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365 Days of Fitness…Starting Now!

Today is my first day of 365 days of fitness.  This personal challenge was inspired by one of my favorite natural hair and fitness bloggers, Shelli of Hairscapades.  The main premise of my challenge is to incorporate a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity into each day, with no exceptions.  This physical activity can be broken up throughout the day.  On work days, I’m sure that this will be the best way to ensure I don’t fail to get it in.

This morning, I danced to two of YouTuber Keaira LaShae’s dance cardio videos – one was a 20-minute hip-hop/twerking video, and the other was a 5-minute 90’s dance video.  To reach my 30-minute goal, I danced to Beyoncé’s Flawless video.  I truly worked up a sweat!  During the first dance cardio video, I realized that I have gotten completely out of shape since relocating back to my hometown, 7 months ago.  I’ve never really needed to use the “modified” version of a workout video…until now.  It was disappointing that my body wasn’t in sync with the excitement going on in my mind.  Growing up, dance was my life!  I danced all throughout school, and now I enjoy dancing along to videos.

As far as my eating habits go, I avoided my morning coffee today, which was hard to do, yet not so hard, after all.  The hard part was only in my mind.  I typically drink one to two cups of coffee each morning, brewed with a teaspoon of cinnamon sprinkled on top, with evaporated milk and approximately three spoons of sugar mixed into each cup (yep, you read it right).  I have sugar substitute packets, but the coffee just doesn’t taste the same that way, in my opinion (obviously).  For breakfast, I drank flavored water and ate some chicken.  For lunch, I ate more chicken and some baby carrots dipped in beans and low-fat ranch dressing.  I ate some fresh pineapple for an afternoon snack.  For dinner, I am going to eat some turkey sausage and mixed veggies.

Overall, the first day is pretty much the worst day for me, since I basically ate without restriction, yesterday.  No withdrawal symptoms, just slightly hungry and “craving” some of the usual suspects.  For me, my cravings consist of whatever is on hand.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to get something bad to eat; I would simply indulge in what is available.  Since I am living with family at the moment, there are salty and sweet treats within an arm’s reach, all the time!!  This new eating plan of mine will require some major willpower, if I am going to stay on track.

With God’s assistance, anything and everything is possible.

Watch me work!!



Update ~ Project Drop 50

Last month, I mentioned that I was embarking on a journey to lose at least 50 pounds.  I was 60 pounds away from being at the appropriate BMI level, but losing 50 pounds would put me in my comfort zone.  I ultimately didn’t kickstart my new plan until the week before Christmas.  Fast forward to today, and as of Tuesday, the 23rd, I have lost 11 pounds!  I’m so thankful to see progress and the fruits of my labor.

So here’s what I’ve been doing, thus far:


  • Breakfast ~ Frozen fruit and leafy green vegetable (spinach or kale) smoothie every weekday and eggs and turkey bacon on weekends
    • This past week, I have added cottage cheese, for added protein and creaminess, flaxseed for Omega-3’s, and apple cider vinegar to aid digestion
  • Lunch ~ Either boiled eggs and vegetables, straight vegetables with low-fat dressing, or vegetables with a protein (turkey bacon, ground chicken, or baked fish)
  • Dinner ~ Vegetables and ground chicken, turkey bacon, or baked fish
  • Snacks ~ A boiled egg, here and there, but no more than 3 boiled eggs per day (I love mine whole – no discarding yolks for me!).  Also, I have found a “clean” oatmeal cookie recipe that consists of only oats (I use whole grain) and 1 banana.  Believe it or not, it is a really tasty treat!

Sounds boring, I know, but it has worked for me.  I am figuring out ways to add variety and additional flavor to what I eat.  I’m learning about spices that I never used before, and I haven’t felt deprived, at all.


  • 4-5x week ~ about 1 hour of cardio via YouTube dance, Zumba, and Plyometrics videos.  I have several playlists of videos at my disposal, so I can tailor my workout to the specific amount of time that I have to work out.  I try to work out for a little while, first thing in the morning, and then again in the evening.  When I oversleep, I aim to work out longer in the evening to make up for it.
  • 5x week ~ 20-25 minutes of Pilates or traditional ab exercises via YouTube fitness videos

Within the next week, I am going to purchase some hand weights (to replace the sets that I lost recently) and some ankle weights.  Then, I plan to incorporate more strength training to my workouts.

How are you making better choices regarding your diet or fitness level this year?  Do you have a plan for success?


Project Drop 50

I’m currently dealing with several health issues that have nothing to do with my weight, but I am certain that the extra weight that I’m packing isn’t of much help to me!  My youngest is 7 months old now, and I’m around 60 pounds from being at what a doctor would consider a healthy weight.  Fifty pounds lighter is my happy place – it is where I feel most like myself.  I have made the smart, yet unpleasant decision to wean my little one, due to the meds that I need to take.  Ironically, over the past couple of weeks since I weaned him, my precious baby has gradually began sleeping through the night.  Go figure!  I miss the closeness of nursing, but I make up for it with lots of snuggle time and what I affectionately call “Tickle Monster” moments.

So, here’s my plan.

To kick-start my weight loss, I like to do a cleanse or adopt a liquid diet for a minimum of two weeks.  This always helps to rid my system of the crap that I have consumed up until this point, like processed food and sweets.  Their yummy goodness is great going down, but my body pays for them.  This time around, I will combine the two.  I’ll begin with a 4-day cleanse via some kind of herbal concoction that I have seen in the health section of my local grocery store.  I’ll drink lots of water with lemon during this time.  This cleanse is less about weight loss and more about getting my body away from old habits and more prepared for eating right.  It is more about willpower and less about deprivation.  I’ve got to get my mind right, people!

The juicing phase will start on day 5, and it will consist of using my handy-dandy blender and creating yummy smoothies for breakfast and delish soups and juices for the rest of the day.  I found great success with this last year, prior to my last pregnancy.  I was originally fearful of the lack of chewing involved (I’m such a snacker), but it was a nice departure from the norm.  My smoothies consisted of fresh fruit (such as berries or mango), either kale or spinach leaves, and ice.  Simply delectable.  My favorite soup was a mix of frozen peas, fresh avocado, and water.  I will juice for a minimum of 10 days.  I am actually looking forward to it!

As far as fitness goes, I have started using YouTube as my go-to resource for working out.  There are so many videos related to Zumba and all things cardio.  I have created a playlist of several Zumba videos to really uptempo, mainstream songs.  The total playlist, including the cooldown, totals 45 minutes.  I am literally sweating bullets by the time it is over.  My Black Friday gift to myself was a Harley Pasternak* Wii “game” which consists of a 10-week fitness program.  I will start following Harley’s workout in the morning and go through my Zumba playlist in the evening.  In the past, the only way for me to see true progress entailed twice-a-day workouts.  Back then, I was a single mom of one, and it was pretty easy to go to the gym before work and take my daughter with me to the gym in the evening.  Now, working out from home is the best option.

My goal is to reach 50 pounds of weight loss in 6 months.  I will start the cleanse on December 15th.  The juice portion of my plan will start on the 19th.  I will check in weekly and provide my stats.  The final weigh-in will occur on June 15.  At the rate that I’m used to losing weight (when I’m diligent about it), I should actually reach my goal in 4 months, but I would like to allow time for any deviations and falling off the wagon.  I don’t plan on missing the mark or cheating, but I would like to be realistic.

*Note:  For those who don’t know, Harley Pasternak is a celebrity trainer who has worked with Halle Berry, Natalie Portman, and many others.