Tag: weight loss

#bern200 – The Marathon Continues…

marathon

It has been 699,840 minutes, or 11,664 hours, or 486 days, or 69 weeks (rounded down), or 1 year 3 months 29 days since I decided to take control of my life and health. When I started I wanted to go from 380 pounds to 250 pounds in a year, but once I saw how quickly I was losing weight, I decided to set the bar at 180 pounds in a year. I still haven’t hit that goal, but I’ve passed a number of unimaginable milestones since last March 10th. Each one motivates me to work even harder. This fitness journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and the more I progress the more goals I see for myself.

Around the year 2010 I was at my heaviest, weighing in at over 400 pounds. I had so many health problems that I disguised as normal everyday occurrences, keeping denial as the roadblock to my life of fitness. There wasn’t one specific incident that made me want to change my life; a collection of situations, embarrassments, and disappointments over the course of 4 years lead to me deciding enough was enough. After numerous failed attempts at losing weight I made it my mission to work out and eat right EVERY DAY with no days off.

Three months in, I lost 68 pounds and was overjoyed with happiness. Not a single day or meal cheating, and an hour of cardio each day made this transformation possible. Afraid of the “inevitable” plateu, I started introducing a few carbs back into my diet each Saturday morning. I didn’t want to entirely fall off of the wagon, so I ate two biscuits just to balance things out. Staying consistent helped me progress.

By the time October 2013 rolled around, six months into my diet, I lost 130 pounds and hit my first goal of 250 pounds. However, this month I moved to El Paso from Los Angeles. With new surroundings, it was hard to keep up my routine. Also, being around new people meant lots of eating out and socializing, which slowed progress of my diet.

Holidays came and went, and while I continued to work out consistently (though not every day), the food I was eating wasn’t the best for weight loss. In addition to my lack of eating discipline, I started lifting weights as well. From October 2013 to May 2014 I only lost an additional 25 pounds.

Discouraged, I decided to give my body a restart and get back to the strict routine I had at the beginning of my journey. In June 2014 I participated in the Whole30 diet, which is famous for detoxifying/resetting the body, but fell short in staying consistent after 17 days. Though I didn’t complete the whole 30 days, the results of my efforts were incredible, as I was less bloated and had more energy. I was ready to get back on track.

That brings us to July, where I’m back to lifting and cardio 7 days a week, and a structured strict eating plan which includes an 80/20 Paleo plan with a protein shake for lunch. No junk food, fast food, fried food, alcohol, or anything else that will slow me down. I hope to be below 200 pounds by my 30th birthday in October.

Since starting last March, I’ve accomplished things I have NEVER dreamed of, even when I was younger and in my then peak physical form. I ran a mile in 9 minutes, I can do more than 1 situp lol, and I can bench press more than I ever have. My waist is smaller than it was when I graduated from high school (when I was 190 pounds) and I feel GREAT.

The moral of this story? Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency is still the only way to conquer your tasks, and although you might fall off every now and then, you can always get back on. But STAY THERE; don’t let your slip-ups undo all of the hard work you’ve done. Take 4 weeks to get yourself in a routine, STICK WITH IT, and don’t cheat. You’ll see how easy it gets, over time.

I’ll end this with one of my favorite quotes.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

MOTIVATION MONDAYS: [VIDEO] ‘Beat Average’ Commercial by GNC

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Very rarely will I see something on television that will inspire me. With 99% of the content on cable being mindless entertainment or “educational” programming stuffed with advertisements, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been motivated by something on my tv. This commercial by GNC is one of those things. First aired during the NFL Draft, the “Beat Average” commercial is 60 seconds of real life statements made by folks that duck and dodge their destiny by making excuses. Our society has become accustomed to rationalizing their shortcomings and accepting mediocrity, but this commercial challenges us to be better than the norm. Check it out, and hit the gym later.

 

MOTIVATION MONDAYS: ‘The Weight Is Over’ Video Talking About Losing 150 Pounds In 12 Months

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What a difference a year makes. On this day exactly one year ago I decided to commit myself to a better lifestyle and put in the work daily to regain my health and control of my life. There have been numerous obstacles over the past 12 months, but I am happy to say that I’ve lost 150 pounds (so far). Check out the video below as I talk about my struggles and progress, and I also say goodbye to my beard.

[MUSIC] @AntoineEdmonson – ‘#PUTINWORK’ (Prod By Geoh for Chef Music)

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In the past year, as I’ve been sharing my weight loss journey with friends and strangers alike, I’ve received a lot of feedback about people being inspired by my progress. However, a good friend of mine was so inspired that he decided to make a song about it. Antoine Edmonson recorded “#PUTINWORK” to tell the story of hard work and the benefits that come along with it. This song will be the feature track from my upcoming mixtape “By Any Dreams Necessary.” Check it out below, and read what he had to say after.

The phenomenon that is Instagram has done two things: 1. Helped a lot of people become famous for their outer appearance and 2. Helped a lot of people work hard to change their outer appearance because of the people who have become famous as a result of their outer appearance.

I am one of those people who is changing their outer appearance. I have two friends, one is a youth pastor at my church, the other is a DJ. Both of them have lost close to 200lbs. They both have accomplished this feat independent of organized health plans.

This morning I weighed in at 182.6lbs. My goal is to be around the 165-170lb mark. I barely have to lose a fraction of what they have lost. They inspire me to not be lazy and fight for my fitness goals like I fight for everything else.

I wrote this song to inspire anyone else who needs a reminder to go hard everyday. Whether it’s the gym, music, sports, or building a family, we won’t see results until we #PUTINWORK.

I hope you live before you die,

Antoine J. Edmonson

#bern200 – MOTIVATION MONDAYS: I DID IT!

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It’s been 48 weeks since I started my #bern200 journey. When I started I was determined to reach goals and break barriers my 400+ pound body would never accomplish. Over the past 11 months I’ve lost 150+ pounds and I feel like a new person! One thing that was always hard for me was standing up. I couldn’t stand on my feet for more than 5 minutes without breaking out in a sweat and experiencing back pain. Obviously any physical activity like jogging or running was just a pipe dream. However this Sunday I did the unthinkable; I ran a continuous mile in 8 minutes and 22 seconds, once again proving that setting a goal and working towards it every day makes the impossible a reality.
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#bern200 – Good Eats: Pizza Spaghetti Squash Bake by @koreangold

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After the holiday madness of parties, dinners, get togethers, and epic cheat meals, I found myself missing the familiarity of my somewhat healthy kitchen creations. This weekend I had the pleasure of entertaining for some good friends and decided to introduce them to spaghetti squash. In my eagerness, I made WAY too much squash. As I opened my fridge and looked at the mountain of spaghetti squash, I was inspired to utilize what was already in my fridge and pantry to make something delish. I came up with this pizza squash combo and it tastes great!
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#bern200 – Six Tips To Help You Reach Your Goals

goals

 

They say a goal without a timeline is just a dream. It has become more popular to talk about the things you want to achieve than to actually put plans into motion. However, talking doesn’t get you anywhere in life and plans turn into regrets of missed opportunities and wasted time. I’ve put together six tips that will help you achieve your goals and taste the success you desire.
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#bern200 – 2014: New Year, New Me? Why Not…

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2014 is now here. For most people, the beginning of a new year is the time to set goals and renew life. We sometimes get so lost in everyday activities that during the holidays we reflect on life and find that throughout the year we have just been “going through the motions.” 365 days of 9-to-5 work without accomplishing many of our real goals and aspirations. Every year I told myself that I would lose weight, save money, settle down, and other ideas that I never fully intended on executing. However, with the accomplishments I’ve made in this past year with my new mindset, I am confident that any goals I set for 2014 will be reached. As cliche as it is to set goals for the new year, if a new calendar is the motivation you need to get your life right, then use that to your advantage and get it together. It may be hard, but if you focus on changing a few daily habits you can find yourself celebrating in December 2014, rather than reflecting and feeling disappointed.
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#bern200 – Moving The Weight: Raina Has Lost 61.5 Pounds So Far On Her Journey

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It took me a long time to get the strength and courage to make the changes essential to live a healthier life. I consider myself very fortunate to personally know a handful of people that decided to take control of their health. ‘Moving The Weight’ is a series that will feature success stories from friends that have motivated me on my weight loss journey.

Name: Raina Wolford
Age: 29
Height: 5’8″
Before Weight: on August 15,2013 I weighed 292 lbs
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How I gained it: I’ve been overweight my entire life, from early childhood up until now. I’ve essentially never known myself outside of being overweight.
Breaking Point: I started noticing health complications this year, and my moods were very erratic so I went to the Doctor on August 15, was told my blood sugar was 226 and that I was diabetic. Although I should not have felt shocked because diabetes runs in my family and I was significantly overweight, I was. I vowed that day after picking up my newly prescribed diabetes medication that I would not let MYSELF be my downfall anymore, I would step out of my comfort zone (which in a weird way, was my weight and food) and create a quality life for myself.
How I lost it: When I used to think about if I ever decided to really do something about my weight I always told myself I wanted to do it naturally, no gimmicks or energy pills or diet pills. I knew that by doing it naturally and through my own hard work and determination I would be able to take FULL credit for my transformation. That’s exactly what I did and continue to do. For the first 2 months I was extremely strict on what I consumed. Staying away from rice, white bread, pork, and red meats. I also stopped drinking alcohol, wine, and soda. I only drink water and coffee. I made my meals smaller portions but more frequently and I did 1 1/2 to 2 hours of cardio a day. Within 6 weeks I dropped 30 pounds and felt amazing. I began to ease up on myself after 2 months and incorporated wild and brown rice as an occasional add on in my meals, still refraining from white bread, white rice, and alcohols or sodas. For some strange reason I began craving peanut butter lol so I would request myself once a week or every other week by spreading some on a gluten free waffle and topping it with bananas and sugar free syrup. YUM! 🙂 My usual go to for breakfast is egg whites with plenty of veggies, like mushrooms, onions spinach etc, and turkey sausage. I also eat steel cut stove top oatmeal several times a week, with sliced bananas for added flavor and texture. My most important meal in my opinion is what I put into my body at the very beginning of the day. It sets the tone for the rest of my day. Now when it comes to working out, after the first 2 months I decreased the lengths of my cardio, but not frequency. I still go twice a day 4-5 times a week, but for a total of 1-1 1/2 hrs. I also started weights. I’m a firm believer that I have no goal. This is a lifestyle change for me, I have no desire to kill myself in the gym and over work my body so that I can go back to eating bad and not working out once I get to a goal. I feel like that’s setting yourself up for failure in the end. I leave the gym feeling happy, strong, and refreshed! Of course there are days when I don’t want to go but I always talk myself into it because I KNOW once I hit those machines I’m all in and motivated once again. I have back problems, diagnosed with mild scoliosis when I was in my early 20s, also knee problems but I have noticed my knees are getting stronger and my back hurts much less now. I am hoping to begin jogging and running in the near future! Progress is everything!
Current weight: As of 11/27/2013 I weigh 230.5 lbs
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GOAL: as I said before I really don’t have a specific goal. My goal is to not have to take diabetes medication for the rest of my life and to FEEL great in my body, which I get closer to daily!
The hardest part about losing weight is: the physical part of losing weight (exercising and eating healthy) isn’t really the struggle for me… The hardest part is fear of being a new me. Let me explain. Although there were definitely times throughout my life that I certainly was not happy with my looks or my weight, those pounds comforted me. That food gave me instant gratification, comfort and temporary satisfaction. Losing weight has changed me physically but MOSTLY, mentally. I feel as if detoxing my body has detoxified my mind. These are ALL positive changes but when someone feels uncomfortable or stressed, it’s a natural human reaction to want to retreat back into their comfort zone and for me that is fat and food! In the past I dealt with stress, unhappiness, and fear of change by going for what was comfortable and familiar. Now I have been conditioning myself to change those comforts and make a new safe haven for myself. Going to the gym is much more to me than cardio time. I am now comforted by my heart beating fast, my arms and legs rushing back and forth and my rhythmic breathing. If I’m struggling mentally with something entering the gym, you can bet that upon exiting the gym my mind is much clearer. I’m saying all this to say, the hardest part for me losing weight is continuing to make this new me, my comfort zone. Every day I feel more confident and stronger, so I am well on my way.
My advice to those trying to lose weight: DO NOT BURN YOURSELF OUT! Work hard, but make it fun, don’t make it feel like “work”. Take plenty of progress pictures, it will keep you motivated! Don’t obsess over your scale weight! As you work out and tone up you will gain muscles, which weighs more than fat, also your weight will distribute more proportionally so scale weight is only a PART of your result! Give yourself plenty of variety when it comes to eating so that you continue to make healthier choices. If I know I’m going to spend several hours away from home I pack food to go! Most importantly, look at it as a lifestyle change, not a quick fix! Good luck and let’s do work!

#bern200 – Good Eats: The 10 Minute Chicken Thighs / Spring Mix Lunch

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Most people use time / cost / convenience as reasons to why they eat fast food. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming, or bad tasting. I’m very lazy in the kitchen but I still enjoy healthy and tasty meals on the daily. I posted a picture of my lunch of Chicken Thighs and Spring Mix salad on Instagram and someone asked me for the recipe, so I decided to share it with you. This meal isn’t very intricate at all, but it is simple, quick, and something you will enjoy.

Ingredients:

chicken
Two Servings (2) Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
(Serving Size: 4 oz., Calories: 150, Fat: 8g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 20g)

salad
1/2 Serving ReadyPac Organic Spring Mix
(Serving Size: 4 1/2 Cups., Calories: 15, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 3g, Protein: 2g)

dressing
1 Serving Girard’s Light Champagne Dressing
(Serving Size: 2 tbs., Calories: 60, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 2g, Protein: 0g)

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Season To Taste: Mr’s Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend
(Serving Size: 1/4 tsp., Calories: 0, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 0g)

Season chicken with the Mrs Dash. Cook on stove top over medium heat in non-stick covered pan for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a Happy Call Double Sided Non-Stick Pan, then you should invest in one. While the chicken is cooking, put the Spring Mix in a plastic bowl and mix with the dressing. Be sure to flip the chicken one time during cooking. That’s pretty much in.

The finished product:
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This meal totals 290 calories and costs about $2.50 per serving. This is much more convenient than fast food, and is surely more healthy than the burger / fry combo that you’re used to. Trust me, if I can take the time to make this, ANYONE can. Try it out and let me know what you think!