5 Keys to Successful Weight Loss

I understand times are tight, and when it comes to weight loss, people want options that don't cost a lot of money.  It becomes the excuse for staying overweight:  "I can't afford that expensive organic/diet food."  or "I just can't invest in an exercise program right now."  So I've developed 5 Keys to Successful Weight Loss that shouldn't break the bank!
  1. COUNT CALORIES:  Sign up for www.myfitnesspal.com. (It's free.)  You need to know how much you are consuming and expending in calories.  Without this knowledge, even eating healthy won't ensure your success.  LOG EVERY SINGLE THING YOU EAT/DRINK!  (Measure out your food -- another KEY component in weight loss success.)  Also log your exercise, but don't eat the "extra" calories you gain from your workouts if you want to get to your goal quicker.
  2. PLAN YOUR MEALS:  And eat 5 small meals every day!  Find some healthy recipes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at least two snacks (I use www.skinnytaste.com). Get the ingredients and make at least a couple recipes and freeze them in single serving sizes.  You can make a healthy, organic, whole food meal for less than a couple of dollars. ALSO -- buy some protein bars that are around 300 calories (P90X bars are perfect -- Wildberry is my favorite!). Keep one in your purse or backpack so when you're out, you can eat something healthy and filling instead of getting fast food. Even the most expensive protein bars are cheaper than ANY fast food meal! Or, make my granola bars recipe.
  3. DRINK WATER:  Stop drinking anything other than water.  Coffee is OK, but limit it to 2 a day and watch what you're putting in it -- count those calories, too! I actually do NOT recommend sugar free or fat free substitutes.  What so many people think is that drinking diet soda will keep them from gaining weight.  Unfortunately, diet soda does NOT help you lose weight!  Sure, it has zero calories, but it's full of chemicals and can actually give you hunger cravings.  Have you ever had a diet coke and "needed" a snack, too?!  Water is free, fills you up, and is so much better for you!
  4. WORKOUT:  Schedule some sort of workout. (Push-ups, sit-ups/crunches, jump rope, jogging, running, jumping jacks, etc.)  Commit to working out at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 30 min. Get up earlier for work and do it. TRUST ME.....the endorphins you release working out will make you much happier and you'll have more energy. You're actually more likely to stick with it if you make yourself do this every day, as opposed to just 3 times a week.  What you do for 21 days becomes a habit.  It's true:  I never worked out before and once I got to the 21 day mark, I actually woke up and wanted to workout!  If an investment in a good at-home workout is possible for you, check out my website.  I've found great success from TurboJam and P90X.  (And this is coming from a girl who weighed more than 200 lbs in April 2011, had never worked out before, and never played sports in school!)  Les Mills Body Pump is now available on my website which burns up to 1,000 calories in one hour.  Now that's a workout you can do just 3 times a week and see real results!
  5. WEIGH YOURSELF ONCE A WEEK:  So many people weigh themselves every day, and even multiple times per day.  Choose ONE day per week and only weigh in then, and at the same time, too!  I recommend weighing in as soon as you wake up.  Seeing the scale go up and down is not encouraging to someone trying to lose weight.  If you are making serious changes in your diet and exercise, you will see changes at your weekly weigh-ins.  And if possible, find a group of friends and weigh in together, in person!  Accountability is key....you can also log in your weight to myfitnesspal and use your friends on there as your accountability partners.


TIme to get PUMPED!

If you're looking for a way to burn up to 1000 calories an hour, and only workout three times a week, Les Mills Pump is for you! Check it out for yourself.


P90X Review, 3 weeks in.....

P90X....the very mention of it used to give me the chills. Really? A workout so extreme that only people who have major muscles need apply......But then I became a Team Beachbody coach back in September and started to consider doing P90X.

I started with Chalean's Turbo Jam and worked my way through that program in 30 days. I'd never done any type of martial arts workouts, and I realized I love it!  It definitely does not feel like a workout to me, but just a fun time of burning calories (yes, really!).  But I was only conditioned to do 20-30 minute workouts, as anything past that and I usually crumpled on the floor in a sweaty mess.

One day in late October, I spent the night reading through the Success Stories on my TBB page.  What did the majority of them have in common?  P90X!  Ugghhh......really?  Again with the P90X!  Then Beachbody announced it was going to offer P90X Certification.  I was thinking about becoming a personal trainer, so the wheels started turning.....maybe I should try this P90X thing.  I'm certainly NOT the P90X "type" (if there is one), but maybe I could at least try.  There were women who looked like me at the beginning who looked amazing at the end of their 90 day transformation!

So I did it.  I ordered that bad boy and when it arrived, I had to leave town for 2 weeks.  I was so ready to begin the program, but it would have to wait until I returned from my trips.  Then, Thanksgiving happened, and P90X sat next to my DVD player until 2 weeks ago.  Finally, I decided NO more putting it off.  I was going to start this thing and see it all the way through.  One thing you should know about me is that I'm a rule follower.  Since P90X has several specialized programs, I chose one and decided to stick to the schedule religiously.  I am on Day 16 as of today!  There really is hope that I'll be a P90X grad in 74 more days......

Let me break down my own review of the workouts and moves:

Chest & Back, Shoulders & Arms, Legs & Back all include pull-ups and push-ups along with many other crazy intense exercises!

Who knew I could actually do real push-ups?  I started out being able to do push-ups on my knees only.  Now, I can do many sets of push-ups, the real kind, and up to 10 at a time!  I use the P90X push up stands and believe that is a big part of the reason why I'm able to do push-ups.  I've always had trouble with my wrists, so now I have no strain whatsoever and can concentrate on doing the movement correctly.  I can't bend all the way down yet, but I'm getting there!  Step-by-step baby!

I have not been able to do pull-ups yet, even assisted.  But, I'm not giving up.  I use resistance bands wrapped around a spindle on my staircase.  I can tell my muscles are getting stronger, as I have to back up farther each day.  My goal, before the 90 days are up, is to be able to do 5 pull-ups (assisted is fine, but I'd like to do at least ONE unassisted!).

I really struggle with sit-ups.  My hips pop every time I do a move, so I'm thinking I may need to see my chiropractor.  (I was hit by a drunk driver in Jan. 1997 and have a permanent disability in my back and neck.)  I still do as much as I can, though.  For some crazy reason, I enjoy the "heels to heaven" move!  I've had 3 c-sections, so my goal is to keep at this workout and avoid a future tummy tuck!

This is my favorite workout so far.  For some reason, doing martial arts as a workout isn't difficult for me!  I LOVE IT!  I enjoy the whole workout and I'm able to keep up for the whole hour now.  I actually substituted KenpoX for Yoga one day!  When I first did this workout, I thought Tony was crazy when he said, "Ok, it's break time.  Let's start running in place.  Now jumping jacks.  Now X jacks."  What?!  He IS crazy....but I'm able to keep up now after only 16 days.  Amazing, people.  I'm the girl who played ZERO sports and weighed over 200 pounds back in April.

This is probably my second favorite workout.  I usually burn about 400+ calories doing this workout!   The exercises are not terribly difficult.  One of them is pretending to jump over an imaginary rushing stream.  He also has some faux basketball moves that are kind of fun.  Did I just say plyometrics is fun?  Wow.........It's more the intensity and constant movement that is difficult.  So I challenge myself each time.  I try to do as many as I can, but quit when I feel like I'm going to fall over!

Sorry yoga fans, I'm just not crazy about the yoga.  It's a 90 min workout and I get really bored with it.  I guess I'm just a fan of the high intensity workouts.....I've only tried it once, and since then, I sub it out with Plyometrics or Kenpo X.

I will update my review after Christmas when I will have completed 30 days.  And if I'm brave enough, I'll even post pics of Day 1 and Day 30.  I know for me, that's the reason why I chose P90X -- because people posted their before and after pics!


Top 10 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Are you dreading the upcoming holiday season because of all the food, running around, and lack of time to care for yourself?  Here's my Top 10 Healthy Holiday Tips to keep your waist under control and to.....

  1. Set a limit of how many "bad" things you'll eat.  It's OK to indulge during this special time of the year.  But it's not OK to eat as much as you like!  Setting a limit allows you to make choices and not take in too many extra calories.
  2. Make healthy meals when you're at home.  You'll most likely be eating out a lot in the next few weeks due to parties, parties, and more parties!  So when you are at home, make the healthiest meals you can.  But don't make "diet" meals for you and "regular" meals for your family.  Just make ONE meal that's healthy for all of you.  Filling up on water and veggies will help you feel full.
  3. Drink a large glass of water before you go out to a holiday party.  This will fill your belly and make you feel full.  You'll still be tempted by all the yummy treats, but feeling full will keep you from overindulging.
  4. Keep granola bars in your purse for a healthy snack on-the-go.  Check out my earlier post for an easy recipe, or pick up a box of your favorite ones.  Believe it or not, eating 5 small meals a day will help you lose weight!  It'll keep you from overeating at meal-time, too.
  5. Order a "skinny" coffee.  Ok, so I'm not a big fan of fat-free/sugar-free, BUT I'm guilty of overindulging at Starbucks during this time of year.  It's cold out and I just want to grab a yummy, warm coffee/mocha/cappuccino/latte when I'm out running errands.  If I stick to a small skinny drink, I save a LOT of extra calories.
  6. Stop drinking diet drinks!  Ok, so that's contrary to the previous tip, but seriously, diet sodas and diet drinks in general only make you more likely to snack or want more food than you should consume.  Stick to water.  Keep a water bottle on hand with you when you're out and about!  Buy yourself a cute one that you'll be proud to take around town.
  7. Research fast food nutrition online.  Seriously!  Go online and check out the calories in your favorite fast food menus.  Write down a couple items that are less than 400 calories and stick the list in your purse.  If you have to grab a bite to eat, choose something from your list. 
  8. Log your food.  Use an online food diary like www.myfitnesspal.com.  It's FREE & it'll help you know what you are taking in.  You can also log your exercise, which leads me to the next tip....
  9. Exercise!  Get up 30 min early and move your body.  Find a workout DVD you like, or go online for some simple exercises.  Get on the treadmill or eliptical.  Go to the gym.  Take a new class.  DO SOMETHING!  If you haven't been exercising and start now, doing so just 3 times a week will work off the extra calories you most likely will consume.
  10. Get some accountability!  Find a group of friends, or at least ONE and ask them to help you stay accountable.  Make a virtual appointment to email or IM each other the next few weeks.
I'm linking up to Serenity Now's Weekend Bloggy Reading:
Weekend Bloggy Reading


Chocolate Shakeology No-Bake Cookie Recipe

I have been reading about using Shakeology in my recipes, so I finally decided to try one out tonight.  I researched "no bake cookie" recipes and chose a great, simple one on allrecipes.com and altered it just a bit.   The results were amazing!  These are really yummy, gooey little cookies packed with lots of great ingredients, especially because of the Shakeology.   


I will warn you, though, my version turned out pretty sticky!  I'm not sure if it's because we didn't wait for them to completely set up or not. *wink*  I'll experiment with them again to see if I can get a better finished product.  But gooey or not, these are too good not to share!


I also experimented and made my own homemade almond butter by simply putting sliced almonds, approximately 2 tablespoons of honey and about 1/4-1/2 cup of water in the blender and blending until smooth.


If you don't have a Team Beachbody coach yet and/or you don't know where to order Shakeology, click here.



  • 1 3/4 cups raw sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/2 cup butter (please do not use margarine!)
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and Shakeology. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. 

  2. Remove from heat, and stir in almond butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened. (I think you could also spread the cookie batter into a well-greased 9X13" pan, let cool, and cut into bars, too.)

Per serving:  85 calories; 4 g fat 

Recipe adapted from All Recipes' No Bake Cookie Recipe.


Coach Kelly's 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge!

This is a program designed for women who want to lose 40 pounds or more.  However, it's open to everyone!

I've decided to develop a program for people just like me.  In April 2011, I had a goal of 50 lbs to lose.  I know what it's like to look in the closet and just want to cry because nothing fits.  I know what it's like to get winded walking up stairs.  I know what it's like to feel guilt after gorging myself on bad food.  I know what it's like to make resolution after resolution....try diet after diet.........Now I'm happy to say that I'm down more than 40 and SO close to my goal! 

Begins: January 1, 2012
Ends: February 1, 2012

Guaranteed** results:
This will vary from person to person, but imagine yourself 10, 15, or even 20 lbs lighter. You’ll have more energy than you’ve had before…..you’ll need new clothes…and people will notice!

• Friend me on Facebook & post on my wall: "I want in the 30 Day Challenge!"
• Sign up for the Beachbody Challenge (Free!)
Order Shakeology on HD* by December 20, 2011

What you get:
• 1 full meal replacement per day
• Shakeology recipes
• A beginner and intermediate workout
• Access to private FB group with daily inspiration
• Weekly phone calls from me to check your progress (we’ll set an appt. time)

• Team Beachbody Club Membership ($38 for 3 months) – this will give you access to a personalized meal plan.
• Log your workouts into the Supergym online and be entered into the daily $500 drawing every time! (These don’t have to be the Shakeology workouts….log a 20 min walk!)
• Complete the Beachbody Challenge by sending in your results at the end of the 30 days and be entered to win up to $100,000 for your transformation!

BONUS: If we have a minimum of 8 participants, the person who logs the MOST workouts during the challenge wins $20 off Shakeology for February!

I was hesitant at first about promoting shakes to lose weight.  Personally, I have finally discovered that the secret to weight loss and long-term management is to change your lifestyle:  Exercise at least 3 times per week and eat healthy!  But when I signed up to be a Beachbody Coach, I decided to try Shakeology and see what all the fuss was about.

I must say.....Shakeology is amazing!  If you aren't eating right, or you're having difficulty with portion control, or you skip breakfast because you think it'll save you calories, then Shakeology is for you!  The ingredients are NATURAL.  My insides feel good when I have my Shakeology every morning.  It's easy.  It's convenient.  And you will feel different.  I promise!  And if that's not good enough, it comes with a "bottom of the bag" guarantee.  Seriously, you have nothing to lose but those excess pounds. 

*You can call and cancel autoship of Shakeology after your first shipment arrives to avoid any future charges, (by ordering it on “Home Direct” you receive FREE shipping & the FREE Shakeology workouts).
**If you are not satisfied with your results, you may contact Beachbody for a full refund (minus the shipping/tax) of your Shakeology order – yes, just send them the empty bag for your money back!