This year has been a challenging year for me in my weight loss journey. I've learned so much about myself and my strength to make it through this journey. This last month of the year I plan to research and figure out a plan for me to continue losing weight. Since last year I've lost 47 pounds and that was possible only with God's mercy and grace.........and true FAITH that I could do it. God has given me a great support system of people that continue to motivate me and push me to my highest height!

As of right now my weight loss goal is only  40 pounds away. I know I can make it!

Let's Motivate Each Other,
I know it's late in November but with my computer being down and taking vacation I just haven't found the time. I like to update the blog with my fitness goals for the month because not only does it help me to hold myself accountable.......It encourages others too! So many people have encouraged me since last month and have reached out to me for help. I am far from a expert but one thing I know for sure is that this journey is HARD and without someone in your corner its hard to make it to the finish line.

I've been on a food-vacation allowing myself to eat what I want and ENJOY it for the month of October. Never going overboard but enjoying the things that I really like but turned away from. My Mom also came to visit in October so of course I had to enjoy some fried chicken wings ( MY FAV) or whatever else she wanted to cook. I truly missed my Mom's cooking and I totally took advantage. On those days when she cooked my favs, I made to sure to watch my portions and eat balanced meals for breakfast and lunch so when dinner time came......I ENJOYED IT! I'm just being honest about my journey :)

Sooooooo for the month of November my goals are:
 - Starting November 11th I have been totally on track with my eating. I'm half way to my weight loss goal so I'm looking at this point as a point to start over.
 - I'm using measuring cups to ensure I'm getting the right portions, looking at calories, ALL THAT! I'm ready to take myself to the next level and at this point I need to stay focused.
 -This month I will be getting back to running (YAY), and going to various fitness classes. Last month my main focus was boxing and I loved it - I'll get back to it in December.
 - Greens, Greens, Greens! I'm incorporating lots of green veggies back into my diet. I never really took them out but I'm stepping it up and eating more
 - Lunch - For the past couple weeks I haven't been hungry at lunch time. So instead of trying to force myself to eat I've decided to make smoothies (power greens, apple, strawberry, raspberry), along with a Nature Valley bar. So far so good It gives me the nutrients I need to make it through mid day until my next snack.

That's all for now, but I hope to check in with you all before the end of the month

So September was a bust! Yeah I know it doesn't sound good but it's the truth. If I'm going to blog about my journey I have to remain truthful about my struggles. I really struggled this month.....bread & sweets were EVERYWHERE!!! My favorite candy "Candy Corn" (Oh how I love thee) is back on the market as well! Exercise is not my issue, it's the food struggle that has kept my weight loss stagnant for the past two months. I prepare all my meals in advance for the work week (breakfast, lunch, & dinner). The temptation comes for me on the weekend when I'm out and about enjoying my free time.

In September my fitness was on point! Continuing my running and stepping up my circuit training routine with the trainer at Planet Fitness. I was going so hard with the running, hurdles, and laddar drills that I hurt my foot. Actually my Achilles Tendon is inflamed causing a aching pain in my heel and a pulling sensation in the back of my ankle/leg. I went to visit my podiatrist who instructed me to wear a huge BOOT until my next visit (My visit is TODAY) along with taking anti-inflammatory medsand icing my foot twice a day. So far so good!

I took one week off from exercise, but I got right back on track last monday. Met with my trainer to get a modified circuit routine to include abs and weight training. I've also incorporated the stationary bike to allow for low impact cardio. An Achilles tendon is nothing to play with! I could have been down for the count BUT GOD! I so want to get back to full mobility, so low to no impact cardio is what I will foucs on. Looking forward to my doctor appointment today, but I already know that my running has to cease for a while. I must say that i'm happy that I've gotten to the point where I truly miss running. As I drive by runners I'm a little envious that they can run and enjoy the nice sunshine. I'm staying positive through it all because it's only a small delay in my big dream! Almost forgot I went to JCP last weekend and tried on a size 14 (regular NOT plus). The shorts slid right on! They fit like a glove anad I was able to fit a size large shirt too - NOW that's what you call a victory! Although my food choices have not been perfect I have been able to maintain my weight.

Before a run
After a run icing my knees
After a great run/walk in the FL heat!
Foxxy's October Goals:
- No bad carbs (white bread, white flour. potatoes, pasta) and no sugar through October 20th
- Focus on weight training and low inpact cardio to get this body "Cruise Ready" for November
- Remain positive during my journey - rejoicing on the small victories
- Be creative with my food choices so I don't get bored 
- Encourage 2 friends/family and 2 strangers to continue or start a fitness journey
- Find ways to modify foods that I like to accommodate my meal planning without blowing my diet (i.e. instead of white rice, try making cauliflower rice) 
So last friday I went to the gym to get my workout in. I LOVE working out on Friday evenings! Well I did my usual (3 days a week) circuit training which is basically a full body workout. At the end of my workout the back of my foot was really tight. I stretched it out and left the gym. By the end of the night I was limping around and my heel would hurt each time I stepped down.   

Instead of prolonging the inevitable, I went to visit my Podiatrist tuesday where I learned that my Achilles tendon is inflamed. No tear - THANK GOD!  So Foxxy is styling everyday in a big BOOT until my follow-up appointment. So that means no running for a while. I even had to miss my favorite monthly ritual of going to two hour Zumba on saturday****SAD FACE times 10****!

No worries fitness goals are still in full effect! Time to get my nutrition 100% on point and get creative in the gym. I'll be taking a break from the gym this week to regroup, then next week I'm back on the grind doing something! Made a appointment with my trainer monday morning to get help with upper body and abs.

Can't Stop, Won't Stop,
Today's the day.....What day you ask? The date of my follow-up doctor appointment where I wanted to be down 20 more pounds. If you can't tell already, I didn't reach that goal *SAD FACE*. My doctor wasn't requiring that I lose 20lbs by this date, but that was a goal I set for myself. Going to the appointment I knew that I was FAR from my goals because I've been all over the place with my eating. Dining out, fast food, processed frozen meals, breads, and sugar have been in my MOUTH!!!!!! One thing I've learned on my fitness journey is that no matter how much you workout, if your nutrition is not on point you will NOT lose weight.

Now don't get me wrong I haven't gone crazy with my eating, but I've been trying to incorporate things that I cut out during my initial weight loss. With 47 pounds down I just wanted to add back some of the things I love like peanut butter jelly sandwiches, some sweets, cereal, etc. I think I took it overboard. I've mastered how to maintain my weight, but that is not my goal. Tommie has to remain focused  to "Transform Foxxy". Back to mostly lean meats, fruits amd veggies as I continue this journey........Pray for me!
Perfect representation of what I want to look like at my goal weight
Before: This saturday's run
After the run....Sweat drippin!
The Journey CONTINUES........I'm still counting down to my September 9th doctor appointment. As of right now I'm scared I'm not going to make my goal. Just being honest after all the McNuggets, one trip to Golden Corral, and a trip to Cold Stone, if I fail it's my fault. I have faith that I can still make it to 200lbs by the set date so I'm focusing on that. Although I got some good meals in I did stay on track with my eating 85% of the time. It's easy for me to stay on track during the week, the weekends are the challenge for me.

My exercise regimen has been on point! I've been hitting the gym twice on Mondays and Fridays and at least 3 other times during the week. I attended two hour zumba this month as well (my favorite workout) and won one of the raffles! My girl Jocelyn and I needed a change from the mundane of the gym. So we decided to take our run/walk to the STREETS! We ran in downtown Jacksonville across the Acosta and Main Street bridges. The routes range from 2 miles to 3.25 miles. When I run alone I run the trail by my house and it's a total of 4 miles. I also started the ab challenge, but I must say I HATED IT! I hate ab workouts with a passion but I did my best........My best just wasn't enough. I only made it halfway through the challenge and I quit :(  

Last month's challenge was more than fitness, it also included financial fitness. I've finished the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes and I honestly feel so much more peace. I've changed my habits and I have a solid plan on how to become financially FREE! I'm not just talking about it - I'm doing it!  

Completed my first run through the trail by my house - 3 miles!
Icing my shins in preparation for a after work run
Me and My girl Jocelyn after one of our circuit training workouts!
CONQUERED! Running the bridges of downtown Jacksonville 3.25 miles!
Completed another successful run in downtown Jacksonville..... Jocelyn was so happy she was wet LOL!
Remember your testimony - your journey is not for you it's to help and encourage someone else. I met two nice women this month: April (pictured) I met in Planet Fitness and she was complaining to her friend about not losing the weight and working so hard. She reminded me of myself so I pulled her to the side and told her my testimony of how I never gave up no matter how bad it seemed. She agree to go hard for the month of August with me - WHOO! Then I met a nutritionist named Staci she was so moved by my testimony of how God is blessing me along this journey. I shared the love and support I've gotten from my friends and family and how my faith in this journey has inspired others to step it up. She wants me to come share my testimony with the young girls group at her church. God is so good!

My September goals are:
- Focus on my September 9th goal of losing 16 more close to 200lbs as possible!
- Participate in the BWLW Food Journal Challenge "Write What You Bite"
- Be very mindful of my food choices
- Run 2-4 miles 5 days a week "Time to pound the pavement". Finding different routes to explore and pushing past my limits to get the most out of my workouts this month
- Circuit training 3 times a week
- Attend two-hour zumba one saturday this month

I thought I told the WORLD that I had a weight loss goal this month, WELLLLLL I guess McDonald's could care less. They put my favorite menu item the "McNuggets" on sale 6 for $1. Since I saw the sign I've been at McDonald's ERR-DAY!

Pray for my deliverance,
I found this great article on, When it comes to fats, the big red X that used to cover all of them has somewhat shrunk. As we begin to understand more about the difference between LDL and HDL Cholesterol, and saturated and unsaturated fats. So what are healthy fats we should be eating?  We’ve learned that unsaturated fats are great for your heart, lower your cholesterol and improve your overall health, here’s a list of foods you can add to your diet that will make you healthier in the end.

These are pretty high in calories, but remember; eating healthy isn’t just about calorie counting.

1. Avocados
We will get this one out of the way first because it’s one of the most obvious choices. Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats that have been proven to help lower your blood cholesterol. Avocados make a great substation for things like butter, cream cheese, or mayo to replace saturated fats.  I've even seen a chocolate mousse made with avocados.

2. Fatty Fish
Fish that are more “Oily” like salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout are amazing sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s can lower blood pressure and studies show that a healthy intake can help combat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and depression.

3. (Pea)Nut Butter
Peanut Butter is the most obvious when we talk about nut butters, but there are also several others like cashew and almond butter which actually taste pretty good. Not only are these a source of healthy fats, but they contain a healthy dose of protein in each serving. However, this doesn’t mean you get a free pass to eat peanut butter hand over fist. When you shop for peanut butter, try to find peanut butter without added sugars and as few ingredients as possible on the label.

4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great cooking buddy that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and several types of cancer. Olive oil is loaded with calories though, so try to keep down to a tablespoon  or two as each one contains about 100 calories.

5. Eggs
Our poor friend the egg has gone through a lot of bad press in my lifetime. Originally they were awesome for you, then they were bad for you, then health experts said they were good for you as long as I lost the yolk, but now the yolk is back on the table. While the yolks contain some saturated fats, a lot of the best vitamins and minerals can be found in the yolks and a much larger portion of the fats are unsaturated. So go ahead and throw the whole egg into your breakfast omelets.

There you go. 5 healthy fats that will definitely help round out a great diet.

Check out more great articles by IdealShape HERE

It's August 20th and I must say this month is flying by!  I've stepped up my fitness game this month for sure; Hitting the gym more often and taking my runs to the streets of Jacksonville. Since August 5th I'm down 7.4 pounds, but still far from my September 9th goal......I still want to lose 14.8 more pounds. Wish me luck and as the picture states "Will It Be Easy? NOPE.....Worth It? ABSOLUTELY. 

Transformation In Progress,
Tips for Getting Through Your Toughest WorkoutBy Zack Zeigler I'm battling a set of Gap Jumps on minute 36 of P90X's Plyo X, and I'm getting my butt handed to me. I'm breathing heavily, sweat is dripping onto the rug, and my wet-noodle legs might not allow me to clear the next invisible gap Tony Horton insists I leap over.

I want to quit and do something--anything—else instead of finish what is left of the workout. But I don't. For some reason, it's important that I prove to you, a stranger, that I'm no quitter!

Trouble is, that's not entirely true. Although I stuck this one out, I bail on my workouts more often that I'd like to admit. I'm too tired. I'm too pressed for time. I'm already too ripped. Okay, that last one's an overstatement, but you get the idea: I manufacture reasons as to why stopping makes more sense than continuing.

I'm not sure why I do that, or more importantly, how to reverse the process. Thankfully, sports psychologist Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter, author of Sports Psychology Coaching for Your Performing Edge: Mental Training for Performance in Sports, Business, and Life, does. Dr. Dahlkoetter has worked with handfuls of top-level athletes—including five Olympic gold medal winners—as well as countless people who simply want to live healthily and look halfway decent naked. She also won the San Francisco Marathon in 1980. She knows a thing or two about how to make it through your toughest workouts.

1. Mentally Prepare "People can fail from not being in touch with their bodies," she says. Some Beachbody® workouts will wipe you out. (There's a reason the plyometric workout in P90X2® is called Plyocide and not Plyo-this-might-be-kinda-tough.) But understanding, embracing, and anticipating that you've signed up to tackle a ball-busting workout can help you size up the challenge and muster the fortitude required to overcome it.

2. Find a Workout Buddy If during a grueling workout you find yourself taking a break from taking a break after you just got finished taking a break, consider recruiting someone to train with you. Researchers at Kansas State University found that people who train with a more skilled workout partner who doesn't cheerlead you through the workouts worked out for longer periods of time.1 That's because this competitive attitude supposedly makes you not want to feel like the "weak link" and encourages you to work harder.

3. Get into a Routine Make your workout session as much of a priority as you would other important daily activities, like brushing your teeth, getting to work on time, or DVRing America's Got Talent. "Build a routine so you're doing [your workout] at the same time each day," Dr. Dahlkoetter suggests. "If you don't have a routine, the workout becomes a low priority that might get overlooked."

4. Make Your Goals Specific Instead of saying you want to "lose weight" or "look better," come up with specific goals you want to accomplish, like "losing six pounds," or "finally fitting into my wrestling singlet from college." Those details will offer you something tangible to strive for. The S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-targeted) goal technique has proven to be popular and effective for constructing a plan of attack, whether you're tackling work projects or getting through a workout.

5. Use the 3 Ps It sounds pretty hippie, but Dr. Dahlkoetter has "Three Ps"—Positive Images, Power Words, and Present Focus—that can actually help. Studies show that athletes who visualize themselves winning are more likely to succeed.2 Visualize the whole process, from going to bed at the right time to finishing your workout, and you'll be more likely to get through it, improving your overall concentration in the process.

Then, create some "Power Words" to help you push through those super-tough moments. I'm usually spewing four-letter words after about 25 minutes of most of my workouts. Instead, try this exercise: On a piece of paper, write all of your excuses, self-doubts, and negative thoughts about the workout on the left side. Then, on the right side, write what the opposite of that would be. For example: If you write you're "too tired" on the left side, write your "mind and body are stronger and healthier each day" on the right. When you're lagging, tell yourself those things you've written on the right side of the paper.

And, finally, focus on the present. From worrying about work to your kids to whether the Inland Empire 66ers are going to cover the run line (I'm letting it ride on you, fellas!), we all have plenty of daily stresses to contend with. But your workout shouldn't be one of them; in fact, it might be the only hour of the day you get to focus entirely on yourself. To do that and offer your best effort, you need to be present from beginning to end. That said, during your Wall Sits or another difficult move that doesn't pose a high risk of injury, feel free to let your mind wander to your "happy place."

Article courtesy of BeachBody - Click Here to read the article and find more helpful information


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