Category Archives: He Said…She Said

SHE SAID —> Meet Claudia

CF:  Tell me a little bit about your outlook on having a healthy life and why is it important to you?
Claudia:  Having a healthy life is important to me now. It wasn’t always.  I come from a family that is not so healthy, and now that we are all getting older, I see my parents struggling with health issues.  Both my parents have type 2 diabetes and I’m terrified of going down that same path.  I also want to make sure I am around to see my baby nephews grow up.

CF:  Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle if so why?
Claudia:  I absolutely struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Eating balanced meals and exercising regularly were not values I was raised with.  I am Latina, and food is a big part of our culture. A lot of that food is fried and rich (and delicious!), but not that good for you.  It has taken a lot for me to realize that you have to decide to make new habits, and that just because you aren’t used to doing something doesn’t mean that you can’t grown to like it.

CF:  What has motivated you to stay healthy?
Claudia:  I am not quite healthy yet, but I am motivated to keep trying.  Lots of things motivate me.  Seeing the progress of my co-worker Sandra motivates me – it’s true! 🙂  Seeing my clothes fit better and better motivates me.  I am motivated by not huffing and puffing os when I walk up a hill in San Francisco, or when I carry groceries upstairs to my apartment.  I am also becoming more and more addicted to the exercise “high”…that feeling you get when you are done at the gym is the best!

CF:  What is your favorite cardio / strength training routine?
Claudia:  I never thought I would say this, but I have fallen in love with yoga! It amazes me that something so slow and calm can make my heart beast so fast and make me sweat like I just ran a marathon!  And I can feel it in my abs and arms the next day.  It’s really amazing!  I am also starting to like running more, though I can’t do it for very long, so I walk for 3 minutes, run for 2, walk for 3, run for 2 and so on.  I keep trying to get to a point where I run for longer without having to walk in between.

CF:  What’s your number one work-out song?
Claudia:  Tiga – “You Gonna Want Me” (the chorus is “I know you gonna want , but when you want, it might be a different story”. Ha! take that!)

CF:  How do you stay fit on days you don’t feel like crawling out of bed?
Claudia:  This is the piece that I struggle with the most and am still working on figuring out.  Most of the time I tell myself I will feel better if I get up and workout/eat right, and that works.  Some days I honor myself and skip the workout – but I have to be careful with that because one too many times I have said “I’ll go back tomorrow” and totally fall off the wagon. LOL

CF:  What makes exercising fun to you?
Claudia:  I’ve recently realized that other people make exercise fun for me.  I’ve tried working out on my own at home, and going for runs and stuff alone and the motivation just doesn’t last.  I get energized by taking a class with people or having a trainer.  Maybe it’s the accountability factor, but it also makes it feel like I am learning and not just running in place.

CF:  If tomorrow was the end of the world what would you eat without feeling guilty?
Claudia:  Chicken fingers with BBQ and ranch, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and a ridiculous amount of chocolate!!!

CF:  What advice do you have for people who struggle with finding motivation for staying fit?
Claudia:  It sounds cliche, but just keep doing it!! I had trouble with exercising for a long time because I’m usually good at most things I try, but I was NOT good at exercise, and I REALLY didn’t like sucking at something!  It’s like it pained me, so I just didn’t even want to try and I found every excuse I could to give up.  Then my fitness instructor said something really great to me.  He said “of all the things in this world, exercising is the one thing that you can get better at really fast, and you can easily measure progress”.  And it’s true!  the more you do it, the easier the routines get, and where one week you could only do 10 reps, this week your’re doing 15 or 20. So I guess my advice is stick with it and it will naturally get easier.

CF:  Can you share some before and after pictures with us?
Claudia:  I’m still kinda stuck in the ‘before’ phase. Ha.  I haven’t really lost so much weight yet to make a visible difference, but I will gladly share some pics after I start moving closer to it 🙂


HE SAID —> Meet Q

CF:  Why is being healthy important to you?
Q:  Being healthy is my I am vegan.   (  understand that veganism, to me, is not a diet.  Therefore health is extremely important. Being healthy means keeping myself young, yet wise, to enjoy more experiences in life, always on pursuit to my own happiness. But health to me is more than just physical.  I feel it embodies my mental state and the energies I give to those around me as well as my body traits.   I dont want to be hindered by an unhealthy body and mind if I know I can change it. therefore, health is key to my survival.

CF:  How do you stay fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Q:  It’s a combination of will-power and self-discipline.  I learn, I read, I act.  Being vegan, has narrowed down choices of things I will eat or be surrounded by.   I have learned and continue to learn what natural foods and sources can be good for me and I make a plan to try them and/or cook them and hopefully enjoy them.  I stay active as to keep my muscles flexible and strong to MY liking.  I resist things that i feel wouldnt be beneficial to my growth, my body, my mind.  for me, those would be drugs, alcohol, and of course, many types of food that doesnt fit my lifestyle.  Specifically, I stay active (because I just like doin these things anyways) with running, basketball, boxing…cardio type activities mostly and I remain disciplined by always learning and applying what I feel is good for me.

CF:  What are some things that keep you motivated?
Q:  I wont be so vain to let something like tabloids motivate me.  its all self-discipline.  I know it’s more of an impact for me to feel healthy or strive to continue to be, rather than for someone else to say I am or not. I understand the media and just the general public and societal views can push us to think we need to look a certain way or eat a certain way…and I would be completely ridiculous to say those things dont make me think to myself, “I would like to look like that!” but overshadowing those thoughts are my own…in saying.. “I will look/think how I want to look/think because I know I am healthy and I am happy with myself but if I want it that bad, I know I can make it for myself.”

CF:  How do you stay fit on days when you don’t feel like crawling out of bed?
Q:  If I just stay in bed all day, literally, I would just sleep and make sure I go to the bathroom.  The body needs to detox.  Buuut….who doesnt like to just chill at home or just eat some junk food.  I feel bc I have been doing things before to keep myself healthy, if I were to break that cycle, I can get back into it the next day/week/month..etc.  If I feel I need to work harder, I will.  again, will-power and self discipline.

CF:  Tell me about your eating habits?
Q:  Fruits in the morning for natural energy and sugar.  Even some granola cereal with soy/rice/almond milk is good.  Ever since being vegan (been 5 years), I’ve had more energy than I had when I was in high school doin sports. As I continue my day with lunch, snacking and dinner…and because I choose not to eat any meats, dairy products, seafood or basically any animal derivatives, I must find alternates that are much better for me.  It goes deeper than just tofu.   There are vegan yogurts, cheese, ice cream, faux meats, butter, egg replacers..that allow me to cook at home rather than always going out to eat.

CF:  If tomorrow was the end of the world what would you eat without regrets?
Q:  A bunch of candy like Airheads and ice cream (dairy free of course).

CF:  What advice would you give people who struggle with finding motivation on staying fit?
Q:  Keep a curious mind to learn about health and the world around you.  Make goals for yourself and write them down.  Make a list as to why you want to accomplish said goals and keep them in your view like a mirror or computer screen.  Read or find another person who may be going through a similar struggle as you are never alone.  Talk about your accomplishments as you approach and achieve goals.  Maintain a good and positive attitude, be proud of yourself and believe in yourself but even still, no one can MAKE you, only you can.  Love yourself above all.

CF:  Have you ever struggled with maintaining your weight?
Q:  Yes, about 8 years ago.

CF:  How important is it to you to find a partner who shares the same health and fitness goals as you and why?
Q:  It’s ideal.  as i feel like-mindedness can bring you closer in a relationship.  it can inspire, challenge and open up more abilities to share.  when one thinks alike, their energies align with yours, meaning your understanding of the other person is almost, innate.  having things in common such as a healthy lifestyle can also mean, a longer time to experience things together.

CF:  How do you change the monotony of the same exercise routine?
Q:  If I find a routine boring, I look for something else that can end up giving me the same results.  That means,  I need to research and explore.  Look online, ask people around you. Maybe, work out to a different song in your ipod or watch a different tv show if you workout at home.

CF:  Can you share a photo with us?
Q:  Please see below 🙂

SHE SAID —> Meet Tina

CF:  Tell me a little bit about your outlook on having a healthy life and why it is important to you?
Tina:  Having a healthy life is very important to me because it makes me more happy and energetic to perform the everyday tasks in my life. I am less stressed out and feel more positive in everything I do.

CF:  Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle if so why?
Tina:  Occasionally it can be a struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle especially when things in life such as the relationship roller coaster ride, family issues such as having a family that relies heavily upon you to help them out due to the language barrier, or that at times the feeling of “there’s so little time to accomplish everything I want to do” can discourage me from giving myself the time to take care of me.

CF:  What has motivated you to stay healthy?
Tina:  My motivation is knowing that I am putting my words in action, that I not only “talk the talk” but “walk the walk”. My biggest accomplishment that I feel really proud of is that I was able to show my husband (my boyfriend/fiancee at the time) by my example to be more in control of his health by making a more conscious choice in his eating habits, which was hard since he grew up in an environment that healthy eating and staying fit was not even a topic that was discussed or made aware of. Our motivation together now is to loose some extra pounds and to maintain a healthy weight so that we can enjoy the outdoorsy activities that we love to do together.

CF:  What is your favorite cardio / strength training routine?
Tina:  Currently, I love to jump rope for my cardio workout. I have increased my jump roping time from 5 minutes everyday for the past 2 weeks to now 10 minutes. It a definite cardio kicker.  As for strength training, my current routine is using free-weights like dumbbells and the weighted balls at home.

CF:  What’s your number one work-out song?
Tina:  The only time I listen to music while I workout is if I use the treadmill, stair master, or any of the cardio machines at the gym or if I go running outdoors.  Only then do I put on any fast tempo music from any genres will do, as long as they have a fast beat to it.

CF:  How do you stay fit on days you don’t feel like crawling out of bed?
Tina:  On days that I don’t feel like crawling out of bed, I make sure I make I stay on track in terms of eating the right foods, because this way at least I know if I can’t make my workout for the day for some reason, I know that I am eating healthy.

CF:  What makes exercising fun to you?
Tina:  Exercising is fun for me because the mind-set that I have when going into a workout routine is that I am taking control over my body and I am doing something about it. I love working out or doing active activities with friends, however I am the type of person that won’t mind exercising by myself. I like taking control of my body and not letting my body control me. This also motivates me to continue to stay healthy and fit when ever possible.

CF:  If tomorrow was the end of the world what would you eat without feeling guilty?
Tina:  A banana split sundae with tons of whip cream, nuts and a single cherry on top. :o)

CF:  What advice do you have for people who struggle with finding motivation for staying fit?
Tina:  If motivation is not there in terms of trying to stay fit, I would recommend looking for new ways to get fit, new exercises, be creative and if possible a buddy system.  Staying fit doesn’t mean you have to workout at a gym necessarily, as long as you stay active, it doesn’t really matter what you do, you can ride a bike, go for walks, take the stairs instead of the elevators, etc.

CF:  Care to share any pics with us?

SHE SAID —> Meet Dania

Hello Everyone…I’d like to introduce you to…

Name:  Dania
Age:  26
Stat:  A college educated entrepreneur who specializes in visual art, graphic design, illustration, painting, mix media and creative writing
The Yay

CF:  Tell me a little bit about your outlook on having a healthy life and why is it important to you?
Dania:  It’s important because as a woman of color, I already have several health risks working against me. Furthermore, who doesn’t want to live a quality life? 🙂

CF:  Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle if so why?
Dania:  I struggle, because I don’t always make the time for good health & fitness. When I was younger, I was always in dance class, I swam, and played sports. I also didn’t have a 9-5, and other obligations back then.

CF:  What has motivated you to stay healthy?
Dania:  I want to live long enough to have a relationship with my great-grandchildren (well, if I have kids… lol). The point is, I want to live a full life.

CF:  What is your favorite cardio / strength training routine?
Dania:  I love to dance (samba, salsa, west african, chicago step, etc.) and hike. I used to swim a lot in my youth, I’d like to pick that up again. That Wii game (Just Dance) is a favorite of mine.

CF:  What’s your number one work-out song?
Dania:  It would be a tie between Parliament: Knee Deep or MC Hammer: Let’s Get It Started.

CF:  How do you stay fit on days you don’t feel like crawling out of bed?
Dania:  I haven’t mastered that yet.

CF:  What makes exercising fun to you?
Dania:  Anything that doesn’t remind me of the fact that I am “working out.” I hate gyms, and would much rather be outdoors, or participating in another activity.

CF:  If tomorrow was the end of the world what would you eat without feeling guilty?
Dania:  Hmmm… probably boudin sausage, fried calamari, a hurricane, and sweet potato fries… (yikes!)

CF:  What advice do you have for people who struggle with finding motivation for staying fit?
Dania:  Figure out what your fitness style is. Do you belong in a structured class at a gym, or would you participate in an adult intramural sports league, etc?

CF:  Can you share some before and after pictures with us?
Dania:  I haven’t met my fitness goals yet. I have a picture here on FB of me on my 21st birthday in a bikini… I want that body back! 😀 – See below

New Category!!!!!

I’ve decided my blog shouldn’t entirely be about me since I have so many people to be grateful for who has encouraged me along the way.

So I’m adding a new category called HE SAID, SHE SAID interviews where I will be featuring real life people and getting the views on being healthy 🙂