Making The Complicated Simple

Rose CampionNew look, new site, new blog, new life. I moved and come join me at my new site

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When someone sees my transformation, the first thing I get asked is “how did you get your stomach to go down?” or “what kind of exercise do you suggest to get my stomach down?” The answer is that there is no secret or no amount of exercise that will give you flat abs until you learn to control what you put in your mouth.

It is really a simple process but I am amazed at how most of us have to complicate things in the pursuit of flat abs. What we need to understand is that you cannot have a slim waistline, flat abs, and nicely toned body doing hours of cardio or double triple sessions of exercise alone. The secret to a flat abs along with a well toned body starts in your kitchen.

I see people at the gym do some insane things day in and day out yet, after a couple of months the belly is still around. Guys have big biceps, skinny legs (I had to throw that one in there) and a belly. Ladies spend hours switching from one cardio equipment to the other, spending hard earned money to work with a personal trainer, and yes the belly is still around after months. Albert Einstein calls this “Insanity” “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results.” If you’ve been working out for months and your waistline hasn’t changed, it is a clear indication that your nutrition SUCKS. Yes someone had to tell you. I’ll be the bad guy and say it. Call this tough love because before this challenge ends I want to drill in your mind that “YOU CANNOT OUTRUN A BAD DIET”.

So What is the secret to flat abs?

  • Stop the insanity and quit doing mad cardio or lifting when you know you eat pretty much anything. In some cases eating healthy food and loading it with butter, high fat creamy dressing, pigging out on cakes, ice cream, fries, burgers on a day to have 2 CLEANSING days afterwards, is not going to get you a flat tummy either.
  • Instead of spending a lot of time doing cardio ladies, spend most of that time planning your meals.
  • Once you have your mouth under control, know that it only takes 15 minutes or ab workout to sculpt tight abs.
  • BE CONSISTENT:  it is so easy to add 5 pounds in 1 week, but it takes time to lose 5 pounds and burn fat in the process.  Be consistent with eating healthy natural food with quality workout and you will get flat abs.

So as long as the fat is seating over those muscles, I am sorry to say that you will not see a six pack, not even a 1 pack.   You just cannot keep eating crappy, butter loaded, high sugar, processed low fat or sugar free junk,  and expect to work it off at the gym and get flat abs. Work smart and not hard.

Until next time, spread the love…

Bathroom Scale2 more days and the healthMC challenge will be over.  Yes it’s been almost 21 days.  I hope you took full advantage of those days and made some progress.

Today’s post is  about a sensitive subject especially for women “THE SCALE”.

I remember when I started my healthy lifestyle journey, I had my mind set on a number.  Back then the number was 160 pounds.  Once I reached that number I started to train to compete and my nightmare with the scale begun.  The magic number for me was 125 pounds on stage.  It was a nightmare because no matter what progressed I made, no matter how my body changed, I wasn’t satisfied with the number on the scale.  If it didn’t read 125 pounds I wasn’t a happy.  It got more frustrating as I tried harder to reach the number and I couldn’t go past 130 pounds.

Something was not right with that picture. So I asked myself “Is my new lifestyle completely dependent on a scale? Am I going to work myself out to death until I reach THE NUMBER?”  I grew tired of being frustrated with the scale and stopped stepping on it altogether.  What was happening is that every time I stepped on it, even if it was once a week or once every 2 weeks, I stepped down disappointed and wanting to work harder next time.  I was taking notes of my measurements but the number on the scale was more important.  One day flipping the pages of my workout journal I noticed a BIG difference on the measurements for 2 months with a ZERO difference in weights.  Call it Aha! moment, but for me it was the end of my nightmare and the beginning of a balanced, healthy and positive journey.

How well you are doing is not about the scale ONLY.  The scale can be going down and you nutrition sucks with high body fat.  Look at the big picture and consider those questions next time you get frustrated at the numbers on the scale

  • Is there a change in my waist size?
  • Are my clothes fitting differently?
  • If you just had a complete physical and went back for another one, are the numbers different this time?
  • Did you go from taking high cholesterol medications to not having to take them anymore?
  • Can you go up a couple of flight of stairs without feeling like your heart is coming out of your chest?
  • Can you run 5 miles instead of 1 mile now?
  • Did you go down 1 dress size?
  • Can you fit in your skinny jeans again?

In your journey to a healthy lifestyle, always focus on the big picture and DO NOT, ABSOLUTELY, NOT  make this about the scale. Otherwise, you never enjoy the ride and you allow a piece of metal to control your life.

Until next time, Spread the love…

DumbbellYou don’t need a gym membership or an expensive piece of equipment at home to get a good cardio workout. With just a few items that costs less than $10 – some of them free- you can have a good workout in the morning before you step out of the house. Sometimes I know the night before that my day is going to be super busy and I’ll only have about 20 minutes to do some cardio. To get my workout in for the day and get my metabolism going, I have some 20 minutes routines that I do at home using

Gymboss is one of my favorite tools because it helps me time myself without giving in to distractions. It also help me challenge myself because every time I do a routine, I write down how many reps of an exercise I perform,. I use that information to try to beat my PR (personal record) the next time I do the same routine. That’s just another way your workout journal becomes very handy, helping you keep track of your PR.

20 Minutes Interval

Use your jump rope to warm up for 5 minutes. Set 4 intervals of 5 minutes on your Gymboss (4 minutes plus 1 minute rest each). For each circuit, repeat every exercise back to back for 4 minutes and then rest 1 minute. Repeat each circuit twice

Circuit 1

  • 20 Jumping jacks
  • 20 high knees (10 each leg). If you can’t jump, make a fist and bring your knees up touching your fists as fast as you can. Your knees go towards your fist and you don’t lean towards your knees.
  • Stationary lunges (15 each leg)
  • 20 body squat
  • Rest 1 minute

Circuit 2

  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 10 push-ups (do girl push-ups if you cannot do perfect ones yet)
  • 15 burpees
  • 20 bicycle crunch
  • rest 1 minute

When your Gymboss timer ends voila! your cardio is done at home and you are ready go about your day.

Your Assignment is to try this routine and let me know your PR.

Until next time, spread the love…

Meditation at the Lake - B2So far the focus has been on nutrition, identifying trigger foods and making sure you keep a record of your progress with a journal.  This is all physical and there is another aspect to consider in a healthy lifestyle, your mental health.    It doesn’t matter how much exercise you do, how clean you are eating, if what you feed your mind is negative your outer result will be negative as well. You know, garbage in garbage out.  It is actually more important to feed your mind the positive thoughts and the serenity that it needs to propel your body to the same level.

This is where praying,  yoga, meditation, a time out for YOU helps.  We get so busy we our daily routine, work, life and everything else that most of us don’t even take 15 minutes out of the day to just breathe and meditate.  Get in the habit of starting having your first thoughts and last ones before you go to sleep positive ones.  The best way to do that is to practice feeding your mind powerful thoughts that comes only with practice.  Your physical muscle is not the only part of your body that needs training, your spiritual muscle needs training as well.

You train your spiritual muscle by reading powerful and uplifting books, praying and meditating on the Bible, and taking the time to just stand still in silence.

Your assignment today is to make sure you set aside at least 30 minutes every day in total silence.  For moms I know it can be a little challenging.  In this case use the bathroom if you have to or a walk in closet.  Use this time to refresh and recharge everyday.  Before going to bed read 10 pages on something motivating, make your last thoughts for the day positive ones.  When you wake up tomorrow instead of laying in bed going down the list of things you have to do for the day in your mind, start by thinking carefully about 5 things you are grateful for then you go about your day.

Until tomorrow, Spread the love…

Day 26: blind to the calendar?It’s already day 15 into the healthMC challenge. I hope looking back you have a sense of accomplishment, you feel that you are on the right track and you are gearing up to do even better the remaining days. This weekend, take some time to review the information from starting Day 0 and if you were not on board, this is your time to catch up and get on board.

2 Weeks In Review

  1. Day 0: Preparation. A day to prepare yourself, ask yourself WHY you wanted to live a healthy lifestyle, what you hoped to accomplish during the challenge. You also had to decide who you have to become to put your goals into action.
  2. Day 1: The challenge, The cycle, The Plan. We’ve looked into the challenge of food preparation. The bad habits that cause us to add on weight and the changes we needed to implement to start the journey to a healthy lifestyle ready.
  3. Day 2: I dream of My Ideal Physique.Starting in a place of gratitude where you praise your accomplishments to open your sense of creativity and your burning desire to aim higher.
  4. Day 3: Age is Just a Number. Paula J. Hannah shared her incredible journey and she looks amazing at 48 years old.
  5. Day 4: Spring Cleaning.Time to clean your pantry and sabotage proof your environment by keeping only healthy options around you and your family.
  6. Day 5: A Busy Mom’s Success Story. If Paula wasn’t convincing enough, Ty’s story proves again that you are the only one who can limit yourself.
  7. Day 6: How to Build a Strong Fitness Support Team .No man is an island and you need support to help you reach your destination.
  8. Day 7: 8 Snacks Under 100 Calories. Snacks don’t have to be sugary, loaded with empty calories or costing you a lot of money.
  9. Day 8: Cutting Calories from your Meals. Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean you are not eating what you love. Choose to adapt your favorite recipes by substituting some ingredients with their light version.
  10. Day 9: Beating Sugar Addiction Part 1 Part 1 of a 3 part series addressing an issue that we all deal with and call it something else. Our sugar consumption is ridiculous.
  11. Day 10: Beating Sugar Addiction Part 2 The series continues about sugar and stress.
  12. Day 11: Beating Sugar Addiction Part 3 The last part of the series addressing Sugar and PMS
  13. Day 12: 25 Quotes From Athletes That Will Inspire You. Nothing like the words of a favorite athlete to inspire you to press forward.
  14. Day 13: Useful Workout Journal Tips. Using a workout and meal journal can be a very useful asset. You get to see your progress and create your own recipe book.
  15. Day 14, 15, 16:      2 Weeks Review Weekend.

Until Next time, Spread the Love…

fitbook-workout-logMy favorite thing about living a healthy lifestyle is keeping a food and workout journal.  Not only I keep track of my meals and workouts, but I also write notes about my food and my feelings for the day.  If I was on track with my nutrition, I  highlight that day as a perfect day.

5 Reasons To Keep a Daily Meal and Workout Journal

  1. Being able to see your progress even when the scale is not moving. We all heard it “ditch the scale” because it is not an accurate reflection of your progress.  Body measurements are more accurate.  The other more accurate sign of how well you are doing is notes in your journal.
  2. It can be used as a quick recipe book for busy days. When you highlights the good days and make a note of it, if you have a busy day you can refer to one of those good days to prepare your meals quickly.
  3. It  helps you find trigger food and/or situations. Writing down how you feel on a particular day and what you ate as  a result (if you fail off the wagon) helps you find trigger food and helps you find a solution.
  4. Your Journal can be a source of inspiration. You regain confidence when you look at your measurements on start date and your measurements 6 or 12 weeks later.  It gives you a sense of accomplishment and inspires you to make new goals.
  5. Your journal let’s you know when to change your routine. A quick review of your journal will tell you that it is time to add more intensity to your workout and try a new routine and focus on different muscle groups.

To give you an idea of one of my perfect meal days, here’s a full day out of my journal


8 oz green tea
1/2 cup oatmeal dry cooked with 8 oz of water and cinnamon
1 scoop of protein
2 tbsp flaxseed meal

Snack 1

6 oz Friendship 1% cottage cheese
1 banana


4 oz Chicken Breast
1 cup spinach
1/2 baked sweet potato

Snack 2

1 apple
6 oz Greek yogurt


4 oz Tilapia
1/2 cup cooked whole wheat pasta
1 cup mixed vegetables

Late Snack

1 scoop protein
8 oz peppermint tea



2010 Boston MarathonDo you have a favorite sports team? A favorite Athlete? One of my favorite athletes is Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan was my inspiration to join the basket ball team in high school. Every year during playoff season, when the Chicago Bulls were playing, I couldn’t wait to see how Michael Jordan was going to save the day. He had this incredible talent to score perfectly when you thought all hope was gone, that the team was losing. I admire Michael Jordan because it takes incredible focus and discipline to be so consistent.

Year after year there is an athlete that emerges with incredible performance to prove to us that we only set limits for ourselves. Sometimes we take these athletes and put them in a separate category, thinking they must have had every opportunity lined up to make it so far. But when we watch movies or read biographies on how they became so good at what they do, we realize that they are people like us who faced challenges, difficulties and some even had less opportunities than us today. Those movies and books leave us inspired and always propel us to give or best. At times when I don’t feel like I am making any progress or just feel like not giving my best I read about an amazing athlete or watch a documentary to listen to motivating quotes from those icons. I always come out humbled because most of the times I realize that I have more resources and can accomplish more. I also regain strength to continue in the pursuit of my goals.

In today’s post I gathered amazing quotes from great athletes that will motivate you, and encourage you to continue to push yourself in your journey.

  1. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” ~ Muhammad Ali
  2. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” ~ Muhammad Ali
  3. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~ Michael Jordan
  4. “If you are going to be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price.” ~ Bud Wilkinson
  5. 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.” ~ Lance Armstrong
  6. “Winning is about heart, not just legs. It’s got to be in the right place.” ~Lance Armstrong
  7. “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” ~ Herschell Walker
  8. “It’s all about the journey, not the outcome.” ~ Carl Lewis
  9. “I Can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ~Michael Jordan
  10. “A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”~Vince Lombardi
  11. “If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” ~ Carl Lewis
  12. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” ~ Muhammad Ali
  13. “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.” ~ Muhammad Ali
  14. “The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret” ~ Sarah Bombell
  15. “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.”~ Jerry West
  16. “The man who has no imagination has no wings.” ~ Muhammad Ali
  17. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” ~John Wooden
  18. “Hard work is the only way to go. Strive to be the best you can be and remember that when you try your best, you can’t ask any more from yourself, and people can’t ask any more from you.”~Michael Chang
  19. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” ~ Vince Lombardi
  20. “The something inside me that always fought to win, that never gave into the pain and that accepted no less than 110 percent has never been gone … because that something was simply me.” ~ Julie Krone
  21. “Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like muscles of the body.”~ Lynn Jennings
  22. “Natural talent only determines the limits of your athletic potential. It’s dedication and a willingness to discipline your life that makes you great.”~Billie Jean King
  23. “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”~ Muhammad Ali
  24. “Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do… but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.” ~ Venus Williams
  25. “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”~ John Wooden

Glazed DoughnutsThis is the last part of Beating Sugar Addiction series and I really hope the information provided helped you identified trigger food and create an action plan to kick the habit for good. Part 1 of the series covered addiction to energy drinks, coffee, or anything to keep us going. Part 2 was more about reacting to stressful situation by reaching for sweets. Today Part 3 will cover sugar cravings caused by PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and menopause.

What does sugar addiction look like at that time of the month? (part 3)

  • you are irritable and anxious
  • you feel depressed and unhappy
  • you are bloated and easily weigh up to 10 lbs more
  • your breast are extremely sensitive

for menopause

  • you are tired
  • you experience insomnia
  • you have bad headache, hot flashes and bad cravings

Those are just a few and I am sure there are more symptoms.

Solution (Part 3)

Women experience these wacky hormones situations that cause sugar cravings, binging of high carb foods; a complete mess if you were doing well on your nutrition plan.  There are some steps to take to curb the sugar cravings but in extreme cases it is best to consult your physician.  The solutions involve

  • Getting rid of high sugar foods in your diet especially fat food, processed food, fruit drinks.
  • Getting rid of drinks with sugar substitute as well
  • Choosing food that have a low glycemic index
  • Having more white flour
  • Choosing organic food as much as you can
  • Drinking a lot of water
  • Including soybeans in your diet
  • Satisfying sweet tooth with dark chocolate

This completes the “Beating Sugar Addiction” series.  Sugar addiction is real and kicking the habit can be very challenging.  Look over all the series and identify ways that you consume too much sugar.  The suggestions I made are simple changes to make in your nutrition.  For Part 3 you should consult your physician to find the best way to deal with hormonal changes that goes beyond food choices.

Until next time, spread the love…

Creamy Coconut CakeIn part 1 of the series, Beating Sugar Addiction, we discussed how sugar loaded food and  energy drinks were used to sustain energy for a busy person, and how it turns into an addiction with an unbalanced nutrition.  Part 2 of the series has to do with using sugar as a coping mechanism to deal with stress.

What does it look like when you use sugar to deal with stress (Part 2)?

  • Is your life always a crisis?
  • Do you react to everything to cause a chain reaction of stressful events?
  • When faced with a small problem do you turn it into a huge deal?
  • Do you have problem saying no to friends and family, to be stressed out about saying “YES” later?

When you are dealing with any kind of stress you need a sugar fix.  You indulge in one sweet treat after another to wake up one day and realize that you can no longer fit into your skinny jeans.  You beat yourself over it but you can’t seem to stop craving for more sugar.  When you give in to your sugar craving you feel a high and you have more energy to carry on.  You later crash, feel guilty and instead of eating something healthy you eat more sugary stuff.  You have time to prepare meals, but you prepare something you know that is bad for you.  30lbs and more overweight a couple of months later, depression sets in and you just become complacent and stop trying to lose weight altogether.

Solution (Part 2)

Since you reach for sugar in any flight or fright situation, your can set yourself on your way to cut the sugar cravings substantially and possibly end it by

  • Drinking a lot of water
  • Cutting out sugar, caffeine and white flour. Replacing coffee with tea
  • Including high protein in your meals like lean chicken, fish, nuts, eggs.
  • Never skipping breakfast which should consist of protein, veggies and whole grain
  • Having a lunch similar to your breakfast
  • For dinner having protein with non-starchy veggies.
  • Making fruits your dessert and  nuts your snacks
  • Having some protein right before bed to avoid late night cravings.

Sugar cravings – unless it is a diagnosed condition – is always related with a poor diet.  The bad think with consuming large measure of sugar is that the part that is not used as energy in you body turns into fat. This type of fat seats mostly in your mid-section and gives you the NOT so lovely love-handles and extra layer of tissue hanging around your bra.  It will never be both ways meaning if you eat a balanced diet, you can’t possibly be craving sugar all the time.

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