Chic’s Weight Loss Journey


Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 3.25.37 PMYou may or may not know that I have struggled with my weight all of my life.  I was born a chunkster and remained a chunkster throughout childhood.  Mind you, I was not obese, just always slightly overweight.  You might be thinking, “Well, slightly overweight does not a chunkster make”, but in my mind, I was a chunkster.

In high school, for whatever reason, I decided I needed to do something about it.  Likely transitioning to wanting to be noticed by boys is what did it.  Anyway, not knowing anything about exercise or nutrition, I committed to living off rice cakes and Twizzlers.  Yup.  Every day.  That’s all I would eat.  The ONLY thing I would eat. I cannot recall how long this lasted, but it could not have lasted long.  I imagine I must have been starving!  At which point, I started to eat food and likely gain weight.

So, the next step in my search for skinny-hood was bulimia. Yes, you read that correctly. Everything I ate would come right back out.  This went on for at least a year.  My mom got me to stop.  In fact, to this day, I remember having just closed the door to the bathroom and laid in bed — red-faced from forcing myself to throw up — and watery-eyed.  She came in the room and said, “I know what you’re doing.  It hurts me that you would do this to me.  I want you to stop and I need you to tell me how I can help you.”  Although I stopped cold-turkey then, I would continue to use this method for weight loss for years to come.

I gained about 20 lbs while in college.  Most college kids do.  Freshman 15 and 20 are common descriptions for what happened to college-aged students.  In that respect, my weight gain was normal.  No efforts to lose weight or eat healthy were made during that time.  After college however, when I actually took the time to research ways to lose weight with diet and exercise, some things changed. I met a boy I really liked and was prompted to lose weight.  25 lbs to be exact.  This too, was not healthy.  I worked out about 2 hours per day and ate few to no carbs.  This too was not sustainable.  Darn that boy!  Lol.

Over the years, my weight fluctuated.  When I got pregnant with both boys, I gained weight and slowly lost it over time.   Over time meaning nearly two years after giving birth is when I would return to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I’ve always had low blood pressure, cholesterol and other biological metrics have been within range.  I learned to dress for my fluctuating body weight.  Stretchy pencil skirts and loose-fitting tops became staples in my wardrobe.  Overall, things were fine.

Cut to early 2015 when I started to not feel so well.  I was waking up at all hours of the night, when usually I am one to hit the pillow and pass out.  I don’t wake until the alarm or my kids wake me.  Well, things were different.  2am, 4am every night.  Like clockwork.  In addition to a disrupted sleep pattern, I was experiencing lower back pain.  Odd, dull discomfort that was hard to pin point.  I was having headaches, which were also highly unusual for me.  Now get ready for the TMI part of this post: I felt like my bowel movements were out of wack.  Normally a 1X day person, I would now go days without a bowel movement, and when I did, they were different.  A sign of constipation, perhaps?  Well, it turns out I was.  Constipated that is.  But that was only the beginning.  A combination of stress from not knowing what was wrong with me and the doctors not able to identify a disease or cause, I convinced myself I had colon cancer or something of the like.  The stress of thinking I was dying combined with experiencing my first year of faculty, two kids under 6, and a hubby in retail with a schedule involving nights and weekends, apparently took its toll.  The final diagnosis?  Stress.  Between February 2015 and July 2015 I lost 22 lbs, without really trying.  Stress.

Does stress do all that to a person?????  I had no idea it did.  But it did to me.  SO.  I changed some things.  Among them, my eating and exercising habits.  Because I lost my appetite for a long time, when my appetite came back, I was only consuming about 1000 calories per day.  Mainly in the form of salads and soups.  I have slowly increased my intake, but it still remains under 1300-1500 calories a day for the most part.  Still lots of salad and soups, but I have managed to work in more carbs and yummy desserts. 🙂

As far as exercise, I decided my body needed to move.  So I would make it a point to move at least 10 minutes a day.  Sometimes that meant getting up from my desk at work and walking to buy my lunch.  Other days, I meant going to the gym and walking on the treadmill.  Other days, it meant running up and down the stairs that lead to the basement while the kids played.  I did whatever it took to work in some physical exercise.  I’ve actually become quite complacent in my efforts to work in physical activity daily, but have managed to keep up some aspects of it and have supplemented with the 7-minute workout and the 4-minute workout.  I also vowed to do pushups and at least a 1-minute plank before every shower and also do squats while in the shower.  A mini workout at least once a day.

Many of you know that I post daily outfit pics on Instagram and now Facebook.  Over time, people started to notice that I was losing weight.  After some time, some asked how I had lost the weight and whether I would considering sharing my weight loss story.  So, here you have it!  My weight loss journey.

I recently spoke to someone who said that recovering drug and alcohol addicts sometimes have dreams that they have relapsed.  Interestingly, that is how I feel about my weight loss.  I do not feel in control.  I feel like at any moment, I may regain all the weight.  It’s a real fear, oddly enough.  For example, this morning, I went to put on a pair of cotton trousers.  You know, the kind that have little-to-no stretch?  Yup, that kind.  And, I was SO fearful that I would put them on and they would not fit…again.  Well, they fit and they were loose.  I guess I have managed to maintain my weight for now.  But I am not sure at this time whether that will be the case 1 month or 1 year from now.  So for now, I take it day by day.  I try to decrease my stress triggers, eat healthy, and exercise.  I’m aiming to be healthy.  And, that for now, is good enough. 🙂

Get Yo’ Fitness On – Week 3

Hi, Friends!  How are the workouts going??  I, for one, have found them to be super useful and they came in super handy while on vacay this past week.  Often, when traveling, one does not have access to a gym, so these workouts are the perfect solution for someone looking to workout in their hotel room or other form of lodging without a gym.  That was the case for me this past week and boy was I glad to have these on hand!

Aviate Hat,

Can you guess where I was this past week?? Hat by Aviate via Gus Mayer.

Here are your three workouts for week 3:

Day 1:

Summer Program_D1W3 Summary

Summer Program_D1W3 Exercises

Day 2:

Summer Program_D2W3 Summary

Summer Program_D2W3 Exercises

Day 3:

Summer Program_D2W3 Exercises

Summer Program_D2W3 Exercises

As an added bonus, Home Fit Consulting is also providing you with some nutrition tips! These were curated by a registered dietician, Abby Nevins of Taste and See, LLC.  Check out what she has to say below:

10 General Tips for Staying Healthy this Summer

*Try applying one tip per week. Making too many changes at once can be overwhelming!

  • Don’t Skip Meals. Your schedule may be a little looser and your typical routine may be thrown off kilter. This is not an excuse to skip meals. Plan ahead to prevent this if possible! When we get hungry, we make bad decisions.
  • Stay Hydrated. People frequently mistake their thirst for hunger. Keep a water bottle in your car so you can ensure to stay hydrated when on the go.
  • Double Fist. On the topic of hydration, make sure you always drink water in between your alcoholic beverage of choice. This will help you drink less calories during the evening and make you feel better in the morning.
  • Enjoy Fresh Seafood. If you get the chance to escape to the gulf, enjoy the fresh fish that is available. Coconut shrimp is not what I’m suggesting…grilled is your healthiest option.
  • Be Active. Enjoy the beautiful sunshine and get outside!! It will burn calories and increase your Vitamin D levels!
  • Experiment with New Fruits and Vegetables. Visit a local farmer’s market and pick up an unfamiliar item to taste. You may discover a new way to add more vitamins and minerals to your diet.
  • Save Splurges for the Weekend. Try and keep sweets and alcohol for the weekends only.
  • Be Prepared on Vacation. Take healthy snacks for the car such as low-calorie popcorn, 100-calorie packs of almonds, or an apple.
  • Keep Grilling Healthy. Choose lean meats to throw on the grill this summer. Chicken, fish, and turkey are obviously great options, but lean bison or sirloin can make for a great burger.
  • Cook at Home. Have celebrations in your own backyard instead of eating out. When on vacation, buy groceries and stay in to save on calories and money. Anytime you prepare your own food, it is a guarantee you will consume less salt, sugar and fat.

Taste and See,

For more personal information, email Registered Dietitian Abby Nevins,

Abby Nevins, MS, RD, LD, 
Taste and See, LLC


And, one more from my trip. 🙂

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

The 7 Lessons I Learned from my Chic and Fit 2014 Challenge

I did it y’all!!  You may recall that on May 6th, I blogged about the Chic and Fit 2014 challenge.  Refresh your memory here. 🙂  In short, I wanted to become more physically active and find a way to de-stress a bit.  Well, it worked!  I managed to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity for 45 days straight and I managed to get through my grant submission with most of my sanity intact!!! 😀 My goal was to complete the challenge by the first day of Summer (i.e. June 21st), and I succeeded!  Here are a few of the lessons I learned…along with some pictures from my Twitter and Instagram updates:

1.  It is VERY feasible to be active for at least 30 minutes a day.  For me, it was easier to do this around 10pm after the kids were in bed.  It so happened, that I was working on submitting a grant during this challenge, so workouts in the morning and during the workday (e.g. lunch time) were just not ideal for me.  But the 10pm workout was perfect!  I was usually done by 11pm, so all in all, not too disruptive to my day!  Here I am at 10pm one night, in a workout top and pajama shorts, ha!  I was only 50% committed to this workout that night:

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Lululemon ‘No Limits’ tank, Gap pajama shorts, and New Balance running shoes.

2.  I didn’t ALWAYS run.  I sometimes walked.  Sometimes with my kids!  This often happened on the weekends, and the kids loved it!  We’d end up walking for about an hour around our VERY HILLY neighborhood.  Happy kids + 30 min-a-day-workout complete = SUCCESS!!

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 10.42.59 PMSometimes, the weather did not allow for a walk outdoors, so, I Bjorn-ed the baby and onto the treadmill we went for my 30 minute walk!  Add a bit of an incline to the treadmill, and ta-da!  Workout complete!

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Forever 21 tank, Champion (Target) sports bra, Victoria’s Secret pajama shorts.

One day, we had an afternoon birthday party for my oldest son and his bff, which involved a hike at a local state park, so that took the place of my workout that day.  Again, with baby in tow. 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 10.50.57 PM3.  I didn’t lose weight.  Well, not much at least.  Sigh.  As much as I would have loved to see the scale move, I only lost 3lbs this entire period.  BUT!!  I did lose inches!!  Most importantly, I lost inches around my waist; 3.5″ inches to be exact!!  The verdict: It is likely that I wasn’t consuming fewer calories than I was burning, but that I was converting some of that fat to muscle, which is ALL good in my book!  Here I am pre-challenge, wearing loose-fitting clothing to hide my – at the time – growing waistline:

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Top from boutique in LA, Forever 21 skinny jeans, Bergdorf’s fringe necklace, Forever 21 flats, Reece Blair bangles.

And here I am towards the end of my challenge, able to wear fitted clothing, and I actually have a waist!

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Stella and Dot ‘Pegasus’ necklace, Piperlime Vegan Leather peplum top, Target Merona Skirt, Henri Bendel bracelet, and Forever 21 bracelet.

So, what helped with the waistline slim-down you ask??  PLANKS!!

4.  Incorporate resistance training.  Often, to break up the monotony, I would lift light weights (say, 5lb weights), while walking on the treadmill on an incline, or add pushups, crunches, squats, lunges, and planks after a run.  Planks are THE BEESNEEZ!!!  Omgosh.  Seriously.  They are so hard!  A 1-minute plank makes you seriously reconsider how long a minute REALLY is.  And, I not only did regular planks, but also side planks.  Those were possibly the toughest!  Anyway, in combination with 50 crunches a day, my abs really, really began to transform!  Here’s an example of a side plank, from one of my fitness inspirations, Lindsey from Saucy Glossie:

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 11.16.28 PM5.  Diet.  Sigh.  This is another challenge all by itself!! It is honestly SO difficult to go from breastfeeding and being able to eat whatever I wanted without gaining any weight, to not breastfeeding and not being able to eat a slice a bread without the scale scowling at me day after day!! 😦  So, after about a month of not seeing any weight loss, I decided to seek some nutritional inspiration.  I happen to follow the blog and learned about the Bikini Bootcamp Challenge.  Combined with tips and diet/exercise recommendations from my two favorite fitness muses, The Tone It Up girls, this plan gave me tips on what to eat, including the idea to cut out white carbs and processed sugars.  I tried this for a minute (okay, about 3 weeks, with some cheat days), and then PMS got the best of me.  I say this, after having inhaled a bowl of spaghetti, eaten two fruit gummy slices, and currently munching on trail mix (with marshmallows); and yes, this was ALL TODAY!  WAAA!!  In my defense, the challenge is over, and I can start again on Monday.  Haha!  Example of one of my low-carb meals:

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 11.33.48 PM

Mooyah Burgers

6.  You are not alone!  It was SO encouraging and amazing to see how my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter community rallied and cheered me on…even joined in on the challenge!! Check out some of the ladies (not all are pictured) who joined in on the fun by tagging #chicandfit2014 on Instagram:


@chandatemple, @academicaccessories, @thague611, @writeousbabe, @mycorporatestyle, @thisgirlonabudget, @4loveoffashion, @whilsicalsf, @gracie_mcd, @mycorporatestyle, @myfabulousfrugallife, @buddingfashionista, @profkrobinson, @erikabunker

Last but not least, a huge shout out to my hubby – Mike – for watching the kiddies on days when I wanted to work out during the day, or early in the evenings before they had gone to bed! Thank you, hubby!!

Surprisingly, I also seem to have inspired some unlikely people as well!  My little 5-year old included!  Love my little guy… 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.16.36 AM7.  It’s not easy being fit.  Sigh, if only it WERE easy.  There were days when all I wanted to do was go to bed and skip my workout, but I would make myself get on the treadmill and get my 30 minutes in.  Eventually, it became part of my daily routine and I didn’t give it a second thought.  That didn’t make it easier, but I would at least manage get some physical activity in my day.  Even if it was to walk brisk enough to make me break a sweat. 🙂  Check me out on a day when I’d only had 4 hours of sleep and had only consumed a bagel and coffee all day (darn you grant submissions!), but still managed to get a 30 min run in:

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.29.21 AMAll in all, the challenge really helped to re-introduce fitness into my every day routine.  I still don’t love it per se, but I definitely found ways to mix up my workouts a bit, which definitely made it a lot more fun!  Finally, I did and do feel less stressed (great for my sanity in academia), my clothes fit better (and let’s face it, that’s a HUGE reason all on its own), and I gained some new friends and workout partners (thank you social media)!!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, where I review the Tarjay version of the Lululemon ‘No-Limits’ workout tank I wore during some of my Chic and Fit 2014 workouts!

Until then..Stay Chic!!