Well, today, I am bringing you the final installment of my interview with Gabby Blawas, weight-loss guru and very hot mama! Don’t worry! I’m hoping I can talk Gabby into doing a regular monthly spot on the blog because I know you’re all enjoying reading her, and I certainly have loved featuring her! If you have ANY other questions for Gabby just add them to the comment section of this blog, and I will pass them along to her! She will gladly answer.
Today, we’re discussing weight loss products, and I asked her perhaps the most important question of the entire interview. When she lost the weight, what did she gain? We know she gained her health, her energy, a healthier family, but today we’re talking about the passion that erupts when you take claim of your own life! 1. What products, if any, would you suggest to my female readers that you feel they should invest in, if they want to begin working out and losing weight?
If you’re going to buy anything, buy yourself a decent pair of tenners (that’s tennis shoes for all my Southern readers ;) and a serious sports bra. Good shoes and a good bra are more important than you think.
You need a quality shoe that will provide support for your feet and ankles. Buy a sturdy cross-training shoe. Cross-training shoes are reinforced on the sides to help support your feet better. You’re about to start movin’ and groovin,’ for, maybe, the first time ever. The last thing you need is to twist an ankle or sprain your foot. Buy your shoes in the afternoon. That is when feet are the largest. Don’t buy a shoe that just fits and is bordering on being snug in anyway. Don’t go on the assumption that you’ll wear them in. Buy shoes that have a tiny bit of wiggle room so as to accommodate the constant movement and pounding of your feet during your workouts.
The shoe industry has just exploded in the last 10 years. There are so many brands and so many different types of shoes to choose from. It can be overwhelming. Fortunately, all of the major shoe brands are made extremely well. It’s just a matter of which one fits your feet the best. I happen to be a Nike girl. I have very high arches in my feet, and Nikes fit me the best. I also have a couple pair of Sauconys that I love. But you really can’t go wrong with any of the major brands. Nike, Reebok, New Balance, Saucony, Asics, Under Armour. They are all great.
You need a quality sports bra that will keep your girls in their place. This is even more important for my fellow busty ladies. I nearly knocked myself out when I first started working out. I had one flopping this way and the other flopping that way. It was ridiculous, not to mention pure torture for my back. Every time they would bounce and flop, my back was being strained (which was already bad anyway). I found that throughout all of my workouts, I would have to cross my arms over my chest to hold them still. OMG I swear to you, me doing jumping jacks was the most unbelievable sight you’d ever want to see. I was 260 pounds of pure awkwardness, with boobs bigger than my head. Every time I jumped up, I looked like a giant explosion of boobs, rolls, and hair. God bless my husband, the poor dear, he tried not to, but he and my four year old were both in total hysterics when they rounded the corner and first saw me trying to do jumping jacks. I couldn’t even get mad; I looked like a circus act. I stopped what I was doing and joined in the cackling. We were all rolling on the floor. Oh my, what a long way I have come. So yeah, go get those support bras! Nobody should have to lose an eye for the sake of fitness.
When buying a sports bra, you will have many more options if you are smaller-breasted . Even the sports bras available at Target and Wal-mart are great for small to medium cup-sized women. A friend of mine swears by the Danskin Racerback bra that Wal-mart carries for $12. Champion, Under Armour, Adidas, Lululemon are all good brands. I am a chesty gal. I have found only two bra styles that truly work for me: Victoria’s Secret Angel Sports Bra and Victoria Secret’s Runway Sports Bra. They are pricey, but I can’t find anything that holds me in better. I’m a D cup so I need to make sure my girls are supported otherwise things get waaay too bouncy. I’m sure there are dozens of other brands that would also be great for larger cup sizes, but once I found something that was perfect for me, I decided to look no further. I would suggest you try some on and while you’re in the fitting room, jump up and down. Jump like you’re getting paid. Make the woman in the next fitting room wonder what in the world is going on! Haha!
As for any types of equipment, I think it comes down to what you’re interested in trying. I started off with a tiny set of dumbbells and worked my way up from there. Honestly, if you’re just getting started, all you need to do is move. Start walking for your cardio, and for your weight training, start with basic body weight resistance exercises. You really don’t need to spend any money on equipment, until you have a better idea of what kinds of things you want to do.
One app in particular is worth mentioning. I use an app called Lose It! I have it on my phone and it has proved to be a really effective tool for me. It keeps track of everything. It’s not only a food and exercise log, but it also has a database that tells you all of the nutrition facts in pretty much any food. It also tells you how many calories each exercise burns. You can log everything and it adds up your food calories and subtracts your exercise calories. So you always know how many calories you have left to eat that day (that is if you’re staying within a certain range). It also has a motivation component where you can link up to someone else. For instance, I’m linked with my brother and my mom. We can log onto each other’s accounts and watch each other’s progress. You can even message each other back and forth. There is also a goal component where you can enter your weight and keep track of the goals you’ve set for yourself. I find it very helpful. I would recommend it for anybody getting started and also for even seasoned weight-loss veterans, when they hit a plateau or a setback. It makes you feel organized because everything is logged in one place. And it does a lot of the thinking for you in regards to figuring out how many calories you’ve already eaten and giving you nutrition facts on everything you’re eating. 2. How long did it take you to lose the initial 120 pounds?
It took me 21 months to lose 120 pounds. To some that may seem like a long time, but I don’t think so at all. I spent 10 years being obese and miserable. In less than two years time, I got my health back, a dream body, and a completely new lease on life. And, let me tell you, the way the days and months whiz past, two years goes by quick. It’s more than worth the work and effort.
No matter how much you have to lose and no matter how long it’s going to take, it’s worth it. Every single minute you put into your health and fitness is a minute you spend taking care of yourself. You got unhealthy by neglecting yourself, by putting everyone else first, and by ignoring your own needs. You got unhealthy because you lost sight of how valuable you are. Losing weight is about finding yourself. You’ll lose more of the weight that has been sitting on top of your shoulders and more of the weight that’s been sitting so heavy on your heart than you could ever lose off of your stomach or backside.
The view at the top of the mountain is a breathtaking sight and worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. But don’t forget to take time to acknowledge and appreciate all the beautiful views on the way up.
3. When I shed the 65 pounds, I discovered a whole, new passion within myself. I sat down and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I'm now working on my thirteenth novel. Is there anything that you do now that you would never have had the confidence to do when you were 260 lbs? How do you think having a healthy body allows us to access our passions for life?
Wow. This is a great question. Having a body that is nearly half the size of my old body has definitely given me the courage to try new things. Joining an all-male boxing gym, going on hiking trips with friends, dancing the night away, and hitting the weight room with a bunch of guys… these are all things I most certainly would have NEVER been doing as a 260 pound woman. However, as a 260 pound woman I probably wouldn’t have been physically able to do those things, even if I wanted to (which I didn‘t). So yes, I definitely have the physical confidence in myself to try new things as well as the courage it takes to put myself out there in a new environment.
Aside from the courage to explore and experience new things and test my new physical abilities, even more change has happened deep within me. With a healthy body, comes a healthy mind. You can’t change your entire life and work so hard for a strong and healthy body and have it not change you on the inside. It is these changes that occur deep within us that give birth to new dreams and new passions. And it is our new found strength and confidence that gives us the belief and the courage to act on them. It is absolutely incredible to see the domino effect that comes from the simple decision to lose weight. In the beginning the most important thing to you is to lose weight and be skinny. But in the end, how you look and what size you wear is of the least importance. You feel alive. You feel brand new. It is for this reason that you not only find new passions, but you have the confidence and the courage to nurture them.
My journey has sparked a passion to empower other women to start their own journeys, even if that means I have to share some of my deepest, darkest moments. I would have NEVER had the confidence or courage to share my weaknesses or struggles with others. Now that I’m on the other side I realize I’m no different from anybody else. We ALL have struggles, get knocked down, and make mistakes. And there’s no shame in it. There are so many things I know now that would have helped me throughout my journey. I want to share this knowledge and the lessons that come with it. This passion is why I started my blog.
I mean, how amazing would it be if my journey could help someone other than me! I am a strong believer in empowerment. I believe women should stick together and pull strength from each other. I firmly believe that one of the most powerful and beautiful sights is that of a woman who stands proud with her head held up high. A woman who believes in herself is a force like no other. And just think, if all of us would stand together we could… well, I’m pretty sure we could rule the world.
Here's a video of Gabby herself showing us basic body weight resistant exercises! It's a great place to start. Check it out. VIDEO
I want to say a very special thank you to Gabby for her inspirational weight loss story and for being the phenomenal woman that she is. You can keep up with Gabby at www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com
or click her link from my blog roll!