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!

Food prep adventure

It was Friday and my anxiety started kicking in. I told myself, there is no way that I am going to do everything that I need to do in two days. No way. I even thought, maybe I planned too much. What if I start next week. I continued to tell myself, next week would be a better week because I don’t have much planned.  Then out of the corner of my eye, my brand new 2019 planner caught my eye. I looked over at my planner and right in the middle of the planner it read “BELIEVE” 2019. When I went searching for a planner, this is the exact reason I picked out. I felt that the word believe would be a great word to reflect on every time that I ran into a some problem with my goals or ambitions. I picked it as a form of reminder to myself that all I have to do is believe in myself and everything would work itself out. So I decided that I would believe in myself just a little and used all sorts of positive thoughts to get me through the weekend.

Today is Monday and guess what?! I have almost accomplished everything that I set my mind to do over the weekend. Okay so since I promised to provide an update of my food planning and prepping adventure, I am going to share some of what worked for me. So here we go.

  1. Clean out your refrigerator or pantry. If you remove the “bad” stuff like chips, cookies, and sodas, you remove the temptation. Once you do that, fill it up with more healthier snacks. Some healthy choices that I love are almonds, fruit, and healthy bars. If you buy fruit, take some time to cut it and put it baggies so that you can just grab and go. Your mind is used to going to what is easily accessible so guess what you are going to do?! You will grab that. I boiled some eggs and put them in zip lock baggies and today I ate two of them for my morning snack.
  2. Do not, I repeat, do not go to the grocery store on the day that you will do your cooking. It is not a good idea because you are piling up way too many things in one day. You will exhaust yourself. I told myself that I would go on Friday, two days before the prepping day, and then due to some things other things that needed my attention, I didn’t make it to the store as planned. Big mistake.
  3. Do yourself a favor and invest on some three compartment containers off of Amazon. Please do! I found some that work great. It makes things so much easier! Also, they serve as a constant reminder that you have to fill them up with food. Ah ha! They kept staring at me every time I walked by them so I knew I had to get that done by end of the weekend. Now time to be honest, I did not finish all of my cooking yesterday. As a matter of fact, I only prepped enough for two meals. But I am going to follow it up with more cooking today and tomorrow so it will get done. I will eat healthy meals every day this week. The goal for this week is no bread. No tortillas or chips the whole week. So I am pretty sure I will be in the worse mood come the weekend.
  4. Plan enough time for the meals you want to make and for cleaning. So set a time frame. For example write in your planner or schedule, from 3 pm-7 pm  I will cook and clean my kitchen. Oh, and don’t watch an awesome movie while doing so because lets just say, it might be a little distracting and three hours will quickly turn into five hours. haha.

Lastly, what I learned this weekend the most is that if you aren’t successful with everything as planned, give yourself some grace! Stop. Breathe and come up with an updated plan. Do what you can for that day and promise yourself you will do better next time. Tell yourself that you will accomplish everything even if it is in slow steps. Find the plan that works for you. That is the key to be successful. My prepping might consist of two or three days of cooking. For others, it might be better to do it all in one day. You have to start somewhere so just take the first step. Hope this helps! Thanks for reading! Good luck with your healthy eating goals for 2019!

Self-love

quotes-about-self-loveFor the last couple of days I have been pondering on a few things that have kept coming to my mind without any true meaning. It wasn’t a complete thought. More so, like a lot of puzzle pieces that I couldn’t quite put together until I ran into this on the internet. It read, “Invest in your mind, invest in your health, invest in yourself”. This message was so powerful to me. Everything that has been going through my brain, my mind now makes perfect sense. I have been investing in others and not myself. Ouch. That hurt. Earlier today I posted something on Facebook about practicing honesty today and wow if this isn’t being honest with myself then I don’t know what is.

All my time and energy has been going to others. I have once again fallen prey to the pattern of putting others before me. I think to myself, if I don’t invest this much time with my partner, I will lose him. If I don’t spend time with my nieces, they will not call me their favorite aunt or #1 aunt. If I don’t spend time with my family, I am a terrible daughter or sister. It is always a fight to satisfy everyone and keep everyone happy. And sometimes that becomes overwhelming and frustrating.. Y’all, well-being is so important. I have had no energy. It is a drag to get up in the mornings. No desire to do anything after work except watch TV.  Putting on makeup is even a drag. I no longer meal prep, I no longer workout on a daily basis. I have started two whole books and can’t even finish them. Maybe, I am just doing too much of one thing. Regardless, I need to take a step back and analyze.

It looks like the culprit to starting 2019 like a snail is basically lack of self-love. I need to start investing more in myself and maybe just maybe if I do that, everything else will fall in its place. I am constantly worrying about what is going to happen with this situation or that situation. Being worried about it is not going to fix anything. I know that. So where to start…

So, a few years ago I did a date yourself challenge that I found on Facebook. Thinking back to what the woman that created that challenge had us do, made me think of ways that I can go back to working on me and doing things for myself. Quality time with yourself is very therapeutic. That whole week I pampered myself and oh my God. It was amazing. I should do that. Come up with some things that I can do for myself to bring myself back front and center of my life. I care about my loved ones and will include them in my life but it is time to set some boundaries that will keep all of us happy. I need to practice self-care and self-love. After all, we only get one life, right?

I will work on a list this weekend that consists of things I can do to practice self-love and will share it on here soon enough. I will start with maybe setting up a dinner date with my cousin who has been attempting to set something up with me for a couple of weeks now. Also, I have an update for the meal prepping entry I made the other day. I have come up with meals for next week and will be sharing those with you all after they are cooked and prepped. I also suggest that you involve a best friend or even your spouse or partner. That makes things sooo much easier. Plus you can make HIM do all the cooking. ha.ha. (just kidding). Happy Thursday! And please go do what I am about to start working on. Go love yourself already!

Meal planning. The devil or what!?

So today I found myself at a little cozy sandwich shop for my lunch hour. I opted for the club sandwich which is not as bad as my typical greasy pizza or taco lunch but still. Y’all I have to get with the program! Like seriously. When you fail to prep for the week it just makes it that much easier to go with the simple fast food option. So what to do!? Ah! Meal plan of course but how do I accomplish it without quitting even before I get to the store. Because that is literally what happens to me. Suggestions are needed and will be greatly appreciated.

You should first know that I hate cooking which makes this whole thing even a greater pain. It is just not my cup of tea. And I have a whole list of reasons and excuses for why I don’t do it but man I am starting to get frustrated with myself. And please don’t assume it’s laziness because it is not. Yup, I have heard that numerous of times. Let me explain myself in a different way. You know how you people who decide on not going to college say “school is just not for me”? Well that is the way I feel about cooking. So if you can use that lame excuse then I should be able to use “cooking is just not for me”. Right? Trust me guys. I want to be that cook that you see in movies. Dancing around and singing all the while cooking up a delicious meal for her wonderful husband and cute sweet kids. But it just isn’t me. Strangely, I do want to change it. Why? Because I do want to eat healthier and if and when I decide to have a child, I would like to feed that child a yummy healthy meal. Yes, believe it or not.

Okay so let me tell you what I have done so far to attempt the whole prepping ordeal. I’ve done the Pinterest thing. I have looked up low carb healthy meals, saved them  and bam. That is as far as I got. I have gone to the grocery store and replaced a lot of my bad foods with good foods and guess what happens with that? The good food goes bad. Because I only cooked half of what I bought. then there is the whole thing that the food just doesn’t taste the same after a few days. How do people that meal prep do that. Eat old food. Ewww. What am I doing wrong?! Why oh why does cooking have to be so tedious for me. So how do I change that? How do I move past this whatever this is.

I saw something earlier today while reading another blog or something else about a meal journal. This meal journal is basically a documentation of what you will eat Monday-Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I wonder if this would be too much work to put together.  I’m gonna give it a try. So I’ll commit to that. I’ll start a food journal and document what I plan on cooking for next week. Then I’ll go buy all the required groceries on Friday of this week so they will be ready to cook over the weekend. Okay guys I have a plan! Let’s see how it goes. Please drop any suggestions you may have to help me on this journey of trying to eat better and actually learning how to cook. I still believe meal planning is the devil! Ugh! Wish me luck! Oh and by the way, I only ate half of my sandwich today. Does that make it healthier!? I hope so! Happy Tuesday!