Archive for the ‘weight loss’ Category

Taking Back My Power

IMG_1749

Be Your Own Superhero

I learned so much these past 3 months competing in Body Building Com, Optimum Nutrition #250kchallenge!

I am down 25 pounds and lost some major inches on my overall body. I learned what proper nutrition was/is and how to use it to fuel my body for the best workouts and incredible recovery. I learned even though I’m not a morning person I can crush a cardio session at the wee hours. I learned how to lift heavy weights and superset with a powerful force. I learned to control my breath and the importance of sleep. I learned my body is a temple capable of incredible strengths.

They say you can do better when you know better. So I’m taking my knowledge, researching and upping my game. I’ve got some big GOALS and am so excited to take BBcom’s next challenge #stillinit with Dymatize.

I’m starting to feel like Wonder Woman

My FOCUS for the next 9 weeks……

Build a Bigger Booty • Defined Arms • Abs/Abs/Abs • Carrie Underwood Legs 🙌🏻

Who’s in it with me?

Deadline to sign up for the next challenge is April 23rd, 2017. Make sure to get your photos uploaded and join this amazing community of individuals supporting each other. #BeingYourBestSelf

Also check out my @Stillinitchallenge Facebook support page for inspiration and motivation!

With a grateful heart & much love,

Crystal

Finding Light In The Darkest Time

IMG_1751

Seeing Light Through The Darkness

This photo holds such significance for me, same bikini yet two completely different people. In the top photo I stand in front of the door looking completely broken and sad. It is that exact door that I had to close and lock after the assault. Every day when I would lock that door or realize I forgot to lock it I would have a terror come over me wondering if he was on the other side. Every noise I heard created so much fear living in what was suppose to be my home sweet home. To have someone come into your home and rip your security away from you and make up feel fearful for your life is heart wrenching.

When I look at that girl in those first photos I wish I could reach out to her, hug her and tell her that things were going to get better. To know I almost wasn’t here 6 months ago is still a process and hard to think about, but I’m working through the process and learning to let go.

I look at the girl in the bottom photos, standing in front of a bright see-through wall with light shining in and see someone that is determined, beautiful and confident. I feel I took my power back, that I now stand strong enough to let my voice be heard. When I eventually went to the police to report the assault, the officer said some women take 20 years to come forward – That broke my heart to know that a woman would carry this pain around with her for all those years.

Since posting my before and after photos, I have had an enormous outpour of love. I have had woman come forward and message me saying that my story has inspired them. That it has given them the courage to finally speak up or take action to change something in their lives. I have sat as women shared stories of being pushed around, badly beaten, hurt, violated, terrified and even fearing for their life. It is unimaginable to know what some women have gone through, some that live to tell their story and some that don’t.

No one should ever be made to feel unsafe and if by me sharing my story helps someone leave or through a bad situation, then everything I went through mattered. I hope if ever you feel in an unsafe situation that you reach out for help. And if you feel you have no one to talk to I am here as your support system always. I wish I had spoken up sooner but believe now I can be a voice for others to hopefully give them the courage they need. If you are or know someone that is in an abusive situation please call 911 or the National DV Hotline.

No one should ever make you feel anything less than beautiful.

So to the girl in the before photos from the girl in the after ones, I say hang in there. Know that this will not be an easy road but that you will come out stronger than you could have ever dreamed. That you will wake up with a new found love for life and that a community will be built because of everything you went through. People will have your back in ways you never imagined. That by being completely vulnerable and raw you will allow others to express that in themselves.

“Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life”. – J.K. Rowling

Thank you  Body Building ComOptimum NutritionSam ShorkeyTheresa Jenn Lopetrone and Tobias Young for being bright lights at the end of the tunnel!

With a grateful heart and much love,

Crystal

 

 

“Balanced and Fit………a fitness journey”

44448_10152383415765574_598047244_nTwelve weeks and counting…….. It feels incredible to finally be at the 3 month mark and see the results that I have been working so hard to achieve. Lately, people have been giving wonderful compliments on my transformation and wrote me saying I have inspired them to start their own fitness journey. My inspiration these past few weeks have been thanks to my trainer Hanan and her #operationbooty plan. We are trying to focus on building me some buns of steel. This past week I came across this picture of fitness model Jamie Eason and I am now using this pic as my daily inspiration going forward. I am setting my goal to achieving Glutes like hers!

Now that I have invested so much time into my fitness journey, I am finding it more enjoyable to be at the gym. First off Steve Nash Sports Clubs have a great mix of machines, free weight, cardio equipment and more. It really makes it easy to challenge your self and switch up your routines. I have to admit, I am a fan of free weights and intervals thanks to my trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness. Her program has kept me motivated while always challenging me. Every time my body hit a plateau, she upped the game. My 4 pack of abs would love to say a great big THANK YOU to both Hanan and Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my fitness journey.

photo 3

As usual my diet has been going strong and I have really been getting into finding new ways to add more veggies into my day. This past week I decided to indulge in a new smoothie. I took the following raw veggies and fruits (celery, kale, broccoli, apples, beets, bananas, red pepper, carrots and lemons), combined them in a blender with some coconut water. It may not sound that appetizing but it tasted really good. There are so many nutrients and health benefits from each of these items. I know a lot of people are into juicing these days, but I like to eat the whole thing as the pulp is great for you.

oDbZgf6YVC0TG7zvWz3Zey92

In my last few posts I have been raving about my love for beets. Being Ukrainian and growing up enjoying my grandmothers delicious cooking, I have always loved beets. Beets have so many health benefits including being rich in vitamins and antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, helping with cell detoxification and cleansing, as well they are low in calories~plus so much more. A few months back I interviewed the ever so lovely Jillian Harris. This fellow Ukrainian posted her family Borscht recipe on her site that I just had to share. I made it and it was so delicious. This is a guilt free way to indulge in some yummy goodness. Also if you aren’t already a fan of Jillian’s website, I suggest you check it out……there are so many scrupulous recipes and amazing decorating tips!

Though my 12 week “Balanced and Fit…..a fitness journey” has come to an end, I am looking forward to the next phase in continuing my fitness plans. I will keep you up to date on what’s going on and post when I can. I just signed up at the gym so my New Years will be off to a great, strong, healthy start. Again I want to thank Hanan and Steve Nash Sports Club for this past three months~ I couldn’t have done it without you!

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

“Balanced and Fit……. a fitness journey”

fitness-quotes1I can’t believe I am approaching the three-month mark since I started my fitness journey. The only other time I have completed something similar in duration was when I entered a fitness competition through Muscle Hers fitness magazine a few years back. I completed 9 weeks, so to be at 3 months seems incredible and I can’t help but be proud of myself. I love the quote pic this week “It never gets easier, you just get stronger!”. The initial stages were tough as my body was adjusting to  getting back into a routine of hitting the gym. But as time goes on it is still challenging and so it should be. You should never get to a point where you workout and don’t feel the burn or hit a plateau. You should always look for ways to push your body and shock your muscles. The one thing that does get easier is how your body recovers as you get stronger. By staying committed and making fitness a part of your lifestyle, you will gain strength like you never knew you had.

The one thing that has impressed myself as the weeks have gone on is how I’m able to lift heavier weights and do intervals. Last week my trainer Hanan had added in an additional day for my legs where I do back to back exercises with no break in between. I have to admit, I got my butt kicked (which was her mission). After my first set I was feeling like I had done three, but I knew I had to stay focus and that it was just mind over matter. Too often in the past I would have done one set and quit, not this time. I finished all three sets and then proceeded to do cardio. I can tell you that I definitely felt it the next day and I am starting to see my rear end firm up. My stomach has a nice little 4.5 pack.

At the end of my sets  I also had another inspiration~ while at the gym I had a gentleman who was in a wheelchair come into the room and workout beside me. It made me stop for a moment and realize how much I have to be grateful for and that there are no excuses. I was so motivated by his determination and focus that it helped push me harder and inspired me. I normally do not work out in that room at Steve Nash Fitness and I am so glad I did that day. There are many people out there that have difficult circumstances that could make them throw their hands up and give up, instead they don’t let it hold them back and persevere. I also wanted to share a video I saw recently that truly inspired me ~ Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation!
photo-6

As for my diet, I have been pretty disciplined with staying on track. There have been long working days where it’s tempting to grab junk food or make poor food choices. Not any more! On the go I continue to opt for fruit, nuts, veggie smoothies and protein shakes. My obsession with Kale continues, I have been eating tons of salads with fresh raw kale (seen in picture here). I take some butter lettuce and mix kale, red peppers, cucumbers, celery and hearts of palm (which are so tasty and remind me of artichoke hearts~not to mention have many health benefits). For the dressing I use a little apple cider vinegar mixed with a few drops of honey and some olive oil. If you want a bit more of the good fats, I suggest slicing some avocado and adding it to your salad.

This next week will be fun as I am doing a HUGE photo shoot with an amazing team. With this said I am making sure to workout extra hard, stay super hydrated and eat clean. I will be experimenting with fruit and veggie shakes and make sure to post some pictures and recipes next week.

Well Week 12, let’s do this!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

“Balanced and Fit…….a fitness journey”

mind-2-body-pilates-gym-inspiring-fitness-quotes-sayings-take-care-of-your-body-exercise-motivational-statements-famous-quotes

Ten weeks have passed and the lessons keep coming. This past week I experienced food poisoning and it left me out of commission for more days than I wished to experience. This was tough as I had already been fighting the flu for a few weeks. Unfortunately I had to cut my gym time short and limit the amount of exercise. At times like this when you get a wrench thrown into things, you have to take care of yourself. I could have pushed myself and completed my workouts, but I feel in my gut that it would have done more harm than good. This picture quote is perfect, you only have one body, you might as well take care of it. When your body is fighting off something, sometimes the only thing to do is get some rest. So that is what I did and I am feeling a lot better. My diet this week lacked as I was not able to eat much. With this said, when I did have an appetite I made sure to get in as much protein as I could and stay on top of my leafy greens. I consumed many shakes~ Kale and me are becoming bff’s.

In my last check-in with Hanan, I sent the pictures wearing a bikni so she could see better what was going on in my overall body. She really wants to target my booty so she has added an additional lower body workout. I am excited for my workouts this week and look forward to the continued changes to come.

I am ready to jump back into my routine and hit the gym and nutrition hard this week. I love odd numbers so week 11….. I’m ready for you!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

 

“Balanced and Fit………a fitness journey”

These past 9 weeks have been such a learning experience for myself. I can’t believe how fast time has gone by! Over these past 2 weeks I have struggled with being a little under the weather, but that hasn’t stopped me from allowing my body to rest a few days and then getting right back into the swing of things. My upper body and back continue to lean out and show definition. My lower half  (meaning my legs) are definitely building muscle but not leaning out as quick as I would like. I know that I have to be patient and your lower body and stomach (especially) take longer, these are the trouble/stubborn areas for woman. With this said though my core stability and strength is developing and I continue to chisel away at my ultimate goal! 6 pack abs!

This week I have 2 inspiration pictures, the first has no quote, it’s simply one of my favourite pictures lately of No doubts lead singer Gwen Stefani. She has always had amazing abs, but this picture inspires me in so many ways. I love how Gwen has been a top fashion icon for years and she continues to Rock It. I love the whole outfit, her blond hair in a bun (my old go to do which I’m aiming for again) and beautiful healthy abs. Once I have achieved my fitness goal and have rock hard abs, I will remake this shoot. So in my eyes this picture represents a 1000 words and inspiration.


This week with being on the go and still feeling under the weather, I did not have a huge appetite and found it hard to eat as much as I have been. I made sure to eat as much protein as I could handle and small meals more often. One thing I could stomach was my oatmeal in the mornings. I added berries and nuts to make sure I loaded up on my nutrients and antioxidants. I decided to add juicing this week to make sure I was getting my veggies in my system. My favourite came from an inspiration from Jugo Juice~ kale, spinach, berries and beets, it’s called “Can’t Beet This”. One thing when you are feeling run down or sick is to make sure to stay hydrated, this is even more important when your not feeling well.

I love my second picture quote, I now realize how to incorporate fitness into my every day and there really is no more excuses.There is no such thing as quitting anymore and I plan to finish what I started. All anyone really has to do is get over the mental struggle we all go through and check self doubt at the door. Anyone can accomplish anything the set their mind to. On this past weeks check-in with my trainer Hanan, she asked me to send my pictures wearing a bikini (which was a scary thought). Well I have to say that I bought this bikini that was a few sizes too small a few years back and it’s finally starting to fit. It was so encouraging and exciting to think of bikini shopping for the summer. Alright week 10, I’m ready for you~ BRING IT ON!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

“Balanced and Fit……a fitness journey”

It’s official, I have pasted the 2 month mark and could not be prouder of myself. In such a short amount of time I have learned so much about myself and that my fitness goals are in my reach. I absolutely love, love, love this quote pic as it sums up the mental struggle I have dealt with my whole life when it comes to my fitness. There have been so many times that I have doubted my ability to be able to workout as hard as I have and to achieve the results I have done. Honestly I now know that anything I dream off or wish to accomplish I can do!

Over this past week I have had some long work days and previous to starting this fitness journey may have let temptations win, but not now! I had a few circumstances where I was tempted by food and still stayed focused and managed to avoid them. I haven’t really had any major cravings like I use to have and find that creating new healthy recipes is becoming fun and more easy to do.

This past week I started experimenting with what I was cooking and decided to post a picture of one of my dinners. I am obsessed with kale at the moment and just can’t seem to get enough. As we all know eating any vegetable in the raw form is always better than it being cooked as it can lose some of the nutrients. So what is it that I did with my dinner you ask, well let me tell you. I took ground turkey breasts, mixed a bunch of herbs from my kitchen, added a few egg whites and formed into patties. I then grilled them. Next I took brocoli slaw salad (prepackaged) and added an apple and a bit of avocado to it. For the dressing I mixed together small equal amounts of olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, yellow mustard and a drop of honey. So tasty, easy to make and not a lot of calories. For the Kale I took raw kale (broke into pieces) and a dressing I made and marinated it for 30 minutes. The dressing was really simple, mix raw garlic, crushed chilli flakes, raw grated parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil and ground pepper to taste. The lemon juice in the dressing slightly cooks the kale while still keeping it crisp. I can’t tell you how great this meal tasted, so much that I crave it every night. I felt full and had tons of energy. Kale has so many health benefits including iron which I run low on with not eating any red meat.

This past week I had numerous people start to tell me that they have noticed how I’m looking more fit. It’s really encouraging to look in the mirror and see the transformation, but to have others compliment you on the hard work you’ve put in gives you some added boost. I am noticing my stomach starting to get definition and the start to a 6 pack. I have gained a lot of muscle in my legs and each day feel stronger and stronger. With feeling run down this past few weeks and fighting a bug, I am just starting to increase my cardio, but with this added strength I’m finding it easier to do. I am continuing to take my BCAA’s and Glutamine and definitely recover after each workout faster. My three favourite exercises are 21’s, one leg squats and sumo squats.

I’m looking forward to starting my week 9 and seeing my body continue to change. Seeing that only a few months have passed, I can not wait until Summer when I will be 100% beach ready!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411