How Exciting to See Progress!

by Gina Neely29, April 2013 12:54

As I’ve been working my way through the Challenge and lifestyle change, I have found my journal to be incredibly useful. I was told many years ago if you write down your goals and read them, you have a better chance of reaching them. I think that’s great advice to live by. As I continue to lose weight, my journal has helped me to monitor my progress and regain motivation when I’ve been close to giving into temptation.

In addition to my journal, I’m even happier that I can see my progress not only in my journal but also in the mirror! And I’m not the only one noticing, everywhere I go people are asking me what I’m doing to lose weight and telling me that I look incredible. There’s nothing like some wonderful, unsolicited comments to help keep the inspiration and motivation going. Another funny sign of success…none of my belts fit. I had to go out and buy that gadget that makes additional holes in your belt.

It’s also nice to see the progress reflected in my wardrobe. Clothes that fit six weeks ago just don’t cut it now and that is a great feeling. Soon I’m going to need to hit the stores and do some shopping! What woman doesn’t love to do some shopping!! Especially for new, smaller clothes!

I’m on a roll and I’m not slowing down now!!!


Make Exercise Enjoyable!

by Gina Neely22, April 2013 16:16

Challenges, including this one, are all about overcoming obstacles. Time is always a big obstacle for me. How do I find time to shop for the food ingredients in the kit, cook good meals and exercise all in 24 hours? Most days, my schedule is FULL, no, that doesn’t even sum it up, it’s PACKED!  I'm learning to be better at time management. If something is important, you have to find the time to make it happen and, if you’re busy like I am, that means scheduling it.  I’ve built exercise into my routine, treating it just like any other appointment on my calendar. Additionally, I’m far from a morning person, but I make myself get up and work out early to get my metabolism going for the whole day.  Sometimes I’ll end the day with a second bit of exercise, nothing crazy, just a walk before dark to clear my head at a more “smell the roses” type of pace.

My husband, Pat, has been great during this Challenge. He has hopped on the bandwagon and is exercising more too.  He eats whatever I prepare and has picked up some of the slack of grocery shopping. My daughter, Shel, has been telling me how good I look and I notice she is picking more veggies now as well (but I don’t let her know that I notice it….you know…kids!).

I know it’s not always easy, but you must stay true to the course. I keep telling myself that if losing weight, eating right, staying fit, and exercising was easy then we could run the medical profession out of business. Let’s face it, all of these things are "a challenge," but I’m taking them in stride and feeling better about my new lifestyle everyday!


Find Substitutions for Favorites!

by Gina Neely19, April 2013 10:30

This week has been challenging for me because of my sweet tooth cravings, and trust me, I’ve got a big one. I know you all know what I’m talking about. I’ve been fighting these cravings by enjoying more fresh fruit. I know, I know, some of you get bored with your typical fruits and sometimes it can be hard to find a fun, and especially healthy, way to spice up those fruits. When I want to spice up my fruits in a fun and healthy way I’ll try throwing them on the George Foreman Grill which will give them a sweet and smoky flavor. Sometimes if I close my eyes I can turn this sweet flavor into whatever sweets I’ve been craving lately. And, you know, just a pinch of brown sugar never hurts. My fruit of choice for cravings has been an apple and the grill just takes it to another level. It’s still a healthy choice and it keeps me on track.

One great thing about this week is that I’ve continued building on my exercise from last week. I’ve really gotten into a great routine and I’m actually looking forward to working out now. I’ve been doing more abdominal work because I notice a difference in my clothes around the waist area and what woman doesn’t want sexy abs? I think the fact that I can see a change is encouraging and I’m getting many more compliments which is an always welcome boost to my day.

Unfortunately, exercising isn’t always fun and sometimes we need a little motivation or to make it fun for ourselves. I have always loved to dance. I won "best dancer" a few years ago when I was in high school. One of the things that has always helped to motivate me with exercise is music. I’m all about turning on my favorite songs and just letting go with my best dance moves. Before you know it, a full hour will have passed and I will feel like I just left a party!

To really get me going, I love “Girls Run the World” by Beyonce. It’s like my anthem. And for that extra push, I stay with Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied” because it makes me feel good and keeps me energized. A few other favorites are Usher’s “Caught Up”, Joss Stone’s “You Had Me” and Kelly Price’s “And You Don’t Stop”.

Find what works for you and go with it!


A Change of Lifestyle

by Gina Neely16, April 2013 16:44

OMG!! I have a new love and his name is George Foreman Grill!  The grill really gives me the opportunity to commit to my weight loss lifestyle by not only using it to grill meat but for other foods as well.  I can throw my Hearts of Romaine lettuce on the grill and it gives it a whole new smoky flavor to die for and I can top it off with some delicious low fat dressing.  The salad truly is a beautiful work of culinary art.  Who says eating healthy can’t be good, fun, and easy?!? 


The Challenge is still going well.  I’m excited that I’ve finally found a rhythm with adding more exercise to my daily life.  Most days, between work, Pat, and my daughters, my schedule is crazy (something I know everyone can relate to), so hitting the gym can be a challenge of its own.  I’m making a real effort to just make my overall lifestyle more active and the Challenge is definitely helping with that.  When I pull into a parking lot, I pass on that first spot by the door and park a little further away.  When I walk into a building, I head up the stairs instead of jumping on the elevator.  When I’m in my office talking on the phone, I stand up and walk around.  These are all relatively little changes, but the impact is HUGE!  You don’t have to be on a treadmill to get a workout in!  Get a pedometer and track how much you’re moving for a week.  I think you’ll be blown away with how far you go and how many calories you burn.  I know I was!  These are simple lifestyle changes that can make a big difference and are easy to stick to.  This is just one more small step towards my goal to make this my new way of life.


Eating Out and Keeping it Healthy

by Gina Neely1, April 2013 11:56

So far, my George Foreman Weight Loss Challenge has been rolling along nicely.  I’ve been eating and cooking right and getting my exercise in too!  I’m looking and feeling better and nothing beats that feeling.

Another great thing about this challenge is the kit! I loved that the all-inclusive shopping list each week tells me exactly what I need and the meals and snacks are all there for me. My past excuses for not following through are taken away so I can begin my weight loss lifestyle. 

One of the big challenges that come along with our “Challenge” is eating out.  When I’m in the kitchen, prepping the ingredients and cooking the meals, I know what I’m doing every step of the way.  It gets a lot trickier when you have to walk into a restaurant.  But, we have to remember that this is not a “diet” but a new way of living.  People eat out, so we just have to learn to how to be health conscious about it.  I think there’s a simple solution; have a plan!   Whenever I go out, I mimic my meal as much as I can to what I would’ve prepared if I was at home.  I look for healthy salads, fish or lean meats, and vegetables.  Everyone is becoming more health conscious and almost every restaurant menu includes a “Healthy Options” section. 

In addition, don’t be afraid to ask the chef to prepare your choices in a healthier manner.  Ask for veggies not cooked in butter or grilled chicken instead of fried.  Most restaurants are extremely receptive about customer requests.  It’s all about keeping the customer happy and that customer is you!


About the Author

Gina Neely

Gina Neely is a celebrity chef and one half of the dynamic duo that is Pat and Gina Neely, best known for their national hit show, “Down Home with the Neelys” on the Food Network SM. She is also a “knock-out” after taking the George Foreman Grills Weight Loss Challenge and is now offering original low calorie recipes, tips, tricks and support, so that others can lose weight too. 

Gina is a successful restaurateur and best-selling author of “The Neelys' Celebration Cookbook: Down-Home Meals for Every Occasion” and “Down Home with the Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook”. Gina recently brought her delicious southern cuisine to New York City with the opening of Neely's Barbecue Parlor. She currently lives in Memphis with her husband and their two daughters.

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