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fitness

not afraid to start over

WOW – here we are, 2015 – New Year, New Things…right?

Well, for me 2015 is a year of “starting over.”

My weight loss journey went on a complete halt in 2014.

Between relocating to Atlanta, starting new jobs and balancing life in a new city, I had a lot going on. PLUS Atlanta has toooooooo many fabulous and delish eateries…and being the foodie I am…well, you already know (just being honest!)

When I first moved to Atlanta, I started a fitness group on Meetup.com as a way for me to get out of the house, explore the city and meet new people while finding some fit friends aka “accountability partners.” The group was super fun and going well but I grew tired and weary.

So, after going through some things, the scale started to creep back up. Thankfully I’m not back to square one BUT I am trying HARD to hit my first goal all over again; to get UNDER 200 pounds! With a frame of 5’3″ I should NOT be anywhere close to 200 pounds SO I feel obligated (and in need of accountability) to once again, document my fitness journey for both accountability and the hopes of inspiring you.

This time around, I am going to do some things differently. Wonder what they are? Well, here goes.

1. Enjoy where I am right now. When I started my journey in 2013, I was so discouraged with the scale not moving quick enough. I was aiming so much for the finish line that I did not enjoy or appreciate my “present” moment and totally missed out on small victories (clothes getting too big, face looking slim, shopping where I wanted to even though I do that now #smiling) It got to the point that I honestly was ready to throw in the towel and say forget it because I hit a plateau and that darn scale would not budge!  I think it’s very important for anyone who is on a health/wellness journey to enjoy where they are in the “now” while striving towards the ultimate goal. Realize and understand that this is a LIFESTYLE change and not simply a FAD diet to get into a cute dress.

2. Chill out with the “EXTEME” behaviors. I was totally dependent on Weight Watchers…no, seriously! If I could not count the points in something I was putting in my mouth, I would spit it OUT – literally. I was truly obsessed with my weight loss and if I didn’t see a change I would be ridiculously upset. This time around, I am going to teach myself how to BALANCE my life (as this is a LIFESTYLE change) and learn how to eat. I purchased “The Skinnytaste Cookbook” and I’m well on my way to learning how to eat clean and enjoy my food WHILE keeping balance.  I’m not about that baked chicken and bland broccoli life – didn’t I say I as a foodie!

3. Do not be afraid to share my downfalls. Listen, I am NOT perfect. Nothing about me or my life is perfect, not even my eyebrows :). I’m a foodie and I LOVE TO EAT but I love myself more and my health is very important to me. Therefore, I am not an extremist, I’m a realist SO if you see me post a pic of a cup of my deslish Yoforia or a glass of wine, please don’t judge me. I think it’s important to show a real documentation of what really happens in someone’s life when they are on a journey to better health. The struggles, the downfalls, the victories, etc. – it’s all real and all very relevant!

So, here we go and CHEERS to a very prosperous, SLIM and FEARLESS 2015!

be inspired.

 

Black Girls Run!, Dark and Lovely!!! #DNLSWYS

Last weekend I had the opportunity to be a guest at the 2014 Black Girls Run! Sweat With Your Sole conference. This year, the conference and race was held at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, GA. Women from around the world came to this conference to meet their fellow BGR! sisters, have a great time AND to run either the 5k/15k at Centennial Park.

From the moment I arrived, you felt the positive energy and sisterhood in the atmosphere- truly contagious!

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How are you losing weight?

I’m always asked…”ebby, How are you losing weight?” 

Funny, I remember I would ask people that same question before I started my journey and do you know what they would tell me? They went on some crazy diet, they ate no carbs, they starved themselves, they drank water only with no food for a month, they ate string beans only. Seriously, and you didn’t drop dead yet?

…and you wonder why I didn’t start this journey any time sooner? Go figure. 

Their ways was not appealing to me in the least so weight loss was never of interest to me AT ALL! Starve myself? Yeah right, I LOVE TO EAT and I love to eat…GOOD FOOD!

Well, let me keep it very REAL with you. I am not starving myself, nor am I depriving myself. That is not the way I’m doing it-NO WAY! Cutting out what I love wasn’t and isn’t an option for me so I had to figure out another way to permanently drop these pounds. 

I love food entirely too much to crash diet SO I had to find my own “recipe” for losing this weight for GOOD. I wanted to adopt healthy eating habits and keep this weight off for the long haul. No trying to squeeze into a size 2 over here, give me “healthy” and I will be happy.  

So, here is my personal “recipe” for weight loss…

Ingredients

– 1 heart ready to change for the better
– 1 made up mind filled with infinite measure of determination, willingness and a dedication 
– Prayer
– Perseverance

Directions
Changed my mind.  My weight loss HONESTLY started in my mind. It’s a journey I had to mentally prepare for. All sorts of temptation happens but I have to mentally PUSH and FIGHT for my change on an every day basis. Do I mess up? I surely do (didn’t you see my love for food) but I try not to beat myself up about it. I just keep going and remember my goals at hand.

I refuse to be stuck in an unhealthy body so every day I fight for my change, push for my breakthrough. 

Everything in life that requires a change starts with a change in your mind and then in your heart. Once you change those two components, your determination and motivation will follow. 

Lifestyle change. I don’t deprive myself of enjoying the things I love but now I’m more aware and more conscious of what I eat and drink. Before I would just eat with no regret, but now if I eat something “not so clean” I have it in my mind that I need to work out and possibly follow my next meal with something “cleaner.” 

Managing my portions. During the holiday season we visited family and our families LOVE to cook and we LOVE to eat so I had to figure out how NOT to gain 20 pounds in two weeks!  It’s tough managing your diet when you’re away especially when everyone around you isn’t on the same plan! 

One delicacy (smile) we love to eat is grits. I mean we eat grits with fish, shrimp, sardines, bacon, liver, etc. LOL, we love grits. At home, grits isn’t something we eat too often. It seemed that on vacation we ate grits quite a bit. If you know anything about grits, you know that grits STICK! 

Well rather than not eating them I watched how much I consumed. Before I would just pile them on my plate, but this time I literally would eat a spoonful (serving spoon) and that’s it. 

For Christmas we traveled and BOY did my aunt have a spread. Rather than piling my fav dishes like stuffing (I love stuffing) on my plate, I used one of the plates that have the sections divided and put my stuffing in the smallest section. My larger section was filled with veggies and protein and little starch. I enjoyed everything I loved but managed it appropriately without over doing it. You can enjoy what you like, just be conscious of how much of it you’re eating. 

My habits. Bad habits can cause a wealth of harm. I had to really dig in, look at myself in the mirror and face my habits. I had to acknowledge them and be willing to change them. Bad habits are hard to break but when you realize it’s those same habits that have held you back which causes you not too move forward- then slowly but surely you will strive to break them.

At the end of the day, the most challenging part of this journey is remaining consistent and motivated. Getting healthy and fit is an every day decision that you make. It’s one that I make on a daily basis. Praise God for Classy Fit Gals and everyone that supports my vision with this movement. If it wasn’t for my supporters I probably would have quit and/or slacked up a long time ago. 

I had to realize that it’s not going to happen over night! As my mom would say “you didn’t gain it over night and you won’t lose it over night.” 

Truly, weight loss is a lifestyle change. You’re taking off the old and replacing it with the new. You can’t put new wine in an old wine skin. This lifestyle change is a daily walk in which every day you take different steps to reach your destiny. 

When you fall on the steps, don’t stay down and beat yourself up. No, get back up and keep moving. You fail when you 1. Do NOT try and 2. You fall and never get back up. 

 If you keep going and keep pressing, slowly but surely you will reach your destiny. 

i need motivation, too!

Disclosure: This is my “keep it real ebby.K” moment so please bare with me as I get my feelings out on this blog – thank you!

The Motivation
It’s so easy to motivate everyone around you but when it comes to self motivation, that can become a major struggle; at least for me it can be.

By the grace of God, I started this wonderful movement – #classyfitgals – with the hopes, passion and vision of inspiring women to become FIT spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Publicly sharing my weight loss journey is not an easy task because there are times in the background when I’m crying, praying, asking for grace and strength to keep doing what I know I need to do for ME.

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sweat pink – charleston style!

October was breast cancer awareness month – a month to remember, support and pay tribute to those who have breast cancer, know someone with breast cancer or lost someone with breast cancer.

I ran the Lowcountry Susan G. Komen race in Charleston, SC and had a ball. My best friend Nicole and her daughter ran with me and we had a good time!
Our grandmothers came out as well and supported us. Running for the cause and having our grandmothers with us made running this race even more special.  After the race, we took our grandmother’s to Five Loaves located Downtown Charleston and had a ball!
Least to say, definitely on my bucket list to do again!

 

don’t give up

You’re doing everything you can and you still aren’t satisfied. You’ve tried to change your eating, change your thinking, switch up your entire routine and still nothing.

 There is a simple yet effective scripture I want you to remember, Philippians 4:13.

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fashionably FIT!

I’m a sucker for anything FABULOUS and that includes my work out clothes. Before I got serious, I admit I went to the gym looking rather shabby and guess what – I felt shabby too!

I truly believe that when you feel gorgeous you will not only walk in your AWESOMENESS but you will perform the way you feel.  MY personal performance exceeded when I started to give a crap about how I looked when I work out.

Here are some tips on how to look CLASSY and SASSY during your work outs:

BE BRIGHT – BE BOLD!

If you follow me on instagram, whether on my personal account (@iamebbyK) or Classy Fit Gals (@classyfitgals) account you notice that I love color. I don’t care if the color is on my hips or my lips – I’m a lover of color.

Well, I found some gorgeous work out clothes in both TJ Maxx and Target! Those are my two go-to stores for work out gear. I highly advise checking out both stores for your work out clothes. The brighter you are, the better you will work out – I am totally convinced!

Note: If you sign up for the Target Debit/Credit card you get 5% off your purchase. Also, download the Target Cartwheel app on your smart phone – they have coupons galore for things you would not imagine. You never know what work out essentials you will find in the app!

YOUR BRA

Side Note: It bothers me when I see women working out and their boobs are popping out left to right OR if the boobs are spilling over the bra – no no no!!!

Before I became serious about my health and wellness, I invested some bucks in a good sports bra that I purchased from designer lingerie store. Let’s just say, this year when I really got serious about working out and I started to loose weight, my boob cup size shrunk and I killed that poor bra.

When I went to Dallas I went to Ladies Footlocker and purchased four sports bras. One is by Under Armour and the other three are the Maia bras by Moving Comfort. Let me be the first to brag and tell you this – these sports bras are A-MA-ZING!

What I love about the Moving Comfort bras are the adjustable straps – I did purchase three and they were worth every penny. I am a true believer that there are just some things in life you can’t be frugal with and my bras are definitely one of them.

I LOVE all four of my new bras because they “hold me down” and they look and feel great –  and guess what – they are all HIGH COMPRESSION/ HIGH IMPACT bras. The girls are holding together rather nicely!

My boobs still have cup size to them (smiling) BUT these bras really hold me together and I do not have to worry about them slapping me in your face in the middle of your work out! The less distractions the better the work out!

SNEAKERS

Now if you’ve been following me, you know that I have a love for “fashion” and beautiful things. It doesn’t matter what is is! Never in a million years did I think I would have a closet full of sneakers. I have an undying unconditional love for colorful, fashion forward sneakers. I could care less (back then) what the exact function of the sneaker was, I only cared about how it looked with my workout clothes (vanity at it’s best – I admit it). WELL little did I know that wearing the proper sneakers for the various exercises I was doing would not only help my joints but also help my performance!

Here are some of my favorite sneakers!

Asics Gel Noosa 8
Now only are these sneakers FUN and FASHIONABLE but they are great for running (as long as you are properly fitted for them). I can run in them (MUST wear my compression gear) but I love them for cross training, zumba, etc. Throw on some fun work out pants with these and your Classy Fit Gal shirt and you are looking FAB as ever while working out!

Brooks
All runners LOVE Brooks! When I purchased my first pair of Brooks I was NOT into working out let alone running. My boyfriend (now husband) convinced me to get a pair and I did. Guess where they were for years – in the pile of shoes in my closet. I dug up these babies today and said OMG I have a pair of Brooks.

Fast forward, now that I love running (you have to mentally tell yourself you LOVE something in order for you to even “like it) Brooks will be my “go to” for running – especially in races. I’m not a “blue” gal so I will be getting fitted for a pink pair in the VERY NEAR future (sssh don’t tell my husband)

New Balance
These are new to my work out gear. I actually was fitted for these sneakers a week ago and I like them. They’ve been in the back of my trunk because my Asics have been “the sneaker” of choice for me BUT it’s time for me to break them in. They feel really good and light when I did the test run during my fitting and I felt like I could run a half marathon in them!

Nike AirMax
When my husband got me these sneakers, he knew I needed some running shoes BUT they didn’t quite work for me so now I wear them as a regular work out shoe when heading to the gym. They are comfy and may be a good running sneaker BUT I would suggest getting fitted for them to determine if this is the right fit for you. The sneakers make a bright fashion statement when working out – I love them!

ACCESSORIES

Headphones – Beats by Dre
I truly feel that the right accessories will set off your fitness gear. Now I knew I always wanted a bear of BEATS but I was willing to hold off on them BUT when I saw these babies, I had to have them.  Talking about keeping you focused during your work out and the sound is phenomenal. You have to be careful though because you can surely miss something if you have them on too loud. I honestly can’t hear a thing around me when I am wearing them. Not sure how safe that is during my early morning/late night runs. I would say, make sure the volume is loud enough for you to be focused but low enough so that you can be aware.

Arm Band
I found this flashy and fun armband in TJ Maxx. Again, you know how I feel about TJMaxx – my fav store by far where you can find designer on a dime.  This arm band is comfy and serves it’s purpose. My first time using it was during my first 5K and it worked perfectly. Here is a cute one at Target.

Socks
How can you not love a flashy pair of socks???? I purchase the majority of my socks from Target. The flashier the better for me! Find some funky socks here.

Polar Watch
I know you’ve seen on instagram all of these women wearing these pink watches that tells them how many calories they have burned. Well guess what – it’s the Polar FT4 watch. Now, I am not sure why other women chose this particular model BUT I will be honest to tell you that I picked this particular model because it was the only model that came in the color PINK! Terrible, I know BUT it also tells me how many calories I’ve burned during a session so I got double goodness duty on this one.  I purchased mine from Amazon, find it here.

Truly fashion and fitness go hand in hand and working out should NOT be an excuse to look amazing. True story, the ladies in the gym always comment on how fab I look when I work out – all I do is blush and say thank you! You never know who you can inspire just by looking bright, bold, classy and sassy.

I hope that this post has inspired you to look Classy, Sassy and FIERCE while you’re working out.

Trust me, you will feel better about yourself and I am 100% sure you will be more motivated to have amazing work outs!

be inspired.

overcoming a life long weight battle: meet melissa

SW: 243.6 |  CW: 198 |  GW: 170

So many women want the magic pill to that answer. We want the quick fix to bad habits that we have spent a lifetime building and reinforcing…over…and over!

“How does one overcome a lifelong weight battle?”
Food has always been my source for everything…you name the emotion…food went with it.  Over 10 years ago, I was introduced to a weight loss program that taught me how to only eat when I was hungry, stop when I was full, and determine what areas in my life I was running to food instead of running to God when it came to my problems.

I lost close to 30 lbs and of course gained it all back like all of the other times.  But the concepts I learned never left me and that is when God and I began to have ongoing conversations throughout the years regarding my weight and why was I running to food instead of running to Him?

“It would be years later that I finally reached my breaking point.”

Don’t get me wrong, throughout all of the years that followed I lost weight…plenty of it…I would lose 10 lbs…gain it back…15 lbs…gain it back…EVEN 20 lbs and GAIN…IT…BACK!!! Ugh- somebody shoot me!

I got so sick and tired of seeing the same goals on different sheets of paper, and in my journals, over and over again that went back years!!! I couldn’t take it anymore.  I knew there was a call and vision for my life that would not allow me to just be a goal setter.  I needed to be a goal achiever in order to inspire other women.

So one day I decided, I wasn’t going to give up, not matter how long it took, no matter if I messed up or not, I WAS NOT GOING TO GIVE UP!!!! I lost the “I need to get it all off in 30 days” attitude and in August 2012 after already maintaining a 15 lb loss for some months, I went for the, “How do I change my lifestyle?” and “How do I learn how to eat in a way that is sustainable?” Not a quick a fix, not a fad, but a long-term solution that would stick with me forever!

So here’s what I did and here’s what I do in hopes to help guide you on your journey.I surround myself around people that live the lifestyle that I want and I learn from them.  By watching them they taught me skills to eliminate excuses. By watching and learning from them, they have taught me the skills needed to elimiate excuses.

  1. Take my lunch to work
  2. Plan my meals for the entire week
  3. Prep my work  AND work out clothes for the week
  4. Pack my work out clothes the night before AND put them in the car
  5. Plan a workout schedule for the week – this eliminates guess work

I always have a fitness goal ahead of me! Whether its learning how to swim to do a sprint triathlon, training for a half marathon, or doing any other type of race throughout the year.

I have a wellness coach.  Not everyone needs one but I did.  After I lost about 20 – 25lbs, I wanted the accountability and needed some more help on the nutrition side

I cut out fast foods and even for a while could not eat at restaurants until I had enough self-control to order healthy items off the menu like a salad or a protein and veggie instead of my normal burgers, fries, and soda.

I gave away my scales and came up with a weigh-in system that worked for me.  After playing this game for years, it was no longer about the number, I was determined not to get discouraged if I didn’t have a loss, if I went up by 1lb or only down by 1lb.  I wanted and needed a lifestyle change not an emotionally-filled weight loss game with the scale.

I often times workout with others  and have accountability partners that know my goals and we can call/text others all the time.

I watched documentaries like forks over knives and fat, sick, and nearly dead to learn how to “eat clean”.

So as I write this over 40+ pounds lighter than when I first started this journey, I can honestly say that I have learned lifelong skills that will be with me forever.

I am at the smallest I have been in over 10+ years and it’s the longest I have kept any amount of substantial weight off.  I am still on my journey, still excited, still encouraged, and look forward to seeing your post about being in the gym or on the pavement on Classy Fit Gals.

Believe God for the impossible!

The very issues, thoughts, and emotions that cause you to eat or overeat…God is ever so patiently waiting on you to share with Him so that He can fill those voids the same way he filled mine.

Stay connected Melissa on Twitter @melissajnixon.

be inspired.