Making The Complicated Simple

Posts tagged ‘weight loss’

Day 19 healthMC “It’s Not About The Scale “

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…

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Day 5: HealthMC “A Busy Mom’s Success Story”

Today’s inspiration is a special guest. A down to earth, amazing, super funny, supermom.  I call her supermom because this woman manages to look so amazing with a very very CRAZY schedule.   Ty is one of the most genuine person that I know, she is loving, caring and what you see is what you get.  Read her story and let her inspire you as you prepare for HealthMC Day: 6 “Who’s on Your Team”

Read Ty’s own words

From the time I could remember, I’ve always wanted to live abundantly healthy.  I’ve always believed without your health you have NOTHING!  I think one of the hardest things about losing weight is admitting your own part in being overweight in the first place.  We are always quick to blame someone else for making us fat.  I use to blame “getting old” as the reason.  Huh…whatever!  I am in full control of what I put into my mouth EVERYDAY.  It is a choice, and every single day I have the choice to feed my body the best nutrition possible.

After twenty years of yo-yo dieting and life “getting in the way,” I set out on the journey of a lifetime.  In January of 2008, at age 42, I found myself unhappy, unhealthy and ready for a change.  In my heart I was ready, but with my extremely hectic lifestyle, I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  Eating nutritious “clean” meals takes lots of preparation and my time was already limited!  But living a healthier life was important to me and I had to make the time!   I needed a lot of faith, discipline and determination if I wanted to start LIVING and not just EXISTING.  At the end of the day, it’s about BELIEVING in yourself.  Knowing in your heart, that you are WORTHY!

After months of “clean eating” and resistance training, my body changed drastically.  I stayed committed, focused and determined to prove to myself that this time, I WOULD NOT QUIT like I had so many times before!  Quitting just made me a failure once again, and this time I truly wanted to reach my goals and WIN!  It would be more painful if I didn’t. After initially losing 30 pounds, I still wanted more!  Not to be “skinny”, but really wanting to sculpt my physique.  So, I challenged myself by entering a bikini competition.  Training and dieting for a competition was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the reward was wonderful!  Even with my long days and hectic lifestyle, I managed to stay committed.  For over 25 yrs. I’ve wanted to compete and there was no greater feeling than to do it at 44 yrs. old and to top it off, win third place!!  The feeling was AMAZING!  Even if I hadn’t placed, I still would have WON!  No trophy will ever validate my triumph!


Living a healthy, fit lifestyle isn’t easy, but it can be a lot easier if you plan, prepare and make yourself open to change.  Embrace new challenges and experiences so that you may grow.  Continue to believe in yourself and trust the process.  When I realized this was not simply about the number on the scale, but it was a LIFESTYLE change; I knew that I had finally figured it out, great things were yet to come and that I had finally arrived!


For all the women who think “40 something” is too old to start living healthy and fit, think again!  If you’re sitting there allowing yourself to think “it’s too hard”, “I can’t” or  “I’m a failure”…DON’T!  Don’t quit or give up.  If today is the day you were going to leave, quit or give up, postpone that decision another day.  Commit to taking care of YOU today.  When you get up tomorrow, praise yourself for making it one more day.  I hope that I can inspire you to find your inner and outer glow in the process.  Even on your toughest days…CLAIM YOU VICTORY!  YOU DESERVE IT!

To your every success,

Fitfully yours,

Tyneshia “Ty” Royal

Today’s Recipe is simple and quick “Quinoa Shrimp Salad”

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Motivation Monday: “Discipline Will Get You Somewhere, but Where?”

You changed your perspective to start your journey right, embraced where you are on the way to where you want to be. Then you established your vision (skinny me in 6 months, healthy lifestyle for life), and practiced visualizing the lion in the mirror instead of the tiny kitten. Finally, you are being kinder to yourself by using your word as your magic wand, now what? Zap! Abracadabra! up you go. It takes more than that to get you there.

You didn’t go to bed to wake up and magically find yourself where you are today, you’ve been there for some time now. Every day you take actions towards an end, you either make it or you don’t. Your habits will decide where you will end. Habits usually starts like something insignificant, eating a handful of chips, one extra slice of cake, a small ice scream scoop every time you make a trip to that health food store and pass the sorbet stand, nothing too damaging, flimsy cobwebs. With practice those flimsy cobwebs grow into a tight rope that controls your life everyday.

That’s where discipline comes in, discipline in visualizing your success even when you don’t have all the tools yet. Visualizing yourself healthier with more energy, happy with the girl in the mirror. Discipline comes in also by practicing the good habits every day. Whatever your course of action is on a daily basis, whether it is indulging in junk food, not sticking to your plan, on and off dieting, or staying put with the plan that you wrote down or that your personal trainer mapped out for you, you are practicing a habit every day. We spend so much time practicing the bad habits or looking for a better alternatives. We are relentless at becoming an expert in barely making it or starting over.

Losing, just like winning, is a habit. Discipline will make you either a winner or a loser. Choose to have within you the vision, practice the habits that will help you succeed everyday. That kind of discipline will make you a winner.

Remember to join my #HealthMC challenge and let’s build some great habits and discipline to get us to the healthy finish line.

Until next time, spread the love…..

Motivation Monday: How I lost 120 lbs

This year started pretty good for me. I have to admit that some of the things happening are surreal but I am enjoying the ride. I realize that I started this blog to motivate and support others out there who are in the boat that I used to be but never posted the story of my journey.  Well here it is:

Who’s that girl?


I wasn’t always overweight, in fact in high school I was very athletic. I was part of the basketball team and those were some of the best years of my life. I stopped exercising really when I was going to college at Boston University. I was working full time and going to school at the same time, leaving my apartment at 7am to be back at 10:30 pm from Monday to Friday, and if you were looking for me on weekends I was at the BU Computer Lab which was open 24 hours. I didn’t create time for anything else because I figured, clubs will still be around when I graduate. The only thing that wasn’t still around when I graduated college was my size 8 to 10. The day of my graduation I remember my brother-in-law asking my husband and I – we were engaged then – if we were expecting a baby. That was the first time it occurred to me that I had put on a lot of weight. I was at 170 lbs for my height and I would say I carried the weight pretty well. Right when I started exercising regularly again to lose 30 lbs, we got married and pregnant. That’s not a problem I thought to myself, as long as I don’t put on more than 35lbs, continue to exercise and breast feed I will be right back to 170 lbs. Fast forward 9 months and 6 weeks after having my son, when I stepped on the scale again I was at 238 lbs. Ouch ouch ouch ouch! Not what I expected considering that my last 2 months of pregnancy I was having chinese food and fast food breakfast every day at work. That wasn’t fair because I exercised when I was pregnant, I even skipped the epidural for fear of back pain that will keep me from exercising, I was breastfeeding and pumping milk like a bionic woman yet I only lost 25lbs.

And the Journey begins…

I decided to join Weight Watchers for the 4th time and this time I was dedicated to lose weight because at 238 lbs, I was at the highest point of my life. I had incredible support from my husband and my entire family. I was also very flexible in terms of my workout schedule. Sometimes after putting my son to bed, I will rush to the gym and workout for 45 minutes to make it back home by 10:30 PM to wake my husband up to go to work. I weighed in every Saturday at Weight Watcher’s first meeting and would tag along with my baby and my stroller to every meeting, which was quite a workout. My son was a very good baby, feed him, kiss and hug him and he will be quiet for 3 hours. I lost 60 lbs and became a Lifetime member. With Weight Watchers I learned:

  • Accountability
  • Food journaling
  • Consistency
  • Visioning
  • Not being afraid to travel the path alone.  I was surrounded with friends that were on and off their diet.  It was quite frustrating sometimes.  If my success meant being disciplined alone, so be it.

Now let’s walk on stage with 6 inch heels….

After Weight Watchers, I wanted more.  I was up late one night and saw fitness competitors doing back flips, one hand push up and wondered to myself if I could ever do that. I did a google search for a personal trainer and voila I started training for my first show in Boston happening in 6 months.
I went down to 132 lbs and I have to admit I never thought I would be spending hours practicing walking and posing on 6 inches heels. Working out was nothing compared to walking and keeping my posture on those heels. That in itself was a workout. The first day I stepped onstage I officially became an addict. I loved the rush, the challenge and I felt a great sense of accomplishment to just step on stage with seasoned athletes that I’ve been watching on television.

And it gets better….


I went on to place 8th on my 3rd show, The Fitness Atlantic ( which is an amazing show by the way), and 2nd on my 4th show, The Jay Cutler Classic in New England.

At first competing was not quite what I expected, and part of it is pretty crazy. I  was facing a different set of challenges amongst which the true meaning of loving thyself and the importance of nutrition. In an effort to educate myself on the importance of nutrition, I’ve asked  seasoned athletes how they managed to maintain their figure year round. They all said the same thing “nutrition, nutrition is key and a flat tummy starts in the kitchen”. At this point I decided to learn as much as I could about clean eating. While I was learning about clean eating, I started working with a different trainer, Beau Taillefer, the creator of Formula55, who also trained Natalia Muntean and Angelike Psoinos. His method was new to me, I applied myself and soon fail in love with it.

The true meaning of loving thyself.

The fitness industry is highly competitive and I believe if one is not grounded with a real sense of purpose she will get lost, judge herself based on someone else’s standards,try to please others, and even put herself in situations that she cannot take back.  I am talking about loving thyself, yet I choose to compete in an industry where you are judge on your physical appearance and your beauty.  Beauty is a very subjective topic and with the plethora of things thrown at us in the media placing beauty in a certain category, no wonder so many young women have self-esteem issues.

I made a decision that I will continue to compete with a mastery or achievement orientation knowing that I am unique , that I do not judge my body, my beauty based on someone else’s standards.   I love the darkness of my skin, my curves, the fullness of my lips, everything that uniquely makes me ME.

Now What?

I continue to compete but I make sure that whatever I do concurs with my true purpose. As Angelike had pointed out  during my recent Aha! moment, focussing on just winning or being on the cover of a fitness magazine will be limiting myself. I have to aim higher and if those things happen on the road to a greater purpose, it will be the icing on the cake but not the cake itself. An example is that last month out of 500 contestants that took part in Status Fitness Magazine 2010 cover model search, I was amongst the finalists. This was completely unexpected but I feel a great sense of accomplishment because there were seasoned athletes that did not make the list and here I was, the mom of a 3-year old pursuing a dream she had written down years ago, a finalist.

Being a national fitness competitor I’ve learned

  • Discipline
  • Focus
  • A thirst for self-improvement
  • Having fun living a healthy lifestyle

My journey wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t hard either.  I’ve had some fears but I chose to focus on the positive.  I’ve dealt with some rejection in the industry but I believe that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.  I had people come into my life, to stab me in the back the next day but good riddance like my friend  Amy, owner of DamyHealth once told me “Web you do not need people in your life that are not here to stay.”

Where am I today?

It took me 1 year 1/2 to make it this far and this is only the beginning.  In the process I discovered my passion which is to help others get what they want.  I am now a Certified Taebo Instructor, an NASM Certified Personal trainer, and I find great joy when others invite me to be a part of their healthy lifestyle journey.

Staying Motivated

I believe in any journey you decide to take in life you have got to

  • Have a vision
  • Build your support system team with people who love you, want to help you and see you succeed and most of all be truthful and honest with you.  I’ve learned in the process to chose my mentors, trainer, acquaintances and friends.  If a person was out to tare me down, or be critical, I make a choice of not having them on my team.  You can’t reason with a fool and this kind of toxicity won’t help me grow. No one is perfect, I certainly am not, but a true friend and someone who cares respect and cares about you enough to tell you the truth and be there for you no matter what.
  • Learn to love some people from a distance.  Some people when they see you progress, they get jealous and want to keep you at their level.  Instead of encouraging you, they take a good shot at you mostly to feel good about themselves.  There’s also those that are just plain miserable in their own world and no matter what you say or do, they will only drag you down with them.  The solution is to love them from a distance, after all misery likes company right?
  • What others think about you is none of your business.  The funny thing is that we may think others are thinking about us when actually they are busy thinking about what others are thinking about them as well (did I confuse you yet?)  This part is very important because I’ve witnessed and been guilty in the past of not doing something for fear of what others would think.  Fear can be paralyzing. Bottom line if you don’t start you will never reach any destination.  Failure is an event, not who you are.  Besides like Napoleon Hill beautifully says in Think and Grow Rich, ” Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or a greater Benefit,” so go ahead and take risks.
  • Make eating healthy a lifestyle, not a diet.
  • Have fun in the process.

This is your journey, so make it about you.  We start seeing obstacles when we get our eyes off our destination, when the vision stops, when we allow others to dictate our lives.  Not everyone will agree with you, not everyone will believe in you, and not everyone will help you in the process.  What truly matters is what you think.  If you change your mind, you will truly change your life.

Until next time, spread the love…

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Motivation Monday: What is your Vision?

I recently had a long conversation with my friend Angelike Psoinos, an amazing athlete and Oxygen Magazine’s October 2010 cover model, about life, goal setting and discovering our passion.

I shared some of my goals with her and a comment she made about a particular goal that I have turned our phone conversation into a pivotal moment in my life. Angelike told me that having this goal was great but I was also limiting myself with it. She went on to say that once I got off the phone, to pray and to think about what my vision was. Whatever I decided to do for 2011 and for the rest of my life it had to converge with my vision.

Last week I read this article 8 Steps to Creating a Great Vision, where Ari Weinzweig, founder of Zingerman’s Delicatessan, talked about how visioning helped take his company to where it is today. It was so inspiring I contacted Ari hoping he will give me some of his time. He was more than happy to grace me with his time. See what happens when you just go for it? You get to pick a successful man’s brain for FREE.

IMG_1972  ARI WEINZWEIG

Ari Weinzweig

I shared my dream of starting a foundation in Haiti to help specifically women and young girls. I also shared my wish to help others here in the Unites States live a healthy lifestyle. Ari had a valuable advice for me that coincided with what Angelike told me. To quote Ari “just start by writing a vision of greatness for yourself and the organization, that’s really where to start everything we do!” Ari graciously shared his company’s 2020 vision along with a plethora of other resources.

Knowledge is power only if you do something with it right? I feel really fortunate to have such amazing friends and to have access to golden information through networking. In February I am writing  my vision and will go further than 2011 as Ari puts it. It will be real, I have to play it in my mind like a favorite movie, know every line, savor the vision of each victory. The same goes for living a healthy lifestyle. “I want to lose 40lbs” one would say, but do you see it? Do you have a plan? How far into the future is your vision for this plan? What happens after losing the 40lbs? Like Angelike would say “your vision has to be greater than that, you have to leave a legacy.” In this example your legacy may be to become a role model for your loved ones, for your kids. It can also be to change your family tree if there is a history of obesity.

My friend, today I urge you to program your own GPS. I didn’t say map but GPS because there will be roadblocks, dead ends, destinations, people who will not be a POI (Point of Interest) in your journey. Once you upload your map into your GPS then, and only then you can start your journey.

Until next time, spread the love…….

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SimpleChef: Baked Swai With Mango Salsa, Steamed Green Beans and Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

A huge target recently opened in our neighborhood and since they carry food, I went on a little field trip to compare some of their prices with other local grocery stores.  In the frozen section they had this white fish fillet, Swai, I’ve never had before.  Interestingly it has 2.5g of fat and 13g of protein per serving, and the package cost about $6 and has 6 fillet sweeeetttt!

I wanted to experiment with my new fish fillet to bring you this week’s SimpleChef recipe. I made a Baked Swai with Mango Salsa paired with Steamed Haricot Vert and Baked Rosemary Potatoes.

Haricot Vert is a French green beans smaller than regular green beans which takes less time to cook.

Photographer: Michelle Meiklejohn

I enjoy cooking with Rosemary because not only it smells good but also can be used as an antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic and fungicidal.
If you are from Haiti like I am, mango is one of the fruits Haitians absolutely love.  I like to add mango as my fruit serving with fish or make some mango lassi with greek yogurt (that’s for another SimpleChef, hint hint).

This recipe is very simple and easy to make. You will need:

  1. 10 oz of Swai seasoned with 1 garlic clove, salt, pepper and a dash of sea salt
  2. Already made mango salsa. I got mine from  WholeFoods Market
  3. 1 lb of small red potatoes cut into fourths
  4. 4 cloves garlic minced
  5. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1 cup of haricot vert prepared according to package instruction
  7. 1 tsp of fresh rosemary chopped
  8. A cast iron skillet
  9. Preheated oven at 425 degrees.

Step 1: Heat up your cast iron in the oven for 8 minutes. Be careful not to burn yourself and remove it. Spray it with some olive oil cooking spray , line it with the Swai fillet and put it back in the oven for 12 minutes.

Step 2:Mix  potatoes, oil, 4 garlic cloves minced and chopped rosemary in a bowl. Spread the mixture in aluminum foil paper and bake it for 35 minutes. You can put it in the oven together with the fish and time it separately.

Step 3: When potato is nicely baked, mix it in a bowl with the haricot vert.

Step 4: Serve right away by adding some mango salsa over your fillet  and

Voila!

Enjoy and spread the love…..

Motivation Monday: Fit For Life Stay on Track

I am asked a lot lately  “How do you stay on track? I am kind of on and off again and don’t know what to do to lose these extra pounds, what should I do? I thought a lot about these questions and the answer I have is to go down memory lane and share with you what it was like when I had those same questions not too long ago.

I remember after losing 50 pounds from 238 lbs, I was supposed to be in heaven but I was not.  I still didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, I hated laying down on my bed to button my jeans, I hated the workout I had to do to slip into my one size too small Spanx, I hated having to shop at plus size stores.  My husband once tried so hard to please me by taking me shopping; he made babysitting arrangements and all, guess what? I hated every moment of it because all the stores except  for the department stores like Macy’s and plus size stores didn’t carry anything bigger than a large or size 12.

Meanwhile I gained back 10 lbs.  What a disappointment it was for me!   All my efforts went down the drain.  I stopped going to the gym, I was just embarrassed to be around people who knew me when I was smaller.  Meanwhile I had to go to work and face my co-workers.  I just put a big smile on my face and pretended that I was doing GREAT!

I don’t know if my husband was trying not to end up in the doghouse but no matter how I looked, he never made me feel any different.  He kept telling me to be patient, “you’ll get it.”  That wasn’t enough to make me feel better about myself because simply I did not believe in my core that I could shed those pounds.

My friend, we are truly are worst enemy.  My progress no matter how small,  I was the first one to tear it down.  Even if someone told me “You look great”, my answer was “Yeah but I still have a long way to go.”  My words, my thoughts, my actions, everything in me was sending the message “you are a failure, you will never make it”, yet I believed by repeating this insanity I was going to reach my weight loss goal let alone any goals in life.  Sure enough, my husband didn’t know what else to tell me because he was running out of encouraging words, better yet he couldn’t understand why I was being so hard on myself.  Then one day the Aha! Moment came.

My Aha! Moment was that I had no love for myself, I didn’t believe in myself and I said I wanted to do this and that but deep down I didn’t think I deserved it because I was too busy figuring out why any of what I wanted couldn’t happen.  The enemy was living with me. The enemy was within.  I had one last pity party with a big slice of cheesecake and I caught myself in the mirror eating and that’s when it clicked. I thought to myself “what are you doing? Aren’t you tired of doing the same thing over and over to start your diet over again on Monday?”  I got tired of being tired and decided that night to just focus on what I could do today only that would get me closer to my goal.

What got me through was to stay in the present, to believe in what I wanted, to silence the naysayers in my head and to have laser focus.  What got me through was to embrace the people around me who cared and to let them know what was going on inside of me and ask for help. What go me through was to stop buying this video, this diet tea, and all the new stuffs on infomercials that I thought would get me motivated “If I buy this… I will stay on track”. What got me through was to keep it simple and to stay consistent with the same thing for at least 6 weeks.  What got me through was to see myself as a miracle and that my body was a temple to take care for in order to live my divine purpose. The answer was simple.  My motivation was inside me all along, my motivation was the way I thought of  and saw myself. Do I deserve what I want or not?

My motivation to you today is to be gentle with yourself and to stop being your worst enemy.  Be happy where you are on the way to where you want to be.  Stop saying “I’ll be happy when x, y, or z happens.” NO, be happy now with all your extra pounds and patiently work your way to where you see yourself in the future.  Every day wake up and focus on what it is that you can do today to get closer to your goal and stick to your diet.  You will go to bed proud of yourself knowing that you got one step closer.  And if you fall on your way there, at least you fall between the stars.  So put down the twinkies, stop starting your diet over “TOMORROW”, get that DVD playing on your TV and do the workout you talked yourself out of doing this morning NOW, plan and pack your meals  and most importantly smile because you deserve it.

Until next time spread the love…..

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