Weight Loss. Travel Gains

The biggest barrier that most people face when dealing with their weight is honestly mentality. You can be making the right changes and losing weight and still not be happy with yourself because it’s all in how you feel about yourself.

Personally, I sometimes look in the mirror and still see that two hundred plus pound girl that I used to be and realize it is all a mental game. In order to truly be satisfied with your progress and proud of all you’ve accomplished you have to be in this journey  for the right reason. This means setting a SMART goal for yourself. Set a goal that is simple, measurable, attainable,  relevant and time bound.

For me, in January 2015 I set a goal to lose 21 lbs to wear a size 12 by the end of the year. Though I gave myself so much time I was working toward something every single day. Before I set this goal however, I just had goals to lose weight and would look to other people to be more like them but this, at times, became extremely discouraging . I stumbled across this picture and it just makes sense, everyone is different, your body, your shape, your body fat percentage, your height, your genes etc. so you have to look to you, to make your own goals.

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After setting my own goals and reaching them, I set a new smart goal, 160 lbs by March, and once I reached that I realized I could keep pushing . My new goal is to be 150 pounds by my road trip to OVO/Carribana in Canada in July!

I also made myself a promise to not compare myself or my body to everyone around me, or else I would go crazy!

It is important to not only challenge yourself but to also reward yourself, this is not an easy journey but it is rewarding.

Starting Weight: 220 lbs

Current Weight: 159 lbs

Goal Weight: 155lbs and toned!

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So many people have been telling me that my blog has inspired them to get started or encouraged them to continue their journey and honestly, that means the world to me because that was the goal. But a lot of people have been asking me how I got started and then it hit me, duh, that should have been my first blog post! How to get started on a healthier life!

me and trainer

*Me and my trainer in 2014

Well for me it was simple laying out the plan:

1.Become more active…work out more!

2.Eat better!

You may be saying to yourself, well if it were that simple, I wouldn’t need your help and obesity wouldn’t be the fastest growing disease in the country. Well you are right and wrong. It is simple but you have to train yourself to believe that, it took me a long time to get to this realization however. Let me explain further what I mean…

  1. Become more active…work out more!

In order to lose weight you have to have a calorie deficit, meaning eat the calories you need and burn off the ones you don’t. Not everyone can afford a gym membership but you don’t need to. In the warm weather you can walk or run outside and you can do many at home exercises (YouTube Bodynomics or exercise videos such as Anowa Adjah Power Physiques, or even Wii/Xbox workout games) to achieve results. If you can afford a gym membership, such as Planet Fitness for $10.00 a month, that works as well!

I started my healthy lifestyle journey my  freshman year of college by purchasing a gym membership and going to the gym with my best friends about 3-4 times a week. The “bread and butter” for me to really kick start my weight loss was cardio but paired with weight lifting. During my college years I mainly focused on the treadmill, the bike and the elliptical and did not do as much weight lifting as I should have, which is why I didn’t immediately see the results I wanted. I would do 30-40 minutes of cardio and play with the weight machines, leg machines, machines targeting abs and even arms.

In more recent times, where I’ve seen faster and more substantial results, I have been going to the gym about 5 times a week, doing 45 minutes of cardio (running on the treadmill, elliptical, bike and/or stairs) and doing 30 minutes of weightlifting, focusing on a different section of the body each day. Sundays I usually start with leg day and alternate between arms and abs/backs throughout the week.

Not only do I feel better and more physically fit, I look better! I am developing muscles, toning, slimming down and I can do more! I have tendonitis in my knee and back aches from a car accident but with working out I barely feel pain anymore. Working out also reduces stress. In the beginning it is hard to get into a routine for sure but as Aristotle proclaimed, “we are what we repeatedly do,” and studies show that it takes on average 21 days to form a habit. If you continuously and faithfully put forth an effort to get at least a  30 minute workout in at least 5 days a weeks (or 3-4 if you are really stretched for time), your body will eventually adapt and you will feel weird whenever you miss a workout.

  1. Eat better!

All four years of my college career I had a gym membership…but I also had a meal plan and both are important to my healthy lifestyle change. I was working out and sweating in the gym but had a horrible routine for eating and ate crap honestly. I remember my diet most nights, chicken tenders or a chicken sandwich with French fries and an iced tea. I had a nutritionist and a trainer but was still not doing what I had to do. For those looking to get started here are really a few simple changes that you can make that will really make the difference.

  1. Drink lots of water! Trash the teas, soda, sweet coffee beverages and all juice! I try to drink 100 ounces of water or more a day and it truly makes a difference. Green tea is not bad, but not with a ton of added sugar. Most people don’t realize how much unnecessary sugar they intake that is hidden in the drinks they choose. Additionally, lemon water is delicious and a natural detox.
  2. Never skip breakfast! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Seriously, even if you need to grab a cup of oatmeal or cereal, never skip out on breakfast.
  3. Have a balanced plate, vegetables and protein are super important!
  4. Try to make healthier choices, such as whole grain or brown rice over white bread/rice. Ground turkey over ground beef. Limit pork and beef intake. Skim milk over whole. Less cheese and butter. Skip the potato chips. Seltzer water over soda. Fruit over candy. Greek yogurt over sour cream. Substitute applesauce for your baking needs. Sweet potato fries over regular fries. And so many other super easy tricks that can save you so much calorie wise. Whenever you are wondering if you can make a healthy substitute quickly Google!
  5. Moderation is key. You can still have your cheat days and your favorite foods just be careful with portion sizes and how much you eat. I love pizza so on my cheat days I will make my pizza using whole grain dough, salt free marinara and my veggies of choice!
  6. Be prepared. I do my meal preps weekly and only purchase the foods I know I should be eating so that I always have something good to eat at hand.
  7. One personal choice that I made that has really sped up my metabolism is to eat every 2-3 hours. I will eat breakfast, a snack (Greek yogurt or granola bar), lunch, a snack (hummus and pretzels/carrots) and dinner. I feel like I’m always eating but this method has worked for me! (I also switch up the snacks/meals to whatever I’m feeling that week.

I am in no way claiming to be an expert and don’t have all of the answers, but I have been finding things that work for me that have also worked for others. I don’t have a ton of money so I can do this while on a budget and know that my changes now will save me money on obesity related health issues later.

Just by slowly incorporating healthier changes into your life you will gradually begin to see more changes. Slowly swap out bad foods for goods one

I know that this was a longer blog post but I really hope it helps someone! Check out some of my progress pictures below dating from 2011, 2012 and more recently April 2015 (left to right)! It has not been the easiest goal that I’ve set for myself but certainly the most rewarding.

Starting weight: 220

Original Goal Weight: 175

Current Weight: 162

New Goal: 155

I’ve lost several dress sizes, bra sizes, ring sizes, a shoe size and many inches off of my waist!

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Anyone have any progress pictures that they’d like to share or methods they used to get started? Email me at kalynflournoy@gmail.com

Another extra special Inklings of Inspiration for April!

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Someone who has been an inspiration for me throughout my last two years of college, Brianna Weeks, whose progress has been amazing! Even from her first response to the interview, “ I hope this helps someone start, strengthen or continue a journey not just of weight loss but of life change,” she is just a gem to all of those she surrounds and is a motivator to all wanting to make a change. She mentions a lot of things that I stress to my friends and family, especially the negative side effects obesity can have on you later in life.

Check out her interview below, as well as progression pictures!

  1.     How did you get started on your healthy lifestyle change?

I got started back in January 2013. I wanted to feel more comfortable in my body. When I was at a heavier weight I felt uncomfortable all the time, dressed up, naked, sleeping or standing. Also I wanted to be proud of my body and take control of it and not let it control me.

  1.    What is your motivation?

My motivation is the patients I see everyday (I am a registered nurse) who have chronic irreversible illness because they did not take care of their bodies when they were my age.

  1.    Do you follow a strict diet regime?

I actually just finished a fitness plan called Fitgirl for 28 days that was pretty regimented but I lost 10lbs and I feel stronger. I would recommend it for sure (Just Google Fitgirl 28 Day Jumpstart). Usually though I wouldn’t call my eating plan strict or a diet, its balanced. I usually don’t eat meat. I love to cook and I cook a lot so I typically don’t buy meat. I go through periods of 3-6 months without chicken turkey, pork or beef. Cutting out meat helps me to allocate my calories to fish and fresh vegetables and beans helps me to choose better eating options. It helps me to be more conscious about what I put in my body. Everyone is different.

  1.    Do you follow a strict workout regime?

I try to work out 3-4 times a week. 5-6 if I want to see results sooner. This year I’ve been going about 4-5x a week.

  1.    How long have you been on this journey?

I have officially been on this journey since January 2013.

  1.    What would you say has been the hardest part?

The hardest part is not being a slave to the scale. Being healthy by working  out and eating right is a reward in itself. Just because you don’t see the scale moving or its moving in the wrong direction doesn’t mean I should give up.

  1.    What are some routines that you swear by?

I swear by strength conditioning and weight training. Using your own body as a weight is so powerful. Every time I do a side plank or a tricep dip I use my body and it gets easier every time. I don’t feel my workout is complete without strength or weights. Most women are so scared to lift. To me, its empowering!

  1.    Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those out there looking to get started or to get back on track?

One bad eating day or skipped gym day doesn’t make you fat or lazy and on the contrary one clean eating day and crossfit session doesn’t make you fit. Consistency is key. Build a habit and keep it going. Challenge yourself every now and again to break up the monotony. I do cleanses or fasts every now and again to increase my focus and reignite my passion for the journey.

  1.    How much progress have you made thus far?

My progress has been slow but steady and maintainable. My heaviest recorded weight was 198 lbs but I feel I’ve been heavier than that. My first goal was 175 lbs, but then I saw how after working hard  that goal was attainable. I want to keep setting “unattainable” goals so if I land just a little shy I will still have made progress. I started off in a size 14/16 dress. I am an 8/10 right now. I would love to be a solid 8 dress size. My current weight is 165-168- ish and my new weight goal is 155 but I would be happy with 160.

           10.   Is there any one thing or things that have helped to make the biggest impact whilst on this  journey?

When bad things happen I work out. When good things happen I work out. I try not to let emotions get me into a rut.

I hope that hearing about another story is helping someone on their own journey. Brianna has always looked great but check out some of her progress pictures to see how amazing she looks now! I appreciate her showing her pictures and being open and honest!

Bree Weeks Progress Pics 1 bree weeks progress pics 2 bree weeks progress pics 3 bree weeks progress pics 4

Some good things come early, and this month’s (April) Inklings of Inspiration is coming a few days early because I’m just too excited about this story. Some people make a huge impact on your life in a short amount of time and this story is about someone who did just that. I was introduced to Rachel last Thanksgiving, she is my uncle’s new girlfriend and my new fitness buddy!

She has a very real story and an amazing transformation that can inspire anyone. I told Rachel about my healthy lifestyle journey and she immediately started helping me with websites, recipes, workouts and the oh so necessary moral support. Check out her interview below and be inspired by someone like you and me who just wanted to be healthier.

  1. How did you get started on your healthy lifestyle change?

My journey began a little less than a year ago.  I was wearing the largest size pants I have ever worn …and they were getting tight!  When I was younger I enjoyed running, so I figured I would give it a try. When I could barely run ½ mile, I knew it was time for a change.  I had tried fad diets, not eating enough,yoyo diets … and I always gained the weight back.  I knew this time I had to do it the right way, and I had to make sure the weight didn’t come back.

  1. What is your motivation?

Because I always wanted to be a runner, this Fall I signed up to run the Pittsburgh half-marathon in May. I have gone from running ½ mile, to a few 5K races … and just last weekend I ran 8 miles straight.  I am motivated to be ready for the 13.1 miles in two months!

  1. Do you follow a strict diet regime?

Even in the last year, I have still had some struggles with my diet.  I had a few months where I wasn’t eating enough … I had no energy … I wasn’t eating enough carbs.  Now I feel like I am in a good place with my diet.  Yes, I cheat sometimes and treat myself … but I can honestly say now that I know what I’m supposed to eat, and how much.  I have a clean eating grocery list saved in my phone, and I try to base as many meals around that as I can.  I can always make a healthier choice, and that’s what I try to do. Like they say … it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet!

  1. Do you follow a strict workout regime?

Because I am training for a half-marathon, I try to run at least 4-5 days per week.  I also do some p90x, free weights, and yoga.  After the marathon, I would like to do the insanity workouts all the way through.  Once I reach my weight loss goal, my hope is to never miss more than two days of working out.

  1. How long have you been on this journey?

My journey started one year ago in April.

  1. What would you say has been the hardest part?

Going through this has been an emotional roller coaster.  When you are losing weight the right way, it takes longer.  You may go months and only lose a few pounds.  Some days I wake up, look in the mirror, and see the old me.  I feel like I don’t look any different.  Those are the times when I have to look at old pictures. When you hit a plateau, it’s very hard to have the motivation to keep going.  There were days that I figured, “I may as well eat whatever I want today … because I’m not going to lose any weight anyway.”  Those days are tough, and I still have them!

  1. What are some routines that you swear by.

I use my juicer every single morning, no matter what.  I throw in an apple and a bunch of green veggies. This is the first thing I eat every day.  Over the last few weeks I also decided to stop getting on the scale. Instead, I took pictures and bought a pair of jeans that I want to fit into by April.  The scale isn’t always a true indicator.  I try not to eat after 8:00 PM … I hate that full feeling before going to sleep.  Finally, on Friday nights I plan all my meals for the week … breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.  Then on Saturday I do all the grocery shopping.  You are less likely to cheat if you have everything you need right in front of you.

  1. Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those out there looking to get started or to get back on track?

It’s never too late to start.  We all want to look good in clothes, bathing suits, etc., but it’s really about being healthy. I woke up one day and realized … my poor eating habits could cause me to get diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.  Do it for YOU and for your health!

  1. How much progress have you made thus far?

My last time on the scale showed a weight loss of 65 pounds.  I haven’t been on the scale in about a month because I plateaued and was getting frustrated.  I started at a size 18 one year ago … and that size 18 was getting tight!  I now fluctuate between an 8 and 10.  My goal is a size 6.

  1. What was your goal? And how did you set it?

My original goal was to get to a certain weight, but I am realizing that it’s not really about the number on the scale.  It’s more about how I feel and how healthy I am.  I would like to be a size 6.  I was a size 8 in high school, and it would be amazing to go down a size from then!

  1. Is there any one thing or things that have helped to make the biggest impact whilst on this journey?

The biggest impact is having support.  For me, my boyfriend has been the biggest one for me.  He helped teach me what to eat, how to work out, what to do when I plateau, and always tells me that he’s proud of what I’ve accomplished.  In addition to that, it has helped to have other friends that are going through a similar journey.  For me, it is beneficial to talk to people that have struggled with weight loss … more than someone who has been thin their entire life!

  1. Is there anything else that you want to share?

You have to educate yourself … read articles, look up recipes and workouts, etc.  In the last year I have learned so much about what to eat, what not to eat, and the effects that different foods have on my body.  There are certain things I will never eat again in my life … and other things that I eat now and would have never eaten before.  Making this life change is a full time job, but a very important one!


Look at Rachel’s transformation photo below, she looks amazing right!
rachel

Progress Check!

It may be hard to see any progress along your journey, but the hardest thing is to not have any standard to measure your progress by. Yes I take millions of pictures, yes I’m the scale all the time and yes, my clothes are starting to get too big…but I’ve also set goals for myself to measure my success by.

When I first started my weight loss/ healthy lifestyle journey I decided that I wanted to be 170 lbs and to fit in to a size 12 pants. I was a size 16/18 at the time and over 200 lbs so I thought that this would help me to get healthier and was a good goal, that I could reach. Well…I reached that goal! And currently I am past it, weighing in 3/23 at 165 lbs and fitting in a size 12. Reaching my original weight loss goal was definitely a confidence boost as well as a sense of accomplishment because I had achieved a goal. Because I’ve been having so much fun getting healthier, I actually set a new goal for myself, I want to get to 160 lbs. (Once I hit that I may keep going, I may not lol)…at this point I want to begin to focus more heavily on weight lifting and toning my body, which is not easy. Setting goals has honestly helped me to stay on track because I am working toward something and each step closer is a mini accomplishment in itself.

I also use these goals in times where I begin to doubt any progress that I’ve made, which is often, by comparing how far I’ve came.

Anywhoo, this post was to celebrate that I have made my goal, I have set a new goal and I will crush that one as well! Have you set your goals yet?

Check out one of my progress pics below…

progress check

Breakfast Bake!

Hey guys! Hope everyone is excited to get their March off to a fabulous start! With that being said…is everyone still working towards their goals?

In order to stay on track it is crucial to plan! Proper planning prevents poor performance!!! How do you properly plan a healthy lifestyle change? Say it with me people….meal prep!! I’ve talked about my meal prep in other blogs but I wanted to hit on the most important meal of the day, BREAKFAST! Normally for breakfast I will either do scrambled eggs and turkey bacon or steel coat oats and fruit but I’ve always lacked a vegetable and didn’t know how to incorporate it. (I didn’t think oatmeal, strawberries and kale would be  a good combo, you know) At work, most of us are participating in a weight loss challenge and one of the girls brought in an egg bake and it looked/smelled delicious.

I thought this would be perfect for me because I could include any vegetables that I wanted. An egg bake is basically a baked omelet! For my bake I had…


1. About 10 eggs

2. Green and red peppers (used 1 of each)

3. 1 Sweet onion (used 1/4)

4. 1 tomato (used half)

5. Fresh broccoli (used full crown)

6. 6 slices of turkey bacon


I always soak my veggie/fruit in vinegar water before using them While my veggies were being cleansed, I baked the bacon in the oven and prepared my baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. I then rinsed the veggies off and chopped them up. I placed them in the dish, the bacon on top and poured the raw eggs over top. I then popped the dish in the oven on 350 for about 25 minutes (did the good ole’ stick a fork in it if it’s done trick) and took it out to cool. I did taste a forkful and it was delicious and I will be using it for my breakfast for this upcoming week! Will probably pair with an apple/kiwi and cup of water and will have a great breakfast meal!

As far as calories, fat, or even serving size, because I didn’t follow a recipe I am not 100% sure and do not want to lie to you but look at the ingredients you’ve included…they’re all good foods so just don’t overindulge and you’ll be fine!

Also, feel free to add any other foods such as mushrooms or spinach or even take items out, use what you like! Some people include cheese on theirs, but I am trying to avoid dairy (minus eggs) so I did not!

Remember, breakfast is THE most important meal so don’t skip out on it, it should be your biggest meal! And, also you are what you eat so limit your processed foods!!

Check out my bake below as well as a pic of all of the veggies I used.

girls with goodsbeginning breakfast bake

While I know that spot training does not work when trying to lose weight, my biggest problem area is my stomach/love handles and I’m ready to get rid of them!

After looking at a transformation of one of the girls I follow on Instagram, I noticed that she uses a waist trimmer, not the same thing as a waist trainer. I decided to buy this trimmer, from Walmart for 5 dollars and give it a try.

I’ve been using it for about 2 1/2-3 weeks now and do I like it! I have been seeing a lot more sweat in my stomach area and have lost 1/2 inch off my waist. (But this could be attributed to my cardio/eating regime alone). I would say if you’re going to get something like a waist trimmer remember you still have to work out and you have to have healthier eating habits.

Along with the waist trimmer and cardio I still weight lift and focus on certain areas on my body each day. During ab day I will do crunches, sit ups, planks, high knees, Russian twists and a few other moves that I find on YouTube channel Bodynomics!

As I start to see or not see results I will keep you updated!! Anyone else use a waist trimmer before?

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