Wednesday, April 24, 2013

With 50 tips to be Fit & Fab for Life, Detroit’s Francyne Walker empowers others

With 50 tips to be Fit & Fab for Life, Detroit’s Francyne Walker empowers others, Francyne Walker’s primary goal is to empower others, and she is now well on her way.

Walker is brightening the Detroit area and beyond with her new publication, “Fit & Fab for Life: 50 Motivational Tips to Help You Get Fit and Be Fabulous for Life.” It is her gift as we prep for the upcoming swimsuit season that has so far eluded us. And, it is the first book on her overall journey to change the world one pound at a time.

“Everyone’s ‘reasonable’ weight is personal,” Walker said. “What might be great for one as a size 4 or 6 could be a 10 for someone else. I believe in moderation, not deprivation, and even though someone can lose several sizes by dieting, it may not necessarily be something that can be maintained or feels comfortable being maintained.

“Being fabulous means being comfortable with a healthy weight, but comfort levels vary with the individual.”

“Fit & Fab for Life” began with conversations Walker had following her own 60-pound weight loss, a journey to becoming a size 8. She met that goal through a combination of controlling food intake and working out. The resulting comments from family and friends — from “How did you lose the weight?” to “How are you going to keep it off?” — inspired her to share her story as motivation for others.

“I love to eat, so I understand how it can be quite a sensual experience,” laughed Walker, a 47-year-old Oak Park resident. “In fact, my perfect world is one filled with chocolate and French fries! Also, a lot of my life revolves around social occasions that call for eating. I understand food from birth to death, so I made a pact with myself. Mindless eating and drinking can lead to problems with weight control, so people need to know when to step away from the table — especially at social events.”

Walker is a certified personal trainer with an extensive background in media and corporate America. Having spent 25 years in a career with Blue Cross, she managed to additionally earn a BFA in Journalism from Wayne State University, followed by a Master’s in Communications. She’s also worked as a reporter for HOM-TV in Okemos and produced her own show, “Your Taste or Mine.”

Her easy manner is conveyed throughout the book, which she designed to “not beat the reader over the head; it’s my voice, but the tips are told in a cute and effective way. I wanted it to be a natural extension of what I do every day.”

It also features before-and-after photos of Walker, who began her journey-to-thin with help from a national weight-loss program — which she prefers not to name. She credits it, however, as having a marked accountability for the individual seeking a better self, and lauds the program’s ongoing supportive staff.

Her change started with 2-3 day cleansing routine centered on eating red meat and lettuce as mainstays, and was supplemented by workout sessions with a trainer who worked her hard, she says.

She made dramatic inroads between January and May 2010, then was sidelined by the illness and death of her beloved mother, Vivian Walker, whom she credits as a major life influence. Vivian Walker always saw the individual value in people by stressing how important we each are, says her daughter.

“I stopped working out due to the time of such family stress,” said Walker, the divorced mom to a college-aged son, Kevin. “I hit the wall in progressing further, but had to shake it off. I did what I tell others now to do: Get back on the wagon and don’t kick yourself. Find your strength and look outside — and inside — yourself. Sometimes it’s what’s eating you, not just what you’re eating.”

Another block came when Walker says she “got comfortable” with her workout routine. She hit a plateau that prevented further success at dropping the pounds, but rebounded by adjusting her diet and broke through that barrier.

She continues her tried-and-true routine, either working out just before she begins her work shift each day or just after completing it.

“I find mornings are the best time for me to work out, and I benefit by my job having a gym on the premises,” she said. “Every corporation needs a gym; it keeps employees healthy and in shape.”

Walker also believes in setting realistic goals for taking the weight off, such as not beginning a diet program during the holidays when temptation looms. That leads to useless guilt when we succumb to those temptations, further preventing personal progress. Her own greatest weight loss occurred during January, she adds.

“From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve is the worst time to try and diet or make life changes in weight control,” she said. The 50 chapters of her 112-page book reflect the common health sense she espouses, all stated in whimsical chapter names, such as: “Say ‘Cheese’ and ‘Thank You’,” “Change Your Flock,” and “Play With Your Palate.”

“I wanted to turn the subject into a discussion, stress drinking water, and above all, to look good while you do this,” said Walker. “You can still walk in to exercise looking like a cute puppy, even if you end up sweating like a dog.”

Staying in touch with style is a major component of Walker’s self-image, who aspires to combine her broadcast/media talents with her creativity and become what she calls “the black Rachel Ray/Molly Abraham icon.” She focuses on health, fitness, fashions and lifestyle — seeking to always remain trendy and on top of things. Within that niche she hopes to one day have her own line of clothes furthering her entrepreneurial goals.

While on that journey, she works in sales and support for a local weight management product company she found online. For now, both her job and her calling provide an outlet to inspire and direct people, one at a time, to be all they can be — one pound at a time.

For more information on Walker's book, contact her at fitandfabforlife2@gmail.com,. or find the book at:

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