Ok, I definitely feel the need to post a blog about this.
Let me say this in the most BLUNT way possible, lol.
Guys, I am a REAL person, just like all of you.
Just because I have lost a large amount of weight, does not make me better than anyone.
What I have accomplished can be accomplished my anyone willing to put in the hard work, time, dedication, and determination.
As far as putting my story out there, publicly on social media, news papers, magazine, and TV is where “PASSION” comes into play. I am very passionate about my weight-loss because it is a back to basics approach with diet and exercise. No surgery. No magic pills, and certainly no excuses.
Understand this…. I had my slip ups. I had those weeks where I didn’t want to work out. Where I over-ate at a picnic and felt like crap that night. Guys, I am just like you. As far as set backs? Wow, anyone who knows me I have had my share of those, including a pretty bad car accident, where I ended up rupturing almost a dozen discs between my neck and back. Medications, that cause weight gain…where you have to work 3x as hard as someone else just to lose weight? The occasional binge eating off emotion? GUYS do not think I have not done that. I am human. Going through those moments of disappointments where you step on the scale, and see no change even though you know you busted your butt the whole week, working even harder at the gym, and eating healthy.
Weight loss is not all high’s! not for me, not for anyone. Especially when you are doing It the natural way. What matters is how you go about turning those Setbacks into Comebacks. Don’t let anyone, or anything become a setback so strong that it takes away the motivation you had.
You have to remember that food is an addiction. You are battling an addiction. When you take that step to change your life and eating habits, you are saying “I am going to beat this addiction”. When you sign up for the gym, you need to understand, that “WEIGHT IS LOST IN THE KITCHEN, AND BODIES ARE TRANSFORMED IN THE GYM”.
In the gym, there are going to be those days that you do not want to workout. Where its too hot and you don’t want to sweat. Those days where you are exhausted and had a bad day at work and you just want to go home. BUT, those workouts turn into the best ones. You have to also keep in mind that results form the gym will not be consistent if your healthy eating isn’t consistent.
This isn’t easy. Do not let anyone lie to you. Its hard BUT its all about how bad you want it. how hard you are willing to work to reach your goals. How taking the easy way out will never feel as satisfying and rewarding as the hard work you put in paying off. Its about making the decision between getting results or getting excuses, because you cant have both.
People think just because I am in the public eye, or that because I have had a major success with weight loss, or because of my large following that I am some type of health/fitness robot. That my life is so perfect. That I wouldn’t be approachable. That is very far from any type of truth. I am a normal person just like you, who has a life outside of the gym and eating healthy. A crazy, busy, hectic life, lol.
I will get emails, and DM’s on Instagram saying “omg I saw you at the gym, and I wanted to come up to you, but I didn’t know what to say”. Guys, I have people come up to me daily that recognize me, whether it be at the gym, or a public place, a store, restaurant, mall, ETC. Trust me, I am 1 of the most approachable people, so never feel like you cant approach me!
Then there are those people will literally get extremely emotional when they meet me and tell me that it is because of me they started a weight loss journey. That I am their inspiration. I really get the people who ask to take a picture with me. I get it all. THIS IS WHY I SHARE MY JOURNEY. My goal was and is to change lives. I just want anyone who follows me to understand that I am the same as you. All of your struggles during your journey…I have and always will deal with. Its overcoming them that makes us successful.
Here are a great bunch of tips I put together for you guys when trying to make a decision on which gym to choose!
Most of you know by now, I am a proud member of “PLANET FITNESS”, a gym who takes pride in their slogan of being a “Judgment Free zone”, and delivers that promise to its members every single day. Truthfully, my entire weight loss journey started with a random-spur of the moment decision to do a U-turn in the middle of the road and pull into a Planet Fitness in Shelton, CT. (which has since relocated to Derby, CT). Honestly, best decision I ever made. I was extremely self-conscious being over 400 lbs, and I walked in there, and not at 1 point felt I was being stared at or made fun of because of my size. That is how EVERY gym should be.
One thing that gets on my nerves is when people say, “A Gym Is A Gym”. UHM, NO! That might be your opinion, but don’t except someone morbidly obese to feel the same way, because I know I sure didn’t feel that way then, and I still don’t agree with that statement now. A gym isn’t just about where you go to sweat, its where you spend 1-2 hours a day. What you see, what happens around you matters. What is allowed at these facilities matter. Dress code, behavior, ETC matters. You being comfortable matters. How are you going to stick with making exercise a habit if you don’t feel comfortable where you work out?
Understand that there is no 1 set type of gym for people trying to lose weight, or maintain weight loss and another set gym for those who are trying to gain or bulk. But we all have 1 thing in common and that’s fitness, regardless of our goals, and that is HEALTH AND FITNESS. Keep that in mind. At no point should you feel intimidated or out of place, so you need to find the facility that you feel comfortable at. Find one with helpful employees that a friendly and make you feel welcome, that you can go to if you have a question or need helping using equipment. Check for cleanliness. No gym is “Clean”, lets be realistic here. The amount of germs inside of a gym or almost as much as an airport lol, but keep these things in mind: Are the Spray Bottles and Towels to wipe down your machines before and after use? Do you see employees cleaning? If there are ceiling fans, is there a ½ inch thick of dust? Are there showers? Are they decently clean?
Keep in mind as you are on a weight loss journey, that you were once a beginner. If I am working out and I see someone new who may not be using something right, I will ask them “would you mind if I show you how to use this machine correctly? You don’t want to hurt yourself.” Its all on how you approach people, and you also want to make yourself approachable. Say Hello to people. Give them a compliment, let them know that they are working hard and it will pay off. If you notice a change in them let them know “I see you are losing weight, you look great” I do this a lot! And seeing the way someone lights up when you tell them that makes me feel good. Wouldn’t you want someone to do that to you? Wouldn’t you walk out of the gym feeling great? Feeling like your hard work is paying off? Make someone’s day. We were all beginners at some point. There were those machines I didn’t know how to use in the beginning and I remember someone coming up to me and correcting me. They didn’t do it to make me feel stupid. They did it because they saw how hard I was working out and they wanted to make sure I got the best results.
Here’s a good tip! If there are no Planet Fitness Gyms in your area, then visit the local gyms and ask if they have a free trial. Some offer a free week, or a free month, and some even have free day passes. Take advantage of those! Make sure you know what machines and amenities you will want before signing any contracts!! Visit the gym at the prime workout times! (8-11am, 3-4pm (after school rush or after 1st shift rush), 5:30-8pm (the after work and after dinner rush) Visiting the gym you are interested in at these times will help to give you a good idea of how crowded it gets, and the availability of the machines. What are the hours they are open? Will it accommodate your schedule? Is it 24 hours? How far is the gym from were you live or work? Distance is important.
Are they a chain? If so, can you use your membership at the other locations for free?
Check to see if the gym has or offers personal training. Ask for info on them, compare rates, success stories, ETC.
As yourself what you are trying to get out of your workouts. What your goals are. Look for a mix of machines. If your problem area is your legs or lower body, check for a gym that has multiple types of machines that target that area! DO NOT BE SCARED TO ASK QUESTIONS!
Next thing…the cost? Does it fit in your budget? Are you going to break the bank just to exercise? Weight loss isn’t cheap. From constantly having to buy new clothes as you go down in size, supplements, healthy foods (which cost more), and workout clothes and sneakers. Losing weight can end up being very costly. You have to find a gym membership that you can afford every month.
I am lucky enough to have a gym that is open 24 hours and has EVERY piece of equipment that I need to workout. Whether it be upper body, lower body, machines targeting stomach problem areas, ETC, I have it all right there. Not even that but it has tanning beds for when I tan, Hydro Massage beds, that are amazing for relieving muscle stiffness and soreness which I use sometimes before and after my workouts, and also massage chairs, and not to mention FREE PERSONAL TRAINING. With my PF black card, I can also visit any Planet fitness, ANYWHERE. When visiting family in PA, or FL and need to get a workout in, I can go to any of those gyms there without having to pay a fee.
You need to find what works for YOU. What makes YOU comfortable. What makes YOU happy. What YOU can afford. After all this is YOUR journey.
I hope this could help you all out and try to guide you in the right direction when choosing a Gym at the beginning of your weight loss journey, or even if you are looking for a new gym. I get asked a lot “how did you know what gym to go to?” Truthfully I didn’t. I was at an extremely low place in life, was driving home from work…saw those “Judgment free zone” signs outside of the gym that I drove past every day, and just pulled in, signed up, and look at the outcome of it. I am now a weight loss success story trying to inspire others.
One thing people starting, or already on a weight loss journey tend to do, is to forget how to hold yourself accountable.
Even if you are already on a journey to lose weight, and you realize you have hit a plateau, not seeing the results you want to see, or starting to lose motivation. You need to light a little fire under your butt, lol.
WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. Either buy a weight loss/food & water journal, or get creative and make one.
Write down everything you eat and drink that day, even the dressings, sauces, toppings, ETC. Anything that has calories.
Another Idea. Post everything you ate in 1 day on a social media site. Make a collage and post it on Instagram or Facebook. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable posting it, then you shouldn’t be eating it. You would also be giving others good ideas as to how to eat healthy. There are lots of positive reasons for posting your health and fitness things o n social media. You never know who you are inspiring. You can also make a page just for your weight loss journey. There is such a large community of people going through the same things you are. Follow eachother, and help to keep each other motivated, get recipe ideas, ETC.
These are great ways to hold yourself accountable. Track, Track, TRACK! You would be surprised how quickly you clean up your act or see a change
Weird blog post I know...but this is just a tip! I know you change relate to those days...Crunched for time, don’t have time to bake your sweet potato in the oven but still need that sweet potato for your meal?
Don’t worry, I got your back!
Take a fork, or a knife and tab a few holes in it. Then place it in a microwave-safe container and put a little water in the bottom of the container. (3tbsp max)
Now put it in the microwave for 12-13 minutes on high heat BUT making sure that you check on it every 3-4 minutes.
This method has saved me so many times!
When you see those three words, the 1st thing that comes to your mind probable isn’t Food. BUT, that’s now goig to change.
Ladies and Gentleman, please understand that eating healthy does NOT mean you cant eat the food you love. YOU can, you just wont be preparing it the same way.
You will need to edit your recipes, Alter some of the ingredients or steps, and most importantly make substitutions!
There are tons and tons of substitutions for the foods and ingredients you love that taste just as good.
When I do release my meal plans, I will have a long list of substitutions you will love…
But in the mean time, take the time to research healthier alternatives for foods you love!
Yes, I am going to tell you the importance of Ziploc bags.
Buy some Ziploc snack bags next time you go to the grocery store.
Then when you get home from the store, portion out all the food that can be portioned out
Need some examples?
1 cup of cereal, 1 cup of fruit, how many items per serving, ETC.
For instance, if I buy rice cakes, I know they are 2 for 90 calories…so I will put 2 in each Ziploc.
By doing this, it not only stops you form over eating but it makes it easier to grab healthy foods when you are hungry
I do this for almost all possible foods, it truly has helped me stick to the portion for servings, and stops me from over eating.
Today is Sunday, so get the Ziploc bags ready with snacks for your week ahead!