STAYING FIT IN NICARAGUA
Since January 14th 2016 I’ve been in Nicaragua. My stay here so far has been nothing short of busy and adventurous. Even though I’ve only been here for a short while the relationships that I’ve established combined with the things I’ve done and seen make it feel like I’ve been here for months. It’s starting to feel like home. Even though I’m on a “vacation” of some sorts that doesn’t mean it’s a reason or excuse not to stay on top of my fitness. Fitness is something you take with you wherever you go. It’s a lifestyle. Not something you turn off and on.
Staying fit in Nicaragua has definitely had its challenges. There are all types of high carb foods here. Bread, pasta, lots and lots of rice. Although there’s a lot of walking, you’re walking at a slow pace. If you’re traveling a long distance you’re either hoping on the bus or in a taxi. So what’s a girl to do in a third world country where carbs are basically shoved in your face and exercise is hard to come by? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!
WRITING FOR FITNOIRE!
Hey guys! No guest post today! I just wanted to pop in and announce one of the projects I’ve been working on! If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know how important fitness is to me. It’s a huge part of my life and I’m constantly finding ways to keep myself in shape and active. I love helping other people achieve their fitness goals as well. You guys also know how much I love writing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….writing has always been a part of my life in one way or another and it’s always been my favorite way to communicate. Well if you put the two together, writing and fitness, then you come up with a pretty awesome idea.
I AM HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT I AM NOW A WRITER FOR THE NEW ONLINE FITNESS MAGAZINE, FITNOIRE!
I am so excited guys!!!! This magazine is gonna be epic. The idea came from my good blogger friend Dani from Ok, Dani. Ya’ll know I love her. When she reached out to me I was shocked that she even considered me good enough to be a writer for this project! So grateful. We just launched at the beginning of this month! (I realize I’m a little late with the announcement. I’ve been sooooo busy). The magazine is for African American women who love wellness and fitness. The content is amazing guys. I’m so honored and excited to be working with such great writers. Everyone brings a different perspective so no matter what your age is, if you have kids, if you’re a busy business woman, etc etc etc, there’s something on this site for you. No one is left out.
With all of that being said I invite all of you guys to check out the site and let me know what you think! Like I said I’m super excited to be a part of this and I’m even more excited for you all to check out the great content that all of the writers of Fitnoire have brought to the table. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SITE!
Finding (and keeping) the motivation to stay in shape has been hard for me. Sometimes life throws its obstacles my way and then at other times I’m just plain lazy. Right now…….I’m just plain lazy lol. I would blame it on the fact that I’ll be leaving soon and I have so much to get together but that’s not it at all. Just pure laziness. I need to get my life together though (why do I feel like I’m ALWAYS saying this?). I figure it would be a little easier to take it one step at at time. Little by little. There’s more power in numbers right? I was thinking that it would be a good idea to engage in a fitness challenge each month. I think it’s something that a lot of people could (virtually) do together. We could all encourage each other to stick with the challenge and make progress along the way. With the new year rolling around, very quickly I might add, a lot of people are making it their aim to get in shape. So why not all go on this journey together?
This month I’m going to be doing the water challenge. Now we all know there are tons of benefits to drinking water. Here’s just a few of them:
- Helps maintain the balance of bodily fluids
- Helps control calories
- Helps energize muscles (super important if you’re working out)
- Helps keep your skin clear and looking good
- Helps flush out toxins that are in your body
- Helps with digestion and prevention of constipation
- Helps to boost metabolism and energy which help with weight loss
Now just because you know some of the benefits of drinking water doesn’t mean drinking a lot of it is easy to do. But just cause it’s not easy doesn’t mean it can’t be done! You’ll be doing your body good. A lot of water challenges start with drinking 1 gallon of water a day but for this challenge we’re gonna stick to drinking 8 cups a day. Baby steps remember? If you feel you want to drink more, go for it! Just make sure you’re getting AT LEAST 64 ounces of water everyday.
Here’s a summary of the rules:
- Drink AT LEAST 64 ounces of water a day
- Distribute your water intake throughout the day. DON’T drink all 64 ounces all at one time. You don’t want to wash out the electrolytes your body needs
- Limit coffee, tea, or sugary drinks. Cutting off your daily dose of coffee cold turkey will probably result in headaches, irritability and other symptoms, so take the process slowly. Try having your coffee or tea without added sugar. Maybe try limiting how much you drink a week. Eventually you might come to a point where you don’t even need it.
There ya have it guys. Just three simple rules to follow during this months challenge. From now on I’m gonna try my hardest to put the challenges up on the first of each month so make sure you’re looking out for them if you want to participate. Oh! One more thing……I found this cool bottle on Amazon that’ll help you keep track of how much water you’re drinking. It even comes with times on the side of it to let you know how much you should have drank by a certain time of day. Super helpful. I definitely recommend it and it has really good reviews. You can find it HERE. Have a good weekend guys! Talk to ya Tuesday!
ARE YOU TAKING THE WATER CHALLENGE? LEAVE ME A COMMENT SO WE CAN CONNECT!
21 DAY FIX EXTREME
You guys remember a couple months ago in THIS post I talked about getting my fitness life together? Weeeellll I’m happy to say that I’ve actually kept to it! When I wrote that post I was just about to start 21 Day Fix (you can find out more about that program HERE). 42 days after that I completed my 2nd round of the 21 Day Fix! Maybe one day I’ll share my results with you guys. We’ll see. I’m not so sure I want pictures of me looking 5 months pregnant floating around the internet. I can say that I DEFINITELY saw a difference. Even though that’s the case I’m still not where I want to be.
Since completing 21 Day Fix, I wanted to try something more challenging. Something that would get me even better results. Something more intense than 21 Day Fix. From the title of this post I’m sure you already know which program I chose. Yup! You guessed it! I decided to try my hand at 21 Day Fix Extreme. I actually started this week. Ya’ll….I haven’t been this sore since I did Insanity and I’m lovin’ every minute of it. You should’ve saw me attempting to get in and out of the car these past few days. The workouts are WAY more intense in this workout than the previous one. There hasn’t been a workout yet where I haven’t finished with my face drenched in sweat. I feel like I’m putting in WORK with this program. I was nervous about it at first but now I’m stoked for the results are gonna come from it.
I’m still meal prepping and my friend Brittany and I are still getting our workouts in early in the day. One thing that’s different this time is that I’m actually drinking Shakeology. Something that I didn’t do last time that I wish I had. But that’s ok! A lot of the foods I used to eat on a regular basis, fried chicken, burgers, fries, polishes, any and all other greasy foods you can think of, have been greatly reduced. They don’t even appeal to me anymore. Now I will say while on vacation I let my guard down some. Even when I got back home I didn’t immediately get back on the right foot. I’m there now though and I don’t have any plans of going back.
I love this new view that I have on exercising. It has definitely become a part of me. When I don’t workout my hips and legs hurt and my stomach feels tight #oldladystatus. I love the energy I have and the satisfaction of knowing that I’m treating my body well. I’m excited to see my results as well! It’s gonna be awesome to see my body change and slowly but surely get to where I want to be.
If any of you are interested in this program or are in need of some encouragement as far as fitness is concerned, be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’d be awesome if we could have a nice group of people support each other in getting fit and healthy!
Have a good weekend guys! Talk to ya Monday!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Happy Tuesday peeps! I hope you all had a fantastical weekend. Mine was filled with grocery shopping and cooking. Literally. Saturday my mom and I went grocery shopping and Sunday I took my grandmother and my aunt grocery shopping. Then I came home and meal prepped! Yup, you read right! I meal prepped. I even have pictures to prove it!
See! Toldju! Last week my friend Brittany came to me out of the blue and said that we should start working out together. I’ve been wanting a reliable workout partner for months. She did Insanity with me about 2 years ago and from that experience I know that she’s someone I can count on. I was so excited you guys. She was just what I needed! Not only did we agree to workout together but we also agreed to meal prep together. So Sunday she came over and that’s exactly what we did. It’s been going well so far (it HAS only been a day) and I’m loving having my meals and fruits all planned out and cut up to make things a little easier.
I’m super determined to stay on track of my fitness. I know I know. You’re thinking “I’ve heard this so many times before” but ya’ll……enough is enough. Yesterday I got on the scale. I’m pretty sure it lied to me but I digress. I’ve gained about 18 lbs in about a year. I contribute some of it to the health scare that was going on with my grandmother earlier this year. Stress=eating all manner of evil. But I can’t put it all on that. Some of it is just because I got lazy. Wasn’t working out and I definitely wasn’t eating right. I fed myself excuses and empty promises that I would “start next week”. The straw that broke the camels back was when I put on a dress that I wear EVERY summer. I looked about 5 months pregnant in it when I put it on. I could still zip it but breathing was a chore. When my clothes start getting tight that’s when I know I’ve gone too far. I even tried on some of my summer clothes from last year and they’re all too small. It’s pretty ridiculous. Enough is enough. I’m stopping it now.
I’ve decided to go back to the 21 Day Fix. The workouts are short but effective. Brittany, my friend mentioned earlier, and I are gonna get them done early in the day. Yesterday we worked at 6:30 and today we started at 5:30. I’m doing this guys. No more games. I plan on doing 2 rounds of the 21 Day Fix. I’ll see how the first round goes and go from there though. I’ve taken my measurements (well only one, which is around my stomach) and I’ve taken my before pics. Can’t wait to see the after!
So yes, I’ve decided enough is enough. I’m taking control and getting myself back on the right foot. I’m excited to see and share my journey with you guys! You ready? Cause I sure am 😉
WHAT ARE YOUR FITNESS GOALS? ARE YOU DOING ANY WORKOUT PROGRAMS RIGHT NOW?
Happy Fitness Friday peeps! Soooooo summer is right around the corner and I’m over here looking like this………
*stale face* I mentioned in my random post on Wednesday that I’m gonna get my act together. I actually worked out four times last week and cooked some healthy meals for me and my family. This week has been a complete fail cause of cramps and cravings. Anything fried and smothered in barbecue sauce was right up my alley. Sure it tastes fantastic but it made me feel like crap. For the past couple weeks that I hadn’t been working I just haven’t been feeling right. Not like sick or down or anything like that. I’ve just been feeling…..tight. That’s the only word I can think of. My stomach feels tight, my muscles feel tight, my joints feel tight. Last week when I made the effort to workout, eat right and drink a lot of water I felt a whole lot better. At the end of the week I didn’t feel 100% “loose” but I did feel a difference. The tightness has returned this week and it’s made me realize just how uncomfortable I am and how much I want to go back to how I was feeling last week.
I’m not big by any stretch of the imagination but it’s not really about being big or small. It’s about my health and self-esteem. I’m not where I want to be as far as my fitness goals but I will be! I have a plan ya’ll. I was talking to my good friend Ashley yesterday and we’ve agreed to get up early twice a week and go walking on the lake front. Not only will I be doing that but I also plan on doing the 21 Day Fix workouts. I don’t think I’m gonna workout every single day of the week, but it’s definitely my intention to workout Monday- Friday. So my schedule would go a little bit like this:
- Monday- 21 Day Fix workout
- Tuesday- Morning walk & 21 Day Fix workout
- Wednesday- 21 Day Fix workout
- Thursday- Morning walk & 21 Day Fix workout
- Friday- 21 Day Fix workout
The fact that I have a partner to workout with will definitely help me. But even if my partner were to cancel or can’t make it I need to have it in myself to keep going. That’s gonna be the hardest for me I think. Not to mention meal planning. I’ve always been lazy about it to be honest. No more of that. I’m going to plan out our dinners and also try to cook my lunches on Sunday’s so I can be set for the week. Honestly I do my worst eating for lunch because I’m out and I just go and pick up something quick. My goal is pack my lunches and bring them with me so that the thought of going to get fast food won’t cross my mind. Or it’ll cross my mind less. Nothing wrong with treating myself every now and then right? 😉
“If you want to stop starting over, then stop giving up.” Those are the words I plan on keeping in front of me from here on out. No more giving up for me. I’m sure I’ll have a few slip ups along the way but I’m done with the months of no working out and regularly eating bad. Enough is enough! I’m excited to do this and to share my progress with you all! Watch out cause soon I’m gonna look like this:
Talk to ya next week! Have a great weekend!
4 WAYS TO GET (AND STAY) MOTIVATED
You find yourself in a rut. It’s been weeks (or months even) since you’ve worked out. You keep telling yourself “I’m gonna get back to it Monday.” Many Monday’s pass and you still find yourself in the same situation. Does this sound familiar? Well if it doesn’t to you, it definitely does to me. How do we stop this constant cycle of getting motivated, doing well for a while and then falling into a rut? Let me be the first to say it’s not easy, but it can be done.
Getting motivated to get in shape is the easy part. You know the changes you want to make are gonna be very beneficial. Changing your diet, exercising more, etc. The initial excitement adds fuel to your fire and determination to your spirit. You’re gonna do it and nobody can tell you otherwise! The key is keeping this attitude. But how? Here are four easy and simple steps to help you get and stay motivated:
Make a schedule. Having a schedule is key. It keeps you on track and top of your workouts and diet. Make sure your schedule is written out and plainly in view. Put it on your fridge or on the door. There’s an accountability factor when you have a schedule written out. If you don’t stick to it you feel kinda guilty lol. But it’s a good kind of guilt! It’s the kind of guilt that makes you do better tomorrow.
Find a buddy/support system. Finding someone with similar goals who will help keep you motivated is also important. When you start to lose momentum you’ll have someone there to pick you up. When you don’t feel like working out your buddy or support system will be there to encourage you to get it done. The other day I worked out with my dad and he cheered me on and encouraged me to keep going, even when I wanted to stop. Have people around you who will be a positive influence and support you in your goals. You can even find support groups online! I host different challenge groups for people with similar goals as far as their health and fitness. If you’re interested in joining let me know!
Find a workout program that you enjoy. Some people enjoy the gym, some don’t. Some people enjoy dancing, some don’t. Do something that you love! You’re way more likely to stick to something that you actually enjoy doing and that you find fun, than sticking to something that you think is boring. Find a workout program or class that find enjoyable and stick to it! Don’t be afraid to try something new either, cause you never know what you’ll enjoy until you try it.
Get your butt up and just do it. Yup. Just do it (not tryna steal Nike’s slogan here). It’s gonna take some work and effort but when you find yourself in a rut or lacking motivation you’ve just gotta get up and do it no matter how bad you don’t want to. You already know you’re gonna feel 1000x better!
It can be difficult to get back into a routine of exercising and eating right so try not to get out of it. If it does happen, try to use the tips above to get back to it! If you need some help I’m always here! Feel free to email me, tweet me, leave a comment, etc. I’m behind you 1000383344873947%. We got this!
HOW DO YOU GET MOTIVATED? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO STAY MOTIVATED?
HOW TO START CLEAN EATING
A lot of people would like to eat clean. Although this is the case many don’t know how or where to start. I have to admit when I first heard of eating clean, I was intimidated. Just the thought of it makes you feel like you’re going on a super restrictive diet and you’re gonna have to give up all the things that you love. Well I’m here to tell you that that’s not the case at all. Clean eating will help you to make better choices, while still eating some of the things that you love. The basis of clean eating is “consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible.” So, for example, instead of buying precooked chicken breasts that comes in a bag (ya’ll know what I’m talking about) buy regular uncooked chicken breasts. Clean eating involves cutting out a lot of the processed foods and sugars and sticking with things that are, as mentioned before, in their natural state. Well how do we start doing that? Here are a few simple tips to start clean eating:
1. Clean out your kitchen
You’d be surprised to see how many processed foods you have in your kitchen. The first step in clean eating is to get all of that out and start fresh. Well what should you keep? One way to tell if you should keep something or not is to look at the label. If you can’t pronounce it, or don’t know what it is, chances are it’s not good for you. Clean foods usually contain one or two ingredients, depending on what you get. It might sound extreme but it’s really super easy and you’ll feel great after you do it!
2. Make a meal plan
I talked about this last week. Making a meal plan is key to clean eating, because then when you go grocery shopping you know exactly what to get. You won’t be tempted (at least not as much as usual) to pick up things that aren’t that great for you. When you have a meal plan and grocery list you don’t absentmindedly pick up items that you don’t necessarily need. You stick to what you know you’re gonna need for your meals, add some healthy snacks, bada bing bada boom. You’re done!
3. Pack a lunch
It can be so hard to eat healthy while out and about. You’re hungry and the nearest fast food restaurant starts calling your name. This can all be eliminated if you pack a lunch! A quick salad or even leftovers from the night before can serve as a healthy alternative to eating out for lunch. And it saves you money. It’s a win, win!
4. Get your family involved
Making this a family affair is so important. One person out of the household can’t be trying to eat clean while everyone else is eating everything under the sun. It just won’t work. Talk to your family about the benefits of clean eating and why you want to make the change. It might take a few weeks (or months) of adjusting but at the end of the day you’ll be so glad you did.
Doesn’t sound too hard right? I hope this helped you guys to learn a little bit about what clean eating involves and how you can start doing so! Let’s keep it real though. There are gonna be times when you don’t feel like cooking or you just want something that’s not so clean. Ya know what? That’s totally fine. Some people strive to eat clean 80% of the time and the other 20% they cheat a little bit. Nothing wrong with that. You just want to make sure that majority of your meals are clean. Eating clean majority of the time is sure to make a huge difference. Now I’m headed to McDonald’s for a burger! Lol just kidding…….maybe. Hehe. I hope you guys have a great weekend. Talk to ya Monday!
HAVE ANY OF YOU TRIED CLEAN EATING? IS IT SOMETHING YOU WOULD TRY?
HOW TO MAKE A MEAL PLAN
This year I’m really gonna focus on becoming a healthier person. I’m not talking going on a strict eating plan or cutting out all things bad from my diet. In reality, how often do those things work? Or shall I say how often do those things last? Many people go on a crash diet for a period of time and then when the diet is over, they go right back to the bad eating habits that they had before. Now I’m one of those people that stay motivated for a period of time, and then after about a month or two my motivation is gone and I’m back to my old ways. Eating all manner of evil and being a huge couch potato. We all get off our game sometimes, but it’s important that we have a routine to stick to so that if/when we do fall off it’s easier for us to get back on. One thing that I’ve found to help with this is making a meal plan.
I’d first became aware of meal planning a couple months ago. Being that my mom does all the grocery shopping and cooking in the house, I never really gave thought to what was gonna be in the fridge and on the dinner table. About a year ago I did Insanity. I did great with the workouts but my eating was horrible. I wondered why it seemed like I wasn’t losing inches or weight. Then I learned that what you put in your mouth is far more important than exercising when trying to lose a few pounds. My doctor told me that your diet carries 70% of the importance while exercising carries 30%. This changed my whole mindset. When I started and completed a different workout, I had totally different results. I banned myself from ALL fast food, drank only water, and minimized my intake of junk food. It was hard but I did it and I felt great. Although this is the case I don’t want to take such drastic measures this time around. If I want to have a cup of juice, I’m gonna have a cup of juice! The key is to not go overboard. Making a meal plan where you have all of your meals down in writing, or typed out, helps a great deal.
A few weeks ago I suggested that we meal plan every Sunday night. This way I could go grocery shopping Monday and then we’d be all set for the week. (Also with me going grocery shopping it helps to prevent my mom from buying all the junk food. Yea I’m calling you out ma!). The first week we did it was a huge success. I bought tons of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and healthy snacks and we all knew what we were having for dinner each day of the week. I even cooked that week! I’m telling you guys it really helps. We’ve fallen off the meal planning band wagon since everyone has been off work these last couple of weeks but this week we’re getting back on it!
Lots of people don’t know where to start when it comes to a meal plan. Here’s a quick step by step list of how to make a meal plan:
- Be determined! In order to meal plan successively you’ve got to be determined to stick with it. There will be nights when you just want to order a pizza for dinner or go to McDonald’s for lunch. Be resolved to stick to your meal plan and try your best not to stray from it.
- Pick a plan that you can stick with. Cooking every night is not for everyone. Be realistic with yourself. Maybe you’ll cook every other day and the days that you don’t cook you’ll have leftovers. Just make sure that you’re choosing a plan that won’t stress you out and it’s something that you can stick to.
- Make a grocery list. This is one of the most important steps. I can’t stress enough how much you NEED to make a grocery list. You ever go to the grocery store and pick things up aimlessly because you have no idea what you need? You just know that your fridge is bare and you’ve got to fill it up. Going to the store with what you need in mind helps you stay away from the not so healthy foods and helps to get foods that keeps you on track with your goals.
- Critique your meals when you’re done. There are gonna be some meals that you love and some meals that you might not love. That’s ok! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Make sure that you grade each meal when you’re done to see if it’s something that you’d make again or one that you’d rather scrap.
There ya have it guys! A simple way to get started with meal planning. I’m gonna meal plan with my family this Sunday and I’ll be sure to post my list on my Instagram. Make sure you check it out! Have a good weekend ladies! Talk to you Monday!
DO YOU MEAL PLAN? IF NOT IS MEAL PLANNING SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD DO?