Happy BLACK FRIDAY everyone! What better way to celebrate Black Friday than trying on some hot, sexy new clothes and being able to fit them all? Well that’s exactly what Alex is getting to do today. On this very special Black Friday, Alex has officially completed her 4-week SHRED challenge and is celebrating some BIG WINS! Here is her update – enjoy 🙂
I lost 7 pounds and lost an inch or two in the waist
I could fit into a dress I purchased in April and look good in it!
Made it to see my 29th birthday and felt amazing
I learned the key for being balanced = there’s a time to rest and a time to run hard!
I made working out a priority by squeezing in workouts such as squats and taking the stairs when I couldn’t do a full workout routine.
Better yet, I’ve also learned 4 important things about myself, my fitness habits and my diet during the 4-week SHRED plan…
Counting calories is key – NO guessing allowed! Counting my calories helped me realize my weakness for breads. It also showed me I needed to decrease my intake of snacks like nuts and fruit to a healthy daily amount.
GRITbyBrit Ultimate Body Burn DVD is awesome. I pressed play and was determined to sweat it out. I burned tons of calories while working out and even more throughout the day. I love this DVD and will incorporate the burn series weekly as a strengthen segment.
BURPEES. I can’t believe the GRITbyBrit Ultimate Body Burn DVD and The 4-week SHRED Plan had me accomplishing burpees! Although I am still weak in this area to simply do more than one is a major accomplishment. I pushed myself and could hear Brit’s voice pushing me too! Mission accomplished!
Maintaining a Healthy lifestyle is an ongoing effort. I learned what works for me and my body. I learned many areas I was weak in and started to adjust and make plans for weeding them out. In terms of diet, it isn’t about being “raw” or “organic” but more importantly about finding what works for you. For me, I learned I was a lazy vegetarian who was enjoying too many potatoes, nuts and processed soy products. I also learned due to some of my bad eating habits, my body wasn’t getting critical minerals such as omega-3s. I’ve made some good diet adjustments. While I’m not perfect, I have definitely made many strides and am happy to see what I have done. The end of the 4-week SHRED is just the beginning of even bigger, better and healthier things to come for me 🙂
Scale Deception – I’ve discovered that when I don’t see the numbers change on the scale, I should also take a look at my clothes. I was amazed at the clothes and how they were fitting. I took a photo of my new pair of jeans verses my old jeggings. To see the change was amazing!
Time Off – My doctor has me reducing my stress level thus I am making sure I get my 7-8 hours of sleep each night no matter what. I am drinking a lot of tea and have found a recent new tea to help bring down stress levels and relax. Tea is great for the skin and is an easy way to drink more water.
Exercise – Even if I am not meeting the goals every day with the plan, I am making each step and min count by keeping my heart rate monitor on. I had a pretty crappy run outside last week, but what made me smile was the calories burned.
Mental & Spiritual Strength – I am feeding my spirit and mind with educational opportunities but also the word (read: The Bible). Mostly during the day I am listening to sermons and uplifting music. This is making the day go by so much faster and my mood a lot better.
Grocery Shopping – I am loving Trader Joes as I get a chance to try new foods but also save a lot of staples. Since I have a salad every day, I can pick out a variety of salad toppings and bagged lettuce at the store $1-$2 cheaper. I also keep breakfast at my office now. I brought breakfast a few weeks ago to offset the amount of growing Halloween candy.
Food and Choices – The choices are becoming easier each day. I still love my bread but I am finding alternatives. The biggest changes are in my snacking as I have decrease my nuts/granola and fruit. I only have berries for my fruit and half or small apple or banana after a workout. I also started back eating fish as I am not having enough omegas, bored and needed to change a few things in my diet. I am keeping things in check much better. Dieting sucks and I binge badly after a few weeks (or days! lol) so being realistic about my life and time has helped amazingly.
Overall, I am feeling really good about myself and my progress especially since I am a few days out from my birthday 🙂
Alex (on the left) after successfully completing Week 2
Alex has officially completed week 2 of her 4-week GRIT by Brit Shred plan. Long story short – she killed it! You probably remember that Week 1 was all about “adjustments” but week 2 was all about “achievements.” Below is her progress report; be sure check back next Thursday for her week 3 update. Lots of luv, Brit 🙂
I’ve lost a few pounds but mostly lost inches. I got into my skinny jeans and can breathe in them – yay! Even better, I went shopping for a few staple items and was so happy I could fit most of the items I picked out!
Overall, my diet was a really good last week. I stayed within my 1,600 calorie budget everyday! I also incorporated a few “tricks” to keep my eating in check. Like when I eat out, I look at the menu beforehand and plan what I’m going to order. Also drinking lots of water (sometimes 1 gallon per day) and unsweetened tea has a help me manage my diet. Last, cooking at home for the week has helped me save time and money and cut calories. Stir-fry is my default and love! (below is a pic of my favorite meal – organic (no-gmo) tofu stirfry)
I’ve kept up with my GRIT by Brit workout plan for the most part. I missed my Saturday workout, but I actually still got some exercise in during the day by walking around and do some heavy lifting at a trade show that Sporty Afros was participating in. I kept my heart rate monitor on the entire day of the trade show and ended up burning 500 calories during the day!
Alex on the right @ hair expo in Oklahoma City last weekend
In case you missed the kick off, Alex (@Alexandriawill) is my new 4-week challenge chick, CLICK HERE to check out her full 4-week GRIT by Brit SHRED plan. After 1 solid week on the plan, Alex has learned some lessons about herself, her eating habits and her fitness. Here are her thoughts:
Calorie counting is key, but too few calories are not beneficial – Really proud of myself on the calorie control because I was counting EVERYTHING I ate and if I didn’t know the calorie count, I would over estimate it. However, I realized I was not having enough calories at one point and ended up feeling a little sick. So I adjusted to ensure I got the calories my body needed while still staying in my budget.
Continuous diet adjustments are needed for success – I realized I needed to consistently eat smaller meals/snacks throughout the day instead of 3 larger meals. My eating habits are just that HABITS. On the weekends I eat 2-3 larger meals (probably 2) and 1-2 snacks where as during the week I eat much smaller meals with snacks every so hour. Since I’m working out a lot more during the week on the GRIT by Brit SHRED plan, my body wants more energy = food.
Gotta keep it together on the weekends – I realized I binge bad on the weekends, even with just 1-2 meals. Couple that with not working out and I just killed all the work I did for 5 days! I crashed and burned this past weekend with being out of town for a natural hair expo in Oklahoma City. I didn’t fully prepare as I wanted too and eating in Oklahoma City as a vegetarian on a budget was harder than I expected. I simply didn’t have time to find a Subway at 11pm when things close at 10pm. I also just went into a “screw it” moment and forgot my whole goal. I was walking around, presenting and dancing during the weekend, but overall my eating habits were very poor – time of month too! (maybe TMI, but hey, we’re family). Overall, I am proud of my progress so far and I will push even harder in week 2!
BRIT’S 2 POINTS OF ADVICE FOR ALEX
Great adjustment on the calorie intake! Remember, a calorie budget helps prevent over eating, but under eating can be counter productive to weight loss as well. When we don’t eat enough calories, our body goes into starvation mode and our metabolism slows down, thus we burn less calories at rest.
If you know it’s going to be tough to stick with the plan on the weekends, go ahead and adjust your week day diet and workout regiment to be more strict to make up for your “slacker” days. An extra 10-20 minutes of cardio and a few super lean meals will help balance things out so you can meet your goals.
Alex pumped up and ready to kick start the 4-week SHRED plan at Body Pump class with Brit
Meet Alex, co-founder of SportyAfros.com and my newest 4 week challenge chick! Alex and I became gym buddies/good friends about a year ago and always try to inspire each other – she does a great job at this 🙂 As a triathlete and hair care guru, Alex is always looking for new ways to enhance her fitness, detox her diet and live an overall healthy lifestyle.
Scroll down to check out the fitness and nutrition plan I’ve put together for her. Also come back to track her progress each week and, even better, try the plan for yourself!
Notice that I have given Alex a sneak sample copy of my GRIT by Brit Ultimate Body Burn DVD (Have you watched the promo yet?). She will be my live “guinea pig” to show you results. Not only that, she’ll be sharing with us unique ways that she keeps her hair looking good while pumpin’ and sweatin’ on my fitness plan. Wish her the best – LET’S GO ALEX!