Hey friends – how’s it going? Hope you had a good weekend. Those of you in Dallas know that we had an oddly chilly weekend – weather in the 50’s! Cray Cray. However, that didn’t stop us from rockin’ it out at PiYo on Saturday morning. We threw on our long sleeve activewear and got our pushups, burpees and downward dogs in action at the W Dallas hotel! After class I was feeling kinda groggy (I think it was the lack of sun). This made me wanna stay inside all weekend, so I did…
In my “homebody” state of mind, I made a quick trip to Target and bought some new Nate Berkus throw pillows for my couch (can’t go wrong with black and white). I also stopped by Home Goods and got this cute gold serving tray to put on my ottoman. While I was there, I saw this white faux fur throw and had to pick it up as well to accessorize my couch. Just these small touches give my living room a fresh new look. I love it!
Last but not least, I finally framed the VOGUE magazine covers that I’ve had sitting in my kitchen drawer for almost a year. I’m really happy with how my creation came out. What do you think? Most of you know that I a HUGE fan of both Michelle Obama and Beyonce. In fact a made a Sexy Arms Circuit inspired by “Lady O” and an Amazing Abs Workout as a tribute to “Queen B” – I highly recommend you give both workouts a whirl.
On Satruday night, I stayed in and rented a movie On Demand – it was glorious! On Sunday morning, I made myself some breakfast and watched church online. It weird because I’m actually a very extraverted person and go out of my way to be around people. However, every now and then I like to have weekend all to my self – no social plans and lots of time at home. Do any of you feel like this sometimes?
Now I’m happily watching football and blogging – working on lots of cool new workouts and giveaways for you this week. What did you do this weekend? I hope you have an amazing week ahead. Lots of love, Brit
Image: Me and my clique (my mom on the left) chillin’ before the concert – 7/22/14 – Dallas, TX
To wrap up my birthday festivities, a group of my Dallas friends (including my parents) went to the Beyonce’ & Jay-Z On the Run Tour last night. First off I have to give HUGE shout out to my family at the W Dallas Hotel for hooking me up for floor seats to the concert! Fortunately, my double duty life, which includes weekly business travel as a management consultant, has earned me Platinum Status at Starwood hotels – sure pays off in times like these. I got to live the #SPGlife with an up close and personal night with Beyonce’ and Jay-Z! It was the ultimate belated birthday gift.
I don’t want to spoil the show for those of you planning to see it in the coming weeks, but I had a such a good time I have to share just a little bit. Overall, it’s one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended – up there with Michael Jackson (I went to his concert when I was 7 – real talk).
Bring your dancing A game and lots of energy because J & B go hard non-stop, for 2.5 hours singing all of your favorite jams. My legs are like jello today from jumping around to “99 Problems” then shakin’ to “Single Ladies.” I loved that Yonce and Hova went back and forth doing their own thing, each singing their classic hits, but of course they brought it home together with several duets like Holy Grail, Partition, Drunk in Love and Crazy in Love…sigh. The videos of their adorable family are so precious – I think every girl in the stadium was like “that’s my dream life.” hehe There’s just something so sexy about a thug – am I right ladies? We all wanna be ‘ride or die chicks’! Anyway, here a few pics from the evening. Enjoy and have a wonderful week! xoxo, Brit
Image: Playin’ college basketball in 2006 – feeling FIT
This post was originally published as a guest feature on Greatist.com, the fastest growing site in health and lifestyle content, reaching more than 3 million visitors in just one year! Follow @jshakeshaft, the amazing fitness editor, who helped me with this post!
Long story short, I’m a fan of “plans.” It started in high school when I discovered Slim Fast and dropped 15 pounds. I gained that back in one summer. During college, I was captain of my women’s basketball team which kept the pounds under control. But when I entered the working world, I packed on plenty of extra “cushioning.” I tried Weight Watchers for about a month, but always skipped meetings and under counted my “points.” Then there was the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Lipodrene diet pills and the cayenne pepper/lemon juice cleanse (Beyoncé put me on to this one). I’d lose 5-10 pounds with each program only to gain it back in a few months. I had officially reached a point where I was failing at every weight loss system. I was a 5’8” 25-year-old who weighed 179 pounds and felt “less than stellar.” I had to get it together. I REFUSED to let another day of my 20’s go by without rockin’ short shorts, high heels and lots of swag! This is when I accepted my weight control Slip up #1:I tried to be perfect.
I have a super Type A (slightly neurotic) personality and get really pumped up about new a diet plan or workout regimen. But if I slip up even once, I beat myself up and eventually quit. Being mean to myself does not help me lose weight. So, I had to accept the reality that most “plans” aren’t doable for the long haul. This meant getting rid of my “all or nothing” weight loss mindset. Instead of feeling guilty for slipping up, I started keeping a mental note of what I ate and tried to match my food intake with equal calorie burn. For example, if I killed a burger and fries at lunch, that was cool. It just meant I’d have a small side salad for dinner followed by an extra 30 minutes of cardio. Simple, right? Not quite.
Despite having this revelation and starting to feel more balanced, I wasn’t losing as much weight as I wanted. What was the problem? After downing a bag of trail mix one afternoon, I realized Slip-up #2:I ate too much. Simply put, it goes like this:
Choosing a healthy snack = a good look 🙂
Eating five servings of a healthy snack = not a good look 🙁
The fact that I ate too much was the most difficult truth for me to accept because I actually ate healthy food! The problem was that I simply ate too much of it. So, it was really hard to burn more calories than I consumed, which is the only way to legitimately lose weight. You’ve heard it before, “eat until you’re satisfied, not until you’re full.” Well, it’s true. I had to accept that portion control is just as, if not more, important than food choice.
On that same note, I discovered Slip-up #3: I overestimated my calorie burn. Since I work out regularly, Ialways figured I deserved a diet “buffer.” But, turns out our bodies don’t blast as many calories as we think. Calorie counters and heart rate monitors often over count calorie burn. This is because several factors like hydration, stress, diet, genetics and room temperature aren’t considered. The bottom line is this: The harder you work the more calories you burn. So, I started using the Talk Test to quickly and effectively measure my Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and indirectly measure my calorie burn. If I’m breathing really heavy (like “sucking air”) I know I’m torching calories because I’ve reached my anaerobic training zone. Now when I work out, I try reaching and staying in this calorie blasting zone to maximize the burn!
I’m not going to lie, after weeks of trying to eat less and move more, I was having some serious hunger pangs! Luckily, I found that simply drinking a glass of water did wonders for my cravings. Check this, most of the time we think we are “hungry” we are actually “thirsty” due to dehydration. Also dehydration makes us feel lethargic and we crave sugar and other simple carbs that make us fat. So there you have it, Slip-up #4: I didn’t drink enough water.
Now, I was on a roll! After a few months proactively addressing my weight control “slip-ups,” I was feeling good, slim, and energetic. So one day I decided to weigh myself. Up 6 pounds? WHAT?! How did that happen? Then I thought to myself, hmmmm… I had indulged in ice cream the night before and a little bacon at breakfast… and pizza on Friday night.
That’s when I clearly saw Slip up #5: I needed a reality check. After that random weigh-in, I started weighing myself every morning (yes EVERY day) and have done so for over 1 year now! This habit is controversial because body weight fluctuates for a variety of reasons (mostly due to hydration levels). However, the fact of the matter is that the numbers on the scale are your body weight at that time. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE (or at least it did for me)! Being mindful of my weight on a daily basis makes me think more deeply about what I am consuming, my digestion patterns, hydration levels, sweat output and calorie intake/burn. While my daily weigh-ins help keep my weight in line, my “heavy days” can be very discouraging. I have to constantly remind myself to keep the big picture in mind – my fitness, health and happiness, not just the numbers on the scale.
My slip-ups have taught me that weight management isn’t about the latest and greatest diet or workout plan; it’s about continuing on a lifelong journey of developing and strengthening healthy habits. There will always be good days and bad days, but success comes from balance. Now, at 27 years old, my weight ranges from 150-155 pounds. I’ve maintained this weight range for over a year without the use of any expensive weight loss plans or diet pills. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I feel authentic. Most importantly, I ALWAYS rock my short shorts, high heels and lots of SWAG!
What are some of the “craziest” weight loss plans/cleanses that you’ve tried?