Issa Fit Life- Series Six

Skinny Minnie Who?!

In this series we explore the wonderful world of health and fitness. The eye-opening amount of views my reel got on Instagram made me realize that people are getting more in tune with their bodies these days. Check it out for yourselves, 101K views at last check. https://www.instagram.com/p/COShv54B34U/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link  This prompted me to share. Knowledge is wealth, it’s time to live your best selves, and it starts from the inside.  So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

I remember the days when I could eat absolutely anything, and I did. The days when the words, “weight gain” weren’t a part of my vocabulary. Those-were-the-daaaysssss (in my Edith Bunker voice). I hope most of you get that reference, if not… boy am I dating myself. Ohhhhhh, to be young again! (Sigh)

Picture it, spring of 1981 (in my Sophia Petrillo voice) LOL that’s when I came into this world. A long, lanky, little bundle of skin and bones. I recall seeing the photos as a kid.  One in particular, my favorite; my mother holding me in front of our home in Puerto Rico. My small little head nestled in the warmth of her neck, my long legs dangling down the left side of her body. My feet, turned inward, and toes touching (yes, I was born “pigeon-toed”. https://uichildrens.org/health-library/pigeon-toe-toeing#:~:text=Pigeon%20toes%2C%20or%20in%2Dtoeing,common%20causes%20of%20in%2Dtoeing. A story for another time.  I digress.

Moving into adolescence I was still slim. I recall wanting to gain weight, and my mother would simply say…. “You’ll hit puberty and you’ll pack on the pounds before you know it.” Fast forward. I hit puberty. And the weight, nowhere to be found. I wondered, did it get lost on its way? Or was I going to have to withstand the constant, “Oh my goodness! You’re so skinny!” And the nicknames, “esceleto” (skeleton), “armadura” (armor- don’t ask), and last but not least “canillas” (Dominican slang for skinny legs). They were relentless, and most of them were my loving family.  It didn’t help that I stayed active.  Basketball was my sport, and no boy could beat me on the court. Or so I told myself.

I recall, at 16 years of age, wanting to gain weight so badly I purchased a tub of “weight gainer” from GNC. The nerve!!!! I gave up the day I was told it was all a pipe dream.  That the only way I’d gain weight was after I had a child. And Lord knows that wasn’t at all what I was searching for at the time. So I gave up on this elusive goal. It was so far out of my reach, I figured I was just wasting my time. It was clear that I had a fast metabolism. You remember those days right? When you burned more calories at a quicker rate than you could swallow your food. Excuse me while I get lost in that fantasy…

Cut to, my positive pregnancy test at age twenty! Lord… you are a comedian. I weighed in at the slender size of 99 pounds at 4 months pregnant.  Yes, NINETYNINE pounds, soaking wet, carrying a delicate little human being.  But it wasn’t an easy pregnancy by far. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis. This rare disorder causes vomiting and nausea that can be severe enough to require hospitalization. It can also lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, dehydration, and a 5% loss in original body weight. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/vomiting-and-diarrhea-when-pregnant#other-causes and here we go again… maternity checkup after maternity checkup through six months of pregnancy. The concern… I was losing weight. Not good for the baby. And then somehow…. BAM! At about the seventh month…. I ballooned so quickly it’s as if I was having an anaphylactic reaction to the seedling in my tummy. Geez! For my tiny little frame, the 160 pounds was painful. Uncomfortable to say the least.

No sooner than I got the final “okay” from my doctor after the birth of my baby boy, did I start an at home workout routine. Don’t get too ahead of yourselves here. By at home workout routine, I mean… my family would often catch me in the dark, on the hard tiled living room floor, doing sit-ups after I finally put the baby down for bed. Yup! Now, operation lose the baby weight was in full effect. I swear, I laugh at it now. But boy was I serious.  I still ate as normal. Never giving up my mother’s Dominican home cooked meals. You know what that meant. Rice, beans, meat, fried plantains (green or ripe, I didn’t discriminate), fried everything actually… you fried it, I ate it. Sometimes I’d eat sautéed. Those were the days I felt fancy.  But mostly my eating habits were as my little sister would say, “TRASH!”

Eating like this, and reducing my workouts meant that not too long into my 30’s, the weight started to pack itself on. In fact, I’d like to say in my late 20’s. Soon I’d blow up again, this time, like a blowfish! (Cries a silent cry) Fast metabolism?! What is that?!? To climb back into a time machine, sit there, legs crossed as if I was back on the kindergarten mat, close my eyes tightly (like I Love Genie, yes, I said it), blink twice, and wish I was back to the days where I was purchasing “weight gainer.” Once again, SMH! Oh, to be young again. It wasn’t long before I reached the same weight I was when I was nine months pregnant. Now, with a belly protruding and people asking me, “how far along are you?!” (Side eye) Parts of my body that weren’t aching started to ache. Soon, my knee gave out on me. The petite frame that once galloped with a mere 99 pounds, could no longer support 160 pounds. THE NERVE!

And then it happened… picture this, January 2011, I visit my best friend for her first ever baby shower. I was determined to make the best of my look. Spanx in tow, I picked my “fly-est outfit” (I laugh at that now, it was such a simple cotton dress), and I paired it with some cognac colored, open toe, high heeled booties. In the moment, I felt fabulous. I pulled it off, I thought. Wasn’t even at all concerned with my weight gain, just living in the moment. Having a fabulous time! AND THEN, she shares the professional photos. LORD! I was disgusted. How did I let myself go? I remembered being so down on myself thereafter. Trying on clothes, or even shopping for any clothes was a no-no. The mere thought of sweating it out in a dressing room stall was anxiety ridden for me. It wasn’t long before I decided to make a commitment.

Along came the Beachbody https://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/homepage.do angel in form of my other best friend. I was ready to invest in myself. It didn’t matter the cost. I thought to myself, “I’ve invested in others, and in things I can’t even recall, why not invest in MYSELF.” Not only was my health a priority, (remember that knee that gave out on me? Well, it required surgery), but my spirit was too. I needed the athletic, slim, healthy me back. So I committed to it.  My end goal, to get into my size four wedding dress. I bought it small on purpose.

 It’s been over seven years, and I haven’t looked back since. Yes, there have been challenges along the way. Yes, I’ve packed on the pounds… pretty close to 160 again. Can you believe it? I was livid with myself. How could I? After all the hard work I put in to get down to my goal weight.  That’s when I decided, I would no longer focus on the number on the scale. Instead, I would focus on the way I felt. The pressure to be “who I was” no longer served me. I would never ever again be that person. Our bodies change, our metabolism slows down, and the goal then becomes to feel good. To be pleased with what ones sees in the mirror. To impressed with the way our clothes fit. And most importantly of all, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, or shall I say, LIVE-STYLE.

See, this endeavor for me, with Issalivestyle, is far beyond what the eye can see. Its encouragement, in all aspects of life. The very things that make us who we are. Make us feel what we feel. Makes us happy and whole. It’s a LIVE-STYLE. And that’s the point I’d like to drive home with fitness and getting started. It’s about building habits that will sustain you the rest of your life. Not a fad diet, not a magic pill, or a miraculous tea. It’s a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical change. Our bodies change over time. For us women, hormones play a major part. Metabolism-shmabolism, that goes down the drain for some of us. It’s like the turtle and the hare. Accept it.

Boy do I have more to share about this journey. So hang on tight. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. But, stay encouraged. We’re in this together!   

Stronger than my Excuses.

So you want to start your fitness journey? No problem. Is there? As I’ve maneuvered through this fitness journey, I’ve found that the very things that used to limit me, are now the things that push me. But it wasn’t easy getting there. There’s a mindset shift that needs to occur.  As I embarked on the Beachbody Coach journey, it wasn’t to earn money as much as it was to lock in my free shakes. Lol (If you’re a Coach, you get me here.) This meant I only needed to impress TWO people.  Really, it’s true. My thought was, if I can maintain my healthy eating and exercising, it won’t be long before people start to inquire and want to know the “secret”. My motivation, to see the people I cared about, make a decision that would positively impact their lives. There really wasn’t a monetary goal here.  The problem? People had too many excuses. This was and IS personal to me. Not because it’s hard to get through to people, but because I see so much potential.  Follow me here…

According to the Heart Foundation, there are at least 10 top excuses people give for not starting their health and fitness journey:

  1. I’m too tired; have no energy.
  2. I can’t afford it.
  3. I don’t have time.
  4. I need motivation.
  5. I don’t like exercising alone.
  6. I get bored easily.
  7. I’m too big/uncoordinated/embarrassed.
  8. I’ve tried it before, it didn’t work for me.
  9. I don’t like to work out in the gym.
  10. I don’t like to sweat.

 https://theheartfoundation.org/2018/06/01/the-top-10-excuses-for-not-exercising-and-solutions/ in this article, the Heart Foundation offers a series of solutions for each excuse. But let me give you my take…. ENOUGH with the excuses. For every excuse, there is an opposition. The reality is, if you’re ready to take on healthy living, you have to understand you will need to make some sacrifices. Just as with life, in order to accomplish the things you want, you have to give up one thing to gain another. For instance, want to buy a house? You have to minimize your spending, give up some luxuries, save some money, and maybe work on your credit. Want to start a business? You have to give up some relationships that will steer you away from your goal. Cancel plans to do your research and develop a business plan. You want to write a book? You have to eliminate the distractions. Spend more alone time in your creative space. Revel in the moments that inspire you creatively. Get it? Sacrifices are a part of the journey.

I read something today that pointed to the fact that, we live in a time where everything is about self-gratification. “Most people don’t want to be a part of the process, they just want to be part of the outcome.  But the trick is, that the process is where you figure out if it’s worth being part of the outcome.” (anonymous)  How do you know how you’ll feel if you don’t even try? Many people give up before they even begin.  So let’s explore each excuse, and what’s worked for me.

  1. Too tired and have no energy?
    1. I embarked on my health and fitness journey right smack dab in the middle of Graduate school. While working a full time job, and had a kid in Middle School involved in extra-curricular activities.  Many many days, I was exhausted. I had to come home to prepare dinner, get everyone squared away, do school work, and get a workout in. The truth is, I HAD NO ENERGY! What I wanted to do, was lay down and go to bed after a long and treacherous day. But instead, I found healthy energy supplements that gave me that extra push. I knew I’d need something to assist me on those low battery days. So I did my research. Beachbody’s pre-workout supplement did just the trick. But you can choose any other natural supplement that best works for you. The idea is that you TRY and get right to it.
  2. Can’t afford it?
    1. This was always a sore spot for me. The many people that reached out to me that “needed this life change” were desperate to do something that would finally work. The quick fix magic pills packed the pounds back on with a vengeance. They’d invest in a $60 bottle of pills for 3 consecutive months (tried and true), but couldn’t stomach spending that amount on something that would actually work.  The mind plays tricks on us, especially with money. It’s like the offers we see online that say that you won’t purchase something that costs $25 with a $5 shipping fee. But you’d purchase an item at $30 with free shipping. Think about that for a minute? It’s a mind game.  The reality is, you’ll spend a pretty penny on material things, but when it comes to your health and wellness, you second guess the investment? I’m just going to leave that right there.
  3. Don’t have time?
    1. Now this… this is a real issue. I’m a part of a self-care group. The question was posed, “What’s your biggest obstacle when it comes to self-care practices?”  Nearly everyone responded, “Lack of time.” Being able to find time in their day to work out, or just have a woosaa moment, was nearly extinct in most people’s lives. I know this to be an issue because I have experienced the same. Sometimes, my days are so chaotic that I neither have the time to get it in. It’s a, come home at 11pm kind of day, running on only a few hours of sleep, and you have to weigh out whether its best for you to practice self-care by working out, or by sleeping. This is tricky. The best I can recommend is that you schedule your workouts and hold yourself accountable. The days that seem nearly impossible, no worries, skip it, but hold yourself accountable for the missed workout the next day. Try to get a workout in in the morning before you start your day, and in the evening when you return.  Not possible?  Extend the evening workout by 30 minutes and do the same for the next day. There! You’ve made up the shortfall. Point is, YOU CAN DO IT. Time is merely an illusion.  In the words of William Penn himself, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” It’s all about priority. Think about all the time you actually waste in the day? I’ve got two words… SOCIAL MEDIA. But that’s a topic for another time.  I have some tricks for managing this as well.
  4.  Need motivation?
    1. Ahhhh, mighty motivation. The infamous wonder of your “why.” We hear it often. Whether it’s in the world of fitness or goal setting in any other area of your life, the question, “What is your why?” stands out like a sore thumb. “What you do matters, but WHY you do it matters more.” (anonymous) The response to this has to be deeper than the simple, “because I want to wear a two piece bikini.” It has to be something more emotionally connected. Although, wearing a two piece might very well be an emotional goal for some, most people find their motivation is getting healthy so they don’t have to take certain life sustaining medications any longer. Realizing that changing their eating habits and incorporating exercise into their daily life may very well mean less visits to the hospital, doctor, and cost on prescription meds. Or, for some, losing weight enough to get the pressure off their joints so they can enjoy time with their children. You know? Something that gives meaning to their lives. That’s your motivation. What could you do if you were exactly where you always wish you would be physically and emotionally? The skies the limit no?
  5. Let’s do something interesting here. Grouping excuses 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 together. Follow me on this one. So you don’t like exercising alone, you don’t like the way you look in workout attire, you’re embarrassed, AND you don’t like to work out in the gym OR like to sweat? Well… where do I even begin? The truth is, and I don’t mean to sound rash here but, come on now! Yes, so you may be feeling uncomfortable. All these things mean just that. They make you feel uncomfortable in some way. But aren’t you already uncomfortable? So what level of discomfort best suits you? The kind that no one around you is really paying attention to but YOU, or the kind that only you can feel? Oh, wait. They’re one in the same aren’t they? My point exactly. You’re already uncomfortable. But here’s the difference. One discomfort leads to progress and improvement, and the other leads to destruction. Tony Robbins said it best, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” So which one will it be? Choose wisely.

8.    (Please see #5 for explanation as to how we skipped to 8 here… I promise I’m not losing it lol) So, you say you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work? Let’s explore this word try

verb

1.

Make an attempt or effort to do something.

noun

1.

An effort to accomplish something; an attempt.

Let’s now explore the word effort.  See, effort is when you work hard to get good, and then you work hard to get better. Nowhere in these definitions does it say you give up does it? Nope. You put forth effort. You try and try until you’ve accomplished your goal. You fall, you get back up. You’re sore, you take it easy, you modify, but you keep going. You’re tired. You rest. But get back to it. Get it? The point is… never give up!

And there you have it ladies and gentleman. Ten excuses debunked by Lin Green. Now, I’m very well aware that everyone is different. Our bodies are different, our circumstances are different, our abilities are different, our limitations and our goals are also different. And that’s okay. The point I’m driving home here is, you have to start somewhere. No one expects you to be full on J-lo, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Shakira-ish in a matter of months. But if that’s your goal? Better believe you can attain it. 

My Body. My Temple.

There are so many views on healthy eating. As the typical human beings that we are we tend to respond more to trends than to actually take the time to learn what best works for us. There are so many different “diet” plans currently trending. Here’s are a few as noted in You Bars October 2020 post:

  • Keto
  • Immune System Support Diet (battling COVID)
  • Plant Based Flexitarian
  • Paleo Inspired
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • The DASH Diet, The Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension
  • Mediterranean
  • The MIND Diet, if the Mediterranean Diet had a brain health focused baby
  • The Low Fermentable Carbs diet for those battling IBS
  • Volumetric

I’ll let you do your own research on these. Click the following link for a detailed description of each. 

https://youbars.com/blogs/news/top-10-diet-trends-for-2021

I note them all to show you that everyone has varying targets and different goals. Our bodies are all different.  Distinct and unique in their own charming way. Therefore, while one diet may work for one person, it may not work so well for others. I know this because I’ve tried some trendy diets myself. What’s been most effective for me has been listening to my body. Did you know that your cravings can tell you what your body is lacking? It’s your body’s way of letting you know it’s in need of certain nutrients.  Over the years I’ve learned so much about nutrition.  I’ll sum it up in these few bullet points:

  • Portion Control
  • Eat healthy fats
  • Eat more greens (veggies most)
  • Eat lean meats, or, eliminate them all together
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat foods rich in fiber and antioxidants
  • Eliminate processed sugars

There! That’s the secret.  (Drops mic and walks away)  Seriously though… following these steps are important.  The reality is that nutrition is likely THE HARDEST part of healthy living, along with developing a fitness plan that works best for YOU.  Now, that’s not to say you can’t indulge in some of your favorite foods every now and again. In moderation of course. But it’s important to carry on with the above focused nutritional points to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I should have prefaced this blog post by saying that I am not a nutritionist.  My recommendations are based off of my very own tried and true approaches to healthy eating.  It’s what has worked for me, along with the outstanding training I’ve received from Nutritionists and Coaches through Beachbody, as well as friends who’ve done their own homework.

As noted in a January 2019 article in the Hindustan Times, a new study suggests that diet is far more important than physical activity including walking, fidgeting and formal exercise. People who lose weight gradually (about 1 to 2 pounds or up to 1 kg per week) are more successful at keeping weight off, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 10% of our calories are burned digesting the food we eat and roughly 10% to 30% are lost through physical activity, the study said.

“It could not be more true. What you omit from your diet is so much more important than how much you exercise,” nutritionist Lisa Drayer was quoted as saying to CNN. All of your “calories in” come from the food you eat and the beverages you drink, but only a portion of your “calories out” are lost through exercise, according to Drayer.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/fitness/for-weight-loss-diet-more-important-than-exercise-here-s-why/story-Pg917frShXU7Lp0NeS1ehJ.html

Now! That’s not to say that you should only eat right and NOT exercise. The proof is in the pudding. No pun intended.  Surely you’ll burn some calories by working out. Be it walking, running, cardio, weight lifting, or the like. So, why not combine both efforts. The results will be extraordinary once you’ve committed to it.  The combination of healthy intake and physical output is bound to help you reach your goals. Do it one step at a time.

There’s a saying I remind myself of when I have difficulty keeping up with a goal;  it takes an average of 21 days to develop a new habit, and at least 66 days for new behavior to become automatic. Depending on the habit it could take you longer to kick it, but speaking healthy habits here… imagine doing something for 21 days straight. You wake up Monday morning and say, “I will walk during lunch each day.” By the end of those 21 days, you’ve nearly ingrained in your mind the walking activity and pretty much look forward to it at this point.  Taking it a step further, you now decide you’ll kick it up a notch and start speed walking. Timing yourself, you’re excited to see how much better you’ll do in 45 more days. At the start of those 66 days you do a quick comparison and you are pleased with the results! Not only have you developed a healthy habit, with healthy eating and incorporating some movement, but now you have results to show for it.  Way to go!

I share with you this entertaining podcast (Sea Latte) and their recent episode on nutrition and the ancient art of reading labels. In it, Panna Sharma and Denice Olivia, express with all enthusiasm, the importance this plays in creating healthy eating habits.  Making us question, what’s in our food and sharing the rarity of Cheetos Mac n Cheese. Yes, you read that right. A nutritionist’s nightmare of course. (Covers face)  But it is important, as they express, to decode the ingredients in your foods. I recall when I was on a 1200 calorie diet, one of the trends I followed where I was religiously counting my calories to get to my goal weight. It absolutely worked! I had a calorie counting app on my phone and everything.  I was committed.  It was during this time that I learned so much about reading ingredients on labels and the infamous saying, “if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it.” The reality is, that many of the ingredients you see on labels are modified products, some even lab produced. Would you really want to put that in your body?

The podcast goes on to describe how to tell the difference between enhancing flavors versus enhancing nutritional value. I won’t share too much more about this podcast episode because I think you just have to check it out. But they go on to talk about the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen list. Your dos and don’ts of healthy eating practices.  As well as the dangers of consuming certain “nutrients” and the effects it can have on your body. People!  When I tell you a wealth of information? Check it out… https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sea-latte/id1536548753?i=1000525683250 AND have you ever wondered what produce items are good to freeze? They discuss that too. GENIUS!

One of the most valuable things I learned in my search for finding nutritional value in everything I ingest, was that salt is not our friend! Food high in sodium causes water retention and can often times make the weight on the scale increase. Warning, objects in mirror will be much larger than they appear.  And, the best thing I can say I got out of the Keto diet was, reducing my sugar intake. Life saver. I now find healthier sugar alternatives and even barter with myself when I do have those sugar cravings for all things chocolate and WINE! Yes… heavenly fermented grapes in a sparkling long stemmed glass. 

So there you have it people. If you’re reading this, it’s a start. It’s the beginning to your beautiful relationship with healthy eating, nutritional learning, and to a life filled with zest and fervor. Now, go on and apply what you’ve learned.  And feel free to share your experiences. 

Follow my social media story and posts this week as I share some tidbits and more information on nutrition and healthy eating practices. https://www.instagram.com/issalivestyle/

Maintenance, It’s a LIVE-style.

Now that we’ve got all the pertinent facts out of the way, let’s discuss maintenance. For me, it’s the hardest part of the wellness journey next to healthy eating. Truth is, I’m a foodie. Anyone who knows me can agree that, I LOVE TO EAT! Food, is my love language.  Well, one of them anyway. 😉

This journey to healthier living is a day by day, step by step process. The reality is, it never stops. You may slow down sometimes. You may tell yourself, “oh well; I’ve put in hard work, time to give myself a break.” Breaks are okay. I’ve taken some myself. The important thing is that by now you’ve developed some good habits. Habits that no matter how much you try to shake its nearly impossible. My husband makes this statement often, and its true…”You can’t unlearn what you already know.” Those habits become ingrained in you. Your lifestyle has officially changed. It’s maintaining that lifestyle that can be tough.

Life is filled with so many great opportunities to fellowship, to spend time with loved ones.  This is accompanied by not-so-wise choices in consuming foods and drinks. Enjoy every moment, don’t limit yourself; just be sure to keep yourself in line. I previously wrote about “bartering” with yourself in “My Body. My Temple.” https://issalivestyle.com/2021/06/27/my-body-my-temple/

This is a practice I use quite often. I’m aware that my journey is more than just a path to weight loss success. It’s morphed into a path to greatness. A life style change in more ways than one. Where the physical meets the emotional, which meets the spiritual, and guides me to a place of peace. From cardio, to weight training, to core focus, to the serenity of yoga, I have learned so much about my body. But most importantly, I’ve learned far more about my mind.

People often say to me, “I wish I was as disciplined as you” or, “I don’t know how you do it.” Most days, even I don’t know how I do it. But I do. I remind myself that my daily routine is about more than just staying fit; it’s about what it provides for me in exchange. The clarity is beyond description. I sit after most workouts and literally revel in the moment, as the sweat drips down my face and body. I think about what I was feeling before the workout, in comparison to how I’m feeling after. I realize that I just pushed myself through 30-45 minutes of pure mindset transformation.  Many days, that workout becomes more like a therapy session. Days when I’m frustrated, aggravated, and down by the harsh realities of life; those are the days I push myself the most.

Some would call it, the post workout “high.”  It’s the release of endorphins in your body. The secret to happiness. Literally, it is. WebMD’s article on Exercise and Depression explains it best: When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.” It triggers a positive feeling, followed by a positive and energizing look at life.”  https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression  I mean… who wouldn’t want to experience that? It’s that very feeling that’s easy to chase when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  It’s a state of mind like no other. The kind that literally changes your life as a whole. You become a more vibrant human being. More in tune with your emotions, aware of your surroundings, know your limitations, and you’ve developed strengths you didn’t know you had. That my dear, is what it’s all about.

At the start of this series, I shared the see-saw effect of my fitness journey. Need to check back for it? Read “Skinny Minnie Who?!” issalivestyle.com/2021/06/14/skinny-minnie-who/

I expressed how I’ve lost all the weight I desired to lose, only to gain it all back again. After doing this more times than I care to rehash, I made the decision to dedicate my life to overall wellness. It’s clear that by now I’ve developed enough skills that if I wanted to embark on a body-building journey, I surely could. I mean, I know what it takes. Is that my goal? Not at all. Though this is a goal others may have (more power to them), my journey has been more internal. It’s led me to look at myself in the mirror a lot differently. And I admit, I’m quite impressed with what I see.

Doctor Oz, world renowned expert on all things health breaks down a list of 10 Simple Rules to lose 5 pounds. I’ll let you peruse this article at your leisure, as it delves into how to lose those stubborn last few pounds in your weight-loss journey. What I want to focus on is number 7 on this list, “Vary your Caloric Intake”.  The point he drives home with this rule is, “Once your body gets used to consuming the same amount of calories every day, your weight loss naturally levels off to match what you burn. For example, your body simply adapts to 1,800 calories and stops slimming down. To keep your body working hard at shedding those pounds, vary your caloric intake. Consume 1,800 calories one day; then reduce to 1,600 calories the next day; and 1,700 the following day. Keep this pattern going, and your body will have to exert more energy to make adjustments…”

Read more: https://www.oprah.com/health/lose-5-pounds-dr-oz-weight-loss-advice/all#ixzz6zEVeMjvG

It’s important that you don’t fixate on maintaining the same meal plan you had at the start. Mixing it up keeps your body from getting bored with the mundane prep-work. Allow your body to do what it’s designed to do. To work for YOU.  Not sure where to start with meal prepping? Check out my story highlight, “EATS” for some simple food prep ideas. Click on the following link to access. https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18144254365185653/ Stay tuned to my Instagram stories this week as I share more meal prep ideas and maintenance photos.

Don’t forget that Google is your friend, but be sure to search certified nutritionist’s recommendations for meal-prepping. Always follow up with your physician to ensure you are consuming the right amount of calories based on your Body Mass Index (BMI) versus your desired goal weight. If you’re interested in starting with a calorie counting strategy as I did early on in my journey, try some apps. The saying, “they have an app for everything” very much applies in this instance as well.  They are a great source of information on calories provided by various products in the market.

By now you’ve worked long and hard to develop a healthy routine. Its time you take a step back and listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs. Now go on and be great but…

WARNING: Exercise has been known to cause health and happiness, proceed with caution. 🙂

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