I've been asked many times to share my full story. I've shared it on social media as it was happening, and referred to certain moments many times, but I don't know that I've ever written it ALL out, so here goes.
I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight. I remember always being the biggest one out of all of my friends. I did gymnastics through high school, and I guess because of that I developed pretty large quad muscles, which I still have today. I had always been bottom heavy, and though I wasn't obese, I always had stomach rolls and jiggly thighs. It never really occurred to me until my senior year when we got back from Spring Break and were all sharing pictures and one of the guys looking at them said "wow, look at that gut." It literally NEVER occurred to me that I had one! I didn't know anything about exercise, and I certainly didn't know how to eat well. I hated vegetables. I grew up on good old american food. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and a small side of veggies that my parents would force me to sit at the table until I finished them. Which usually meant taking them in "pill form", i.e., shoving them in my mouth and then gulping them down wit my drink without even chewing them. When I went away to college, things got even worse. I had NO IDEA what I was supposed to be eating. I literally ate a box of pasta roni each night for dinner, then on fridays and saturdays, I would eat out. It wasn't until I joined a gym and met a trainer that befriended me and helped me out that I even REALIZED that nutrition played a part, but regardless of what he tried to tell me, I remained convinced that if I worked out hard enough, it would offset my crappy eating. Years passed and I always continued my gym membership. I'd workout HARD, but did it on my own or in classes and never really had any guidance. I also continued to eat. Year after year, I wondered why it was so much harder to lose weight. By the time I was 30, I had pretty much accepted my fate. "This is just what happens when you get older" is what I told myself. I fell in love with my current husband and put on some more pounds. I wasn't happy with everything in my life though, and I was just feeding myself to fill that void. I had a job that was stressful and frustrating, and had just moved so I had very few friends in the area. The only thing I could think of was just to eat. I got excited about date nights and my morning breakfast at Burger King. I had also thrown away our scale before we moved and didn't get a new one, so I had NO idea how big I had gotten. Every now and then I would step on the scale at the gym, but it never registered that I was really 210 pounds. Finally, I was in one of my best friend's weddings. I showed up, super excited, albeit a little nervous, because subconsciously I knew that I was going to be bigger than the other bridesmaids, but I made the best of it, because again, I was still mostly living in denial...We had a great time and all was well...Until we got the pictures back. Confirmation. I was in fact, the biggest bridesmaid, by far. In between when that wedding took place in September and getting back the horrible pictures, my husband and I had decided to elope on New Year's Eve. I had 4 months to do something about my situation. What did I do? I kicked it into high gear at the gym, I opened a my fitness pal account, and I tracked my calories, which were still made up of Burger King breakfast croissanwiches and Papa john's pizza. But hey, I was under my goal for the day, right? I also didn't count calories on the weekend, because I deserved to be rewarded for "dieting" all week. In 4 months, I lost 5 pounds. Our wedding was a destination wedding. In the two days leading up to it, I had put back on those 5 pounds and then some from sampling the local food. I don't want to go into the emotions of getting my wedding photos back and seeing how awful I looked. I also don't want anyone to say "oh, you looked beautiful." I did not. I have to live the rest of my life knowing that I ruined the memories of that most special day. It's my greatest disappointment. You can see one of the pictures here. Anyways...Moving on!
So it turned out that our spidey sense was right in telling us to get married sooner rather than later. My husband got an amazing career opportunity in Texas shortly after we married. With the pain of my wedding photos stuck in my mind and heart, I decided I was going to make a change. He moved first and left me behind for a few weeks. I used that time to kick it into high gear at the gym. Of course, I continued with my poor eating habits. Then, one day shortly after we moved, one of my close friends reached out to me. She told me that she had signed up as a beachbody coach, and if I was willing to give INSANITY another try, she'd coach me through (I had tried INSANITY years before, did 3 workouts, and never did it again). This was it. I KNEW that it was time to make a change, and for once, I had NO VALID EXCUSES. My coach was the same age as me, and SUPER fit and healthy, so right off the bat she blew my "I'm getting old" excuse out the window. I committed. I started INSANITY at 210 pounds. With the help of the support group she added me to, I did it. It was HARD. I spent many minutes HEAVING on the floor in a pile of my own sweat, pausing the dvd because I couldn't keep up. But I DID it. I finished. I only lost 8 pounds. I was pretty bummed about it, so I didn't take any "after" photos. Then a few weeks later I saw some people I hadn't seen since I started 60 days earlier...and boy was I thrilled when they had noticed how much weight I had lost...8 pounds never felt so good. So I continued with INSANITY and resumed the Couch to 5k training that I sort of half started before my wedding. I didn't have a ton of progress, but I kept going. I had created an active lifestyle for myself. A few months later, as fate would have it, I started the Turbo Fire program and my life was CHANGED. Immediately I gravitated towards the way Chalene talks to you. She really encourages you to make yourself a priority in your own life. I made my workout time non-negotiable, and I really started valuing myself again. I felt WHOLE again. I had good results with Turbo, even though I still hadn't really started cleaning up my diet a ton. More importantly though, my SOUL had literally caught fire. I wanted to help as many women as I could in this struggle. Here I was, a few years earlier, putting myself out to pasture, and here was this 44 year old woman, jumping around like a teenager. I finally GOT IT. I could do ANYTHING! I joined team beachbody as a coach buy purchasing a challenge pack...which meant I was giving shakeology another shot, and trying a new program. I had previously tried shakeology. I wanted to "ration" it out, so I drank it every few days because I thought it was "too expensive" (it doesn't work like that...you gotta drink it consistently to feel the benefits). Then finally I realized...I'm spending $60 a week at the Olive Garden, and that gives me NO nutritional value. So I decided to try it again. Within a few weeks, I was noticing that I had less and less cravings for Burger King Breakfast and Taco Bell for lunch. I was subconsciously making better choices. It was like I was a different person. Trust me when I tell you I LOVE food, and I still did date nights and had splurges, but it was like a switch had flipped, and it just wasn't AS hard to make those good decisions. Then when I had my cholesterol retested and found that my LDL had dropped 51 points, I was SOLD. I have drank it every day for 2 years and don't think I will EVER go without it. Another amazing thing happened. Just like with Turbo and INSANITY, I didn't miss a workout of my new program, Les Mills Pump, but this time, when I combined the workouts with shakeology, which helped me make better food choices, I FINALLY had those results I wanted. You know, the ones that look too good to be true? Yep. That was me. I was BLOWN AWAY. The funny thing is, I was bummed because I had only lost 10 pounds. But boy did those inches come off. I still look at that picture in complete disbelief. See them HERE. After Les Mills Pump, I did the 21 day fix...This would be my biggest challenge yet, because shakeology helped me with my cravings and helped me make better choices, but I STILL wasn't perfect. I am FAR from a clean eater. I just do my best and make good choices 80% of the time. But this program...it was ALL clean eating. Oddly enough, I found it relatively easy to stick to. You get to have things like cheese, wine, and carbs, so it wasn't uber restrictive. I had found that most of the things I was eating on it were similar to what I was eating already! I lost 9 pounds in 21 days with the fix! I was FINALLY at my goal weight of 150! It took me along time to get there, because I wanted to make sure I did it the RIGHT way. No quick fixes, no "diets" and no denying myself of my favorite things. Since then I have done almost every program that Beachbody has come out with, and I can honestly say I love them ALL. I truly believe this company and their products, and I am BLESSED to be a full time Beachbody coach, helping other people change their lives!
These little babies are SO good and SO easy. All you need is a mini muffin pan and some mini paper muffin cups, something to make a double broiler, dark chocolate, and peanut butter!
It's seriously as simple as the picture looks. I bought 1 bar of Ghirardelli dark chocolate and only used half. I made a double broiler out of a pan and a small stainless steel bowl, and melted two squares chocolate. I used a teaspoon to heap the melted chocolate into each cup and then spread up the sides. This made 6 mini cups. Pop the muffin pan in the freezer for about 20 minutes and go read a few chapters of my current fave, "Wishes Fulfilled" by Wayne Dyer. Head back to the freezer and grab your PB!!! I just used what I had. You could add some confectioner's sugar to make it taste more like a true Reece's, but I'd rather go au natural. After spooning a bit of pb in each cup, I melted another 2 squares and spooned the chocolate over the top and popped it back in the freezer, this time for closer to an hour. "Freezer time" excluded, this clean treat literally takes like 20 minutes. TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!
Tag me on instagram @fit.fly.free if you make them!!!
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.