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Happy New Year!

Rose champagne and roses

Happy New Year my friends!  I hope you’ve had a fantastic day.  I didn’t do much to celebrate the start of my 48th year but I have felt better today than I have in several days so I will take it!  Also, I am so VERY VERY thankful for my amazing friends who acknowledged my birthday.  One of them even brought me these gorgeous roses.  How can I not feel blessed?

Today was Opening Day for English Premier League and I’ve been excited about that for quite a while.  I have a coworker who is trying to convert me into a fan of his team and after watching their match today, I think he will succeed.  Such an exciting match!  I wish everyone could appreciate that first match energy, for any sport.  Today was ELECTRIC!  And NFL preseason football has started now too.  There are so many people who aren’t sports fans and I apologize in advance for what I will be posting for the next 9 months or so 🙂

I am truly grateful to be starting another year with so many amazing people in my corner!  Earlier this week I was feeling very alone, very isolated and adrift.  Today I am so very thankful for all of you who took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday.  For you it took a few seconds, for me it meant the world.  Just know that your kind words saved me.

Someone reminded me of what I wrote a year ago.  I had just started my weight loss journey and had lost 17 pounds.  Today I am ALMOST 90 pounds down, and my body feels healthier than ever.  I have so much less aches and pains, all because I decided to do this for myself.  If you think one year can’t make a difference, please believe that it can.  I am here to wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR  – start TODAY and you will be so amazed where you are at this time next year.  I love you all and you can never know how much you mean to me.

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Chapter 14 – New Year’s Eve (yes, you read that right) :)

Defeat is not an option!

Hey everyone and thanks for being here!  I have to be honest right now, my HUSTLE has been completely lacking lately.  It’s the night before my birthday (New Year’s Eve) so I’m taking this time to get my act together and start my new year with a bang.  I call my birthday my New Year’s Day.  Emotionally it’s been a really tough week but I’m bouncing back.  I’ve been existing but not much else (except of course my workouts).  I haven’t put much effort into my business or my blog.  I let my depression get the best of me and just shut down from anything I didn’t HAVE to do.

Not Afraid to Fail

Today I’m feeling better and so optimistic about starting my 48th year.  I also remembered the saying that goes something like “right now someone is working harder than you” and that really resonated with me.  I must not let myself be outworked, because I have the desire and I owe it to ME to work harder every day.  I’m not talking about any type of competition – I’m talking about HUSTLE, wanting success more than anything, much like I put everything into my physical transformation.  It’s way past time I put that amount of focus and energy into my writing, my passion!

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.  Dr. Edwin Land

Relentless Pursuit of Passion

So tonight I’m taking time to get back up, dust myself off and get MOVING!  Hustle harder, write the words, do the things….  There is never a bad time to push the reset button, it’s only bad if you need to but don’t ever do it.   I’m learning not to be afraid to fail, but instead to be afraid of not trying.  Life isn’t perfect and I have a lot of stress at the moment, but I’ve been using that as an excuse to be lazy.  WHAT?  That’s backwards, right?  I need to use that to push me, to pursue my passion and success with every fiber of my being.  Being under stress is the time to be RELENTLESS!

Celebrate with Me!

Is there something in your life you really want, but you know deep down you haven’t been giving it all you’ve got?  Well – celebrate my New Year’s Day with me and KICKSTART YOUR OWN HUSTLE.  We can be unstoppable!

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Turn Your Dreams into Goals!

Go after your goals!

Happy #selflovesunday everyone.  Hope you’ve had an awesome week.  I found this on an old post-it note today when I was doing some cleaning, so I had to share.  I think this perfectly sums up my transformation and how I finally made it happen.  For SOOOOO many years, I had this dream of what I wanted to look like and it was so overwhelming I was paralyzed by how far I had to go.  I “KNEW” I would never, ever get there so why bother even trying?  I had the worst negative attitude and less than zero self esteem, so I was doomed to fail before I even left the gate.  That’s all it was – a dream (a nightmare, really). I just didn’t want it badly enough to DO anything about it.

Rethink Your WHY

When I finally re-framed my dream and went at it from how I wanted to FEEL instead of how I wanted to look, I was able to set some goals that would enable to achieve this dream.  I had to come to grips with the fact that someday isn’t a date – nothing happens when your deadline is “someday.”  This reminds me of a story of a little girl whose mother was a waitress at the local diner when I was a freshman in college.  Her name was Gail.  She always used to say “when one day comes” – Mom said I can have a pony when one day comes, I’m going to get a new bike when one day comes.  I will never forget her face because she really thought that ONE DAY was going to happen.  Precious little girl – I loved her optimism.

What’s that saying: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”  That’s exactly what I had to do.  As I’ve written before, taking the first step was incredibly daunting and humbling, but I knew I had to take action, because my body felt like it was 90.  Joints hurt, depression was getting worse, I couldn’t stand my own company, and also I wanted to be able to enjoy playing with my dogs instead of not having the energy to do it.  I had to break this thing down into manageable pieces, a week at a time, staying on track with my planned workouts and my meals.  Instead of focusing on the 90 pounds I needed to lose (of course the overall goal was always in my head but I couldn’t let myself be overwhelmed this time), I took it 5 and then 10 pounds at a time. This was SUPER challenging for me because negative Nelly wanted to keep thinking about how far I had to go.

TAKE ACTION

So if there’s something that’s been on your mind, that you just can’t stop thinking about, but you have yet to take action – stop dreaming and start doing.  If it’s that important to you, you owe it to yourself to find a way to make it happen.  But remember, someday isn’t on the calendar.  And you will never get there if that’s your deadline.  I dreamed about being in shape for almost a decade – but when I got serious about it, but some goals on paper and on the calendar – PROGRESS!  I did a little work here and there over that time period, but not enough to get results because I still had no defined goals. Getting in shape was way too slippery to seize.

So tonight, or tomorrow as you start the new week, take a few minutes to write down some ACTION plans.  What will you do this week to move closer to your goals?  GET AFTER IT!  We can do this, one bite at a time.

 

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Chapter 13 – Preparing Yourself for Success!

Welcome back! Happy #selflovesunday everyone. I am happy to be sharing it with you.  What I realized during all of the darkness the past few weeks is what I want for you all to understand too – you don’t have to solve ALL of your problems at one time, you CAN reach out for help and you will be amazed who is there for you, you do NOT have to suffer in silence even if you really don’t know what to say, just say SOMETHING.

Back to being UNSTOPPABLE!

Way, way back I wrote a post about choosing a word and living your word.  What Is Your Word?  My word is UNSTOPPABLE.  Yet lately I’ve been the opposite of unstoppable – I think my month of July so far can be described as treading water at best.  But the month isn’t over and this week I finally got control back again.  After the fog lifted, I realized that nobody is responsible for my happiness but me. Cliche, I know.  Also I realized that just wanting to be successful on this last leg of the first part of my fitness journey just isn’t enough (go figure!).  I worked so hard for 14 months and this month I mentally took a vacation from the dedication and discipline.  I think the pain my body was in played a part but it isn’t an excuse.

A Break is Acceptable, Quitting is NOT

My point is that it’s OK to take a mental break but it is NOT OK to let it completely derail your progress.  Every day you wake up with a choice – what am I going to do today to be successful, to make headway on my goals?  You can choose to let life just happen, or you can be your own storm and MAKE life happen the way you want it to.  Took me a few weeks to get back to this but I’m there now.  Remember last week when I said “I am the storm”?  Well, let’s face it – we have to be our own storm!  No one is going to do the work for us – we have to try, and fail, and try again… Learn from our mistakes, regroup and give it a go again, until we get where we need to be!

How are YOU Preparing for Success This Week?

As part of #selflovesunday, let’s take a look at how we’re starting our week, how we are preparing ourselves to be successful this week.  What does that look like for you?  For me, it means cooking my food for the next couple of days so that I have no excuses to go off my meal plan.  Also it includes laundry and getting my gym clothes ready for tomorrow’s workouts so that I’m not scrambling at 5:30am.  It includes drafting some blog posts so I can be more present here this week (I love being here with you all and I’ve missed it!), and also planning out a few more videos I would like to do.  Planning, but also being ready to execute!

Above all else, a PAWSITIVE mindset can get us through anything!  Take some time tonight to plan and prepare for your BEST WEEK EVER and let’s go crush those goals.  Can’t wait to hear how your week goes.

 

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Chapter 12 – The Calm Before the Storm

Welcome to #selflovesunday!  I’m so glad you’re back! As you know really well by now, I’ve had a couple of weeks where I haven’t been “killing it” in all facets of my life. Emotionally and physically I had just been existing but I changed that once I made up my mind to do so. Had some great workouts this week, and managed to talk to some people about my business (very hard for me).  Yesterday I really let my depression get the best of me and had a complete breakdown – I mean a SUPER ugly one, the whole UGLY CRY thing (you know, complete with sound effects that freaked my pups out).  Haven’t had one of those breakdowns in a long time, and even though my eyes are swollen from all the crying it was extremely therapeutic.

Sometimes It’s Okay to Let People Know You Need Them

I want to thank my friends who reached out to me when they saw my post on social media – I was very scared about how I was feeling and I cannot say how much it meant to me that so many people took a lot of time out of their evenings to make sure I was okay.  That meant the world to me.  Normally I wouldn’t share that stuff but I realized I needed to some positive people in my world to get me back to Pam.

Everything hit me all at once – I won’t leave a list because it’s all stuff everyone deals with every day.  It just felt like the world was collapsing on me and I LOST it.  I can battle one or two of these crazy things at a time but when they all got together and formed an freaking ridiculously strong army, I didn’t handle life very well at all. So TODAY I am practicing SELF LOVE!!!!  I am a warrior, and I CAN handle this – I just lost sight of that last night.  I have amazing people who reminded me.  

Calm Before the Storm (I AM THE STORM!)

Remember I was questioning surgery/no surgery for my shoulder in my last post?  Well, this week’s training went really well and I feel so much better about that now.  I’m approaching this new week believing in myself again – like the quote at the top says.  I have felt a little like I haven’t had a mission with my training but just took a couple of weeks to let my shoulder/arm have a tiny bit of rest (THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM!) and it’s time now to put EVERYTHING back into place.

Doing food prep this afternoon (I got away from it a little bit during this less than positive time period) and have set a goal to get rid of these last 10 stubborn pounds by my birthday.  Then we can start on the next phase of the journey – which I can’t wait to tell you about soon.  “Never say never” – how’s that for a teaser?

Let me leave you with this cute little video as we move into a new week.  I hadn’t heard the song until I saw it on my timeline, but I LOVE IT!  Might be my new mantra.  I’m sure I will have mental and physical setbacks, but they will not define me and they WILL NOT derail me.  We are all so much stronger than anything and everything trying to take us down.  My loves we’ve got this, so STAY PAWSITIVE!  Let’s go after our dreams with every single fiber of our beings.  

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Chapter 9 – Life Did Get in the Way (But I AM BACK!)

I wrote my last post about never giving up no matter what life tries to throw at you. Well, basically that’s what it was about. No matter what pitch it throws, you have to stay in the game and keep swinging. Some days you might go down swinging, or even watching those amazing pitches fly by – but OTHER days, oh my, those other days you will hit them out of the park!  (I confess I’m watching some afternoon baseball as I write :))

CONFESSION

My friends, it’s confession time.  I have not been PAWSITIVE PAM at all this week.  Stress has really gotten to me, and I haven’t been sleeping well at all due to that.  Now, I am NOT complaining I promise.  I am sharing my real world with you because I owe that to you – you’re along for this journey with me, and I can’t promise it’s always positive and happy but I do promise I will always be 110% genuine and real.

Even though it was a bad week emotionally, I did not quit my training – I didn’t skip any workouts but they were not my best.  I told Terry today that I have completely lost my focus – I don’t know what it is I’m trying to accomplish right now, and I feel like I am just existing.  His simple but powerful words of wisdom: “You will get it back.”

I have let just about everything get to me emotionally, rather than just focusing on the tasks at hand.  Rather than just writing, I let it get to me that really no one is reading my writing, so why am I here?  Why am I trying to make a difference sharing my story and my thoughts when no one is present to read them?  This led to some very negative thinking about whether I am cut out for this writing thing or not.

PATIENCE

Another life lesson learned from Kevin Hart’s book has to do with Patience.  In my last post I quoted what he said about Persistence, and now I have to share his thoughts on Patience.  “The companion to persistence is patience.  It drives away the anger, disappointment, and resentment when success doesn’t happen overnight.  Patience is understanding that your moment will come at the right time, and your job is to get ready for that moment.  Because if it comes when you’re not prepared, then it vanishes just as quickly.  Know that your patience will always be tested, and if you can pass that test, you will be testing again and again, until the rare few left standing reap the rewards.”

IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT SHOWING UP, NO MATTER WHAT

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.  Why am I here? Well, I AM a writer, even if there aren’t many reading my words just yet.  I have to keep putting them out there because this is what I want to do – someone will show up as long as I do.  This is my passion, and I owe it to myself to pursue my passion with everything I have.  Same with my physique/fitness goals.  I can’t give up just because I don’t have a concrete next step in mind yet.  I have to keep working like I’ve been working!  The next step will become apparent as long as I keep working.  If I stop – well, I can’t stop…  Refocus, and get back after it!

I WILL NOT FAIL

Terry knew I would leave the gym today desperately trying to regroup and improve my attitude.  He knew by saying, “you will get it back” that I would do anything possible to find my focus, to dig deep and get my motivation and discipline to reappear.  So few words, but so powerful.  I am still stressed about those same things, but I have to deal with that stress much more positively instead of letting it steal my joy.  I LOVE writing, yet this week I haven’t.  I gave in to the desire to feel sorry for myself but that got me nowhere.  So the time is now to let that ISH go!  ONWARD from here.  Thanks so much for hanging with me and sharing the ride through this thing called life.  Together we are unstoppable!

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Chapter 8 – TRUTHFUL TALK…When LIFE Tries to Get in the Way

Thanks for coming back!  I realized that I’ve been telling you how I have tackled my transformation goals, what my workouts and nutrition look like, but I haven’t addressed one HUGE topic that I can’t believe I have skipped until now.  Adversity!

How You Handle LIFE Defines Your Success, and I Haven’t Done a Great Job Lately

What do you do when LIFE tries to get in the way of your goals, of your hard work? This has been the case with me for the past few weeks, I have to be honest.  Full disclosure – I’m not always 110% focused on the “prize” and I have been distracted recently with emotional and physical issues.  In fact, yesterday I missed the gym completely – didn’t bother to go for morning cardio or afternoon weight training (I did have 2 shoulder injections in the afternoon that made me very uncomfortable but in the past that wouldn’t have stopped me).  But the real reason was I JUST DID NOT WANT TO GO!

There have been way too many moments of wanting to just crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and snuggle with my pups, hoping to forget everything that’s hanging over my head.  For a couple of weeks I made it home from my workouts and went to bed almost before it was dark outside, and this trend started to continue Sunday of this week.  I guess my thinking has been  “If I avoid it, it’s not really an issue right?”

It Is Time to Regroup, Refocus and STOP Feeling Sorry for Myself – BACK TO THE MISSION!

Well, unfortunately that’s not how LIFE works.  The stress hasn’t helped my weight loss, but you know what?  I have kept going, and I have TO KEEP GOING!!! Your goals and dreams have to be bigger than any distractions that come your way.  

I had one day yesterday where I felt completely sorry for myself, neglected, invisible – all the negative vibes I could possibly dream up and bring forth, I did.  But I followed the caption on the picture at the top of this post – I gave myself ONE day, then woke up this morning determined to get back to ME.  Of course it isn’t an instantaneous process, but I am going to do it – my goals and dreams are way too big to keep wallowing in these negative feelings.  This is LIFE too – the positive part of life.  I choose this part.

Words of Wisdom from Kevin Hart

I just finished reading  “I Can’t Make This Up – Life Lessons” by Kevin Hart, and I cannot say enough about what an amazing book this is.  Yes, he’s a super successful comedian and actor, but truly there are so many fantastic life lessons in this book that I had to write many of them down for future reference.  Where he is today did not come easily, and I’m sure he had his days of not wanting to get out of bed too for fear of facing stress or failure.

But one thing he said that I have to share here.  “More than anything, my willingness to be persistent is responsible for the success I’ve had.  My mindset is: It’s okay to fail, but it’s not okay to quit.  Struggle, rejection, failure and doubt break most people.  Your goal is to learn from these challenges without letting them diminish your motivation. The secret to accomplishing this is simple.  Let yourself be driven by your will to succeed rather than your fear of not succeeding.”  BOOM!!!!

My Struggles are Real but My Dedication is More Powerful

I just wanted to share some reality with you today – this journey is just that, a journey and not a destination, and there will be ever so many bumps in the road, wrong turns even.  But I WILL keep going.  This is what I ask for you to do as well.  Stress might be overtaking your life right now, maybe you feel like you can’t even see the goal right now, maybe you’re not motivated to pursue that idea you’ve had festering in your mind for months, and that’s ok – but remember YOU can take control.  Spend that day being human if you have to – it can help.  Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and GET GOING!  Persistence, remember?  We’ve got this.

Stay PAWSITIVE.

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Chapter 7 – My NEW Beginning…

My coach Terry Davis – the man responsible for my transformation and basically changing my life!  No makeup Sunday at the gym but had to capture the moment.

NEW BEGINNING?

This might not be the most exciting post, but I wanted to share with you what’s next after we completed our year of proper training and nutrition.  What do I mean by “new beginning?”  Well, my coach (pictured here) and I worked so hard for the full year to get the results that you see in my “After” photos, but we aren’t stopping there.  The work is never done!  That is the exciting part about transformation.  You never stop transforming.  It’s amazing what the human body can do – so why not keep challenging it?  We took a look at where my body was in April after the year,  he adjusted my meal plan, and we increased the frequency and intensity of my weight training workouts.  Time to see where this body can go in terms of leaning out and increasing muscle.  You can see the small improvements in the picture below: waist and hips smaller and overall body is tightening up (YAY!!).  I am REALLY excited about our new goals and I’m excited to share the progress with you as we go along.

April 2017 on the left, June 2017 on the right. This is my new beginning!

TIME FOR CHANGE!

So what changes did we make?  He added complex carbs into almost all of my six meals per day (not a large quantity but still – hurray carbs!), and increased the white fish to twice a day.  Not my favorite, but heck, I’ve learned to like a lot of stuff that I never would have eaten before!  I have flexibility in terms of what complex carbohydrate, vegetables and protein I eat in each meal, I just have to use the proper measurements.  In terms of workouts, I now lift six times per week, cardio is an hour six times per week, and I have one complete rest day on Sunday.   I have two lower body and two shoulder/arm workouts per week, and then the other days are chest, back, and a touch-up of everything upper body.  We incorporate core training almost every workout.  The bump up in carbs was necessary due to this increased workload on my muscles, and even though I was nervous about increasing my calories, it hasn’t hindered results at all.  As usual, the process works.

This week at the gym someone who hasn’t been there in a few months said “wow, you’re so tiny but so buff!”  That made my day.  Heck, my month!  I still have about 12 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight, but along the way we are increasing my lean muscle mass and that is leading to an increase in strength during my workouts.  When I started this journey I NEVER thought either of those two words would be used to describe me, let alone both in the same sentence.

START NOW!

Not saying this to brag – you know me by now!  I’m saying this because I want YOU to go for it – work your butt off to hear the words you never thought you would hear being used to describe you.  Creative, funny, talented, whatever you want to work on – DO IT NOW!!! What better time to start?  Tell me honestly: what are you waiting for?  The exact perfect time will never, ever come, trust me.  The same concepts can be applied to whatever you’ve been dying to do – it doesn’t have to be weight loss.  Everyone has something they’ve been wanting to do, some type of hobby.  We just put our own wants aside all too often due to other demands.  SO – I challenge you to dust that off, and give YOURSELF some time to do something you enjoy.  You will be so surprised and happy with how well it goes, and how fulfilled you are when you put yourself first even for a few minutes a day.

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Real Talk – Transformation Questions and Comments Addressed!

Welcome back! I’m so glad you’re still here 🙂  Today I thought I would share some of the most frequently heard comments and questions about my transformation since it is #TransformationTuesday.

By NO MEANS am I trying to be negative or sarcastic with this post.  I’m trying to be helpful in my own way of writing.  You guys know me by now, I’m just real.  That’s the only way I know how to be.  So please read with humor in mind but also know that your journey is literally ONE SINGLE STEP away.  If I can do it, you can too.  And maybe your journey isn’t weight loss or fitness but some other hobby you want to start.  JUST START!!!!  Same principles apply.  WANT IT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE and see what happens 🙂

“You are so lucky you have the free time to be able to work out like you do.”  “Must be nice to have so much free time.”

WHAT???? Ok, so I don’t have a family in the traditional sense, but YOU try taking care of 7 dogs, working full time and quite a few overnight weekends since I work in information technology, and even some overnights during the week.  🙂 It isn’t about being lucky – it’s about choices and what you choose to make the time to do.  You can make excuses or you can make positive changes.  I chose the second option.

I admit that most “normal” people can’t make the sacrifice that I made for the past year to lose the weight I lost just due to other demands. What I did and still do is extreme, and you don’t have to do all that to see results.  But for me, I knew there was no halfway in.  I did give up some things that used to be important to me because my health was far more important.  I chose to free up time to go to the gym twice a day, it was not luck.  It is very difficult to make complete lifestyle changes, but for me, it was more difficult NOT to because I was so unhappy and unhealthy.  I won’t lie to you and tell you that every single day was easy and that I got out of bed super excited to work out.  I’m human!  Of course I have bad days, off days, whiny days, days where I don’t want to eat fish and veggies one more time.  BUT if it were easy, everyone would be fit and there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic in our country.

Truth be told, getting started isn’t that hard.  Start small with simple choices and you’ll be surprised where you find yourself a few weeks in.  Choose a smarter option with each meal, park farther away, take a walk around the floor during your break, make use of the amazing weather and walk around the building.  It isn’t difficult, you just have to WANT it.  In my experience, people just don’t start because they think simple small changes can’t make a difference.  They think it has to be some big bang theory type of change, so they choose nothing.  I was there, I know this feeling so well.  But it’s just NOT true.  MORE THAN ZERO, remember?

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Mark Twain

How much water do you drink?

Typically a gallon and a half to two gallons, because I’m on a high protein diet and I workout twice a day.  To which people say “I don’t have time to stay in the bathroom all day.  There’s no way I could drink that much.”

  • My body got used to it, and when you have a higher protein diet and work out twice a day you need water!  It isn’t that difficult – look how many sodas people drink per day!  Substitute water and BOOM, you’re getting what you need 🙂  Strive for 8 – 8 ounce glasses at first and go from there.  You will surprise yourself how much better you feel; with the heat of summer coming on your body needs hydration.

Don’t you get tired of the same food all the time?  Don’t you miss being able to go out to eat and have drinks with friends?

  • I can go out to eat, I just have to make smart choices when I go.  I can always look at the menu ahead of time online and plan what to order, and these days it is so easy to get something custom made for your nutritional needs.  You just have to WANT IT!!! See the trend here?  No, you can’t eat all the bread you want like your friends might, but you can enjoy the festivities and still stay on track, I promise!  And when it comes to drinks, I can have some wine once a week, but I just have to think about the calories and the overall goal.  Once you commit and start seeing results, it isn’t a sacrifice to give up a few things.  And just because I have a meal plan doesn’t mean my food is tasteless!  You just have to change the mindset from living to eat to eating to live.

How do you deal with no carbs?

  • (I hate this, because vegetables are carbs and I eat lots of those, but for some reason people think I’m suffering because I don’t have complex carbs in every meal).
    • Simple: my body doesn’t need starchy carbs every single meal.  My brain might think differently, but I just follow my meal plan.  Was it hard at first?  OMG yes!! I was the pizza, pasta, rice and bread queen!  But (here it is again) I wanted my health back more than anything else in the world, so I was willing to follow the plan.  You just DO – you just deal with it, because the results are worth it.  You don’t think about what you’re missing because it doesn’t take that long for your body to adapt.  It’s your brain you have to convince, because the body is an amazingly adaptable machine.

Tell me what to eat and what kind of workout to do!

  • I can’t – every BODY is different.  Your body is totally different from mine, you process food differently and your fitness level is different.  The most important thing is TO START!!!! Quit overthinking and just DO!  There are so many things that are applicable to everyone – start there.  Cut out sugar, cut out the stuff you know you shouldn’t be eating!  Come on now, that isn’t rocket science and you don’t need me to tell you what you shouldn’t eat.  🙂  You just have to make the decision to STOP eating and drinking things you shouldn’t, and then move a little more.  Stop sitting all the time!  IT IS THAT SIMPLE when you first get started.

Something has to be out of whack with my hormones, I just cannot lose weight.

  • Sure, by all means get a physical and have everything checked out.  But guess what?  I thought the same thing, and everything always came back normal.  Are you REALLY trying to lose weight, and giving it all you’ve got, exercising and eating right? Plain and simple, I had to put in the work, I was overweight and only proper diet and exercise would fix it.

I would love to do another Q&A at some point, but I need your questions to help make that happen.  So please leave a comment and I will do another one soon.

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Chapter 6 – “What’s Your Secret?”

Welcome back! If I hear it once a day I hear it ten times – “what is your secret to your weight loss?”  I wish I could tell you that there is some special secret, I really do.  This picture is from one of my favorite lifestyle clothing brands HTFU and it says it perfectly.  The secret does not exist.  Wanna know what it takes to change your body and your life?

There is no secret!

HARD WORK!!!  Discipline.  Dedication.

I’m going to lay it out for you, right here right now.  I started out lifting weights 3 times per week, a total body workout for the most part, as much as my knees would allow.  Cardio was 30 minutes at first, 5 times a week.  Keep in mind that I was coming from a completely sedentary lifestyle.  But I cannot stress this enough – it really isn’t about how much or how often you work out.  At most that’s 2 hours of your day.  AT MOST.

The key ingredient to success is NUTRITION.

I’ve heard the “formula” for success mentioned as 70% nutrition, 20% training and 10% rest.  Personally speaking, I cannot argue with that formula.  I was MORE than willing to do the workout part.  I loved it.  I was used to that from my time with my former trainer, and I loved being a strong woman.

I went kicking and screaming into the nutrition portion of that formula.  I hesitate a little bit to write what my nutrition plan was for literally the first YEAR of my transformation because every person is different, and mine was extreme to say the least (something most people don’t need to do!).  But my trainer knew that my body does not process starchy carbs well at all, so I had oatmeal at breakfast and 1/4 cup of rice (COOKED) at my 3rd meal of the day.  The rest of the day I had protein and veggies.  THIS was killer for the queen of pasta and rice, all things bread and chips.  Sugar hasn’t ever been my weakness but boy, starches were LIFE for me.

For basically one year, I kept to this meal plan.  We gradually increased my workouts until we ended up at 5 days per week lifting weights and 7 days a week with one hour of cardio.  My cardio consisted of an hour of incline treadmill walking.  My knees won’t allow for running or step mill, so we made the best of what I could do.  It’s ALL ABOUT EFFORT!!!!  I just had to really focus on the incline and pace.  Again, this is all credit to my trainer, who knew I had to work within my physical limitations.  I HATE cardio, but I knew I had to do it, so how did I make myself do 7 hours a week?

  1. New music!!!! I love music, so when one of my favorite artists (and there are a lot of them) comes out with new music, I won’t let myself listen to it until I get on the treadmill.
  2. I love doing my cardio while other people are working out – gives me something to watch that keeps me motivated!  I have a recumbent bike at home, but I much prefer to go to the gym so I can see other people working on themselves while I work on ME!
  3. Plain and simple – it’s all part of the plan.  I did not do it for the first several months (from April until July) and had no results.  Once I gave in and decided that the plan was there for a reason, I followed it to the tee and the results speak for themselves.
  4. Whether I wanted to or not, I religiously got up at 5am to work out before work EVERY DAY, and then I went back after work, even in the HOT summer.  You have to dedicate yourself to the process, no matter what.  This was the hardest lesson I had to learn.  I had to WANT IT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
  5. One other thing to remember; I lost this weight by lifting a LOT of weight.  No tiny colored dumbbells for me.  I had to use my strength to help get this fat off of my body.  Lifting heavy weight will not make you look like a man I promise.  Consider the science: muscle burns more calories than fat!  True story.  So build that muscle ladies and gentlemen, and your weight loss will thank you for it.

Here is my transformation in video form:  from the very beginning to my NEW BEGINNING.

If I can do it, you can do it too.  You just have to go ALL IN.  I’m not even kidding.  You have to give up things sometimes that don’t contribute to your success.  I had to sell a lot of basketball tickets so that I could do my second workout of the day.  This was a choice I made, and you have to decide for yourself what you’re willing to give up in order to reach your goals.  No one can decide for you – that’s all you.  It’s HARD, it is tough.  It sucks sometimes.  HECK yes sometimes I wanted to have a cheat meal, or pizza, or a bagel when it was brought in for work breakfast.  But I wanted the new and improved me MORE!!!!

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