The Weight Loss Magic Quick Fix 

  
I apologize in advance if the title of this post mislead you. 

I’m sorry if you thought I’d be sharing about some magic pill, wrap, plan or drink that was going to make you thin by tomorrow (and keep you that way).

The truth is, the weight loss magic quick fix doesn’t exist!

Ok, wait a second. I’m sure you know someone that took a magic skinny pill and lost 20 pounds in a month. So yes, there are quick ways to lose weight. The problem? They’re quick, unhealthy ways of losing weight that don’t teach you any new habits for long term sustainability!

When I lost my 50 pounds of pregnancy weight, everyone wanted to know what I was “using” to lose the weight. The truth is, I was eating a healthy, mostly clean diet and doing short, intense workouts 4 to 6 days a week.

There wasn’t a magic potion helping me take the weight off- it was good old fashioned self discipline and hard work.

When I got back down to my pre baby weight and maintained it, people said I was “lucky”.

I didn’t feel “lucky” when I was doing burpees, tuck jumps and planks, but I sure did feel amazing after the fact! 

The journey isn’t going to be the same for everyone, so it’s important to find what works best for YOU! Here’s a few tips:

1- Find your “soulmate workout”.

One of my favorite fitness trainers, Chalene Johnson, talks about this concept in her book Push. Your soulmate workout is one that you absolutely LOVE and sincerely enjoy doing! It’s important to find exercise that doesn’t feel like a chore. For some people it’s running or yoga, for others it’s Zumba. For me, it’s Turbo Kick. If you’re new to fitness it may take some searching and trial and error to find what you love. And, like me, you may find that you have a soulmate workout, but also have other workout programs that you love almost as much. This is the ONLY time I condone occasionally straying from your soulmate 😉

2- Don’t go on a diet, change your diet!

The problem with “going on a diet” is that it implies a short term change in your eating. Instead, you need to make healthy, permanent changes to your diet. You may start out with small changes- ditching soda, eating grilled instead of fried foods, adding fresh fruits and veggies to your meals. At the same time, do some research! Think about your lifestyle and your preferences and find a plan that works for you. I know people that have had tremendous success with Weight Watchers. Others go for simple clean eating, adopt a Paleo diet or work on portion control with the 21 Day Fix meal plan. Just make sure it’s a healthy, sustainable change, not a short term crash diet.

3- Focus on overall health, not “getting skinny”.

Too often we focus only on the number on the scale, which really only tells part of your story. Take measurements and pictures to document the changes that you can sometimes see physically but aren’t always reflected on the scale. Also, celebrate your “non scale victories” or NSVs. Did you fit back into an old pair of jeans? Did your cholesterol go down? Did you do some of your push-ups on your toes today instead of your knees? That’s called progress! 

And now, to answer some of the most frequent protests I hear…

But… my friend lost (fill in the blank) pounds with this 30 day shake program!

What happens after the 30 days? Did they learn anything about healthy eating or exercise? Did they learn the tools to keep that weight off?

But… you drink Shakeology, isn’t that the same thing?

It’s true that I replace my breakfast with Shakeology most days, but it’s not to shed a bunch of weight quickly. I drink it for the extreme nutritional value, which includes probiotics to aid digestion and more vitamins than I could have ever hoped to start my day with eating a bowl of oatmeal!

But… I heard these (fat burner/metabolism booster/super skinny) pills work wonders!

And what happens when you stop taking them? What are the long term affects of ingesting something so loaded with caffeine? Are heart palpitations worth it?

The bottom line is, we live in a world where we expect everything to happen quickly. But when it comes to weight loss and overall health it’s just not worth it. 

The hard to swallow truth is that if you want to lose weight you need to work for it! And, know that it will take time. You’ll often hear people refer to their fitness “journey”, because it’s a process that’s ongoing. Weight gain didn’t happen overnight and weight loss won’t either. Relax, trust the process, and enjoy the ride. It’s so worth it!

If you need help getting started or have any questions, email me at fitnfabnj@yahoo.com

Fit Mom- Is it possible?

I’ve always loved fitness and have pretty much always been in decent shape. Of course, there was some weight gain when I ate too much pizza in college, but you get the idea.

So, when I became pregnant I didn’t think much of the aftermath of child bearing. I decided to exercise through pregnancy, was sure I’d only gain the minimum weight needed to keep the baby healthy, and of course I was going to confidently sashay out of the hospital in my pre-pregnancy jeans.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. New moms. They have no clue.

Reality: my workouts got less intense and happened fewer and farther between as the months went on. In my 7th month I stopped working out completely. I gained 50 pounds. Unfortunately, I didn’t give birth to a 50 pound baby, so I went home in the same jeans I had arrived in. 

In addition, during my pregnancy I’d been given some not-too-kind “words of wisdom” from some seasoned moms that I knew. 

“Say goodbye to your skinny jeans.”

“You’ll never be thin again!”

“You won’t have any time to work out.”

“Fitness won’t be a priority anymore.”

Was this true? Was the 35+ pounds I carried home with me destined to stay? Was I doomed to feel sluggish and unkempt forever?

At my 6 week visit the doctor gave me the ok to exercise. I went home, carefully perused my DVD collection and decided that I’d do the 21 Day Fix workouts. (Check out my previous post about that journey!)  That Monday, I put my daughter in her swing to nap and sweated and huffed and puffed my way through my first 30 minute workout in months. 

And it felt GOOD.

It felt good to pay a half hour’s worth of attention to myself. I don’t think my daughter suffered from being in her swing for 30 minutes when the reward was a happier, healthier, more energized mommy.

At times it was hard. Some days a half hour workout took me 2 hours to complete because my daughter needed me. But that’s ok! That’s life!

I decided to keep my workouts short and intense, so after 21 Day Fix, I moved on to T25. When my daughter turned 4 months old, I was back to my regular weight. Not exactly my regular shape, but that’s a whole other blog post!

Since January I’ve completed 21 Day Fix, Focus T25, and Chalean Extreme. I’m about to start week 5 of PiYo. 

At almost 9 months old, my daughter doesn’t always nap through my workouts anymore. She watches. She smiles. She cheers me on. And hopefully she’s learning a thing or two about healthy habits. 

Is being a Fit Mom possible? Absolutely. 

Please leave comments below or email me at fitnfabnj@yahoo.com I’d love to hear about your Fit Mom journey- or help you get started! 

6 Day “Work Off The Turkey” Challenge!

IMG_2804.JPG

The holidays are literally the worst time to stay on track. Even though I love fitness, I’m also very into baking. And when I bake, I taste. And then I love my creations so much that I eat them at the celebrations too 😉

Most people overindulge at Thanksgiving, and then it’s kind of like “well, the train has already left the station!”, so we keep overindulging straight into the new year. Who can resist Turkey Day leftovers? Then there’s the office party, the open houses, the family gatherings… bad choices to be made everywhere!

And then January 1st we’re all like “ok, I’m going to change now!”.

Let’s do it differently this year.

Let’s enjoy Thanksgiving, then get ourselves back on track ASAP. Some discipline now will avoid regret later!

Beginning Monday December 1st I am hosting a 6 Day “Work Off The Turkey” Challenge. Only 6 days? Yes. I find December is too overwhelming for people to make a long term health commitment, but we can all handle 6 days.

So what does this entail?

-A 6 day commitment to jumpstarting weight loss, improving energy and getting back on track.

-An easy to follow meal plan.

-A 6 day supply of Shakeology, my go-to nutrient dense health shake.

-Personal coaching and support from me 🙂

If you’d like to get in on this challenge, comment below for details. I have limited spots available!

I’m ready, are you??

If Not Now, When?!?

IMG_2793.JPG

This pic was posted on Facebook by one of my favorite free workout sites, The Daily HIIT (formerly Bodyrock). The message for me was twofold.

First, a lot of people are waiting for that magical “right” time to take control of their health. It has to start on a Monday, the 1st of a new month, or at the beginning of a new year. That shouldn’t be the case. Start NOW. Make a change today.

I’ve had a lot of inquiries lately about Beachbody workout programs that people want to start “after the holidays” or “for the new year”. If you know you want to change, why not do it now?

Health and fitness aren’t one size fits all, but there definitely is a fit for everyone. Find workouts you love on You Tube, start walking or jogging, join an online community for support, invest in an at home program or gym membership. Find what works for YOU! Not in January, but NOW!

The second meaning of this picture for me? My due date came and went two days ago, and no sign of baby girl yet! So yes, I’ve been asking myself (and her, and my husband, and my doctor) if not now, WHEN?!?! Lol.

Enjoy your Sunday! And if you do need some help getting started on a health and fitness journey, I’m here to help!

Fit and Fab- the Pregnancy Edition!

So, it’s been quite awhile since I last blogged. And, in that time I’ve been trying my best to stay both Fit and Fab. It’s been a bit of a struggle though, because I’m almost 28 weeks pregnant!

Yes, I’m so excited to say that my husband and I are expecting our first child on November 7th. And, I couldn’t be more excited! But, the Fit and Fab part of it all? It’s been a little rough to say the least.

Many women have weighed in with their opinions of pregnancy when I make my big announcement. I’ve heard:

“Oh I LOVED being pregnant!”

“I enjoyed every minute of my pregnancy!”

“I felt GREAT the whole 9 months!”

And then there’s me, standing there going “WHAT?!?”

I spent the first 4 and a half months being in a constant state of feeling like I was going to throw up, without actually throwing up at all. At one point, I was eating so many TUMS per day that I actually asked my doctor (ok, and I Googled it too) if it was possible to overdose on them.

Needless to say, my FABness kind of went down the tubes for a little while. Before publicly announcing my news, I’m pretty sure everyone just thought I was letting myself go! I’m a girl that doesn’t leave the house without eyeliner. At one point, I was going to work makeup free, just because I didn’t feel up to the challenge!

Things improved and I’m pleased to say I’m back to wearing full makeup daily 🙂

On the fitness end of things- it’s a struggle! At this point I’m trying to get a workout in about 4 days a week. I’ve found that I’m tiring out much quicker, and my recovery time is much longer. Growing a human will do that to you!

My current (very modified) workout faves are Turbo Kick (or Turbo Fire at home) T25 and 21 Day Fix. I tried some pregnancy DVDs but they seemed geared towards women who had never worked out before. I prefer to modify and adjust as my body tells me. And don’t worry, it’s all doctor approved!

So, moms out there- any tips, tricks or advice for maintaining fitness and fabness while prego? How about after baby arrives? Weigh in with your comments!

Monday (and March) Motivation

20140303-183908.jpg

If you live in the Northeast, you’re probably sick of the cold, snowy weather like I am. It’s March 3rd and we’re snowed in…enough already!

Many people started out the new year with proclamations that this would be the year they’d get fit! 2 months and countless snow storms later, that motivation has dwindled (much like every student and teacher’s hopes of ending school by mid-June!)

So what can you do to get the fitness mojo going again? Here are a few tips:

1- Don’t wait for a new week, a new month or a new year to start over. Every single day is a chance for a fresh start! Take hold of that opportunity and go for it!

2- Schedule your workouts. Too many people put others’ needs first and leave their own health and fitness until last on the to-do list. Block out that 30-60 minutes daily for YOU and don’t stand yourself up! Planning ahead is key! Find the time of day that works best for you. (And YES, there are super effective workout programs out there that are 30 minutes or less!)

3- Speaking of planning ahead… prep food in advance so you don’t reach for junk. Did you get out of the office later than usual? If your fridge is stocked with grilled chicken and salad or your freezer is filled with healthy homemade meals ready for the microwave, dinner will be a snap! (And it won’t involve a drive-thru.)

4- Surround yourself with motivating, like minded people. Even if your family and friends haven’t quite hitched their wagon to your fitness train, you can find all the support you need online. Make some friends on My Fitness Pal, join a Facebook group devoted to fitness, or follow health blogs here on WordPress. Be active and engage! You could end up inspiring someone else.

5- Finally… just don’t give up on yourself. You certainly wouldn’t give up on your child, sibling, spouse or friend, so why are we so quick to quit on ourselves? We all have what it takes, we’ve just got to keep on moving!

Hopefully this snow and the winter blahs go away soon. My gym was closed today due to the weather, and I was in a super couch potato state after watching 3 movies. But I was inspired by my fitness motivation group on Facebook, willed myself to get moving and completely nailed my T25 Upper Focus workout. Boom!

Tomorrow, let’s do it again!

GET IT DONE: IN  25 MINUTES A DAY!

Shakeology- The Real Deal or All Hype?

shake

Today I present to you… my unbiased Shakeology review and story.

What do I mean by “unbiased”? I mean, I’m not a Beachbody Coach. I’m not trying to set you up with a Beachbody Coach. I don’t in any way profit from Shakeology.

When I was debating buying Shakeology, I had a hard time finding opinions, reviews and personal stories online that were not posted by a Coach. I really wanted to read about experiences that did not include the message “Click Here to Order Now!” at the end. Hopefully this post can save some of you from having to wade through advertisement after advertisement to get the real scoop.

After hearing about Shakeology from an instructor at my gym and reading up on the pros (increased energy, reduced cravings) and cons (the cost!), I finally decided to give it a try.

My goal with Shakeology was not to lose weight. Instead, I was looking for a nutrition packed breakfast that would hopefully agree with my iffy stomach (due to ulcerative colitis). In April 2013 I purchased Chocolate Shakeology. I drank it every day for breakfast, thoroughly enjoying the sweet chocolaty taste. It was fantastic blended with just almond milk and ice. I then waited for some earth shattering Shakeology health miracle to happen.

It didn’t.

The next month, I received my shipment of Greenberry. I had read countless awful reviews about the taste, but to me it was delicious with my standard blend of almond milk and ice. (I will warn you though, don’t smell the powder to get an indication of taste. You probably won’t want to drink it!)

Again, I drank it every day and waited for Shakeology to cure all that ailed me.

It didn’t.

My stomach was still a wreck.

When the new Vanilla Shakeology arrived at my door, I couldn’t wait to taste this awesome new flavor that all the coaches were swearing tasted just like a milkshake. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but it really didn’t taste at all like a delicious, creamy vanilla milkshake to me. It was just “ok” in my opinion. After a few days I got sick of it and switched back to drinking the Chocolate and Greenberry that I still had on hand. I ended up giving the Vanilla to a coworker. Just not my thing!

Oh, and did I mention I still wasn’t seeing all the awesome benefits of Shakeology that every other Shake-O enthusiast seemed to be enjoying?

Then I looked at my debit card statements for the past few months and said “OMG I can’t believe I’ve been spending THIS MUCH MONEY on Shakeology!”

I’d had enough and decided that I would cancel my home direct order. But wait… I hadn’t yet tried the Vegan flavors.

So I decided- one more month and then I’m done.

In August I tried Vegan Chocolate for the first time. The flavor was a lot different from the Regular Chocolate. More of a bitter cocoa flavor. To me, it was exceptional. I loved it more than the sweeter Regular Chocolate. Each day I blended it up with ice and almond milk and took my breakfast in a to-go cup. Once again, I waited for the Shakeology miracle to happen…

And after a few weeks, it did.

I was no longer waking up with stomach pain or bloating. My ulcerative colitis induced joint pain was subsiding. I was having fewer and fewer days where I couldn’t workout due to pain.

Then, in an (unapproved-by-my-doctor-so-don’t-try-this-at-home) experiment, I stopped taking my most loathed and most side effect ridden colitis medication. And… I still felt amazing.

Did I cancel my home direct order? Absolutely not. I continued the following month with Vegan Tropical Strawberry, which has come to be my favorite of the 5 available flavors. I’ve dropped the almond milk, and now blend with water, ice and a banana. Some people complain of the “chalky” texture of the Tropical Strawberry, but it doesn’t really bother me. If you blend it long enough, the texture gets creamier. Also, a banana, milk or milk substitute helps the texture too.

It’s been 5+ months of daily Shakeology, and I can honestly say I feel better than I have in years. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, so I can’t make claims that Shakeology did X, Y or Z for my health. I also can’t explain why the Regular makes some people feel like a million bucks, but my body preferred the Vegan. And I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t feel a little crushed each time my debit card gets hit for $129 (plus a $2 shipping fee starting this month).

But, I love it. I feel great. The benefits I’m feeling are surely outweighing the cost. It’s so good to feel in control of your health, even if it costs a few more dollars than you care to spend. For me, Shakeology turned out to be the Real Deal.

And, I haven’t gone back on that awful medication. (Bonus!)

What supplements or shakes have made you feel fantastic? I always love to hear about products that others swear by!

Follow me on Facebook for all things fitnfab! http://www.facebook.com/fitnfabnj

*Update: As of February 2014, I did sign up to be a Team Beachbody Coach. However, the above review was written BEFORE I had even contemplated becoming a Coach. The main reason I joined Beachbody is because Shakeology has improved my health so much. And if I can be honest, the Coach Discount on my monthly Shakeology order is very much appreciated. I still stand by the review I wrote in my non-Coach days, and I continue to drink Shakeology on a daily basis to maintain my health and wellness. Questions? Email me at fitnfabnj@yahoo.com 

-Nicole 3/3/14