Keeping It Up & Keeping It Off

Life and adulthood tends to take you by storm, like completely rip through your life, leaving you tossing and turning in the balance….but that’s no excuse to, let’s say, let yourself go.

Relocating to the food mecca of the world, the city that never sleeps, the overly crowded concrete jungle that is New York City, I knew maintaining my weight loss and workout regime that I had developed while in Massachusetts would be difficult but not impossible. Why work so hard to let it all go? So I didn’t…let it all go that is!

I’ve been in New York for almost 10 months now and all of the delicious food options never cease to amaze me. Rather than punish myself, I work each food type into one of my weekly cheat days,which I usually try to keep to Fridays. As I’ve said in numerous posts before, planning is the key to everything. Some of the wealthiest people in the world plan out literally every dollar they will spend, invest, save, etc. for months or even years in advance, and that’s how they stay wealthy. Well, let’s use that concept, lets plan out every calorie we will intake, but in our case, we can stick to planning for a week!

Meal Prep!!! Meal prep for your breakfast, for your lunch, dinner, snacks and even drinks! We waste so many calories because we’re unprepared and our hunger catches us off guard. The way I’ve managed to maintain my weight loss is preparing for those moments. I pack a snack bag and all of my food all of the time, which saves me money and empty calories. I can not say it enough, meal prep! I even have healthy snacks for when I am vacationing, because that is still no time to let it all go!

Maintaining a healthy diet has  had its difficulties, but my biggest challenge has definitely been working out. I failed to mention that I work for one of the largest salty snack providers in the world, PepsiCo | Frito Lay Division, so I’m constantly surrounded by chips, like literally 12 hours a day sometimes. The issue isn’t the chips usually, its more so the 12 hour  work days that leave me too exhausted to even think about walking to my nearest Planet Fitness. But just as important as it is for me to plan out my meals, I also plan out my workout days. I make it a point to workout at least 3x a week for at least 45 minutes to an hour. I always make sure to get some form of cardio in, but also like to get some weight lifting accomplished.

Weight loss isn’t easy, but it becomes easier when you develop a routine and make it a habit. Constant meal prep and a discipline of working out at least 3x a week has allowed me to enjoy the many cuisines of NY and many happy hours, but to also maintain the figure that I worked so hard on

For those looking for help or for somewhere to start:

  1. Set a goal and Create a Plan!
    1. How much weight do you want to lose? Do you just want to tone? How many days will you workout? What day will you meal prep? Where will you workout? When? For how long?
  2. Execute!
    1. Workout! Eat Right! Meal Prep! Drink that Water! Relax! Stick to your plan but always challenge yourself!

Losing the weight is half of the battle, and keeping it off is the other half. But through perseverance and doing it right the first time (making it a healthy lifestyle not a diet fad) it just becomes second nature to continue doing the things you’re already used to doing.


Spring in NY 2016…still keeping off the weight and enjoying tight fitted clothing!

Storm Prep….

With the big snowpocalypse that hit the east coast/midwest of the United States a few weeks ago, I’m sure most of us went to the grocery store to stock up on necessities. But what really is a necessity? That snow storm lasted all of 2 days and people stocked up for weeks’ worth of snacks and food, and I guarantee not everyone made the best choices.

For those of us on this healthy lifestyle journey, we have to always stay prepared, even doing a storm. During last year’s historic winter, especially in Boston, I was able to really get a move on my weight loss, and a lot of people were stunned by that. During most storms people tend to binge eat or overeat and they usually are making poor choices because poor choices are an option for them.

A storm isn’t an excuse to pig out, yet an opportunity to try new healthy recipes/snacks and the best way to do that is by being prepared. If you know that you’re going to be stuck in the house, don’t even invite in the temptation! It starts at the grocery store.

Take a list of foods to the grocery and stick to that! You don’t have to buy potato chips, candy, cookies, donuts or whatever other junk food that expires months and months after what you should really be comfortable with! Instead buy nuts/seeds, rice cakes, peanut butter, fruit and veggies (don’t overdo it where you won’t eat it all in that time period), water instead of soda, soups low in sodium, popcorn or oatmeal for an example!  And along with having the right foods in your house remember to exercise restraint!



Don’t eat just because you’re bored, remember we eat to fuel our body not to kill time, besides…you wouldn’t want to run out of food lol!


I’ve attached a “Clean Eating” Grocery list that you can take to the store with you, during a storm or not, just as a guideline of what smarter choices we can be making while shopping!

Clean Eating


Just by doing little things, such as keeping bad foods out of reach, and by practicing portion control, even doing storms, can we make a huge impact on our healthy lifestyle journeys!


Working out with a twist -Zumba 

Going to the gym isn’t the only way to work up a sweat! Organized classes such as Zumba or even yoga can be a great way to break up your normal routine and add a bit of spice to your workouts!

Though, I love going to the gym and doing my own workout at my own pace, I love doing group classes, it challenges you to keep up with the group and to push yourself! A friend of mine, and fellow Penn State Alum, Molly W., started teaching Zumba classes and convinced me to attend. Though this was not my first time participating in a Zumba course, it was a refreshing change from my usual routine.

For those who may not know, Zumba is a dance exercise class and is a ton of fun, works up a sweat and can really help you to drop some inches. Molly, spices up her classes by having theme nights, my favorite of which has been ‘Beyoncé Zumba’,  for obvious reasons.

Find a local club or organization that has organized classes or even get a group of your friends together and have your own class! As long as you’re getting up and moving, you’re doing better than the person on the couch and you’re headed in the right direction!

One of FAVORITE ways to get a workout in at home is to plug in my Wii and play Michael Jackson’s Dance game, if you put your all into it, your heart will be pumping and you’ll definitely break a sweat!

Molly and I



Check out your local gym to see if they offer classes, if so sign up! If not, do workouts at home by finding a Zumba video on Youtube! Whatever you do, get moving!

The Five Misconceptions of (My) Weight Loss


I’ve been very transparent with my weight loss because I know how it feels to feel “stuck” in this journey, and I want to help anyone out there who is willing to listen. There are a lot of misconceptions I encounter when people are questioning my weight loss or just weight loss in general, so I wanted to clear them up (from my point of view), and hopefully help someone while they’re trying to lose weight themselves.


  1. I barely ate.

Most people think that in order to lose weight, you basically have to starve yourself. I totally understand the science behind, less calories eaten, more calories burned, weight gone…but it takes way more than that to lose weight the healthy way. I feel like I was always full, but the good full, while losing weight, and even now. I eat every 2-3 hours, I’m always eating LOL!!! But it’s what you eat that matters. I eat a hearty breakfast, sometimes an omelet with spinach or oatmeal and a piece of fruit. There will be snacks, or mini meals, throughout the day, such as nuts, peanut butter and an apple or crackers, sometime Sunchips and fruit, carrots and hummus or any other combination of things. I meal prep for my lunches as well as my dinners and try to make my dinner my lightest meal. I also have a cheat day once a week. In order to function you need to feed your body calories and in order to lose weight, you have to watch what types of foods you’re getting your calories from. BUT DON’T STARVE YOURSELF, your body will begin to store deposits of fat to survive off of and that’s not good!


       2.  All I did was cardio.

While the treadmill, stair stepper and elliptical were my best friends this past year, I also spent  a lot of time bonding with the many weights/weight machines available in the gym. I’ve done a million squats and lunges , it feels like, most being weighted to challenge myself further, and it has done wonders for the definition in my legs. While the cardio helped me to drop major weight, I wanted to maintain a nice, toned figure and weight lifting was key to that.

I encourage anyone trying to lose weight to diversify their workout, add strength training, yoga, stretching and even dance classes to your weekly routine. *Stretching should be done everyday*

Workout Meme

3. It happened really fast.

I’ve been heavy most of my life and starting in high school I wanted to change that. I never got serious with my weight loss until college. While in college , I did lose around 30 pounds, but my diet in college was horrible. Post college is when I dropped the most weight, about 50 pounds, but it took my body time to find what worked. Your body will eventually adjust to certain workouts and sometimes you’ll have to be more strict in your diet to overcome a plateau, and this all takes time to figure out and make work. Don’t be hard on yourself, don’t give up if you’re not seeing immediate results and remain disciplined in your journey, the reward is far worth it.

It took a while for everyone to notice the weight loss, but it didn’t happen over night for me, and it won’t for you. And that’s okay! Doing this the right way will more than likely lead to long term success, because you’re building habits and a lifestyle change.

4. It was easy.

To go along with the above, “it happened really fast” a lot of people assume that it was also easy. “Oh losing weight was easy for you.” Believe me, I struggled constantly, I cried, I contemplated giving up…but I persevered and made it through. It wasn’t easy, at first, but my support group of friends and family helped to encourage me along the way. Setting goals and then killing them helped to keep me going. And the feeling of getting healthier and getting smaller was the final push to reach  my goals. Find what it is that gives you that feeling of satisfaction, whether that’s losing weight, losing inches, building stamina, fitting into smaller clothes etc. take that and use that as your motivation. Eventually, not working out will feel weird to you and eating junk won’t be as satisfying, but don’t be hard on yourself because you’re not perfect and this isn’t an easy journey!

5. I gave up a lot of foods.

Because some people assumed that I barely ate, it makes sense to think I gave up a lot of foods…but that’s not exactly true. In high school I gave up red meat and pork products, per my mother’s suggestion to live healthier lives, I’ve stuck to this and will never go back (Turkey bacon is Heaven sent). But, to lose weight I gave up fried foods, soda and white breads/pastas and kept everything else in moderation. Sugar is a weight loss killer so it’s important to cut back, but some things naturally have sugar, such as fruits, and I could never give up fruits permanently. It was all about making healthier choices, starting in the grocery store. You don’t have to give up everything you love, but you also don’t have to eat everything you love in the matter of a day or even a week. If you, like me, love pizza or pasta, plan 1 day a week for that, or try using veggie noodles (such as Zucchini noodles) to reduce the amount of carbs/fat from regular pasta noodles. You don’t have to give up good food or any of the foods you love, just make healthier choices around those foods!



HAPPY NEW YEAR! Can you believe that it is 2016? Can you believe we’re already 6 days into January? Can you believe 2015 has came and gone? Can you believe that 2015 has came and gone AND you still haven’t figured out this weight loss thing?…well I can, because if you’re like me and many other Americans, you’re going about it the wrong way.Now, I didn’t mean to offend anyone, but it’s time for some tough love, and it is time to get real. If you want to get healthier and want to be happier with yourself let’s make a real plan, set real goals and get real results. Yes, I know you’ve tried everything, and you’ve tried it every time, but give it one more go.

I did mention above that I was going about this weight loss thing the wrong way, but I’ve found a formula that worked for me and I want to share that with you. If you’ve been following my journey and my blog for the past few months,  then you can see that I not only talk the talk, but I walk the walk. I was over 200 lbs at 5’2″ , severely overweight and severely unhealthy.I researched every diet fad, every pill, every get skinny quick scheme out there, even surgeries, but for the longest I never looked into what I was doing to make myself this way and how I could change that. I say this all of the time but it’s seriously a lifestyle change, once we embrace that concept, weight loss will be off our New Year Resolution list.

Workout Meme

A lifestyle change is exactly what it sounds like, changing your lifestyle, your life, your habits, your thought processes, your eating patterns, your exercising habits and your attitude towards yourself.


  1. Be realistic with yourself. Your schedule is busy. Your life is hectic. You have no time to do it the right way, right? WRONG! You want permanent and positive results? Make that schedule work for you! Proper planning prevents poor performance. You know you have to work late Mondays, the kids have practice, you have night school or that second job? Have your healthy snacks ready, have those apples and peanut butter or carrots and hummus on hand. Meal prep so that dinner for yourself or for your family is ready, balanced and healthy. Don’t get caught off guard, that’s when we make that McDonald’s run or grab those Doritos and Cheetos, it’s only convenient and cheap because we made it that way by not being prepared.
  2. Don’t take shortcuts. Yes pills sometimes work, yes those detox teas and shakes probably taste good, but ask yourself….am I going to drink these forever? No, most likely not. Make habits that will last you and benefit you, make your own detox tea with water, ginger and honey or your own smoothie with chia seeds, fruit and veggies. But couple those things with your other meals, work that into your meal plan for the day. Don’t let it be your meals for a few weeks while you lose weight and wonder why the weight comes back once you quit those intense diets. Don’t do drastic or dramatic in this lifestyle change, gradually cut down on foods that aren’t good for your diet and increase the good, don’t cut out food completely to drop 5 lbs, of what will be water weight and will creep back!!
  3. Be honest with yourself. You drink soda/juice? You’re not going to quit completely in 1 day or even 1 week. You’ve never been to a gym? You’re not going to be running full speed on the treadmill your first day. Work with what you got! Add more water than soda to your daily drink intake. Make sure water is the first and last thing you drink during the day. Go to the gym, wear your nice gym clothes so you’re feeling good about yourself, and walk on the treadmill, at an incline level of 1. Pace yourself and work up to the level you want to be on. This way, you won’t overdue it, you’ll be able to challenge yourself by getting better and better with each day, and you’ll be less likely to give up.


For starters, let’s cut down on these things in our diet and try to make a plan to be active for at least 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week.

  1. Soda/Juice (alternative: water, seltzer water, green tea with honey)
  2. Potato Chips (carrots & hummus)
  3. Fried Foods (Baked foods)
  4. White bread/rice/pasta (whole grains, whole wheat, multi grain)


Progress Pic!

Down from 220 lbs to 143lbs. From size 20 to a size 6/8

After 1

Want to be featured on my blog? Email, we’d love to hear your story!


When you reach your weight goals!

SW: 220 lbs

GW: 150-155 lbs 

CW: 149-151 lbs 

Pride. Happiness. Joy. Love. Accomplishment. Success. Fulfillment. Beautiful. Smaller. 

How do you feel once you reach a goal on this lifestyle change journey?

But the journey doesn’t end here! Stay tuned for updates on how to tone and maintain. 
Stay positive along your journey, you will do it and you will crush your goals! 

You survived the summer now what?!

A friend of mine asked me, “how’s the blogging going?” I almost responded, “great,” until I realized it had been a while since my last update. I missed the whole summer with my blogger friends, and I apologize for that!

Let me just say that, this summer was amazeballs for me! I visited Canada and the West Coast (LA) for the first time, the DMV, my alma mater, all of New England and even moved to a new state! During all of this excitement however, I had to keep my weight loss goals in mind. For those who may not remember, my original goal was 170 pounds but after reaching that I set a new goal of 150-155 pounds. At the start of the summer I was 164 pounds and just knew I would reach my new goal with little to no problems, how naive was I?

Losing weight in the summer and losing weight in the winter are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS (caps locks for greater emphasis). In the winter, in Boston, it snowed, and snowed, and snowed, and snowed….need I say more? I was stuck in the house, trying new healthy recipes, trying new workouts, being conscious of my healthy lifestyle change with ease. With the summer came not only warmer weather, but parties, rooftop outings, cookouts, bar-be-que ( a fav of mine), beach days, mini-vacays, big vacays and just food and alcohol everywhere all of the time. I was trying to lose weight but everyone around me was just trying to enjoy their summers. This made me attentive to my first piece of advice:

  1. Surround yourself with people who respect you and your goals! Respecting you and your goals means these people will not constantly temp you but they will keep you grounded. I was on the extreme, no cheat days unless I am on vacation, no alcohol except one day a week on occasion, no candy or sweets, no fun food….and my friends had to tell me I was being crazy. I had other friends who would make fun of or mock my healthy lifestyle change, and those people, are people I had to keep far away from me. I did not need anyone making this harder on me, making fun of me as though I could not do it, or saying I was ridiculous for making a positive change for my life. My AP (accountability partner as we call it) Eze was my go to when I was getting crazy with my diet and he always brought me back to reality! I suggest you find yourself an Eze!

During the winter, I went to the gym just about every single day of the week for a minimum of an hour. This was not feasible during the summer, there was something to do almost every weekend and everyday after work. This made planning extremely important.

  1. Plan your workouts like you plan your meals (meal prep). I realized that going to the gym everyday was no longer totally necessary, because I was so much closer to my weight goal and was refocusing my goals. I planned to go to the gym at least 3-4x a week for at least an hour, dedicating less time to cardio and more to weight lifting and stretching. This allowed me to still workout and to not stress about not making it to the gym in order to do some activities with friends.

While on vacation, delicious and tempting food is everywhere….and I mean everywhere. Make smart choices.

  1. Your cheat meal can still be a smart choice. If I was on vacation and eating wings, I would opt for the wings by themselves and leave the french fries alone. If I am going to drink any alcohol that day, all of my other beverages are going to be water. Just have balance.

You may be wondering, well what am I going to do with these “summer tips” with fall being 3 days away? These tips are season proof, and go forward will help me to maintain my weight on this healthy lifestyle journey. Throughout the traveling and temptation, I was able to reach my new weight goal, I am currently 151 pounds and plan to work on toning and maintaining. This has been a long journey from 220 pounds and it is not over yet, there’s always room to improve. And as always, anyone can do it, just make small changes each day until they become a habit.

Some good small changes:

  1. Drink more water. Substitute other drinks for water and when you don’t think you’re thirsty, drink water anyway.
  2. Take the stairs instead of elevator
  3. Get baked chicken instead of fried or sweet potato fries instead of regular
  4. Always have a vegetable with your meal
  5. Eat fruit instead of candy

You survived the summer but why not look good year round!

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