I am not boring!

This weekend has got to have been one of the toughest weekends yet to get through since starting my fitness journey this year. I think this has a lot to do with the addition of going 30 days with no alcohol that I began on April 1st. I have been called all sorts of names by friends and family. My favorite are “boring” and “party pooper”! I feel offended. I am not boring just because I don’t have a cocktail in my hand! I have people telling me that one drink will not hurt me and telling me to just have one. Just one.  Talking about peer pressure at its finest! I have even been told that I am no longer “fun”. It really has astonished me how quickly others are to talk down on you just because  you are trying to do better for yourself. It is as if being socially acceptable only includes fun which is drinks and eating to your greatest desires. Peer pressure is hard. Super hard.

So overall the exercise and eating better is going pretty good for me. It is almost natural now for me to got to the gym during my lunch hour. It is also almost natural for me to pick a “healthier” food option for lunch. I eat one cheat meal during the week and I have a good unhealthy meal during the weekend. The food prepping is still hard but I do more than what I have done in the past. Right now I am sticking to easy meals but I really want to get creative with this. I found out recently that red meat is not my favorite meat. I prefer chicken and fish so I am probably going to stick to those for now. I love mixing sausage and veggies. It is so much easier to cook it up on Sunday and have several meals for the week versus trying to figure out meals day by day. As an example, Sunday I failed to do my regular food prep so here I am trying to figure out what will be my lunch meals for the next few days. Today, I chose to go with a sandwich. Tomorrow, I plan to eat tuna fish and avocado. On Wednesday probably some chicken and veggies. On Thursday probably more tuna. Friday will be my cheat meal. For dinner, I will probably make some eggs and sausage. Or some eggs and chorizo. I will have to come up with something healthy.

Anyway, ya’ll this is hard. The effort. The comments. The everything. But I am here to tell you that things will get better. Keep on working. I am frustrated. I am tired but I will not give up. Also, don’t forget that this is about you. This is your journey. This is your life. I am doing it for the health and the ooooo and ahhhhhhs. What are you doing it for? Lets get it!

Track your workouts!!!

In February, I started doing this thing that has really helped me out in organizing and keeping myself motivated. I saw that one of my sorority sisters, Vanessa (follow her at: https://instagram.com/_life_with_nessa_?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=1999q233ho4eg), was tracking her workouts by putting emojis on a calendar and sharing it on her Instagram story. I wanted to ask her so bad how she was doing it because my iPhone wasn’t allowing me to add stickers or emojis to a downloaded calendar. But I had already bothered her with other stuff so I just tried to figure it out myself.

So, I went on Pinterest and downloaded a 2019 March Calendar and then added it to my story on Instagram and added an emoji sticker to it. Since it was March, I used a cloverleaf sticker to mark a successful workout. I then saved it and would do this every time I completed a workout. Here is the completed product.

As you can see I worked out a total of 16 days the whole month! It might not seem like a lot but it is for me. This month I plan to do at least 20 workouts!

Anyway, this gives me a visual of what I was able to accomplish for the month and where I can do better; like weekends for example. I slacked big time on weekends for the month of March. I plan on doing better.

So document! Document! Document! It doesn’t have to be boring! Do it in a pretty way like me! For the month of April I am using Easter eggs! Take a look:

I am always trying to find new ways to make this fitness journey easier. Hope this works for you too. Good luck!

No alcohol. For 30 days. It’s a challenge.

Ya’ll, today I got a crazy idea! I want to do a 30 day challenge of no drinking! I have tried numerous of times to go sober for at least 30 days and guess what!? I always quit or give up. I go out to eat with a friend and they order one of those cute margaritas and then bam, I change my mind. I say, “I can start next week”. And then next week never comes. This time I am determined. I want to demonstrate to myself and others that I don’t need alcohol to feel better or to have fun.

Truth be told, I consume alcohol way less than what I have done in the past but I still drink a margarita or two at least once a week. Just a few months ago, I was drinking three or four Micheladas a week. Yes. You read that right. A week. And sometimes I would add some Mimosas. I think what really bothers me about my alcohol consumption is that I seem to have this lack of self-control in completely giving it up and I ask myself but why. Why is it so hard. My family plays around with me and say, “MUST you have a drink every time we go out to eat”. Well first of all, I only have one margarita when we do go out to eat but most of the time it is when we are celebrating something. I mean what if they are right though. Must I drink. Can I do without I? I always laugh it off and say “uh no, I don’t need it”. The reality of the situation is that obviously I feel like I need it or I would not be ordering it.

Anyway, for the past couple of months I’ve been toying with the idea of giving up alcoholic beverages completely but then I ask myself why. Why give it up completely? You are not an alcoholic, I tell myself. I mean I could just socially drink, right? So this brings me to the reasons for even thinking about this. I feel like alcohol is preventing me from accomplishing my fitness goals. I feel like alcohol is keeping me from saving more money. I feel like alcohol is messing with my physical and emotional health. Writing this out and seeing it really brings out the BIG WHY I want to make changes in my life where alcohol is involved. I have to do something.

Months ago I had a scary moment. I was out of town and my drinking got a little out of control. Nothing bad happened but I had consumed so much alcohol that I remembered very little of that night. That was a scary feeling. I told myself that I could not do that again. I have always acted responsively when drinking and it scared me that it is that easy for things to get out of control. So this is yet another reason to make changes.

So I have decided to do 30 days of no alcohol during the month of April. I will start on the 1st and this time there will be no quitting. I plan to be successful and I hope that I can learn a few things along the way. On the first of May, I will make a post about how I feel and if I plan on doing another 30 days soon after. Anyway, thanks for reading! Happy Wednesday!

Your feelings are important.

This post is about love & respect within relationships. I want to tell you ladies something very important, trust your gut and trust your feelings. If something doesn’t feel right, speak up and stand your ground on things that are important to you. If you don’t like something, say it. If you don’t agree with something, say it. Stop being naïve and allowing others to dictate what is right or wrong for you. Also, don’t forget that we all come from different backgrounds and we all have different values.

I have always battled with self-love. That has never been a secret. I am also a victim of abuse. I have been pretty open about it and because of it, I have different insecurities and problems with self-esteem. I have surpassed a lot of them but something always comes up. Because of this, I have settled many times in many areas of my life. For example, in relationships, I put up with stuff that should never be tolerated or accepted.

Today, I want to touch on the subject of respect within a relationship. Think of the word respect. What does that mean for you? To me it means respecting my boundaries, my feelings. I have every right to feel hurt. To feel offended. As an example,  I have the right to tell my partner that I feel hurt that he is looking at other women  when I am right there with him. I have every right to tell my partner that I feel disrespected if he is following something that I find inappropriate. Now, I know I have no control of what he does with what I tell him. Ultimately, I can’t make him stop doing whatever he is doing. He is allowed to do what he wants, right? But ladies, listen carefully, that doesn’t mean that you have to be okay with it. If he chooses to continue to do what is not making you feel respected or loved, then he is showing you just how much he cares about your feelings. He is giving you a clear picture of how he handles something that affects you.

This is the way that I look at things now. Don’t allow your partner to tell you that you are wrong for feeling a certain way about something that is important to you. Each of our individual boundaries and the way we each view respect are all very different and that is okay. What is not okay is for your partner to tell you that you are wrong for what you believe and feel.  Don’t forget, your feelings are important. Hope you liked this read. Now tell me what is your take on this? Please comment below.

Dieting? I think not.

It is no secret that I recently started changing my eating pattern and habits. I share it and post it on most of my social media networks especially Instagram. It seems that the question that I am always asked whether it is in person or through a private message is, “what type of diet are you on?”. My answer is almost always the same. “I am not on any diet. I just eat better”. You would think that this answer would be sufficient for most people but by the looks and follow-up questions that I get, it isn’t. People always want to know if I am staying under a certain amount of calories or eating less carbs or avoiding fat.  This type of follow-up questioning is always overwhelming for me. I can’t even imagine how it is for those that are barely thinking about or beginning their healthier lifestyle.

The thing is that everyone is different. We all have different bodies. We all have different goals. My advice to you is to do what works for you. I have so-called dieted before. You name it, I have done it all. I did the Atkins Diet. I have eaten under a certain amount of calories. I have avoided fats. I think I even weighed my food at some point. This type of diet eating was really frustrating for me. I would become overwhelmed with the tracking and keeping up with every carb or calorie. My life changed with I discovered Whole30. From what I gathered, Whole30 focuses on eating less processed foods and picking up more whole food items. There is a lot more to that healthier eating lifestyle but what I got from it is this, change your unhealthy eating patterns. More recently, I have heard a lot about the Keto lifestyle and after doing a little research on it, I like it as well. I have kind of developed something more personalized for me that incorporates the Whole30 and Keto healthier eating programs.  I am slowly doing away with a lot of the processed foods and unhealthy food items and replacing them with healthier food items or options. I still eat chips. I still eat chocolate. I still drink a soda here and there. I still eat pizza because, hello! It is my favorite food!

So to you, to the one who is getting overwhelmed with all of the diet options out there, stop. Just stop it. Remember, baby steps. We were taught since we were very young to incorporate more vegetables in our meals. We have a general idea of what is good and bad. So start there. If you eat donuts every morning and then compound it with a greasy burger for lunch and then top it off with a pizza for dinner, you know very well what body changes that will bring. No dietician has to tell you that. You know. How about replacing that donut with oatmeal or eggs. A healthier option for lunch is grilled chicken and veggies. And as for dinner, well you can go with a steak and veggies or a tuna sandwich. Just start somewhere. I have a confession. I am still working on my dinner habits. I have my breakfast and lunch down but dinner somehow always goes south. Like last night for example, I had tacos for dinner. I could have had the ground meat without the tortilla but I wanted my tortillas and I had them! Did I die? Nope. So what. I ate three tortillas. The important thing is that I will continue to modify and do better.

And yes for all of those more graduated healthy gurus out there, I know that in order to see better results, I am going to have to go harder and eventually I will. This is the difference between all of us, we have different goals. I don’t want to be a fitness trainer or a professional athlete. I just want to be healthier, mentally and physically. I am currently not comfortable with my belly fat and I will work to change that. I will continue to work to feel better about myself. So think about that. Ponder about your personal goals and work towards them. Personalize them to you. Good luck to everyone!

Discover your why

Motivation was my biggest fail of 2018. I just don’t know what happened, but I was so not motivated for fitness or even eating right. At the beginning of 2019, I told myself something has got to change. Something has got to give because continuing to do the same thing that I did in 2018 would only dig me into a deeper hole of dissatisfaction with myself and with life. I started thinking about motivation. Motivation is what drives others to do what they do. It is the reason why people go out there and conquer their greatest desires. So I started thinking about the word motivation and realized that there are so many reasons why I want to eat better and exercise more but I wanted to find my biggest why. What would really get me to make a change and stick to it. While looking over my list of reasons, I realized that there are both internal and external reasons why I want to do better in those areas.

Internal motivations are those reasons that are for the self, for you. How does whatever you want to change benefit you. I have found that when I participate in more physical activity or eat better, my self-esteem goes up, my anxiety goes down, and I can even sleep better. So my biggest internal motivation is health, physical and mental. I am tired of feeling sluggish and overtired. I’m tired of letting food control me. I like that feeling that I get when I finally lay down in my bed and my body feels relaxed. I don’t know if you are with me on this one but man I love soreness. It is a physical stimulus that lets me know that my muscles put in some work and it activates a lot of positivity in my brain!

External motivation is a little different. These reasons for doing something typically result in some form of reward such as money, an award, or just attention and encouragement from others. I love to help others. That is like a calling or something for me. So the reward that I get when I can be an inspiration or helpful in someway is everything to me. When I think of own personal external motivators, I think of my nieces and nephew. I think of my close friends and family. I think of all those people that are having a hard time accomplishing their goals. I think of the people that I serve at work that have had the worst life and cannot get started on just simple goals. And of course the biggest external reward is the girl I see in the mirror every day. The change in my body that occurs when I crush those goals. I see strength and I see accomplishment.

Currently, my motivation tank is sky high and I am totally digging it! I have friends who are just as fired up about trying to do better so that is helpful for me as well. I encourage all of you to dig deep in your soul and find your true why. That is the only way that you will be successful. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee or tea and write the word WHY in big letters on a blank sheet of paper. Then start putting down your reasons why. Then put that piece of paper on your mirror or somewhere you can see it everyday and fight. Fight hard to accomplish those goals. My biggest why is because I want to live the remaining years of my life in the best health I can be in. Also, I am 35 years old and just now highly considering conceiving sometime in the next year or two. I want to be healthy when I conceive and I want to be healthy afterwards so that I won’t feed my child nothing but fast food. Nothing against those that do that because that is your child and maybe that works for you and maybe that is all  you have been taught. I just want to do my life the way that I feel is better for me. Good luck everyone! Please comment and share your whys. Thank  you!

It is never too late to try again

December 27,2017 is the day that I took this photo. A year and almost a month ago. Sometime this afternoon, I decided that it would be a great idea to look back at photos saved on my phone and on Snapchat. I remember this day perfectly well. I was so happy and felt so accomplished. I had been working out so hard. In October of 2017 I had heard about an online training program that a dear friend of mine does and I made the decision to look into it. I really wanted a trainer that would come to the gym with me but my fiancés told me otherwise. I went online and checked out his program and immediately was drawn to it. It seemed doable and the price fit my budget just perfectly so I jumped on the opportunity.

When I messaged him, he answered promptly. He reassured me that he would help me and would answer any questions so that made it all so much easier for me to say yes! So I promptly told him that I would be willing to begin in November. I am going to be honest. At first I was overwhelmed. He sent me a workout plan for the whole month. It was basically do these 6 exercises every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Every day had its own target area. I remember Wednesday and Saturday were the days that I did not look forward to because you used your own body weight to accomplish them. And here I thought that the day I would have to do lunges would be the worst part. The plan looked intimidating but only because I had never had any real training before. After looking at the videos that he sent, I was like okay. Lets do this. I told myself, “I can do this”. The first two weeks were difficult but after a few weeks, it became easier. Another moment of honesty. I hated going to the gym for 6 days straight. It was hard. To go from working out 3-4 times a week, sometimes at that, it just was hard. I really think that what motivated me was the fact that I paid money for my training so I couldn’t let it go to waste. I just couldn’t. It would be like throwing money away in the trash. So I pushed through the struggles and hardships and after a couple of weeks it became a habit.

Funny moment. Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around and I remember asking the gym about their holiday hours for those two holidays. I just couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking, why in the heck am I worried that the gym will be closed on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day!? I was like wow. I must be really dedicated. I worked out for two full months non-stop. I was dedicated. I was motivated. I was seeing results as you can see from the picture above. I was so happy. Then, of course, January rolled around. I swear, all of those people trying to workout at the beginning of the year really annoyed me. I would go into the gym and was literally having to wait around for weights. I would get so frustrated and my workout routines went from skipping one exercise to skipping complete days and then complete weeks and by February I was not working out very much anymore. And then to make matters worse, the AC compressor on my car went out. If you know anything about cars, you know that this is quite expensive. It cost me 1,000 + to replace. Then I did what I was fearing I would end up doing, I cancelled my online training. I messaged my dear trainer friend and told him what I had happened and ended services with him. I told him I would get back with him as soon as I could start again. It was the worst decision I could have ever made.

It has been 11 months or so now since that day and I regret ever quitting. Because I did. I quit. I have to accept that. I could have afforded it but I told myself that I couldn’t. I told myself that I couldn’t do it anymore. I had tons of excuses. I made tons of excuses. Reflecting and writing about it actually makes me sad. I keep wondering where I would be right now if I had not given up. If I would have just kept going. But see that is what happens. Sometimes life gets too hard and too complicated and we think that by not doing something for a couple of weeks or months that we can’t try again until its a new season. You just have to get up and try again. Don’t wait until you have a vacation or wedding coming up. Start now. So this is why I have decided today that I want to get back on track. This picture did it for me. I remember the feeling. I want that back. I am so glad that I looked back at pictures. It shows me my potential. It shows me that I can do it. Because I can. If you have a chance today, look over old pictures or even your journal. This might help you get back on track as well. Warning: be prepared for tears and for a new rush of hope.

I am 217 pounds right now and I only know this because I went to the doctor recently. Up until this week I was doing very little exercise. I would get myself in the gym about once a week and most of the time it was on a Monday and every Monday I would manage to convince myself that I was too busy the rest of the week to do any form of exercise. Today, I am on day two of week one. I feel better. I want to do better. I want to share with others the struggles. I want everyone out there that is battling with the motivation or strength to do it to know that you are not alone. There are so many of us out here in this world trying to get back on track with so much. You can do this! Lets go!