The Plateau Woes.

I’ve lost ten pounds since starting this blog and my journey to an overall healthier lifestyle. While I’m happy about the amount of progress I’ve made (in just under two months), I’m honestly starting to get frustrated. I saw such great changes in my body in the first few weeks, but I haven’t seen any change in my weight since I hit the ten pound mark about three weeks ago. I’ve been able to maintain my weight loss which is great, but I’m not making any progress toward my goal (which is driving me nuts). I’m still eating healthy and exercising, but (now) with no results to keep me motivated. Inspired by my frustration, I took to Google for answers. Apparently, what I’m experiencing is known as a weight loss “plateau” and it’s a common experience for those trying to lose weight. So how do you break through the plateau and get closer to your goal? Read on for three helpful tips to get you through the woe that is the weight loss plateau.

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Olympic Gold Medal Worthy Fashion.

Am I the only one who loved the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics? Seriously, I was mesmerized by the creative ways Brazil chose to present its rich and unique history to world; and, I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of the fashions! I was in love with everything from team outfits to Gisele Bundchen’s metallic gold Alexandre Herchcovitch gown. It’s clear, from the show, that fashion plays a major role in arts, culture, and history around the world. I was really impressed by the different ways countries chose to express their national pride and cultural heritage through their team’s opening ceremony looks. Inspired by the Olympics and the current athleisure trend, I put together a few of my favorite item’s, from Ralph Lauren’s official Team USA collection,that are sure to get anyone in the Olympic spirit. Click the link below for more info on these items in the image above and of course, for where to shop.

The Fork In The Road.

We’ve all been there. It’s been a long day, you’re tired, you’re on the way home, and the last thing you want to do when you get there is cook a healthy, diet friendly meal, and then clean up after yourself to boot. So you’ve got one of three options, either you suck it up and make the healthy meal at home, you ruin your diet and binge on calorie loaded fast food, or you can try and pick one of the healthiest options you can find on the road. If option number three sounds like the winner, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve compiled a short list of some of the best low calorie menu options you can find at popular fast food chains around the country.

Read on to see how not to ruin your diet when you hit that fork in the road.

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Summer 2016 Trends.

This summer’s fashions are full of fun styles that everyone can try. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite summer 2016 trends in this post and I’ve included multiple options and ways to wear them so that anyone, no matter their size, shape, or budget, can rock this season’s hottest looks.

Read on for ways to make your summer style as hot as the month of August!

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A Real Pain (in the Back).

Over the past three years, I’ve built up a lot of strength and stamina from kickboxing three to four times a week at CKO (a cardio kickboxing franchise with locations throughout New York and New Jersey). One of the main reasons I was able to get so much stronger from my CKO workouts is because of their “active rest” principle. “Active rest” is meant to be a break in between the coordinated exercise routines that are performed on the heavy bag during (CKO) classes. In effort to keep members moving during breaks, since (believe it or not) it’s a lot harder to start working out again after a complete stop, the trainers have members do a combination of calisthenic exercises (like squats, burpees, and push-ups) and low impact cardio moves (like jumping jacks and ladder climbers) so that participants are constantly moving throughout the workout. Not only does “active rest” help keep everyone in motion, but this type of interval style heart rate training is excellent for anyone that’s looking to lose weight since incorporating bursts of speed and power with periods of recovery helps to boost metabolism and maximize calorie burn.

After three years of this type of exercise, I’ve gone from not being able to do a single push-up on my toes to now doing two sets of ten push-ups on my toes and even doing full push-ups during burpees. But, (unfortunately) over the past few weeks, I’ve struggled to make it to CKO since I’ve been busy with work, wedding planning, and finishing my masters program. In effort to maintain my progress, I’ve been compensating with at home workouts that include a mix of callisthenic drills and cardio on either on my elliptical machine, treadmill, or running the boardwalk at the beach nearby. However, it seems I may have over compensated a bit too much by doing the drills (which include dozen of burpees and fifty squats at a time) too often. By failing to alternate my workouts so as not to strain my lower back, I ended up doing some real damage to my sacroiliac (or SI) joint. This joint is located on both sides of your tail bone where your lower back meets your butt cheeks.

In any case, I’m feeling better after a few chiropractic visits, but I was encouraged by my doctor to take it easy so I’ve started looking into weight loss exercises that are safe for people with lower back pain. I figured I would share what I’ve learned since I know this type of pain is common (especially in women). Read on to learn how to lose weight without it becoming a real pain in the…back.

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The “I Have Nothing to Wear!” Struggle.

Okay, so at the risk of sounding cliché, I seriously have nothing to wear…to my engagement photo shoot that is. Maybe it’s because I’m not at my goal weight yet or because I put so much pressure on myself to have the perfect outfit for every occasion, but I am at a complete loss as to what to wear for my engagement photos. My fiancé and I plan to take them in a few weeks while we’re on vacation in Portugal. It’s pretty fitting and a bit sentimental for us to take the photos there since we met in Portugal years ago while both on vacation visiting family. I’m pretty excited about it, but completely panicked about what to wear and since time is of the essence, I’m asking you (my readers) to help me pick the perfect look.

Please click the link below to see the outfit options and to learn a little bit more about the look and location of the shoot. Once you’ve made your choice, please vote in the poll. Voting ends Sunday, August 7th, so make sure to vote this week. I’ll post a photo of the winning look on my Instagram account the day of the shoot (9/6/16). Thanks, in advance, for your help!

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Arm(y) of Chunk.

If you’ve been reading my blog you know that I’m not particularly thrilled with my current weight. My chunk makes me really self-conscious which is why I’m on this journey to not only reach my goal weight, but to live a healthier lifestyle. As a slightly chubbier girl, there’s a fair amount of things about my body that I’m not particularly fond of, chief among them are my arms. Truthfully, I cringe at the site of my arms every time I look at photos where I fail to do the ol’ hand on the hip pose or hide them altogether. And, since (in a little over a year) I won’t be able to rest my hands on my hips while taking photos with my wedding bouquet, I need work on my (fat) wings (a.k.a. triceps) not like now, but yesterday!

Inspired by my personal disgust for my arms (prompted by a recent photo of me with my hunny), I started looking up arm workouts to help me transform my arms from flab to fab! I figured I’d share these simple yet effective exercises with you since (let’s be honest) who wouldn’t want arms à-la Jennifer Aniston?!

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Leggings, Need I Say More?

If you’re anything like me your work-week is jam-packed with well, work (of course) along with domestic responsibilities, workout regimens, etc… That being the case, my weekends are often full of other to-do list items that fall under the category of (necessary) errands (i.e., car wash, post office, dry cleaners, food store, bank, and so on).  With so much to do and so little time, I don’t really have the luxury of carefully crafting the perfect outfit for (what I like to call) my “Saturday shift.”  Leggings and a cute top are a great go-to look for any girl who needs to look less like she just rolled out of bed and hit the ground running, but with relatively the same amount of time and effort it takes to do so.  However, this quick and easy look is often under-utilized by my fellow curvaceous beauties for fear that they can’t quite pull it off.  Read on for tips on how to work this look regardless of your size (or age).

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Shedding For The Wedding.

As you know, I’m happily engaged and totally freaking out about losing weight before the wedding. It’s really important for me to look my best on my wedding day mainly because I don’t want to look back at photos and think, “if only I had lost some weight.” I’ve been extra cautious with my diet lately and diligent about making sure that I continue to do my weekly workouts (no matter how busy or tired I am). But, I think it’s very important to note that my new diet and exercise routine is part of a larger, overall lifestyle change. I don’t believe in crash dieting. Not only are crash diets dangerous and unhealthy, but crash dieters often gain all of the weight back shortly after their painful diet ends. My goal, aside from losing weight, is to institute effective (and realistic) long-term changes to my diet and exercise routine so that I not only lose weight, but maintain my weight loss as well as healthier more active lifestyle.

In search of some healthy living tips to incorporate into my daily routine in the months leading up to my big day, I came across the #sheddingforthewedding trend. Inspired by the reality competition series, this hashtag has morphed into a communication vehicle that facilitates the promotion of extreme wedding diets instituted by brides and grooms alike. While I did find some #fitspo posts within this keyword search, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t really get much quality information so I did some further digging and found a few articles I wanted to share…

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The Summer BBQ Struggle.

It’s summer time in the land of the free and the home of the cheeseburgers. And, of course, I’ve decided to diet now. What can I say? I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. But, I do have some tricks I use to keep me from overdoing it when the smells from the grill get my mouthwatering. Read-on to see how I survive the summer BBQ struggle.

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Flatten Your Tummy (Quick) Tips.

It’s been just over a month since I started my weight loss journey and I’m happy to report that I’m nine pounds down and (although they’re tight) I can button my size 4 jeans again! While I’m still not at my goal weight, I’m well on my way and feeling stronger, healthier, and a little more confident each day. My progress aside, I still panic when I know I have an important event to go to. But, with my social calendar jam-packed this summer, life must go on. So what’s a girl, mid-way through her weight loss journey, to do when she needs to look slim and trim by the weekend? I have a few tricks I use to get my midsection looking flatter in a pinch and I thought I’d share them in case anyone else has an important event coming up that they want to look their best for.

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Date Night Outfit Inspo.

Whether you’re slim and trim or still working your way there, this is a date night outfit that is sure to look great on any shape. The loose fit on the bodice of the tank will help cover your midsection while the sleeveless duster helps to cover your rear and the SPANX leggings work to smooth out all of your curves. The heel will keep your legs looking long and lean while balancing out your weight (in all the right places). Top off your look with a nude lip and a cross body bag, leaving your pout ready for that good night kiss and your hands free for holding.

Side Note: With a look like this, you’ll want to keep your accessories simple since there’s already gold lettering and button detail on the tank and a long, gold chain strap on the purse.
Read-on for where to shop this look.

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