Soon after the pandemic hit, social media was lit up with all sorts of online fitness challenges. About a month ago, I was tagged by who I consider now to a one of my new fitness accountability partners, for a 25 Day Push Up Challenge. As a part of her obligation, she needed to nominate a new person everyday of the challenge to do 25 pushups a day while raising awareness for mental illness.
For those who know me, I'm always up for a challenge. And at that point, I had fallen into another episode of stagnacation (a stagnant vacation) and needed a quick boost into my next level of fitness. It took about a week for me to prepare my mental, but I eventually got started. (Tauruses have to take a moment to change course, but when we do... we get results!)
At the end of the challenge, I'd actually gained a few new friends who cheered me along with comments on my posts. I call those friends my new accountability partners. We still continue to push each other just like we did in the challenge. Overall it was a rewarding experience and it inspired me to start a new challenge with a new direction.
Starting October 1, I'll be hosting my own #AAAChallenge and anyone who would like to participate can let me know by tagging me everyday on social media so I can comment, like, and share your posts. This challenge has 3 parts to it to keep you focused.
Affirmation- These positive statements about yourself, whether you believe them or not, will start to reprogram your brain at a subconscious level. (As a man thinketh, so is he.) Say these statements out loud every day. Feel free to make adjustments to the affirmations as you feel the need.
Action- Choose an exercise or activity you would like to perform everyday for the next 25 days and post a video or picture of you performing it. Theories suggest it takes 21 days to form new habits... I give you a few more days for errors.
Accountability- We fall off because we don't have the support. Tagging me and other friends along this journey will make the journey that much more exciting. Seeing the progress of others will usually inspire and keep the desire fresh and new. We support each other by commenting and giving positive words of support.
How TO Participate
Copy and paste this next section as the text for all your posts. Add and make adjustments to the Affirmations, Actions, and Accountability sections as you feel necessary.
Today is day 1 of my new 25 day #fitnesschallenge for October. My #AAAChallenge is about Affirmation, Action, and Accountability.
Affirmation | Everyday I tell myself
•I am beautiful
•I am 10 pounds lighter
•I am a weight loss success story
Action | Everyday I perform
•a 45 minute fat burning activity (heart rate in the fat burning zone)
Accountability | I’ve got an amazing set of fitness friends that inspire me to keep striving on the daily basis. Thank you @bigbonedfitness
I am looking forward to seeing my results on day 25.
#weightlossjourney #weightlossstory #thickandfit #fattofit #plussizefitness
I am looking forward to interacting with all my new accountability partners by commenting, sharing, and liking your posts!!! Good luck!
The Fat Burning Zone is not a new trend. When I studied for my Primary Group Certification, I remember reading about the Fat Burning Zone vs. the Cardio Training Zone. The facts around the Fat Burning Zone sounded so appealing as the simplest and easy way to lose weight. You would engage in activities that did not make you short of breath for longer periods of time and the fat would just fall off you. It sounded like a winner but when I would go to the gyms or look through everything fitness related, everybody was on this "I NEED MORE CARDIO" hyper trip. So I got on that kick to make sure I didn't miss losing weight. My focus became cardio. But after years of so many ups and downs with my weight I finally got hip to what will help lose the fat and keep it off (I started following the principles of the Six Week Body Makeover). Nothing wrong with cardio, but there is a foundation of fat burning activities you should always do daily to keep a healthy weight.
How to find your fat burning zone
The Fat Burning Zone is about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. In this zone, your breathing is controlled and you are able to talk without difficulty. Your maximum heart rate is the number of beats per minute that you never want to exceed. To find this number, take the magic number of 220 and subtract your age. If you are 40, your maximum heart rate would be 180 (220-40= 180). If you are ever exercising and you see your heart rate hit 180, you need to slow it down really quick. Your heart is working too hard. Your Fat Burning Zone is 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. 50% of 180 is 90. 70% of 180 is 126. So your target range for beats per minute will be between 90 and 126.
the best fat burning zone activities
Believe it or not, it is super easy to hit your Fat Burning Zone. I monitor my heart rate from my FitBit. I have a notification on my monitor that vibrates when I've completed 30 minutes of activity in either the fat or cardio training zone. I read about it before, but the first time I realized that normal every day housework was actually in the Fat Burning Zone was the day I was doing housework. I was wearing my monitor while I was going back and forth between washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, and washing clothes. I was listening to the radio while I was back on washing dishes when I felt my monitor vibrating. At first I thought it was a call, but when I saw "30" flash across my screen, I pressed through to take a look at my heart rate. It was at 102, which is in my Fat Burning Zone. I also know that walking at a moderate pace will keep me in the Fat Burning Zone. I was shocked to see that my heart rate would be the same for two totally separate activities. After discovering this I started to monitor my heart rate while I performed other physical activities and light exercise. I found that it is not hard to reach the Fat Burning Zone. The point is finding activities that keep you on your feet and physically active.
Here are a few physical activities you can do more of every day that will keep you in the Fat Burning Zone and losing or maintaining a healthy weight:
Here are a few exercise activities you may want to consider doing that will produce the same results:
How to start tracking the fat burning zone
Heart rate monitors make it so much more easy to monitor if you are staying in the Fat Burning Zone. Getting started is easy. No more putting 2 fingers on your wrist and counting for 15 seconds or holding onto the fitness equipment at the gym that everybody uses.
1. Purchase a heart rate monitor. I've used Polar and FitBit. I prefer FitBit because it fits my everyday lifestyle and I sometimes even forget I have it on.
2. When you program your device, be sure you enter your age and weight and so forth. This information is useful for calculating your target heart rates which includes your Fat Burning Zone.
3. Start your workout by programming it on the app or device. Check the heart rate regularly since you burn the most amount of fat while you are in that 50-70% range.
4. To be best effective, make sure you do 45-60 minutes in the zone. If your heart is beating above the highest number, then slow down. If it dips below the smallest number in the range, then get more active. And always remember the first 5-10 minutes will not burning much fat. You have to warm up first, then the body will burn fat after that.
I hope this gives you a totally new perspective on how to maintain a healthy weight. Most people are sedentary and this is the reason for weight gain. Changing up your daily routine and adding a few extra physical activities can add much value to your every day life. Find what works for you. I wish you the best!
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During the course of my first pregnancy, I managed to lose 33lbs. And I owe it all to an amazingly proactive doctor, a very knowledgeable diabetes education counselor, and very knowledgeable perinatal doctors. I call them my dream team. But at the start of the journey I never even imagined losing weight. I was actually very anxious and nervous for what this baby was about to do to my body. I heard the horror stories about women describing how their bodies changed for the worse after having their first child. And it wasn't like I was a young gal, I'm getting close to 40!!
I weighed in at 248lbs at my first appointment on week 8. Due to several risk factors such as my weight and age, my doctor diagnosed me with gestational diabetes and scheduled me an appointment with a diabetes education counselor. (Sidenote: She had been warning me for several years to lose the weight and asked me to take the education classes before, but I was stubborn, I didn't see the need.) It only required 2 visits. In the first visit she described the new eating plan for meals and snacks that I was strongly recommended to follow. I now had to use a glucometer and take regular blood sugar readings. I had to write down everything I ate for the duration of the pregnancy.
At first I was mad about the new changes. I hate needles, and it made me remember how I used to watch my grandmother test her blood sugar when I was younger. But when I thought about how this was going to make sure my unborn child was born healthy, I decided to put on my grown lady panties and get with the program.
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There were 4 things I changed to make sure I was able to follow this plan. I had to change my environment for this to happen. Old bad habits die quick. But I know that working to change these 4 things is what helped me to lose the weight.
1. My Diet Had To Change
Pre-baby, I used to eat 2-3 times a day. With this new diet, I was required to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks. I was limited to 30g of carbs per meal/snack. I had to eat every 2-3 hours like clock work. So the first thing I did was found some really great snacks to carry around in my bag between meals. My favorite go to snacks were Fiber One Bars, string cheese, Chobani greek yogurt, and Karr's sweet and salty trail mix. My favorite meals were breakfast sandwiches, salads with seafood and a garlic roll, and soups.
2. No Excuses, Exercise Was A Must
For my first trimester I was still able to stomach my regular routine workout minus the sauna afterwards. During my second trimester, I transitioned from my Cordless Jump Rope workout to more walking during lunch breaks. I didn't feel like doing all the extra. Then in my third trimester I only walked for my exercise. And what really reinforced my walking is the fact that I gave up my car and resorted to using public transportation. So I walked a lot!
3. Plenty Of Water At My Disposal
I was always thirsty. So I ordered a filtered water pitcher and had it delivered to my job. Everyday I would fill up this container multiple times a day. And since my body now demanded ice cold water, I made sure I kept plenty of ice in insulated cups at my desk.
4. No Stress Environment
This part was a challenge. I had many weird situations that broke out around me during my pregnancy. Call it changing hormones or seeing people for their true colors, but I had to take control of my personal space and only engage in conversations with people that were positive and supportive of me at that state. I refused to talk to certain people who were eager to push my buttons. I was determined to have a peaceful pregnancy and delivery. So I had to consciously make a decision to exclude certain situations and people from getting into my mental space.
So after changing those habits and monitoring my sugar levels for 37 weeks, I was able to deliver my son via c-section at 6lbs 7oz. He is the most peaceful and amazingly alert little boy I could have ever fallen in love with. After 2 weeks of breast feeding, I stepped on the scale and saw 215lbs. The next day it read the same again. I couldn't believe I actually lost the weight and was keeping it off. You don't understand, I had not seen the number 215 in over 3 years. So it almost made me want to say... let's do it again, I need to see 176 by 40!!
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After receiving the results from the blood tests my doctor ordered, there were three critical deficiencies that I had no idea I had incurred. All I know is that it became increasingly easy for me to gain weight. I realized that no matter how hard I was exercising, my body was fatigued, I was sleepy all the time. My bones started popping whenever I got up, walked, or exercised. My eyes became increasingly sensitive to light. Driving at night became scary, and during the day I would find myself squinting to adjust to the light around me. I'm like... WTF!?!?! I'm breaking down... I'm dying!!!
When I told my doctor these symptoms she brushed it off and said it was nothing. As a matter of fact she told me that she just read a report that stated popping joints were due to extra air between the joints. (I'm gonna fire her as soon as I find a tip top replacement). The next day the nurse's assistant called me with the report, she warned me of the Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Iron deficiency that was upon me. She stressed that my Vitamin D levels were a 6, when the normal should be 40. My levels were so low they had to prescribe me Vitamin D. Then she suggested an over-the-counter supplement to get my iron and Vitamin B12 levels up.
As soon as I got out of there I started researching the signs and symptoms of each of these deficiencies. So amazing how I found a research study that linked Vitamin D deficiencies with light sensitivity by taking it to google.
So how did I get here? How long had I been here? I don't know. I've had blood tests, but this is the first time anything was said. So now I have questions for my doctor. And I'm taking copies of the report so she can educate herself. I expect the persons who care for me to really care for me. But until then, the only person who can make sure I get the best care and the best education is myself. Soooo... let's work on this plan to get my levels up!
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I've been a lot of places,