Women History Month: Deja E.

This year we are talking about failure.  Why? We all experience it but rarely talk about it. Yet failure is the one catalyst that often brings success. It doesn’t mean that you HAVE to fail to succeed but in life if you think you won’t ever fail towards success you have a lot of life to reach it. I remember being in freshman year and failing a math test and how devastated. I was used to getting all A’s. I needed that fall from grace to help me not take college life for granted and get focused. I ended have to really work my butt off but I still graduated and that failure wasn’t on my record because I had to retake the class and get it right.  Now fast forward to stubbornness.  That in itself can be a lesson. Women have all had at least one or more failures in life. If you’re like me you have way more than you can ever count.  However if we are to carve a slice of life in this world and continue to make history in this world, failure is a by-product.

Failure to listen to your body will either make you sicker or take time off of your life. Deja learned how not taking head to the doctors and your body will put a pause in your life that you can avoid.

What is one failure you are comfortable sharing that taught you the most lessons?

Procrastinating on my temporal lobectomy. In 2006, I began having uncontrollable seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. After seeing numerous specialists, it was recommended that I have my temporal lobe removed. I was scared and prayed for other solutions. As my quality of life deteriorated, I began to realize that pushing the surgery off was worse than undergoing surgery. In 2014, I did it! And my seizures ended.

I can’t imagine fully what it was like going through seizures. I also can’t imagine being told to have such an intensive surgery either. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the very thing that you need. If it hadn’t been for that surgery who knows what your quality of life would have been.  Yes procrastination is a failure because in that you fail to make a move it usually has a domino effect.

From that or any failure, what other lesson have you learned?

YOLO… you only live once
Dont risk losing time out of stubbornness

YOLO or you only live once means just like it sounds. Living requires stepping out of your comfort zone to carve the life you really want to live.  It doesn’t mean you can yell YOLO and life is perfect. Far from it.  However if you learn to apply that mentality you stop worrying about taking a chance on things especially yourself.

What are is the 3 things you would want to tell other younger woman in regards to lessons learned?

Trust your intuition… it doesn’t lie
Dont compare- this is your life, live it how u want to, not based on someone else’s
Take care of yourself- life can change in a blink of an eye, make sure you are on your A-Game

If you could sit down with any woman past or present who would it be and why?

Maya Angelou
Her wisdom and eloquence would have me mesmerized! She went through so many ups and downs in her lifetime, I would love to hear her story up close and personal. What an inspiration!

I would have to agree, Maya Angelou defied what life threw her way, made mistakes and then taught us all how to rise above anything. Deja you are a Maya Angelou in your own right!

IF you have any projects  that are coming up in the future what are they?

Everyday is a project
My 2019 ‘project’ is to lay a new brick everyday. Take that extra step, step outside comfort zones, and reach higher
That in itself is a project

She is being truly modest. Deja is a beast everyday eating better and working out being her best version.  She is definitely an inspiration.  When you get that second chance at life and I know all about that, take it. Live each day like you want that day to reflect your true essence.

What is the one thing as a woman that has helped or helps you make your mark in this world?

Strength!!! So often, women are perceived as weak or incompetent. Being able to prove the naysayers wrong is empowering

Thank you Deja. You are an inspiration. Don’t take your health for granted. Get your check ups.  Its important. Health is wealth.  Without being healthy you can’t do much else. Who would want to live like that? Certainly not me and you don’t want to either. I know sometimes we think that because we are afraid of what we will find that its better to not know. What you don’t know will kill you.  What you know and fail to take care of will kill you too. Take care of you. Women fail everyday but one thing is we don’t have the time to stay there. Get up, brush yourself up, and succeed.

Advertisements

Monday Motivation: Starting Fresh

It’s a new month and with that it’s time to start fresh. I believe in resetting or resifting the mindset as often as possible. It’s necessary to completing goals.

So now that we are in the last month of the 1st quarter of the year, being realistic about your goals and figuring out which ones need to be tweaked is important. Also realizing that not all of your goals have to be crushed right away. If your goal was a better credit score, it’s going to take time to fix it. Keep your goals aligned so that the very goal doesn’t stress you while you complete them.

Keep in mind too this is not about not actively working towards your goal and then shifting them to the end of next year either. Acknowledge when you’re just not as motivated and do something about it. Every day I look at my vision board and find something to do in each category that will help me complete that goal. Everyday! Small tasks add up quickly. Being a proactive participant in your life separates those who just hope alone and those who work towards goals. Nothing will simply fall into your life.

You have to be determined to work hard. You have to be determined to make mistakes but quickly get up. The longer you sit in self-pity the longer it takes you to crush your goal. Your energy could be spent on important factors in place of wallowing in defeat. It takes minutes, days, months, and years off of your time!!

Start today with a new reassurance inside of you to finish what you started. To push out defeat. To make life happen even in the midst of a setback. Setbacks happen to all of us. How you push past it is what defines you! Start fresh today but crush your goals!

Weekly Update: Friday March 1, 2019

Blog Life

So it’s been pretty busy for ToiTime. If you missed let me recap this week for you. TCP help an event, Spread Love. It was a community outreach to service those who don’t have. It was an amazing event and I am proud to be apart of the TCP family, “we working over here.” Special thank you again to the Mayor of Lancaster, Danene Sorace and her team and family for their continued support. That was Saturday in Lancaster, PA; my hometown. Fast forward to Saturday and back in Philadelphia, I attended Variety’s Children’s Charity, “Let them eat cake under the stars.” All of the cake and drinks and helping children and their families who have disabilities so they can get the assistance to live independent lives. Have you seen my pictures of the cakes on my Instagram? Check it out. Monday along with my fellow blogging friends, PhillyFoodGal, LittleTeacherBigAppetite and PhillyDineout went to Bronze Table and Philly Scoop Deville. The food was super amazing. So as you can see its been a great but fulfilling week in every way.

img_4416

Saturday I will be attending Azuka’s Bob: a life in five acts, a play by playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Michael Osinski.  Blog will follow Sunday morning so be on the look out for that!

Fit Life

I am going hard in my workouts. By the way did you catch my blog on how I was questioned on my weight while at the event in Lancaster this weekend. I have blogged the highs and lows of losing weight and keeping it off. I finally at the best shape of my life and apparently being healthy and being a size 8, I am still fat if you compare it to what folks remember me from a kid. It happens. I got bummed out but I will never let another person’s opinion to stop me from achieving these goals. I got 2 races coming up. One in April, Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k and the Broad street Run which is a 10 mile, I got work to do. I can’t and won’t let a distraction stop me!

img_4437

Shout out to Philly Scoop Deville for this vegan vanilla ice-cream with peaches, strawberries and Golden Grahams-my own concoction

My new schedule is 4 workout days including weights, eat clean as I can, and do my practice runs on Saturday and Sunday. Thankful for a crew of women behind me who we keep ourselves accountable and we know there is strength in numbers. From video check ins during the week to runs together on the weekend, we going to take Broad Street Run and all of the other runs by storm. Send good running vibes as I prepare to make sure I have what I need for both races!

Kid Life

My youngest is registered for Kindergarten.  Oh time please stop. No more babies is real but scary. People told me when you have kids that the time speeds up and they weren’t lying.  I am proud of all 3 of my children to be honest.  The older two have some amazing grades. I can’t complain, I am blessed!  Also my oldest has a Girl Scout event this upcoming week.  She is singing and I can’t wait to show her my support. We are the ultimate Uber parents as I like to call us. We are the soccer parents, Girl Scouts parents and soon to be karate parents. We are their number one fans!

Personal Life

I am really trying to get my mindset together for everything I am doing. I am conscious of the way I deal with others around me. It takes more work because  it’s not as natural for me to take the time to stop and respond. I can be more reactive type. I think what I notice is that others aren’t really sure how to respond to the fact that I am just being still and cautious. I know that end of day its helpful for me to take accountability for how I react and that is my goal.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I plan to.  Have a great one and remember to find something that renews you!

Words Do Matter; You Matter More

So while at an event in my hometown I had someone say something to me about my weight. Now you all know I had documented my journey and that when I was over 200 pounds very little had comments about my weight and at that time I was way over where I needed to be. It was devastating. Now I am at weight goal and tightening up and I am still getting comments about my weight.  I was taken back if I am honest. I talked to my husband and he was like “keep it in perspective some folks aint seen you since you were a kid. You’re a grown ass woman with an amazing body and 3 kids, stay the course!”  Can we just clone him?  He made me feel like the beautiful woman who I am.

This is the conclusion I have come to. A lot of folks will only see you at what they last remember. I went to college a size 0 and came back a size 4 that was an issue. Had a baby and was a size 6 and now I am holding at a size 8 and sometimes 10 depending on how the pants are cut. Issue.

I am not here to worry about what other people’s eyes see me as. I am perfect at the size that I am. I am not in competition to be at high school weight. I was unhealthy to be honest. I ate what I wanted, rarely went to the doctors and the only saving grace was a high metabolism and sports. Skinny isn’t always healthy.  I know folks smaller than me with high blood pressure and a whole gambit of health complications.

What I know is from head to toe I am finally in the best shape of my life and I can run and do 6 or more races a year. I can keep and outrun my kids and run up and down a flight of steps without losing my breath. I eat as well as I can and work out 2-3 usually more a week. I am fine!  I am enough!

There is a woman who is struggling right now with a lot of whispers and you may not be as confident as I feel or feel like you’re not. You are just enough. You are enough even in the state that you are. Its one of the things I felt I needed to say. I need to release it. I had a family member say oh you sure are hippy meaning curvy. I am supposed to be. Newsflash, I have regular amazing sex and I have 3 kids. They didn’t know when I had the athletic build in high school I used to want to have a curve. Now I have them and they are here to stay. I looked like a boy body shape and folks would either like it or have an issue.  So to the curves and the butt that I now have, please stay. We are going to tone up these next couple of months but we ain’t dropping you!

Do not let anything stop you from being your best version of you.  Trust me you can change your body, but be the best version of yourself inner and outer and trust me you will always shine in darkness.

What if you aren’t at the place you need to be and someone does make a negative but true comment?  Remember when the lady asked me how far along I was and if I was having a boy? Devastating. I cried. I was hurt. I made up in my mind that I wouldn’t allow myself to get to that point.  To prevent that I only keep my size clothes in my drawers. I don’t wear baggy clothes. They actually let you look bigger FYI.  Wearing form figuring clothes helps hold you accountable. I didn’t say tight, I said form-fitting or figure flattering clothes. The other day I found a size 14 pant in my closet, tried it on and it was drowning on me. I gave them away.  I keep myself accountable by weighing myself weekly just like I did when I was going to Weight Watchers meeting. It’s important for me to stay the course. So when that comment was made through the help of my husband and getting on the scale to see what was going on, I was fine. I knew it was a comparison of what they remember me from my past. I am still at goal weight. I am in training season for these runs. I can’t let words distract me. If I do I might not be able to get through my vigorous races ahead.  I got to keep running forward.

One of my favorite songs by Kirk Franklin, Imagine Me:

Imagine Me

Monday Motivation: Showing up for Yourself

How will you show up for yourself?  Isn’t it super upsetting when you are waiting on someone to do what they said they were going to do?  It’s the worse thing ever. How about you when you say you’re going to do something for you but you fail to show up for yourself. This is why resolutions or goals fall. You fail yourself. You don’t show up for yourself and then you get mad and the cycle starts all over again.

img_0871

There is a lot of life to be lived but showing up for yourself needs to be at the top of your list.  How can you show up for yourself this morning? I choose to pack my snacks and breakfast ahead of time. I decided to show up for myself in how I eat and nurture myself. On Sunday after attending a function with TCP, I decided that regardless of how tired and unprepared I was to run I still got up grabbed what I could and ran my 3 miles. I couldn’t find my running socks, my running sweats that I like to wear in the Winter, my running hat, and I didn’t even have my house key.  I still showed up and showed out.

I am determined that the same energy I give towards work, my kids, my marriage is the same energy I should get first. I will be making more tracks in showing up for myself in other ways. In the amount of water I am drinking, the workouts for the week, blog events, me time, etc. I am showing up for me. You need to show up for you. Show up and make that doctor’s appointment. Make that appointment to get that new haircut you have been putting off. Show up for you. It’s something in not failing your mission even if you have to tweak it. Show up and show out today and this week, this month, and this year!

TCP presents Spread Love

TCP or The Cultured Professional is a network that has everything from blogs to podcasts and even a cooking show. It’s a one stop shop for all things information that continues to expand and grow. With information comes responsibility. The responsibility to be aware of not just ourselves but those around us. That’s where the concept of Spread Love comes in.

Three years ago the concept was born in providing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and care packages to the less fortunate. With that in mind, members of TCP came together along with community leaders and volunteers to “Spread Love.” Just in making these sandwiches the thought process of what it means to make someone a sandwich is bigger than simply making sure each corner is filled with peanut butter. The concept of making sure to feed someone as you would yourself and to keep in mind the basic needs we take for granted was on the minds of all who came out to support. Volunteers of all ages came together to make today’s 402 care packages and sandwiches a huge success.

One of the biggest initiatives was to find out as a community the needs that exist and how to resolve them. Being present with intent is what drove the discussion towards ideas that could be put into an action plan. Ideas such as a community garden, cleaning up the neighborhood, teaching financial literacy, programs to increase mentorship and life skills support just to name a few are all great ways to think towards sustaining the very lives of those around us. Speaking of intent, 3 of those ideas will be backed as those winners’ ideas will be backed by a check for $500 a piece.

One of the biggest issues with speaking on how to bring the community together is usually the lack of having community leaders who will support the very initiatives. However today wasn’t that day. Today Spread Love had the elite privilege of having the backing as well as help from Lancaster Mayor, Danene Sorace as well as the Lancaster Community Foundation. Today with the help of Mayor Sorace and her family, TCP was able to be intentional on future plans. Sorace not only listened to the ideas, she also gave a lot of great input on resources already in place. She made sure she too assisted in making care packages.

Lancaster City Mayor Danene Sorace And husband, Christian And family

Often times we tend to complain about ways to make things better but we rarely do the things necessary to assist. When community initiatives are being set often those who ideas don’t step up to let their voices heard! Here’s how you can help in future initiatives:

  • Show up and be present even when you don’t agree with an idea
    Come with a plan and don’t be afraid to speak up
    If you feel you weren’t heard the first time, keep talking

The next time there is a community event, attend. You would be surprised of the wealth of knowledge you may learn just from being at the right place at the right time. Today we were able to see free flow of love and support. It crossed all barriers! We have the power to unite on issues that are bigger than us if we take the time to speak with intentions.

Marquis and Whitney Lupton

There was fun, food, activities for the kids and raffles and prizes all while jamming out to the awesome sounds of DJ Biz!

On behalf of TCP we would like to thank the following:

Lancaster Mayor, Danene Sorace

Lancaster Community Foundation

Brightside Community Center

Chef Oliver Saye, For providing the best food to nurture our volunteers

Derrick “DJ Biz” Wright

All news outlets for the coverage

Every volunteer who without your help we wouldn’t have been able to be a blessing without your diligence of accepting the call and making it happen!

To all who donated toiletries, bread, peanut butter and jelly and all necessary supplies

Shout out to the whole TCP crew! “We working over here!”

 

Meet the Johnsons: Jamar and Kizzy

Chef Oliver and Zuma

The Queens of Raw Royalty: Hollywood Bonnie, Honey, Jassy, And Siren

William Way, Brandon Way, Lancaster City Mayor, Danene Sorace, Marquis Lupton

Saturday Vibes

I often hear people say they are bored. One thing about being bored is that you have too much time on your hand to complain and to over think. Not that you have to fill your every waking moment with things to do.  Just relaxing is a blessing when you don’t have plans. Those sometimes are the best. However you need to focus on renewing. Saturday vibes are super important.

 

For my house it’s filled with soccer and events. I am aware of that so I like to spend my Saturday nights doing nothing unless it’s a date night and having adult juice.  This is my relax. Often times during the day I have worked out, played parent Uber, attended events, and whatever else comes up. I know that once Sunday comes that’s my day to meal prep, do laundry, clean, and all other events that are scheduled.

Take some time to get your Saturday vibes right. I always try to find some space for myself. This is when I have a lot of money and when I don’t. I try not to let that get in the way. There are always free events in Philadelphia for me to find and go do something. Do not think for a few seconds that Saturdays don’t matter because they do. I try not to add too many events. I used to be on this go-go go run but I find that sometimes that is taxing.  Find the balance in learning to chill out a bit.  You have no idea how rewarding it is after working all week and running around it is to not have too much pressure.  These next couple of weeks are really demanding of my schedule so if you think I’m not searching for that relaxation, you are sadly mistaken.  You better renew!

Ideals for Saturday Vibes

  • Brunch
  • Reading my Magazines
  • Nap
  • In home spa day
  • Going to nail salon
  • Datenight with bae or friends
  • Playing board games with the kids
  • Movies
  • Reading a good book
  • Doing my hair or my kid’s hair
  • Spa

The list is really endless on what makes a great Saturday.  Whatever you do-get into the vibe, catch it and don’t let it go!