1.1.14 – The Struggle is Real

•January 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

It has been forever since I’ve written… I miss it. So much has changed, but some things have stayed the same. What has stayed the same? Well, my struggle with weight and health. Three years have passed… I had one major surgery, ran a few races, weight has been lost and gained and I hit the big 40.

What I know is, I have to regain my focus once again! This not a New Year’s resolution, nor a proclamation. It is just me, sharing my journey and my thoughts. My goals are: to achieve optimal health, lose a few pounds and become more athletic in the process.

Below, I want to share a series of tips that I find very helpful. I can’t take credit for writing it, but I felt it important enough to share. It was written by my longtime college friend and fashion industry colleague, Ash. I hope you find it as beneficial and refreshing as I have.

Yours in health,

by anonymous author

To reinforce my fitness goals and reframe my mindset for a fresh start in 2014, I’m writing all of this down as an ongoing reminder to myself of WHAT I KNOW.

A lot of this stuff is so obvious it’s ridiculous, but until I experienced it all firsthand, only then did the light bulb go on for ME. Reaching my goals and maintaining IS possible, if I constantly keep all I’ve learned top of mind.

1) The body is an incredibly accurate cash register.
Calories in/calories out…I know that the deficit or the overage will always meticulously be recorded…ON MY ASS.

2) Losing fat is for the most part, simple math. KEEP A LOG.
Again, it’s all about calories in/calories out. I didn’t “get” this until I started using the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app to track what I REALLY put into my body every day. I get a very eye-opening dose of reality when I am conscientious about using the app. Now I know what downing a 20oz Mtn Dew, or having fries at lunch will do to my total calorie intake. Once I stopped kidding myself, the scale started moving in the right direction.

3) Know the proper portion sizes for food.
Again, I’d heard this forever, but it didn’t register until I started religiously recording my calorie intake. A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards — NOT the size of a baseball mitt. A serving of cereal is NOT an entire bowl full. On the flip side, I know I can basically eat a helping of plant-based, clean/whole food as big as my head, and it will barely make a dent in my calorie intake!

4) All calories are not created equal.
While yes, calories in/calories out is the basic premise, I know that 1500 calories from 4 slices of pizza and three bourbon & ginger ales do NOT equal 1500 calories from largely plant-based, clean/whole foods. I WILL lose weight based on the calories in/calories out rule, but NUTRITION can still be sacrified, and I could still be walking around hungry. I know that if I eat nothing but largely plant-based and clean/whole foods, and choose to not drink my calories (GUILTY!), it is actually sort of difficult to eat 1500 calories in a day (!), and I will NOT be hungry.

5) Change my mindset: food is FUEL, not FUN.
I know that when I quit thinking of food as entertainment, things start to change. I must stay mindful of the end result of eating that cookie just because I’m bored. I must stop equating a “fun” night out with a huge, elaborate, calorie-laden restaurant meal. I know that a happy hour will ALWAYS spell death for my diet. (Refer to #2…for some reason, it’s very easy to forget just how many cocktails I had…yet those “ghost calories” still sneak in to sabotage my other efforts.) I also know that once my palate adjusts, my body actually will start craving fruits and vegetables instead of pasta carbonaro and then suddenly the whole voyage gets a heck of a lot easier.

6) Preparation is EVERYTHING.
I know that if I don’t have it, then I don’t eat it. Without planning and preparation, I will inadvertently find a crappy, unhealthy substitute that may quell my hunger for a short while, but will not fuel my body or support my calorie intake goals. I AM SUCCESSFUL when I bring my own food to work, and I know exactly what I’m eating. I AM SUCCESSFUL when I keep snacks at my desk that are healthful, filling, and nutritious. I AM SUCCESSFUL when I plan ahead and know before I even get to work, exactly what I’m having for lunch, snacks, and even for dinner that day.

7) Figure out the food that works for me, and repeat, repeat, repeat.
I know that once I’m over the “food as fun” hump, I can eat pretty much the same exact thing every single day, especially when I know it fits into my calorie plan and is helping me reach my goals. It’s a lot easier to plan for the same combination of food each day when variety and entertainment ceases to be a reason to eat. I know that sticking to the same food every day guarantees I meet the numbers I need to consistently hit, and I will not be tempted.

8) But don’t completely deprive yourself.
Having a treat once in a while is FINE. Having a treat every single day is not fine. Allowing a real cheat meal once a week or so helps re-stoke my metabolism and fires the furnace back up again. If I do totally mess up, I will no longer beat myself up over it, or completely give up in a fit of childish frustration. I know that tomorrow is always a new day, and with that comes a fresh, clean 1500 calorie allowance in ‘My Fitness Pal’. Fix it going forward.

9) Start my day with exercise.
I hate the gym, I hate to run, and I hate getting out of bed at 5am, especially when its dark and freezing outside. BUT…I know that I hate carrying weight I don’t want even MORE. And I know that what I’m going to hate MOST is developing health issues that could have been prolonged considerably (or avoided) by regular cardio and strength training. I might hate getting up early, but I have never ONCE left the gym after a morning workout and thought, “Wow, I really wish I hadn’t done that.”

I know that getting a workout done in the morning sets the tone and intention for my entire day. I’m happier, calmer, and can handle stress better on the days I hit the gym. I know that I tend to not eat or drink a bunch of crap on the days I’ve already worked out because I start my day with the right mindset. After a workout, its fresh in my mind that running a mile on the treadmill only burns 112 calories…so that 250 calorie cookie I might be tempted to snack on ‘just because it happens to be there’ doesn’t seem so worth it.

10) Making muscle is critical.
I know that running and cardio isn’t the whole answer, which is good, since I HATE IT. I have to do some of it, but building muscle is the critical piece to my success, not only for the leaner appearance I want to maintain, but to create greater calorie-burning metabolic effects that last through the day.

11) Do not obsess over the scale.
I know that the scale is merely a directional indicator of progress. I also know that it fluctuates A LOT. I am so much more than the number it spits at me on any given day, and I will NOT let my mood or self-worth be affected by that tiny digital readout. It is a scientific fact that muscle weighs more than fat. As the composition of my body changes, so does its overall appearance. More muscle takes up less volume than the fat that was previously there, and I appear smaller and tighter…EVEN IF THE SCALE DOESN’T BUDGE. (And it often doesn’t.)

12) It’s not about feeling good in a bikini, its about maintaining a LIFESTYLE CHANGE.
It’s easy for me to get discouraged when I discover that I can’t fit into the jeans I could easily wear 6 months ago. Easy for me to have a total breakdown when I realize I need to be in a bikini in two months for vacation. But I know those aren’t the ultimate reasons I’m doing this.

This is about a lifestyle change, and an ongoing maintenance plan to protect and preserve my strength and well-being…not just a quick fix toward a fleeting, appearance-based goal. I know I want to protect my health and the longevity of my life. I want to be active and physically able to do whatever I want to do. I don’t want to be limited by high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, joint pain, or extra pounds. I know that taking precautions now and making this my LIFESTYLE ensures I don’t have to make radical changes in the future to correct damage already done.



•January 1, 2011 • 6 Comments

For lack of a better name, I figured using the date would be good as any!

Hi Folks… sorry it has been almost a year since my last post. I have been so preoccupied with no time for any sort of “work-life-balance”, I’ve become unbalanced. I took for granted that I had been successful at working out, eating well and keeping off the weight  – so much so, I started to backslide. I slid back into this wave of unhealthy eating, not exercising as much, working a little too much and just losing a sense of myself. Five years of positive results almost down the drain in three short months! I had forgotten the reason I was “mad & fat”! Slowly but surely, it is all starting to come back to me.

The result – WEIGHT GAIN!

I started this blog almost three years ago; by doing so it made me feel more accountable to myself and my personal goals. It made me feel more connected to folks who felt & thought like me. Somewhere between now & then I lost that. I neglected this blog the same way I had neglected myself, the readers & responders. At one time the blog was a part of me and I enjoyed updating it. I can look back at each of these posts and know where I was, what got me excited,  and what I was influenced by. I found humor in what made me “mad & fat”, and when you can find humor in yourself and be brutally honest, that is when you know you have crossed a hurdle.

Today, 1.1.11 – I’m back in the race!

In my effort to find some “work-life-balance” and get back to a more comfortable place in my life, I have to make time for what I deem important. My health, heck – my life is the most important thing. I need to be good to myself and get it together. Once I’m good to myself, I can be “even better” for other people whether it be a better daughter, friend or overall person.

This blog is on my list of important things. FitStyle 360, is on the list of important things. It allows me to use my passion to bring my friends together and meet new friends. Let’s see where it goes this year!

So, like I said – I’m back in the race. I may not win every race, but I’ll be present and ever-changing; always trying my best to improve. There aren’t quick fixes or instant gratification. It has to become a part of your lifestyle… and you can never forget that.

I pray that this year, I take heed to my own words and make this year & every other year of my life a GREAT ONE!


What a difference year makes!

•February 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Hey Folks… I’M BACK!!!

Well, it’s been a little over a year that I’ve been doing this blog site. I was looking back, and I began writing this blog back in November 2008, shortly after my birthday.

I’ve been slacking off a little bit, but for good reason! I’ve been working a bit harder… at my job and on my 2010 goals. I even got a trainer. I’ve been trying to get other people to live healthy and even started a small Facebook group with a small group of friends and family. Some of us even take part in our group’s health challenge.

FitStyle 360 Fitness Group

However, I’m still very focused on my goal – even though I’m still somewhat “mad & fat”. (LOL) In these next few months, I will still give periodical updates on my progress. Feel free to join the group if you are on Facebook.

Those of you who follow the blog… hit me up and let me know how YOU are doing!

Regaining My Focus…

•December 13, 2009 • 2 Comments

Hello Folks!

Me, again!! Remember me? I haven’t written in an awful long time and yes, I’m still struggling with the battle of the bulge. Holiday time is especially hard for me. I have had a LOT of work functions, vendors sending food baskets, holiday parties…ugh, the list goes on! I call myself trying to have some type of restraint, but the food is so good. Plus, when you are in a social atmosphere, you just find yourself chatting it up and stuffing food in your mouth!

It all started around Thanksgiving… eating at my parents’ home in NC and for the first time in 2 years I did not cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner. Down south, they do it big… all kinds of fatty foods with all the dressing…and desserts galore!

Among that was the stress of dating the man I had been dating. Sometimes you think the past is familiar and people change… but sometimes it is hard for people to change. I can’t say that people don’t… I did. He didn’t. I changed my ways from not caring about my health and being overweight to doing something about it. It took strong will and determination…drive. For people to change, that is what’s needed. To remain successful, you have to keep supportive & driven people around you. He wasn’t.

With that said… my relationship has ended but I feel good about it. I thought it would tear me up on the inside. I was wrong. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I found my love again… working out and the gym. I have slowly but surely started to regain my focus. Love it there, even made some really great friends there at the gym… it’s a social outlet for me as well and what’s even better is that we share a common goal. So, with my good friends…I’m not alone.

GOALS… on to the next one!

•September 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hey Folks!
Me again… LOL! It’s been a minute, but I’m back. I was looking over some of my old posts and realized that I have accomplished one of my long-standing goals. A few weeks ago I finally got my WW Lifetime Card. I met my goal weight a long time ago… but stopped during maintenance. I decided to finally go back after I realized that I did not gain a lot of weight back. So now I only have to weigh in once a week. Thank goodness! But I won’t lie… I feel just as much pressure as I did when I was a weekly member. OMG! Will this feeling ever go away… the feeling of accountability or impending doom if I don’t produce?

Well, at least I can say I achieved my goal. I have some more goals to check off the list. But now I added something else. Me and one of my gym girlfriends decided to do P90x. I mean she has been doing it and I’ve had it, but slacked off. So, she will be my motivation. We will motivate each other. As a result we started a little club at our local gym for those people who are interested in participating. This has also resulted in a new Facebook “fitness group”. I am excited about that because some of us have had some interesting discussions and it has only been the first day. I hope more people decided to join. I love to hear people’s comments and positive feedback!

I’ll be sure to keep you all posted!!! More to come, I’m sure!

GIRLFIGHT… don’t get mad, get fit!

•July 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

… I should take my own advice!

I am still a little mad, hence the title. I am engaged in a tough fight – BATTLE OF THE BULGE!! I still can’t get the additional weight off, so I guess now it’s time to change my workout program. Funny, I looked at my stats that I reported in my May post and I weigh the same but I lost some inches. So, I guess the additional weight training I had been doing worked out in my favor. As you can see folks, ladies cannot get bulky from losing weights. I actually lost inches and became more toned. NOTE: I like to lift heavy some days. My only cause for concern, I want to drop some extra pounds because I have still have too much weight on my frame.

So, today it is ironic that the movies 300 and Girlfight both came on in the same night. I love the movie 300 and this is my first time watching Girlfight. I like 300 because I think the transformation of the guys in the movie is AWESOME…thanks to Gym Jones! In the past I have applied some of the 300 Workout to my plan. Don’t sleep on that workout. It is tough.

But lately, I realized that I should be changing my workout. I need to shock my body and maybe the stimulation will melt some much needed weight off. So, as I’m watching Girlfight, I am paying more attention to the boxing techniques and workouts. Then I say to myself… boxers have some of the best bodies ever and their endurance is crazy. That is what I need… a healthy body and crazy endurance.

So, I’ve decided to take on some of the same training techniques. I already have gloves, a jump rope and access to a punching bag. Running will be important… and I have access to a track. Then comes the abdominal work. That will be key for me, for that is where I hold much of my weight. What I need now is dedication & commitment.

So, tomorrow… I start the real work! Hopefully I can improve upon my stats below. these are from the last Bikinibook Challenge (Shana Moakler, Facebook Challenge).


Current Height: 69 in













Is it so wrong…?

•July 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

… to be almost 50 and seen in a bikini? 

Hey Folks!

I have been such a blogging slacker. But no better time than the present to get back into the groove of things. It feels good to jot down my thoughts again, share any new things I come across and possibly help someone in the process. So, to my friends who follow this blog from time to time… I’M SORRY!!! 

So, now to my question… is it so wrong to be seen in a bikini at a more mature age? I don’t think so. If you look good, or even think you look good… why not? I was wondering about this very subject a couple of months or so back when I was entertained by the war of words between Valerie Bertinelli and Marie Osmond… two of my favorite childhood stars. (am I telling on myself in terms of age??? LOL) 

Take a look at the footage…

So, I have some questions… and I’d like your feedback:
1. Is it so wrong for a woman of a certain age to wear a bikini?
2. Is it wrong for two successful women to display a war of words, when they should be congratulating each other on their weight loss journey/success?
3. Is it so wrong to try to lose weight using pre-packaged meals rather than creating your own healthy meals?

Here is my opinion…
I think if you can wear a bikini and look good… who cares how old you are! I am woman of a certain age and for the first time in a LONG time I wore a bikini on vacation. I think that the last time I had one, I was 5. I don’t think I look the greatest, but I felt good and had the confidence to pull it off. Isn’t that what it’s all about…. feeling good, feeling healthy and confident? Why does it matter how old you are? Personally I think Valerie looks great!

I also think that we, especially as women, should lift each other up! Applaud our successes, support each other when we fall down and help each other through our challenges. I’m sure their back-biting comments were all in fun, but I just took issue with Marie Osmond’s comment about not wanting to see a 49 year old woman in a bikini. Whatever, Marie…


I do have strong opinions about “dieting”. I don’t like the word DIET. It is a lifestyle change, and for me prepackaged foods are not part of the lifestyle. I cannot buy this food for the rest of my life… heck, it is not part of the budget now. If I had a family, I could not fix them all the prepackaged meals nor could I afford it. However, what I can do is learn how to fix simple, healthy meals… with ingredients I can easily find at the grocery store or local farmer’s market. Grocery shop is something I will have to do forever, so why not learn how to do it right?