Weight Loss. Travel Gains

The questions that I get most often in regards to my weight loss journey:
1. How did you get started? (You can catch up on that HERE)
2. How did you lose weight in your arms?
3. What did/do you eat?
5. How do you stay motivated to workout?

I want to use this blog post to address that last question, sharing how I stay motivated to workout, so grab a pen and some paper and let’s dig in! Though I always say that there’s no “secret sauce” to this whole “healthy lifestyle” thing, there are a few things that have helped me to succeed:

  1. Setting Small Goals

    It’s sooooo easy to get discouraged in this journey, whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain it, it can be easy to feel demotivated when results take longer than we want. I had to remind myself, “I didn’t gain this weight or develop these negative habits over night, so I can’t reverse everything overnight either.” Instead, I started setting small, chunk-size goals, that could feel like little “home-runs” or wins to keep me going.

    “I will lose 5 lbs. in the month of May”
    “I will workout 4x a week this month”
    “I will meal prep 90% of my meals and only drink alcohol 1x a week”

    Once I started keeping my word to myself, hitting these smaller goals, they started to roll into the larger goals, 5lbs turned into 15lbs. and 4 workouts a week in one month drove 5 workouts a week in the next. With each “home-run” I allowed myself to celebrate, but I’d also set a new target and begin the grind against these new goals. I’d celebrate with new workout clothes or shoes, a massage, a new outfit or something else that I’d been wanting!

    Note: I had to reevaluate the manner in which I was celebrating my wins early on, watching when I would celebrate with food, for example. Being that an unhealthy relationship with food is what drove the majority of my weight gain, I wanted to be mindful of how I was gifting myself for hitting goals, so no cupcakes, wine or other snacks as a gift. Because, on the other hand, I didn’t want to deprive myself of these things and kick back to those bad habits of overeating or “sneak-eating” if I didn’t achieve a particular goal.

  2. All Of Your Goals Shouldn’t Revolve Around Weight

    We talked about goal setting, but what should those goals be? Well, anything you want to achieve, but I caution you against hinging all of your success on the scale/a number. Why? Well for one, your weight can be so finicky, fluctuating based on water, your menstrual cycle (for women) and so much more, causing the scale to go crazy, in turn, driving you crazy! So while I wouldn’t suggest you abandon the scale completely (though I have for the time being), I think it’s critically important you also consider other tangible ways that your body is changing. What are some of my goals?

    Being able to gradually increase the amount of weight that I can lift
    Correcting/perfecting my form
    Increasing my reps/time/performance
    Fitting into my clothes better
    Visibly noticing changes in my body/losing inches

  3. Developing A Routine

    It’s so easy to fall of the wagon or lose motivation to workout if it doesn’t fit into your schedule. I always tell myself that I can’t “squeeze my workout into my schedule”, that I need to work my schedule around my workouts. If I am planning to travel, I plan my schedule so that I can still hit my weekly workout target (or get close to it), before heading out on vacation. If it’s busy season at work, or in life (see hot girl summer), I make sure to build my schedule so that my workouts do not have to be sacrificed. Develop a routine and stick to it to the best of your ability. After 30 days of consistency, something will become a habit, once you have this habit and routine, it will feel weird when you break it.

    Another tip, if you need to, schedule your workouts on your calendar or add them to your to-do list! Having that calendar reminder or having to cross off the action from your to-do list is a great daily reminder to get moving!

  4. Making It Fun

    We talked about routines, and though I personally have developed a habit of working out an average of 5 days a week, fitting my lifestyle and workouts together, I still have days that I don’t feel like working out. Work becomes a lot, life gets in the way, last minute plans may pop up, and even PMS or other moodiness try to keep me out of the gym and oftentimes, it takes some personal convincing. I do this by telling myself, “we’ll only do workouts that you like to do”, or “we’ll only workout for 30 minutes,” for example. Most days I am not a huge fan of cardio, but I do it because I need it for my body type (not sure of your body type? check HERE to read my post on body types), but on those days that take convincing to even get to the gym, I’ll typically tell myself, “we’ll skip cardio”. Instead I’ll go straight into weight lifting or some other HIIT workouts that I enjoy doing, like squat jumps or jumping jacks, I’ll focus on legs (my fav) and I’ll just build my routine around my favorite exercises. After about 20 minutes or so into my workout, I start to mentally adjust, getting into the workout and 9/10, by the end of the session, I’ll be ready for some form of cardio.

    Develop a bomb playlist, find a workout video or app to get inspo for workouts and make it fun! Take a class or two! Switch it up when you need to. Workout outside if and when you can! Just keep it fun and fresh, we don’t want working out to feel like a chore or a have to do.

    I’ve also started saying affirmations to myself, switching my mind from “I have to workout” to “I get to workout”, “I get to try a new move today in the gym”, “I get to work on my body/temple today”, helping me to reframe my relationship with working out and going to the gym.

  5. Having A Support Group/Accountability Partner (AP)

    I am all about community! I love having a group of likeminded friends who I can share grievances with, talk about wins, and ask feedback. Throughout the years, I’ve cycled through many accountability partners, but each served their purpose for the moment they played the role! From physically working out together, sharing recipes, sharing workouts, programs or workout accounts on social media, AP’s can serve various roles/purposes.

    Sometimes AP or Support Groups are trainers and/or workout classes! I’ve gotten trainers at various points in my journey and they’ve helped to challenge me to get better/stronger, helped to hold me accountable and call me on my bullish! If a trainer would help keep you on track, even if on the short term, do it!!!

    In 2021, I started doing daily check-ins on my IG stories, sharing with my followers whether or not I got my workout in and asking them to share with me if it was rest day or if they also got some movement in! My followers have now grown to look forward to these check-ins, reaching out to me if I miss a day or sharing their reason for missing a workout any day, or even sharing if they’ve reached a new goal and I LOVE THAT! My entire IG family is now a part of my virtual support group and they hold me accountable!! You can join my virtual support group by following me on IG HERE.

    I also have a mini accountability group, the Healthy Hoes, and we’ve made a new promise to ourselves, if we don’t hit our goal of at least 3 workouts in a week, we owe each member in the group $5 dollars, if nothing motivates me, losing money will!

  6. Checking In With Your Progress

    Keep track of your progress, it is always a great reminder to see where you’ve come from vs where you currently are. We often forget, without reminders, where we started, what we looked like when we started, how we felt, etc. I recommend either keeping a journal of your experience, taking pictures or documenting some other way so that you can continually check in with your progress. When I am feeling really stuck or hit a plateau, I can go back to my journal from 2015 or 2017 and see what my measurements were back then, see what my workouts looked liked, I can check pictures, and I get inspiration to keep going. I am reminded of how hard running for 5 minutes was when I first started vs now completing 5ks and running 3 miles on average! It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day, forgetting how hard you’ve worked and how much progress you’ve made, especially when you’re not yet at your goal, but don’t let tomorrow’s worries steal today’s joy, celebrate the now, recognize the past and know you’re only getting stronger for the future!

  7. Remembering The Ultimate Goal

    And finally, it’s really about grounding yourself in why you started this journey to begin with. Whether it’s a life or death situation in needing to develop a healthier lifestyle or simply wanting to look good naked, there was a reason (or several) that you started this journey and you have to consistently tap in with that goal, especially when you’re feeling demotivated. Write it down somewhere. Repeat it to yourself daily. Share that goal with a friend. Whatever you have to do, just don’t lose sight of that!

There has never been a time that I’ve left the gym or completed a workout and thought, “I am so mad I just spent my time doing that” or “I wish I wouldn’t have worked out”, where on the other hand, I almost always regret unnecessarily skipping my workout. Developing these habits where my body and mind are used to working out, making it important to me and making it fun, have been the biggest drivers of my success thus far and what will keep me going for years to come!

I hope that one or all of these things on this list can inspire you to keep on your own fitness journey!

I apologize for not being as consistent as I should be, but my life has been pretty hectic lately to say the least. To make up for that, here is an August Special!

A friend of mine from college, whom I believe has always looked fabulous, has recently embarked on an incredible weight loss journey that I was ecstatic to share. Her interview is honest, inspiring and eye opening, and I hope you guys take as much from it as I did. Her name is Krista Theodore, she is a recent Penn State grad and has an amazing story to share. She also has started her own website which I encourage you to check out after you read the interview below! (Check it out: kmikaele.com)

Krista 1Krista 7

  • How did you get started on your healthy lifestyle change?

It was a combination of things that finally pushed me to make this change. First, my health was in a really bad state. I have several chronic conditions and I never wanted to think my weight was a factor. I would hear my doctor’s say “Krista, the weight has got to go!” and I would think to myself “How could my weight possibly be an issue if I was born with these conditions?” In fact, many of the medications they prescribed me caused this massive weight gain. I just didn’t want to believe there was a correlation between the two. Looking back, I think the real reason I was unwilling to recognize that it was time for me to lose weight was the fact that I like being invisible. Most people would probably be shocked to hear me say that because I am something of a “social butterfly” but what many close to me know is that I am really insecure and shy, especially when it comes to my appearance. I always felt that my weight was a protective coat and the more weight I carried, the less people want to be around me, I won’t get invited out and guys won’t approach me. Rejection is easier when you’re not in a position to get rejected. However, my friends would constantly tell me how uncomfortable they felt being around someone who felt that way. I never want to make the people I care about uncomfortable. So, I just got to a point where I was tired of being sick and a terrible friend. The first step I made was scheduling an appointment with a wellness program my job provides its employees. The program provides therapy, nutrition consulting and a fitness membership. Most people don’t understand why I went to a therapist to lose weight but it was the best decision I ever made. She helped me realize why I feel security in being obese and what emotions I felt in connections with food.  She also had me participate in groups to connect with other men and women dealing with weight issues. Then, the nutritionist gave me a roadmap of the types of foods and vitamins I should be consuming. Finally, the fitness membership gave me the opportunity to work with fitness professionals to plan out a workout that fit in my schedule and was still effective.

  • What is your motivation?

My motivation is my future. To be more specific, my future kids. Being as young as I am, having children is not on my radar at all right now, but I do think about them. This all relates back to something I saw while shopping with my mom. This little girl and her dad were playing around and decided to race to the car in the parking lot. As they are running towards the car, I see the little girl look back and call out to her mom. “Come on, Mommy! Hurry up!”  Then I look back and her mom, a heavy set woman, is trying her hardest to run and proceeds to run out of breath. I don’t think she made it 50 feet before stopping. I felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed for her. Then I looked down at my stomach and realized I was headed there. My mom was so active in my life and we did everything together: travel, play sports, cook etc. Her active participation during my childhood is what has made me the smart and caring person I am today. I don’t want to rob my future kids the opportunity to have a fun mom who can it all!

  • Do you follow a strict diet regime?

I wouldn’t describe my diet regime as strict. One thing my nutritionist taught me is that our bodies will not make eating healthy a habit if we try to make it a “diet” or deprive ourselves of treats. Together, he and I made a meal plan, where I eat small portions every three hours (five meals a day) and if I followed the plan for the week, I could treat myself to something small, healthy but still enjoyable, like frozen yogurt, smoothies, going to a restaurant etc.

I also do something called “Chef it Up Sundays”. On Sundays, I cook up all the meals I want for the week and store them in containers in the freezer. That way, I don’t have to think about food. I just grab the container and stick it in the microwave.

  • Do you follow a strict workout regime?

My life is so hectic and my schedule is packed due to my work. For that reason, I plan my fitness for when the time permits. Right now my schedule can accommodate an hour and a half Zumba twice a week after work, self-instructed cardio and strength training five times a week during my work lunch hour, and weekend runs. It is my hope that one day I can hire a professional trainer to help guide me through the rest of my journey.

  • How long have you been on this journey?

My whole life (HAHA). My weight has been up and down for that long, but this particular path in my journey started in November 2014.

  • What would you say has been the hardest part?

The hardest part has been adjusting to my new size. I love my clothes so the fact that I have had to “retire” my old clothes has been rough. In addition, I haven’t bought many new clothes because I am still transitioning, making it more difficult. Then, I get so much attention now. Remember, I like being invisible, so having people whistle in the streets and compliment me all the time has been really weird. Plus, I notice my clothes don’t fit but somehow I feel the same size. It’s been a crazy adjustment for me.

  • What are some routines that you swear by?

As cliché as I sounds, I have been waist training. I am not naïve to think the waist trainer is magical and will do all the work. If you are actually willing to put in the work, it has a lot of benefits. One being that the compression garment makes you less likely to overeat. Next, as you lose weight, it helps “shape” you. I was worried about losing my curves while losing weight but the waist trainer has helped cinch my waist. I wear mine 8 hours a day and now during my workouts.

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

I have five pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t think you have to do this alone. You wouldn’t  believe how many people are trying to get healthy and fit, and are just as lost as you may be. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take advice.
  2. It takes time. It didn’t take a day to put the weight on, so it won’t take a day to come off.
  3. Don’t try and use a short cut. I won’t knock anyone’s methods but I see a lot of quick weight loss schemes on social media. Don’t do it. Some of those products seem harmless but are really dangerous. Weight loss is important but so is health. They should be working hand and hand. Don’t sacrifice one for the other. Also, the quicker it comes off, the quicker it will come back.
  4. Don’t get caught up in numbers. The scale is no one’s friend! In the beginning of my journey, the scale didn’t move but my clothes were falling off. Don’t get discourage by everyone’s common enemy: the scale.
  5. Don’t compare your journey with someone else’s. You will drive yourself nuts that way. Weight loss and wellness is not one size fits all. Focus on you and take baby steps.

Krista 4 Krista 8

  • How much progress have you made thus far?

I have lost 109 pounds so far. I was 331 pounds and now I am 222. I was wearing a 22W/24 and now I am in between a 12/14.

  • What was your goal? And how did you set it?

I don’t have a goal per se. My doctor told me the weight I needed to be considered “healthy” but that number is far too low for my comfort. I don’t think I would be ok at 135 pounds at 5’ 6.5”. Right now, I want to be a size 10, so whatever pounds that is, but I think that could change once I get there.

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

Support. I don’t know if I’d be at the weight I am right now without my medical team, my parents, my friends, and all the support groups I participate in. It is so much easier when you are not doing it alone and have a crowd of people cheering you on. Plus, I find that the more support you have, the more resources you are exposed to.

  • Is there anything else that you want to share?

I have received not only a huge amount of positive feedback and support, but countless questions. I believe that weight loss and improved health is far easier to achieve when you have the tools, knowledge and support. For this reason, I have made a website to share recipes, tips, my journey, and other information. Check it out: kmikaele.com

Check out Krista’s amazing transformation photos below! Please be sure to check out her website for more advice and inspiration!

Krista 2 Krista 6 Krista 10  Krista 3Krista 9

Another story of inspiration from someone just like you and me, someone who wanted to make a change and just did it! Darah Doubt and I attended school together in our younger years but more recently I have been watching her weight loss journey and it has been a great inspiration to my own. If you want to hear someone be honest and open about their struggles and successes, I promise, you won’t be disappointed by reading her interview below.

darah 2

Like many others, I have struggled with my weight for a very long time. I wasn’t a heavy child and my weight was not a problem until about 12-13 years old. At first it was just “baby fat” and the fact that obesity ran through many generations on my father’s side, was a warning. But when you’re 200 pounds and in the 9th grade, you know it’s now  a problem. My mom and I would often shop and look at big sizes and say that will never be us, but it’s all fun and games until your closet is filled with nothing but those sizes.

In my journey, I’ve always had people tell me how beautiful I was or how I didn’t  need to be small to be beautiful, which is absolutely true. But unless you’ve been there, you truly don’t understand. People treat you different when you’re overweight. They often see it as a problem that you caused and can fix, unlike skin color, age, or sexual orientation. Even as I see my weight come down, I notice how many people want to “do lunch” or “link up” and it saddens me.

I am sharing my story and I hope to cause someone else to maybe shares theirs as well. Please be patient with me, weight is something I don’t usually talk about….

How did you get started on your healthy lifestyle change?

I started on my weight loss journey back in 2009-2010 during my freshman year at Lincoln University. When I first started there, they had a fitness class requirement for all students who were over a certain BMI. Now this was totally unfair not only because BMI is inaccurate for people like athletes (not me lol) but it’s also a form of discrimination. The class was later dissolved but I took it because I actually wanted and needed to. So after completing the class, I lost a total of 16 pounds in a semester which is really good and made a total of 30 pounds lost for the year and ended up somewhere around 209 Yay Me!! So fast forward through some life events, some poor eating habits, lack of exercise and I graduated in 2013 at around 240-250. I couldn’t believe I had gained so much weight. I tried losing some more but after more life changes events, there I was, 22, 4’10, and 265 pounds. On my 23rd birthday, I decided to talk to a nutritionist and my PCP about a healthy weight loss plan that I could implement and began my most recent, most successful and hardest journey yet.

What is your motivation?

Aside from wanting to look good, which is something most people won’t admit because they don’t want to sound vain, my motivation is to just have a better quality of life. It sounds cliché but it is true. Since losing weight I find joy in the smallest things like walking between poles and not having to turn sideways or getting on a plane and not having to get an extender belt. I also think about future things like fitting into a nice wedding dress and being able to play with my children. And while I never had any health issues related to my weight, that is not something I wanted to experience and I wanted to be proactive.

Do you follow a strict diet regime?

I have a very strict diet. The biggest part of my diet is protein intake because it helps me to stay full. I only eat chicken and fish, I eat lots and lots of Greek yogurt, eggs and cheese. I drink protein shakes as well which help with toning after exercising. I also eat fruits and veggies. I don’t eat any fried or breaded foods, sugar, bread, starch, candy, pop, butter, chips, or creamy dressings.

Do you follow a strict workout regime?

My workout consists of at least 45 minutes of cardio that makes me break out in a profuse sweat including treadmill, bike and elliptical. I then lift weights with emphasis on my glutes, abs, and thighs.

How long have you been on this journey?

I began my most recent and most successful and hardest journey on Friday September 12th, 2014, my 23rd birthday and the best gift I have ever given myself. I was put on a very strict diet and exercise plan and I actually gained 7 pounds before my weight started to go down. Frustrating right!

What would you say has been the hardest part?

The hardest part for me is portion control. What can I say? I love food lol. But controlling my portions and eating very small amounts of food has been more beneficial to me than exercising, I found that even on weeks where I missed the gym, I still lost weight because I ate small amounts and also ate very healthy choices. I also was a candy and Sprite fanatic which I miss sometimes but I tried to drink pop one time and it just didn’t taste the same or give me the same satisfaction.

What are some routines that you swear by?

Cardio is key when working out because it makes you sweat and raises heart rate. Greek yogurt and Tilapia are the best foods to eat besides cottage cheese.

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

Cliché but just do it. Stop thinking about, stop talking about it and just do it. That’s the hardest part. Once you start and make a conscious effort to make it a part of your lifestyle, it will become second nature. Certain things won’t even feel the same or taste the same. The best feeling is when you can try on something and say “it’s too big.” And do it for yourself, not for anyone else. That way whether you fail or succeed, it was up to you and you are held accountable.

How much progress have you made thus far?

My highest weight (December 18th, 2014) was 274.2 pounds, size 24 pants, 3x top, 44H bra size. Today, (July 13, 2015), I am 185.6 pounds, size 14 pants, Large top, 38H bra and loving it!

darah 3

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

My first goal was to lose 100 pounds and I have lost 89 so far. My new goal is to be between 140 and 150 but also look a certain way in my clothes meaning no back fat, thigh rolls, or muffin top.

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

My family and friends are very supportive of me and they often joke with me about my weight loss. My mom jokingly calls me Honey Bunches of Oat because of my healthy diet and I love it. I also appreciate my boyfriend because he puts up with my constant stories, he celebrates every pound like it’s the first, and makes sure that I know he is in my corner no matter how much I weigh.

Is there anything else that you want to share?

When they say love yourself no matter what size you are, it’s really true. When you beat yourself up about being heavy or decisions you made, you hinder your progress. Once you realize that you only get one natural life to live, you learn that you deserve to be happy in it. I thank God every day for the progress that He has placed upon my journey because I could not do it without Him. I’ve never loved myself the way I do now and it’s not because I am smaller but I am truly proud of myself for setting a goal, making a plan, and sticking to it. There will also be critics who say things like “you want to dress sexy because you lost weight” or “you look better big” and those are the people to stay away from because they were never for you and will stunt your growth. And no matter what size you are remember that life is about choices and anything that you decide or don’t decide to do, it’s up to you and it’s all on you.

Honestly, anyone can make a change, you just have to be consistent and persistent, check out more pictures of Darah’s transformation below!

darah 1 darah 7  darah 6 darah 9 darah 10 darah 5darah 8

Do you know anyone who has an amazing transformation? Tell them to email me to be featured at kalynflournoy@gmail.com.

Another extra special Inklings of Inspiration for April!

bree weeks 2

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!

Again, I have another story about an amazing transformation that has given me inspiration along my journey. Below you will find Dominique Scott’s story, a young lady, entrepreneur and future PSU alum who learned to balance all of the things in her life with a gym schedule in determination to make a change.

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

I started losing weight my junior year of undergraduate school, 1.5 years ago. I went  to the gym 3-4 times per week and decided to start adapting a healthy eating LIFESTYLE, and not get caught up on temporary diets.

2. What is your motivation?

My motivation is a few things: my future children, goals and aspirations. I had to learn to truly treat my body like a temple because this is the only place my soul has to live and it is a physical representation of my spirit. I want to live longer to see my descendants’ successes as well as see my own brand flourish.

3. Do you follow a strict diet regime?

During a typical day, I usually follow my personal guidelines as far as low/ no carbs or sweets. I usually eat oatmeal and a piece of fruit for breakfast, chicken/ fish with veggies for lunch and a meal replacement shake or salad for dinner.

4. Do you follow a strict workout regime?

Because I am in the process of still losing fat, I stick to strictly cardio exercises. I will move onto weights when it is time to tighten up/ tone. I usually run 3-4 days in the morning before I start my day.

5. How long have you been on this journey?

One and a half years

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

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SWEETS! Cookies and cakes are my absolute favorite and it was hard to go cold turkey. I treat myself on a weekly basis to a sweet treat if I maintained my healthy eating and exercise goals.

7. What are some routines that you swear by (whether that be something physical, mental or something you eat etc.)

  • Always go to the gym in the MORNING! If you leave it off to mid day or nighttime, every excuse comes about to not go anymore.

  • For more intense weight loss,  burn more calories per day than you consume

  • No more than ONE hour of cardio at a time on a regular basis

  • SHORT AND SWEET: exercise doesn’t have to be long, just give it all you got in a short period of time

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

No longer think about the number of times you began and quit your journey (that’s irrelevant). You will only stay on track and see a hug difference when YOU are read for change, not someone else. You have to stay committed to yourself first and take YOU serious because YOU matter!

9. How much progress have you made thus far? (Either starting weight to current weight or  pant size changes or how much weight you’ve lost or combination of any measurements)

I was originally a size 20, now I am currently a size 14. I lost 50 pounds in total since the beginning of my journey!

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

My ultimate goal is 170 pounds and I am only half way there. I plan to continue to live healthy and just naturally lose the weight.

dominique transformation picdomonique 4dominique 3dominuqe 2

As promised, I wanted to continue to share some of the people that I’ve gotten inspiration from! So here it is, another story about an awesome transformation from a college friend, Lerell Richards.  Weight loss is not a gender specific problem and there are guys out there who want to make a change and this guy did. Look below to read my interview with Lerell and how he made his lifestyle change.

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

Honestly, coming to college I had gained around 30-40 pounds between freshman and junior year. I knew, eventually, I wanted to lose the weight that I had gained. So this past summer I decided that I finally was going to be proactive in losing weight and becoming a healthier me.

2. What is your motivation?

Seeing the change is definitely my motivation. Going shopping and having to buy a smaller pants size definitely is a confidence booster. Also, the people that are always around me telling me how much better I look is motivation.

3. Do you follow a strict diet regime?

I don’t really have a strict diet regime. For me it was more about cutting out the bad stuff in order to make room for the good. I decided last Spring to no longer eat pork because of all the negative health benefits it caused. I also recently, cut all red meat from my diet. I decided to limit the amount of “junk food” I consumed (Let’s be honest, I’m in college I couldn’t completely cut out junk food. Also, my alcohol consumption has decreased severely.

4. Do you follow a strict workout regime?

Not really. This summer when I got home from my internship I would jog for about 2.5 miles everyday. Coming back to school, I still jog but not as frequently as I did in the summer, I’ve wanted to go to the gym more and focus on muscle gains.
5. How long have you been on this journey?

Since mid-May 2014.
6. What would you say has been the hardest part?   

Food and alcohol is definitely the hard part. Being in college you’re always up all times of the night doing work making you hungry more often. We’re also always going out on the weekends and being surrounded by alcohol.

7. What are some routines that you swear by (whether that be something physical, mental or something you eat etc.)

Not eating pork or red meat.

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

Once you start, don’t stop. Jogging everyday was a struggle but once I kept consistently doing it, it became a part of my daily routine. It felt weird the days that I didn’t go for a jog.

9. How much progress have you made thus far? (Either starting weight to current weight or  pant size changes or how much weight you’ve lost or combination of any measurements)

At the beginning of the summer I wore a size 36 pant and now I’m a 32/33. Thus far, I’ve lost like 15-20 pounds.

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

I didn’t really have any goals in mind I just knew that I wanted to lose weight.

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

Lose weight and become healthier for yourself not for the satisfaction of others.

Check out some of his transformation photos below.


%d bloggers like this: