Monday, August 6, 2012

Melyssa Ford & Pilar Sandars: My Perfect Body Inspiration

Nothing like a striking image to bring us quickly into reality. For me, the images happen to be of highly fit women to take amazing care of their fabulous bodies. I'm just really getting into this social media trend so one thing I started doing was following some of my fitness inspirations online. One of those people just happened to be Pilar Sandars. Crazy divorce drama aside, this woman has an incredible physique. The pic below is an obvious reminder of the outcome of one's dedication to her habit of physical fitness.
I have been trying (fairly unsuccessfully) to cultivate this habit of regular exercise for quite some time. My dad is a fitness buff and, for as long as I can remember, this man has had a six pack and strong arms. I wish his type of discipline could have passed down to me as easily as the facial features we share. It's like the people who work out do it with such consistency that living life any other way is not an option.


Take Melyssa ford for example. She shared the pic above on her instagram page with a caption that reads: "AM gym flow after 3 hours of sleep." I don't know about you, but after 3 hours of sleep, the VERY last thing on my mind would be doing some leg exercises. #realtalk. So how does one become so committed to their health and fitness that it becomes a way of life? Last month, I listened to an audio book called The Power of Habit. In it, the author gave some really compelling examples of how habits are formed and then evolve to become so deeply ingrained in us that we sometimes have no control. These women who push their bodies to the point where it has no choice but to conform, aren't doing it because it's fun. As a matter of fact, Nicole Murphy, who has a darn near perfect frame, posted the words "it don't come easy" along side of a pick of her and some friends at the gym.  They don't do it for the fun, they do it because it's a deeply rooted habit.

In the Power of Habit book, I recall the author discussing the reward that one receives following a new action as a factor of how quickly that action becomes a habit. The greater the reward, the more likely we are to repeat the action. Unfortunately, for us, the reward for physical activity is rarely instant. Sure, there's that whole thing about chemicals being released during a work out that mimic eating chocolate or falling in love. Sadly, those chemical sensations are competing with the loud voice that tells me to stop or the sore muscles that beg me to remain sedentary. I know for a fact that these women do what they do because they receive numerous rewards. For one, they get to walk around knowing that they have the kind of body that 95% of the population would want. They pretty much will look great in anything. And I'm sure the chemical reactions that create that "work out high" are so strong that someone like Melyssa is willing to forget the fact that she only slept for 3 hours the night before.

(source

 Now I'm at the point,once again, where I'm ready to recommit to a lifestyle of fitness rather than my current routine of running to the gym whenever things start to get too jiggly. My desire is to become my own source of inspiration. In everything we do there are the visible results and the non-visible. The visible results of me working out consistently should be obvious. But there will also be the impact to my confidence and my overall outlook on life. The book labeled exercise as a "keystone habit." Meaning that this habit has the ability to positively impact other areas of our lives. For example, someone who starts working out consistently also begins to make healthier eating choices. That person also suddenly becomes more confident or better organized. These secondary habits develop without the conscious effort required in the first habit. Keystone habits are very much like the unexpected "get one free" item received at a shoe sale.

 
 (protective stylin' it while I get my workout on)

So here I am, ready to make this thing real. I've been fit before and that feeling is amazing. There's nothing like that feeling of when I'm walking down the street knowing that my tummy is flat and I'm the proud owner of ab cuts. It's completely different than trying to strategically hide my belly under baggy shirts. In the past,  I didn't associate a reward with my habit to keep it alive. This time, I'll try incorporating a reward into the process and see what I can create.  Perhaps my reward could be a smoothie from the juice bar right next to my gym.  I'll think of something. Either way, I'm excited about this new found desire to create a new me.  Those of you who are consistently working out, how do you do it?


  1. Hi Nadege, today I started this January 30 day challenge that I found online. They post free workouts everyday and the workouts are just 12 minutes.

    http://www.bodyrock.tv/category/daily-workouts/page/6/

    Check it out, they are on facebook too :)

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  2. Hi Candice,
    I love Body Rock TV! But I haven't done it in quite a while. Thanks for the reminder. It's great for when I don't feel like driving to the gym. No excuses!

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  3. Melissa's body is amazing! Nadege I think you are being too hard on yourself, your committment to healthy living is inspiring! Plus you have to remember having that body is Melissa's "job" so to speak, so after that workout she didn't have to clock in anywhere. Not taking anything away from her dedication, but also just keeping it in perspective for someone like you who incorporates healthy living into every aspect (skin, body and hair).

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  4. @Ebony-I agree with you that Melyssa's body is her bread and butter so working out isn't an option for her. She probably works out daily. I'd like to acquire about 1/3 the dedication she has. As I get older, I notice less muscle tone even though my size may stay relatively the same. Thank you for reminding me of my focus on a healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly will be a part of that.

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  5. I'm over 50 and i'll never look like them unless I work out 4hrs a day, my goal is realistic which is to live a vibrant and healthy lifestyle while eating healthy, the body will eventually slim down with moderate exercise and a healthy eating regimin.... good luck on your weight loss journey!

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  6. Hey Nadege!

    Lord knows that I know exactly how you feel. I have 2 little ones under 2 (3 if you include my hubby ha-ha!), work full-time, run a growing web design business on the side, and seem to get volunteered to help someone out every weekend. Free time seems to disappear with a snap of the fingers. Then I realized something...if I don't take care of myself, I can't take care of those that I love.

    I deserve at least an hour a day to focus only on me. But with my schedule 60 minutes straight is absolutely unrealistic. So I started splitting up my workouts into 20 minute intervals. 20 in the morning, 20 after work (before I make dinner for the family) and 20 at night.

    You're worth it darling. Just pick yourself back up!

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  7. @Nadege

    I love that you posted this as a fellow fitness diva myself. I appreciate your post on the how important the power of the mind is to healthly living.

    Too often, I find some women will find every excuse to not obtain the body they want or desire. It really is about dedicating your mind to your desire.

    I am rooting for you lady, you can build the body you want despite all the hectic of daily life.

    Just remember you are worth, the time you are committing to achieving the healthy and sexy body that you want.

    Way to go girl.

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  8. To keep me motivated I always have a goal in mind. Working out also tends to get easier when your goals are less "appearance oriented" and more "fitness oriented"
    For example, if i have flabby arms instead of saying "i want to firm and tone up my arms" I say "by the end of this week I want to be able to complete 2 sets of push-ups without a hassle" then next week "I'd like to be able to complete atleast 5 scorpion push-ups"

    Results are my motivation and it can take time to see results in appearance. Thats why it can get discouraging. But physical changes like my arms and abs getting stronger, are almost instant and gradually increase daily. I love knowing what my amazing body is capable of doing and maximising my bodies full potential.

    Anyway to make a long story short thats what keeps me going.

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  9. Nadege, whatever you put your mind to, you will succeed at. Anyone who's studied your blog can tell :)

    Go get those cut abs! By the way, I see you're weight-lifting - smart woman.

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  10. man i loooooveeee Melissa's body!! what do you do to your hair to prepare for a work out?

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  11. @Alexis Hope- All I really do is bun it and tie my edges down. If I know I'm going to sweat really hard, I wear a full silk/satin scarf.

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  12. Love this article. I am a workout fanatic myself and it def. aint easy. There are times that I am working out wishing I were doing something else, and then there is that voice telling me to stop but then there is this other thing within me that won't let me. Its exactly as what you described above.

    Once you get into a rhythm and you do see results , it does start to become a hard habit to break. The feeling of accomplishment after a good workout is undescribable.

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