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.

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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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Natural is not a Phase

If you look around in the African-American community you see so many embracing themselves for the first time.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s not a phase for most.  This is the time to really embrace yourself in all of your flaws and especially when you’re Black or minority and there are limited amounts of things you can see in print, film, etc.  The time for making moves for you is now.

One of the things that I have always hated which is sad in itself to write is that I never wanted to find out my natural state of my hair.  Let me break it down because I am not alone in this at all.  On Saturday I did the most bravest thing ever and that was to cut the relaxer out of my hair and see what the natural state of my hair was.  To some, this is no big deal but I have had a relaxer in my hair since I was about 4 or 5 years old.  I was always told that my hair was “nappy.”  Now phrases like kinky and thick is being celebrated.  The conversation of what is good and bad hair is always going on in the Black community.  I know that since having my first daughter I have always told her that healthy hair is the best hair. I didn’t want to get caught up in her “kinky” hair being less than others because I knew that was what I was being taught from a little girl.  My twin when we were younger had that “grease and water hair.”  Her hair type was always the type that my mom could easily mange and mine wasn’t do to it being coarse, nappy or untamable without the aid of a relaxer.  With a relaxer my tresses became like my sister in the sense I could do more styles with it.

As I became an adult before kids I was in a salon every 2 weeks  getting it done and every 4 weeks I was getting my regiment of “creamy crack.”  By the way creamy crack is relaxer so it became normal.  I learned how to take care of my hair with a relaxer. I knew what I could and what I couldn’t do.  So fast forward to Saturday, my decision to cut the relaxer out has been months in the making.  This wasn’t just a new me thing.  It had to do with the fact that until I made my decision I put a weave in my hair in December.  I wanted to do the “big chop” in January but I got cold feet.  So back to Saturday I was thinking of all of the pros and cons. The cons had more to do with the stigma of natural hair.  Since I have been relaxing my hair all my life I knew  I would have to chop most of my hair.  So the stigma came from appearing bald-headed, or looking like a man.  I have had short hair several times including the months before I put the weave in I had cut my hair.  My hair grows back fast so when I took the weave out this time I really under normal circumstances could have just relaxed it and it would have been in a bob style.

I go to the salon of my choice here in Philadelphia and I tell them I am ready for the “big chop.”  My hands are sweating, my heart is beating fast, and I feel like I am going to throw up.  I thought about my daughters.  One has the same kinky hair that I do the other has thick curly hair.  How would I want them to respond about themselves?  My hair is my glory but I can be who I need to be without relaxed tresses.  As I was being washed it felt weird not being based for the relaxer.  I kept looking around.  I finally was washed and the cutting began.  I kept taking deep breaths as the hair was falling on the floor.  My hair dresser is telling me that she has to cut some more and I am thinking here I go, bald is going to be my expected end.  However she tries to show me my hair after just the cut but I refuse.  I just know what I want my hair to be.  Can my hair be healthy with a relaxer yes, it has been at times.  However I just don’t want chemicals in my hair.  I want to embrace this for me and for my daughters.

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So the cut is done she styles me and reveals that I actually have wash and go hair.  I am looking at her like she has 3 eye balls.  Like who has some wash and curl hair?  But she reveals it and I am super happy.  One its super convenient since I do work out at least 3 days a week.  I love it.  I love the look.  It’s what I wanted and for the first time in years I don’t have to wait 24 hours for my hair style to grow on me.   I also am learning that team natural doesn’t mean team don’t comb or do anything to your hair.  Your hair needs to be treated well with regular washes, moisturizer, and love just like relaxed hair.  And no I don’t mean the same methods.  I mean at the end of the day relaxed or natural if you don’t take care of it, it won’t look or be much of anything.  You can’t be lazy in taking care of yourself whether or not you can afford to go to the hair dresser or not.  Taking pride in your hair is the number way to take care of your hair in either phase.

So as I get home I don’t have nerves of what my family or husband will think.  Not one.  I walked in like any other day hungry and ready to eat.  I was at the salon for quite some time. I post the pic on Facebook not looking for validation.  I was happy and I was okay with the world seeing my happiness.  I wasn’t looking for approval from my parents and siblings either.  I like and love it and that is what is important.  I am determined to eat right, look tight, and be happy and that means putting my needs to the top of the list.  I am loving the skin I am in not because I am team natural but because I am embracing and finding ways to create the happiness that isn’t always there.  Life sucks but I refuse to look bad and feel bad in this life.

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I am not a pro in this natural hair thing. I do not pretend to be.  I do know how I felt the moments leading up to my big chop as well as how I felt afterward.  I do know that it’s not easy to transition.  I am well aware as I learn my hair.  I have to dispel the thoughts that have come back to my mind already.

 

I am not advocating team natural over relaxed hair.  I refuse to get into a debate over it. There are pros and cons to both processes.  What I am advocating is being strong and confident like we teach our daughters.  What makes you look and feel the strongest go with that.  This day and age everything is destined to kill our vibe, time for women and men to find ways to be happy and healthy from the inside out.  I choose to be happy, fierce and strong in my own skin…..

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Soul Cycle Survivor

Yes I said Soul Cycle survivor.  Even as my adrenaline has calmed down, I’m writing this blog on two very sore booty cheeks.  When I say sore everything  I really mean it.  Not a part of my body has been left untouched. I think they mean Soul Cycle to really mean they taking you to the ground and bringing it back.  Who knows, right?

When I walked in at the Ardmore location, I was immediately impressed and a bit intimidated.  There were people buzzing around getting signed in.  What I liked was the girls registering us was so used to it and spotted the unregistered and helped me along.  She explained what I was to expect and everything she said was true.

I went and found me a locker, grabbed my water, and put on my cycle shoes provided to me.  I felt great at this point.  Let me say the Ardmore location is beautiful.  Okay as I entered the room that was getting dark, one of the workers helped me right to my assigned seat.  The last time I was in an assigned seat was in elementary school.  The Soul worker helped me click my shoe into place.  You ever watch a prison movie when the doors slam and you hear that click? Yes that was me.  Take a second and visualize that with me.  The sound made me want to roll but to be honest if I wanted to I couldn’t figure out how to get them shoes off even after it was over.  There was no point of return, I was stuck.

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So if you ever seen a cycle class online when you see the cyclers in formation getting it? Well it’s just like that but what makes you get your life right in those moments is the energy of the instructor.  Shout out to Ryan as he came with his A game.  The music was another level today.  At the time when Jayz came on it felt like I too had channeled all that Hova had to get me to the next part of the workout.  Then I don’t know if it was because Beyonce is going to be in concert here in Philly or not but we went right into Bootylicious and it was on.

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That workout isn’t for punks but even if you we’re a newbie like me you don’t have to fret.  The bike was your archenemy for about 45 minutes of an  intense gut punching workout.  So I couldn’t ignore it even if I wanted to.  Now let me give you a few tips so you won’t be too much like a fish out of water like I was.

1. Arrive early.  Don’t do like me and arrive all fashionably late.  By the way I wasn’t trying to be late but that’s just how it worked out.  Also if you’re not on time they are starting with or without you but would prefer for you to be time.  Plus anxiety will set in.

2. Stretch before you come.  It helps to get your muscles ready.

3. Hydration is key.  The amount of sweat that you expel is enough to clean a little baby in a tub.  No joke.  Ryan had all kinds of sweat under his bike like the rest of us.  Hydrate almost a good solid 24 hours before class if you don’t you will regret it.  Had I not, someone would be picking me up off the floor after they wrangled me out my shoes.

4. Enjoy it.  Yes I wanted to throw up the deuces but we were all there together and working it out.  I didn’t know many in the room but by the end I felt like I had gotten everyone’s social security number, we we’re a family.  Family sticks together and we had fought little Ray-Ray a few times around the block today.

5. Try it at least once.  I know we as people don’t like to try new things but this is a must.  Its fun and if you are looking for a real workout, this is the one to be at.

6. There is a waiver.  Duh.  They don’t want you coming back talking about they responsible for your arm and legs actually failing off.

7. Know your limitations.  I kept moving even when I had to sit and just move my legs.  I had my left shoulder dislocated a few years back.  I’m aware of what will cause pain or further injury but I didn’t let it stop me.  If I could have found a way to use that same arm to detach my foot from that bike, I may have.  Shout out to Jon the brother of Alanda Cocoamommy blog she arranged this opportunity and he kept me grounded.

8. Go with at least one person you know.  I didn’t know Jon before but I knew he was good people and he pushed me when he saw me slacking.  It was even more fun because when I yelled out yes God he understood. I told you the workout was intense so I may have called out to a few angels to come and get me a few times. Judge me but do it after you take a class.

9. You will not be cute during the class. So leave the make up and tie down your natural, weaves, or frontals.  Yes I know you trying to scoop a cutie on bike 4, but you walking out worst than you came in.  Get cute after.  No one and I mean no one is looking at you when Ryan starts counting down.  Trust and believe.

10. Wear the right clothes. Ladies no your Vicky bra ain’t ready for spin class.  Let me repeat that Vicky needs to stay home.  Get you a good sports bra.  You should be working out with a good sports bra anyway.  So unless you got the new sports bra from Vicky, leave the lace and frills at home.  Dress like you came to work out not you came to take selfies.  You won’t have time to grab your water bottle barely let alone become the next Instagram model.  Trust me.

Overall I really enjoyed the class.  I definitely can cross this off of my list of workouts to try. I’ve been eyeing Soul
Cycle for quite some time.  Again I want to shout out Soul Cycle, their happy, pleasant staff, Alanda for setting this opportunity up, Jon for pushing me, and my little 45 minute villagers for taking the 1145 class today.

If you are interested in seeing what all of my hoopla was about come to

Soul Cycle
2 Coulter Ave
Ardmore, PA 19003

Oh and one more thing about the actual building.  It sits inside of the Ardmore shopping complex.  Parking is across the street and it’s free.  If you want to shower or clean yourself up like I did the facility is clean and very eye-catching.  You ever go to your girlfriend’s house and forget a few items? Soul Cycle is like being at your friend’s house.  In the shower area they had towels, face wash, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner in every shower area.  They also have recycled take home bags to put your wet soaked clothes in for a good wash when you get home.  I know there are plenty who get frazzled at showering at public places but trust me this was more like showering at a high-end hotel. I was more than pleasantly surprised with my germaphobic self.

Here is the link to their website: http://www.soul-cycle.com

You can select a class, and reserve a bicycle of your choice.

If and when you take one then let me know.  Until then Epsom salt, yogurt with granola, a wheel chair and some relaxation and down time are in my immediate future.

Dancerise or Die so I thought….

So I’ve really been on my journey not to just lose weight as I do NOT have a weight goal in mind. My goal is to look slimmer and be slimmer in my clothes.  I said that I would try some new things so I stepped my actual foot game up.  So I took a dancerise class with my friend Keisha.  Lakeisha is the director of LMD dance studio.  So to say that she’s already fit is an under statement.  She lost all of her pregnancy weight and then some and toned, chile she’s toned like no other.  So those pictures you see when others take such classes where they are all smiles and look like they did nothing-this wasn’t me at all.

She is my friend and after being called out on Facebook I decided to put excuses to the side and make it happen.  Keisha is also one of my daughter’s dance teachers as well. So I was feeling like how intense could it be?  Well, I found out the hard way that Mrs. Keisha plays no games.  She definitely earned every bit of her new body and if I going to earn mine I was going to have to work at it.  Now this class has her regulars but lucky for me I was the only one there.  I was super glad and in the back of my mind hoped she would go light.  Let’s just say she didn’t spare me not one bit.  By the end of the warm up I thought I had gotten my money’s worth and could go home.  She didn’t allow that.  After the warm up we did like a small dance routine.

I’m going to be honest.  There were several times throughout the 6 sets of dances that we did I had already mentally had my bag and water bottle and was on my way out the door. No lie.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  At one point I had to bow out keep moving, but she beckoned me back.  She really does have a way of talking to you to push but encourage you.  So with pain in my body, sweat pouring down, I tootsie rolled back over and finished the routine.  I really wanted to quit.  I’ve never felt that so intensely like I did during this class.  One even though I was by myself I thought I can’t do this.  I can’t just walk out.  I was pushed beyond my limits.  My everything was on fire by the time class was over.  I looked at Kesha and she looked like she had just walked around a bit.  No real sweat, no real dying look in her eye like mine. I then realized that her body was used to it and that even with defeat in my mind I finished and finished strong.  So I didn’t need to feel bad.  I got in my car and called my husband.  Thanked him for picking the kids up so I could go. Then I told him to pray my legs home.  I really wished I had used Uber.  It was that bad but in a good way.

So if you ever want to push yourself this is the time to do it.  I know that even though I wanted to quit I didn’t and that was all that mattered.  I was so upset for wanting to quit but nothing earned is going to be easy.  I thought about how I walk an hour a day and thinking of switching out some of the walks with some cardio.  I really need to be able to work out harder and better.  I plan on increasing more activity in my home as well.  So that means walks to and from the park and walks in our community with the kids too.  Might as well since they have twice the energy as I have.  I really got motivated even more than I already was.

If you are in the Philly area and need an intense work out that will be in an environment even for first timers, try Kesha’s dancercise class.  It is held every Thursday between 6:30-7:30pm.  Please bring a towel or yoga mat or something to lay on the floor.  Come ready to work out and bring a bottle of water as well.  The location is at Imhotep Institute Charter High School, 6201 N. 21st Street, Philadelphia PA 19138.  I hope to see you there, noodle legs or not I will be in attendance.  The cost is $10 and with 10 classes taken you will get the 11th one free.  So come on out, sweat, work out, attempt to quit but just know you are going to love every ache and pain.  It’s the start of a new you.  See you there!!