Get Rid of It All

We like the path of least resistance. If there is a way to make it more convenient we’ll take it. It’s the reason why Netflix, UberEats, and Amazon have revolutionized their industries. How can we make fat loss easy on ourselves: Get rid of the temptations!

Get your game face on! Go through your kitchen and throw out ALL the junk. Part of beating your temptations is to change your environment. It is way easier to control your environment than your cravings.

I won’t bore you with a long list here. You know what tempts you and calls your name late at night. Take a stand right now so you won’t be tempted later.

I’ve heard that it is 10 times easier to simply change your environment than change your habits.

Once you fill your environment with healthy foods it becomes that much easier to make healthy choices.

Celebrate yourself

Celebrate yourself

As I learn more about this journey, I understand that everything I do will be a first. I started a 21 day challenge whereas, I would walk 30 minutes a day. I actually walked 10 days straight which is a first.

I dreaded starting over which is why it has taken me a few days to start again. With Fadi, I am learning that I can always pick back up where I left off. Instead of getting down on myself for stopping, learn to celebrate your accomplishments. I have NEVER walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes for ten days. That is something I need to be glad about. I still have 5 days left in my challenge and can finish strong.

My thought processes are changing with Fadi’s coaching. I realize how self-defeating I can be. He is teaching me to change my thought habits and more importantly, my self-talk. Somewhere is every situation is a victory and Fadi is showing me how to find it.

Just Do It

Just Do It

“The key to getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

I am on Day 7 of my 21 Day Challenge of walking 30 minutes. One thing I have learned so far is that my mind wants to do it. Every morning, I wake up and tell myself ‘just do it.’ It’s only thirty minutes.

The physical side of me does not want to do it. Every morning, I wake up and tell myself ‘just sleep a few more minutes.’ I could have thirty more minutes of sleep before starting my work day.

The struggle is real between my higher self and lower self. I want to walk everyday, just like I promised myself. I even have co-workers who have chosen to do the challenge with me. When they send text messages about their workouts, it motivates me to do the same.

When I finally go downstairs, I constantly talk to myself. Encouraging myself. Telling myself I can do this. Reminding myself how many minutes I have completed and how many minutes I have left. The feeling of accomplishment once I have completed my thirty minutes. I still have to remind myself to ‘just do it.’

Getting started is the real struggle, but every morning, I still tell myself to ‘just do it.’ Once I get going, I have already done the hard part. I have gotten up earlier than I have been, gotten dressed, and gone downstairs to the treadmill. As long as I get started, I can ‘just do it.’

Until next time,

Stay healthy, my friends

Brand New You

Brand New You

“Where are you moving?” A friend asked me.
I said, “Onto better things.”

Hey friends,

New year, New You. Right??

Could be. Could be not. Who’s to say? Believe it or now you are.

Maybe in 2017, you wanted to be the absolute best version of you. Not fitness regime and nutritional values. And perhaps you succeeded.

Or maybe, you were lazy and unmotivated. Now you want to make huge changes in 2018.

Either way, whatever 2017 was for you, it’s over now.

So what’s next for you?

The same ole you or a brand new you?

Only you can decide. Choose wisely. A better you depends on it.

Until next time,

Stay healthy my friends.

Accept validation as a compliment not an invitation

With an accidental brushing of the hands as we reached for a falling phone, my heart tingled like it never had before.  That was a totally unexpected moment that froze time. It was as if a lightening bolt from heaven went straight into my heart, if for only a second.

I knew my adventurous spirit had met another when he turned to me and asked if I wanted to dance. But for that moment, I sat behind my wall of insecurities and refused. A couple of months of chatting online and a limited number of phones calls made us more than total strangers while it had only been thirty minutes since our face to face meeting at the Spanish restaurant to celebrate his birthday. His engaging smile, that hint of a Mediterranean accent, dark hair and olive skin added up to be the physical combination I had always been most attracted to. Everything on the inside of me wanted to be on that dance floor with him but my mask of insecurities kept me in my seat.

The evening ended as I ran to my car in a downpour of summer rain. The questions running through my mind kept pace with the rain and the beat of windshield wipers while I drove away. What had just happened? Why was I so comfortable and confident? Where was the girl I was a couple of years ago who would have been too intimidated to be with such a handsome man? How could one man encompass such looks, personality and championship body? And WHY ON EARTH did I agree to meet him the following morning to workout at the gym?


Early morning frustration with Atlanta traffic and unfamiliar streets caused me to arrive at the gym within seconds of time to begin the exercises. I was determined not to let my emotions be pulled away by a handsome Adonis. My focus would remain totally on my workout. I would not be distracted. Any insecurities from the night before were destroyed as I stood there exposed in my yoga pants with thighs and belly fat bulging. My face was bare without make-up and my hair was still partially wet from my morning shower. It became a mind game with myself to see if I could concentrate on the workout without being totally enamored? How embarrassed am I going to be by my awkwardness and clumsiness in the gym? Granted, there had been a time in my life when I was in excellent shape but that was developed primarily on the tennis courts with limited resistance training in a gym.

The workout began…All was good, I was doing a warm-up on the elliptical and getting the blood pumping.  He could not have been more kind with the small talk and being sincerely interested in any previous injuries as not to push me too far.  So, there we were, he looked like a Greek God and I looked like the twin sister of the Michelin tire guy as we worked our way through the weights and resistance machines.

BAM!!! There was that same lightning bolt again!!! The tingling rushed through my body as he ran his hand through my hair to correct the posture of my shoulder.  Was I getting weak because I had not worked out in a while or was the touch of his skin on mine melting away every barrier I had?

Those past twelve hours should be loaded somewhere in the minds’ database of memories. However, I’m not exactly sure whether to file it under 1) times to remember with a Dream Man or 2) one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever done. Little did I know what that day would hold…

While having dinner the night before, he had asked me to accompany him to a business appointment/radio interview following the workout. Therefore, we had a hard stop at 9:15. That would give us just enough time to change clothes and be at the interview by 10. My confidence level was about to increase as we moved from the gym into a business atmosphere. My years in corporate America should put me in MY comfort zone during the meeting. OR SO I THOUGHT….

I sprinted to the car to grab my bag as he went upstairs to his apartment to change. Upon returning to the lower level dressing room my day began to unravel. A quick towel down was all I needed because my sweat level never got to the “stink”. I dressed in my black and white palazzo pants and a comfortable little white lace top. Where was my hairbrush? Where was my make-up and WHERE were my shoes? This could not be happening! A quick run to the car confirmed it indeed was happening. I had forgotten not only the airbrush for my now damp and sweaty hair but my regular brush and make-up. The only pair of shoes I had with me were turquoise and purple tennis shoes.

His text had just come in asking if I was ready. I gave a quick reply explaining I had forgotten my shoes and was going to run next door to Kroger to pick up a pair. (Hoping also to grab a brush and cheap make-up.) I would meet him at the interview. His reply was not what I wanted to hear. Why would I need shoes? We were going to a radio interview, not a television broadcast. No time to go to Kroger, just meet at the car. The clock was ticking. Well, of course, that made sense but now my pride and vanity were creeping in. My years in corporate America had taught me the importance of first impressions. I had even trained the classes for dressing for success. Pride and Vanity vs Confidence and Flexibility. Do I roll with it or back out altogether? Maybe it was my age, maybe it was my newly discovered confidence or maybe it was just my adventurous spirit knowing this was going to make a laughable story but regardless of the driving thoughts I was rolling with it.

The last thing I wanted to do was make us late because I was so unfamiliar with Atlanta so as we met at the car I suggested he drive. He shut my passenger door and walked around to the drivers’ side looking like two million dollars and having just stepped off the pages of GQ! There I sat in a passenger seat many girls would have only dreamed of being in. I propped my turquoise and purple tennis shoe upon the knee of my black and white dress pants, looked over at him with my bare-naked face, tasseled damp sweaty hair and said, “You had better buckle that seat belt to hold you back, if not you are going to be uncontrollably coming across these seats and all over me (as I gave him a pouty sexy wink) because I have got it going on today!” Totally unmoved by my unprofessional mismatched appearance he patted my knee, smiled and said, “Baby, you DO have it going on.”

We arrived at the destination which was in Buckhead, GA. Buckhead is known for being an upper crust and highly professionally respected area of Atlanta. The elevators in the high rise were across from a full wall of mirrors. I rolled my eyes at myself in the reflection as the doors shut. I was secretly praying I would not be an embarrassment to him.

The purpose of the interview was to promote him, his business and his book. However, his attention had shifted to getting my newly released book promoted as well. In fact, when he parked the car he made sure I had a copy in my purse.

The elevator doors opened and I became immediately aware that the station occupied the entire floor. The receptionist was a beautiful lady who greeted us with the expectation to see and talk with him. He immediately introduced me and began sharing my background and book content with her. He took no interest in talking about himself but promoted me. He was introducing me and making me feel like the Queen of Sheba while all the while I was standing there looking like a pauper.

He intention was to bring me on air with him to talk about my book but because I had not been previously screened by the producers that could not happen. It was an understandable position by the station however they graciously invited me to sit in the room with my own headsets while they were on air. I could tell he was a little disappointed that they had not accepted his agenda but he took his place and the interview began. I was very impressed with their level of professionalism while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere. There was no question they had done their homework on him. He was questioned about his bodybuilding days and championships. He was questioned about his knowledge of nutrition and how it plays into our total health and wellness. His involvement in the community was brought to the forefront of the conversation along with suggestions of his business and knowledge being used on a continuing basis for their show.

During the wrap-up, they asked a question that revolved around a conversation we had at the gym earlier that morning. That was all he needed. He responded by bringing my name into the conversation and proceeding to talk about my book on air. I then got the sexy look from him as he moved his eyes across the room to me and winked. WOW! What an unselfish act!

Once we were off the air, I was warmly included in the conversations as I was quick to point out that I had forgotten my shoes and makeup but I did indeed know how to dress. It was quite comical though when one of the producers ask to see the book. He was very sympathetic toward the loss of the children as he read down the back cover. However, when he saw the headshot he reacted all over himself as he said, “Wow, that’s you?? That is a great picture.” I could not catch my tongue before I replied in a southern redneck drawl, “Yep, I do clean up pretty good.”

That morning brought an acceptance I had not felt in years. There was a validation that someone was looking past my appearance to the value inside. He was not ashamed to be with me or hiding the fact that he was.

So, what is the point or moral of this story? Well, where do I begin? There are so many life lessons I could share. Let me start by introducing you to the girl I was two years prior to this meeting. Life storms and bad decisions had left this girl broken, defeated and feeling very insignificant. My poor self-image left me looking through a mask and making the self-proclamations that I was not enough, I didn’t have enough and I would never be enough. Enough for what? Well, those were the answers to almost any situation I found myself in. Not enough to be special and not enough to ever be appreciated for just being me. Those toxic thoughts had led to toxic relationships that only reinforced the lies I was believing.

During the two years between being so broken and finding myself in the crazy circumstances of the current Atlanta visit, I came through a major transformation. I decided to write a book where I had to revisit every storm I had weathered and relived the emotions involved with each incident. Upon each examination, I had to ask myself a question and make a choice. I had to ask myself if I walked away with scars or wounds. If I saw scars that meant there had been healing. Scars are beautiful because they show a strength of having endured. Wounds, on the other hand, reflect raw emotions and open sores. Oftentimes, we cover those wounds with masks. We can project confidence when we need to but the mask still covers the lies we are believing about ourselves. The journey through the memories of my life gave me a clear recognition of the scars vs the wounds. I then made a choice to unmask the pain that left me weak, vulnerable, miserable and emotionally needy. I removed the mask. I gave room for Truth to enter my eyes and I saw my own value and worthiness. I realized I was enough and I did not need to measure myself against anyone else. I had learned to enjoy the life I was living and embrace the opportunity to share it with others. My total vision turned from looking at someone else for happiness, to seeking ways I could make others happy.

So, if we were to rewind back to the Spanish restaurant and place the old me beside Mr. Adonis, one of two things would have happened. 1) I would have tried to act “all that” to gain attention and prove to myself I could get the catch. All the while looking stupid and sabotaging even the slightest opportunity to have a good friend. Or 2) I would have begun measuring myself against others feeling I was completely inferior in every way and left with a grasshopper mentality. That mentality opens the door to the questions, “What is wrong with me? Why do I feel I am always outside looking in and watching other people enjoying their life?” Either way, that mask I would have been wearing would have sabotaged any chance for genuine relationships on any level. There is so much freedom in just being real and confident in who you are.

Another moral of this story is to accept validation as a compliment, not an invitation. So many women are walking around emotionally empty inside. They are looking to almost any man for any type of attention or validation. When they do get the slightest hint of acceptance it is not uncommon for a woman to begin clinging to the man to fill a void inside them.

I believe my transformation was tested with the trip to the radio station and my own forgetfulness had set me up. Even with all those variables, the day became a landmark in life. It had been a long time since I was with someone I had just met that made me feel so comfortable. Add to that he had the looks that I naturally was drawn to. Then add to that the fact that not only was he not embarrassed by my appearance, he continued to put be out in front of himself and build me up to others. All of that gave me a feeling inside that I had not felt in, honestly, decades.

Had I not forgotten my shoes, make-up, and hairbrush there would not have been the opportunity for me to see the day for what it was. I realized that I had indeed grown through my transformation while writing the book. Confidence is never true confidence until it has been tested.

There could have been a temptation to say, ‘Wow, look how he made me feel. I need more of that. I need to find a way to be with him more so I can feel that way again.” How unfair is that to a man when he is only “being a man” in the first place? I am thankful to say I walked away with a new dear friend and having my newly revived confidence validated that I am enough for any situation if I am just me!

Starting Over

Starting Over

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by
change.” ~Jim Rohn

If I had two words to describe my life in the last year, they
would be ‘starting over.’ One year ago, I was recovering from an
emergency appendectomy. Before that, I had taken off a month
from work because of depression and anxiety. At that time, I
weighed about 240, but after the surgery, I was down to 220. I
was not exercising so obviously, the weight loss was due to
medical issues and not healthy means.

Still, I was 220. The last time I weighed 220 was in 2010. Then
I was a high school basketball coach. Although I was not eating
properly, I was active every day, all year long. In 2012, I
started a medicine and one of its side effects: weight gain. That is
when I weighed 240. Still, I was not eating properly and was not
being as active, but my weight was stable at 240. I was not
happy about that, yet, I did nothing about it. I accepted it
as a by-product of the medicine.

So I started buying larger clothes. I wanted to lose the weight
so I would try different gyms. I would walk around my
neighborhood, sometimes. I even tried to change my diet, at
times. Overall, I would try this and that but always ‘fall off
the proverbial wagon’ and always start over. I was missing the
discipline of consistency.

In 2015, I moved to Atlanta. I immediately joined LA Fitness but
soon canceled my membership. I went to a personal trainer but
he proved to be too expensive. I decided to walk around my
neighborhood but winter came. When spring showed up, I had lost
the desire. I even tried to change my eating habits but would
fall back into my old habits of eating quick and eating out. I
loved a daily hearty breakfast at Waffle House, just to give an
example.

Along came 2016. By summer, I noticed a real change in my
clothes. My yearly physical alerted me to a weight gain. I was
250. I had never been that heavy. My physical also told me I was
pre-hypertensive and pre-diabetic. My doctor’s recommendation:
eat right and lose weight. Duh! Yet, it was easier said than
done.

I tried again to eat right but feel back into my old habits. I
tried to be active but feel back into my old habits. It was not
until September that I realized I actually had fallen into a
deep depression. I took a month off from work. Then my surgery
and I took another two weeks off from work. By December 2016, I
weighed 225. I was content with that size but it was short
lived.

2017. I ate poorly. I look back on it and it was ridiculous.
Buttered toast. Wendy’s 4 for $4. Sonic. Zesto’s. You get the
point. I was not active at all although I have access to a
gym in my building. I just ate and ate. I have no reason why. I just
ate. By July, I weighed 265. I was officially a heavyweight. I
have never been so heavy. Although I became depressed, I wanted
to make changes. I researched and found Body By Fadi.
I met with Fadi and enjoyed his energy. He came across as more
of a teacher than a trainer. I could tell he was interested in my
well-being because of his passion for helping people get
healthy. I began his 52Fit Course Curriculum. I followed it for
a few weeks but I went back to work (my excuse).
In November, I am still the heaviest I have ever
been. Fadi reached out to me to see how he could help. I
realized I could not do this alone. On December 1, I met with
Fadi. We discussed my fitness and eating goals and how he can
help me achieve those goals. So guess what? I am starting over.
But this time, I have Fadi by my side. I will keep you posted on
my progress. I hope you’ll find inspiration in my journey.

Until next time,

Stay healthy my friends.

Fastrack To Stay On Track

I just finished listening to a 1980’s hit Once In A Life Time by The Talking Heads. And a phrase from the song caught my attention “And I ask myself,  how did I get here?”

It’s been just over three months for me on the My Fitness Solutions “Fastrack” program. I am one who tried joining a gym (even had a year free full membership with a trainer) . I lasted 3 weeks. I am a skinnier then most guy and something inside me just paralyzed me from going to the gym. Afraid of the big guys and the fears set from childhood about Bodybuilders  scared me to stop going. One time while on Facebook I had made a new friend, a gentleman named Fadi Malouf . I liked the first name what can I say. That was in July of 2010. I so heavy in to drinking beers, smoking cigarettes I was nothing short of a train wreck waiting to happen. Fadi and I started started to really talk a few months later and I seemed to really enjoy his posts about health and fitness nutrition and his often words of wisdom.

We started talking mostly about nutrition at first. I was totally grasping it but I started it and then fell off track with it even stopped talking to Fadi for about a good six months.  Beers, staying up late drunk as ever every night and really not caring too much about my health. But hated the way I was feeling in the morning and in general about myself. Fadi one late night back in August of 2012  happen to be on Facebook or at least logged in. I said Hello and we started a really great conversation. He was always upbeat and never had one negative thing to say. After all that time of not talking it was like we were best friends who had just returned home from college break. I apologized to him for the nutrition thing not working for me. And he said something that changed me from that moment on. “You can go back to the way you were or move forward and never look back”.

And that’s what I did. He told me about a program he designed called “Fast Track” on My Fitness Solutions.  He told me about the free 30 day trial period and I should give it a try. The only thing it can do it better myself. If I didn’t like it no problem. And he told me about the amazing smartphone app to use when on the go or computer is down. That there was no excuse not to workout. And trust me I used every one of them and a few new ones. “The Cat ate my speakers” was not a legit excuse in Fadi’s book.

It took me a few weeks after that to really get into the swing of things.   But Sept 26, 2012, will live to be the day I leaped forward into what now I call the ” fast track to stay on track”

During our set up phone call (monthly phone consults come with the program).  Now Coach  Fadi asked me about my habits. Smoking and Drinking were talked about. That was my last day of a beer.Smoking I had to quit. (am currently working on that) He asked about my food consumption. Let’s just say you know how McDonald’s changed their dining rooms to look more like a cafe. I think that was due to my feasting their everyday. Ramon noodles and frozen foods were what I lived on with about 3 or 4 20.oz diet sodas a day. That was my last burger and diet soda. Ramon noddles out and frozen foods out also.  I told him about my fear of the gym and how I tried before just didn’t work. He understood and explained why this program would benefit me. It was based in my home with no gym contact required.   He had given me an assignment to do which was to write down and explain three things in an email that may derail me from the program. That made see what could stop me the most was me.

He set me up with a 10-minute exercise routine seeing I had no weights or equipment. Who would have thought using your own body as a weight, not me? I was impressed with the routine he gave me to do.  Four weeks later was another. I had seen on the site a workout called Boot Camp. I was in awe and so wanted to do that. He gave me the exercise routine and so eager was I to do it. As we getting close to our second monthly phone consult I had begun to want more. I wanted to do something that would be a challenge to me and would help me along. I wanted something with weights. I wrote an email asking him what was out there not to heavy in how it weighed seeing I lived upstairs apartment in an older home.  He had suggested trying Suspension Straps like TRX. I looked into it and found a similar version of TRX at a cheaper cost. That would be my next routine. Now working with Suspension training then  Kettle Bells as my next routine!!! Building my own home gym!!

I started to see results in my second month upper Arms were starting to form muscle on them. My skinny arms were getting guns!! (I called them bb guns, it was small but wow!!) The support I have received from my friend and family my Facebook friends was really growing.  My upper legs were starting to take shape as well. I had energy like never before and started noticing the self-confidence was getting stronger. I believed in myself I was walking with my head up for the first time. My job was more enjoyable and people around me say I smile more. My third month just past and I can see the difference from the days of Beer drink sitting around feeling depressed to now asking: What’s next?What can I do to get better? And the day I don’t exercise I feel like something is missing. I do not like rest days, but I have a lot of fitness friends who say the same thing. I was explained to that’s how you know your liking what you are doing and committed to doing it.

My life has changed due to the one simple saying “You can go back to the way you were or move forward and never look back” Coach Fadi and his team have made me feel as a welcomed member on the path to good health and fitness. I have learned so much about myself through his guidance  Coach Fadi will NOT make you feel like you are just another client. He will help you with any problem you may have. Trust me I have been getting better at shooting video clips of problem exercises and having him write me back telling me what I need to do to make that exercise right.  Never will you hear him say “Do what you want I don’t care”. He does care. I still have a way to go but loving every minute of it.  Oh, yea even if you are not a beginner  The Fast Track Program has an exercise routine for all levels of fitness training.

I look forward to sharing with you my achievements with the program in the coming months.

So now I ask myself “How did I get here”  The Fastrack way.

The ONE Thing

The ONE Thing

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Everyone has a goal they plan to do ‘one day’. You can have a plan to make ‘one day’ today. It is a process and you have to trust that process. Ask yourself, “What can I do for the next five years to get to my ‘one day’?

Then figure out what can you do every year for the next five years? I know it sounds like a long time, and it is. You have to be consistent to get what you want.

Next you decide your monthly goal which leads into your weekly goal. Eventually, you will have the ONE thing you are doing everyday.

I’m no expert, but it sounds like a roadmap to me. It gives you discipline. It gives you direction. It gives you a destination. Think about it. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.

Until next time,

Stay healthy my friends

The Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the Matter

“Things change when it hurts too much to stay the same.”

We all have something we want to change about ourselves. Procrastination. Over-spending. In my case, over-eating. You must ask yourself leading questions that get to the real reason you put things off or live above your means.

For me, I ask myself, why do I over-eat. Food gives me comfort. Why does food give me comfort? Food satisfies me. Why does it satisfy me? Right now, that is as far as I can go because I haven’t dug deep enough to learn. I fear what I’ll find out about myself.  

One thing I can change is using different foods to give me comfort or to satisfy me. Being overweight certainly does not give me much comfort or any satisfaction. Making healthier choices when it comes to my menu can change how I feel about myself. Then I can ask myself different leading questions? Why must you make this change? Why did you make this change? Why are you feeling better about yourself? Every cause has its effect. You just have to go with more positive causes.

Until the next time,

Stay healthy, my friends

Facebook
Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
YouTube