Making The Complicated Simple

Posts tagged ‘fitness’

Day 18: HealthMC “20 Minutes Wourkout Routine You Can Do At Home”

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…


Day3: healthMC “Age is Only a Number Ladies”

Some of the excuses I hear all the time from women

  • I’m not lifting weights because I want to look feminine
  • I have no intentions of looking  like a fitness competitor, I just want to look normal.  (what is normal by the way?)
  • They eat like rabbits, I want to eat normal food (what normal food are you talking about because most of them eat clean?)
  • I was at a store and this lady saw a free magazine featuring a fitness competitor on the cover and said “see that, that is not feminine at all and I have noooooo intention of looking like that”

Ok, let me just put it out there, even if you have no intentions of competing you could at least say ” I want to look like a competitor”. Don’t look for a reason not to be in your best shape, choose to be a winner not a whiner.

The flip side is that so many women dropped this defeated attitude and decided to reclaim their health by changing their body at any age.  One woman who proves all the earlier statements wrong is Paula J. Hannah.   At 48 years old she looks the best that she ever did in her life.  This month she was featured as a success story in Oxygen Magazine.  Paula is my guest today and I give you her own words to inspire you today. I am 100% sure that Paula will inspire you so stop by her Facebook page and let her know how her story moved you.

June 2009, at the ripe age of 46 (celebrated my 48th birthday this past November) I purposed in my heart to live, having survived a mentally abusive marriage of 10 yrs (dated 7 yrs prior), relocating to a city where I knew NO ONE compounded by single parenting, 2 yrs of unemployment, foreclose, repositions, depression, brokenness and despair only to come to the point in my life where I now stand, RENEWED.

I was alive but not living, breathing but not feeling, conscience but not aware.  I vaguely recall clothing myself in “green with envy” as a friend from church began taking actions to lose weight.  I would often say to myself how much I wish it were me until one day I decided to no longer stand idly by but take matters into my own hands.   I renewed my gym membership at the local commercial gym in addition to using the gym fully paid for at the office…yes I know…tisk tisk tisk.

One evening at the gym I was offered a personal training session and while I gathered a lot of useful tips concerning the proper way to use the equipment and proper form, nothing was more impactful than the following statement the PT shared.  “This is an 80/20 process, 80% diet/20% exercise”.  He further explained that the more effective and fail proof way to reach a healthy weight and obtain a body I could be proud of was first made in the kitchen.  I’ve been 100% clean eater since May 2009.

I realized quickly that creating and executing a workout routine was way out of my area of expertise so I forfeited owning a car in exchange for training sessions.  During the intake I was asked what were my short and long-term goals?  Can you say clueless!  I knew I didn’t want to give the standard “girly” answer of wanting to be toned so without much thought I said body build…I let it rest then repeated….yeah I want to be a bodybuilder.  Little did I know that this external restructuring would have as much of an internal repair mechanism as it did to my physical structure.  The place I least likely would be found was the place where I was found.  I’ve often said that once my outsides caught up with my insides I was going to be certifiably dangerous.

Goal set, goal achieved…Oct 2010 I stepped on the stage 82lbs lighter (227lbs May 2009).  While the outcome didn’t result in a top 5 placing I know right well there’s no hardware equal to having my mom say with tears in her eyes she couldn’t recall the last time she saw me smile; my only daughter (15yrs) designing a shirt that read “Proud Daughter of a Bodybuilder”; FB friends whom I never met taking a 5hr car ride to show their support; trainer confessing that he commented to the person seated next to him “Dang she has one hell of a back” then realized it was me.  No, I didn’t walk away with a trophy but a WINNER none the less.

Recipe of the Day: is SimpleChef Canadian Bacon Breakfast

Until next time, spread the love…

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Knowledge is Power only if You Use it.

Yesterday I was sitting in front of my computer and was going down memory lane while doing some goal planning.  I posted a before and after picture of myself on Facebook to put myself out there and inspire others struggling to take their first step.  Wow! I got more than I bargained for.  Incredible women all over the world reached out.  I was blown away by the fact that so many sisters decided to change their family tree and leave a legacy of healthy lifestyle.  I also received so many questions on what my plan was.  In response to those requests I want to share what a typical day looks like for me training and eating.

I get up and start my morning praying to get my mind right and prepare for the day.

I then pack my cooler for the day.  On Sundays I cook for the next 3 days to avoid the guesswork especially when you are hungry during the day and can’t wait to eat something. Then that’s when magically you find yourself ordering a 700-calorie salad at a fast food chain thinking that because it’s a salad, it must be healthy.  Nutrition is key and really 80% of your success and a flat tummy starts in the kitchen, not by doing 2000 crunches every day.

First, let me take you through the food prep steps.  I love variety in my food and get super bored eating the same things. I look for at least 3 new recipes making sure the serving size is clear; something that takes at least 30 minutes to prepare.  I recently purchased this clean eating book and I’ve tried several of the recipes and like it.

The cookbook is available at

I confess that almost all the recipes I add my own spices, a little Haitian zest in it.  As long as they are salt-free with no MSG, season away.  I also prepare a menu in advance for the 3 days.  For the next 3 days I eat the same meat and just change things a little.  For instance you chicken can be a sandwich on Monday, paired with  rice on Tuesday  and pasta Wednesday.

Preparing the menu goes like this:

Protein Starch/ grain/carbs/dairy Veggies/Fruits
Meal 1 3 egg white + 1 whole egg ½ cup oatmeal dry cooked with water and cinnamon 6 ounces of fresh or frozen strawberries
Meal 2 Lean Ground Beef


Sweet potatoes or Brown Rice or Quinoa or Whole wheat couscous or polenta


1 cup spinach prepared with onions and garlic
Meal 3 Grilled salmon 1 cup of veggies with Shiratakee noodles
Snack 1 Chobani greek yogurgt with cinnamon, 1 stevia 1 apple
Snack 2 Celery sticks 1 tbsp almond butter (good fats)

Now repeat the same process for Day 2 and Day 3.

Frustration comes sometimes out of not doing what you know you are supposed to be doing to reach your goals.With the menu done, I prepare my grocery list and stop at least 4 stores depending on what I am buying:  whole foods, local health food store, trader Joe’s and stop & shop.  Don’t go shopping tired or hungry, that’s a recipe for failure.

Once I step into the house I grab the meat and fish for the next 3 days and season them on the spot with scallion, peppers, ground cumin, turmeric and salt-free Mrs. Dash.  I put them in separate containers and let them season over night.  The longer the seasoning seats in there the better.

With your meat and fish ready to go, after Church on Sunday you just transfer everything to a pot or in the oven and bake all of them at the same time.  On the side you steam your veggies, bake your sweet potatoes and cook your brown rice or quinoa.  A great investment that cooks your rice perfect 100% of the time is a rice cooker.  I use mine all the time and spend time with my son instead of stirring and watching stuff cook on the oven.

Rice cookers are very affordable (the cost of 2 Starbucks coffee ), and available at

Once everything is cooked you transfer them to containers and in the fridge.

Before you go to bed you line-up 5 or 6 empty containers and have you food scale ready and voilà! your entire meals for the next day are ready.  You pack them in your cooler and put the cooler in the fridge.  Now if you have a big family you will probably cook more food. The idea is that it is already cooked and can be frozen. For my husband I fix all his meals on separate plates and stack them in the fridge.  When he gets off work all he has to do is put the plate in the microwave and he is good to go.  Involve your entire family in your journey this way someone doesn’t show up in the house with a pizza or sub. Make it a family affair.

The cooler that I have is available at

The foodscale is also available at

Imagine how much time you have to yourself in the morning with your meal ready for you and the family.

Second, my workout goes something like this:

Monday: Legs, Low intensity Cardio, Abs

Tuesday: F55 Cardio (HIIT)

Wednesday: Back, Chest, Low intensity cardio

(cooking for next 3 days)

Thursday: F55 Cardio and Abs

Friday: shoulders and arms, Cardio

Saturday: Plyometrics F55 style.  Try this workout and your tushy will be screaming for you momma the next day

Sunday:  Thank you Jesus I worship, spend quality time with little man, rest and cook away.

Sometimes your days don’t go as planned but your food is already prepared, no worries about that.  If you don’t get to do your workout in the morning have a must-do commitment  with yourself like 30 minutes of something (jump rope… etc).  When I don’t feel like doing my cardio, I pick a television show that I like, I don’t have cable at home (on purpose to be more productive) I go to the gym and watch the show while I am on the treadmill sprinting or just walking. Something is better than nothing and you kill 2 birds with 1 stone: your cardio is done and you watched your favorite show doing something good for you,  instead of being on the couch or in bed doing mindless eating to wake up the next day feeling guilty.  Last thing is to have a way to track your progress and write what you put in your mouth.  Remember the title of this blog, when you see and acknowledge your progress, the walls your hit, your habits, it makes it easier to seek for help, it motivates you to keep going. Take pictures every 2 weeks and compare them because when you look at yourself everyday it’s hard to see the progress. Pictures don’t lie and they are a means to keep you motivated and accountable.

The workout journal that I use is also available at

You can have all the people in the world believing in you, encouraging you, if you don’t believe in yourself and encourage yourself first, change will not happen. Your body is your temple and the vessel that God blessed you with to express your divine gifts. Take care of it like it was a pot of gold, forgive yourself for all the times food was used as an emotional Band-Aid and start now.  Start now my friend.

See you at the top and spread the love……

You Deserve It

It’s time to say goodbye to 2010. Time to take the annual self-inventory and hopefully it displays a decrease in faults and increase in virtues. For me the year was like a rollercoaster.  Divine power, an amazing family and great friends kept me smiling, gave me a shoulder to cry and told me “I believe in you” when I needed to hear it.   No matter how 2010 was, fortunately you get to start with a clean slate on January 1, 2011.  Yes you can, and you deserve it.   But do YOU believe it?

On of my favorite verses that I memorized is in Matthew 17:20

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed …….. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

The size of a mustard seed that’s how big your faith needs to be to get you going.  It’s not enough to say you have faith, just like anything else you practice over and over to be super good at it, you must also practice your faith, positive thinking, positive speaking and weed out the negative, always.  FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) may have kept 2010 from being you best year ever but FAITH (Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him) is more powerful.

In the spirit of this wonderful year we are about to start, here is my recipe to making 2011 your best year ever.

  1. Change yourself from the inside out. It is believed that it takes 21 days to form new habits. From  January 1 to January 21, take at least 30 minutes when you wake up and 30 minutes before you go to bed to feed your mind with positive thoughts, read something motivating, pray, practice visualizing your dreams and take time to be still and just enjoy the silence.  I love to read pretty much anything and I recently skimmed through this book and I think there is a lot of good things to get out of it, it kind of puts you on a schedule and gives you an idea of where to start on the inside.  Check it out is even a free summary of the book if you are on a budget:

  2. Let go of past hurts, frustrations and especially forgive.  Carrying those emotions around is like being in the middle of the ocean with 50lbs around your ankle while you are waiting to be rescued (good luck with that!)There is always a blessing in disguise.  Some people were removed from your life to protect you or prepare you for better meaningful relationships.If 2010 was like hitting rock bottom for you,  Congratulations! Because once you get there, there is no other option but to go back up. You know the feeling of losing everything, nothing working like you expected, and you are basically left with nothing right?  If you change your thoughts during those trying times, you can actually start something new, fearless.  You’ve lost everything, you’ve hit rock bottom, and there is nothing else to lose so you might as well try something new.  The worst thing that could happen is you breaking even. One of my all time favorite books on going for what you want and facing challenges is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Cauelho.  You will love this book
  3. Set goals, set goals, set goals with a completion date.  One of my mentors and role models, Zig Ziglar created this “Perfomance Planner”.  It is simple and helps you set your goals with date the simple way.  You don’t have a big manual to read, it is straight to the point.  I bought one 6 years ago and I was just putting dreams in there just to let my mind “run with the wind..”.  I picked it up the other day to find out that 6 of those dreams I wrote down, I actually made happen.  So write it down and put a date on it.  Break down those goals in 1, 3, 5 and 10 years and the short-term ones break them down to months even days.  Here is an example: when I am preparing for a fitness competition, I write down my budget for everything: suit (I get the price in advance, fabric and all), registration, airfare, hotel fare, food budget, supplements, massages, waxing, etc….  I add it up and chose a date to have the funds for everything.  I take the total divide it by the number of days I have until my completion date and figure out how much money I need to put aside everyday to be able to do this show.  You would be surprised to find out with advanced planning it comes down to what you spend for Starbucks coffee or lunch everyday. You may start with “how in the world am I going to come up with $800” and end up with “$5 a day is very possible”.  Use the same approach for all your goals and simplify your life.  Knowing what it will take to make this dream come true every day makes it real and keeps you accountable.  Here is where you can order this amazing performance planner:
  4. Whatever you do everyday, like mentor Jim Rohn says “ leave everything better than it was” including yourself.

Believe it, see it, smell it, touch it.  My 3-year-old son, Horizon, reminds me of this every day, how?  He is so daring, he tries everything, he smiles a lot, he is not afraid of anything, except for the 9 o’clock fly that comes out if he doesn’t get ready for bed at night… lol  Every morning he wakes up and says “mommy today is going to be a beautiful sunny day, and I am very very Happy”.  He is so much like my husband.  I smile at his innocence; I smile at how easy he sees life.  He reminds me to approach things with the heart of a child who believes it will happen and everything will be OK….

Until next time, spread the love and a very happy happy new year to all of you…. After all YOU deserve it because YOU  are a “Champion”.

Change your perspective, change your life.

I remember before starting my journey at 238 pounds, the biggest I ever was in my entire life, the only thing I always thought about was how much I used to weigh, what sizes I used to wear, how good I looked in those jeans and it went on an on.

I hated the person I saw in the mirror and every time I felt like doing something about it, I started thinking about all the reasons why it couldn’t happen.  You know, the list, or should I say the dictionary of excuses we pull out:

  • I don’t have time, by the time I get off work I am tired, I have to cook and take the baby away from my husband who didn’t have a chance to sleep after work.
  • On weekends, well I didn’t have a baby sitter
  • It’s so hard, I want to lose 20 lbs in 1 month (thinking about this product I saw the other night on TV).
  • I just love eating…………….. (you fill in the blank).

Then one day my husband told me “Honey change your perspective and everything else will follow.  WHY do you want this?  ”.   I did and I love him everyday for this piece of advice.

We keep saying we want to lose weight, get leaner, and build more muscles, yet we are letting our mouth control our destiny.  You don’t need someone to tell you not to eat this piece of cake or eat out all the time.   A common pattern I notice is that usually at that stage people want something and the WHY they want it is not enough to convince them to change their behavior.   An example:  I had a co-worker who smoked 1 pack of cigarette in the 8 hours we were together at work.  When she went home I don’t know how much more she smoked.  I asked her one day if she thought about quitting.  She told me to mind my business and did not want to hear about quitting.  Long story short, she was diagnosed with throat cancer and quit cold turkey because it was a matter of life and death.  I wished for her it didn’t come to that but it did.  The WHY was so big, she quit cold turkey and luckily had a happy ending.

WHY do you want to lose weight, eat clean, run a half-marathon?  If you were told your life depended on it, you would do it, no questions asked. Once the WHY is big enough, the how will be almost insignificant because every time you hit a wall, you will remember the WHY and put that Haitian griot (fried pork) with rice  and beans down.

One can say, it’s easy for you to say that.  Well,  took me  2 years ½ and I am still working on improving EVERY DAY.  It’s is not a walk in the park but you know something, if you change your perspective and think

  • I will focus on 1 lb a week
  • At least 4 healthy small meals today
  • 30 minutes of workout rain or shine.

The funniest thing I did was buying a pedometer and after putting Horizon to bed, while I was watching CSI etc….I was not on the couch but on my feet, with my sneakers on, walking in place because I was not going to bed without reading 10,0000 steps on the pedometer.

Slowly but surely you will get there, just take the first step and change your perspective.  Be kind to yourself.  This wonderful person in the mirror is a child of God, and God did not take his time to create a dumb, fat, ugly, lazy, incapable of committing to anything person.  NO, change the way you think about yourself and see the end result EVERY DAY in your mind.  See that person every time you make the choice that gets you closer.  Sometimes you will have to travel ALONE; that friend you were counting on to start the new plan with you will quit, she will try to talk you out of a healthy meal  “It’s only a small piece, commmooonnn girl……”.   You will get tested but you know what, you are stronger than a slice of pizza…..

Spread the love and get on board.

Finding your “Momentum” in Your Weight Loss Journey

You know the feeling and excitement that comes with starting a workout and eating plan to get in that nice dress that we bought 3 sizes smaller. “This is it, now or never, I am going to do it this time”.  2 weeks go by or even 3 weeks, you get invited to a social gathering or just to have lunch with a friend and all it takes is one bad food after another and we spiral into this never-ending sabotage galore.  “I’ll start over tomorrow”, than tomorrow becomes Monday “It’s better to start on Monday or Sunday” and 1 month goes by and the 5 pounds we worked so hard to lose are back with friends and cousins (extra pounds).

How do you keep your momentum? What do you do?

I can only share my own experience.  Boy I started over so many times that I lost count.  I started over so many times that I got tired of starting over.  Every time I started over I picked a different diet, a different plan, a different workout (that was way before my clean eating days and a workout plan that works).  I was the perfect walking advertisement for Yo-Yo dieting; you might as well call me “Yo-Yo mama”.

Frustration sets in and you just give up all together or you go back to your plan, you’re on for 3 days and off for the rest of the week.

I found my mojo, in this case momentum by first stopping all the nonsense and establishing a WHY?  Remember Mr. Why?  But knowing why is not enough by itself if you don’t establish good habits.  I needed to do an inventory and really think about how to sabotage-proof myself.

  1. I got rid of all the bad foods and especially the cookies that I bought or anything else for that matter using my son as an excuse.  If it’s not good for me, well it’s not good for him either, end of discussion it is not coming in my house, I am not buying it.  I am the parent and he eats what I give him, and that’s that.
  2. The toughest part was changing my association, people I hung out with or spoke to most of the time.  If 2 people get together and talk about how they are always sabotaging their efforts and not going to the gym or doing what needs to get done to reach their fitness goals over and over and over, they both get nowhere.  They get comfortable consoling each other and just get stuck in a negative momentum (Yes momentum works both ways).  Enough! I want to talk to people who build me up, who saw me at a size 6 when I was a size 16. People if I complain to them won’t put up with it and tell me in my face that I was not heading towards success with this attitude (I hope Beau is not reading this…).  I decided it was better to have quality instead of quantity around me.

Be a strong Starter and Strong Finisher

Middle of the week is usually the time we kind of deviate from our nutrition plan. The weekend is right around the corner, a bite of pizza turns into 3 slices, we get lazy about packing our own lunch and decide to buy lunch instead (good luck making a healthy choice if you are already hungry and waiting on line to place your order).  We step on the scale and the numbers are discouraging, we decide that we’ve worked so hard since Monday and the stupid scale is not moving.  It doesn’t take too much to reach your goals.  Besides, it’s soooooo simple that we just have to complicate things.  Discipline, Consistency and change of mindset is what you need.  We are usually strong starters in any endeavor but poor finishers.  Finish strong………  Here’s a movie to inspire you…..
Spread the love…….
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