Hey guys and gals! I thought it would be a good idea to put all of my frequently asked questions in one central location. This will save you some time from looking through every post and save my fingers from cramping up when responding individually ;-). I’m sure I’ll keep adding them as they come along, but these are the most common. And again, these are the things that worked for me. It’s not an exact tailored plan for you personally! I’m just letting you know how I did it.

1. When did your weight loss journey begin? January 2010.

2. What made you decide to lose the weight and get healthy for good? An embarrassingly hurtful comment from a teacher was the catalyst. I also promised my mother while she was on her deathbed in June 2009. But the teacher’s comment sparked me into action.

3. What do you eat? I eat clean about 80% of the time. I’m not a health-robot, so I do have treats here and there, hence the other 20%.

4. How often do you work out? What do you do? At first, I worked out about 3-4 times a week. Now, I work out about 5-6 times a week. I don’t always have time, but I always make time. You make time for what is important to you!

5. When did you begin running? Why? How? First I began walking. I started in small increments. At first, all I could do was run for 10 SECONDS!! But I had to start somewhere, so that was it. I did little intervals: Run 10 secs, walk 50 seconds and I’d repeat that for 30 mins. Then the next week, I’d run 20 secs, walk 40 secs–the next week, run 30secs, walk 30 secs–and so forth until I COULD run for a whole minute. Believe me when I say I really had to take baby steps! Once I could do a full minute, I repeated that same system, but in 10 minute increments. Run 1 min, walk 9. Run 2 mins, walk 8. Run 3 mins, walk 7. Eventually, I got to the point where I could run a full mile without stopping, and then after a while, my endurance built up to where I could run for miles and miles without needing a break. It was definitely something I had to train myself to do. I’m not saying everyone has to take baby steps like this, but it certainly helped me get used to running. I used to hate it and now I love it.

The hardcore running started in April 2011 because I was training to go into the police academy. I ran too far, too fast, too hard, didn’t listen to my body and got a stress fracture in my right tibia in May 2011. I was not able to try out for the academy, couldn’t run for five months and decided to study personal training while I was benched! The rest is history and I’m not a cop but I can run. Haa.

6. What shoes do you wear when you run? How do you know which shoes to wear? My current favorite shoes to run in are Mizuno Wave Riders. They got me through my first half marathon and I LOVE them! I think it’s smart to go a specialty running shoe store if you are just beginning to run. They will do a full assessment of your feet/running to make sure you are matched up with the perfect shoes for you! Then feel free to shop wherever you want once you know which shoes are best.

7. What fitness clothes do you wear? I’m a Nike addict. But I’m slowly getting addicted to Under Armour, too. Oh, and Lululemon yoga & running pants and crops just make your booty look good. I don’t have any particular sports bras that I like. I rotate between the above brands. As far as compression sleeves go, I love Zensah and for compression socks, Running Skirts makes the best for me!

8. Which gym do you belong to? My first gym, where I lost most of my weight was my home gym. My home gym could only do so much for me and then I needed to step it up to the next level to see the definition I wanted. Now I currently belong to Anytime Fitnessย and LOVE it!

9. How did you become a Certified Personal Trainer? Do you train at a gym? I began doing an at-home study through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in July 2011. I went to a training conference in August 2011 for hands-on learning and then passed my certification in October 2011. I have to get recertified every two years. I do not currently “train” in the paid training sense yet, but do a lot, lot, lot of motivating online!

10. How do I lose the weight? Refer back to my quote at the top of the page. Seriously folks, that really is it! I know you may not want to hear it, but that’s my tough love. Work out, eat clean and keep at it. You didn’t put the weight on overnight and it won’t come off overnight. JUST START. Keep going, don’t quit–it will come off. Maybe slower than you’d like, but keep going and you will lose it. Again, WORK OUT, EAT CLEAN. REPEAT.

Yes, it is calories in, calories out. Meaning if you take in more calories than you burn off, there will be an excess of them and you’ll gain weight. But no–all calories are not created equal, so it’s not that simple. They say, “You can’t out train a bad diet.” And that’s true. You may lose weight if you’re only eating a certain amount of calories, albeit if they’re all junk calories, but you won’t look good naked, haha! Eat clean.

A food journal and measuring out portions helped me a lot. Then was I was able to see just how many calories/what types of foods I was eating and where I needed to tweak it.

11. Can I spot reduce? No.

12. How do I stay motivated? YOU have to make the decision that getting healthy, losing the weight and making this a life change is MORE IMPORTANT to you than being unhealthy, continuing to be overweight and staying the same.

I wish I could do it for you, but I can’t. No one could do it for me either. Until there was something that sparked within me that said, “Okay, I’m ready now–let’s do this. I’m all in,” nothing was going to change. You’ll know when you’re ready because nothing will get in your way. Not chocolate cake, a buffet, laziness, sleepiness, a holiday, chores–nothing.

If it helps you to make a vision board of quotes, mantras, pictures of clothes you want to wear, the body you want to have, go for it. Do it. I personally had to keep staring at the “Before” picture of myself and look at it often–it helped! But along with this vision board, set clear, specific goals on there and work toward them. Don’t just say, I want to wear a size 10 again someday. Make it attainable, but set a time/date to work toward.

13. Do you take supplements?ย **Yes, but again–I only use them to supplement my clean-eating and based around my workouts depending what they are that day. (Supplements are not to be used in place of good clean eating!) Currently I take BCAAs, Glutamine, women’s multi-vitamin, fish oil, CLA, C4, whey protein and casein protein. My favorite brands are Optimum Nutrition and Cellucor and I tend to order from BodyBuilding.com because they are awesome and quick with the shipping!

**This was earlier in my journey. Now I don’t really take anything–just try to eat clean! If I do have supplements, it’s someย protein powder here and there.

Comments 17

  • Hey Cherie! Great FAQ. You look fabulous! …oh, and I envy your home gym setup. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I feel like I need to say something, somewhere on your blog because I have been reading it for the last several days and loving it more than any other weight-loss focused blog I have found. And that is probably because of the hard work you have done and continue to do (no commercial gym, no “diet” plans, no surgery, no WW – just eating clean and moving your bod – I, too, know from expericne that is the key!) and because of the beautiful and moving personal stories you have shared.

    I am on my second journey to lose weight. In 1994-1996, I lost over 60 lbs (the hard work way – lots if cardio, home gym equipment and eating clean!) and gradually gained half of it back, which I am taking off again (I am 5’10”, 42 years old, current weight 197, first goal is 175 (and then probably 10-15 more.) I like hearing about people’s “a ha!” moments – because that is what it takes to get started I think. People ask me how to do it, and I can tell them, but unless it is TIME for them to do it, nothing I suggest will help. Your “a-ha!” moment was with that teacher, no doubt!

    You are such an inspiration! I have a blog on another site (Obesity Discussion), not my own blog – don’t have the dedication it takes to keep it up daily with lots of detail, but I do log my food and exercise.

    Thank you for sharing with the world. You are awesome!!!!

  • Cherie, great blog – your committment and hard work are inspiring. Being on my own journey the last couple of years, I can relate to the slow moving train to fitness! One of my goals is to put together a blog to keep me motivated and I love what you have done here. Do you have any tips on starting a blog? I have a wordpress theme set up and just need to self teach myself on how to edit it (my sister designed it for me ๐Ÿ™‚ You will get a chuckle if you check it out…really in the infancy stage: http://www.sheilatwomey.com

    I also have a website for my Herbalife business but really wanted something separate


  • Hi Cherie, I just found your blog today. I love it!! Congrats to you. This has really been the motivator I need to get back on track. I would love to have you as my trainer and can’t wait until you start training. I am in your area and would really appreciate being trained by someone with a real weight loss story.

    • Hi Yolanda! Thanks you for writing to me! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m happy to have passed along some motivation to you! I’m still in the midst of setting up my personal training/coaching business and when I do I’ll be posting it on here first! It will be virtual/online so stay tuned!

  • Cherie, I am so glad I saw your article on CNN and read your blog. You have inspired me to lose the weight I have been carrying around for almost 20 years. I had always been thin as a child, teen and into my early 20’s (5’2 & 105 pounds on my wedding day). After I got married I gained weight, then gained more during pregnancy, and I’ve just kept gaining. I now weigh 200 pounds. I want to be thin again but motivating myself has been difficult. But reading your story has helped. Thank you!

  • Just read your story on CNN. Great job! Way to take the initiative and stick with it knowing it was going to be a long process. I wish you the best and glad your doing well.

  • Hi!! I was wondering of you take rest days?!
    Hayley recently posted..Facts about me: Part 1-less seriousMy Profile

    • Hi Hayley! Absolutely! They are very important to me and crucial to my sanity sometimes, haha. Yes, Friday is my rest day. I’m on vacation for the week and away from home, so it’s all scattered about, but yes, normally it’s Friday!

  • Hi Cherie! I spent the afternoon reading your blog, each word inspires me to continue this journey I have taken just 2 siemanas ago. It will not be easy, other times it has been and I have given up but this time… I am ready to lead a healthier life.

    I wish you all the success in the world, Greetings from Panama.

    • Hi Raquel! Thank you for taking the time to find me and say hello!! You CAN absolutely lead a healthier life–you just have to commit to it and KNOW you’re worth it. Keep going!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Love your page, you are such a motivation, found you on Ig. I’m motivated to doing better in the eating department. I love/enjoy exercise it’s my diet that sucks, too many missed meals, poor choices, you have motivated me to doing better. I definitely have to plan ahead and do meal prep. Continued success. I need to do my vision board. Is there some place on here where I can sign up to be notified when you post new items? I did not find any links etc.

  • Thanks Brando! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m originally from there but live in NC anyhow!

  • hey Cherie. your website is so inspiring . I find it hard to keep my hair together when working out. I noticed your hair looks great. What do you find is best for protecting your hair while working out?

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