Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Transformation Tuesday- Karye's Story

This week’s Transformation Tuesday comes from Karye McLendon of Banginbods101. She is also a fellow Nutrition Snob Clothing Ambassador.
 
Karye doesn’t have the typical transformation story in that she didn't actually have weight to lose. Her story is more about going from skinny fat to healthy. There are many women out there who are already small and do not have weight to lose however just because someone is thin, does not necessarily make them healthy.


Here is Karye’s story in her own words.

"I don't have a typical story. I only went from skinny fat to fit. But I did do it all on my own. I always thought I was "healthy" but like most chicks, was doing it ALL wrong.

I am going to turn 40 this year and I’m preparing to compete in my 4th bikini competition. Trying to juggle working full time running a family business, three sons and two step sons from 16 to 4 years old, can be challenging to say the least but I am 100% dedicated to this lifestyle. In fact, I am obsessed with it."


I think Karye's story is a reminder for everyone that the goal should be healthy not skinny. Far to ofter we focus on being thin instead of being healthy.

You can reach Karye via the following:


Instagram at karye_mclendon

If you would like to be featured in a Transformation Tuesday post please contact me and I’ll be more than happy to feature you.

Until next time,

 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Healthy Food, Healthy Price

Hi fit guys and gals,

Who doesn't love a good deal? I recently came across a website for healthy food at a healthy price. Actually it even has the name Healthy Price; check it out for yourself at http://www.healthy price.ca
Healthyprice.ca is a tool for Canadians to find the best online prices on health foods in Canada.


If you are anything like me you are always searching for healthy recipes and the healthy ingredients to make them or perhaps you are simply looking for new and creative ways to make old recipes in a healthier way.

Ever find yourself searching for things like stevia, agave nectar, cocoa nibs, etc? If so this site is for you; in fact, just by reading and commenting on this blog you can win yourself a $20 well.ca gift card to use for purchasing these awesomely, healthy ingredients.

The contest requirements are easy. Simply comment on this blog post with your favorite healthy item from http://www.healthyprice.ca and I will randomly choose a winner from those who have commented.

Contest ends April 24th, 2014. Get your entry in today :)

Until next time,


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Fast Metabolism D.I.E.T--A Recap

Hey Fitness Peeps,

As promised, although a little late, here is the total recap of the Fast Metabolism D.I.E.T. Better late than never! I completed the entire 28 day program last Sunday, April 6th.

Overall, the program was easy to follow, for me at least, because most of the rules are already a part of my daily routine. i.e. drinking lots of water, eating clean, natural food and eating every 3-4 hours.
 
The biggest struggles were giving up all caffeine and even though I only have one daily coffee; I’ll admit this was tough. I also had difficulty following the exercise regimen and only lifting 2 days a week instead of my normal 5 or 6 days as well as only doing cardio 2 days a week. I didn’t have an issue with the meal plan as it was fairly straightforward; there were no counting calories although there were guidelines on portion sizes.  However if you stayed within the portions and ate every 3-4 hours it was a simple process to follow. I found I was only hungry or at least feeling like I was missing something on the phase 2 when you could only eat protein and veggies.

Did I notice a difference? The book claims to repair all the organs, hormones, glands, etc that allow our metabolism to function properly when it is failing us. I can’t say for sure if it did those things or not but I can tell you that I did notice a difference in my energy levels, my nails are healthier, I feel better overall and although I was eating more food, specifically more carbohydrates, I didn’t gain any weight and maintained where I was before I started. This alone tells me that my metabolism is functioning better. The book, however, also claims that followers of the plan can and will lose weight over a period of time. I didn’t lose any weight on the scale or any inches, although perhaps if I had continued on the plan longer than the 28 days I may have seen some, of this I am not sure. The program is a 28 day plan but the book does also say that you can continue to cycle the program if you feel it is necessary. My husband just finished his 28 days on this plan today and he lost a total of 10lbs so it does work for weight loss as well but like everything else it depends on the person, etc.

If you are looking for a strategic daily plan, if you are feeling sluggish, need a metabolism boost and can go without caffeine for a month then I suggest trying this plan. It certainly can’t hurt. You are eating more to feel better and to lose weight in some cases; the foods are natural, clean and healthy anyway so it may be worth a try. The book is written by Haylie Pomroy and is titled The Fast Metabolism D.I.E.T. DIET in this case meaning Did I Eat Today?
 
If you would like a detailed weekly recap, you can also check out Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3 for more specifics.
 
Let me know your thoughts. Have you ever done this program or anything similar?

Until next time,
 

 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Transformation Tuesday- Stephanie's Story

This week’s Transformation Tuesday come from Stephanie Wimer of Strong Figure. I’m an ambassador for this strong group and am excited and happy to share Stephanie’s Story.

 Here it is in her own words.

I grew up in the country. I didn't have a lot of neighbors and while 23 acres of land was a lot to run around on, honestly, I never did much running. A little basketball in the yard or riding circles around the house with my bike was about all the exercise I ever got as a kid.

I preferred Barbies, writing poetry, and reading The Nancy Drew Files. As I grew up, not much changed. I wrote in my journal every night. I read every Lois Duncan book in our school library. And while most kids laid by the pool all summer, I watched soap operas in my room and finished my Christopher Pike mystery collection.

No one made me exercise--ever.
No one made me eat healthy--ever.

Of course, my parents "tried" to get me to eat my vegetables but no one ever really forced me to eat anything I didn't like. I grew up in the south so most of our vegetables were actually battered, fried, and served with a side of bread. Everything was made with mayonnaise and sugar. And when it wasn't homemade, food came out of a box with a side can of Pillsbury biscuits. Sure, the corn, cucumbers, and tomatoes from the garden were probably awesome...but as a kid, I didn't care much for any but the corn...in which I slathered in butter.

I played volleyball and tennis in high school and that was it. Nothing extra--no extra weight lifting, summer skills practice, AAU teams, nothing. Just one season here and there and whatever happened, happened. I wasn't particularly good at any sport so by the time I got to college, I avoided all of them as best I could. I even avoided my health class--sitting in the last row of the class--yet I still remember more from that class than most that I took that year. Or all four years.

When I started college back in 1999, I was a small, shy, 130-pound freshman without a clue about life and the real world. I remember my health professor told us that if we didn't start working out regularly, we would indefinitely gain the "freshman 15."

"Whatever," I thought. I was walking all OVER that damn campus every day. That had to be enough right?! I never exercised a day in my life and ate pizza, chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese, pasta, chocolate milk, and orange juice regularly. I didn't have any problems.

But college food was SO MUCH BETTER than anything I ever had before. I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and as much of it as I preferred! I was a regular at the fettuccine and bread-stick bar, as well as the chicken wraps, Chick-Fil-A, and the super cool vending machine that spit out hot fries and cappuccinos. (Don't forget, I had never even had vending machine food before college. To me, this was incredible.)

I bought snack bars between meals, and on long days, I'd buy bagel sandwiches and lots of coffee--full of sugar--to keep me awake to finish my homework. I don't think I partied as much as the typical kids in my school, but I had my fair share of "too many drinks and late night pizza and/or Sheetz take-out."

By the time I graduated, my five-foot short frame weighed almost 170 pounds. Just to reiterate, that's double the freshman 15 plus 10 more.

When I was somewhere between 22-23 years old, I decided I needed to figure out how to lose weight. I first tried weight watchers, and I'll have to admit, even though I'm not a "fan" of the WW method anymore, it was this diet that got my brain spinning. I became obsessed with learning about food.
Of course I didn't do anything "right" for the first year...maybe more. I'd save all my "points" for a slice of pizza and eat nothing else the rest of the day, or I'd eat a crap ton of 100-calorie brownie bites--you know what I'm talking about--because they were just one point on the WW scale. I had gone completely low fat, high carb, minimal exercise; and while yeah, ANYTHING works to lose weight when you're coming from doing NOTHING, eventually you get stuck.

So I got stuck.

And that's when I started reading and experimenting and even going to the gym. I joined our local Gold's Gym and became a cardio fanatic--I pinned my Dan Brown books to the ellipticals and sweated out a few chapters. I even "bumped up" my training by adding in Pilates on Saturdays. Whoa! Go me!

And the more and more that I read about food, the more and more fascinated I became with it. I experimented with whole foods, vegetarian foods, soy foods, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Zone diet, eating meat substitutes, and I even tried being vegan for about four days. I couldn't take it.

I can't possibly tell you about my years between 23 and 28 because it was nothing but experiment after experiment after experiment. I yo-yo'ed my weight ALL over the place. My mystery reading turned into nutrition reading. I literally tried everything.
One day, Erik, my co-worker at the time who had listened to me talk each and every day about food and weight, just came right out and said, "Look, you're eating too many carbs, and not NEAR enough protein."

"Protein...like meat? Won't that make me fat?"

"No," he said. "You need to read labels differently. Eat only the foods that have TWICE as much protein than carbs. You'll lose weight, I promise."

DO YOU KNOW HOW FREAKIN' HARD THAT IS for someone who only knows about "low-fat processed smart choice frozen cuisine meals"?!?!

And then, do you know what he had the nerve to tell me to do next?

LIFT. MORE. WEIGHTS.

What?! Does this guy have a clue?

Only because I had plateaued for so long and nothing else was working, I let Erik have a go with this grand idea of his. He said that he needed to get back into the gym himself and that if we lifted together, maybe we'd have enough motivation to continue.

So guess who fell in love with big weights? ME!
I started focusing more and more on weights and less and less on food. Well, I take that back, my focus on food was even greater than before but this time I had a clue. High protein, low carb, moderate fat; It was working.

This guy, this plan, these weights, and this style of eating completely changed my life. I'm not exaggerating, either. I'm not the same Stephanie that people knew before. The Steph that existed before the age of 28 is nothing more than a memory. This new Steph, in my opinion rocks.

Here's what changed for me:
I became proud, confident, and stronger than I ever imagined.
I went from being the elliptical book reader to the girl that was asked to start training and teaching classes.

I found that one passion that I had looked for my entire life but had no clue where to find it or what it even was.
I became a coach, a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor, and the owner and writer of my own health and fitness website.
I get to motivate someone every single day.
I get to train with athletes that inspire me, every single day.

And as much as my life is awesome right now, don't think it was easy or even that it was fun for me to change so much about my life.

I changed so much (in my opinion for the better) that I lost several friends. Well, people I thought were friends. People I still run into occasionally, who have nothing to say to me.
I got divorced (partly) because I changed so much.
I moved away from small town I thought I would live in for the rest of my life.

When I changed my life, one of the hardest lessons to learn was that you can't change the people in it. They're either with you, or not. I had to leave a lot behind.

But what I have now is my health; Amazing friends, a job and career that I love, a website that is taking off in the fitness world. I get to be that person that others come to for advice. I get to be strong. I get to design lifting programs for my gym and my friends. I get to compete athletically, and I get to wake up every morning loving every single moment of my crazed day. My life revolves around exercise, nutrition, good health, and still--a great book.
But the best part? I've still got Erik right beside me, supporting me the whole way.

Often, I laugh when I think about it. Erik told me years ago that I needed to start lifting weights and I thought he was crazy. A few days ago, he had me correct his front squat positioning. It's amazing how much can happen, how much can change in a matter of a few years and a lot of hard work. Transformation Tuesday might be an awesome before/after picture for the world to see, but for the people who've had to experience it first hand, it's the transformation of a lifetime.

Please visit me on my website: http://strongfigure.com and if you like what you see, subscribe to our site--it's FREE!! Please "like" and follow us on our social media below and give us your #strongfigure shout outs! Post your workouts and pics and we'll share them with our readers!

You can follow Stephanie on:
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/strongfigure
Twitter http://twitter.com/strongfigure
Instagram http://instagram.com/strongfigure

If you would like to be featured in a Transformation Tuesday post please contact me and I’ll be happy to feature you.

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Transformation Tuesday- Heather's Story


This week’s Transformation Tuesday comes from Heather, a fellow Sweat Pink and Strong Figure Ambassador.
 

 

Here is her story.

My name is Heather. I am a 41 year old mom in Georgia. I love to run and cook. I am addicted to bling, finish lines, mud, tutus, cute running skirts, and knee socks. I will never be known as a fast runner, but I am a fashionable and happy one!! I am excited and honored to be a Sweat Pink and Strong Figure Ambassador. I'm half crazy and Half Fanatic #3784. I hope to inspire and encourage others in their fitness journey.

I used to be extremely overweight and sedentary. My highest known weight was over 220, but then I stopped weighing myself. I also stopped allowing myself to be photographed. I was overweight and very unhappy with myself. I had several physical conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome. I was being treated for the carpal tunnel syndrome and had to go to physical therapy. The first day of therapy, the doctor looked at me and said "How long have you been a big girl?" I completed that first day, left in tears, and joined Weight Watchers that very day. (I never went back to that therapist though). I lost 80 pounds through Weight Watchers then I hit a plateau. I kept gaining and losing the same 20 pounds. So I knew I needed a big change in my life to break through this.
 
 
On July 12, 2010, I joined a boot camp at the Cantrell Center. They made us run a mile at the beginning of every class. It was hot, humid, and very hard for me. I had always told people that I'd only run if something was chasing me, so this was completely out of my comfort zone. I could hardly run a quarter mile at first. But the coaches were awesome and encouraging. Soon I was able to run the whole mile. I was encouraged to sign up for a 5K. I signed up for the Labor Day Road Race. I was slow as a turtle trudging through peanut butter but I finished. And I was forever changed! Crossing that finish line awoke a completely new me.

Since then I have run numerous 5Ks and 10Ks, 14 half marathons, 2 marathons, and 9 mud runs/obstacle course races. I just conquered my first Spartan Sprint and I unleashed a beast!! I cannot wait to earn my Trifecta!!!

I am currently training for my first ultra-marathon. Yup, you read that right. On June 21, 2014 I will be rocking 50K at the Bad Marsh Night Ultra.

I keep in shape by running, working out at my favorite place The Compound, and by eating paleo.


Join Heather as she chronicles her adventures in running and in the kitchen at http://www.shortyruns.blogspot.ca

If you would like to be featured in a Transformation Tuesday post please contact me.

Until next time,