Category Archives: Q-tober Challenge

Q-tober Wrap Up: Give YOURSELF a HAND!

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The Q-tober Challenge is over! There were some SERIOUS CHALLENGES and plenty  ACCOMPLISHMENTS over the last 31 days.  I was 2 lb away from my goal with only 2 days left in the challenge.  I have to admit I felt a little desperate  since I REALLY wanted to make my goal.  I thought about not eating or just drinking water….NOT! I LOVE FOOD too much! LOL  So after I got my EGO out of the way of potentially not making my goal in time, I settled in to my favorite scripture “With God all things are possible” Matthew 19:36.  This scripture reminded me to stick to my plan and TRUST in the process.

Instead of going over the details of how much I ate and worked out again, I decided to wrap up  the Q-tober challenge by sharing a few of my “aha” moments  with you.

  • Do YOU! – With any “challenge” in life it’s important to take a moment and really understand the WHY.  Determine why you are going to exert your time, efforts, resources and energy to take on the life’s challenges you do.  Once you have this figured out, then you will have a place of strength and clarity within to retreat to when you encounter resistance from the outside.  As for me during this time, I found out not everyone was “TEAM SUSIE”.  They either didn’t understand, didn’t support me or just didn’t care all together about my desire to improve my health & fitness.  So rather than allow it to discourage me, I retreated to MY place of strength within and began to find peace with the fact that this wasn’t about everyone else.  This was MY challenge.  So remember – DO YOU!
  • One day at a time –  With goal setting, it’s always been best for me to set small short term  as well as long term goals or else I get easily overwhelmed and discouraged all together.  It really helped me to not only set weekly weight loss goals but I also set daily goals for myself.  By doing this I was better able to stay focused and committed to the overall challenge.  So instead of one big 31 day challenge, I lived 31 daily challenges! LOL More challenges = more opportunities for SUCCESS! 
  • Preparation -  I talk this topic so often with my clients! Preparation is KEY not only to weight loss but with achieving most goals in life. During this challenge, I made sure to plan out my days so as to ensure I had sufficient time to include workouts.  Planning ahead for meals was CRITICAL for me!!! Since life is not perfect, this is where I fell short at times.  However more times than not, planning and preparing meals & workouts really helped.
  • Gratitude  – This was my BIGGEST “aha” moment! Even though I desired FIREWORKS and confetti falling from the sky every time I resisted temptation or reached a personal goal, I quickly realized that was not a reality!  I had to learn how to reward and thank MYSELF.  Of course we all want the positive acknowledgement from others, the “Great job!” or “Keep it Up!”  However through this experience,  I learned the importance of thanking myself  for my own accomplishments rather than seek it from others.  I encourage everyone to take the time to appreciate yourself DAILY! Give yourself a HIGH FIVE ; )

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I lost 9.5 lbs. in 31 days.  In the end, I feel I GAINED much more than I loss!  I know some lives were changed for the better and I hope you all will continue to take on worthy challenges with the knowledge you gained from this experience. This might sound CRAZY but I’m thinking I’m going to keep this challenge ongoing in November but FIRST – I’m off to TREAT myself to burger, fries, soda and a CUPCAKE ; )

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Q-tober CHALLENGE: Week 4 – MORE Tricks or TREATS??

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Let’s get right to the business this week! ; )  ONLY 2 FULL DAYS left to reach my 10 lb.  weight loss goal in the Q-tober CHALLENGE.  Where do I stand now? Besides feeling the PRESSURE of the  hours and days winding down, I feel GOOD! As of today I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds.   I still have 2 more pounds to lose by Thursday midnight…LOL (I’m taking every minute I can get!)

I did change things up a bit last week.  Instead of consuming 1200 calories/day, I cut it down to 1, 000 calories/day.  This was a bit tough the first few days.  I really started feeling hungry at night before bed.  This hadn’t happen all month. So I made sure to increase my protein and water intake the rest of the week which really helped! I also increased my workouts by at least 30mins a day.  Basically I workout twice a day for about 45min each time.  Two things I learned – 1. I really liked breaking up my workouts.  I enjoyed working out for shorter period of time two times a day.  I felt more focused during each workout.  2.  I was pretty fatigued by the evening.  This is GOOD and also fairly logical  for couple reasons. I was taking in only 1,000 calories/day and increased my physical activity at the same time.   I am definitely getting more  SLEEP these days! It’s a WIN WIN WIN : )

QM Boo Fest

I did run in to a lil snag this weekend at the BOO FEST! The Boo Fest is an annual event held at my church. That’s my ZOMBIE nephew who had a blast going through the haunted house with his GLOW IN THE DARK shirt and hair!  As for me,  I ALREADY knew the food challenges that awaited.  So I PLANNED to eat before the event and also pick up a protein bar so I could have at the event so I wouldn’t be tempted.  Well there was a CHANGE in plans! LOL I wasn’t able to  pick up a protein bar and was left on my own to battle the sweet treats and festival foods.  I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this now…..

TREAT of the WEEK: Nachos!!! 

QM Nachos

I have my WORK cut out for me over the next 48hrs.  Especially with HALLOWEEN in the mix.  I hope for more TRICKS than TREATS this year!! I’ll be back soon with the FINAL RESULTS of the Q-tober CHALLENGE. Let’s finish STRONG EVERYONE!  We ARE making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life!

 

Q-tober Challenge – WEEK 3

Tick Tock, Tick Tock… ONLY 10 days left in the Q-tober Challenge! Will I reach my goal in time??Before looking ahead to the next ten days, let’s go back for a minute.  As always, I like to start things off on a POSITIVE note.  Let’s see … I continue to stick to my daily caloric intake of 1200 calories.  Using the “My Fitness Pal” phone app has been really helpful!  I also mixed in a few new meals last week.  One of my favorites was a tomato garlic pizza.  I added my own “health” twist and jazzed it up by adding broccoli, mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes.  It was YUM YUM and less than 300 calories! As I’ve mentioned before, a SIGNIFICANT part of successful weight loss is eating the right and right amount of foods.

QM Tomato pizza

Another MAJOR component to successful weight loss is physical activity.  Physical activity can include walking, swimming, cleaning house – basically anything that gets your heart to go THUMP THUMP! Really it’s more about spending about 45-60min daily doing activities geared toward increasing and maintaining an elevated heart rate while strengthening your muscles.  Because my  goal is  to lose 10 lb. in 31 days, it does REQUIRE me to INCREASE my physical activity in order to reach my goal.  More specifically my main goal is to tone through building and strengthening muscle throughout my body.  Therefore, working out has been a BIG part of my daily routine.

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I workout 6 out of 7 days a week.  I usually take Sunday off and give my mind & body a rest! I like to respect the Lord’s day and do as little “work” as possible on Sunday.  I average about 45-65min of a workout each day.  The first 10min is used for stretching.  MOST people overlook the importance of stretching.  I constantly encourage and actually stretch with my clients. It helps loosen the body and muscles which can prevent injury and decrease after workout muscle soreness.  I do about 30min of cardio either on the treadmill, elliptical, or recumbent bike.  Then I focus on weight training for about 30mins.  I wrap it all up with another 5-10min of stretching.  I  workout either at the gym, my house, or neighborhood park.  I like to keep my workouts FRESH and FUN! : )

OK OK down to the nitty gritty…Saturday was a tough day for me.  I was out and about running errands and it just felt like every restaurant was calling my name!  Well, I finally answered the call…..

SWEET TREAT of the WEEK:  Yup, I had a pumpkin pie donut with a great cup of coffee! 

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The GOOD news is I’m really seeing and feeling changes in my body.  I’ve even noticed a little  muscle definition in my legs.  My total weight loss as of today is 5 lb.  I still have 5 lb. to go to reach my goal! I plan to make some tweaks in my food intake and increase my workouts.  I’ll let you know how it goes ; )  In the meantime, THANK YOU for sharing your Q-tober challenges and successes with me! It’s not over till it’s over. REMEMBER we are making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life!

Q – tober Challenge – Week 2

QM Watermelon cake

Week 2 of the Q-tober Challenge is behind me… WHEW!! I knew this was going to be a TOUGH week for me with my birthday in the mix.  It was the perfect EXCUSE for splurging and deviating from my  goal this month.  But I’m happy to share I resisted temptation…for the most part! LOL I’ll get to that a lil later ; )

Things are moving along with the weight loss challenge.  I am keeping my meals pretty consistent.  I know it may sound boring to some but it REALLY does help with weight loss.  It’s really about SELF CONTROL which is KEY to weight loss.  On the onset, I teach my clients to learn self control by taking control.  Setting up a meal plan together enables them to take ownership of  what, when and how much to eat.  The stress and guess work are out of the picture and replaced with  informed and educated healthier decisions.  This is what I usually have for lunch: Whole grain bread, smoked turkey half sandwich with mix veggies and fruit.

QM Lunch

I’m going to focus in a little on what I’m drinking daily.  First thing in the morning,  I have cup of warm lemon water before breakfast.  Then a cup of black coffee with breakfast.  (YES, black! I like my coffee sweetened up with half/half and SUGAR usually! But cutting the extra calories out for the Q-tober Challenge).  I started integrating organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) in my routine.  I mix 1 tablespoon of ACV in to about 8oz. of water.  I like to drink it cold.  The ACV is great for increasing energy, helps with digestion , lowers blood cholesterol and boosts metabolism! It took me a day or so to get used to the taste.  Now I’m used to it and appreciate the health benefits it provides me.  I’m also drinking a cup of warm decaffeinated green tea & sweet cinnamon tea before bed.  They are two separate tea bags I just steep in one cup.  Remember, all these drinks count towards my 3 liter daily water intake.  All these fluids help to flush out toxins and increase circulation which helps our body better absorb and use the nutrients we eat and drink! It’s a WIN WIN! : )

I did turn the BIG 40 last week! I am truly thankful God has bless me with health.  I enjoyed the day with friends and family.  I did have MY CHOICE of birthday treats! First, I  was “treated” to a HEALTHY Watermelon Birthday cake.  The topping was a pineapple/coconut yogurt with granola. It was DOUBLE layers as you can see from the picture above.  The cake was garnished with fresh raspberries, blackberries, grapes and strawberries.  IT was DELISH!!! I am truly thankful for the consideration and creativity.. THANK YOU, RDL : )

My toughest challenge this week – See below!

TREAT of the WEEK –  Carrot cake! 

QM Birthday Cake

The GOOD NEWS is I was able to still reach my 14 day goal and lost 1.5 lbs. this week which brings my total weight loss to 4lbs.  WELCOME to the newbies who just joined the Q-tober Challenge! It’s NEVER too late to start making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life!

Q – tober Challenge – WEEK 1

QM Breakfast    QM Breakfast Caloric Count

Week 1 of the Q-tober Challenge was an overall SUCCESS! There were a few bumps in the road and I’ll get to those shortly.  I like to start off with the HIGHLIGHTS for the first 7 days.  The biggest  accomplishment for ME was resisting homemade cupcakes my mother made a couple days ago. OMG… I LOVE CUPCAKES!! I was definitely tempted but resisted the temptation by simply staying away from them….out of sight, OUT of MIND! : )

I averaged 1200 calories per day by using the help of the My Fitness Pal app on my phone.  It’s a great application to help you keep track of calories but remember it’s NOT EXACT.  It’s more useful for giving you an estimate of calories.  I ate the same breakfast daily which is pictured above.  For me, it’s actually VERY filling and tasty.  Oh, before breakfast, I drank cup of warm lemon water!

Lunch was pretty basic for the most part.  I chose to eat half turkey sandwich with fresh spinach and side of mix veggies and fruit.  The objective with each meal is to include nutrient rich food to ensure that everything that is consumed will add nutritional value to your body such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and water.

My favorite food find was snack time! I had greek vanilla yogurt, frozen cherries, few almonds with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  YUM YUM YUM!!! It’s almost liking eating cherry vanilla ice cream! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND anytime of day : )

QM Snack

WATER, WATER, WATER is key!!! I’m drinking at least 3 liters a day. It helps to flush out toxins and keep the body hydrated for optimal function.

My biggest challenge this week was attending a church event this weekend.  The event was GREAT! It was the burgers and hot dogs that were being grilled that REALLY tested my commitment.  IT WAS TOUGH!! I really enjoy cookouts and all the trimming.  The SCENT of grilling meat was wearing me DOWN! I’m happy to say I didn’t indulge THAT day.  Instead, I drank about 6 bottles of water. LOL It didn’t take away my desire to dig in but it did keep me filling full.  Plus, I did have a protein bar before the event.  This is what often happens to most of us.  We SEE but mostly SMELL food and it really makes us think we are hungry and need it even when we are full.  It’s our MIND playing games with us! LOL

TREAT OF THE WEEK – One glass of my mom’s EXTREME SWEET tea! ; )

The GOOD NEWS is I reached my 7 day goal and lost 2.5 lbs.  Thank you all who are sharing your goals with me.  WE are making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life!

 

 

JOIN the “Q-tober Challenge”

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October is a BIG month for me! I’ll be turning the BIG 40.  YUP YUP! As if that was NOT ENOUGH, I decided to challenge my mind and body by losing 10 lb. by the end of the month.  I got a little loose with my eating this summer so it’s time to get my weight back to where I feel most comfortable.  For those of you who don’t know, I had extensive back surgery about 5 years ago which makes it extrememly important for me to maintain my weight to avoid re-injuring my back.

I will track my progress on FB and my blog to help with my own accountability and to share with others.  My main goal is to tone through building and strengthening muscle throughout my body.  Like I say to my clients, healthy and lasting weight loss takes time to accomplish. Hence, I’m planning to average about a  2 lb. loss per week.  I won’t be taking extreme measures to lose the weight.  The key to most weight loss plans is your food intake.  Of course, physical activity is definitely important and a major component to losing weight.    The biggest modifications for ME this month will be my diet.  WAIT… I really, really dislike the word DIET.  It make me feel like I’m restricted and I don’t like thinking that way.  So let me rephrase, the biggest modification for me this month will be WHAT & WHEN I chose to eat…ahh, that sounds much better! ; )

I’m taking in about 2000 calories a day on average now.  I’m cutting my calories down to 1200-1500 per day starting today.  I’ll eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. So basically, each meal will average 400 calories and 100 calorie  snacks.  I’m keeping a food journal to help me on track along the way.  Did I mention I LOVE SWEETS?!?  Oh no, what about my Birthday cake????  Ok, ok…pull it together SQ! I need to remind myself of what I share with my clients all the time, MODERATION! So no worries for now!

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I took my measurements…. arm, waist, hips, and thighs! WOW, that was a reality check for me! LOL All kidding aside, this is part of the process I go through with most clients.  Weight loss is seen both on and off the scale.  I know the results of my efforts will also be evident on how my “skinny” jeans fit and overall energy level.   Speaking of the scale, I don’t usually keep a scale in my house.   So for this month, I’m borrowing my mom’s scale so I can ensure I am on track with my weekly goals.

I would love to invite you to join me on this 31 day challenge with anything you would like to accomplish.  Whether it’s doing volunteer work, cutting out sodas, daily prayer or something else, let’s do it together!   Inbox me your thoughts, challenges and successes!  God has bless me with 40 years of life and I want to continue to do my best to take care of it for many more years to come! Go FURTHER THIS MONTH : )