FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
CP: Greetings everyone! I’m Carla Palmer, 40+ single mom, health and fitness enthusiast with a professional career as a Career Development Manager for a non-profit organization serving current and former foster youth in LA county. I have been working with the organization for 9 years and I must say it is the most rewarding job I’ve EVER had. My hobbies include, singing, being involved in community service events and anything related to being active. I take advantage of every opportunity that will allow me to get my blood circulating and my heart pumping.
FFFC: What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
CP: When I stepped back and looked at my 2 and ½ year dead-end relationship, I got fed up with my position. Over that 2 ½ year period I had gained a significant amount of weight and started feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I had truly lost my ZEST for life. It even got to a point where I began blaming myself for my man’s “wandering ways.” Then one day it just hit me. I got upset about the way I was being “cheated” and I had my aha!!! moment. My brilliant plan was to stay in the relationship for a few more months, workout and eat healthier until I reached my goal (being sexy and fit) and THEN I’d break up. In hindsight it all sounds quite silly but I had to start somewhere. Sometimes being motivated out of anger is where it begins. But what tends to happen is you feel so much better about yourself and the new person you are becoming that all the anger and revenge stuff goes out the window. At least that’s how it worked out for me. I started experiencing life in a new way. I stared respecting the environment, my body and even had more love, respect and compassion for other people. It got to a point where I was ready to move on, long before I’d reached my goal weight. I knew that I was going to be fine being alone. Needless to say, I left the relationship. There were no more ill feelings on my part because I had replaced hurt and anger with the simple, wonderful things in life. I learned new ways of making myself happy and even shared these new experiences with my son, his friends and my friends/family.
FFFC: What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?
CP: At my heaviest, the largest number on the scale was 198. I lost a total of 52lbs. Down 5 dress sizes.
FFFC: How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
CP: Approximately 12 months. 4-5lbs per month.
FFFC: What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
CP: I believe in cross training for weight loss and weight management. So, my routine consist(ed) of biking, jogging, sprints, jumping rope, hiking, cardio dvd’s and now strength training 3 days per week.
FFFC: How did your eating habits change?
CP: My eating habits changed significantly. What people have to realize is that you don’t have to cut everything out at once. For example, you can gradually reduce your soda intake until you feel like you can let it go for good. I eventually replaced soda with water once I understood that water intake was/is key in the weight loss process and I began eating more protein and fiber rich foods. I became more familiar with the items on the perimeter of the grocery store and I started visiting the local farmers market for fresh fruits and veggies. Most importantly, I started making more of an effort to prepare my own food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
FFFC: What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
CP: For breakfast I may have oatmeal with cranberries or raisins, or a spinach omelet. If I’m rushing, I will at least have a Greek yogurt and half of an apple. My goal is to never skip the most important meal of the day.
Lunch may look something like this: fresh salad with spinach and mixed greens, bell peppers, avocado, roasted pine nuts, grilled chicken, and blueberries.
Dinner could be oven roasted veggies (squash, zucchini, mushrooms, brussels sprouts etc) drizzled with EVOO, and a piece of grilled salmon or grilled ground turkey.
FFFC: What is your favorite fitness activity?
CP: There are so many things I love to do to stay active. Picking one particular activity that I could say was/is a favorite would be tough. But If I had to pick I would say hiking. There are many different hiking trails all over Southern California so the scenic and often challenging adventures are endless.
FFFC: What do you do now to maintain your physique?
CP: I am happy to say that I’ve lost weight and kept it off for 4 years now. I think what helps with my maintenance is the fact that I paid attention during my journey. For example, I did the food journaling, still today I make and keep my fitness appointments. And rarely do I allow anything to get in the way of me getting it done. I cross train 5-6 times per week so that my body doesn’t get used to doing the same routine over and over. And I watch my sodium intake and I drink lots of water.
FFFC: How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
CP: The will to avoid the bad stuff is not always as strong as I’d like. I have my moments when I give into temptation but I don’t beat myself up about it and I usually try to share with someone. What also helps is writing down how awful and sluggish you feel later or the next day after you’ve eaten something that is considered “bad” food. When you want it again, go back and read what you wrote and THEN make the decision to eat or not to eat. As for the lack of activity, I strongly encourage people to push through even when you don’t want to go. You will almost never regret the workout. Every time you are about to eat, it’s your chance to feed your body something good. Don’t you deserve something good? Life has enough crap to offer us so why should we feed it to ourselves? Feeding our bodies with the goodness is a great way of LOVING ourselves. That’s what we need to put into practice.
FFFC: What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?
CP: I’d ask them to write a contract and sign it. The contract is with yourself. You are making an agreement with yourself that you are going to get and BE healthy. Make the contract specific, sign it and hang it somewhere it is ALWAYS going to be visible (the fridge…hint hint). You can begin your journey with consistent walks 3-4 times per week if you aren’t yet comfortable with jogging and you can also take an assessment of your daily food intake and get a sense of where you can start the eliminating or lessening. Take measurements (busts, thighs, biceps, neck and waist) so that you don’t merely rely on the scale. Most importantly I would say to try different fitness activities until you find some that speak to you. The more you like, the less chances of you getting bored and burned out.
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
CP: The biggest misconception is that it’s going to happen much quicker than it is. This is why I always encourage people to be very patient with the progress, to focus more on how you FEEL than what the scale says, and to only focus on losing 1-2 lbs per week.
FFFC: How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?
CP: I have a GYSB® Facebook page www.facebook.com/GYSBmovement a website where you can find blogs and recipes and soon more GYSB gear www.GYSBmovement.com and an ebook where you can read more about my weight loss journey and get more details on how I lost the weight and how I have been able to maintain. In the book you will also find suggestions on what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and other life changes that will be beneficial to your overall wellness. GYSB® book can be found : https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/270514
I am excited for those of you who may be reading this and have just started your journey. The first few weeks are often the most challenging when you are trying to break away from habits that have been with you for quite some time. But with a good support system like Femme Fitale Fit Club, friends and family, you CAN and more than likely WILL reach success. And for those who are simply trying to maintain, I know it’s not always easy but the reasons why this lifestyle is best are endless: longer life span, stronger heart, more peace of mind/spirit, and being an inspiration to others…just to touch on a few.
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