June 22, 2018

It is hard to believe we have one week left in the News Channel 6 Wellness Challenge.

I began 2018 wanting to do make a change for the better for my body, mind, and spirit. A few weeks into the new year I was approached to participate in this challenge.

It was almost like fate, right? I hit the ground running but quickly burned out. One thing I have taken away from this journey is change takes time.

I will repeat that change takes time. I am very close to losing 40 pounds overall during the last five months. I don't even remember how I felt on February 1 when we weighed in, got blood work done, went to my first CrossFit class.

Looking back, it was all a blur and I remember feeling a little down on myself but remembering I have to start somewhere.

Today, I am leaner, physically and stronger both mentally and physically. I think about things I eat and drink. Not all calories are equal. I could list a plethora of small things I've learned over the last five months.

But the biggest thing, again, is change takes time. I have snowballed all these small victories overtime and am wearing smaller clothes, feel better, sleep better and look better.

I did this to be a healthier version of myself and I feel like I am well on my way. Stay tuned for our final story that will air on Thursday, June 29 at 10 p.m.

June 15, 2018

The last couple weeks prior to this have been blah after blah.

But this week I got back on the horse and kicked things into high gear and it paid off in a big way.

I lost 5.2 pounds! It's nice to end the week on a good note. I feel it will make my weekend much more productive.

The weekends are a time where I would slide back in the past. After a little more than four months on this challenge I am now using those times to propel myself into the next week.

I have lost 36 pounds so far in this challenge and we have half a month to go! Stay tuned! I am going to push myself every last minute to make myself a healthier me.

June 8, 2018

It is hard to believe our Wellness Challenge is almost over. June is our last month to make a lasting impression on ourselves and our viewers.
Ashley, Debbie, Sofia and I have pushed ourselves outside of our comfort zones in many different areas of health and wellness.

For anyone who does not like change, especially when it comes to your body, it can be very intimidating.

But we have all come together to support each other in more ways than one. I can tell you Sofia has been my sounding board when it comes to temptations.

She reminds me that a slip up here and there is not going to ruin my progress completely. But having a week bender on food and no exercise can put me on the wrong path.

That is what I have really taken from this challenge. In the beginning, I thought to myself, "Okay, I can give up the things I enjoy for five months and when this is over I will practice moderation."

But, here is the deal, this is real life. I went the first-month sacrificing outings with friends, community events, and just fun stuff to avoid all temptation.

I had zero faith in my willpower and just figured I would avoid "bad" things at all cost because I assumed I could just cave.

But willpower is just like the muscles in my body I have been strengthening in CrossFit. The more I use it the stronger it becomes.

I am a social butterfly and I love nights out with friends. So, now, I go out and pick something healthy on the menu or choose to share an entree with a girlfriend.

If I do indulge in an adult beverage I make sure to account for those calories in my daily intake. This is a lifestyle change. It did not happen overnight as I and my other challengers can attest to.

But it's been worth every ounce of sweat, tears, bites and high fives after stepping off the scale.

May 25, 2018

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind. I got food poisoning on Saturday afternoon and have been feeling icky and not myself since then.

I worked out and drank a lot of fluids but just was not feeling my best.

However, I had an awesome Saturday morning where I finally conquered a handstand kick up!

Sofia, Debbie and I went to open gym at CrossFit Wichita Falls and kicked butt! We ALL were able to finally to an HSKU and it felt amazing.

It is the one thing I wanted to be able to do by the end of this challenge and we still have one month left!

As Debbie said on Saturday, it's always good to end on a high note. Until next week, Texoma!

May 18, 2018

This past week can be described in many words. But one I have decided on is mediocre.

Mediocre is defined as ordinary or of only moderate quality.

Some may find the word to be negative. But that is not what I mean when I use it.

Let me explain. I went to Dr. Tonya Turner, RN this Friday and only lost one pound. That is one pound in two weeks.

I did consume half a gallon of water before the appointment but I still expected to at least lose a little bit more.

HOWEVER, I went down several inches all over my body, a little more than THREE inches in my waist, alone.

So, while I was down in the dumps about my number on the scale I LIVED for the inches I had lost.

My clothes are feeling loose and I can see the changes in my body when I wear clothes that used to be tight.

And let me tell you about CrossFit. Last night, I hit a new personal record for my squat at 125 pounds.

The last time I could do that was in high school. I loathe the workouts when I head to CrossFit Wichita Falls three nights a week. But when I finish I feel great about doing something for my body.

It helps to have friends cheer you on each class. Jimi is the truth! He met us gals when we started this challenge and attends class with us a couple times a week.

Sofia gave him a shout out this week and I decided to do the same. He pushes us to work harder, lift more and not give up.

It's great having him around as we crush our goals.

Next Friday, I will not be telling you about a mediocre week because I am taking control to ensure my progress is anything but ordinary.

May 11, 2018

Man, oh man. This week has been a quick one.

But two things I maintained all week were my gallon of water each day and my CrossFit workouts.

On Monday, Debbie, Sofia and I hit new personal best for our one rep max for deadlifts. I lifted 195 pounds!

That really lit a fire under my rear end to finish the week on a high note.

Our workouts have been hard this week and I was dripping in sweat after each one but I felt good.

It's funny to think people pay for something that causes so much shortness of breath and soreness but that is where the champions are made.

It hurts. The workouts suck. BUT THEY WORK. The proof is in the pudding baby! Before you know it, I will be flipping over cars with my bare hands.

Okay, that was a little extreme. But the strength I have gained since February has been awesome to realize over the last few months.

There is nowhere but up from here.

May 4, 2018

You know when you get in a funk? It always happens when things have been going pretty well for you, right?

That is what happened to me these last two weeks. I've been pooped from working my second job, getting overtime at News Channel 6, CrossFit workouts and life in general.

So last week, with not my best efforts, I lost less than one pound. I accepted that number because I had not done the work.

I had another busy weekend at my second job and was not able to eat as well as I had hoped. But after work Sunday evening, I stopped my the grocery store to stock up on things to begin my work week on the right foot.

I started my Monday morning off with a fruit and veggie smoothie and had carrot sticks and hummus along with an apple for snacks.

I drank a protein shake for lunch and had plans to kill it at CrossFit and then make some roasted vegetables. But, an assignment I was given at work late in the afternoon caused me to miss my workout class and get off TWO HOUR LATE.

It put me in a bad mood. I was starving, tired, and upset because I do not like missing workouts, especially on a Monday.

As an emotional eater, I picked up a sandwich on the way home instead of cooking. When I woke up the next morning, I again told myself, "Samantha, if you do not do the work you cannot expect the results."

I mentally picked myself up and spent the rest of the week doing well on the things I could control, like drinking my water and eating healthy foods.

I made it to CrossFit on Tuesday and Thursday, killing personal goals. It was awesome. I may try and go tonight to get a third workout in since I missed Monday.

The thing I am learning the most about working to be a healthy person is that it is mind over matter. As long as your head is in the game you can win.

I plan to keep on winning as we continue in this wellness challenge.

April 27, 2018

I weighed in this morning and only lost 0.2 of a pound.

Discouraging but there are some things like mother nature working against me currently on the scale. A quick hint, she visits once a month.

But I have been working my butt off in the CrossFit Wichita Falls gym all week and it has been very tiring but fun. Nothing feels better than to finish a workout out of breath and with sweat running down my face.

That is when I know I gave it my all. If the walk to the car is a struggle then I must be doing something right!

I cooked healthy meals this week but some days I never had time to eat them. Stress at work and not eating properly definitely worked against me this week.

But hey, I can tackle next week and kick butt at the gym and on the scale. Losing just over 25 pounds in around three months seems like win to me.

Now, I just need to make sure I keep going. Wish me luck!

April 20, 2018

I am the person who uploads our weekly blogs and last Friday, after uploading the blogs for everyone else I forgot to upload mine.

So bear with me as I work to inform you of the last TWO WEEKS of my wellness journey.

CrossFit has been going great. I am pushing myself harder each time and have increased the weight I am able to lift each week.

Some of the moves that were next to impossible in the beginning are inches away from being done correctly! I am almost able to do a handstand kick up all the way!

Another thing I have given a try is yoga and IT IS AWESOME. It is definitely a workout because I sweat a lot and the moves are difficult but it's a way I can stretch and relax from a stressful work week and some serious CrossFit workouts.

In the kitchen, I am getting better at cooking food that will last through the week so I avoid eating out. But when I do have a meal with friends I have been making better choices like no cheese or sour cream and extra vegetables!

I've been doing so well that overall I am down 25 pounds since we began!

That was an amazing thing to hear and proves that although I have had my struggles I am still doing good things for my body.

I have a long way to go but I have also come very far. It has been a blast these last two and a half months and I cannot wait to keep going.

April 6, 2018

Stress. It is a part of life. How you handle it, however, can make or break you. This week, it broke me.

I had a to-do list that was a mile long and a work week that was unforgiving. I let those things creep in like a burglar in the night and steal my motivation.

I hit my CrossFit workouts hard this week. I had sweat drip into my eyes on several occasions. I was doing my thing!

But, after those workouts I had no meal plan in place. Hell, I barely had any groceries in my home.

With errands to run before and after work, I left little time to take care of my body with food. That showed at Dr. Tuner's office when I only lost 1.2 pounds this week.

To be honest, I am glad I did not gain any weight. With the way my week went, I was sure I had not lost a single pound.

But I confessed my food sins and realized that my name is Samantha and I am a stress eater. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

I have worked very hard to get where I am and have a long way to go. I cannot continue to self-sabotage.

If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. That is a sentence I heard often from my Kappa Delta Chi sorority sister's Algerr and Leanne.

Now, I need to write this down somewhere I will see it every day. It's a good reminder for me. This time next week I hope to have a better handle on this thing called life. 
March 30, 2018

I have good news this week! After visiting Dr. Tonya Turner's office at Got Health? Wellness and Weight Management I am pleased to report I am down another 4.8 pounds!

Since this challenge has begun, I am down a little more than 19 pounds overall. I lost that in two months!

I finally feel like I am getting on the right track. This journey does not happen overnight but seeing the fruits of your labor, literally, is awesome.

I am still feeling a bit under the weather but have been in the kitchen and gym all week making healthy choices for my body.

CrossFit is becoming more enjoyable. The workouts will always be challenging but I am tackling the weightlifting and full body workouts with less fear or reservations than before.

If I know I am not good at a move I still give it a try. My workouts buddies, Sofia and Debbie, want to add another day to our CrossFit workouts to go over fundamentals we all are struggling with.

Have you ever done a Hand Stand Kick Up? Me neither, but I've given at least 100 a try. They are no walk in the park but by the end of this challenge, I want to be able to do at least one, correctly.

If you want to check out my weekly #KitchenChronicles or my CrossFit workouts you can follow me on Facebook at Samantha Forester Newschannel 6 or on Twitter at @SamanthaKAUZ6.

March 22, 2018

As much as I wanted to get back on the horse last week a respiratory infection knocked me on my rear. I stayed home on Monday to rest thinking my fatigue was just from my second job.

I worked Tuesday and Wednesday and even went to my CrossFit class Tuesday night. But by Wednesday afternoon, I knew something was wrong.

So I downed water, hot tea, cough drops, medicine and a lot of broth last week and over the weekend to get better. I could not sleep at night which made activity during my day almost impossible.

Now on antibiotics, this week has gone much better for me. While I did not meal prep or grocery shop due to being sick over the weekend I did make sure to drink plenty of water and make wise food choices.

I made it to my three CrossFit classes and while I could tell I was still trying to get over my illness it felt great being back in the gym. I even bench pressed 95 pounds to beat my teammate and friend Sofia by just ten pounds.

She and I are beginning to challenge each other in the gym to go harder than the other. It's a friendly competition that will only make each of us stronger.

This morning was our bi-weekly check-in with Dr. Tonya Turner at Got Health? Wellness and Weight Management and I figured I would either stay the same weight or gain a little since I was sick for the last week.

BOY, I WAS WRONG! I lost eight pounds in the last two weeks! Granted, being sick probably helped with the weight loss but I would like to think my work these last four days did help too.

It was very nice to hear that those pounds are coming off. Now I am ready to begin feeling like a healthier me once I am fully over this respiratory infection.

March 9, 2018

YES! That is a word I used too often this past week. I moved into my family's home, that is under renovation, this past weekend.

My room was not ready nor was my new bed. All the moving of furniture and boxes was done by my brother, Ricardo, and I. I also did not have a clean kitchen to work with.

So, naturally, I grabbed a few groceries that included bottled water, fruit, vegetables and some cheese to get me by.

I ate out for most of my meals and tried to find healthy alternatives most of the time. But some days, I said YES to chips and salsa, tortillas, Chinese and more.

It showed at my weekly check-in. I had gained 0.6 pounds. I was honestly surprised it was not more with how much I was a YES person this past week.

But today, I am putting my best foot forward after a rough week. These changes will not happen overnight. Although it has only been a month, I have come very far from where I started.

Next week I hope to update you all on how many times I said NO in an effort to be a healthier me. Until next time!

March 2, 2018

Dr. Tonya Turner with Got Health? Wellness and Weight Management wanted me to lose five more pounds before Friday, March 9.

She told me this last Friday and today, at my weigh in, I was already down four pounds! That has taken hard work in the gym, but more importantly in the kitchen.

CrossFit has been challenging and also a blast. It is something that is familiar to me and I am enjoying although it is not getting much easier.

But food has always been my Achilles Heel. I love to cook and try new dishes but they are not always healthy. I also enjoy social outings with my best friends and we like to DRANK, Okay?!

However, if I want to meet my goals it is going to take consistency. This body did not get to where it is in a day. It will also not get to where I want it in a day.

This week I have been doing GREAT with my meals. I downloaded the Tasty app and it has vegan and vegetarian options as well. The recipes were easy to follow and the good was YUMMY!

I have made sure to drink a gallon of water almost every day. I at least drank 100 ounces on the day I did not make it to a full gallon.

I feel like the last five days of determination paid off for me on the scale. I now need to make sure I keep it up for the next weekend. I only have one pound to lose between now and the next time I see Dr. T but I would rather WOW her instead of just meet my goal.

Until next time!

February 23, 2018

Well, since we're being honest here, I have been giving this challenge about a 50-percent effort. I say that because I will have a really good week, then the next something will throw me off track.

The weather this week has been awful. It has made me not want to do anything. I am also in the process of moving which is stressful enough by itself.

However, I have put my mind to making sure these next two weeks will go well for me. I have a meal plan set for this coming week and my grocery list is looking pretty good.

I am down five pounds and lost some inches as well. I will try and keep better track of that because I think it will help keep me motivated. 
Dr. Tonya Turner will get my butt back in gear. She always does.

Now, on to CrossFit. I am having so much fun. The workouts are challenging and there is a lot of stuff I am not able to do. But the coaches scale down every move so I can still get a good workout.

I can tell my strength is coming back and I feel like a BOSS! I enjoy being able to lift heavy weight and show how powerful my muscles are becoming. 
All that strength will come back to me with time. But it's been a blast getting back into a gym three times a week.

One thing I would say I have enjoyed the most just in our first month has been getting closer to my other challengers. Ashley and I have been colleagues for more than four years and we work pretty closely on a daily basis. This challenge is bringing us closer than we've ever been.

Now, Sofia and Debbie work on a completely different side of this industry, so I do not interact with them as much in my day-to-day. But now that we're trying to get healthy TOGETHER they are my favorite people to see every day!

Sofia, in her Major Payne style, would not allow Debbie and I to skip a workout last night. We tried everything to convince her last night was not our night. But she refused, which is exactly what we needed. We went in and kicked butt and plan to workout again together on Saturday.

Stay tuned as I work to give 100-percent these next two weeks!

February 16, 2018

Where do I begin? I hit this wellness challenge head on the first week and did great.

I prepped plant-based meals and attended a workout class three times a week as recommended. I was drinking close to a gallon of water a day as recommended by Dr. Tonya Turner with Got Health? Wellness and Weight Management.

However, as the weekend approached, I was excited to get out of town to celebrate my sorority sister's 30th birthday. This trip was planned before I knew I was going to be a part of this challenge.

That is also what I kept telling myself on the drive down there. "You had this trip planned." "This one weekend will not ruin too much progress." "Treat yo self." Which I did. Have you ever had a slice of pizza on 6th Street? It's amazing! So amazing that I ate two.

There is also a restaurant that serves all of its entree items on a donut! Who would have thought, right? I had a Monte Cristo fried inside a donut and it was delicious.

Did I mention our group also attended a 90's bar crawl that Saturday? Let me tell you, the alcohol was flowing. It was a really good time and we made some good memories.

I also gave myself props for all the walking we did and I made an attempt to drink at least a half gallon each day we were there.

When I returned to Wichita Falls I realized getting back on track following a fun weekend would be a lot harder than I thought.

So, naturally, my second week was not as successful as my first. I still attended my workout classes and was eating well a majority of the time. But my water intake was off and some nights I overindulged on not so healthy eating choices. Did I mention how much I like pizza?

To my surprise, when I checked in with Dr. Turner I actually lost nearly five pounds! I even shaved off some inches all over. When I confessed my sins, Dr. Turner offered some advice to still enjoy being social with friends and family but still keeping my long-term goals at top of mind.

Consistency is the only way I am going to achieve the goals I have set for myself. I cannot fall off the wagon every weekend and expect to still see progress.

For this next week, I want to put my best foot forward and hold myself accountable for the choices I make. After all, those will decide if I succeed or fail.

February 7, 2018

As a child, I was always active. My parents put me in soccer, tap dance and everything in between since I was four years old.

When I graduated high school all that stopped. The five years I spent in college consisted of late nights studying and maybe a bit of partying, working full-time and eating what my budget allowed.

Which was not much and more times than not it was not healthy choices. My last semester of college was stressful and I was not eating well, not exercising and had gotten to my heaviest at more than 260 pounds.

I felt like crap and wanted to make a change, so I did. I got a gym membership, started meal prepping and drinking a gallon of water a day.

I lost 40 pounds the natural way and gained a lot of strength. But life happens and you fall off the wagon. For me, it was a breakup that led me to several months of self-loathing.

I ditched all the healthy habits I had made and went back to a lifestyle of little to no physical activity, eating whatever I wanted and not taking care of my body.

That has continued throughout the past few years but I decided it was time to get back on the horse.

I turned 27 this past December on the 27th. As my golden year got underway I wanted to make the most of it by getting my mental and physical health back on track.

When I was approached about joining this challenge I jumped at the chance. It came at the perfect time for me, which is not how it always works. But I am very grateful that it did.

Although I am excited, I am not naive to the challenges that lie ahead. I am a very social person, so eating out and getting drinks it something I enjoy with friends. But doing so now, I will need to work to make better choices. It will be a struggle. But nothing worthwhile ever came easy, right?

Being an athlete most of my life, I am excited about CrossFit. I know it will be disappointing to see how far I have let myself go but I am also excited to see where this journey is going to take me.

Doing so alongside people I have the pleasure of seeing every day will be nice and have worked with for years will help me out a lot.