25 March 2013

Why NuffnangX is One of the Best Google Reader Alternative

No more Google Friend Connect (GFC)!
Many speculated that GFC will retire next after Google Reader
Wait and see: No announcement but GFC will be gone, just not yet. 
I might be behind on the whole hype but I have recently found out Google is going to be retiring Google Reader as of 1st July 2013. Blogger Reading List and Google Reader are two separate items. When you follow a blog via GFC it puts that blog in both lists. The GFC widget is not going to disappear after July. Only the Google Reader. But with the imminent closure of Google Reader, many bloggers are speculating that GFC will be next – which seems logical since it does almost exactly the same job.
Google Reader is shutting down
Going Away: Google has announced another spring cleaning-
Google Reader is shutting down on July 1, 2013
The complete retirement of Google Reader might be part of an effort to make way for Google+ and steamroll users into using the social networks. In preparation for the potential retirement of the GFC service, I have been going to alternatives like Bloglovin and NuffnangX.

Click this badge and follow me
on NuffnangX

Many of you probably already know what Bloglovin' is, so I want to share another Google Reader alternative on the web. 

I wanted to make sure all of you knew that I am on NuffnangX. It's actually a mobile application for the blogging community. It is like a twitter for blogs! There’s also a web version available on www.nuffnangx.com.

With NuffnangX, you can get the same newsfeed for all your favorites. You can also import all your Google Reader Subscriptions onto NuffnangX, discover new blogs through hand-picked blogs which suits your reading preferences, follow blogs that you love just like you follow people on Twitter or Instagram. You can comment on them, heart them, and best of all, have conversations with bloggers on-the-go. That feature is called NuffnangX Conversations.


Here are some cool things about NuffnangX conversations to enhance your blog reading experience:

1. You can receive and keep track comments via your mobile app
Gone are the days where you’ll lose track of every comment after a while of not checking your blog. Because everything is on mobile, you can now receive comments on your blog via your mobile device. You’ll know instantly when you receive them because push notifications will be sent to your mobile device. So you can respond on the go at your own convenience and show your blog readers some love!

2. Your comments automatically turn into a conversation
Traditionally if you want to leave a comment on a blog, you fill up a form and then you leave a comment there. When a blogger wants to respond to it, he/she leaves another comment herself like this.

Traditional commenting: Scroll down to comment pages and fill up a form
Traditional commenting: Scroll down to comment pages and fill up a form
But NuffnangX conversations lumps comments into conversation threads. No filling form just only text what you want to write. Easy enough!
Easy: Conversation threads with NuffnangX
Easy: Conversation threads with NuffnangX

3. You can moderate your conversations too
By default, your conversation moderation will be turned off. However, you can moderate your conversations by logging onto the NuffnangX website.

Sign up for NuffnangX today and lets follow each other through Nuffnang X. To download the mobile app, check it out on the Apple App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android. Or if you prefer to use the computer, you can check out the NuffnangX website.


I'd love to hear what you think. Remember to leave me your Blog URL and NuffnangX URL with your comment, so I can check your blog and follow you via NuffnangX too!

22 March 2013

Obsessed with Fiber Supplements for Weight Control

I have a bad practice. Kind of bad.

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Whenever I feel like I'm overeating, I'll always turn to fiber supplement as an escape. Fiber supplement has grown in popularity as a magical weight loss supplement. I actually don't see it like that. I don't give a buck to a testimony of weight loss success after taking fiber supplement. Fiber supplement is just another option to helps ease constipation. But I have this crazy idea about fiber supplement. When I feel like I've been bingeing a lot, I take fiber supplement to "undo" the food I ate. In other words, to force it out of my body. Crazy.

What is Fiber?
Fiber is the part of plant-based foods that our bodies can't digest. It helps us digest and pass the foods we eat. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts are great natural sources of fiber.

Does fiber help to lose weight? 
It doesn't cancel out calories, but eating high-fiber foods require more chewing, which helps to satisfy hunger, keep you feeling full and therefore keep you more in control of your appetite and weight.

Taking fiber drink to lose weight can cause laxative dependence
Fiber drink from our local brand: Long term of use can cause laxative dependence

Why do people take fiber supplements?  
The recommendation intake of fiber is between 25 to 38 grams each day. But most people's diet are fall short on fiber, so they consider taking fiber supplement. I saw a lot of this kind of advertisement on my Facebook timeline lately. Fiber drink from every brand that claims to help this person 'A' to lose this much of weight and blah blah blah. But fiber supplement is actually does not contain any magic ingredient to make people lose weight fast. It's just the basic concept of fiber which is to add bulk and water to your stool, make it more normal, softer and helps you pass it easily.

Pro and Cons of Fiber Supplement
Pro - normalizing bowel function and preventing constipation. Regular bowel movement can aid to weight loss, too.

Cons - when taken in excess can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Similar to  weight loss tea, a repeated use can cause the bowels to stop functioning normal and people may become laxative dependence. It is a situation where your body can become dependent on this stimulant. When they are not used, your intestines cannot move properly on their own thus resulting in constipation.

fiber from fresh fruit
{ source }

I realize my abuse of laxatives to try to control weight. So, I have this one last sachet. But I'm not going to take it today. Not tomorrow. My challenge for Non Scale Victory next week is to free from fiber supplement. Instead I will try to get enough fiber through real food.

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Pondered Primed Perfected

I'm linking up to Non Scale Victory with KTJ and Lex, and this is my NSV this week: I am doing one serious workout today. (Only one? It's better than nothing, huh). I'm moving everyday, but this Jillian Michaels mini workout is the one I'm seriously working out with this week. I experienced thigh pains from doing squats, and I cannot complete it to 3 set. But I take one small step at a time. I'm looking forward to make this a routine. I still continue walking with Leslie Sansone and I find ways to add the fun today. Walking with dumbbell.

What is your Non-Scale Victory this week? Let's celebrate!

20 March 2013

Pregnant and Overweight: Can I Lose Weight During Pregnancy?

It can be pretty overwhelming if this news is true.
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I mean we'd love to expand our family but me and hubs agreed to pending the plan until I reach to my ideal weight. I'm still 20 kg overweight from my last child and I really want to lose weight before I got pregnant again. I like the idea that no one can tell I'm pregnant because I'm thin. Lame, lol. 

Baby is on the way? I'm suspecting there is. { source }
I have missed my period by 3 days now. I have a flu.

I remember when I first found out that I was pregnant with our first child, I fall very sick. And this time I thought it could be one of that sign, too.

Maybe. 

I got pregnant with our second child when I tried to lose weight. It seems like dieting boost my fertility lol.

It's not official yet. 

If it's confirm I'm pregnant, I'll thank God for this blessing. This news will surely brings new flavor to this blog. I will learn to keep my pregnancy weight under control. But if my "friend" only happen to be late, I still thank God for another chance to start seriously losing weight, reach to my ideal weight before the baby. 

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Is it safe to lose weight while pregnant? 
Well, this is my concern of starting off pregnancy overweight obese. Apparently, pregnancy is not a right time to lose weight, or worry about losing weight. Of course, focusing so much on weight gain can take all the fun out of pregnancy. But starting off on the heavy side, makes me afraid of the possibility of gaining too much weight during pregnancy. It can cause complications for me and the baby. And another concern is when I gain too much weight during pregnancy, it can be too much difficult to lose it all later.

Cute: Baby imitating mommy's belly. Picture from Silina 

Some friend of mine did lose weight in their first trimester thanks to the morning sickness. According to Baby Center, overweight women have an extra reserve of calories in stored fat, so as the baby grows, it's not harmful to maintain or even lose a little weight at first. What's not okay is losing weight because you're intentionally cutting calories (and, as a result, limiting nutrients). Thank goodness it's fine!

Pregnant mummy and daughter. { Source }

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: How Much Is Normal?
For overweight mama, 15 and 25 pounds (6 kg and 11 kg) gain is recommended by the end of the pregnancy. That is according to Baby Center. It is approximately 2 to 3 pounds (1 kg) a month, mostly in the second and third trimesters. Women who are obese are advised to gain only 11 to 20 pounds (4 to 9 kg) during pregnancy. Take me as an example. I am back to 72 kg after happily announcing I'm 1 kg lighter early this month. So at the end of the pregnancy I shall expect to see the big 81 number on scale. That's quite heavy.

Pregnancy Diet
Sensible diet. I should have done this years ago, but now with all the possibility that I'm growing a baby, it's just the right thing to do.

People always say that a pregnant woman is one of the most beautiful and natural things in the world.
{ source }

Gaining weight during pregnancy is scary but I'll feel guilty about not gaining weight, too. It's not yet confirm but I have a question in advance: How do you avoid massive weight gain during pregnancy?

Should Christians Be Practicing Yoga?

I know this might be a controversial topic and it has stirred a lot of debate in Christian circles.
Suryanamaskar: This pose also known as Sun Salutation or Salute to the Sun.  In Hindu mythology, the sun god is worshipped as a symbol of health and immortal life
Suryanamaskar: This pose also known as Sun Salutation or Salute to the Sun. 
In Hindu mythology, the sun god is worshipped as a symbol of health and immortal life. Image from Prolific Living

Is it okay for Christian to do Yoga? 

Yoga has become so utterly mainstream. And now there's even so-called "Christian Yoga". Stores are filled with yoga clothing, equipment, books, and videos. People argue that yoga is just stretching and only one form of exercise. People may say, "I’m not doing any of the meditation stuff. I’m just following the exercises." But it is impossible to separate the subtleties of yoga the technique and its spiritual element. Laurette Willis on Christian Broadcast Network discuss this philosophical and spiritual aspect of yoga you ought to keep in mind before making your own choices about yoga.

1. Yoga postures are offerings to Hindu gods
Many do not realize that yoga postures are offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods. Romans 12:1-2 says we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. So we abstain from things offered to idols-Acts 15:29.

practicing yoga
Yoga to clear mind: Practicing yoga is said can help you eliminate your doubts by using simple mantra meditation. 
Image from Organic Soul

2. Yoga breathing invokes the Hindu "life force"
In yoga they do what they call pranayama breathing. These things can be helpful from a physical perspective to help reduce stress and regulate the body toward a relaxed state. Ways in which this was (and is) accomplished include: Concentrating on sounds by chanting the names of Hindu gods or the sacred om, which Patanjali said is the voice of God, focusing on images, such as the tip of your nose or a religious icon, and concentrating on one’s own breath. The purpose of these exercises was to attain a state of pure consciousness in order to feel at one with the universe or God. The Bible says to be "self-controlled and alert" (1 Pet. 5:8), which is impossible if we are seeking an altered state of consciousness and opening ourselves up to any and every spiritual influence without discernment. Paul said in Ephesians 2:2, that Satan is the prince of the power of the air.

3. Yoga encourages emptying your mind
As Christians, we know that our Lord wants us to renew our minds, not empty them. James 1:17 "Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father."
Goddess of wealth: Lakshmi is one of the most popular goddesses of Hindu mythology
Goddess of wealth: Lakshmi is one of the most popular goddesses of Hindu mythology 

Bottom Line
We all have different opinions in life. In my personal view, yoga is Hinduism. Christian and Hindu cannot be combined. But there are some who do not see it that way. If you are in doubt with your choices, the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23 (NIV) "but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. "

End.


15 March 2013

Non-Scale Victories: No Victory, and Using a SWOT Analysis to Achieve a Weight Loss Goal

My Non-Scale Victories this week is NO Victory.

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Linking up with KTJ is honestly something I'm looking forward to every week now. This linking party is like a motivation for me to work hard throughout the week so I can report something positive, thus to hold myself accountable to my goal weight.

But this week I lost track of my juice diet plan. I ate crap. I slipped up on my exercise plan. How shameful.

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Okay, I'm being too dramatic. The world’s still turning. The sun’s still in the sky. I got to pick myself up, and dust myself off. Start all over, again.

Today I make a simple SWOT Analysis to confirming my weight loss goal. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis is basically a strategic tool used in business (and many other fields) for so many years. I was thinking that perhaps I can use this tool to help me with my goal setting so far and focuses on the steps necessary to achieve my weight-loss goal.

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1. Weight Loss Mission and Goals
Resetting a goal is important because it provides me direction and purpose. I have 101 reasons to lose weight but my top reason to lose weight is for health. I need to lose weight to prevent diabetes. I want to lose weight so no one will ever ask me about my "due date" anymore when I'm not pregnant. This has been an embarrassing things happen to me all the time! And as a matter of fact, we're planning for baby no.3 so it is very important to get a healthy body weight before I get pregnant.


2. Strengths
I can be a persistence exerciser like seriously? No, if I'm in a mood to jump up and start exercising, I'd better start right away and I can be very good at it. Only under one condition, exercise session with no interruption or I'll stop and quickly lose my momentum.

3. Weaknesses
I'm kind of person who like delaying doing something. That's a bad habit!


4. Opportunities
I am a stay at home mom. So I cook a lot at home which means I have a full control over the ingredients and portion sizes at my table. I have more flexible workout schedule. I just need to make time for it.

5. Threats
First off, I am a facebookaholic. I realize I'm on facebook way too much, which stealing away much of my time. Secondly, as a SAHM and have fully access to foods, I tend to have cheat meals. Cheat meal usually tends to turn into a cheat day, and then a cheat week, and that is how I went completely off the wagon this week. I just can’t find the motivation to get back on track!

6. Reflections and Strategies


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It's so hard for me to wake up extra early in the morning. I use to hit the snooze button and return to sleep. But morning is the only time I can fit exercise in. Usually after I send off my husband and daughter to work and school, I would take a morning bath. Showering in the morning gets me clean, makes me feel fresh and also wakes me up!

I have a wonderful feeling to begin my day after a fresh morning bath. I can catch some crazy momentum with exercise. And if I have a good workout in the morning I will less likely to cheat and eat fatty junk food at the end of the day because I simply don't want to ruin my weight loss effort.

7. Action Plan
Wake up extra early in the morning to build a strong level of momentum. I believe if I start the day productive, I will tend to continue the day with that same disposition. So when the alarm clock rings in the morning, get out of the bed immediately. Just get straight up and take a shower.
Plan B: 'assign' hubs to pour a bucket of cold water on me if I continue to sleep after turn off the alarm clock. He can go back to his sleep after that.

funny prank
This photo has nothing to do with this post. I just think it's funny.
Image found on Funny Junk

Have you ever done personal SWOT analysis for goal setting? How do you set and achieve your personal goals?

  

11 March 2013

Bye-Bye Belly: 3 Tummy-Shrinking Tips from Fitness Expert


I hate looking at my tummy. I hate seeing the bulge of my tummy hanging over my pants. I hate it when my tummy is literally sitting on my thighs when I sit. I looking like pregnant when I'm not. When I sit and read a book, I can put the book on my tummy. It jiggles when I laugh. It is so big that I'm wondering if it is possible for me to shrink that big tummy! I always inspired by weight loss success stories. It is impressive to see how their tummies really shrink and flat compared to the "before" pictures.

Weight Loss Success Story: Ruth lost 150 lbs in 10 months
Amazing body makeover: Ruth lost 150 lbs in 10 months
I post an incredible weight loss story of Ruth aka DivaSlimsDown some time ago. You might be interested to read if you've missed it. She went from 341 lbs to 191 lbs in 10 months. Her once flabby and jiggly belly is now flat and toned. There's hope, anyone can get a flat tummy without surgery! I do care to share stories like this to inspire myself and fellow weight loss buddy. Ruth said that at first she was hesitant to lose weight because she didn't want to have a host of loose skin. It then appeared to be the best decision she ever made.

Flat Abs: Ruth showcase her stomach progress on her YouTube Channel
Watch her tummy shrink: Ruth showcase her stomach progress on her YouTube Channel

How she made her tummy shrink?
She followed the Supreme 90 day Workout ProgramThe video below shows that the program really help her a lot.


Marguerite Ogle, a Pilates guide on Compasionate Wellness shows us this 4 tips to get that flat abs.

1. Lose Weight
Fat on top of the abs will hide them and give a round appearance to the abdomen. Losing weight is the first step in gaining that flat stomach. Weight loss happens all over the body. Spot reduction is mostly a myth, so keep your workouts balanced.

2. Stay Hydrated
Retaining water can make you look and feel fatter than you are. Too much salt in our diet causes water retention. Even if you are retaining water, it is still important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of pure water. Drinking enough water will help flush out excess sodium and water.

3. Doing Pilates Moves Correctly
When done correctly, forward bending exercises in Pilates will give you beautiful abs. But if you do them in a "crunchy way", you won't get the real core strength you're looking for and your belly will stick out.

Pilates Lover: Jennifer Aniston mixes up her training with one day of Pilates and three days of yoga a week.
Pilates Lover: Jennifer Aniston mixes up her training with one day of Pilates and three days of yoga a week. 
Image found on Fashion BFF

I believe that what works for one person does not necessarily mean it will work for you. However, in the spirit of sharing, please share workout plans that you chose?

I want to lose my belly fat effortlessly, what is your best advice?


08 March 2013

Non-Scale Victories: Make Time for Fitness

Yay! I just finished my workout today. The second workout for this week. Not big but that is my Non-Scale Victories this week.
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Working out at home can be so tricky, with the kids pulling your leg (they thinks it's funny) and climb behind you to play cowboy riding a horse. That's why morning is the best time to exercise for me. The only problem is I am not a morning person. Perhaps I'm lucky today. I make the kids busy with drawing and coloring, so I managed to finish a short 30 minutes walking workout with Leslie Sansone and 10-minutes dumbbell workout. I have to get up extra early tomorrow morning to exercise, or I am going to miss another fun workout.

Actually it's easier than you think to sneaking exercise into your busy day. You only need to be a little creative. Women's Fitness Magazine gives me some idea and am glad to share with you here.

1. Use your TV time wisely
Get off the sofa  to change the channel, exercise bike while watching or try some simple exercise during commercial breaks.

2. Do the workout math

If you only have 10 minutes spare, do a few sets of fast, explosive exercise such as jumping lunges to boost your metabolism. I love BeFiT on YouTube channel and subscribe to them. They offers 10 minutes fat blasting workout videos that you can try.

3. Get organised
Track your time over a few days to see gaps where you can squeeze a quick workout. You'll be shocked at how much time you can save by cutting down your shower time from 15 minutes to 10.

When is your best time of day to exercise? And why?

05 March 2013

Tasteful Tuesday: Juicing With a Blender

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow
Beyonce lost 20 lbs in 10 days on lemon juice diet. Gwyneth Paltrow did green juice for 3 days before the Iron Man 2 premier. If eating fresh fruits and vegetables each day isn't practical to you, then juicing them would be a good way to get them into your diet; less chewing and less risk of overeating. Basically when you juicing, the pulp (or fiber) of the vegetable or fruit is separated out from the juice and you'll have a thinner drink that's free of pulp. One of the main reason to eliminate this fiber is to increases the absorption rate of vitamins and minerals into your body. This process gives your digestive system a rest so that the colon does not use energy to digest new foods entering the body, but instead removes the built up foods and toxins that have not previously been absorbed by the body.

Green juice is power-packed with nutrition
Green juice is power-packed with nutrition {source}
Yesterday was an "eat whatever you want" day. Very bad. So today I am glad to be doing the juice fast for the cleansing benefits, and honestly am looking forward to lose weight with this method. I have been on and off for some time and this time I tried to drink juice twice a day, morning and evening and drink water as much as possible throughout the day. 

Committedly. For the next 21 days.  Kept my fingers crossed.

If you are on a juice diet, or decide to juice on a regular basis for health purpose, having a quality juicer would be a great investment. My juicer broke, and I never had a juicer since that because I don't have a budget for one yet. But I found out on YouTube that you can make fruit or vegetable juice with a blender and nut milk cloth.

5 easy steps to juicing with a blender: 

1. Place 1-2 cups of water in the blender to help puree the ingredients.
2. This is fruit and vegetable juice combination you might want to try. Green should be roughly chopped, hard fruits should all be diced.
3. Blend all on high for 30 seconds or so until you have a smoothie-like consistency.
4. After that, put everything through a nut milk bag ( I use nylon mesh cloth, cheese cloth will do)
 5. Strain them to manually remove the fiber.

It's that easy but ultimately very time consuming and messy. The pros, it's cheaper. Let's look at this video to watch step by step in motion.


Do you juice? Share to me your recipes!

04 March 2013

Motivational Monday: How to Getting Past a Motivational Plateau

Weight Loss Motivation
Motivation: Found on 2 Fat Authors
I have everyday battle with weight loss motivation. Motivation to stick with the diet, motivation to get off my butt and exercise. Like I could be so motivated this week but after a few days that motivation high has gone. If you have the same issues like me, Dr. Phil has this prescription for us.

1. Don't rely on willpower -- it simply doesn't work. 

Willpower is driven by emotions, which can be fickle. Emotions landed you into a weight problem, but they won't get you out of it. Instead, program yourself for success and stick to the program.

2. Give yourself permission to say, "I don't have to want to do this all the time." 

By acknowledging that, you can respond to it accordingly. People who watch what they eat and exercise regularly don't necessarily want to, but they understand that their actions have consequences. They've programmed themselves for success. 


I'm looking forward to getting inspired by you. How do you keep your weight loss motivation program active? Share in the comments.


02 March 2013

Weekly Weight Loss Progress: I am 1kg Lighter!

Weigh-In Day: My progress via simple weight recorder
Weigh-In Day: My progress via simple weight recorder

I try not to weigh myself too regularly; only weighs once a month because it can be discouraging if you don't see the numbers go down. I use simple weight recorder to record my weight history.

As a matter of fact, I only recreate my weight loss plan 2 weeks ago. I attempt to do a 40-days juice fast but I take a week off the following week. And to be honest, it was not a pure juice fast. I drink ready made juices because I haven't got my juicer yet. I live on juice all day and then eating regular meal at night. Rice, chicken, vege soup, crackers, dim sum, etc. Sound healthy. But when I eat, I eat a lot. I am such a carbolic and maybe that's why it's very hard for me to switch to another diet plan. Speaking of 'accomplishment', I am clinging less to fast food now, especially instant noodles. Consuming too much instant noodles is not only causes weight gain but they are so unhealthy. I have not used oyster sauce in my cooking for quite some time, and stopped drinking instant coffee. Instant coffee tend to be high in sugar and oyster sauce is high in sodium.

Garnet Red Samsung S3: Fabulous reward for weight loss
Garnet Red Samsung S3: Fabulous reward for weight loss

It feels good to see a little progress despite doing less effort. One month ago, I was 73kg and today I am 1.4kg lighter. I have 16.6kg to lose to reach my ideal weight. Before marriage I use to be 47kg so that is my goal weight. My husband promise me a Samsung Galaxy 3 if I reach my goal weight. What a reward! That is something to look forward to and get myself motivated to lose weight.

Starting March, I will post my progress every Saturday, and other day I'm going to blog about  weight loss inspiration to keep me stay motivated throughout this weight loss journey.



Recap from last month:


I call it quits - After trying to do a water fast and fail and try again, I quit because I feel that this plan is so hard to stick to. Water fasting is not for everyone, I admit.

Stay sane while losing weight - Losing weight can be an obsession. I find ways to stay sane. Be patient.

Breathing technique - I learn to breath properly, it can aid weight loss!

Mind Over Body - It's a wisdom to train yourself to gain absolute control to really stick to the weight loss plan.

Inspiration from celebrity - Even Beauty Queen Soo Wincci need diet and exercise to stay slim. That inspires me!

How to Success a Juice Diet - I am craving carbs all the time. I use this tip-top tips to keeps me going.

Walking Exercise - My first exercise after a long period of not exercising.

Weight Loss Battle of the Mind - I'm at war with my mind. Losing weight is no question, requires strong mental determination and discipline.

Did you accomplish your goal this month? How do you plan to achieve your goals? Add your comment below, I hope to find a little inspiration from you today. Don't forget to drink enough water!


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