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

6 Day “Work Off The Turkey” Challenge!

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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??

The Oreo Incident

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Let me just put it out there- I love fitness and healthy living. It has nothing to do with how I look, but everything to do with how I feel. When I’m eating healthy, I feel healthy and vice versa.

Now the flip side: I love desserts. Cookies, cakes, sweets of any kind. As a matter of fact, my two favorite hobbies are fitness and baking!

I’m a big believer in the 80/20 rule. (Or 75/25 or 90/10- whatever works for you.) By this I mean that I eat healthy the majority of time- about 80% of the time. But, I don’t deprive myself. I allow myself treats and indulgences, just not all day every day! Thus, the other 20%.

For some reason, when you maintain a healthy lifestyle, people automatically think you’re a weirdo about food. Just because I eat kale chips doesn’t mean I’ve never popped open a bag of Doritos and loved every second of it!

At work, my lunches are scrutinized on the regular. I tend to pack meals with mainly protein, veggies and fruit. My lunch pals often hit the cafeteria for nuggets and tater tots. I don’t mind their lunches at all (let’s be real here- tater tots are delish!), but the entire contents of my bag is often questioned or ribbed on.

Last week my lunch girls were eating Oreos and offered me one. I politely declined. Not because Oreos are the devil, but simply because I really wasn’t feeling an Oreo.

And… it became a THING. They begged me to eat an Oreo in front of them. I love my lunch crew, so I did. They were so excited to witness this historical event.

NICOLE ATE AN OREO!!!

Now, for my big, dark secret. I eat Oreos. And chocolate chip cookies. In the past 2 weeks I’ve eaten more Girl Scout Cookies than I care to admit.

7 days a week I start my day with a nutrient dense breakfast- Shakeology. 5 days a week I pack nutritious lunches to get me through the workday without an afternoon crash. Sunday through Thursday nights I usually cook healthy dinners at home.

But the rest of the time I enjoy life (and food!) without regrets. If we’re out watching a game, I’ll have some wings. If we go out for a nice date night dinner, I enjoy a meal, not a salad. If it’s someone’s birthday, you better believe I’m not passing up the cake!

So don’t give your healthy friends a hard time. We love food too! It’s just that we’ve chosen a different way of enjoying it. No one is perfect, and every clean eater has a not-so-clean meal here and there. Love your friends, love their choices, and maybe ask to try one of their kale chips.

But hands off my Valentine’s chocolate. That’s all mine!

Please leave your feedback below! And be sure to follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fitnfabnj

Shakeology- The Real Deal or All Hype?

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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!

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*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