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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 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

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Featured Fitale Vee Bleu


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

VB:  Veronica Adegoriolu aka Vee Bleu. Currently I work for a telecommunication company. My hobbies, as of late have been working out and trying to inspire and motivate others to share in a heathy lifestyle as well.

FFFC:  What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?

VB:  Several things sparked my weight loss transformation. I was living with Type 2 diabetes and not really controlling it with diet and exercise. Drinking and eating whatever I wanted too. Then in 2010 my father passed and my doctor informed me that I will have to start taking insulin soon if I did not get this weight and nutrition under control. I wasn’t even 30 yet.

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

VB:  230lbs and now 127lbs

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

VB:  Once I really started to focus on my diet it took about 9 months to get to a health weight and stabilize my type 2 diabetes. I am still working on improving my body, mind, and discipline.

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

VB:  Over the last past two years I have been training with IFBB Pro Rashid “Roc” Shabazz at Fitness Pros. Our group training sessions incorporated weight training, cardio, plyo, and stretching.

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FFFC:  How did your eating habits change? 

VB:  I started by slowly changing my eating habits. I started cooking at home and following my trainers food list. Then as I started to dial in on my exercise program, my trainer provided a more strict meal plan to help with the additional weight loss.  I typically eat every 2.5 to 3 hrs. I don’t eat fast food anymore. I prefer my cheat meals to be something good and not waste it on Micky D’s or Wendy’s or some fast food establishment.

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

VB:  Right now I am in contest prep for my 1st figure show. So my diet it very very strict. Before I started contest prep I would eat 5 to 6 meals a day, but  change my perspective on what breakfast lunch and dinner could be. My breakfast these days consist of ground turkey or egg whites. I try to make sure I at least had a protein + veggie/good carb at each meal. I keep all my meats lean sources of protein like 99% fat-free ground turkey, white fish, egg whites, chicken breast, and protein shakes. I tend to eat more complex carbs such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes and or rice. Vegetables tend to be green in variety – like broccoli, spinach, green beans, etc…

FFFC:  What is your favorite fitness activity?

VB:  Weight lifting. It feels so good to know that I am woman and can lift some heavy weights and still have feminine look and maintain my curves. When I was bigger I never had booty. Now I have a little something something. 🙂

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

VB:  I still continue to work with my trainer IFBB Pro Roc Shabazz and keep a clean diet with some cheat meals and treats here and there. I learned from my trainer not to just give myself treats without earning them.  I also have incorporated Hot Yoga to help with lengthening, strengthening, and stretching my muscles.

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

VB:  In the beginning of my weight loss process it was hard I would fall back into old habits. Sometimes I allow myself to be “bad”. But with anything in life you have to learn balance and learn how to not go off the deep in. I am still working everyday on willpower and self-discipline.

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

VB:  I would tell them to find an activity the love and do it every day. Whether that is walking, Zumba, Crossfit, dance class – just do something you enjoy. Diet wise – take it slow – start with eating a clean breakfast and drinking at least 2 liters a water a day. Then once you establish that and make it a habit, increase your clean meals and up your water intake. Slow and steady wins the race!

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

VB:  That I’ve had surgery or starved myself. I worked really hard to get to this point. I eat more than most people do.

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

VB:  Tons!! Jennifer Nicole Lee, Bella Falconi, Jeannette Jenkins,  Erin Stern, all the women I know who are losing weight but might not be a “fitness” idol levels.

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

VB:  Currently in process of writing my e-book about my journey – what I did and how I got there. They can go to my blog site to get more information about my transformation and journey at VeronicaBleu.com

They can also keep up with me on:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/veronica.adegoriolu

Instagram: http://instagram.com/vbleu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vade2409

FFFC:  What’s next for Veebleu?

VB:  I have my first figure competitions at the NPC Charlotte Cup in April 27th and another show the Eastern Seaboard on May 11th in Atlanta.  Participating in these competitions has been a dream of mines 10 yrs in the making.  I also what to make consistent improvements to my body by increase more muscle mass and really embracing this lifestyle. The losing fat process is over the MAINTENANCE of this new body is now in full effect. 🙂

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