TRANSFORMED .... The Year Later!

That 143 pound girl who took me over and revealed herself on that scale that Labor Day in 2013 has vanished. Better yet, let's just say I kicked her ass! *Wipes hands* I have no desire to bring her back, but what's this story if you do not see her for yourself in "My Transformation - Out of The Shadows" post but also allow me to tell you why I had to finish her off. Go read it over there. LOL.

It’s now March 2015, basically a year since my 
"My Transformation - Out of The Shadows" post. "What's my secret?" you have asked. No secret(s)! I have just awakened.

Almost two years shy of hitting the age of 40 and as a mother of an 8 and 3 year old, I decided to make the time to balance it all. Certainly, my metabolism is slowing down and time has to be found for a healthier me. A healthy and happy me results in my family being happy and healthy too!

Now, I want to make this clear, I kind of dislike the connotation with the word diet. No, I was not starving myself. Instead what I chose to put into my mouth consisted of a clean diet (nutrition). I eat 5 times a day; 3 meals and 2 snacks. Plus, I try to consume about a gallon of water a day. So yes, I've generally given up alcohol unless I am socializing when I may choose to (over) indulge!

I work out for no more than 15 minutes a day in my home. The gym has just never been my thing. I prefer the intimacy of working out in my underwear in front a long mirror. I focus on the muscles that are being worked on. I have done that from my teens while living at home in Saint Lucia. 

Not only did my body transform with a clean diet, a 30-day - 15 minute a day challenge in January gave me this carnival body too! I do not want to discourage those who can afford more than an hour for exercise. Lately, in my world, more than 45 minutes of exercise seems like an eternity. Even simply trying to schedule in an hour of exercise becomes stressful. So knowing that, I find no excuses to commit at least 15 minutes daily to exercise, than absolutely nothing at all.


I have kept no secrets from you, on February 2014, I told you about CARO & DALIA. At the start of 2015, I again mentioned the ladies in "14 Ways to Make The Most of Today in 2015" post. So who's been sleeping? I ain't! 

These ladies are two island women such as myself, but from the twin island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago and they live in NYC. We share similar interests particularly carnival. After enjoying their once free meal and exercise plans in January 2014, I was very reluctant initially to pay the now $40 membership. 

It wasn't until October 2014, Aaron (seen below), a fellow member encouraged me to register and join the upcoming November 14 week carnival boot camp. I had long been following Aaron on Carolyn's Carnival 2014 Challenge public Facebook group. Believe me, I do not blow with the wind, but Aaron was proving to be the poster boy of the Caro & Dalia movement with his commitment, enthusiasm, faith and results. So I registered!

Every other Friday, each carnival goddess delivers to members; Carolyn delivers a 2-meal plan option, choosing between 2-meal plans the option best suited to you.  In addition, Dalia prepares the workout schedule with an option for males and females.

I cannot begin to express how thankful, excited, strong, confident I am in myself due to this Caro & Dalia movement of like minded, hard working and encouraging folks in their support group! And that monthly $40 is an investment in my long-term well being!


In October 2014, I don't know what most scared the shit out of me: I had a Trinidad frontline costume to wear. My husband was well on his way after a year of redefining himself. He too jumped on the get-fit bandwagon that September 2013 (see his results below). Maybe I was only then ready to commit to getting back into my best shape. Who knows? 

The timing of this boot camp scared me.  Most Trinidad Carnival enthusiasts face this fear,  we all have the Christmas holidays to deal with before we expose our bodies on the streets of Port of Spain! So yes, I was concerned. How was I going to balance a 14 week carnival boot camp with christmas holiday stress, drinking and eating? That's just life. 

If you know me, you are aware that I go into a 3-month celebratory Halloween / Birthday / Christmas  / New Year party mode from Halloween until January 6 of any New Year. January 6th was usually the day that my mother would have all Christmas decorations taken down and packed away. So January 6 ... PARTY DONE. WORK START. NEW YEAR!

Between Halloween 2014 and January 6th, 2015 ... I celebrated my birthday in November. I already had skating, sushi and sleepover at my house plans with friends. Miss Caro(lyn) greeted me with "only blow out candles, NO CAKE!" I choops (sucked my teeth), yes ... and laughed it off because I knew she would have come for my A-S-S if I had been truthful about drinking liquor, eating sushi and more than cake! ... And every single friend gave me wine, I even got a box of wines or wine related gifts. LOL.

Then my most favorite American holiday arrived, Thanksgiving. Fortunately after 14 years of marriage, it was the first time I did not cook. Remember I love to cook, bake and eat!  Caro & Dalia allowed us members a cheat meal but ... Oh yes, I ate to my heart's content and hit that bottle hard with my St.Lucian friend and her family. Then my son's birthday is on Christmas Eve ... so oh yes, we were feting (partying) again with good food and drink! LOL.

"Did you cheat?" was the other question most asked of me privately from fellow members of Caro & Dalia. So YES, I did cheat. In my life (diet or not) I want to be able to celebrate on a whim with small doses of cake and ice cream, wine or tequila!  


My goal was Trinidad Carnival. I was not going to let a few days of cheating screw with my main intention of rocking my City of Angels costume from Fantasy carnival band. I also have this fighting spirit that when I put my mind to something, anything with burning confidence that I will get it done, I will succeed. Blame it on my Scorpio fire. I WILL HAVE WHAT I WANT! My daughter may refer to it as "my inner warrior."

HOW I HANDLE THE CARO & DALIA meal plan and exercise:

Remember Caro & Dalia was one of the avenues I used in January 2014 to get me to change my health mindset in "My Transformation - Out of The Shadows". It was then; food and nutrition began to make sense. 

I realized then I could no longer afford to eat just about anything and not exercise without paying a price physically. I still do not think I have to eat cottage cheese, or necessarily have to follow every crossed T and dotted I to remain disciplined and closely on track to the Caro & Dalia plan.

So between January to October 2014, my first bit of change was awareness. I began to seriously pay attention to what I put into my mouth. My next change was small changes at a time. Instead of juice, I began to drink more water. Now I only drink water. 

While on the Caro & Dalia Carnival Boot camp diet, I followed a very strict clean eating meal plan. Remember I jumped into the carnival boot camp mode. It required me to cut out sugar and salt for some time. I thought sugar would have been harder, but it was then I noticed I had a harder time living without salt. 

I drank water ranging from 1 to 3 gallons daily. Some days, I can't consistently hit over a gallon but I still only drink water!

Vitamins ... there are so many to take which makes it costly too. I took as many as I could when I remembered. Again, I just have never been the pill popping type. So every vitamin literally is a hard pill to swallow. Have you seen the size of these things?

Surprisingly what I loved most in the Carnival Boot Camp Diet was the 2 week liquid diet. If you would have asked me before  then if I would have succeeded and done it for a full 2 weeks, I would have said, "No!" Anyway I did it and loved it. I drank all sorts of raw vegetables in liquid form! DIVINE. I want to start it again like tomorrow. 

The point is I did not allow minor requirements like not liking cottage cheese and tomato to throw me off ‘track’! I would love to say ‘goal’ instead of ‘track’ but all while on Caro & Dalia, I certainly did not expect a 6 pack by Carnival Tuesday. I simply had no goals or expectations other than looking decent on the road, Carnival Monday and Tuesday!

Now, I understand the emphasis to drink the water and eat the cottage cheese, etc. It requires discipline and accountability. If we constantly say we're not going to eat this, or won't try that then we're already defeating the purpose of a healthy mindset and possible healthy & stronger body! It's amazing how these little changes can change our palette too. I can think of a gazillion foods that I disliked as a child that I love now.

We need to constantly try again, even if we fall off course, bouncing back again. Also do not beat yourself over one minor ingredient considering a lifetime of meals yet to be eaten! Just don't cheat yourself and give up. Yet, realize that you cannot continue to live your life eating trash and expect a body that you'd be amazed with. It's important to focus on your long term goal. 


Again, I am baring it all for you. Not because I care to but I believe in being brutally transparent, I can share my best advice. And why it is so important to take before and after pictures and measurements. Here are my weights and measurements from "My Transformation - Out of The Shadows" post versus when I started preparing for carnival 2015 body in November 2014. 

SEPT 2013: 143 lbs. / 31 " waist
FEB 2014: 127 lbs. / 28 " waist


Start of Carnival Bootcamp: 
NOV 9, 2014: 126 lbs. / 28 " waist

1. Take BEFORE & AFTER pictures. I have a private FB album that I keep. Every 2 weeks I add pictures of my progress, which enable me to see my progression. Seeing minor and gradual changes can encourage you to push harder, every day! I did that up until I left for Trinidad Carnival 2015 in February.

2. Make NOTES about each picture ... such as date, weight. Pay less attention to the scale but more on how your clothes fit you. Are clothes getting looser? Are clothes tighter? Well then, if tighter, we have a problem homie, lover, friend! Pull out your measuring tape. Shoot measure your neck, arms, waist, hips, thighs for all I care ... just measure and record.

3. WEAR SAME SWIMWEAR / UNDERWEAR / SPEEDO in your pictures, until you reach your desired goal. I have pictures in the same swimsuit over and over again. Personally, I would have preferred my initial shot to be in something skimpier but I was aware that pictures were now being taken for public consumption. Caro & Dalia expect progression pictures ever so often, so I tried to start off demurely. You want to see your progression so wear the least bit of clothing. Do not just focus on your weight on a scale. Believe me, some days a scale can deflate every bit of progression hope ... your weight can either remain the same or go up.

4. TAKE THE 3 SAME SHOTS EVERY TIME ... I do a frontal, side profile and the bumcee shot! I laugh at the bumcee shot. While that is all I initially focused on looking at my derriere, eventually I saw results in my shoulder muscles; even my coca cola waist was carving itself out and I realized that from my bumcee (rearview) shot!


So January 2015 hits and the flippin' reality is Trinidad Carnival is in my ass ... and I have a husband showing 6 pack abs and shit! So I hustled, YES and thankfully, Caro eventually turned things up a notch with a 2 week liquid-only fruits and vegetables diet, one week prior before my departure to Trinidad & Tobago.

It was only then I recall consistently following Dalia's part of the program, which was about the time cardio began. And believe me, I shredded! Dalia's regimen usually consists of gym equipment exercises. I just have never been a gym personality. Also a gym membership is an additional cost I can do without! So I would try to find YouTube videos for the exercises she listed every 2 weeks that was proving to be a task.  And I would say forget it and find other random exercise videos.

My friends know I have just never been a gym type. I work out at home. Depending on the season, I am on the treadmill. Now that it's winter there's no way I enjoy working out in the cold ass garage! So no bueno ... I love Pilates but lately we're at opposite ends of the spectrum; I have not been excited to do it. So I did not force it either.

I have realized that in order to consistently remain on my health journey, I must follow my heart. My recent desires are short and sweet workouts. If I want to focus on my breath and stretching then I'll do Pilates. If I want to run, I'll hit the treadmill. If I want I want muscle, I lift anywhere between 5 to 50 pounds.

I'll be honest with kids and running around, I just do not have time for one to two hour workouts. My expectations were a routine that was short; I'd work hard and be done!

The stars aligned once again just in the nick of time! I suppose with a New Year upon us, 
The Betty Rocker offered a FREE The Betty Rocker's 30 Day 15 Minute Challenge, and that became my consistent means of exercise until Trinidad Carnival. I shared her with you in my "14 Ways to Make The Most of Today in 2015" post. I kept no secrets!

I started The Betty Rocker challenge on January 6th which would end right about the time I was leaving for Trinidad. 
The Betty Rocker offered a variety of a little bit of this and that from cardio to tabata to yoga. The only requirement was whether to wear shoes or not. There were days that were tough (yoga) but I was still standing and proudly accomplished her challenge on Day 30. Bree aka The Betty Rocker kept me accountable by sending daily emails every morning with a link to that day's 15 minute workout. At the end of every 15 minute session we crossed that day off her calendar. I loved working out with Bree in the confines of my bedroom following her and listening to her cheer me along. 

I took my pictures on on January 10, 2015 according to my Caro & Dalia schedule. Since my return from Trinidad, I restarted her free program again. I am on Day 10. Now my husband joins me! 


By the end of The Betty Rocker's 30 Day 15 Minute Challenge, I felt like a new woman. I felt stronger! It's amazing how when one feels better, our confidence begins to shine. We stand more erect, we smile, we basically PEACOCK! So I was peacockin' in the following pictures. No shame! LOL.

Now time to board a jet plane to the land of oil and music, Trinidad & Tobago!

BOOM POW. After Trinidad Carnival 2015, Caro mentioned not doing sit ups for carnival with her toned abdominal physique. I can say the same. Certainly, I did not focus on abdominal exercises unlike my husband who had his abs routine on lock. Yet mine showed out this carnival! Although in the past, I was that girl who only focused on working out her abdominals, even if for 30 seconds at a time at any given time. I would tease, "I want abs, nice arms ... and don't mind the jiggles from my hips down!"

Carnival Tuesday, February 17, 2015 ... abdominals and all!

And there you have it, the secrets to my carnival body were
 Caro & Dalia and The Betty Rocker.


TODAY: MARCH 2015: 113 lbs. / 26 " waist

Since the beginning of my health journey, I have lost exactly 30 pounds and have a 5 inches slimmer waist. HAHA. I want you to see the girl I allowed to take me over briefly in 2013 but PSSSH, I kicked her ASS, she needed it! I'm back to my old self again.

Below: Check out my body during Trinidad Carnival 2015 versus 2011. In 2011, I weighed about 125 pounds, yet I look leaner versus 2015, I look more muscular and weighed less, 115 pounds. There are major differences with my body!

It was after that 2011 Trinidad Carnival I got pregnant with my son. Friends teased then that it was understandable that my husband got me pregnant since they liked my body then. Well now in 2015, I am keeping both my fingers and toes crossed, no more babies. Shoot, have you seen all the time and work it's taken to get back to my old self again? Never again. LOL.


On this recent journey, I realized how enjoyable and encouraging it was to have my family's support and participation. Thankfully my husband was on his own journey of eating healthy and consistently working out. My son attempted to do jumping jacks I'd just laugh.

While both my children would be around me when I exercised, my daughter was my workout partner. 8 years old and powering through and giving me the drive to power through every 15 minutes! And when she'd quit, I was determined to push through. Get your family to support and join you. It's pertinent that you set a healthy lifestyle example from now.

It's all well and good to look nice but health is still my main focus. Towards the end of the boot camp and after my 2-week liquid only diet, I also visited my doctor. I wanted to compare blood work results from previous years to see how much of an effect clean eating and a healthy lifestyle has impacted or contributed.

Again, I believe that one has to find their own drive. What works for me, may not work for you but certainly you can be inspired by my suggestions or be inspired by others to get the ball constantly rolling. So I am sharing other workout suggestions and inspiration: 
The Fat FuneralDovies Workout (Dovie has a challenge as I type! Jump on board) and exercise apps like Hot 5 or SworkIt Lite. Simply do not find excuses, do something. Small steps eventually become bigger steps, and you can look back at your strides from where you started to where you are.

When it came to grocery shopping rather than a boring plain hand written list, I fell in love with the app mySHOPI. It was easy to use, colorful and allowed me to tailor it to my needs by adding my own pictures via Google.

I also find it cheaper to shop at my local Asian / Global supermarkets. A greater variety of fresh food products from fruits, vegetables and fresh fish, a whole lot cheaper. 

I am still working on cottage cheese. It disgusts me, lumpy and yucky! We may not like a particular food in one way but may enjoy it in another depending on whether we consume it raw or cooked, how it is cooked, how it is sliced, diced or cubed, even other foods it can be paired or disguised with can change your mindset about a food you may not like. 

I find that with tomato. I can't stand the smell and taste of raw tomato, but do not mind it cooked. Yet, I find it adds an element to a sandwich when thinly sliced. Then, no problem, I eat it. Maybe we have to mask the foods we do not like and incorporate it with what we do like, anything to get them down. Onions, I love them cooked but raw, big hell naw! 

Back to the one food that disgusts me right now, cottage cheese. Recently though a recipe called for it to be eaten with tuna. Immediately, I was able to make it palatable by thinking I was substituting cottage cheese for mayo.  And that has done the trick, for now at least! I still don't see myself dippin' and kickin' it with cottage cheese beyond that!


"No matter what path you take in life, you need people in your life who inspire you and who are taking a similar path. That’s even truer if you decide to take the road less traveled.
The people who form your tribe don’t need to be part of your daily life. If they are, that’s wonderful.

But they don’t have to be. Just knowing that there are others out there who have chosen to lead an unconventional life can be a great source of inspiration for those moments when doubt starts to creep in.

Your tribe doesn’t even need to be people you personally know. You can draw inspiration from people you know virtually, people in books or movies, or people who lived a long time ago and who have already passed away.

The important thing is knowing that you’re not alone, that there are others out there just like you. That you’re part of a great tradition, going back many, many centuries." - Elephant Journal


Briefly in Saint Lucia after Trinidad Carnival, I was inspired by my brother Wayne's tenacity since recently breaking his ankle (while jumping out of a guava tree. LOL. Not funny!) before Christmas. The one morning I was passing through, we joined my brother and went walking around Pigeon Island.

The next day, I returned to frigid North Eastern temperatures and weather flight cancellations. Eventually getting stuck in New Jersey, and forced to drive home to Virginia the following day. 
Look around you! Make the most of what you have, the beach, the blue skies and the warm temperatures. 

Reminds me, weeks before Trinidad Carnival 2015, there were 2 sets of us in the Caro & Dalia group, those in the cold and those in warm weather.  You should have seen pictures of those of us in the cold, bugging out having to defrost cars, pack on layers of clothes, not wanting to leave the house for the gym in the dead of winter, trekking in real' snow, just too cold for exercise ... YES MAN, but we powered through and did what was needed to be done!

So yes, I'll say it, "Get your ass up! No more excuses! Kill two birds with one stone!" Go walking, take a jog, go swimming.

He has even added the market to his weekly schedule and joked, "
Early morning market run. Can u imagine me walking thru the market with my bag and box? Oh what a sight!"

My brother admits being inspired by my husband and I over the last few months and has since lost thirty pounds.

Speaking of weight loss ... remember in "My Transformation - Out of The Shadows" post I mentioned that my husband too had lost 30 pounds but regretted not taking his initial October 2013 first day pictures. Well look who coughed up comparison pictures in February 2015, my husband.  Gosh, I had to sit through and watch him pull out his phone to show every body we knew under the sun his progress. And he starts with "Look at my first picture almost 20 years ago in 1996 versus today!" LMAO. My hubby recommends Brendan Myers

This Caro & Dalia movement to live a healthier lifestyle has extended its tentacles to these next two St.Lucian ladies. Meet the St.Lucians making the most of the limited and costly resources at home while on the Caro & Dalia meal plan. As Kristel puts it, "Every other week she feels like she's on a treasure hunt!" 

Kristel took a picture of these steps before working out one day. I just had to find the perfect quote, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step." - Lao Tzu. I like the mystery of the photograph too, reaching the bottom of those steps but not knowing what awaits you around the corner! Such is the case with a healthy diet and exercise once you begin today you must progress into something better but you must take that chance!


Iva-Lisa felt a little vulnerable when I asked her to send me some pictures. She bravely included her heaviest weight picture versus a recent picture she took while feting in Trinidad this carnival. With all the soca playing in my head, I teased her she got a bumpa like rain!

She confidently says, "Women need to know they can be fit, healthy and run their families and business. I got two businesses, have three boys, run a household, find time for hubby, train six times a week and always make time for my Almighty!"

Meet my friend Bridgette, she is in her 40s won't say the exact number but up there. I love her because we share the same birth date, November 13th! I admire her calm to my storm. She promises me with age I'll calm down like her. LOL. 

With a busy work schedule, she is in the gym by 5:30am with either her handsome teen son or family friend as her workout partner while her husband coaches. It's become a family affair. Check out her arms! You should see her washboard abs. My word. She was kind enough to share her life-changing story: 

My fitness journey at this stage of my life started with a mind change personally and professionally. A refocus of my energy and time on things that make me healthy, happy, that I enjoy and are less stressful. That started by deciding to leave jobs which consumed my life and left very little time for family, friends or me. I had way too much anxiety dealing with and when a doctor told me that I had developed acid reflux and that my rib cage joints were inflamed from stress, "I was like Whaatttt! Who gets that? Final Straw!"

I said good bye to the stressful job without a solid plan and if you know me that is a NO NO! Started to bake rum cakes and sell them, something I had talked about for years and never did! Started a job that found me! And finally made time for my health & fitness.  

The journey back to being fit both mentally and physically started in 2013 and I have not looked back once. It had to start first though with the mindset and then the rest followed. Now my teenage son works out with me 3 days a week and my husband coaches me. We all focus on our fitness for different reasons but what is important is that we get to spend time with each other – pushing, encouraging and supporting one another.  

I was never a morning person and yet I have no problem getting up at 4:45am to make a 5:30am work out session. When I work out it’s about me, the competition is with myself and what I want to achieve. Once you wrap your mind around it you can achieve! I put no pressure on myself and I work towards being consistent and most importantly enjoying what I do. 

My life has become about being at peace with my decisions, focusing on what is right for me mentally and physically and most importantly enjoying what my life is about right now! Thank you Nyree for asking me to put my thoughts down.

One half of my diet and exercise duo, Caro & Dalia is Carolyn Gomez. Carolyn is the meal plan guru. Take a look at what Carolyn looked like over 20 years ago, in her 20s compared with her 40s! She captioned this picture, "20 years apart, a couple kids, isn't this something ... isn't life grand! Now this is the business! This is 40 too! FIRE."

With all the attention I got when I posted my Trinidad carnival 2015 pictures, a friend teased, "People you wake up so!" In that moment, I humbly realized and responded, "It's me who feels like she has woken up. That old Nyree, where ever she came from has melted away."

This really is a 'no time for excuses' lifestyle! And while many hate this response, I gladly own it, apparently the family and friends I have mentioned above embrace it too "No excuses!"

In writing this post, Spock (from Star Trek) died, and several days before his death he said this "A life is like a garden." Just ponder. Life is seasonal too. Time to pull away the weeds. ... And allow yourself to blossom!

BTW ... I have new goals, the next few months I have bikinis to flex! LOL. 


  1. I've never had a weight issue. In fact my challenge has always been staying above a weight I want for myself. But this post is so motivating because since my son's birth I'd become really inconsistent at working out. After a 17-mo break, I started again in Dec (was still inconsistent even when paying a gym). I couldn't figure out a right schedule for me. I tried late nights but that was tiring. Last week I went back to early mornings (5/5:30) and I'm determined to stick to it like I used to before July 2013.

    Food has also not been a problem for me. JUICE is. I love juices (as in sweet drink). We've said we'd cut it out for a long time but never really did. Time to cut it out. I also don't drink enough water. Time to get my water intake up!

    Nyree, my friend, I'm thrilled at your success and everyone you featured. So, so motivating!!!

    So well-written, read every word!

    Mèsi an pil! Ou wépwézanté Ste.Lici byèn menm!

    One of your fans,


  2. Thank you Gideon.

    Kind of shocked knowing your field that you are dosing on 'sugar' water. LOL. Yes, so start drinking more water!

    I am proud of your recent bicep picture, as I told you. It simply means you've already changed your mind set to get the ball rolling!


  3. Great post as per usual, this is really inspiring on so many levels!

    I doubt that I'll ever be a fan of cottage cheese either but I will definitely opt for a 15 minute home workout when I don't make it to the gym.

  4. Hi Nyree,
    When I say you outdid yourself with this post? Wow!
    I have no questions at all (rare) lol.
    Congrats to you, your hubby, family and friends. Everyone looks amazing....
    Very inspiring.
    I'll definitely share this post. Love your writing style so much. 😊
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. So Nyree what is the skinny on the cottage cheese? Does it feature prominently in the Clean Diet? What are the touted benefits?

    This post is incredibly inspirational and has had me really reflecting on my 2015 goals since I came across it yesterday!

  6. Nyree-
    You look AMAZING!!!!
    You are inspiration to all of us mamas. Time for me to get my body back!
    Hope you are doing well.
    Lots of love.