STRONG to the finish: Candace’s Progress on the New Year Kick Start Plan

Candace’s Week 2 Update

“Week 2 of my GRIT by Brit New Year Kick Start Plan was a bit quiet, I was able to get in a couple of workouts early in the week and stick to my eating plan. My challenge plans were a bit derailed due to travel to DC later in the week. I did try doing sit-ups and push-ups while watching TV one evening. I was able to knock out 200 crunches and 100 push-ups during commercial breaks. It was a great way to burn calories while watching my shows. Unfortunately, I’m up 1 lb. from the end of week 1. I’m looking forward to getting back on track and going hard in week 3.” – Candace

(below – sit ups with a dumbbell during commercial breaks)

(below – Candace knockin’ out some push ups to tone the core and upper body)

Brit’s Tips for Candace

  • Great job staying active despite not going to the gym every day.  “Commercial Break” exercises are effective and efficient so keep it up!  Next time take up the intensity and do some jumping jacks, burpees or squats during commercial breaks.  These exercises burn more calories and engage more muscle groups.
  • Be extra strict about sticking with your  eating plan this final week, especially on days that you miss a workout.  It’s important to keep the calorie intake down on these days since you won’t burn as many calories during the day.
  • Have a little black coffee in the morning for an extra jolt.  We know that coffee, in moderation, increases your energy and focus to help give you a push in this last week.
  • Most importantly – STAY POSITIVE.  This is the final push and you are well on your way to achieving your goal.  You got this!

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Already 3 Pounds DOWN!

Candace’s Week 1 Update

“Week 1 of my New Year Kick Start Plan was better than I expected, I’m down 3 lbs.! I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app, which has really helped me keep track of my calories. Packing my lunch and snacks each day was a great plan, as I can easily control what I’m consuming.  Getting in 6 days of cardio workouts was tough, I only did 5 days. My goal is to definitely hit 6 days this week. Looking forward to week 2 and keeping up the progress.” – Candace

(below – Candace preparing her lunches for week 2)


Brit’s Tips for Week 2

  • Keep up the good work –   While you should be thrilled about your quick results, don’t get complacent.  Keep pushing yourself to be disciplined in your healthy eating and in maintaining your challenging workout schedule.
  • Stay hydrated –   Completing intense cardio workouts 6 days per week means you are sweating more than usual.  Dehydration will slow down your metabolism and hinder weight loss, so be sure to drink 2 liters of water per day.
  • Get your beauty rest –  As a busy corporate woman I’m sure your days are packed full with work and working out.  Be sure you are getting enough sleep at night (shoot for 8 hours) so that your body has an opportunity to recover.  Sleep deprivation hinders weight loss as well.
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10 Minute Abs and Thighs Workout Video

My #fitfriend Alex (@alexandriawill), co-founder of Sporty Afros has been pushing me to start make posting free workouts on YouTube for my blog followers.  So, last week after one of my Turbo Kickboxing classes (which is why my hair is drenched in sweat in the video) she stayed after and recorded my abs, legs and glutes circuit .

I usually do a series of body-weight exercises at the end of each my classes because my students love to feel nice and tight around their core and in their legs.  Body weight exercises are generally high in repetitions and lower in weight which help give you long, lean muscle tone.  They’re great to add to your fitness regimen because they require NO equipment and can be done at any time and any place.

Try the workout for yourself and let me know what you think.  For best results, complete this workout 3 times per week along with 45 minutes of moderate-high intensity cardio (running, biking, elliptical, etc.).

If you like, I’ll record some more 10 minute circuits to help keep you on track in 2013.  Enjoy 🙂

Lots of luv, Brit

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Super Simple 4 week Slim Down


Meet my lovely cousin Chasity, our newest 4-week challenge chick on GRITbyBrit!  We are just coming off of a very successful 4-week challenge story with Alex who lost 7 pounds and rocked a sexy new dress for her 29th b-day. Now Chasity is taking the challenge up a notch and striving to lose 12 pounds! I tried to make her plan very SIMPLE because it can be really challenging to be disciplined on SO MANY areas. Hopefully, many of you can try the plan for yourself and share your success stories with me.

Be sure to check back for Chasity’s progress report. Let’s go Chasity – wish her luck!

  • Chasity’s Goals:photo-8
  1. Lose 12 pounds
  2. Healthier eating habits
  3. Tone upper body/ thighs
  4. Increase Stamina
  5. Tone lower abs/ muffin top
  • Workout Schedule: 1 hour M/Tu/Th/Sat/Sun
  • Workout Likes: Yoga, Pilates, Cardio/Dance style workouts
  • Workout Dislikes: RUNNING
  • Eating Habits: “I eat breakfast daily usually oatmeal during the week and a “country breakfast” on Saturdays 🙂 Frozen dinners for lunch during the week or sometimes I will eat fast food-raising canes is my often my choice. Dinner is just whatever I can get fast because I’m usually starving by the time I get home (meaning I tend to go for unhealthy food). I do snack a lot on like chips, pickles, cheese its, gummy bears, Oreos, cheese. I have Starbucks very berry coffee cake – my weekly treat. I don’t drink soda or coffee. During the week I don’t eat after 7 except on weds (eat after I get out of church around 9ish)” – Chasity
Super Simple 4-week Slim Down
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4-week SHRED: THE END… is just the beginning!

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 🙂

So my GRIT by Brit 4-week SHRED Plan has come to and end I can proudly say…

  • 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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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 🙂
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Who’s that bada** Under Armour chick?

Meet my friend and honorary GRIT Girl,

Natalie Uhling

I met Natalie about 1 year ago when I was staffed on an 18 month assignment in NYC.  I started going to her Turbo Kick classes just after falling in love with the format and becoming a certified instructor myself.   After taking just one of her classes, I was HOOKED!  She has energy that is absolutely unreal  and she always looks so good while working out – damn girl!  I always try to match her  enthusiasm and passion when teaching my own Turbo Kick classes in Dallas.

(below) Me and Natalie goofing around after Turbo Kick last Saturday 

Not only is she an awesome fitness instructor, she’s also the fresh, fierce face of Under Armour Women!  Natalie proves that GRIT is BEAUTIFUL.  She inspires me – so today, Natalie is officially an honorary GRIT Girl!

If you live in NYC, you should def check out one of her classes.  Natalie teaches Turbo Kick at 24 Hour Fitness – Midtown and Megaformer Pilates at SLT.   All of her classes exude energy, are tons of fun and SUPER challenging.  CLICK HERE to see her weekly schedule.  You’ll also appreciate Natalie’s authenticity and genuine spirit.  Not only that, but she works her BUTT off in EVERY class.  I’m talkin’ sweat puddles on the floor – this girl is not messin’ around!

So now I’m sure you guys are asking the same questions I was about this  super fit model chick.  Here are Natalie’s answers to some of those questions:

What are your top 5 tricks to looking good while working out?

  1. Wear your hair in a high messy ponytail.
  2. Accessories with an Under Armour headband.
  3. Wear great leggings!
  4. Make sure your sneakers are colorful.
  5. Wear a neon colored sports bra … it makes you feel full of energy!

Describe your diet? Any tips you want to share?

I am a Pescetarian. Basically what that means is I am a vegetarian that also eats fish. As far as diet goes … try to eat as clean as you can! Eat for your body and most importantly listen to your body’s needs.

What you do recommend as the right mix of weekly cardio and resistance training/toning workouts?

I honestly don’t think there is a magic number or workout formula, everyone is different. It is important to listen to your body and do what you are craving. The more you are in touch with your body the better you will feel.

What song always get you going?

Right now it has to be “Clique” – Kanye West, Jay- Z & Big Sean!

What exercise makes you feel strongest and why?

Turbo Kick! It makes me feel like a bada** every time I teach because it is super intense! I am all about INTENSITY!

What do you tell yourself to stay motivated when your completely exhausted?

I think about all my students who have been waiting all day to come take class! It gets me excited and motivates me every time. My students are my motivation.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to work out?

Start slow and gradually build up! The last thing you want is to get hurt. Also, find a workout that inspires you and gets you excited about exercise.

What does GRIT mean to you?

GRIT is about inspiring others to lead a healthy and positive life.  GRIT gives you tools that will help you be successful in your everyday life.

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Holiday Weight Gain – Keep the pounds at bay on Turkey Day

It’s almost Turkey Day ladies and gents!  While you’re giving thanks and spending time with the people you love  DON’T be like the average American and pack on unneeded pounds – you’re better than that 🙂

Here’s my top 10 list to keep your weight in check on Turkey Day…

  1. Wake up and work out.  I like to think of this as “putting a credit on my account.”  Since I know there will be lots of irresistible food coming my way, I do at least 1 hour of cardio on Thanksgiving morning.  Lots of my NYC and Dallas fitness instructor friends are holding special thanksgiving day classes, so do some research the day before and prepare to attend one!  You can also do the GRIT by Brit Ultimate body burn DVD 😉
  2. Eat breakfast.  It’s natural to want to sleep in on your day off and “save room” for the big Thanksgiving meal, but doing so will make you binge because you are so hungry. Go ahead and eat some oatmeal, fruit or protein in the morning to keep you from inhaling food later on.
  3. Drink up before you eat up. As always, hydration is key on Thanksgiving day and on any day.  Drinking a liter of water before your big Turkey dinner will make you feel full and keep you from over eating.
  4. Fellowship first.  Be sure to chat and spend quality time with your family and loved ones before devouring your food.  Enjoy your total holiday experience  not just your meal.
  5. Be “grateful” without a “plate full.”  Instead of loading up huge servings sizes, go for quality over quantity.   Try small portions of a variety of foods and really savor the taste.
  6. Color is King.  Make sure that your plate is colorful!  These means it should have lots of veggies on it: green beans & sweet potatoes are excellent.  They are full of fiber and nutrients,  will digest easier and satisfy you longer.
  7. Enjoy the rare stuff.  Don’t get full on rolls, chips and dips and other foods you can have every other day of the year.  Instead, enjoy those one-of-a-kind holiday foods.  Eat them slowly and enjoy every bite 🙂
  8. STOP when you’re full.   Keep in mind that your stomach is the size of your fist.  Don’t hurt it and over expand it by simply eating too much.
  9. Enjoy some “tea time.”  Sip hot tea (preferably green tea) after your meal to help aid digestion and also to keep you from going back for seconds out of boredom or convenience.
  10. GIVE THANKS.  Because life is good and a joyful spirit is good for your health!

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4 Week Shred: Alex Thrives in Week 3

Alex at a recent event representing Sporty Afros & looking FAB!

Be sure to check out Alex’s complete 4-week GRIT by Brit Shred Plan and come back next week for her final report!

Alex’s Week 3 Update:
  • 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 🙂
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PiYo STRENGTH: Pilates/Yoga Fusion Workout

Last Sunday I finished the course requirements and am now a  certified PiYo STRENGTH Instructor – woop woop!  (That’s me on the right in the back row with my hair lookin’ a mess; long day so don’t judge, hehe).  In addition to teaching my weekly Turbo Kick classes, I plan to now teach a mind/body fitness format.

PiYo is short for “Pilates Yoga.”  It’s a group fitness format available at most major health clubs, especially 24 Hour Fitness and women’s gyms. Long story short – get involved with PiYo.   Here’s why I love it:

  • I have (self diagnosed) ADD – If you also have a limited attention span, you will love PiYo because it’s fast paced.  Throughout the workout you flow swiftly through a variety of yoga poses and Pilates exercises which prevents boredom.
  • I like sweating – If I’m not drenched after a workout, I’m not convinced that the workout was productive.  Because PiYo is fast paced and the moves are challenging, you start breaking a sweat within the first 10 minutes.
  • I dislike awkward situations – PiYo has no spiritual element, it’s solely a mind/body WORK OUT.  I always feel super awkward in traditional yoga classes with serious spiritual cultures and chanting – not my thing.  PiYo has a fun group atmosphere where you can let loose and truly relax.
  • I like to JAM – PiYo is set to music, and not spiritual chanting or anything like that.  I’m talking Top 40 and R&B jamz.  Not only is the music great, but there’s also a dance element to the workout so you can shake your groove thang 😉
  • I need to be more flexible – As you can tell, most of my workouts are high intensity interval training or long cardio sessions.  However, I often skip the stretching and mind/body relaxation that my body needs.  In fact, flexibility is the most overlooked element of fitness!  PiYo lets me work on my flexibility without feeling like I’m wasting time.

And since you’ve been so kind and read to the end, I’ll reward you with some videos of PiYo in action – enjoy 🙂

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