September Shape Up: Take the Challenge with Blake!

September Shape Up

Happy September everyone!  Less than 20 days of Summer left (bittersweet).  On a positive note, I’m welcoming Fall with a September Shape Up Challenge!  My friend, Blake (pictured below) has decided to lead the charge by taking the challenge publicly on GRIT by Brit.  Each week, she will share her progress with us, the good days, the bad days and everything in-between.  Blake and I went to Cornell together and now live in Dallas, TX.  Like me, she’s also has a long weight-management journey.  She describes her weight loss history as “one giant yo-yo.”  She’s weighed as much at 200 pounds and as little as 135 – currently she’s somewhere in the middle.  Hopefully, the September Shape Up Challenge will help her (and you) establish consistent, healthy habits that are sustainable and effective for a maintaining your target weight.

In terms of exercise, Blake usually tries work out at least 3 -5 days a week usually in the form of 2-3 Flywheel classes.  Over the next month, she’s hoping to supplement with some weights/cross-training. Of course I’ve got a few resistance/weight training workouts in mind 🙂

Blake after completing a Half Marathon in Dallas last month
Blake after completing a Half Marathon in Dallas last month

Here are the details for the September Shape Up Plan:

  • Consume no more than 1,400 calories per day.  When trying to drop a few pounds, you MUST burn more calories than you consume.  Don’t let all of your hard work in the gym go to waste by overeating.  I suggest using  My Fitness Pal calorie counter app to track your food consumption.
  • Substitute a smoothie for dinner on days with lower intensity workouts.  This will help ensure that you are managing your calorie intake.  For smoothie ideas, try one of these LO sugar HI Protein recipes or one of my favorite Dr.OZ Smoothies.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the challenge.  With all of the exercise, you must drink plenty of water.  I recommend at least 2 liters per day.
  • Strength/resistance training must be done at least 2X per week.  Here are some strength training routines that you can pick and choose from.  Just select 1 on your strength training days – all you need are 2 medium/heavy dumbbells: Super Sweaty Dumbbell Circuit ; 10 Minute HIIT Workout ; Gritty HIIT Circuit ; Amazing ArmsBye Bye Jiggly Thighs, Tummy, Thighs & Booty Oh My! ;  Fab Arms & Core ; Flex & Pump ; Dumbbell Mash Up ; Farewell Flabby Arms (FYI – there are several other weight routines to choose from under the “Workouts” section of my blog menu)
  • 1 hour cardio 4X per week.  Really push yourself during these calorie blasting sweat sessions.  I recommend Spinning, Kickboxing, Running/ Jogging or intensity intervals on the Elliptical.
  • Introduce power yoga in to your fitness regimen.  Power yoga is a great way to both stretch and strength train.  Since Blake doesn’t usually do yoga, it will also be a good way to “shock” her body and add some muscle confusion.  Also, it will help stretch sore muscles after strength training.  If you live in Dallas, I recommend Karmany Yoga with Amy or American Power Yoga with Julie or Sage.  If you live in NYC, I recommend Yoga to the People Midtown on 38th Street – Hot Vinyasa.

Hopefully Blake’s journey inspires yours.  Be sure to check back next week to see her progress update and photos!  You can also follow Blake’s journey on her blog or on Twitter @blakesachs.  Wish her luck – GO BLAKE!

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Healthy Way to Lose 10 Pounds in 2 Weeks

So if you’re like me, you LOVE to workout but you also LOVE to eat.  I have to admit, I’m a fat kid at heart.  Luckily I’ve learned to love healthy food and control my portions (for the most part).  However, there are times that I get a little side tracked and don’t monitor my calorie intake the way I should.  All of sudden I begin to notice that my favorite skinny jeans are barely zipping up and that’s my reality check that I need to refocus.  I put this 2 week plan together about a year ago – it’s an oldie but a goodie.   It helps me when I need to regroup my wellness regimen and drop a few pounds.  I love that every “rule” is a healthy action that actually does my body good!  Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes!  You can definitely expect to shed some weight, of course results will vary based on your body composition and your overall calorie intake.  Good luck – lots of luv, Brit

For the next 14 days, do the following 5 things each day…

lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks

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4-week SHRED: Alex kills it in Week 2!

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!

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