Tag Archives: weight loss

Fit & Natural: Corinne

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Welcome to the debut installment of Fit & Natural!! 

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corinne_progress3 (52.2 lbs lost)

Sometimes things just happen all at once and make things finally click. People on Facebook don’t know how much you can influence someone by posting a picture or an idea. A special shout out goes to Ed Moore for posting about the Daniel-fast.com. It started me on my weight loss journey. Also, Shelli A. Gillis for your C25k updates. Since February 14th, I have lost 52.2 pounds. I have eliminated all dairy, eggs, beef, chicken and pork. Surprisingly I don’t miss it. Now, I’m not saying that I will never eat these things again. But, for now, I’m taking it one day at a time and one pound at a time. Thanks for all of your kind words and support.

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corinne_2009July 2009

corinne_afterJuly 24, 2013

corinne_headshot_afterGorgeous and Inspiring!!

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Are you natural/transitioning and on a health & fitness journey? Want to be featured in a Fit and Natural Spotlight? Then e-mail me at hairscapades@gmail.com with all of the following:

  1. A short summary of your journey, progress, workouts, diet, motivation, etc. (600 words or less)
  2. Two-four before and after photos* (keep it clean please…I just can’t with the tooted booty shots/underwear)
  3. A headshot 

*Photos must be in JPEG, JPG, or PNG format, 200 KB or smaller, and named by your first name, then sequentially numbered (ex. Corinne1.jpg, Corinne2.jpg, Corinne3.jpg). Include dates for pics, when available. 

I will post eligible stories in the order in which they are receied!!

Can’t wait to read your stories and be motivated and inspired just like I was by Corinne’s!! 

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Health & Fitness Journey Update

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StrongCurves_CollageMy home gym has grown a LOT in the last month!! But, that’s a post for another day!

Since I learned that a lot of you aren’t following Hairscapades on other social outlets, I don’t feel like I’m rehashing old news by posting stuff I shared on IG and FB!! So thanks to those who completed the poll!!! It was really helpful!! *mwah*

That being said, I wanted to give you all an update on my personal 365 Days of Fitness Challenge. Although I haven’t updated on here in a while (I update daily on IG, FB, and Twitter), I continue to work out every day, mostly 30 minutes to an hour (but 10-12 minutes when time, energy, and/or location require it). As of this morning, I completed Day 162 (i.e. 23 weeks + 1 day).

On July 1st, I started the 12 Week At-Home Bodyweight workout from “Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building A Better Butt and Body.”  This program provides 3  different weekly, full body/butt training workouts for the first 4 weeks, a second series of 3 workouts for weeks 5-8, and a third series of 3 workouts for weeks 9-12.  The book includes several programs, including ones that can be done in the gym, workouts for beginners and advanced lifters, and lower body only workouts. It suggests incorporating High Intensity Interval (HIIT) sessions for the 3 alternating days a week.

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I just started week 5 of the At-Home program yesterday. I do Strong Curves on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (workouts take about 1 hour with warm-up and cool down). The other days of the week, I do what I feel like. I try to incorporate kettlebell, abs of steel, running, and yoga into each week though, if possible.

This is what a typical week looks like for me.

Monday:  Strong Curves Workout A

Tuesday:  Kettlebell training with 20 lb bell and Lauren Brooks DVD (20-30 min.)

Wednesday:  Strong Curves Workout B

Thursday:  Treadmill (HIIT w/six-seven 1 min. sprint/1.5 min. walk intervals, 300 Cal Run/Walk, moderate run, and/or progressive incline walk) (30-35 min)

Friday:  Strong Curves Workout C

Saturday:  Treadmill (S/A)

Sunday:  Hot Yoga (Vinyasa Flow) (75 min.)

As stated above though, if time, energy, or location don’t allow, I might only do 10-25 minutes on my non-Strong Curves days. This is usually Abs of Steel, my short kettlebell workout, or a stretching video (relaxing, flexibity, or power). I even recently did a 10 minute YouTube video workout using my phone when I was away from home for a family reunion (YouTube is an amazing resource for all kinds of workouts)!

via Moms Into Fitness

And then there’s the improvisation to make up for exercises for which I don’t have the equipment at home.

day136(Chin-ups under a table and step-ups on a chair)

Now, I know what you’re thinking … “WELL?!?!?! With all of that, are you seeing results?” Why yes, yes I am!! Although my diet isn’t immaculate (I probably would be at my goal weight of 120 pounds [I’m 5’1″] by now if it were), I’m very happy to report that I weighed in at 123. 5 pounds this past weekend! That’s down 25 pounds from what I weighed when I started my 28 Day Health & Fitness Challenge in February!!!

weigh-in (7-27-13)7/27/13

And, I fit my size 4 skinny jeans!! WOOT WOOT!!

Down25lbs

I know it probably doesn’t look like it, but the jeans on the left fit too! Just … very loosely! LOL!! In fact, I wore both pairs of jeans the same day. I wore the low-waist, stretchy, wide-leg jeans to work and changed to the high-waist, non-stretch, skinny jeans for dinner date night. It was a strategic maneuver to prevent myself from overeating!! I knew that I would feel it a lot more in those skinny jeans and would be discouraged from over-indulging due to the pain of the waistband cutting into my gut!! And it worked!! LOL!!

So yeah, I’m seeing progress, even in my most stubborn of areas ,my glutes and upper thighs! I’m not ready to share close-up and personal pictures yet (maybe I never will be?), but I am seeing improvements. And, at 41 years of age, I think that’s pretty darn good for 4 weeks!

And that’s where I’m at with my 365 Day Fitness Challenge. Oh!!!! And almost forgot! This Saturday, August 3rd, is my Warriors Dash!!! Oh. Em. Gee!! Wish me luck!!

Thanks for reading and for all of those on Instagram and Facebook who root me along, you ROCK!! Your words, likes, and ♥ encourage and motivate me every day!!!! And I hope that my posts do the same for you!!

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So, how do you guys feel about a “regular” Health & Fitness Spotlight ? I came up with the idea a few months ago and there was a lot of interest, but never executed. I feel like it would be encouraging to see the health & fitness journeys of other readers.

Whaddaya think??

(BTW: Already have my first spotlight lined up … *hint, hint*)

365 Days of Fitness

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As many of you may know, I started a personal fitness challenge back in February. I was the heaviest I had been in my life, wasn’t fitting the vast majority of my clothes, eating horribly, inactive, tired, and pretty miserable. So, I needed a major jump start to get back into a regular exercise routine, which always gets me on track with my diet, in order to lose the excess weight that had put me over a healthy BMI. But, I also knew I needed something to do something that would push me past that 2-3 mark where it’s easy to fall off the wagon again.

So, I set a goal for myself to exercise just 10 minutes a day for 28 consecutive days.

“10 minutes. That’s it?” That’s right. 10 measly minutes. I thought, “How can I make an excuse to not take 10 minutes in a 24 hour day to exercise?”  So I knew that, with such a minimal commitment, I should be able to get back into a regular exercise routine. I also knew that, instead of trying to workout after work, when I was mentally and physically exhausted (i.e. full of excuses and unmotivated), I had to start working out in the morning. That way, I would capitalize on the motivation that was always there when I woke up (“Today is the day! I’m working out today!!”), but always inevitably waned over the course of the day (“I’m so tired. Tomorrow. I’ll start tomorrow.”).

And now …

I T ‘ S    1 0 0    D A Y S    L A T E R!!!

That’s right. As of today, I have worked out a minimum of 10 minutes every day for 100 days in a row. I incorporate a variety of exercises (e.g. running, walking, HIIT, kettlebell, stretching, abdominal work, hot yoga, calisthenics, aerobics) and exercise about 30 minutes most days of the week. And, I’ve lost 19.5 pounds, completed a 9 week C25K training program, competed in my first 5K, and achieved new poses in hot yoga. So, about a week or so ago, I decided I was going to keep going. “Why stop at 100 days?” I thought. I still have another 9.5 pounds that I want to lose to reach my goal weight of 120 and am signed up for the Warrior’s Dash (a 5K obstacle course) on August 3rd. But, more importantly, I have been on a roller coaster with exercise, diet and my weight for the last 10 years and I need to break the cycle. From the age of 19-30/31, I worked out consistently and maintained a weight between 120-130. However, over the subsequent 10 years, I got into this pattern of 6 months on, 6 months off, which progressed in the last couple of years to 6 months on, 1 year or more off and higher and higher numbers on the scale :(.

So, this 365 Days of Fitness Challenge is to break that cycle. It’s to TRULY get back on the path wellness and consistently taking care of myself. I’m not a young chickie anymore and this yo-yoing is detrimental to my health and I know it. This is about far more than how I look (though that’s definitely a big bonus ;). It’s about how I feel and the quality of life I want for me and Wei as we continue to grow older. I believe in moderation in most things. So, I’m trying to eat and exercise in a way that I can sustain in the long-term, rather than in a way that exhausts me, makes me dread working out or restricts what I eat so much that I ca’t indulge every now and again.

PB_oreo_browniesOh yeah. I made these last week. Ate one. It was gooood.

That being said, this 365 Day Challenge is something that I am doing for myself. It is my own personal goal. It started one day, 10 minutes, at a time and it will continue that way. So, sorry … you’re going to be stuck with these health and fitness posts/updates for a while ;). And, I am not saying that anyone has to do this with me (though you are welcome to join me if you want ;)). But, if you have been looking for a way to “get back in the game,” why not set a goal for yourself, join a challenge, do something to hold yourself (or get others to hold you ;)) accountable?!? All it takes is a few minutes a day … one day at a time. You’ve got nothing to lose (except maybe some excess weight ;)) and everything to gain!!

#FITFORLIFE

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Have you been on a roller coaster with your health/fitness/weight? How did/are you break(ing) the cycle?

Progress and Stepping It Up!

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Okay, sorry. Another fitness post. I know. Promise, there will be a hair one soon. But, I just had to share my progress!! So, hope that you don’t mind!! I’m down to about 130/131 pounds (varies when I step on the scale ;)) from my starting point of 148.5 back on 2/18/13!! And, my dedication and consistency  (can’t even call it hard work as I’ve exercised a LOT harder in the past – 2 hours a day 5-6 days a week + 100% clean eating) are really paying off!!

weigh-in (5-12-13)Got off, got back on and it said 131.5. Go figure.

Now, I will say this, I lose weight on my upper body far more quickly than my lower body. So, the last 10 or so pounds that I want to lose is mostly on my lower half and I pulled out the big guns last week to help me lose it!

1. Pre-workout breakfast smoothie (see this article on the importance of fueling up before a work out).

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I had not been eating before my morning workouts. I would just have a cup of coffee and hit the basement with my water bottle. I have always hated the feeling of a full stomach when working out and didn’t feel I had the time needed to allow a breakfast to digest properly before working out (30-60 minutes). However, given that I’d begun running for longer periods and wanted to improve my performance all around, I knew I needed to start fueling up. Enter the quick digesting, pre-workout breakfast green smoothie!! I knew I wanted oatmeal in my smoothie, so I did some research and cobbled together the following recipe from a few that I found online.

Pre-workout Breakfast Green Smoothie

1 c. fresh spinach, kale or collard greens (omega 3s/magnesium)
1/2 frozen banana (simple carb/potassium)
1/4 c. frozen strawberries (simple carb/potassium)
1/4 cup ground oatmeal (the NutriBullet mill does this in SECONDS!!) (complex carb/fiber/magnesium)
1 scoop Nectar Vanilla Bean Torte OR Strawberry Mousse protein Powder
3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c. water

2. My new NordicTrack C700 treadmill (3 week nightmare that it was to get it :().

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3. My Delfin Spa Bio-Ceramic Anti-Cellulite shorts (I have 3 pair).

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They beat the Zaggora in my opinion as you don’t feel the sweat until you remove them.
With Zaggora, the sweat drips out of the legs as you work out! Ewwwwww!!!

4. Green Coffee Bean Extract (purchased a LivingSocial deal after watching a Dr. Oz segment on its effectiveness).

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To see the Dr. Oz segment, click here. There are 5 clips total, but the last 4 are very short.

I know the first two things will work, as they are tried and true for me. But, the coffee bean extract is the unknown. I first learned about green coffee bean extract back in November and ordered some online. But, within seconds of placing my order, I realized that I may have been scammed. The source was an unauthorized Dr. Oz Facebook page and there were some forced internet pages, so I cancelled my order AND my credit card. Then, I did more research and found that green coffee bean extract is legit, that Dr. Oz doesn’t endorse any particular brand, but he does provide strict guidelines for buying an authentic product (part 5 of video series): 1. Must be pure (zero fillers, zero binders, zero artificial ingredients) √, 2. Must contain at least 45% chlorogenic acids √, 3. Must say Svetol® or GCA √.  He also indicated that the capsules can range in size from 200 to 800 mg, which is fine. Anywho, the studies and his experiment showed that this product enables people to lose up to 2 pounds a week without changing anything in their diet or exercise routine!!

So, when I saw the LivingSocial deal for The Official GreenCoffeeBean Extract brand ($29 for a 3 month supply) and checked out the site to validate the “must haves,” I decided to try again. The pills arrived last Friday and I started taking them that very night. Since Saturday, I have taken them twice a day, 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner. The pills have less caffeine than 1/2 a cup of coffee and, so far, I haven’t experienced any jitters, sleeplessness or side effects. I’m hoping that with continued daily workouts and eating cleanly, I’ll see some great results over the next few weeks and will be able to show you some lean and mean legs too ;)! You know that I’ll keep you guys posted!!

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What big guns do you pull out of your arsenal when trying to lose those last 10 lbs?

May 2013 Photo A Day #CurlyAndFit Challenge by Lexi With The Curls!

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As most of you know, I’ve been on a fitness journey since February (2/18/13 to be exact). It started with a personal 28 Day Health & Fitness Challenge, where I committed to working out a minimum of 10 minutes every day for 28 days in a row.  Today was day 74. WOOT WOOT!! LOL! In that time, I also completed the 9 week C25K program and have continued running with plans to start the 6 week 10K program next week. I started my personal challenge weighing in at … 148.5 pounds *shudder.* At 5’1″, that was WAY over a healthy BMI. I was very uncomfortable in my own skin, was busting my “fat” clothes at the seam, was experiencing skin and hair issues, and was very unhappy with myself and how I let myself go.

As of today, I have lost 15.5 pounds and feel soooo much better as I’ve taken care of a lot of things that had gotten out of control. So, in order to continue to stay motivated and consistent so that I can drop the additional 13 pounds that I want to lose, I joined another Instagram Photo A Day Challenge!! This time, it’s a Fitness Challenge for May. And, I gotta say, I’m kinda psyched (hence, why I’m sharing ;))!! I’ll continue my personal challenge to work out a minimum of 10 minutes a day, every day, but I’ll participate in the Photo Challenge concurrently. It’ll be nice to do this with others and to follow their progress as well! Plus, there are some pretty awesome prizes involved!!

Anywho, the challenge started yesterday. I just joined today, but am now up to date with my Day 1 and Day 2 photos! Check it out … ummm … but don’t look too closely at those body shots!!

CnFDay_1

Ughh … You ever feel like you look so much heavier in pictures than you look in the mirror?!

Day 1: Starting Point + Goals

Starting Point: 133 lbs
Goals: 1. Lose another 5-8 lbs by the end of the month.
2. Continue to work out every day.
3. Continue running by starting 10K training.

CnF_Day2

Day 2: Sweat 

So, if you’re interested in joining the challenge and want to learn more, head on over to LexiWiththeCurls.com and check out the details here. And, don’t forget check me out @Hairscapades on Instagram if you want to see daily updates!! Check out #CurlyAndFit to see ALL of the challenge photos to get inspired and motivated (if you need it ;))!!

Let’s get it ladies! 

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So, you know I gotta ask … who else is with me?!?!

Oh, and if you’re joining, post your IG handle in the comments!
(Don’t forget, if your profile is private, we can’t see or comment on your photos!)

 

28 Day Fitness Challenge Round Two: Days 43-49

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Still going strong!! Can’t believe I’ve worked out for 50 consecutive days now!! One more week and it’ll be 2 months!! When I started this 7 weeks ago, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through the first 28 days. Now, on day 51, I feel like I can keep on going. Some days, all I get in is 10 minutes of Abs of Steel, but I feel like every minute counts. And, I could have easily been sleeping or sitting on the couch those 10 minutes, so it’s better than that.

In regard to weight loss, the scale actually went back up to 138 this week. I’m not overly concerned as it’s that time of the month … y’all know how it is. Also, although I ate very well during the day, I had a really irregular week as it related to dinner. Nothing I ate was bad in and of itself. But, I was eating randomly and too much … green smoothie, kale chips, pistachios and smoked oysters one night … green smoothie, kale chips, a sweet potato and pistachios the next … green smoothie, taylor ham and pistachios the following night … I told you … random. And, over the weekend wasn’t the best either … I didn’t eat too much in regard to quantity, but didn’t have the best options when I went out to lunch on Saturday (ended up w/a breaded chicken cutlet on a white roll … was hoping it was grilled … only ate half the bread, but still all that friend breading) and a birthday party on Sunday (2 slices of plain cheese pizza … it was after hot yoga and I was starving!). But, again, it wasn’t a lot in terms of quantity … just more calories than I would like and not much in the way of nutritional content.

Kale, banana, dates and vanilla extract green smoothie; first ever homemade kale chips (too salty, but did a second batch w/o salt and they were good)!

Kale, banana, dates and vanilla extract green smoothie; first ever homemade kale chips (too salty, but did a second batch w/o salt and they were good)!

Oh, and Sunday night, Wei and I went to our new favorite spot, The Loving Hut in Ledgewood, NJ. It’s an international chain (never would have guessed) specializing in vegan cuisine. Let me tell you, the food. is. DELICIOUS.

Clockwise: California Roll, Queen “Burger”; sweet potato fries and Pho. This pic was actually from our first visit, but we ordered the same things this past Sunday!

So yeah, I’ll probably wait until next Sunday or Monday to weigh in again and keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be down a real pound or two to 135-136. Of course, I need to get my dinners back on track this week …  ‘cuz Monday night was a repeat of the randomness.

Alright, here’s Days 43-49 in pictures!!

In regard to Day 46, you may have noticed that I posted my Day 1 and Day 2 results. Now, the thing is, treadmills that don’t allow you to enter you weight, height, sex and body fat percentage don’t accurately calculate calories burned for everyone. This is because treadmills that don’t allow personalization generally use the universal calibration for a 150 pound male (check out this article on LiveStrong.com: Do Treadmills Accurately Burn Calories? for more info). However, though I know the results for calories and carbs burned on my calculator are not accurate for me, the information is helpful as it provides a point of comparison from work-out to work-out.

C25K Week 7/Day 1 was yesterday morning!! This week is 25 minute runs for each workout! I’m so excited to be here as, when I started, didn’t know how’d I do it! But, every day, slow progression is the key to seeing results!!

Oh, and before I go!! I wanted to share a video on pre- and post work-out stretches to do to improve running speed and endurance!! It’s from Marshall’s!! You see, when I bought work-out clothes from them a couple of weeks ago, there were these “Get Fit” tags with QR codes to “unlock” YouTube videos! Well, I got the perfect video for me!!

I have found that doing the demonstrated stretches pre- and post work-out does make me feel more limber and the pre-run stretches definitely help warm me up. I can’t say that the stretches have improved my endurance or speed just yet. But, I’ve only been doing them for about a week now. So, I’ll give them more time for that. And, now that I think about it, I did do long run intervals at 5.5 when I was struggling at 5.2 a couple of weeks ago. So, maybe they are helping! If it can improve my speed to 5.3 for my 25 minute run at the end of this week, I’ll give these stretches some kudos ;)!

Lata Gatas!!

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Any runners out there? Do you have tips on stretches or techniques for a novice runner to use in order to improve running efficiency, form, gait, speed? Thanks in advance!!

28 Day Fitness Challenge Round Two: Days 36-43

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So, I’m a little late with this and I’m keeping it short. I’m down 11.5 pounds as of this past Saturday and started week 6 of C25K this morning. Still working out daily and eating well mostly … though, I did indulge a little on Easter Day. However, though I enjoyed some mac and cheese, a little ham, and candied yams, I also filled half my plate with salad, had white meat turkey, passed on the bread and stuffing and practiced portion control. I didn’t stuff myself at all and I didn’t have seconds. Ummm … and I did have a little bit of dessert too *sheepish grin*. BUT, it was the lightest thing there and it was only about 3-4 spoonfuls. I resisted the sweet potato pie (oh how I love thee), coconut cake, pound cake and ice cream! Oh, and I started out the day with a green smoothie … learning of the day: NutriBullet does NOT do well with frozen greens :(. So, I bought a big bag of fresh kale after work today. Should have taken a pic … it’s GINORMOUS!!

Okay, yeah … short. Here’s day 36-43 in pics!! Oh, and captions ;).

Day 43: C25K Week 6/Day 1 (5.5 mph run intervals). Abs are coming in ... still got a ways to go, but seeing real progress.

Day 43: C25K Week 6/Day 1 (5.5 mph run intervals). Abs are coming in … still got a ways to go, but seeing real progress.

I’ll be back in the next day or two with details of the hair above and to share a recap of the Wonder Curl launch party that I attended this weekend!! She debuted her two new products, a Cleansing Clay Mask and a Deep Conditioner that round-out her line of products!! Okay … if you just can’t wait, check out these recaps by A Hair Story and Radiant Brown Beauty, who both attended the event with me and are on top of it ;)!!

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Spring is in the air and summer can’t be too far away … right?  So, how you guys doing with your health and fitness goals?