5 Reasons why I Love My Apple Watch!

Having a fitness tracking device is crucial in weight loss. It helps with seeing just how much you are achieving daily. I would highly recommend that if you are on a weight loss journey, please invest in a fitness tracking watch. Here are the top 5 reasons why I LOVE my Apple Watch as my fitness tracker:

  • It makes me stand up when I’ve been sitting for too long. It sends you a signal to stand when you have been sitting for an hour. In weight loss, it’s important to keep moving. We sit to watch television or to work and forget to stand and move around.
  • 20160709_222734It tracks how many steps I have taken each day and tallies it for the week.
  • I am able to choose the TYPE of exercise that I am about to do. For example, I love spin (as you all know) I choose “Indoor Cycle” and it tracks each cycling exercise in the Fitness App on my phone. It also tracks the amount of calories I burn during those exercises, once I beat my highest burn – it alerts me!
  • It’s motivation. Whenever I hit a goal, exceed a goal or getting close to a goal – it reminds me of just how close I am or how great I am for hitting or exceeding it! 20160709_222728
  • It tracks my heart rate throughout the day! At any time, I can stop and get my heart rate. (I had a polar Ft4 and the heart rate monitor strap had to be around your chest in order to get a reading – NOT WITH THE APPLE WATCH)

Here are some more options if you are not an Apple Lover:

Polar FT4 – comes with a heart rate monitor strap must be worn around chest in order to get your heart rate and count your calories burned.

Whether your goal is to improve your overall fitness or lose weight, the Polar FT4 is the perfect workout companion. Its easy-to-use heart rate features will help you stay in your target zone and track calories burned during any activity, including indoor cycling, walking and swimming. Records ten workout files to help you monitor your progress and stay motivated. Includes comfortable fabric heart rate transmitter chest strap for continuous, accurate heart rate. Uses coded transmission to avoid cross-talk with other heart rate monitors nearby. Plus, you can bring it to the gym and sync it with most gym equipment.
Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor:

  • Helps you workout in your target zone and track calories during any activity
  • Displays calories burned
  • Includes comfortable fabric transmitter and coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk
  • Records average and maximum heart rate

Garmin Vivofit – (I think I’ll get this for swimming)

  • Easy-to-read display on vivofit shows steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and time of day
  • vivofit learns your activity level and assigns daily activity goal, adjusting as you become healthier
  • One-touch button lets you wirelessly sync to Garmin® Connect™ free online fitness community
  • Red bar displays on the Garmin® vivofit after an hour of inactivity
  • Records calories burned throughout the day, including base metabolic rate
  • This Garmin® fitness band is water resistant, letting you run or train in all conditions
  • Garmin® vivofit tracks your progress 24/7 and can stay on for more than a year without needing re-charged
  • vivofit lets you sync to Garmin® Connect™ to see calorie-burning trends and track progress
  • Join Garmin® Connect™ and set challenges and compete against your friends and earn virtual badges
  • Garmin® Connect™ also displays your total sleep hours and periods of restful sleep and movement
  • Inculded: vivofit with large and small band, USB ANT™ stick, Manual


Fitbit is also another great option! Check out the new Alta! https://www.fitbit.com/alta

To sum this up, you have read all of the benefits of a fitness tracking device. It keeps you motivated, active and focused/reminds you of your goals. There are many options out there but make sure it tracks your heart rate, make sure it tracks your steps and calories burned. That’s Key! Invest in one, it’ll change the way you view your daily activity.



Carb Cycling…..it works!!

Carb Cycling?? What is that you ask? Carb cycling is something I have been practicing for a while. It’s almost like you are playing a trick on your body! This is something that bodybuilders use to drop weight (get leaner) quicker. Between the numbers of low-carbohydrate diets and studies linking the consumption of processed carbs to obesity and chronic diseases, carbs have become the black sheep of the nutrition world. But let’s get one thing straight: Heavy consumption of PROCESSED carbs affects the body’s hormonal machinery, leading to inflammation and excess fat storage. However, all carbohydrates are not bad for you.

For muscle growth and overall performance,  HEALTHY carbohydrates are a necessity. The challenge is to take in just the right amount of carbs — at just the right times. It turns out that what carbs you eat — and especially, when you eat them — can drastically affect your body’s response to them. Through a process called carb cycling, you can manipulate carb consumption to maximize muscle growth while you minimize negative effects.

If you ask any doctor, He/She would tell you to go on a low carbohydrate – high protein diet! (which worked to jumpstart my weight loss) but for the rest of my life? That will not be easy so that’s when I began researching carb cycling.

Carb Cycling for Fat Loss is very meticulous and must followed closely to achieve success. In carb cycling, your week is divided up into 3 days: No Carb Days, Low Carb Day, High Carb Days.

NO CARB DAYS: On these, you eat high-fiber vegetables such as leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, onions, peppers and mushrooms freely, along with lean protein and a serving or two of good fats. Refrain from starchy carbs such as potatoes, rice, cereals and oats. These include starchier veggies such as beans, zucchini, squash, and pumpkin. Total carb intake should be less than 25 grams per day – all from fibrous veggies.

LOW CARB DAYS: Here, the goal is to stay below 75 grams of carbs. Once again, fibrous veggies can be eaten freely, but add in two to three servings of starch from clean sources such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, starchy veggies and fruit. “Clean” carbs are hypoallergenic ones — free of gluten, soy and dairy. For best results, having starchy carbs post-workout on these days is recommended.

HIGH CARB DAYS: The total amount of carbs will vary based on your size and activity level. Women will consume between 150 and 200 grams while men can get away with up to 300 grams. Most of these should come from clean sources. But if you are going to enjoy a cheat meal, it is advantageous to have it on a high-carb day.

Don’t forget to continue to eat plenty of lean protein and a serving or two of healthy fats. A high-carb day is not an excuse to binge eat; it’s a systematic way to reset muscle-building and fat-burning hormones.


In order to keep track of what you intake be sure to use a tool like myfitnesspal (followme @chehaughton). I’ve used this tool for 5 years! It tracks everything! Takes the guesswork out of it for you. Absolutely love it. What do you use??

And now you know about carb cycling! Give it a try! Hope this helps someone.



Sodas for what?? 128 ounces/per day!

As a child, kool-aid made with a TON of sugar was our drink of choice. 20160602_165854We would add more sugar if it wasn’t syrupy sweet. As I grew older, soda was my crutch. When I started this journey, over 5 years ago I was drinking at least one 2 liter Pepsi per day. (One 2 Liter of Pepsi if you drink the entire bottle has: 850 calories and 232g Sugar.) IMAGINE THAT!!!  It was the hardest drug to let go of but I stopped with soda cold turkey and immediately began to lose weight. Did I have withdrawals? YES! Did I give in? NOPE!

Water was hard to stomach because it didn’t have a taste. But just like everything, I made it into a challenge. I researched and learned of its benefits. After learning of its benefits I was intrigued and I continued. Now water is my ONLY drink of choice. I down a gallon per day!

The benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated:

  1. Weight Loss – Water is one of the best tools for weight loss. Why? Because it often replaces high-calories drinks like soft drinks and alcohol with a drink that has no fat, no calories, no carbs, no sugar. It is also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. So if you are wanting to lose weight – INCREASE YOUR WATER.
  2. Energy – Being dehydrated takes away your energy and makes you feel tired. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated – and this can lead to dizziness, fatigue, muscle weakness and other symptoms.
  3. Headache Cure – Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. In fact, often when we have headaches it’s simply a matter of not drinking enough water. There are lots of causes for headaches of course but dehydration is a common one.
  4. Healthy Skin – Drinking water can clear up your skin and help you look more fresh and glowing. Commit to drinking a healthy amount of water over a week and see the effects on your skin.
  5. Digestive Problems – Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fiber can cure constipation (also a result of dehydration).
  6. Cleansing and Kidney Health – Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body. The more water your drink the better your kidneys will function.
  7. Better Exercise – We all know it is essential to drink water when exercising, but did you know being dehydrated can severely affect your workouts? Slowing your down and making your workouts harder. So the best time to drink water is actually two hours before you plan to exercise and of course during and after.

Here are some tips that I used to stay focused on drinking enough water to experience these benefits.



When you are craving a sweet drink, try sweetening your water with Crystal light sugar-free packets or making fruit infused water that has benefits that you can use. You can find more combinations on Pinterest (follow me @eyecandyinc)


Water is now my drink of choice, I can say with confidence that I haven’t had a soda in over 4 years.  I would much rather EAT my calories than drink them!! If you are on a weight loss journey, start by eliminating the calories that you are drinking and replace it with water!! Easiest place to begin. Get rid of those pointless calories.



“Use Bleach”….Acanthosis Nigricans….

20160528_073119As a young lady, I struggled with extremely black, dry, scaly neck, elbows, cheeks and legs. I was told to SCRUB HARD….“you must not be scrubbing hard enough.” I would scrub until it hurt.  “Try bleach in your bathwater, sure that would work.” NOPE! Nothing worked, so I learned to live with it and cover it as best as I could. Pants to cover it on my legs, long sleeves to cover my arms and scarfs and collar shirts for my neck. The sides of my face were really black as well, I just had to deal with that and the ridicule that came along with it.


17 years old. Acanthosis Nigricans on my face.


It wasn’t until my adult life that I began researching what this was and how as a young lady, I could never get this to go away no matter what I did.

This condition is called:

Acanthosis Nigricans which is a brown to black, poorly defined, velvety hyperpigmentation of the skin. It is usually found in body folds, such as the posterior and lateral folds of the neck, the armpits, groin, navel, forehead and other areas. It typically occurs in individuals younger than 40, may be genetically inherited and is associated with obesity or endocrinopathies, such as PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which is a set of symptoms due to elevated male hormone in women. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acanthosis_nigricans

In my case, it was directly related to obesity and was a visible marker that suggested insulin resistance. Higher than normal insulin levels in the blood due to overeating of bad foods causes the growth of darkened skin over certain areas of the body. NO SKIN TREATMENT will get rid of it. Acanthosis Nigricans may lighten up and possibly go away by treating the root cause, insulin resistance but it could take months or years to do so.


@_asleevedbelleinmaryland after losing over 100 pounds.

Once I began losing weight, I no longer struggle with Acanthosis Nigricans – my legs and arms are completely clear. My neck is no longer black, it is still discolored but could be from sun spots at this point in life. This post is for that young woman that is struggling with this and have no idea how to get rid of it, my advice is to focus on your diet, speak to your doctor about PCOS and don’t use bleach! You will get through this as long as you take control.



Spin is Where It’s At!!

20160525_192511Truth be told, when I walked my 270 pound body into this class for the first time almost 2 years ago, I was apprehensive. Apprehensive because I did not know what to expect. All I knew is that the lights were going to be turned off and there would be club music. So I got on the bike and got into the groove.

First Thoughts:

  • My butt is too big for this seat – IT HURTS!!!
  • I need better shoes because majority of my weight is being placed on my toes.  – They HURT!
  • I should have brought more water…
  • What have I gotten myself into?

Lights Go Out. Music Pumping. Strobe Lights Flashing.

Then I heard, “Up, Sit back down, Up” – I thought “oh shit, she’s going to kill me.” I tried my best and stayed the entire 60 minutes but I stopped a lot (glad that the lights were out). I burned close to 500 calories in that hour so it pushed me to continue to go back. The next time, I had better shoes, a seat cover (pictured below), lots of water and I was prepared.

After researching spin and being motivated by my workout partner and awesome instructor, Julie Novelli of Golds Gym (pictured below) who leads multiple spin classes a day AND KEEPS UP. I knew that I could do this and be good at it.

2 years later, I love it! It gives me the best full body workout, burns the most calories, I’ve lost weight, gained muscle, stamina and endurance. I am a club spin advocate not only have I gained all of that but also friends that have the same goals. We have fun! Try it out but know that you will not be a pro after your first class. Keep going, you will not be disappointed.

Here is why Spin is my class of choice:

Burn Calories

A spinning workout of 45 minutes may allow you to burn around 500 calories, which is a huge amount when compared to other types of workout. However, the amount of calories you burn will depend on the intensity of the workout. Adjust your bike according to the intensity you desire.

Build Muscle Tone

The spinning workout may help you build some muscle tone. The workout will focus on the core muscles, as well as the buttocks and thighs. You can increase and decrease the tension of the bike; this is similar to riding up and down a hill. While you pedal, you will work your thighs and calves. If you maintain the correct position on the bike, you will also work on your abdominal muscles. When you pedal faster, you are likely to burn fat. When you pedal slower and have a higher tension, you will work your muscles.

Increased Cardio Endurance

If you opt for regular spinning classes, you will build increased cardio endurance. This is beneficial, especially if you feel weaker and start panting even after an insignificant effort, such as climbing a flight of stairs.

Low Impact Exercise

A spinning workout is a low impact exercise. This means that it won’t put pressure on knees and joints, as other aerobic or running exercises do. The workout is also recommended for people that suffer from arthritis.

Relieve Stress

Any type of exercise is known to relieve stress. However, a spinning class can be a more efficient stress reliever than most types of exercise. This is due to the fact that the workout is intensive and it is a class where you can meet people and socialize.


Spinning classes are held by an instructor that will motivate you throughout the workout. In addition, there will be music, which will make the class more entertaining.

Reduced Risks of Injury

While running and jogging may present a high risk of injury, a spinning class is less likely to cause any injuries. However, it’s recommended to stretch prior to the class, so that you don’t pull any muscles.

Adjustable Tempo

The stationary bike will have adjustable tensions, which you can change during the class. Your trainer can indicate when to change the tension, or you can adjust it according to your abilities and fitness goals.

Track Your Progress

Most stationary bikes will have some devices which will track the amount of calories you burn, your mileage and even your pulse. This means that you can track your progress, which is also a motivating factor. (I used my Apple Watch).

Can Be Done Year Round

Unlike other types of activities such as jogging, which can be unpleasant when performed during the months with extreme temperatures, a spinning class can be performed at any time during the year.


After these facts, Are you going to try spin now? Lets get it!




Why the Sauna is Apart of my Routine!

20160523_194852             I’m always asked what is the point of the sauna? If I’m being honest, I used to ask the same question. Just did not seem logical to sit in a hot box and sweat to near death. But after doing some research and encouragement, I went for it. The Sauna is required for me after each workout for at least 15 minutes. You will be drenched, you will want to climb out of there, you will not understand why you chose to do it but it will be all worth it! Let me tell you why….

The skin is the largest organ in the body and through the pores it plays a major role in the detoxifying process alongside the lungs, kidneys, bowels, liver and the lymphatic and immune systems. The skin produces cool sweat to regulate the body’s elevated temperature. It also has the ability to transform toxins from lipid-soluble or oil based, into easier to eliminate water soluble. Sweat carries toxins OUT of the body and flushes them through the pores.


Benefits of the Sauna:

  • Improved Blood Circulation: The sauna increases and improves the rate of blood circulation and breathing.
  • Weight Loss: Sauna is similar to mild exercise, it burns about 300 calories per average session. Regular sauna treatments combined with a healthy diet and moderate exercise will help you lose weight and stay fit and healthy.
  • Skin Cleansing: A profuse sauna-induced sweat followed by a shower cleanses your skin far more thoroughly than just taking a shower. It makes the skin soft and healthy with immediate noticeable effects.
  • Body Relaxation: Stress build-up creates tension in the body manifesting in various aches and pains. The heat and humidity of the sauna diffuses the pain and relaxes tired muscles.
  • Mind Relaxation: The sauna is essentially a place to relax. Regular sauna users all agree that it effectively helps relieve physical and mental fatigue and stress.


Try it out and watch how your skin glows, watch how the pounds shed and feel the difference in being truly relaxed – mentally and physically.

Leave me a comment. Have you ever used the sauna? Is it a part of your routine? Will you try it now after learning its benefits?






F#ck F.E.A.R – Paint Wars 2016

20160521_130729     Being the fat kid in school, I recall not being able to keep up in gym class and being made fun of because I was different. Being made to do it by the gym teachers or take an F (when we all knew that academics meant everything to me). It was humiliating and sadly has been engrained in my mind for almost 20 years now.

I have ALWAYSSSSS wanted to participate in fitness events. NEVER HAVE. Fearful of what others would think of me – “she’s too big to be out here” “she won’t be able to keep up” not to mention the stares and laughs. Not worth it!

Since being on this journey, I am saying Fuck Fear!! There is nothing and no one that will hold me back from accomplishing my goals. This journey is very lonely. It’s hard not having those in your corner that truly understand that you’ve made up your mind to kick being fat. However, my support system did not flinch when I asked them to participate in this event with me. Shout Out to my girls, Tanisha of @TheMackinProject, Jae – @GirlPowerHour, Nikki – @HeelMyHeart, Latorria, Nicole @everybodyluvsnikki. We all dressed up, supported each other, smiled, laughed and had fun the entire time. Thank you sisters, you just don’t know how much it truly means to me.

 If you are reading this and you have a fear that you want to conquer, GO FOR IT. You have nothing to lose but the shackles that have you bound. I am no longer that fat kid that is afraid of what others think. I’m living.

FEAR = Face Everything and Rise! What do you have to lose? Set Your Goals, Do The Work, SMASH THEM, Make New Goals!



Give me my LIFE BACK…..


Lets go back to as long ago as I can remember……I’ve always been overweight. I am sure that I weighed close to 400 pounds in high school. I was made fun of, laughed at, butt of most jokes. It was the most debilitating and humiliating experience of my life. It still shakes my core when I think about it. Into my adult life, I was always the smart one, career driven, money maker but never had a “real boyfriend” only met men online because I could be whomever I wanted to be and never had to meet them. CATFISH! It all caused me to overeat and love on something that wouldn’t make fun of me or judge – FOOD! It was always there, always satisfying, always forgiving, never judged.

Fast Forward to 2010 (pic on the left), I was a new parent. I weighed 325 pounds. I was sad, depressed, unmotivated, heartbroken, alone, lost – I could go on and on and on. High blood pressure, diabetes, arthirits, joint pain were all apart of my everyday life. It took me years – 1501 days (4 years) to be exact to beat this addiction and TAKE MY LIFE BACK.

How did I beat my addiction? Yes, it is an addiction. Addiction is defined as “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.”

  • First, ADMIT that there is a problem
  • Second, GET HELP!
  • Third, DO THE WORK!!


Looking forward to sharing this journey with you all. I’ll start with my breakthrough and what made me take control.

I’m sure many can relate to me, I am an open book. I want us to take over lives back and LIVE. Food is here to sustain us not control us. Be mindful. Join me on this journey!!


Highest recorded weight – 325
Current weight – 218