Happy Thursday! It’s Day 18 of our challenge! It’s also “Throwback Thursday” and I thought I would do something a little different today. Here is a picture that is a complete throwback for me. This was me 5 months ago… I refuse to get back to this person that I used to be. This person was 100 pounds overweight, always tired, in pain, borderline depressed with low energy & low self-esteem. I made the decision 5 months ago to leave that person behind & as one of my favorite worship Artists William McDowell stated in his song “ I won’t go back”, the lyrics ring true today that “I won’t go back, can’t go back to the way it used to be before…” Today is a new day & it all began with a desire to change, a made up mind, faith in God’s ability to strengthen me through this process, a plan, execution of that plan and here I am 5 months later, I am leaner, more energetic, healthier, stronger, & more confident. God is ABLE! Hang in there my friends & don’t stop until you reach your goals! Feel free to post some of your throwback pictures. Let it remind you why you started this in the first place and to celebrate how far you have come. God bless!
It’s Day 15 of our 30 day challenge & it’s our weekly weigh in day! How are things going? We have 2 weeks left on this challenge so I would encourage you to make these last 2 weeks count. For those of you who have stopped get back in the game, it’s not over for you. Never give up on yourself. You can do this by the grace of God. Change your mind concerning eating clean & exercising on a consistent basis & I promise you that your health picture will change for the better. Let’s knock these last 2 weeks of the challenge out of the park! Much love!
We are in the thick of our 30 Day challenge now! How are things going for you on your weight loss journey? Is everyone getting your workout in daily? I don’t know about you but this has been the toughest month for me thus far. I’m not going to make excuses but I am going to blame it on the weather change LOL! Just Kidding… This cold weather has made me want to stay in bed longer than normal when I should be out of the bed for my morning workout by 5am! However I made a decision that I’m not going to succumb to these cold temperatures nor any other obstacles that may come my way! I’m going to get up and fight! As this picture states no one can beat me but me. So I refuse to give up, give in, let go, or surrender! I have goals to meet and I will be victorious. What about you? What is your declaration today? Make sure it goes beyond a declaration, let it spring you forth into action.
HAPPY FRIDAY! It’s day 5 of our 30 Day diet & exercise challenge! How are things going? Well for me things were going so well until I overslept this morning & missed my opportunity to workout today! But no worries I will still get it in! When things like this & more happen to derail you don’t let it discourage you just get back on track & plan on scheduling a new time to workout. Make this weekend count! Get your exercise in & plan in advance to make sure you have healthy snacks on hand that you can take on the road with you in case you get hungry while you are out & about. Make the decision to stay on the plan, just say no to temptations & accept no excuses even from yourself!
It’s Day 2 of our challenge! How are things going for you today? Today is Knowledge Sharing day and I really need everyone’s participation on this. What is a tip, a recipe, an exercise class/video/youtube channel or a website that you think could help us on our journey? I will share my favorite snacks & my website pick of the week. One of my favorite snacks is a brown rice cake with a teaspoon of peanut butter spread across it. That is about 100 calories. I also like to eat a whole cucumber cut up with about 2 tablespoons of garlic hummus, then I sprinkle salt & pepper on it to taste. That is around 100 calories as well. My website pick of the week is http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-portion-size-plate
This website gives you a guide on how much a serving should be. I don’t know about you but in my house 2-3 cups of rice or pasta was the serving size I was used to! Now I know that ½ to 1 cup of rice is the max I should have per meal. Portion control is a big issue in today’s culture where you have a choice between Small, Medium, Large or SUPER SIZED portions. I grew up going to buffets and I had no frame of reference of what an appropriate portion size was. But I always found out after I ate that I definitely was eating way too much! My Dad loved to say “It looks like your eyes are bigger than your stomach Monica.” LOL yes that was pretty much my story but now I have learned restraint and the role & importance of portion control in weight loss. If you go to this website it has a refrigerator and a travel size portion size reference guide that you can print so you will have the tools you need to make better choices.
Welcome to the 1st day of our challenge! I hope you guys are just excited as I am. I want to 1st give you All kudos for the last challenge. The top 3 biggest weight loss achievers were Sha-Kia with a 10 pounds loss, Jasmine with an 8 pound loss and 3rd place was Niecee with a 7 pound loss. Congrats to you and everyone else with the progress you made during the last challenge. I encourage each of you to do your best to be consistent with eating clean (No processed food), getting in 5 days of exercise and getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep daily. If you are going to eat starches (pasta, bread, rice or potatoes) make sure it is whole wheat, whole grain or brown. The bulk of your meals and snacks should include lean meats, vegetables and fruit. If you are going to have a starch try to limit it to once per day and let the serving size be no more than ½ cup to 1 cup max. You are free to eat nuts(preferably almonds) and beans as well. Please don’t forget to download the MyFitnessPal app and track your food and exercise in it daily. Remember do not eat the calories you have earned through exercise! Tomorrow will be what I call knowledge sharing Tuesday. It’s where we all will share any tips, meal ideas, website links or anything you think would help us all out on our journey. Feel free to post motivational pictures, quotes etc that you feel will help motivate us. We are in this together and I am so blessed to be a part of your journey to wellness!
The end of my 4th 30 Day challenge has come and now I have lost a grand total 54 pounds! As you can see from my before, middle and after picture I have come a long way with my weight loss results. The funny thing is I can’t even take the credit for it. Sure I played a part but I have a great support team! My absolute #1 is God. He has strengthened me for my journey. Each day I draw on the Grace of God to enable me to say no to foods that are not healthy for me and to say yes to exercise & yes to fresh fruit and vegetables! I also have a very supportive husband Stephen Akerele who has given me space to work out each morning and on the weekends. He also has gladly switched to eating clean without any protest! With his support and his gentle push I have been motivated to continue.
I also have an awesome personal trainer Michelle(MJ) @juiceoutnc on Twitter who has helped to take my work out to the next level. Her website is http://www.maxxout.biz . I have 2 great workout partners who have been in the thick of it with me in the gym – Stacey Joseph Harris & Maceo Harris. You guys are absolutely awesome! My Sister & Friend Melanie Scott helped to keep me accountable & motivated when I first started this journey, that alone helped tremendously to help create disciplines that have helped to sustain me to this day. Brigida Mack’s weight loss journey has also inspired me on my journey. She has a great TeamNoSugar challenge that helped to jumpstart me on my path to wellness. Check out her #TeamNoSugar blog at http://www.wbtv.com/30days. Last but definitely not least I have had a group of over 170 determined men & women taking the 30 Day challenge with me, this also includes my Mom & my Sister Eula Hawthorne & Sharolyn Rainey! This group also includes the WGIV Shake It Up show listeners that have been following & joining me on my weight loss journey for the last 2 challenges. I give a weekly 30 day challenge update on the show on Mondays. This show regularly airs Monday, Tuesday & Friday from 9-10am weekly with one of the hardest working female Radio Show Hosts S.P. Gallman. This show airs in Charlotte & surrounding areas on 103.3FM & 1370AM. http://www.facebook.com/WGIVShakeItUp. This group also includes my Blog following on WordPress at http://www.monicaakerele.wordpress.com They Rock! My Group’s dedication to walking on this journey with me has been beyond spectacular & awe-inspiring. The steps they have taken to get in control of their diet and to implement exercise on a consistent basis is mind blowing. They have had individual successes of losing 3-23 pounds in a 30 day period. Their success is my success & I could not be any prouder. I provide them with support, motivation, resources & accountability to help them on their journey, but they in turn push me to stay in this fitness race and to continue to walk out this healthy lifestyle.
This in a nutshell is the secret to my success thus far. I still have 46 more pounds to go so this journey to lose 100 pounds is not over! What I know for a fact is it takes prayer. It takes faith. It takes God’s grace. It takes the renewing of your mind. It takes a village. It takes support. It takes accountability. It takes consistency. It takes hard work. There are no short cuts… I encourage you to take care of your body, to take proactive control of your health, to eat clean, to exercise & to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep daily. You have only one body on this earth that you receive at birth and will leave at death but what you do with it while you are here is up to you. I hope you will choose life, a healthy one that is…
If you are interested in joining me on my next 30 Day challenge of which starts on Monday October 14, 2013 email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and reference the 30 Day Challenge in the Subject Line. Please also follow me on my blog at http://www.monicaakerele.wordpress.com to keep up-to-date with my weight loss journey and to help give you motivation for your own journey to great health. Let’s Go!
I’m coming to the end of my 4th 30 day challenge and I decided that I am going to try something different for my 5th challenge starting next week. I have been a little hesitant about getting a gym membership at a local gym because in the past I would spend a lot of money on a membership but I would never show up. Most of the time it was because I was not motivated completely about working out but today I am completely different. I am oozing with motivation & passion about working out on a consistent basis! I know “this” time I will get full use of my membership and then some! Is your workout getting boring? Do you need a different environment or new scenery? Well my dear switch it up!
Change the place you are working out at and maybe go outside and walk, jog & run instead of going to the gym. Since we are in the fall season take advantage of the mild days we have ahead of us and get some Vitamin D from the sun while you are out there! If you have access to a gym with a swimming pool go get some laps in or go out on a basketball court & get a game going. There are plenty of group exercise classes that are available from Zumba to Pilates, Abs, Weights or a Cycling class. There are plenty of opportunities out here in order for you to make your workout regimen more exciting. Or if you want to workout at home or on your own Get-Fit Guy has a lot of great ideas for taking your workout to the next level. Go to http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/get-fit-guy
I’m looking forward to my “Switch Up” to Planet Fitness, I am sure it will be a good change. They have resistance training equipment, arc trainers, elliptical trainers and treadmills beyond measure. They even have several circuit training sections that I am going to get involved in. There is also a personal trainer on deck to help you by creating a specific workout plan for you based on your goals. The other thing I am excited about with this Planet Fitness membership is that I can bring a guest with me every time I work out! How awesome is that? I give Planet Fitness a thumbs up for that and I look forward to inviting several of the people on my next 30 Day challenge to come workout with me for free! If you are interested in learning more about Planet Fitness and the promotions they are running go to http://planetfitness.com/
Sometimes on your journey to weight loss you encounter detours on the road that unexpectedly either gets you off course or delays your progress. Can I get a witness? (LOL) Yes I know there are many that can attest to this! This week has been an interesting one for me & probably my most challenging week to date. I have been running into the challenge of time or the lack thereof that is. Each day this week I have had a full & relentless schedule, thus the time I would have spent working out or planning has been sucked up by activities! I am not making excuses I am just telling it like it is. So now I am making the decision to take my time back!
What can we do to successfully manage & prioritize our time in such a way that we don’t put ourselves last?