Viya’s Health and Wellness

September is here! I’m looking forward to the autumn season: cooler weather, changing leaves, all things pumpkin and apple, scarves, harvest festivals, Oktoberfest, Halloween…. it truly is my favorite time of year. With the many outdoor activities that happen in the fall, it’s time to post my September Challenge Groups so that we can Fall into Shape this month together!

SEPTEMBER 12th: Viya’s Club Challenge Group
Do you want to try out some new exercises and recipes but aren’t committed to purchasing a program? Join me to try out the 30-day FREE trial of Beachbody’s TEAM CLUB MEMBERSHIP. That’s right, you’ll get online access to workout videos with their celebrity trainers, guides for good nutrition and great places to log workouts and meet others who are doing the same things you are.

SEPTEMBER 19th: FREE 2-Week Crockpot Meal Challenge Group
With school starting and schedules filling up, sometimes it’s hard to get meals together when activities are piling up one after another. For 2 weeks join me as I put together my favorite healthy crockpot meals for you so that you are ready to take on the colder months with delicious food that will fill you up but not pack on the pounds.

SEPTEMBER 26th: 21 DAY FIX Challenge Group
Creating new, healthy habits is much easier with a support group! Join me and my fellow challengers for 4 weeks (prep week + 21 Days) to kick those bad habits and find new ways to incorporate healthy eating and fitness into your life! Although this group is geared toward the 21 Day Fix program, you can join with ANY of the Beachbody programs for added support and accountability.

You can sign up for any of these groups by contacting me here through this blog or contacting me through my Facebook page Viya’s Health and Wellness.

New Year, New Me

Everyone has a story.  Each life is a woven tapestry of experiences and emotions.  Like a snowflake or fingerprint, no person’s life story is exactly like another’s.  Despite the differences however, our struggles and triumphs, our fears and joys and animosities are reflected in others and our human connections to each other and the world we live in.  I’m here to tell my story and invite you on my life journey- a journey to health, to peace, to confidence, to life.

My journey to health has not been a straight one.  I really like (I mean REALLY LIKE) certain junk food items and indulgent, gluttonous meals.  When I was growing up, I had a quick metabolism and fairl active childhood so I didn’t reallly think about what I ate.  In college, weight would start creeping up on me, but like the last minute cramming for exams, I was able to do just enough exercise to lose 10 lbs or so before I started eating what I wanted again.  Thus the vicious cycle began: eat too much, gain weight, diet & exercise for a month or so until something interrupted my routine, began to sneak in unhealthy foods and relax my exercising, get disappointed that I was gaining weight again, completely fall off the wagon….etc.  My love of food combined with lack of moderation led me to yo-yo between 130 and 180, steadily increasing the minimum weight over time.

During my mid 20’s there were two times when I started significantly losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise; l joined a zumba group and went from the high 160’s to 148 lbs, but then got pregnant with my first child.  Despite being sick for most of my pregnancy, I gained about 35 lbs.  Thrilled with being a first time mom but completely unhappy with how I looked and felt, I ended up joining a yoga studio that had a mommy and me program in which I could bring my son.  Getting involved with their different programs along with nursing helped me to lose my baby weight and get fit at the same time.  I was happy; I was healthy.  I was not yet at my ideal weight, but my trajectory was good- until we moved.  My husband’s contract changed and we decided to move from Virginia to Maryland; not too far, but far enough to put my routines on hold and stress me out- bringing out former, dormant bad habits.  Once we moved and I thought I’d be able to get back into a routine, I got pregnant again.  Plenty of people have wonderful pregnancies that don’t interfere with their ability to exercise and eat right; I was so sick I was hospitalized for dehydration in the first three months.  By the time I was the least amount sick I was just so happy that I could eat again that I ate anything- and everything.  With that pregnancy I gained about 50 lbs and was at my highest weight ever.

It’s been almost two years since my daughter was born.  After the immediate 25 lbs I lost after she was born, I have been struggling to lose the rest.  I lost and regained the same 15 lbs and got stuck in the same cycles over and over.  I needed a new mindset- I needed help.  During 2015 I tried several times to lose weight, only to find excuses to indulge.  In the summer after hearing some friends having success with the 21 Day Fix program I decided to purchase it because I had a trip to Seattle coming up to visit family and wanted to go up there and be at least okay with having pictures taken of myself.  I felt disgusting and unhappy because I knew and understood the value of a healthy lifestyle, but just didn’t feel I had the willpower to make the changes I wanted.  On my Seattle trip and after, I did make some changes that made me more fit and healthy, but I didn’t fully start the 21 Day Fix and none of my changes survived the holiday season.  I didn’t gain it all back, but enough to feel like I couldn’t succeed.

After Christmas I snapped (in a good way) and decided I had had enough.  I was tired of making excuses.  I was tired of feeling unhealthy.  I was tired of feeling fat around fit, athletic friends who biked everywhere and did triathlons and had beers on the weekends because they would be working it off on at the gym.  I was tired of feeling like I was 49 instead of 29.  I wanted to have more energy for my kids and spouse, and more importantly, I wanted to gain the tools and discipline to live a healthy lifestyle before I started having major health problems.  I decided to really start the 21 Day Fix and actually get in touch with my free coach so that I wasn’t doing it alone.

Things started clicking once I made that decision to start the program and contact my coach.  She invited me into her New Year New Me challenge group for January and introduced me to so many women with the same goals and aspirations that I have.  In my first round of the 21 Day Fix I lost 11 lbs and 10.25 inches!  I have worked out (and sometimes did doubles) every day since the new year started and even better, I look forward to it everyday.  I have been eating clean and using my herbalism and nutrition background to really optimize my health this year.  I feel stronger, have more energy, and have been starting to shrink out of clothes.  Things are going well and I feel so empowered to continue because now I have the tools and resources to help me achieve my goals.

My journey for better health and weight loss is not over.  I am going to need determination and drive even on the days where I get no sleep and have little distractions rolling all over me.  I’m going to need focus and perseverence when I dream about rolls or get invited to brunch.  I decided to become a coach because I feel like my story can help others and we can learn and support each other on our different yet beautiful journeys.  Weight is temporary.  Friendships gained through mutual experience can last much longer.