Weekly Recap: Friday March 22, 2019

I missed last week on purpose because I wanted to let the blogs do their own thing and on top of that I had a lot of events that I was preparing to attend on top of working out, and my run schedules.  I am 2 weeks to race number one the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K

I am excited as well as super nervous as that race is one month to the Broad Street Run. I am not sure if that was a good idea off but it’s what I am doing. So with that more events and life, we are going to get through as best as I can.  The last update I gave that wasn’t on video was on March 1st. So let’s catch up.

Blog Life

There is a lot going on.  Here are the Women History Blogs you might have missed:

Deja E.

Zulma M.

Tameeka and Kenisha

Cheryl A.

Ila M.

Kim H.

Also I attended some events:

Bob in Five Acts

I can’t forget some bomb eateries here in Philly:

Neighborhood Ramen

Rim Cafe

Termini Brothers Bakery

So its been a busy month since we last updated. Between Monday Motivation and Sunday messages and Ask Toi questions. Always check back to make sure you aren’t missing a thing.

Kid Life

My kids are great. My youngest is all registered for Kindergarten for next school year. I am excited and know that means a lot for our house. One pick up and one drop off is going to be amazing too. Saving some money from daycare/preschool life is what we can’t wait for.

On Thursday it was also National Incredible Kid Day

Fit Life

I am still very much training for races. I also went vegan. It has been interesting. I am confident that I will be just fine. Having to relearn food is the best part. I linked up with Go Vegan Philly

I have learned that I can get the same food and alter it to be plant-based and that makes me happy and my belly feel amazing. I haven’t been hungry once. I almost slipped up on some cheese but thankfully I have snacks premade to fight that cheese demon.  I had to force myself to take a rest day this week. I have been going non stop for weeks now and I know from experience to keep fit you need rest days and sleep.

Personal Life

Other than balance that is the biggest thing going on in my life. Spring has Sprung and my calendar is filling up and I love the busy lifestyle. I also am enjoying making sure I keep up with ME. Not just the mom Me, or the blogger Me, just me. Enjoying the things that I love has been therapeutic.

As always I hope you have a great weekend and find an activity that feeds your spirit. Refill your cup!!

 

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National Incredible Kid (s) Day

Today is National Incredible Kid (s) day. I happen to have 3 of the most incredible kids that I know. They are respectful, full of life, and they are mine.  I love them so much. Having kids has been an adventure. I have had to alter my life in ways I didn’t know I could. No one could have prepared me for motherhood. It comes with some highs and lows like when they are sick or in the hospital. I pray daily that I am giving what they need and more and not what I think they need. Each of my children are amazing in their own right.

Naila

My first-born holds the special place in my heart. She is the one who made me a mom. I have talked about her birth story before. I developed preeclamsia and had to be induced. When that didn’t work and my blood pressure was at an unhealthy level I had an emergency C-section and she was born 6 weeks early. Oh the fear in my mind but I tried all I could do to keep her in despite what was happening to me. The doctors told me if she comes out crying that would be one hurdle. She came out hollering. I was relieved. I didn’t get to spend too much time with her as they whisked her to ICU.  She was in NICU for one week. However I knew I had a fighter as they told me the more they tried to hook her up to cords, she pulled each and every one of them off. She is an amazing child. She is a big helper, she is courteous, loves to smile, never sees the bad in others, and she is an all around star.

Mj

My son. He probably was the least problematic pregnancy. He looked so much like his sister that for the first week I kept calling him his sister. He is an amazing boy who loves to ask questions. His heart is bigger than this world can contain. He loves the world. He loves Spider-Man, his god mother calls him Spidey. He is truly a smart remarkable young man. He does what you ask for the most part. He loves to know why things are the way they are. This has been a blessing and sometimes a headache.  I love the way his mind thinks. He loves rules and wants to be a police man this week. Last week he wanted to be Spider-Man. Whatever he chooses to do I will be there to support him. Mj is the type of child that you can count on to follow the rules.  He is an amazing soccer player too! As a boy he has my heart in ways I didn’t even imagine was possible.

Noelle

She is my firecracker. She has a personality like no other. She was my most clingy baby. She didn’t go to much of anyone at birth. It took her almost 2 years to become more social. She is excited to start Kindergarten next school year. In addition to that she flourishes the most when she is singing or dancing. I tell her you may be the next Beyoncé and her response is, Beyoncé can be my back up dancer. I love that she doesn’t just accept everything and everyone. She side eyes most people. Her intuition is spot on. I have never questioned her judgement because she certainly knows what is going on. She is a joy to be around but she has been deemed the “thug” of the family. That isn’t a negative word either. She can hold her own. I tell her she gets that from her great-grandmother, Earline mixed with them McGinnis genes it’s a wonder she is like she is. She most definitely the one that would show up to protect her older siblings without question.

I am more than blessed to have the best incredible kids call me mom. I hold that title with honor. I pray I am guiding them in the right ways. I do what I can to make sure they are prepared in this world. Everyday I tell them I love them. Every single day they hear words of affirmation from me and their dad. They know they are surrounded in love. I can’t help but be there for these 3 beautiful souls. Shout out to my 3 incredible kids!

Happiness is a Choice

So this weekend was super busy.  I needed a nap from the nap I didn’t take type of weekend.  However with all of the moving parts of the weekend, the one thing that stood out to me was my daughter.  We went to my husband’s basketball game and I was cheering him on. She says oh mommy I am happy cause you are happy. I felt like time stopped. Reality what she said hit me hard.

I asked her why she said that.  Her response was so child like in that I looked tired. What she didn’t know was the last few mornings I had been up at 530am to run.  I ran 5 miles on Saturday and 3 miles on Sunday. She was sleep both mornings so when she woke up I was home.  I really was tired.  I was exhausted and really on fumes.  However her perception to me being tired was correlated to happiness.  Anyone who knows my daughter knows that she is one of the happiest people on the planet and she’s like that all the time. I didn’t want her to feel as if her happiness needed to be tied to my reaction.

When we got home she said it again.  I asked her how would she be if I never smiled or showed happiness.  Would she continue to be her happy self? She hesitated.  I explained to her that happiness is a daily and sometimes moment by moment choice. I also explained that her happiness should come from the inside out.  That let me know that even if I never spoke to her about happiness she is watching. How I take care of myself and how I move around her is important. Today is Act Happy Day.   It’s important to understand that life won’t always be the way we want, but we can control our responses.  We can make or break the part of life where we push through.  Life sucks sometimes. I want to mirror realness to my children but I also don’t ever want to walk around allowing the bitterness of life to over take my smile.

Don’t worry I definitely explained that happiness isn’t in a smile alone to my daughter.  She just happens to have a great smile that if anything encourages me to be light!  It’s easy for a child to be content when you have all that you need. I know that as an adult, life happens.  I know that life has dealth a few bad hands. However having a calm in my heart and joy in my life will make it a bit easier to mirror true happiness to those around me including my daughter.

 

Sunday Message: Give Up Cycle

There are many things in life that we all have to push through is not giving up.  It comes in cycles.  You get really motivated and if you’re not careful, you go into justifying why its okay and you will get back into a flow after a while. As time keeps going you fall off completely telling yourself the goal was necessary.  Such a harsh pattern to be in.

There are ways to get past.  One take your bigger goal and break it down into smaller goals.  This is a good way to get the motivation moving towards the goal of completion. With technology there’s no reason you can’t keep your goals in your mind, on your phone, and in your vision.  What are you doing daily to keep the goals fresh on your to do list?  I usually look at my vision board that I took a picture of and attack one thing in each category that will get me to the finish line. How can I be productive?  How can I use that idle scrolling on social media time to push me to better limits?  This is the mindset to have daily.

repeat

Failure is a apart of life.  We win and lose at variations. Failure hurts. Failure burns.  Failure is embarrassing.  Some of my most humbling failures still make me emotional but I know it is necessary for my story down the line. Consistency is necessary and staying the course comes from not getting stuck in the giving up cycle, where we let the human part of justifying why we fell off and staying in that part of cycle stalls our progress. Think about it in simple ways.  If you ask a kid why they did something they most likely squirm making up excuses that don’t make sense. That is how we look in the mirror of life using excuses like “not having enough money,” “too tired,” “not strong enough,” etc. Meanwhile those who have less than us take the same excuses we sell ourselves in their watered down versions and make magic.

Giving up cycle comes to all of us.  Just because you see someone have a different level of success than her, stop focusing on that.  Focus on how you can take charge of your areas, stay out of the giving up cycle and  find ways to rise above it.  Life is already going to deal its own cards, why add onto it by sabotaging yourself. Start this week writing down what you want to do to be successful on your own terms.  How will you make it happen? Focus on that this week not the small failures you may have experienced this past week.  It will only keep you on the hamster wheel and not much will happen there.

Wake up.

Make that list.

Make a plan for that list.

Find joy in the midst of pain.

Make this week better than last week!

You got this!

got this

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!

Bob: A Life in Five Acts

I had the opportunity to attend Bob: A Life in Five Acts on Saturday and it was a phenomenal comedic play. Bob is wondering various parts of America trying to be a “Great Man” he encounters many relationships that ultimately brings him to discovering he’s never alone. This play is written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Michael Osinski.

This comedic play is definitely worth going out to see. One it’s incredibly funny mixing a lot of pop art, music, dance, etc. to the stage. Bob who starts his life literally in a White Castle bathroom is born into a traumatic hardship. We see that just like in real life, hardships don’t have to define us and along the way he learns a lot about what it means to thrive, what’s important, and how separation can create hope.

A word to the wise because it is comedic I would come in with an open mind. This is not the play to bring a child as there are scenes that may not be suitable for a young audience. The play is interactive meaning I found myself openly reacting with the characters. I found myself thinking about what life was like if I felt abandoned and how would I respond. Would I be able to be positive in a negative world? Isn’t that our fight daily? We have to take the good with the bad and know that even when we have hit rock bottom, we are still connected.

How the tables turn and the paths cross for Bob during his journey was illustrated colorfully. I enjoyed watching Bob interact during the various stages he made until adulthood. How his life was somber as a child although he had to deal with events most kids today don’t readily have to deal with.

During stage plays it’s always amazing to watch not just for meaning but how interactive the characters seem to be with one another. The best productions come from the closest cast members. This was no different. Even after the play during the reception, you can see that not only had they come together simply to put Bob on, they were definitely a family. Shout out to the play for having one of most diverse cast I’ve seen in quite some time.

Here’s how you can come and not just watch, but be apart of the production:

Bob: A Life in Five Acts will be showing until March 27, 2019. All shows are pay what you decide. This means you pay after the show according to what you feel, can afford or feel led. I would encourage you to attend and definitely donate and give. It makes for a great date night to do something different and get out in Philly. It also makes for a great group trip as well.

It’s performance is at the Proscenium Theatre, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia PA

You can reserve your tickets Here

Please arrive early as you will not be able to be let in during the performance and the production is about 130 minutes with one 10 minute intermission. There are drinks available for purchase before the show and during intermission.

Cast:

Paul Harrold as Bob

Dan D’Albis as Chorus

Frank Jimenez as Chorus

Claris Park as Chorus

Sabriaya Shipley as Chorus

Special thanks to the amazing cast and production members, Azuka Theatre, Kevin Glaccum, producing artistic Director, Harmelin Media, production sponsor, Two Roads Brewing company for sponsoring the reception drinks, and all the donors both foundation, corporate and individuals!

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