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How long did you struggle with your weight?
I think the question is, when have I not struggled with my weight? Ever since I can remember, I was the "chubby" kid in school. I was teased in middle school so badly that I was forced to change schools. I never imagined I could have the body I have now. "Thin" is how I've always felt inside and by adding Hydroxycut to a healthy eating and exercise plan, now I actually have the body to match.

What was your main motivation to lose weight?
I am a songwriter and a singer. Being in the entertainment industry can be rewarding and also brutal at times, especially when it comes to image. I wanted to walk into meetings and never have to explain myself or prove myself in any way other than having my music speak for itself. That's why I was so excited to try Hydroxycut—I had seen other people (on TV and in magazines) achieve results with the product and thought this could be my chance to lose weight and change my lifestyle and image. I was right.

What were some of your favorite go-to low-calorie meals to keep you on track?
Grilled Chicken with brown rice and a kale salad has been a staple in my kitchen. I also love incorporating spices and fresh herbs to keep my taste buds interested. Because I was creative with my meals when losing weight, I was never bored. I made fresh tilapia or salmon in a foil packet with some olive oil, my favorite fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon. I would throw it onto the grill for a few minutes, make a big salad with lots of greens and felt like I was eating like a queen! I found that the more I ate high protein/ low-carb meals, the more energy I had during the day. Incorporating complex carbohydrates and lean proteins into my meals kept me feeling satisfied rather than deprived.

What fitness routine did you follow while trying to lose weight?
While losing weight I did cardio most days along with a few days that also included resistance training in a circuit style. I worked my entire body while constantly moving, doing exercises like abs or skipping rope in between sets of weights/exercises for larger muscle groups. This is an example of a combined cardio/resistance-training routine I would do:

Cardio: Treadmill, approx. 60 minutes, speed: 5.0, incline: 1.0

Resistance training (circuit style):
Jump rope, 90 seconds (high intensity)
Step ups x12/each leg
Push ups x12
Squats x12
Single arm dumbbell row x12/each arm
Crunches x12
Jumping jacks, 90 seconds
Lunges x12/each leg
Dumbbell chest press x12
Calf raises x12/each leg
Dumbbell shoulder press x12
Side crunches x12
Jump rope, 90 seconds
Bicep curl x12
Triceps extension x12
Straight leg dead lift x12
Crunches x12
Jumping jacks, 90 seconds
Lying leg lifts x12/each leg
Supermans x12

I find that changing things up always keeps my muscles guessing. On days off from scheduled workouts I would—and still do—take hikes, a yoga class or swim. I have found a new love for the outdoors through exercise.

How many days per week do you work out now?
Now, I work out 4 or 5 times a week. I have found myself focusing on toning now rather than losing weight. I am still working on doing a pull-up.

What are you favorite workouts?
Anything outdoors. I love to run at the beach and hike locally in my area. I also love to do strength training and set personal goals for myself to stay motivated. I keep a whiteboard on my fridge that has a goal or fitness quote for the week.

What unhealthy foods do you find most difficult to avoid?
Pasta and bread. I have had to find ways to incorporate my favorite foods into my diet without feeling deprived. I like to make spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs. You almost forget that you are missing the pasta.

Do you have any healthy snack suggestions?
Now if I'm doing something like going to a movie where popcorn cravings can creep in, I like to bring toasted seaweed snacks as a substitute—they're my favorite. They are salty yet still low in sodium. I also love Greek yogurt with unsweetened cocoa, cinnamon and some Stevia, which helps with the chocolate cravings.

What tips do you have for weight maintenance?
Until now, I have never been at the point where I don't need to lose any more weight. Psychologically I had to get used to that and realize that food is not evil and that life is all about balance – in every aspect. Eating well and respecting my body is a way of life now and not a burden or a constant insecurity. I find that I can have the foods that I crave and want once in a while, as long as I balance them out with exercise and a healthy diet.

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