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Category Archives: Inspirational stories

Featured Fitale Jenica


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FFFC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).

J:  I’m Jenica, wife and stay at home Mom of 2 (ages 4 and 2.5).

FFFC:  What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?

J:  I was playing around with my daughter (then almost 2 yrs) while my newborn son took a nap. I decided to pretend like I was sleeping. She came up to me, and began to try to wake me up. I continued to pretend to be asleep. She again tried to wake me, and when I didn’t respond, she began to cry.
That moment changed everything. being stay-at-home mom and all I could think was, “What if something really happened to me while I was home alone with them? This is how she would react. This is how scared she would be.” I was an almost 28-year-old with high blood pressure, PCOS, insulin resistance, and starting to show signs of sleep apnea.

That was my ah-ha moment.

FFFC:  What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?

J:  I started at 305 lbs, with a BMI of 47.8. Although I haven’t weighed myself in a few weeks (that number means less and less the more active I become), I’ve lost 117 lbs and a BMI of 29.4. I lost 12.5 “ in my waist, 17” in my hips.

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FFFC:  How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?

J:  I don’t put an “end” on the time of my transformation, because I really consider this a LIFELONG process. My goals may change from time to time, but for me, this is a journey towards increased health and wellness. That being said, I lost 100 lbs in about 18 months and had reached my lowest weight in less than 2 years.

FFFC:  What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?

J:  Since I am a stay-at-home mom, finding time to workout was difficult at times. I often simply pushed my children in the double stroller- often only 20 min at a time 3-5 times a week. I also found circuit training images on Pinterest or did random workouts from YouTube while my children napped.

Now that my children are in preschool for a few hours 3 days a week, I have begun training for a half marathon. I also LOVE Zumba!

FFFC:  How did your eating habits change?

J:  I had bad eating habits all around. I’d often skip meals and then binge on processed foods at night. Now I try to eat as clean as possible, but also allow “treats”

FFFC:  What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

J:  Breakfast (if I’m home for the morning) is usually an omelette with a few eggs (whole eggs), with veggies, a side of fruit, and coffee.

Lunch- one of my favs- “avocado chicken salad”- mash an avocado, add shredded chicken and pico de gallo. If I am out of chicken, I often do the same but add hard-boiled eggs instead.

Dinner- we try to do protein and 2 veggies- so something like Salmon with asparagus and roasted cauliflower etc.

*Desserts- Our latest fav is “guilt free” ice cream- freeze a few bananas (after peeling them), blend them along with honey, a TBSP or so of almond butter, vanilla extract and voila, ice cream! (We’ve also added frozen berries, chocolate chips, coconut flakes etc).

FFFC:  What is your favorite fitness activity?

J:  These days it’s Zumba and running/walking/jogging.

FFFC:  What do you do now to maintain your physique?

J:  Continue to be mindful of my eating and making time for physical activity!

FFFC:  How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?

J:  If I have a craving for a few days, I usually allow myself to indulge in a treat. I have found that if I COMPLETELY deny myself any food/treat/food group, it can lead to a binge on that food. Also, often when I am craving something, I try to make it at home rather than buying it pre-made somewhere. This allows me to control the quality of ingredients I use.

FFFC:  What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?

J:  My advice is to first, give yourself the opportunity for the process to take a while. Don’t try to do a quick fix diet that will lead to the weight coming back. Make small changes at a time and really understand that this will be a new LIFESTYLE!

FFFC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?

J:  That you have to spend a ton of money buying programs that have you working out for an hour at a time. I lost most of my weight without much physical activity and with not spending more than the cost of new running/walking shoes. ANYONE CAN do this, but it takes a willing and committed spirit more than it takes money, or fancy equipment, or a trainer, or a gym membership (I had NONE of those).

FFFC:  Do you have any fitness idols? Who are they?

J:  I have people who inspire me- and most of them are people have had similar weight loss stories— just normal people who have decided to change their lives. But I wouldn’t consider them idols. I have come to an understanding that we all have different goals in mind for ourselves and it’s important to ONLY compare ourselves to ourselves. My body will never look like anyone else’s, and that’s ok. I have learned to be happy with MY body.

14. How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?

J:  They can follow me at www.facebook.com/thismomislosingit

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Featured Fitale Kimberly Shorter


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FFFC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).

KS:  Hello! My name is Kimberly Shorter. I am a program analyst for the federal government, and a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, baking and traveling.

FFFC:  What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?

KS:  I have been battling with my weight for much of my adulthood. There have been times when I was rather content with my weight, whether or not it was healthy at the time. At one time I worked out religiously, going to the gym once or twice a week. When the demands of my job changed, I had less time for a workout routine and I thought I could manage my weight simply by eating right. That lasted for a while, but a few years ago I was diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure). That was the real spark for me. After my doctor had to put me on not one, but two medications to manage my hypertension, I said that’s enough. I had constant headaches, I was always bloated and tired. I had to face the fact that being overweight was taking its toll on my body and my overall health. It was a wake-up call.

FFFC:  What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?

KS:  When I started my weight loss journey in earnest, last October, I was 190 lbs. Today, I am 173.8 lbs. I still have a long way to go, but having lost almost 20 lbs., I am motivated to work harder and keep going!

FFFC:  How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?

KS:  My transformation has taken 10 months, and I’m not finished yet! I consider this another weight loss milestone in my journey.

FFFC:  What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?

KS:  I didn’t stick with just one workout routine; I like variety. Plus, I like to find ways to get in some physical activity outside of the gym. I enjoy walking a lot. I challenge myself to park at the far end of the parking lot at work. Doing so, I can get in a brisk 10-15 minute walk. I also do Pilates, and I enjoy dancing. My next challenge will be to start a regular Zumba class again. It was the most fun and the easiest way to get moving and burn calories.

FFFC:  How did your eating habits change?

KS:  I am making more conscious decisions about the food that I eat, thanks in large part to Weight Watchers. I look at food differently now. It’s not just about the taste or the texture of the things I eat, but what nutrients I am putting into my body, and what kind of results I am getting because of it. As much as I love breads, baked goods and dairy products (cheese, ice cream), I admit that those things don’t make me feel healthy and strong eating them all the time. I am learning to be more mindful of the food I choose.

I had been focusing on eating a more plant-based diet when I had a health scare back in June. I was in the hospital for a week as a result of a mysterious bug bite. I was pretty bad off; my blood levels were either low or abnormal, and I was severely anemic. When I got out of the hospital, my doctors told me to focus on an iron-rich diet and suggested things like kale, spinach and beef. As much as I love a good cheeseburger and a good steak every now and then, who wants to eat that stuff every day? However, I can eat kale and spinach all day long!

I am learning that despite what we see and hear on TV, that not every good thing comes with cheese, butter isn’t everything and fried foods aren’t all that they’re cracked up to me. I love cooking, and I am finding that I can create delicious meals and wonderful flavors by grilling, broiling and steaming foods. This is opening up a whole new world for me, and I am excited!

FFFC:  What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

KS:  I love breakfast food, and breakfast used to always consist of something that involved butter and syrup. But now, I like to have something much more simple and healthier like fruit and smoothies. My favorite smoothie is a creation I make with bananas, strawberries, spinach (or kale) and flaxseeds.

For lunch, I will opt for something filling but light, like a grilled chicken wrap full of fresh, crisp veggies or fish. I try to stay away from bulky sandwich rolls and white breads.

At dinner, especially in the summer, I like to put some chicken or salmon, and some Naan bread on the grill, along with a bunch of veggies – green beans, carrots, squash, red onions — tossed in olive oil, minced garlic and salt and pepper. I can never go wrong with that!

I drink lemon water with every meal. I seldom drink anything other than lemon water. It’s the best thing in the world to me. There’s nothing as cleansing and refreshing to the body as water. Lemon water has so many health benefits, it’s long been a part of my daily routine.

I haven’t totally sworn off my favorite foods. I just eat them in moderation, and by ‘moderation’ I mean maybe once a week or a couple times a month. I cannnot deprive myself totally of a good pancake every now and then. I just know now that I can’t eat that stuff every single day. Weight Watchers helps me to make smarter food choices. If I want a treat, I know how much it will “cost” me, and how hard I will have to work to make up for it.

FFFC:  What is your favorite fitness activity?

KS:  Honestly, I love walking. I learned to power walk (not by choice, but out of necessity…LOL!) when attending undergrad in Philly. I can crank up some good workout music on the iPod and go for a good walk. Besides, you can walk everywhere — around the neighborhood, at work, at the mall. When I go shopping in the mall, I usually will do a lap or two before making a purchase (especially a major one). It helps me clear my mind and burn calories at the same time. There have been many times I’ve done a lap around the mall, only to realize that purchase I was planning to make wasn’t worth it. LOL!

FFFC:  What do you do now to maintain your physique?

KS:  I’m not where I want to be yet; I am increasing my physical activity to get the healthy physique that I want.

FFFC:  How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?

KS:  All I have to do is to think back to the time when I was almost 200 lbs., popping Tylenol or other pain relievers every day along with my blood pressure medication and melatonin to help me sleep at night. My health problems were a direct result of what I was putting into my body. Bad carbohydrates, sugars and fat got me that way. And I don’t want to go back to where I used to be.

Also, I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make it to the gym. I can always find some good music to blast on the iPod and get my groove on at home. The way I see it, there is no excuse not to move for at least 30 minutes every day. I just make it a goal to be active for at least 30 minutes a day.

Seeing the progress I have made thus far is motivation to keep doing the right thing, and to do even more.

FFFC:  What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?

KS:  You aren’t going to lose weight overnight, so be prepared to take a journey!

– Make a commitment to yourself to do something to M.O.V.E. (Meaningful, Optimal, Vital, Everyday. You may not be one for the gym, but you can find something to do to get active. Do what is fun for you. Working out doesn’t have to be a chore. If you love to dance, try Zumba. If you love being outdoors, run, walk or ride your bike.

– Find a workout buddy, an accountability partner or even a mentor to support you in your journey. Having someone to help you along and encourage you will really matter when the journey seems tough or impossible.

– Make a list of healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, lean meats) that you enjoy and create an eating plan (NOT a diet) around those foods. The more nutrition you put incorporate into your meals, the less room you will have for empty calories.

– And most importantly, make getting healthy, not a number of a scale or on a clothes rack, your goal. I find that I’ve had more success this time around not fixating on what the scale says or what size pants I can fit into. That will come with time.

FFFC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?

KS:  It is so disappointing to think there are people who buy into the myth that there is some magic pill out there that will make them instantly fit and slim. There is no such thing! Weight loss and fitness require real commitment.

Any quick-fix weight loss product usually is too good to be true. And as fast as you lose the weight, you’ll most likely end up gaining the weight back even quicker. It’s not worth it!!!

FFFC:  Do you have any fitness idols?  Who are they?

KS:  My younger sister Shani is one of my biggest fitness idols. She’s made an even greater transformation than I have. One day, Shani decided to make a drastic change in her eating habits, eating clean and being more active in her everyday life. She’s lost over 34 lbs. as the result of the smart choices she has made.

My brother Terrell is another of my fitness idols. He and my sister-in-law Lori are the perfect example of how to turn healthy choices into a lifestyle. Terrell is an avid marathon runner, Hearing him talk about his marathons, I forget that he ran 26.2 miles. I get motivated by his exhilaration and dedication.

I also consider some of my Instagram fam as fitness idols: Diatta Harris (@femmefitalefitclub), Mary Jones (@akadva37), Rochelle Quick (@mzzquick10) — all of whom are a part of Black Girls Run (@officialblackgirlsrun). I get daily inspiration from their posts.

FFFC:  How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?

KS:  People can follow me on Twitter (@KimberlyWriter) and  Instagram (@kimberlyshorter). Join me in the journey! I welcome new accountability partners!

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Featured Fitale Nancy McCaulay


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FFFC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).

NM:  Hello my name is Nancy McCaulay I work for a Consulting Firm in Northern Virginia. My hobbies are Graphic Design, swimming, running, etc.

FFFC:  What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?

NM:  Taking a long hard look in the mirror and not liking what I saw or how I felt.  Did I lack confidence? No Was I in denial….YES.

I would tell myself, you are black women and we have curves….no I was overweight with additional curves and rolls in places they didn’t belong.  Don’t get me wrong I love my curves, etc. but I needed to be honest with myself.  I got tired of lying to myself just because I could squeeze into smaller size and feel the waistband digging in my skin when I sat down, that I wasn’t “that big”. Cloths provide a wonderful camouflage but at the end of the day, they do come off.  And what you see is what you are!

Could I walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath, yep! I wasn’t necessarily unhealthy but I knew that my “healthy” state would be short-lived if I didn’t do something about it.  So starting from a place of TRUTH my journey began.

FFFC:  What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?

NM:  My beginning weight was 247 lbs (July 2012) not sure what my beginning measurements were.  I do know however, I was in a 16/18 now I wear a 12-14.  I haven’t weighed myself for the month of July however; my last weigh in (June) was 204 lbs.

FFFC:  How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?

NM:  I went to the gym the day after I took my before pic, July 21, 2012 so about a year.

FFFC:  What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?

NM:  I started off on the elliptical (30 minutes) and working out with my trainer 2x per week.  I started getting bored with the elliptical (that was the only cardio I was doing…lol) so I decided to try Zumba (definitely wasn’t a class person) in place of the elliptical.

When I started Zumba, I hid behind the pillar in the room –everything hurt, jiggled, I was off beat, etc.  I kept going because it was fun and the people were inspiring and supportive. Eventually, as the weight started to come off, not as fast as I hoped). I challenged myself to run a 5k —so I added running and Pilates (I have issues with sciatica and the Pilates works wonders for that).

FFFC:  How did your eating habits change?

NM:  I started eating more…..crazy huh?  Was I eating badly? Not at all, actually pretty healthy. I try to eat pretty clean; avoiding processed foods as much as possible. After attending a free seminar realized that I was nutritionally ignorant! Everything I thought I knew about eating went completely out the window.  He broke down the significance in eating a carb/protein with every meal.  One of the major things I took away was, “you have to eat to lose”.

FFFC:  What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

NM:  I actually don’t have a typical meal…..some mornings I will eat dinner food for breakfast (salmon, peppers and steamed vegetables). For the most part I try to stay away from processed foods (sugar, flour, etc.).  The things that are constant each day are a liter of water first thing in the morning and a protein shake at least once a day.

FFFC:  What is your favorite fitness activity?

NM:  Running, Swimming and Dancing

FFFC:  What do you do now to maintain your physique?

NM:  Well, I am not in the maintenance phase right now; I still have about 25 lbs to lose.  Since I’ve adopted how I eat and staying active as a lifestyle I may have to make some tweaks here and there but for the most part I look at it as a permanent staple.

FFFC:  How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?

NM:  Learned to be patient with myself and take it one day at a time and listen to my body.  In addition, I allow myself a cheat “day” once a week.  I don’t want to set myself up by saying; I will never have ice cream again, etc. that is not realistic.  Now will I buy ice cream for my house? Absolutely not, instead I will go and have a scoop. That way I’ve satisfied my crazing without losing my mind.  One thing I’m finding is that, when you feed your body good foods it starts to crave that.  So even though I have a cheat day I may only want the ice cream and not the cobbler too.  🙂

When I don’t feel like going to the gym don’t—-sometimes you just need to rest.  Other times, I get my activity other ways, swimming, going dancing or just getting out for a walk.

FFFC:  What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?

NM:  Make sure your head is in the game!  My former trainer (CJ) told me that you can go thru the motions of working out but if your head is not in the game you are doing just that, going thru the motions”.  Focus on getting healthy; the weight loss is the side effect.  Make small changes; avoid processed foods (i.e. adding fruit instead of bread or eating oatmeal instead of Captain Crunch). Get a support group that is positive and motivating.  Have fun and listen to your body…if you need to rest than do so. Try not to focus only on the weight loss—focus on getting healthier.  It is less discouraging 🙂 Most importantly, don’t be held captive by the scale—take a picture instead.

FFFC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?

NM:  I think there is a tremendous misconception that your success is measured in the number on the scale.  I have heard sooo many people say to me, I should weigh, such and such for my height”.  Based on those charts I should weigh between 107 – 145lbs.  NOT I have more lean muscle than that!

When I tell people how much I weigh they think I am joking.  No, you can’t weigh that much, you don’t look like it.

I remember looking at the biggest loser with my trainer Russ and saying, oh my goodness I weigh more than she does but I was in a solid 14 at the time and she was in an 18 (that was her before weight).

FFFC:  Do you have any fitness idols?  Who are they?

NM:  I don’t really have any idols per se however, I do admire Ernestine Shepherd , Denise Richardson, Tosca Reno and Jillian Michaels

FFFC:  How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?

NM:  I post my monthly pictures on my Facebook page in an album titled “My Transformation”

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Featured Fitale Tabatha


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FFFC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).

T:  My name is Tabatha and I am a 27 year old wife and  mother of 2.    I am a Spanish Teacher. My hobbies include working out, spending time with my family, and hosting extra curricular activities for my students.

 FFFC:  What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?

T:  My journey was sparked by the complete unhappiness I felt about my body and the way I looked.

FFFC:  What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?

T:  Starting BW-230, BF%- 40%Current BW- 170, BF%- 15%

FFFC:   How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?

T:  After almost a decade of failed yo-yo dieting, I really got serious about 2 years ago and joined a gym and hired a trainer.

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FFFC:  What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?

T:  By far weight training is my favorite. I also enjoy spinning, sprints, and even though I dislike it the stairmill is one heck of a workout

FFFC:  How did your eating habits change?

T:   I was raised by a family who put little emphasis on healthy diet and exercise. Our meals consisted of gravy, biscuits, fried chicken and corn bread.  That changed to grilled chicken, egg whites, oatmeal and vegetables.  While it was a struggle, I knew it is what i had to do.

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FFFC:  What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

T:  I do not eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I eat 5-7 meals a day.  Here is a typical day for me:  Meal 1- 3 egg whites, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/4 cup cottage cheese.  Meal 2- 4-6oz lean meat, 1 cup green veggies.  Meal 3- same as meal 2, adding 3oz sweet potato.  Meal 4- 3oz ground turkey, 1 cup spinach.  Meal 5- 1 scoop protein powder.  Meal 6- 3 egg whites, 1/4 cup cottage cheese.

FFFC:  What is your favorite fitness activity?

T:  My favorite fitness activity is lifting HEAVY!!

FFFC:  What do you do now to maintain your physique?

T:  I eat clean and train dirty.

FFFC:  How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?

T:  I look in the mirror everyday and am honest with myself.  I know I am not yet where I want to be, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

FFFC: What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?

T:  I think the greatest thing I did, and what everyone should do is to hire a trainer. Even it is only for a few sessions, to ensure your safety and to learn correct form.

FFFC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about this process.

T:  I think the biggest misconception is that people think fat loss and muscle gain is going to come quick and easy, but it’s not.  How ever long you think it is going to take you to reach our goal, double it, add 6 months to it, and double it again, then maybe you will be close to where you ant go be.

FFFC:  Do you have any fitness idols? Who are they?

T:  One of my biggest fitspirations is Ashley Scott – The skinny fit girl, I also love following Lifting my Spirits on FB

FFFC:  How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)? 

T:  www.facebook.com/tabathasjourneytoforeverfit.

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Featured Fitale Georgina Graham


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FFFC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).

GG:  Good Day! My name is Georgina Graham.  By day I am an aviation expert, acting as an advocate and promoting excellence in safety, security and environmental issues in Civil Aviation.  By night,I am a shoe-loving, time-travelling scribbler with a passion for fitness and helping others achieve their goals and their dreams.  I am currently transitioning location (from Canada) to the United Kingdom and starting my own Coaching Consultancy ~ Be Utterfly Fly Fitness.

FFFC:  What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?

GG:  I was tired. Tired of not liking how I looked on the outside or felt  on the inside.  Tired of feeling like the REAL me was hidden inside, underneath the nice clothes, high heels (always!), make up and hair.  I wanted to feel free of the burden of weight – which was really an outward manifestation of the fact I did not care enough about myself to put myself first.

FFFC:  What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?

GG:  At my heaviest, I had stopped really weighing myself.  My heaviest recorded weight was  227 lbs.  I currently have just finished a (not too clean!) off-season Bulk for
competitive body-building and I weigh 170 lb.  My usual weight is around 155 lbs.  My “stage” weight  is about 135-140.  I still have two wardrobes!  Off season and on!  I am probably at the heaviest weight I have been since reaching my goal weight – but I love my body every which way. You can only get the body you want by loving the body you have!

FFFC:  How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?

GG:  I took about 6 months to reach my goal weight.  Then I adjusted the goal down in order to compete and I lost a further 20 lbs while also maintaining lean muscle in order to step on stage.  Each person’s journey is their own to complete in a healthy way – usually losing no more than 1lb-2lbs per week is the healthiest route for sustainable weight
loss.

FFFC:  What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?

GG:  I used Fitness DVD’s at home 6 days a week  These included cardio kickboxing, plyometrics, kenpo and strength training  I also made sure to walk 10,000 steps a day, so being active even if not actually working out.

FFFC:  How did your eating habits change? 

GG:  I actually STARTED eating.  Prior to my transformation, I would eat once a day.  I was so busy being “busy” with work, I would keep putting off meal after meal, until after working up to a 15 hour day I was too tired to cook, so would just have something like a bagel with cheese.  Little did I realize at the time how much I was damaging my metabolism.  At the beginning of my transformation, I would set an alarm to eat every two hours, until my body reacted without the reminder.  I then started to prepare my meals in advance and take lunch to work every day plus snacks.  I would eat 5-6 meals a day.  I also made sure to drink a gallon of water every day.

FFFC:  What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

GG:  I am pretty much a  creature of habit until you tell me I can’t have something!  This would be a meal plan outside of competition training – For Breakfast I usually have oatmeal and egg whites, or an omelette made with a whole egg and some egg whites, red onions, mushrooms and some chicken bacon.  Some days I may have just Whole eggs with some veggies, probably spinach. I also love Kale based smoothies (but try not to cook it slightly first so it does not interfere with my thyroid function).  I would add in some almond milk, coconut oil and maybe some blueberries, strawberries or half a banana.  Around 10am I have a protein shake or some almonds and an apple, or rice cakes with almond butter.  Lunch would also be some protein with a green salad made with say, spinach, cucumber, avocado, romaine lettuce or veg and some sweet potato or brown rice. In the early evening I would have my dinner before training, and this would be some form of lean protein – chicken breast, turkey, tilapia, or salmon or lean steak or lentils along with veggies, or a salad or quinoa, or other types of
beans.  Immediately after training I would have a protein shake with a simple carbohydrate, to help cause an insulin spike to take the protein straight to the muscles which I have just DESTROYED!

FFFC:  What is your favorite fitness activity?

GG:  LIFTING WEIGHTS!!

FFFC:  What do you do now to maintain your physique?

GG:  TRAIN, EAT, SLEEP!  I was prevented from competing last year due to a thyroid issue and allowing life to get in the way.  My view now is that health is the best wealth we have.  Competition training and dieting is pretty brutal, so you have to be clear in your mind of your goals and your values, so as not to compromise yourself in search of a particular aesthetic that is impossible to maintain.  My aim is to train hard, but maintain the health balance at the same time.  If this prevents me from stepping on the stage this year, then so be it.  I have days when I do crave something that may not be in my best interests to eat, and I am no Saint. So I do everything in moderation – and with intent.  The worse feeling is the one where you are being controlled either by the presence or absence of something.

My Journey

FFFC:  How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?

GG:  You have to make sure your WHY is stronger than your WON’T.  Effectively, willpower is a muscle like any other.  The more you use it the stronger it becomes.  To me, the whole weight loss journey is one of mind over matter.  Getting up to train at What O’Clock in the morning when there is 5 inches of snow on the ground and it is minus a bazillion degrees is no fun.  Wanting to go home after a long day at work but not and going to the gym instead all takes discipline –  doing what needs to be done, not what you want to do.  I do slip up, and life can knock you down, and sometimes of late after one too many “body blows” I have felt like I wanted to stay down, but in the end, I never give up.  I try to make mindful choices so that whatever the outcome, it was by choice not by chance.  My faith also keeps me focused and only by the Grace of God am I here today.

FFFC:  What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?

GG:  Make small, CONSISTENT changes.  Over time, these changes will add up to success.  Throw away the scale and prepare your environment to support your goals.  Establish a vision for yourself, not someone else’s idea of how you should look or what you should eat.  One thing you will probably find on your own journey is that some people will be inspired, others will be threatened.  Some may try to derail you, so it is important that the voice that resonates most loudly in your head is your own.  Don’t be swayed by praise (thinking you can add in some treats) or by criticism (thinking you should just stop).   I think, depending on the type of personality you have, factoring in something that might be considered a treat is important.  Feeling deprived is the easiest way to slip back into bad habits. But it is all amount making good choices.  For instance, I love to eat chocolate, milk chocolate to be precise!  Instead of that, which is really just sugar, I have no learned to like dark chocolate.  I only need a few pieces in order to satisfy that craving and then I am good.  I love a glass of red wine occasionally and some healthy popcorn as a snack.  Even if I over do it on any one day, there is always the next meal, there is always tomorrow, because that is what life is about.  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  Looking at this as a long-term, lifestyle change is important too – there is no end.  It really can’t be perceived as a diet.  Mostly, your MIND has to be in the right place in order to maintain your physique.  Our external self is a reflection of our internal, so spend as much time working on your mind as your body.

FFFC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?

GG:  The biggest misconception is that only certain people can do it.  Anyone can do it!  Success does not come over night, and many people believe if they eat right and train for a week or two, but they don’t see any meaningful changes, they should give up.  DIETS do not work! The Diet industry would not be an industry otherwise.  So really think of this as a lifestyle change, day by day, and results will come.  There is no such thing as a quick fix.  Whether it’s ten minute abs, lose 10 lbs in one day, take this pill or drink this drink.  In the end it boils down to what you eat and when and what exercise you do, creating a deficit between what you eat (fuel) and what you expend.  Understanding that the choices you make today make the body you have tomorrow.

FFFC:  Do you have any fitness idols?  Who are they?

GG:  I have some women who have trodden this path before me and encouraged me on my way.  Women who were willing to share with me their own ups and downs and their
own knowledge.  These women paid their blessings forward and for that I will always be grateful.  In terms of well known fitness personalities –  I admire people like Florence Griffiths-Joyner and Lenda Murray – women that raised the bar, yet maintained class and dignity and then pulled many up behind them.  Also, men like Charles Poliquin and John Beradi who have used their knowledge of the fitness industry, nutrition and training techniques to change how people perceive those in the industry, by using a scientific approach to training and
nutrition.

FFFC:  How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?

GG:  I started my Facebook Page – Be Utterly Fly Fitness – in January 2013, with the aim to build a movement of EMPOWERED people, who are FIT in body, mind and soul – who gain their wings to be FLY (Fit Limitless You).  That is located at www.facebook.com/BeFlyToo.  I will be launching an on-line radio program in the near future to share Fitness, Food and Focus – so you can follow me at www.blogtalkradio.com/BuffButterfly.  Tweet me @BeUtterfly and watch this space for the launch of my website www.BuffButterfly.com.  If you want to contact me by email, then please feel free to do so at coach@BuffButterfly.com  Thank you so much for your interest and thank you Diatta for giving me this truly awesome opportunity.  I am humbled and I pray that I will be able to continue to serve those who are in need!

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© Georgina Graham 2013

Femme Fitale Fit Club

Motivating you to Firm, Fit and Fabulous!

Have fun with us online at Facebook at www.facebook.com/FemmeFitaleFitness

Femme Fitale Fit Club

Motivating you to Firm, Fit and Fabulous!

Have fun with us online at Facebook Facebook


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