports Bra)

Amazon: I am sure everyone who’s on social media has heard about the Amazon tik tok leggings, but even before this new craze, Amazon was one of my go-to sites for finding workout gear! From sports bras, to workout pants to cute active tops, Amazon has a lot of stylish workout gear at a range of prices depending on your budget! Just search “workout gear for women (or men)” or “workout tights”, etc. I’ve gotten outfits for $23 USD or separates for under $10USD thanks to Amazon!

Purchased from Amazon

TJX Companies (TjMaxx & Marshalls): You can really get some “steals” shopping in TjMaxx or Marshalls, from name brand workout clothes to designer-less fab styles, all for great prices! I’ve actually been shopping less at these stores due to the covid-19 pandemic and loving amazon and Fabletics at the moment, but you can always find a cute pair of 90 degree leggings for $12.99 USD or so in one of these stores!

Fabletics: Despite their subscription service, which might be a turnoff for some, Fabletics has really cute and quality workout gear! I purchased a few workout pants and tops from them a few year’s ago and it remains of my favorites. Recently, I did another haul and am super excited to workout in my new stylish gear! New members qualify for 2/$24 USD leggings + discounts on other products like tops and sports bras and they have options for both men and women! If you are worried about the subscription service, know that monthly you can opt to skip the month and you won’t be charged, or if you forget to opt out, you’ll be given a credit toward your next purchase. (Alternative is to cancel your membership). Head to their website HERE for more details and information.

Shein: I understand that there has been so much controversy around this company, in addition to the harms of fast fashion on our environment, but I’d be dishonest if I didn’t mention a few of the items I’ve purchased from this site! If you’re looking to avoid fast fashion, definitely check out Fabletics or Amazon for similar styles and colors as seen on Shein for comparable prices! I always read through reviews before purchasing anything from this site and $100’s of dollars later, I’ve never been disappointed with any of my purchases or shipping time.

Purchased From Shein

Dick’s Sporting Goods : Their slogan, “every season starts at Dick’s” is so accurate, I find myself, at the beginning of every season, updating my wardrobe and Dick’s is one the stores I will pop in to for new hoodies/sweatshirts during fall and winter and then in the summer heading in for new tees and tanks! Dick’s carries all of the top brands from Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Calia for example! They often have sales or deals available so be sure to sign up for their email list to be alerted!

Purchased from Dick’s Sporting Goods

Gym Shark: For a while, I feel like this brand was the latest and greatest as tons of women rushed to grab a “gym shark” outfit, and understandably considering the looks and quality. A pair of leggings will run you $55USD on average but the quality commands the price as you’ll have these items as staples in your active-wear closet, as long as you take good care of your garments.

Nordstrom: If you’re a frequent shopper, you’ll want to put those “nordy bucks” to good use…but even if you aren’t, you can still get some goodies (click HERE for more information on Nordstrom’s Rewards Program). Nordstrom carries a range of brands, but one the standouts is Zelle, Nordstrom’s brand that can be compared to Lululemon! Leggings can range from $35USD -$75USD, in addition to sports bras and tees!

Purchased From Nordstrom (Hoodie)

Athleta: If you didn’t know, Athleta is owned by Gap Inc, making high quality workout clothes exclusively for women. The quality warrants the higher price tag, but I often like to wait until they mark their items on clearance before making any purchases. Gap also owns Old Navy, who sells more affordable, yet jut as fashionable with good quality, activewear. Old Navy is another store that I will wait until a decent sale (like their semi-annual sale) before purchasing!

Purchased from Old Navy

Target: Okay, hear me out, similar to Amazon fashion, Target has a lot to offer and for not a lot of money! Target’s All in Motion and JoyLab brands, amongst the other brands carried, offer affordable dupes to some of your high end favs like Lululemon.

Purchased from Target (Top & Sports Bra), Purchased from Shein (Biker Shorts)

Asos : I tend to get items that will be low impact workouts or activities like hiking, but know that Asos carries brands like Reebok, Puma and Nike and carries a wide range of sizes!

Place’s on my list to order from:
Mezam Apparel: Afro-Athleisure Fashion Brand
Dressed in Joy: Statement making athleisure

Other fitness related brands I’m currently loving:
Fit With Curves: Heavy Resistance Band

Note: This list will be updates as I find more retailers or small-owned businesses to shop with for activewear. I am always taking suggestions of new places to check out, so please drop any reccos in the comments below.

Start by getting started.

Often, I am asked, “how do I get started” or the popular “where do I start” and as annoying or as simplistic as it may seem, you really must start by starting. I’d procrastinated losing weight for years, for more reasons than one, but finally I just decided to start, and then 1 day turned into 1 month and 8lbs eventually turned to 80!

It’s 2021, we are out here not only setting goals, but crushing them, getting everything, we deserve, being not only “where the money resides”, but where the health, peace & enjoyment are as well!!

First things first, make a plan. But let’s KISS is. Keep it simple, sis.

Let me explain, yes we want SMART goals, which I’ve written about HERE. But let’s not overcomplicate it, do you want to lose weight, do you want to tone, do you want to have abs? What are you trying to achieve?!

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Hi, I’m Kalyn. In 2021, I want to lose 10lbs and tone my trouble areas, back, stomach (isn’t this most of our trouble areas!!) as well as my legs.

You know what you want to do, now let’s not “someday it”,  aka “I’ll start Monday” or just arbitrarily set this goal for all of 2021- make it plain!

I want to lose these 10lbs and tone up by bikini season, thong bikinis only! Bikini season for me will start in April.

Now, you not only have your goal (losing 10lbs & toning), but you have an achievable target that you’re working towards. A tangible goal & date that you can write down (for your manifesting purposes) as well as share with an accountability partner (because we all need these).

So now we have our goal & we know when we want to reach them (because you should be writing yours down – pen to paper, please!), let’s put together building blocks that we’ll use to achieve the goal-this is how we (and our accountability partners) will hold ourselves accountable.

Any fitness goal is achieved through nutrition (80%) and exercise (20%)– these are the building blocks. And weight loss= more calories burned (exercise) than consumed (nutrition). This does not = eating less necessarily, but eating more whole foods, controlling portions, eliminating unnecessary calories (that pepsi is *usually* hella unnecessary), and getting your body moving.

Let’s not complicate this, here are some simple adds to your building blocks (and things I’ll be doing)

Nutrition

  • Drink your water. This is not a negotiable, this is step #1, get in loads of water! Read my post HERE on how water can help you lose weight or HERE for the 6 reasons why water can help with weight loss. I’ll list two reasons below if you don’t want to click on the links:
    • Water increases calorie burning
    • Water helps with workouts!
  • Make smart swaps
    • Swap out juice/soda for more water (will also help your skin)- do it, it’ll become more natural the more often you do it! Juice and soda has SOOOO much sugar!
    • More complex carbs vs simple carbs. Carbs are what provides our body energy-aka we need them! But we can be maker smarter choices on which ones we consume. Complex carbs take longer for your system to digest and tend to be a more stable source of energy and fiber when compared to their counterpart. Complex carbs tend to be found more in pastas/breads where simple carbs will show up in sugars.
      • Optimal complex carbs-whole grains (brown rice, wild rice, whole grain, quinoa), sweet potatoes, fruits (bananas, raspberries) , kidney beans
        • Other refined grains that are complex carbs but do not contain as much nutritional value (white rice, bread, flour)
      • Simple Carb examples- sugar, corn syrup, products with added sugar, syrups, sugary drinks,
    • Whole foods opposed to processed foods. Processed foods generally= convenience and less money but are usually less nutritious, hidden with tons of simple carbs, fat, sodium, etc. When possible, opt for making your own foods and using “whole foods” vs processed foods. (Click the links/words for more information on what a whole vs processed food is.)
      • One example: premade/frozen meals vs buying the ingredients to make your own meals. I really suggest you cook more in 2021- build this into your goals. Control the ingredients being used in addition to the portion sizes you’re consuming.
    • Fun, healthy alternatives to foods you already love. I LOVE pizza, but instead of ordering out, I get all the ingredients, load my whole wheat pizza dough with veggies and enjoy! Dark chocolate vs milk chocolate is another example. Additionally, I’ve been loving trying the varies candies offered by Smart Sweets, a healthier candy alternative that’s also not packed with artificial sugars or ingredients (I buy mine at Target).
      • If you have a snack or candy that you love, it’s really easy to google a healthy alternative for that (especially when you make it home vs buying)- this is true for ice cream, some baked goods, pizzas, candy, etc
  • Enjoyment– but in moderation. You can and should have a “cheat” meal or day throughout the week, you don’t want to completely deprive yourself of your cravings, just control them. I love WINE and would have a glass every single night (well I did this in 2020 because pandemic), but I will pull back and limit my indulgence in the name of health (and thong bikinis).


Exercise

You do not need to overcomplicate working out and there’s also no need to be intimidated. You just want to get your body moving! I wrote a post on body types (endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph) HERE, explaining what the different types are, how to determine your body type and the listed exercises that work well for the varying body types—but while this post was great and I suggest you check it out, the goal for the year is KISS, keep it simple, sis.

If considering all of these things above overwhelms you, just set a plan to move your body at least 40-60 minutes at least 5x a week (more if you’re feeling fancy but give your body time to rest/reset/recover).

You know yourself better than I do. Do you need a workout class or a buddy to hold yourself accountable? Call that person or find that class NOW (well after you finish reading the post, and then sharing with a friend).  Or, can you follow instructions relatively well and rock out solo? Find a YouTube workout or IG page that you love and get to it! Can you workout at home? Set up a space where you will workout and hit up AMAZON, Target, Five Below, etc. for your workout equipment needs. Get outside and walk/jog/run/jump rope! Do you need a trainer? Because get one, if you need one (and can afford it).

 We are in a whole panoramic (pandemic) so you may not want to go to a gym- but there are options! We aren’t making excuses this year, sis!

Here are a list of some of my favorite IG accounts for fitness inspo:

frantzcesca.casimir
therealashleynic
fitgentlegiant28
fitbaechey
fitwithcurves
bodygawd
fitwithkeela
sara_bowmar

You owe it to yourself to not only make a plan, but to commit and to stick to it, and not just throughout 2021, but for life. Most of this is 100% mental, get out of your own way! Making these small changes and then building these healthy habits will naturally become your routine and will be sustainable if you KISS it, write it down and start by starting!

 I challenge everyone to make your plan TODAY, right after reading this, “Hi I’m _____, and I want to ________ by __________” and feel free to share it with me, I can be your virtual accountability partner!

Be sure to follow me on IG for updates as I prepare for #thongbikini season at @fitflyflournoy and subscribe (for more posts), save (for future reference) and share (don’t be stingy with the gems)!

Happy 2021 Folks! Let’s kill it this year, one lb. at a time.

Sources & Such:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325171#complex-carbohydrateshttps://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322296#six-reasons-why-drinking-water-may-help-you-lose-weight
https://smartsweets.com/pages/our-ingredients
www.weightlosstravelgains.com

Dairy-Free​ Alternatives

Whether you’re lactose intolerant, transitioning to a vegan lifestyle or simply want to cut back on your animal by-product intake, you may be looking for viable alternatives for the dairy products many of us grew up on. I’ve had an intolerance to lactose my entire life but as I’ve been getting older I’ve been able to ignore this discomfort less and less. As such, I’ve been on the hunt to for good options that wouldn’t cause irritation to my stomach but still pack the same flavor that I’ve grown to love and wanted to share with all of you.

There are everyday items that I use in my daily routines that I needed to not just swap out but to find products that would serve as seamless replacements. Check out the list below for some of my new favs.

  • Ripple Plant-Based Milk & Plant-Based Half & Half
  • Trader Joes Brand Almond Milk & Vanilla Soy Creamer
  • Almond Breeze Milk
  • Silk Soy Creamer (Both Vanilla and Original)
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt Alternative & Cheese Shreds
  • Halo Top Dairy-Free Ice Cream (Oatmeal Cookie is my favorite flavor)
  • Daiya Foods Dairy-Free Cream Cheese
  • Miyoko’s Vegan Butter
    • Or mash avocados to sub for butter

Outside of any dietary restrictions leading to the need to eliminate dairy from one’s diet, there are many health benefits to reducing our dairy intake. Switching to a dairy-free diet, or drastically reducing intake can lead to less bloating, better respiratory health, weight loss, clearer skin, improved digestion and decreased risk of cancer, amongst other benefits. There are also many ethical reasons to want to decrease dairy intake, such as animal cruelty awareness and reducing the footprint on our air quality and ecosystems.

What’s My Body Type and Why’s It Important?

No, I’m not talking “thick” versus “slim thick”,  I’m also not referring to apple shaped versus pear shared, instead,  I want to discuss how your body responds to diet and training. There are three main body types: Endomorph, Mesomorph and Ectomorph, understanding your body type enables you to plan a successful diet and exercise program. Note, height has little to do with body type.

What are these body types?

  • Endomorph endomorph

Do you feel like you gain weight by me just mentioning pizza and donuts? Then you may be an endomorph. People with this body type tend to gain weight more easily and then keep it on, but they also gain muscle easily.  As an endomorph, you may have a wider frame (sometimes pear shaped), when compared to the two other groups, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be just as healthy, if not healthier. Endo’s tend to also have more muscle mass, since they can more easily gain it. When it comes to weight loss for this body type, though more challenging than the other groups, it is not impossible, it’ll just take extra effort.

How Does an Endomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?

This body type responds well to a high fat diet as they use fat for fuel. Weight training and consistent cardio is also an effective measure of working out. HIIT training would be great for this group, though HIIT is recommended as a great workout for all groups in moderation. Getting your heart rate pumping is great for calorie and fat burn, two things this group will want. Don’t know what HIIT is? Read up on my post on What HIIT is and Why You Should be Doing it HERE

Exercises: HIIT, Sprints, Jumping Jacks, moves that use body weight (squats, lunges, box jumps, etc.)

Endomorphs also tend to have a large appetite and as such need to eat foods high in fiber (oats, brown rice and veggies) and high in lean protein. Be wary of overeating.

*Not there are healthy fats and not so healthy fats, so be sure to know the difference when choosing meals. 

I’m between an endomorph and a mesomorph. 

  • Mesomorph mesomorph

Built with broader shoulders, the mesomorph gains muscle faster than the endomorph and tends to gain fat faster than the ectomorph, the “easy gainers”. This body type tends to be naturally more muscular and relatively fit, though they have to work to maintain this physique. This group can more easily bounce back to a healthy weight than the other two groups. Their body fat also tends to be distributed more evenly and with a quick response to new exercise programs, they tend to also have an efficient metabolism.

How Does a Mesomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?

This group also responds well to weight training and cardio is just a supplementary. Though all groups need to watch their calorie intake, it is critically important for this body type. Using machines like the stair stepper in the gym or plyometrics (like Jump & Jacks) are great for the mesomorph, incorporating cardio 2-3 times weekly.

Exercises: Train w/ a variety of rep ranges, tempos and methods, Circuit Training (running, pushups, squat jumps, squat thrusts, dips- 30 each exercise followed by 30 sec recovery), Strength Training (sets of 8-12 reps done at a moderate- heavy weight), Pilates, Yoga and Boot Camp Training.

  • Ectomorph ectomoprh

Ectomorphs tend to have smaller frames and usually struggle to gain weight, body fat and muscle. This group has a high carb tolerance and an even higher metabolic rate, but that doesn’t mean that they should overindulge or overdue their calorie intake, everything in moderation. This group can achieve the physique they desire, as with the other groups, it’ll take work.

How Does an Ectomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?

Those who are classified as ectomorphs should focus on compound movements as well as short intense workouts, not overdoing the cardio. Focus on lifting with proper form, use YouTube as a guide as how to complete certain movements.

I mentioned the high carb tolerance of this group, so a balanced diet inclusive of a lot of protein and carbs will do well if in weight maintaining mode. However, built more lean, this group would need to pack on the calories if they want to gain weight or muscle. Nutrient and calorie dense foods such as nuts, dried fruits and vegetables are good to increase shape or muscle.

Exercises: Core Training, Kickboxing Classes, Walking, Strength Work ( Chest exercises, lunges, deadlifts, leg presses, etc.) Focusing on every rep and with consistency and accuracy.

It is possible to not only switch between the groups in our lifetime, but to also be somewhere in between these groups at the same time. I mean the only constant thing in this life is change, so it makes sense that our body and needs of our body changes as we age. If you find yourself in between two groups modify the information above to fit your individual needs, combining training plans.

Use this information as a marker or as a guide when building your workout or nutrition plan to maintain a healthy weight, understanding your body handles certain nutrition and exercise types.

Not sure what your body type is? Take a test HERE

As I’ve been trying to switch up my workout routines as to not get too complacent and keep it fresh, I’ve stumbled across the wonderful world of HIIT Training.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training which is quick intervals or bursts of intense exercise followed by short periods of recovery.

Why Do HIIT?

  1. Efficiency, you get and keep your heart rate up fast and burn more fat in less time than traditional workouts
    • Ideal for a busy schedule, those who think they don’t have time to workout
    • 2 weeks of HIIT improves your aerobic capacity compared to 6-8 weeks of endurance training
    • Increases metabolism over time
  2. Effectiveness, increases your metabolism for up to 48 hours after your workout (you’re burning fat even after you’re workout is complete)
    • You’re kicking your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive (ie. burning more fat and calories)
    • You burn fat not muscle, we all want to preserve our muscle!
  3. Ease, the actual workouts may not necessarily be easy but HIIT workouts tend to be quicker (most are 30min) and they’re convenient as you do not necessarily need a gym or equipment as using your body weight is sufficient
    • Though jump ropes and treadmills can fit great into a HIIT program, we are focusing on pushing our heart to its max and can do so through jumping squats, jumping lunges or, high knees
    • Having the ability to complete HIIT anywhere makes it easily accessible, HIIT workouts would be great for the #AroundTheWorldin10k Steps challenge, easily incorporating some activity on your vacations

A lot of people, myself included get bored with mundane, day in and day out sameness and there’s a need for a change of pace. HIIT workouts can provide the variety needed while still leading to or maintaining results.  Those who are new to working out can also incorporate some level of HIIT into their routines, moving at their own pace.

What Are Good HIIT Workouts?

  • Buttkicks
  • Squats (Jump, Sumo, etc.)
  • Lunges (Jumping, Back, Forward, Side)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Plank (Side, Forearm, Alternating, Jacks)
  • etc.

There are more moves that could fit into a HIIT routine, find your favorite and have at it. The most important aspect is to give each exercise your all, in short bursts, about 45 seconds, have a moment of rest, 15 seconds, and repeat. Find one of my favorite 24 min HIIT workouts HERE, including videos showing how to complete each exercise. Also look to youtube to see how to correctly complete workouts, watching for form.

How Often Should I Complete HIIT? 

Two to three days a week is a safe mark for high-intensity interval training. Anything more is not allowing your body the necessary recovery time. Completing other sessions such as resistance training in between HIIT is a healthy balance. Ideally, you should have a recovery day (rest or strength training) in between your HIIT workouts.

The first time and just about every time after I have completed HIIT I am super sore, during the workout I am out of breath, but afterward, I am always happy to have challenged myself and pushed my body to continue to get better and stronger.

What’s my workout schedule look like lately?

  • Sunday – Cycling w/ Strength Training 60min + 45 min of Barre 1x a Month
  • Monday-Bootcamp Strength Training/HIIT 60min
  • Tuesday- Bootcamp HIIT 60min
  • Wednesday-Rest Day
  • Thursday-Kettlebell Training/ HIIT 60min
  • Friday-Rest Day
  • Saturday- Cycling 45min

Watchouts: Going too fast or not paying attention to your form can lead to injury, as with any type of workouts, so be mindful and listen to your body.

Have more questions on HIIT? Leave a comment below.

 

Cream Beach Photo Pinterest Graphic (1)

Workout Plan

I am no personal trainer, and still, have work to do on my own, but I’ve found a routine that works for me and wanted to share it with all of you! I don’t always follow exactly, switching up a day or two here and there or adding in a new workout that I see on IG, but the below is the basis for my “work-out” week.

The two most important things remain the same in this weight loss journey, consistency and a clean diet. And along with consistency, comes the idea of continually pushing yourself and getting better with time, which will cause you to increase reps/weight depending on your goals!

Workout Regime

Most workouts do 3 sets of 12/15 reps

Day 1 Legs

  • Adjustable Pulley (Cable Machine)
    • Modified Deadlift
    • Single leg deadlift
    • Walking Squats
    • Squat & Bicep Curls
    • Reverse Lunge
  • Glute Push Back (Standing Machine)
  • Forward Lunges
  • Sumo Squats
  • Standing Crunches
  • 10lb Wall Sit

Cardio: Bike/Stairs 30 minutes, HIIT Mountain Climber & Skater Jumps

 Day 2 Arms: Triceps/Biceps

  • Single Arm Rows (Low Row Machine)
  • Rows (2 Ways, Close Hands, and Gapped Hands) Low Row Machine
  • Adjustable Pulley
    • Tricep Pull Downs
    • Tricep Push Downs
    • Overhead Tricep Pull-Ups
    • Bicep Curls
    • Single Arm Bicep Pull Ups
    • Single Arm Tricep Push Downs
    • (Back) Tricep Pull Ups

Cardio: 30 minutes Stair Stepper & Jump N’ Jacks, Jump rope and Mountain Climbers

Day 3 Back & Abs

  • Lat Pull Down (2 Ways)
  • Pull Ups
  • Rows (Low Row Machine 2 Ways, Single Arm Rows)
  • Pull Backs (On Knees, Lift Weights)
  • MTS Front Pull Down (Machine)
  • MTS Row (Machine)
  • Standing Plate Row
  • Assisted Pull Up/Dip
  • Russian Oblique Twists
  • Standing Crunches
  • Side Bends
  • Traditional Crunches

Cardio: 20 minutes stair stepper, HIIT Jump N’ Jacks, Mountain Climber, Skater Jumps, Treadmill 20 minute jog

 Day 4 Legs

  • Standing Abductors
  • Single Leg Abductor
  • Standing Adductors
  • Single Leg Pushdowns (Assisted Pull-Up Machine)
  • Sumo Squats
  • 10lb Wall Sit
  • Donkey Kicks (outward/sideways)
  • Donkey Kicks (backward/up)
  • Seated Leg Curl (Quads)
  • Bulgarian Split Lounge
  • Lying Leg Curl (Hamstrings)
  • Clam Shells
  • Bridges

Cardio: 20 minutes treadmill incline, 20 minutes Bike

Day 5 Arms: Triceps/Biceps

  • Tricep Push Downs (Assisted Pull-Up Machine)
  • Single Arm Rows (Low Row Machine)
  • Rows (2 Ways, Close Hands, and Gapped Hands) Low Row Machine
  • Adjustable Pulley
    • Tricep Pull Downs
    • Tricep Push Downs
    • Overhead Tricep Pull-Ups
    • Bicep Curls
    • Single Arm Bicep Pull Ups
    • Single Arm Tricep Push Downs
    • (Back) Tricep Pull Ups

Cardio: 20 minutes Stair Stepper & 20 minutes elliptical

 Day 6 & 7 Rest Day

Optional: Full body workout. Combine leg, arm, and ab/back day

 

If you want to try any of the above workouts but are unsure of how they are performed, please youtube the names and watch demos.  If you’re on IG, following some of my favorite accounts such as @fitwithcurves , @sarah_bowmar, or @rauvesuave can give you ideas for new workout moves and the proper ways to perform them!

The Journey or the Destination?

In an effort to be completely transparent, I need to be honest with both you all and with myself. This weight loss journey is both easy and hard at the same d*mn time, and I know that may not make sense to many.
IMG_4589 2

Losing weight is so mental and people don’t realize the commitment they need to make with themselves before they even commit to a gym, to a goal or a new diet. Commitment is the hard part, my friends, committing to a change, challenging your relationship with food, being happy with your body in its current state and pushing through even when you don’t think you see results.

My story? I’ve struggled with my weight ever since a young child and these bad habits that I had created over the years only worsened while in college. I would eat chicken fingers, French fries, potato chips, juice/soda and my “veggies” consisted of the piece of lettuce and tomato on my turkey burger. I was very uncomfortable in my body and unhappy looking at myself in the mirror which prompted me to incorporate workouts and healthier eating habits gradually. My largest weight: 220lbs.

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TIP: Creating a support network in the form of friends who had a similar goal and mindset to dedicate themselves to a healthier life made the journey more comfortable. 

While in college I was able to slowly drop a bit of weight and build up endurance while in the gym. I had a trainer who helped me to develop a routine in the gym to maximize the time I spent there doing exercises that would produce the results I wanted.

Great IG pages for different exercises: @6packexercises, @sarahbowmar, @anowaadjah, @workoutroutine, @fancy85fit_ & @squatguide

It wasn’t until I moved to Boston in 2014 where I developed a better relationship with my diet and changed the way I looked at food and looked at what I ate. This was the most pivotal moment in my lifestyle change. Once I started to eat the right foods, I started to notice changes in my body and BOOM, 50lbs gone in less than a year, for a total of 80lbs down. Lowest Weight: 139lbs

 

TIP: Your relationship with your diet is the most critical aspect of weight loss. It’s easy to take shortcuts, but shortcuts don’t last. Think about the reason why we eat, to provide nourishment and energy for our bodies. This reasoning alone should prompt you to eliminate foods from your everyday diet that merely offer ZERO nourishment such as donuts or potato chips. Moderation is fine but let’s look to fuel our bodies.

What does that look like? More whole foods, less processed junk.

IG pages like @shedfatkitchen, @fithealthyrecipes, @how2mealrpep, @cleanfoodcrush & @workweeklunch have fantastic recipes to keep your meals flavorful, exciting yet healthy

After achieving the most significant accomplishment of my life, reaching my “destination” and dropping to a comfortable 145lbs I was in love with my body and had this burning passion for maintaining the new physique. However, like everything in life, there are ups and downs and my down, left the scale 15lbs heavier. Getting knocked off of your “high horse” and facing the facts of life made me realize that this is, in fact, a “healthy lifestyle” journey and that we all are allowed a reset button. That “reset” button is a lot easier for me to access because of the good habits developed along the way, now it’s just to refocus and reprioritize my time.

So often we only see the “WINS” or the ending result of a weight loss journey but my goal is to show the real, and sometimes the real comes with setbacks…for better comebacks.

How Do We Come Back?

  1. Create habits. We are creatures of habit, and it is important we establish a routine so that we begin to feel uncomfortable when we break that routine. Make it a goal to hit the gym at least 4x a week for 45min-1hr.
  2. Make it Fun. Switch up your workouts, go to a class, try new machines, just don’t allow yourself to get bored, or you’ll become disengaged. Sign up for local yoga or Zumba classes. If your wallet allows, get a personal trainer to help you design a program that’s just for you. Workout with a friend!
    To achieve the weight loss initially, I would do 45-60 minutes of cardio (alternating between the treadmill, bike, stair stepper & elliptical) and 30 min of weight lifting (alternating between arm, leg & back day, incorporating abs every other day). I would also do classes from time to time (yoga/Zumba).
  3. You are what you eat. You can’t outwork a bad diet, eating chips, eating candy, cakes, soda, etc. will not give you the results you desire.
    The main proteins that I ate/eat are chicken (baked or grilled), salmon, tuna fish and turkey. I try to incorporate a veggie with every meal (kale in smoothies or an omelet, carrot sticks, celery sticks, broccoli, spinach, etc.). Dark green vegetables are essential.
    Substitutions I make: Sugar=Honey, Milk=Almond Milk, White Bread=Whole Wheat/Multigrain, White Rice=Brown Rice or Quinoa, Pork/Beef=Turkey or Chicken, Soda=Seltzer Water, Sugar-Packed Granola Bars=Homemade oats rolled with peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips
  4. BE DISCIPLINED. Say no to friends if it’s not your cheat day or you need to hit the gym. Make your gym schedule a priority, build that time into your calendar. Don’t give up when results don’t come immediately, it took me 3-4 months to begin to see results and even now I still see that 200lb+ girl, I have to shake those thoughts and remain hungry for results.

 

I played myself when I hit my goal weight, I got too comfortable, but I’m hitting reset as I continue on my healthy lifestyle journey.  Have you ever had to reset your goals?

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