2018 Philly Night Nation Stand Up to Cancer Run

So anything that raises money for cancer count me in. Helping others is what we all should do. Running while helping is the tip of the iceberg. This was my first Night Nation Run but it definitely will not be my last. What I like about it was it’s literally an outside party run filled with drinks, an awesome crowd, dancing, and high energy!

So after I got my run packet I went in and stopped at 99 Brand. It’s been a little minute since I’ve had 99 anything. You know the alcohol who makes 99 apples, 99 bananas etc. I was given 2 free samples. The samples were pretty much regular shot amounts and I sure didn’t mind. I had the 99 peach and 99 bananas and I must say I might need to make a state store run and mix the two. Judge me but they were good.

I did have one more drink and stopped myself. One, I can’t run with alcohol so this was the first for me. Two I had attended the run by myself and making sure I was aware of anything and anyone around me was the first thing on my mind. Outside of that it was definitely party time. They kept the DJs rocking and rotating. The crowd loved it. Between that and watching out for the beach balls being tossed it was a good time!

Finally it was time to do the actual run. It was supposed to be a 5k however I think the dimensions were off a little. Since doing Broadstreet Run, this 5k was merely a recreational run! But the energy was unmatched. I met a lot of awesome people! I danced the night away and thank goodness for that breeze it was necessary.

Shoutout to my husband and family for coming to support me. I think they had a great time as well. Don’t worry they were no where around for the party scene. By the time they saw me I was tired and back in mom mode. I look forward in raising more money next year and I’ll definitely make my presence known!!

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Securing the Bag, Secure it All!

Ladies are securing bags everyday. The term securing the bag is in the context of getting your money or closing deals. I battle back and forth on using the term in the everyday life of just working since in my mind everyone is supposed to work, but again it’s my own personal thought. While your securing your bag be sure to secure your own emotions and definitely your body.  How many women worrying about securing the man, the job, the car, the section 8 payments sorry I had to go there because there are many who think that is life.  Ladies, being healthy, working out, eating right, drinking water, talking right to your kids, traveling, etc is a full-time job.  All of the things that we do to be secure in life comes at price points. What’s more pricey than you body and sexual health?  How many times does a woman have to lay down with a man thinking he is the bag.  He is not if you had a doubt.  He is not. What you secure on your own by hard work is but don’t in heat and not remember that.  Sex is great but its better in the right way.

Nothing in, Nothing Out

So back in the day the old mothers would tell you to save yourself for marriage. They meant it! Not the new way of saving yourself where you do everything but sex! If you don’t have nothing going in, won’t nothing come out. That’s a given. Now that goes for traditional virgins and born again virgins. If this non sex life is your life be sure that’s a decision you want. Don’t do it cause you are afraid of what someone will think. You’re the only one that has to combat them urges when they come. You can say what you will but you alone are in charge of that. Don’t let peer pressure to give it up or hold it move you one or the other. Sexual health is a personal decision-more on that later!

If you aren’t of that mindset then you better play by the rules of the land where you secure some birth control. The pull out method is one of the weakest methods. So don’t be found out here with a new boo telling you that it will work. Don’t even let the old boo tell you that mess either. It don’t work like you think. Many a baby has been made from that weak move.

We decided…

It’s so nice to have a partner that will agree or support your decisions. Please understand as a woman who you and you alone will have that child. All the support in the world hasn’t stopped women from having to take care of babies alone. Every woman didn’t lay down with a jerk or at least what they thought was one in the beginning. Some of these men have been Prince Charming!  Some have been husbands who have decided for whatever their reasons are, they don’t want to be apart anymore.  You the woman have to decide that if you aren’t ready to be a single mom at any given point in life, do not at that point or continue to have babies with any man.  Be careful.  This is a lifetime commitment that society has allowed men to be able to walk away from.  Note to my men this isn’t to bash you but to bring awareness.  This is the conversation that regardless of status you should be having.  Married women aren’t exempt.  My mom told me the realist message after I got engaged.  Marriage isn’t the end all be all.  You could be single at any moment.  The life you have built, can change and you better be sure that you are able and ready to take on that life by yourself should something change.

So yes go in with the we with the mindset of an I at any time am willing to bring this life on and take on all it takes on.  If you can’t say that with the partner you are with, then that’s your number one issue and your second issue is that if you say this will work, I can do this than be sure your anchor holds or you have the ability to mindset to push past any hindrances that may come.  Yes we know women are strong they can take it but the number one thing divorced women or women who partners have walked off or may have passed away say is that they never thought about this moment.  Life is beautiful but keep those moments in the back of your mind. Secure your future.  One more note, do NOT let a boyfriend or a fiance push you into any decision. This means no tubes tied, no having babies if that is not something YOU can live with.  Listen husbands don’t get a full pass. I know of many husbands who force their wives to continue in childbirth and at the end of the day those same men weren’t supportive after the baby is born.  It’s cute to have a baby with your husband until you’re in the house bare feet and pregnant with no job security, going through depression and can’t get that same husband to change one diaper.  Count up the cost.  Your mental piece is worth it.  Not to mention the physical needs…  The one thing I didn’t do was secure my own sexual health with my own husband. Gasp.  I alone should have taken my birth control, gotten my tubes tied before I did because that’s what I wanted to do and should have done.

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Don’t look for the tea.  I am good.  There’s no of my goodness what if her kids read this and think they didn’t want them.  STAWP!!!!!!! That is nowhere near the case.  However as much as I loved my boyfriend who turned my fiance who turned my husband,  it wasn’t his decision to make on the continuance of childbirth.  When my second child came it was what it was.  I was in-between decisions and careless on making a decision for birth control when my 3rd came.  She wasn’t a mistake at ALL.  None of my kids were regardless of how much the church folks was whispering.  NONE of my kids were a mistake but I failed myself in how I secured my sexual health.  I love the family that my husband and I have built. I wouldn’t change it but I can help other women be wise. That’s about real as it can get. It is what it is.  Thankful to my husband who he was the one who made me see it that way.  Yes he had his part we both get that but if we can get the younger generation to see the big picture from this, then it was all worth it.  Secure your sexual health married, divorced, seeking, not in the sex game, don’t know where things stand, whomever you may be secure everything not just the bag.

 

Crushed the Broad Street Run

So I am going to break down my personal run. This run attracts over 40,000 runners and is the biggest thus far. 10 miles all the way down Broad Street! However the same way I trained which is my pace, my race is how I finished!

Weekend of the Race

I wouldn’t recommend it but we ended up needing to attend a family emergency thus having to take an emergency flight out of town. I wouldn’t have it any other way for the ones we needed to travel for but catching a flight that got us back in Philadelphia around 1am on the day of the race is not how you rest up to run. I believe the night before the race you should really rest up to be up for early prepping. You should also make sure you set your gear and any essentials out the night before. This will eliminate the morning forgetfulness that creeps up as you rush around!!

Nonetheless I got up at 530 made myself some scrambled eggs and got ready! Shout out to my husband who got up with me and in his own way stayed with me during the race. More on him later!

Transportation

Broad street was totally blocked off so we rode the Broad Street line to get to the race. It was my first time! I was super excited just for that to be honest. I am grateful for having a car and the only time I’ve rode the bus was as a teenager in Lancaster. To me their bus lines are amazingly easy compared to Septa!! But we got there in just enough time to hop on! The train was full to capacity and yet in still folks were squeezing on! The energy was amazing. Some folks were eating. Others quiet trying to get their minds right. Others just holding on so they wouldn’t fall! Either way after 25 minutes we were at Broad and Olney.

Black Girls Run

Let me say again this is not a Black only group. It was made to make black women aware of the health issues that prevail us more than any other group. However they were essential to race day. I had the worst panic attack at work on Friday when I finally need to think about logistics. I sent them a message and immediately they swarmed me with so much love and support. When I speak to others about running issues to a non runner it’s different than when I tell a runner who is going through the same anxiety how I’m feeling. They got it and they helped me through that panic attack. Soon as I got off the train my BGR Girls were right there to hug and let me know it was okay. We also had an amazing stretch before we went to our respective corridors for race time!

Race Time Jitters

So as we finally pushed through the crowd I ran into my health manager from my previous job. She has been weighing me every week throughout this process. With the thousands of folks out there I had no anticipation of running or bumping into anyone I knew. It was refreshing to see her. As we made our way to our corridors which was color coordinated according to the time we were expected to finish, doubt crept in. Was I was able to finish? Was this race too much too soon?! Remember in 2017 I did my first 5K and this was a 10 mile run which is light years in comparison. However with my Husband by my side, when it was time I cranked up my music and was ready to go!

Music is how I trained. I knew by an end of a song where I was and this day was no different!! Each song added a certain level of “lets get this!” I felt inspired. There were many bands that played out in the street too! However their were background noise for me to keep on going!

Check Points

Running this race you’re able to see the city in one lump sum. So I had to go by my personal check points!! Let me say Temple is super big! That almost made me irritated. I wanted to be able to get through it but it took a little longer than I anticipated. My husband rode up on me twice. It was sweet hearing my name but it also pushed me. My husband doesn’t run so at the two times I saw him it made me think I was running slow. I told him this after the race. So after that he said when he thought I was going to be at a certain spot, I wasn’t cause I had beat him to spots and beyond! He had been riding the train to get to where he thought I would be. He was using the same tracker Racejoy that I was using so he knew where I was!

Mindset

Throughout the whole race I had to keep talking to myself. I never got comfortable. It wasn’t a matter of if I get through x amount of miles I’m good. I will say that the race provided a tracker and it tells you how far you have come. I didn’t hear when I got to mile 6 so I was relieved when I saw the 7 mile tracker! Like girl, you really did it. I never looked back outside of when my husband called my name. I didn’t want to see the crowds of folks coming toward me. It helped me to focus on going forward only. Different miles I had to say who are you running this mile for?! What would they say if they saw you right now?! Let’s move!

Completion

With any race you want to finish and finish well. I definitely did that! My goal was 2.5 hours I got done at 1.59 and I wanted to do the Tootsie Roll! Everything that I had fought for in those moments on the ground had finally come to an end. I have to shout out to the angel who saw me struggling at the last minutes and grabbed my hand. It was just like one of those race movies where someone comes and helps you to the end! That man said to me, “Sis, we got this let’s finish this!” He grabbed my hand and we sprinted them last minutes to the finish. Thank you angel for that! I looked to find him but couldn’t locate him but he was amazing in assisting me at the end when my mind was all over the place and my body was so worn!! Seeing the end when you’re tired didn’t make me feel like yay you’re almost done. My whole body hurt too much but I knew all of the miles I had ran, finishing was a definite.

What I learned

One of the first things that came to mind was Girl, you did that! I will be 37 on Thursday and I conquered this race before it. I can do anything like run a long ass road in Philadelphia! I ran 10 miles today and that in itself is worthy of a dance!

Two is that it will soon be a year since my hysterectomy and I’ve hit so many personal and health goals since then! I think I’ve had more ups than downs and it feels good!

Three what can’t I do?! I had folks like ok you’re racing and?! My response is lace up and let’s see what you can do?! This is not an easy task! It’s not easy at all! Not everyone can just run it! So it’s an accomplishment to say the least!

Four, where is the next race?! Weirdly enough I am currently Googling another one. My goal is to do a half marathon and then off to a full marathon!! Being in great shape is a continual journey and races for me keep me accountable!

Shout outs

Let me shout out my amazing family who have had to deal with me refusing to abbreviate from my schedule of training. Yes even in the Winter months when I would hear you can miss a day and I didn’t listen to it! Also for putting up with my eating which won’t change because for me it’s a lifestyle change and not a diet! For reminding me to focus on me and no one else!!

For me 3 little people who call me Mom! You guys have no idea of how I thought of each of you. I will be using this against your “I can’t” moments! There’s nothing you can do and you will achieve anything you desire!

To my amazing friends! From the start of this morning, I was flooded with messages of good will today! To everybody Facebook and other social media messages too thanks! During my last few miles since they were tracking me too, although I didn’t open my phone during the actual race, hearing the notifications knowing it was y’all made me feel like a badass!

To my husband, Marques: your pop ups today were amazing! For you tracking me thank you! For getting me anything I thought I needed thank you! For fulfilling my post race requests you are the real MVP! Also for making sure my bath was drawn and even helping me out of my sweaty clothes thank you. It’s these moments that are real relationship goals that can’t be documented or photographed. Being my number one supporter and fan today, thank you!

To my trainer! You are the real MVP! Pushing me past myself and telling me to shut that crying up thank you! You saw that I could do it you didn’t accept my excuses! And for reminding me that the body does what the mind wills! You pushed me through my mental setbacks!!

To my BGR family thank you for the weekend runs to get ready as well as the continual all year runs that keep us race ready all the time!

To my doctors at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for making sure that I was healthy before and during this race. Every test done to ensure I was race ready thank you!

To every volunteer at the Broad Street Run, super thanks. Y’all were out there on the scene making sure every racer felt supported all weekend long!

To my readers, thank you for allowing me a few moments into your lives! I hope regardless of how you may struggle with any health issues or weight issues that you see someone who pushed through it and proved to herself first that she was important enough to be her own priority!

All pictures were taken by my husband Marques! I refused to be on my social media during this race! He had the sideline view and sometimes a runner’s view since he was on the scene with me!!

One year down… weight loss-chronicles

Welp a year has come. I have managed to keep my weight off and in addition I’ve managed to fight through the ups and downs along the journey. I’ve lost around 70 pounds to date but it wasn’t easy having to turn my back on dairy or indulging in my favorite comfort food in excess.

When I first began to lose weight it was more about me attempting to grab my life back. Here I was almost 36, out of shape, miserable in my own skin, and most importantly unhealthy. I have a fluctuating body type. So this simply means that I can go up and down at any given time if I’m not careful even with working out and eating right. To combat that I used the techniques that I leaned in my Weight Watchers class to change my relationship with food.

Depression

It’s one of the worse cause of weight loss to me as it’s more than size, it’s more of a mental road block. It can allow you to have knowledge of what you should do or even should be but it is one of the hardest things to “shake.” Depression had set in quite a number of times and I wore it proudly everyday in each outfit and every look. I tried to over dress. So I wore clothes that were too big. In my mind I needed to cover up my body so no one would see it or see me.

Big isn’t Always Better

Watch out for the big girl is a bomb club mix. Watch out for the big girl

It’s also how I felt I was being viewed by others. There isn’t one thing wrong with big and sexy if done right. I’ve seen some of the most empowering heavy set women who own their sexiness better than a girl on the runaway. However when you aren’t meant to be a certain size your ability to hold on to a sense of sexiness goes out the door. I tried to own it but couldn’t. I wasn’t supposed to be the size that I had gotten. All I did was complain, compare, and fall deeper in the hold of depression. I was over 200 pounds and I wasn’t pregnant as I was being described. I had let myself go.

Lows

We all who have been on a weight loss journey remember the days of counting calories or points. In the beginning you are super excited and then it wears off as you try to re-enter a normal life with normal eating habits. At least that’s what I thought. When I had a high it made me excited but those lows, were a bit much. Feeling like I couldn’t get it together made my low days that much worse. I found myself justifying my emotions as excuses to eat what I knew I shouldn’t have to deal instead of staying the course. The only thing that kept me was learning not to let these moments keep me there and is I had a donut or something bad earlier in the day I didn’t have to wait until the next day to reset.

Pictures Please

I took and continue to take pictures even on the days when my stomach peeks through. Having kids allows them to be great props. However it’s just another mechanism to cope. It was either use the kids or be the photographer and not have to be in the pics. When I first started losing weight I got folks saying why are you taking so many pics. Imagine another grownup asking another grownup why something that didn’t take anything away from them a series of questions?! The pictures are now and was then a way for me to see my progress. I always check the neck and face. I’ve had days when people’s comments seemed to get under my skin and I had to remind myself why I was losing this weight. It wasn’t for likes but more for me to like myself when I had no clothes on. It’s easy to dress your body type and blend, but to like what you see, naked and vulnerable isn’t.

Wardrobe Change

When I first lost weight I was scared, judge-mental and excited to get new clothes. I’ve had to take quite a few outfits back for still buying the clothes that wasn’t my size. Losing weight is great until you can’t lose the weight in your mind. Thank goodness for friends who literally pushed me away from the old size and into my new size. I struggle every time still with clothes. I’m stuck in the middle of yes grab the smaller size to Girl don’t show too much!

So yes I’ve got all kind of tips to help with weight loss but….. the reality is that the journey is up and down and good and bath. The best part isn’t just the weight loss but the ability to be able to be healthy inside and out. For the first time in my life between Surgery and weight loss I’m not anemic. All of my tests are normal. I’m not ashamed to step on a scale and I feel great!

So if you’re struggling with seeing others lose weight and feel like you can’t commit you may be in a situation where you won’t have a choice. You will have to push past bad habits, denying yourself of your wants, feeling defeated to days where after all of your hard work the scale just looks at you and doesn’t move. Whatever your journey presents know that you can do it! You can fall several times throughout but I would rather fall then drop out of my own race!

Take each day and moment at a time. Reset many times! Don’t fall apart as you make change your bad isn’t your worst. Work on portion control and definitely work with your doctor to eliminate or add what you need for your health concerns. Don’t get caught up in diet fads. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. It will look different even if you follow the same rules.

Everything isn’t What it Seems

I want to highlight a few things.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, things on social media can look grande and be filled with so much smoke screen.  Yes that is how life rolls.  However keep in mind that everyone tries to put their best foot forward.  This is why the age of filters is so amazing. You get to hide behind real life scars and traumas.

The pic used in this blog if I uncovered it was great.  We were having the best ice-cream at one of my favorite spots.  Everyone is all smiling and seemingly happy.  We look like the model family. If I told you that I could still feel the pain of that day, would you believe me?  That was a hard day.  It was a few years ago and we were set to go to the African-American museum.  We were ready to go and our plans got diverted.  Why they got diverted I won’t speak on but I will speak to the nuggets that can be learned from that picture.

In it you see my husband all smiles.  He was under extreme amounts of stress trying to do the best he can.  I was depressed and I believe if I had gone back to work it was short-lived due to the fact that my youngest was nursing and wouldn’t take to a bottle and I had to take her to work with me.  That worked for a while until it was time to put her in daycare and then I had to stop working again because again she wouldn’t take to anyone but me and still no bottle, no cup, just me.

Here is what I know now AFTER that storm of life and what I wish someone had told me:

Dear Toi,

You are stressed out but a lot of your stress is coming from within.  You haven’t quite found your space, your voice, or what you want.  Maybe its the feelings of not quite making your mark in this world. Maybe its the time that you had to take off due to taking care of your kids and the guilt that you feel losing the independence of a working woman. You are fighting those around you but reality is the fight is in you. Use that negative energy not to worry about what others will think, but to know what you want.  Should you leave your husband because it was so rocky?  No! Leaving isn’t the answer. The answer isn’t in your husband. He will never make you happy.  Happy wife, happy life is a bunch of bologna.  You have to be a happy person, and work from that happiness.  You will have many more moments when you are ready to throw the towel in. Don’t stay for the sake of the kids.  They can’t heal you.  How about you deal with some of the let downs you face.  Get out and get a hobby.  Get out and get some fresh air.  Know that as a mom you are at your best when you take some time to practice self-care.  The kids will thrive better with you even if you had to walk alone.  Take a mental time out. Take a deep breath.  Do your hair, get dressed, put on a little make up because its going to be okay.  You don’t have to look a mess while you figure out your messed up life.  Your life is blessed you just have to use this time to rebuild.  Don’t worry down the line you figure it out. Down the line you don’t have to wait for your husband to go with you all the time.  If you like it go do it on your own. It doesn’t make you less married to do a few things on your own.  He isn’t and never was your source for everything stop giving him that power.  He didn’t ask for it. He was attracted to your hustle and your ability to keep it moving.  He saw that hunger in you, you got this!

Sincerely a stronger Toi

Lesson one: Happiness is YOUR job.  Not of your spouse or anything that you own.  Happy people don’t have it all they just know how to keep moving and make the best of their situations.

Lesson two: self-care is a daily thing. It is not okay to have meltdowns if you’re not going to use the meltdowns to get better. What have you done today that made you feel amazing? You should be doing all you can to make it feel like its your birthday everyday.  No one will celebrate you like you.

Lesson three: Marriage is beautiful when you put in work and your spouse does the same.  When that stops the marriage will have a pit stop.  You aren’t responsible for him/her you can only do what you want him/her to do.  Don’t say that because you have done one thing, this is in ALL areas.  No one can receive as much love and listening as you claim you give and treat that person badly.  Remember they need from you what THEY need not what you THINK THEY NEED!

Lesson four: dress up everyday. I don’t mean you have to be in heels, but if you want to knock the sloppy look, you have to get up and get dress and be present. Every time you zone out and don’t care you look it.  Don’t be mad at another woman who shows up and shows out. You both were supposed to.  Don’t say you don’t have the time or money. Admit you didn’t take the time! You can look fierce on any budget.  You can look fierce in pajamas if you want to.

Lesson five: get the hell out.  You can not live your best life cooped up in the house.  Get you a few dollars and go to a bookstore and have a ball, find some Groupons and live! Do more action than talking.  No one cares that you talk about a dream, the doers are finding ways to make the dreams a reality.

Lesson six: for my moms, there is no such thing as a perfect mom.  You don’t have to mirror everything you were taught.  You are in control of what you want motherhood to be.  Even if you grew up in the worst conditions, the dreams you wanted your childhood to be can be made with your own kids.  Be solid for yourself and them not perfect. Dance around the kitchen while making dinner. Make folding into a game.  Be there for your kids and most importantly be there for yourself! They are watching you!

Lesson seven: be okay to lose.  Take a chance on life and yourself. If you fail it won’t be in not making the mark, it will be in not taking the chance to make the mark.

3 Years of Blogging-The Background Tea

Happy Anniversary! I love this time of the year.  It’s like a birthday and Christmas wrapped into one.  On a blogiversary I usually rethink what I want to do.  I get a vision together and I work with it.  I also think about what has taken place in the year during this blog  year.

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This has been an awesome year. Not just because today is such a high day either.  It is a good year because I took steps to make it great.  Nothing just happens. I had to put the work into my life in a lot of areas so I can attempt to live my best life daily.  With that in mind, I am super grateful for just life itself.  Now let me also say life hasn’t been a bowl of cherries.  So today I will spill the background tea.  A blog about yourself is super sticky.  You will get strangers who can resonate with your story.  You also get folks who know you, don’t like you and will stir the pot.  You will also get people who know of you, don’t know your full story and will contact you and say I had no idea you were dealing with whatever topic.  I put me out there because I can do it best and that comes with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Or the one thing I get is how do I know if I am putting too much of myself out. I know because I feel like I have to be 100% okay with what I put out and who that will affect. For the most part I only worry about my husband and kids.  This is why I limit what pictures I show of my kids.  I ask them for their permission too.  Respect towards them is important. My husband is my number one fan so his support is incredibly important to me.

What about backlash?

I do not change my blogs to prevent backlash.  This is because these are my stories, my experiences and most importantly my page.  I think it is clear that the human spirit will draw to those it needs to.  I don’t worry about backlash in the form of someone who I don’t or barely deal with having a “word” for me.  This is not a cocky attitude it’s just real. I have had family members say to me, you say this and that on your blog but then you are a different with me.  The reality with writing is you can focus your words to be nice or not-its called editing.   When I am talking I don’t have time to edit.  However whether or not I am qualified to speak on me and tell the good, bad and the ugly is not even up for discussion.  I like most people have a past. If I don’t vibe well with another person will not determine if I should shut down an entire blog.  I am not everyone’s cup of tea and I love my flavor so I will not water it down.  This is why self-care and self-love works.  I practice this daily so that while I give out I can keep my cup always full.

I am wrong, Admit it, Keep it Pushing

I can admit in my blogs when I am wrong. I do not attempt to paint a cookie cutter picture of my life. My life has ups and downs, fault, and failure like everyone reading this blog has.  I do NOT know of a person who doesn’t.  I talk about me because I can.  Do you know how many people in the last 3 years have reached out to me to say thank you. When I wrote about postpartum, do you think I am the only one who has gone through it? Absolutely not. I told on how I even got so bad I threatened to call the police on my fiance (now husband) because I was so far gone and couldn’t manage my emotions. I talked about the moments in motherhood where I feel like I am missing the mark and the frustration of managing my 3 kids with 3 different personalities and trying to figure out that balance.  I have talked about the times I personally wanted to give up on my marriage. I have talked about what its like as a woman in her skin to have those moments where you wake up and see your weight, your face, a mole, or whatever makes you feel less sexy, less confident and how to come out because I went through it and came out on the other side. I can’t tell you about things I haven’t experienced. That’s not real. I know me. I know what’s like to be deemed the perfect child but fail miserably in life.  It sucks. It hurts, but if I wait for approval from everyone I would still be failing.  Oh ps. to other bloggers, you know that folks gonna talk, I say talk on, because at the end of the day I give no front seats to my life to just anyone especially when it’s not earned.

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Dust yourself Girl and Keep Writing

So for me these blogs are the essence of who I am. I make the mark, get knocked down, fall back a few spaces, dust myself off but in the end sink or swim, I’ll make it.  Everyone loves the underdog and I feel like the ones who wished that I would just plain old stop are up for one miserable ride.  I am Lord’s willing gonna stick this out and see what the end is going to be.  For those who I will make amends with because there have been some issues that have come out that I will conquer I will get there.  The others, no love lost, I have love but it’s from afar and I make zero apologies for it.

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Distance is key

I have noticed the incredible amount of peace that has happened in my life. I try to keep my circles small. Even with distance I find that if something is stirring I don’t even answer it.  My family meaning my husband and kids schedules keep me on my toes.  I love it. I am venturing out, attending more conferences, so my life is going in a different directions these days.  It’s been a long time coming.  Like any woman I can be petty, but my life has evolved to the point where I keep it quiet, move in silence, and focus on the people who really matter.  I say this because if you stir some old mess, it usually stinks. I have had readers over the years say they keep putting themselves in situations and wonder why they aren’t getting different results. If you learn nothing more today, change how you move and who you are around. That in itself will change your life.  We have a zero drama policy in our home. We don’t even have conversations about much that includes drama especially around our kids. We won’t allow drama folks in there. Not one person who has visited us has been one to stir a pot and if they do, we have no issues with asking you to leave.  My husband and I started this a few years ago. I wrote about how I got into it with a person and it forever changed me for the better. I will not allow myself to get to the point where I am so mad, I need to curse folk out, go off, or check for gas in my car for a pull up.  Yes followers, I am human.  I post about change but there was a time when all of that negativity was in me.  I choose change. Distance allowed me time to cool off, work on me and make a decision if people need to be involved with me or not.  Some I am slowly working to get into the swing with some and others I haven’t written off I just chose to continue in quiet and distance.

Great Followers

I have had some amazing followers let me say.  You have been rocking out when I lose my blogging way which happens. I love what I do, but life throws a few curb balls.  Last year I had to refuel but I was never gonna give up. I had to find my own passion and it happens and writers block is real. I try not to pull too much from headlines unless I feel extremely passionate so this is why people ask me to recap a show and if I am not feeling it I just won’t.  I have been eliminating a lot of reality television by choice so if you see me recap a show its going to be because I really felt the topic was something I truly have knowledge of, it was something I had been through, etc

To my new followers, go through and spend some time on the page. There is a lot for all kinds of topics. There is something for everyone male and female.

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Ask Toi

I love my Ask Toi questions. I answer these at toitimeblog@gmail.com and when I do I keep my follower’s identity closed. There is no reveals around here.  People have messy and crazy lives and revealing who they are would be completely wrong. So if you have a question, send them to the ToiTime email and I will try my best to answer them.  I always give a more detailed answer to my follower and a condensed version to my followers.  The reason is that some details would reveal and I am all for keeping Ask Toi as discreet as possible.

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So I will continue in my blogging endeavors. I will continue to be transparent. I will continue to be who I am and make no apologies for who I am.  I will continue to push the envelope because I do that off-line as much as I do it online.  I try to match my social media life to of my real life. Too many fakes, but there is only one ToiTime.  I am unique, I am Latoi.  I love all of my ToiTime followers, so cheers to another year!  Never be afraid to take a chance on yourself.  NO ONE ELSE will, you can and should be able to depend on yourself.

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Let’s Get Physical, Physical

Got the song in your head now?  You should.  It’s time to move.  We discussed the reasons why physical movement can help to cut down the physical stress.  So let’s figure out some fun ways to make it happen.

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Let’s keep it real I am a full-time mom, wife, I have a full time job and in between life and balance it isn’t easy.  My work outs do not ever look the same day-to-day or even week to week.  So what are the ways you can increase your physical activity?

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  1. Move-yes if you work you can go to the bathroom on different floors, take the stairs, do some chair exercises.  Whatever you choose to do, move.  Sitting is the new smoking so you can’t afford to just sit all day.  Even if you are one who isn’t all into the gym, you can’t deny how much better your mood and your joints feel after some movement.
  2. Take a lesson-this is the best time now that the weather is breaking to take a class.  If you don’t know how to swim take a lesson.  Want to take a class you were too scared to take before or used the cold of the winter as your excuse, dump the excuse and take a class.  Taking a class aids in your healthy well-being as well as it can be a great way to network.
  3. Get involved-there are a lot of ways you can get things done in your community.  If you feel the opportunity isn’t there what better way than to create it?  Get out and motivate others.  While doing this you can help your physical and mental being as well as get involved and meet some dynamic people.
  4. Form groups-it doesn’t even need to be something super elaborate.  It could be a walking club.  Get a few or more of you together that can share in a common goal and walk.  It’s that simple.  No money involved and super easy that will only require some time and some dedication.
  5. Love -did you know that the more and your new boo or your old boo work out together and get involved in an activity that it helps in your relationship and takes stress away to the max.  No one pushes buttons together like a couple.  So if you find something you can do together its an automatic win.  Don’t want to go out?  How about fixing things in your home together?  You get to move about, get things done, and the both of you can connect, argue, and love your way to the completion of your task.
  6. Dance-you can burn a lot of calories dancing the night away.  You don’t have to be the best dancer either.  If you live alone, turn the music up and get in the zone.  You can pretend to be any dancer or entertainer you want to be and have a great time doing it.

It’s time to get out and enjoy your life.  A few things I do to get moving:

  1. Soul Cycle-you can read both of my blogs on my experience.  I am not a pro but I definitely can say I am so much better than before.
  2. Free-yes I use YouTube to my advantage when I can’t get out of my house.  I do not allow too much time to elapse where no physical activity is going down but nothing makes me smile more than a free YouTube video work out.
  3. Gym-I do still try to do at least bare minimal 2 days at the gym.  I typically get my 3 days in since I do my workouts during my lunch time at work, shower, and then continue with my day.
  4. Use my kids-do you know how solid my kids are?  Them little nuggets is like big mac babies when it comes to using them for weights.  I usually aim for my son but I have them doing all kinds of stuff with me.  They think its mommy and me time and I’m like come beat that donut off of me time.  I get a kick and they do too.  They line up waiting their turn and its always makes the time go fast and a good laugh is always a good thing in my book.
  5. All of the things above that I mention I incorporate into my life.  I am on the road to being well-rounded and as much as I feel like an island I am embracing the idea of including and allowing others in my life appropriately.  You know I ain’t letting just any old body around me.  However I am finding some great friendships along the way and embracing them.

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