June 3, 2020

Weight Loss Journey

I already mentioned in my last post that my lifestyle has drastically changed from two years ago. Most of that change started once I decided to ask for a divorce. At that time, my confidence was at an all time low. I felt tired all the time, sluggish, lazy, etc. You name it. It wasn't good. I was at my highest weight and I could see the difference in my body. I didn't recognize the person I was anymore.

My sister Alyse was visiting from Tennessee when we decided to go to the gym. I had just signed up for a membership a couple days before, dedicated to trying to reintroduce exercise into my life. After our workout, we decided to pop a few doors down to New Rhode Nutrition. At the time, I didn't really know much about the club, other than they made protein shakes. It was here I was introduced to the products that really changed my body and mindset.

So many people ask me what I did to lose weight. So I'm going to lay out exactly what my experience was a little over a year ago that led me to lose 35 lbs. My nutrition today is much different than it was a year ago because my goal is no longer to lose weight, it is to maintain and tone.


I believe nutrition to be the hardest but most crucial part of losing weight and keeping it off. In order to lose weight in a healthy way, you need to commit to a lifestyle change, not a "diet". Diets are temporary fads and do not give you long lasting help. More times than not, a diet will help you lose weight fast, and then as soon as you return to "normal" eating habits, you gain weight like crazy. This is not what you want. You need to shift your entire mindset and the way you view food and your food habits.

For me personally, I've come to believe that food "guilt" is bullshit. And when I say guilt I mean:

- Cheat Days: These don't exist to me. I'm not on a diet. I'm not cheating. There are meals I eat more nutrient dense foods and meals I eat less nutrient dense foods. There are no "good" foods or "bad" foods. There is just food.

-Punishment Exercise: This is the mindset that if I eat a "bad" food, then I have to punish myself with a harder or longer workout. This is ridiculous. You don't need to do that. You just make a decision to consume a more nutrient dense food choice for your next meal. This idea of punishing yourself has become so ingrained in the minds of people because of diets. I keep my workout routine based on the goals I want to accomplish. I make my food choices based on the goals I want to accomplish. There is no punishment if I don't hit that goal. It just means I need to continue striving for it. Once I hit my goal, I make a new goal.

- Counting Macros: For me personally, I don't do this. I know what I should be taking in per day and I make my choices based on that. But I don't stress out over the number. If I'm consistently making less nutrient dense food choices, then I know I'm not going to see the results I want. I motivate myself by what I know the end goal can provide me. This does not work for everyone. Some people feel more accountable by tracking macros. That's cool too! Whatever works for YOU is what the right thing to do is. But don't stress or punish yourself if you miss your target macro for the day by a fraction. Or at all for that matter. That's how you spiral out of control. Just say OK, I'll do better tomorrow. And do it.

Make the Change

So how did I do it? Again, all about mindset. I wanted to lose weight. I made a choice to do that. And once I started to feel some results, it became so much easier to keep it up. I'm just going to list everything I did below in order of how I progressed here. This all happened over a span of about three months.
  • I started by drinking ONE Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 shake per day + ONE Herbal Aloe Iced Tea for breakfast. I would purchase these every day from the nutrition club.
  • I began working out 5-6 days per week for 30 mins to an hour each time. My workouts mostly consistent of cardio, arms/back, abs, glutes and legs. I would switch up the workouts slightly each day but NONE of my workouts were strenuous whatsoever. They were just frequent to keep my body moving.
  • I meal prepped. I had just began cooking for just myself and I was used to cooking huge meals for me and Tim so this was an easy transition. I stuck with a small protein of a lean meat, sweat potatoes or cauliflower rice + a green veggie. This is how I made every meal. I'd make 8-10 of these at the beginning of the week to take for lunch or have for dinner when I didn't feel like cooking. It was super convenient and prevented me from ordering out or eating out.
  • I had a SECOND Formula 1 shake two days per week for dinner. This was not part if my program really, I just needed to get out of the house the days Tim was home (we were still living together for a while) and needed a place to go that wasn't a bar. So I'd go to the nutrition club.
  • I cut out almost all alcohol. If I did have any alcohol, I'd have one Truly or White Claw and the was all. Cutting out all the sugar was likely a huge help.
  • I cut out all coffee. The aloe tea was plenty of caffeine for me and I was a HEAVY coffee drinker. But I would always put sugar in my coffees.
  • I started drinking an additional Herbal Aloe Iced Tea in the afternoon. These kicked my metabolism into high gear.
  • I started drinking my morning Iced Tea with Lift Off. Whoa! Super delicious, extra boost of energy, extra metabolism booster.
  • I reevaluated all the food I typically buy and selected a healthier option. For example, I love potato chips. They are my kryptonite. Instead of Lay's, I'd buy terra chips or another veggie chip. This way I was still getting my salty crunch but with some better nutrients.

Keeping consistent with these things, I was able to drop 35 lbs., but gains so much confidence. The confidence was not only because I felt I looked better, but I FELT better. I had more energy, I was more upbeat and happy, I was mentally just in a better place.

I don't like discouraging people from trying another nutrition plan that may be right for them. The goal is to live a healthy life, not to shame you on how you choose to do it. Just make sure you do what is RIGHT FOR YOU and are consistent. Stay away from fad DIETS. You need a healthy lifestyle not a healthy diet in order to see long term results.

If you want to chat more about how you can get the results like I did, feel free to e-mail me at edusseault@gmail.com or DM on social media.

Stay Healthy!

June 1, 2020

Guess Who's Back...Back Again!

If you had asked me two years ago if I would ever come back to write Top Knots & Sweatpants again, I would have laughed. I love writing, but blogging is so saturated and usually just a highlight reel of reality. It's the glossy cover of a magazine. Affluent, aspirational and flawless. The beautiful image of what you wish your life was like. But like every magazine, life has flaws. You lift the cover to find advertisements to help pay the bills. Guest articles, because you can't do it alone. Maybe a typo since humans are simply not perfect.

But more recently, I've found myself chatting a lot more on socials. About things I like, about products I've tried, about my gripes on life and ways I try to see the positive in every situation. It's essentially become my more digital, instant blog. Even earlier today, I sent a link to my two besties for some eco-friendly cleaning products that I stumbled upon and have come to LOVE! And one of them said "ugh you should start up TKS again!" And at first I laughed, and then thought...well why not? I have the time right now to get it off the ground, prep more content and reignite that flame? Why wouldn't I?

So here we are! I'll give you some brief life updates. I'm sure I'll go into more detail on these in subsequent posts. 

I have two sons now, Cooper (age 4) and Callum "Cal" (age 2).

Cooper was diagnosed with Autism in 2018.

Tim and I were divorced in 2019. Unfortunately, things didn't work out for numerous reasons.Very recently, Tim passed away from some health issues. This has been an extremely difficult period for me. I'm grateful the kids don't understand right now.

I'm currently on furlough from work due to Covid-19. Provided I don't get extended, I'm set to return full time to work sometime in mid-July 2020.

Also, we got a dog! Unfortunately, we had to rehome our cats since Cal is allergic. I miss them dearly. Not having a pet in the home felt so lonely. So I decided to get a puppy once I started working from home at the beginning of all this Covid-19 stuff, and I am training her to be a service dog to Cooper!

I started a health journey over a year ago. I lost 35 lbs., have become more active, eat better, and have become an Herbalife independent distributor as a side hustle and LOVE IT! It's such a great company and community that has truly changed my life. 

Content may change slightly from before. I'm definitely going to still be real with everyone. But the content I want to share in this stage of my life is going to be much more health conscious, product reviews, workouts, great reads, and reflections on my life as a single mom of two little kids and how I manage it. I'm in a stage of my life where I feel I have a much healthier relationship not only with my body but my mind as well. I'm much more positive and hopeful than the past and I want to make sure I can share that with everyone!

Look forward to restarting our journey together!