All posts by Zhivi Williams

Zhivi Williams, earned a Master’s of Education from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, NC and a Master’s of Theological Studies from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, NC. In addition, Miss. Williams is a NASM certified Women’s Fitness and Nutrition Specialist. She is a motivational speaker, author, and owner of Leading by Example, whose mission is to inspire change through health, wellness and fitness. She is also the founder of Passion Driven, a non-profit organization that promotes women’s health and wellness through educational events. Miss. Williams is also the founder of the Women’s Health & Fitness Day, hosted in Charlotte, NC. Miss Williams has over 30 years of experience in fitness. She has remained on the cutting edge of the health, wellness and fitness industry by developing training programs, meal plans, writing magazine articles and books, developing strategic partnerships to help individuals increase their personal health and provides personal training to assist individuals in improving their lives. Follow her on Instagram at lbxfitness.

Body Goals, Gyms can Go

WOW, can you believe it?  We are in a new year already!  Where has the time gone? Like most people, the new year brings many resolutions, and one of those is, “I’m going to the gym.”  The first couple of months of the new year all gyms across the world see an increase in membership.  After that time, the number of gym goers dwindles down to the regular members, with only a few of the new members still going.  

Are you tired of buying a gym membership and not following through?  Tired of paying for a gym membership year after year, to find yourself not going after a couple of months?  Are you paying for a gym membership month after month after month and telling yourself, “I’m going tomorrow.  I paid for this membership.” But you never go?  If your answer is YES, keep reading. Here are 3 ways to reach your goals WITHOUT a gym membership.

ONE.

Use social media.  How?, you may ask.  Glad you asked. Social media is a great way to connect with people that are like-minded, people who have been where you are, people who can encourage and motivate you to reach your goals.   The best part of connecting with people through online communities is – IT’S FREE.  Who doesn’t like getting something for free?  You can find advice, encouragement, motivation, recipes, suggested workouts, and a community of people who will not judge you if you fall down.  

TWO.

Workout to videos on YouTube or cable TV stations, which are free and can add variety to your workouts. Consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program.

Check out these two YouTube channels that can help you reach your goals:

  • LBX FitnessThis channel has 30-day workouts men and women can do in the privacy of their home. The trainer shows participants how to do modified and full versions of the exercises.  This is one of my favorite channels.
  • Tiffany Rothe WorkoutsTry any of the following videos: Fabulous Fat Burning Workout, Waist Shrinking Tummy Tightening Workout, and Sexy Upper Body Workout.  My personal favorite is the 10-minute Booty Shaking Waist Workout.

THREE.

Start a walking group.  

Here are the steps (pun, intended).

  1. Create and post flyers to announce your meeting (or use social media to reach out).  Include time, location and a telephone number if you don’t mind taking calls.
  2. Get organized at your first meeting. Discuss how often to walk, time of day, days of the week to meet, location route, distance, and amount of time the group will spend per walk.
  3. Maintain your group’s momentum.  As the group leader, encourage the group to have a motivational meeting at least once a month
  4. Enjoy yourself.   The camaraderie you experience in a walking group can help you stay on track with walking for fitness.

Home Exercises

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Complete four times with no rest in between. (If you need to, please rest). After doing 25 high knees, standing in place go right into 25 jumping jacks.

25 jumping jacks

25 standing squats

25 high knees standing in place

 

Tuesday/Thursday

Complete five times with a 30-second rest between sets.  After completing your pushups take a 30-60 second rest and start again from the top. 

45 seconds fast jump rope

25 bicycle crunches (left elbow to right knee, right elbow to left knee = 1)

20 pushups (can be done on your knees or feet)

You can also buy a jump rope, 3-5 pounds (or higher) dumbbells, ankle or wrist weights to add to the video or suggested workouts above for more resistance. 

Now do you see how you can reach your goals without buying a gym membership? You can do this!

Zhivi Williams has over 30 years of experience in fitness. She is the founder of LBX Fitness and author of Who Needs a Gym? Her motto is “Transforming the body starts by renovating the mind.”  Follow her on her website at www.lbxfitness.com and on all social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube – at LBX Fitness.

Holiday Weight Loss Survival

It’s the HOLIDAY season! It’s also the end of the year. For some of us, this is the time of year we deal with massive weight gain. Let’s discuss how we can survive the holiday season without a lot of weight gain and go into the New Year healthier.

7 Holiday Eating Survival Tips:

1. If you’re going to travel for the holidays, eat healthy meals the day(s) before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve/Day. Eat healthy carbs, vegetables and protein. Stay away from desserts (as you might eat these on the holiday).

2. Bring your own food. If you cook your own food for the holiday and take it with you when invited out, this will help you to stay on track and reach your goals.

3. If you are cooking for family or friends, incorporate healthy meals you will eat. You may be the only one eating the meals but that’s okay. Remember, you have goals to reach and eating any and everything isn’t going to help reach your goals.

4. If eating later in the day, fill up on fruits, vegetables and water before leaving. This will help you eat less holiday food when you arrive. If you decide to eat dessert or anything that isn’t healthy, eating fruit, vegetables and drinking water before arriving will help with portion sizes because you will become full quickly.

5. Pile on the vegetables! If healthy carbs are available, put one serving on the plate and add protein. If healthy carbs aren’t available, but you would like to eat the carbs being served, add a small amount to the plate.

6. Do not take leftovers home!!! Christmas is a month after Thanksgiving and the New Year is 1 week after Christmas. It is best to wait to eat the same or similar food again. Not taking leftovers home will allow you to get back on track without eating.

7. OR take the day (only that day) and enjoy the food, family and friends. DON’T step on the scale!!! If eating any and everything is the option of choice, weight gain is inevitable. No need to look at the scale to see how much damage has been done, just enjoy the day and get back on track the next day, and remember tip # 6.

 

5 Holiday Exercise Tips:

1. At a minimum, start walking now. If it is too cold to walk outside, do it inside. YouTube has many great indoor videos you can use.

2. Watching T.V. allows for a great way to exercise. A house or apartment with stairs is a great way to get effective exercise. During commercial breaks, walk up and down the stairs. No stairs, that’s okay; do squats, jumping jacks, arm raises (with or without weights), high knees, jog/walk in place, planks, chair squats, bicycle crunches, donkey kicks, leg raises, or push-ups.

3. On the day of any holiday, wake up and exercise. You can join me for a Facebook Live workout, do workout videos or a YouTube workout (check out Tiffany Rothe Workouts).

4. After eating your holiday meal, if possible, go for a walk. Ask family or friends if they would like to go for a walk to get them involved. If the answer is no, head out the door for some fresh air and a little exercise alone.

5. The day after the holiday, it is time to move. Don’t become lazy or allow the holiday to stop any progress made along the way. If you know you will be shopping on Black Friday and you will be out all day shopping, this can be counted as exercise for the day (depending on how long you will be out).

 

I challenge you: DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE NEW YEAR TO START!! The longer it takes to start, the more weight we have to get off. Start the day you read this article. If you are already eating healthy and exercising, keep doing a great job. Don’t let the holiday season get you off track. Remember, I do Facebook live workouts if you need the motivation!

For the new year, I would like to leave you with this. Set 3 realistic goals to reach for the month of January. REALISTIC is the key. On average you should lose up to 4 pounds a month. Don’t make all the goals related to weight loss. What is your water goal? How many days are you going to workout? How many days a week are you going to meal prep? What type of workouts will you do each week?

Homegrown – 8 Herbs to Grow Indoors

As we approach the spring and summer months, it is a good time to grow herbs in your home that you can use all year round. You don’t need special lights to grow herbs because certain herbs grow with natural light that comes in through windows.

Which herbs can you grow indoors?

• Basil
• Bay Leaves
• Chives
• Oregano
• Parsley
• Sage
• Tarragon
• Thyme

Basil likes a lot of sun and warmth. Plant the basil seed in a pot that is sitting in a south facing window. Basil needs at least six hours of sunlight; but will also grow under fluorescent light. If fluorescent light is used, be sure to have plant under light at least 10 hours to grow healthy. When growing basil indoors, you will need to use fertilizer. If you will be cooking with the basil, use organic fertilizer. Make sure you only use half the recommended strength.

Bay leaves grow great in a pot but needs room from air circulation to be healthy. Make sure roots don’t get crowded in the pot. The pot you use, should have drainage holes and soils that drain well. Allow the soil to dry out, a little, before watering. Bay leaves grow slow, so you may want to invest in a large plant. Bay leaves are pricey.

Chives like a lot of sun. Place the pot in a south facing window. Chives need at least six hours of sunlight. Plant your chives in a well-drained soil and add a little organic fertilizer. Water chives frequently because they grow best in moist soil. Make sure there is proper soil drainage. When planting chives in a pot, make sure the bulbs are 6 inches apart (if you are going to grow more than one in a pot).

Oregano grows best when the temperature inside is 65-70 F during the day and 55-60 F in the evening. As with the other herbs, make sure there is excellent drainage. Oregano needs six to eight hours of sunlight. Place the oregano pot in a south facing window. The soil should be dry between watering. Fertilize oregano every two weeks with diluted water-soluble food.

Parsley grows well in six to eight hours of sunlight. Place the parley pot in a south facing window. Turn the pot every three to four days so the plant doesn’t lean into the sunlight. Make sure the pot has several drainage holes and a saucer underneath to catch the water as it drains. Use a good quality potting soil. Sand can also be used to help improve the drainage. When planting parsley, sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil and over them with an additional ¼ inch of soil. Water the pot regularly to keep the soil moist, but don’t ever water the parsley. Feed parsley every two weeks using half-strength liquid fertilizer.

Sage needs six to eight hours of sun late. Place the sage pot in a south facing window. You can use fluorescent lighting if your window doesn’t provide six to eight hours of sunlight. Sage needs to be kept in a warm area, away from drafts, in temperatures around 70 F and needs humidity. Place a humidifier near the pot, and water as needed. Let the top inch of the soil dry out between watering.

Tarragon will need at least 24 inches of height to grow inside. Don’t place the tarragon in a south facing window. Tarragon will need six to eight hours of light. A south facing window provides too much sunlight on the leaves. When planting tarragon, use a clay pot that isn’t glazed. A non-glazed pot will allow excess moister to evaporate. The clay post should have several drainage holes and at least 12 to 16 inches deep. Tarragon shouldn’t be over watered. Allow tarragon to dry out between watering. Provide humidity to the leaves by spraying them every couple of days.

Thyme grows well in a mix of sand, potting soil, and peat moss. Grow thyme in a clay pot. A clay pot allows the thyme to dry out between watering and prevents the roots from becoming overly wet. There should be at least one large drainage hole. Thyme needs 6 hours of sunlight; place the pot in a south facing window. The temperature inside should be around 60 F during the day to grow thyme.

Fresh herbs have a softer flavor than dried ones; you will need to use twice as much as you would with dried herbs.

Healthy Holiday

It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate with our family and loved ones. Time reminiscing about the past, talking about the present and discussing our plans about the future. This is the season of giving and sharing, laughter and tears; joy and love, and seeing those you haven’t seen in a long time. It is also the season of weight gain.

Here, we will give tips on how to stay fit and healthy through the holiday season. Let’s start with food.

Holiday Eating Tips

• Bring food with you. If you are concerned about eating all the wrong things, you can take your food with you.

• Eat before you go. Before leaving the house or hotel, fill up on vegetables. Take vegetables, fruit and nuts to eat before the big meal. Filling up on healthy foods before the big meal, leaves less room for the unhealthy food you want to eat.

• Eat a little bit of everything. A lot of times we eat with our eyes or we think (unconsciously due to our upbringing) we must eat everything on our plate. To avoid over eating, place small amounts of food on a saucer to control your portion sizes.

• Eat more vegetables than anything else. Our plates should be filled with lots of vegetables and smaller portions of everything else. Eat all the vegetables first, again this leaves less room for other food we want to indulge in.

 

• Drink a lot of water. When we are full, there is less room for the foods we would indulge in.

• Eat slow. Eating fast allows us to take in too many calories. From the time we start eating, it takes 20 minutes for our brain to tell our body we are full. Slow down and you will become fuller sooner.

• Leftovers are a no, no. After eating, don’t go back for more food later. If you do, only eat veggies and protein (nothing fried). Don’t take leftovers home. If there are no leftovers to eat, it is easier to get back on track and keep the weight down. If you are the host, ask everyone to take as much food with them when they leave. If there is a lot of food left over, think about giving the food to a shelter.

These tips are not to prevent anyone from enjoying the foods they love, but eating them in moderation is key. We can eat our favorite food; we just have to eat them in smaller portions. The last option is to enjoy yourself and eat what you would like. Choosing this option means, one, we are not allowed to beat ourselves up the next day by telling ourselves, “I shouldn’t have eaten all that food”. One day isn’t going to get us off track as long as we don’t continue to eat the food (see #5). Second, don’t step on the scale the next day. The extra calories, sodium and sugar will cause weight gain

Holiday Fitness Tips

• Workout in the morning. There will be a lot of extra calories eaten during the holiday season. One way to help with weight gain (on Thanksgiving and Christmas days) is to workout in the morning or before leaving for the day. You want to burn more calories than you take in to control weight gain. According to WebMD.com, “…the average American consumes approximately 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat from eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And that doesn’t include breakfast, lunch, or late-night snacking on leftovers. Studies show that the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds during the holiday season (Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, n.d.).” We may not burn 4,500 extra calories, but burning some calories is better than none at all.

• Walk after you get done eating. This is a great time for family and friends to go outside after eating, and go for a walk.

• We can take a workout with us. If we are visiting family and friends, go to YouTube and do a quick workout.

Staying fit and health during the holiday season is possible, if we are willing to make small changes.