Painting with a Twist; Anxiety Buster! 

So tonight I pushed past my anxiety. Yes I deal with social anxiety at times and it’s annoying but it’s apart of my life for right now. I never went through this in college weird enough but a lot of that had to do with being a freshman and trying to do it all. You know that wild college student that would be on a table that was me.


Fast forward to after college Toi and now at times I find that meeting up with others is a chore. The kind of chore where I back out quickly and because I have kids sometimes it’s real and other times my kids are my get out of jail free card. My husband is the polar opposite. He’s always been super outgoing and still is. It’s crazy when we go to places. It seems that he’s more inclined to be in the front and I’m content with disappearing. So although I am not the wild child that I once was when I was trying to find myself in college, I’m still just as easy-going as I remember and I am finding that instead of allowing my anxiety to get the best of me, I’m pushing past it and getting out. Maybe not the type of college crazy but the essence of who I am is still there.


A bigger issue with getting out was adjusting to motherhood. My first daughter was a preemie and with asthma too. There were more hospital trips than anything. I kept to myself because no one seemed to understand how I balanced working full-time, being at the hospital all night and with literally no sleep pushing through. I learned how to keep my circle tight. Moving to Philadelphia like I’ve blogged about many times was overwhelming. I relied on my husband for everything. I didn’t even drive for the first months even though I had my own car.


Fast forward to my life now I’m pushing through. Losing weight, being a good mom, working full-time, blogging, and meeting new friends. Slowly but surely I’m getting out and enjoying life. Tonight I had the opportunity to meet up at Painting with a Twist with Mocha Moms. Mocha Moms is an organization that is a support for women of color who are mostly stay at home moms. Now you know that I work full-time and there are other moms who work as well. When I first moved to Philadelphia I wanted to join. I was a stay at home mom then but my anxiety kept me from being apart. Tonight I crushed that fear that I had almost 5 years ago.



Tonight’s meet and great while painting and sipping of course was everything. These women are like-minded, warm and I was myself from the beginning and didn’t feel the need to put on airs.  I’ve been in group situations and you find yourself in the back and connect with maybe one another person, but not this group of women.  Plus who can’t have a good time painting and sipping on wine?!

I am truly grateful for not backing out tonight. I’m super happy to have met these great women. As I drove him thinking of the night, a huge smile came on my face. I turned on my adult music, maybe I could let pre mom Toi out every now and again!! Just maybe!! Oh and who won a gift certificate for the next visit to Painting with a Twist?! Oh yeah!!

img_4787

 

How To Jump Start Your Workouts

The best way to jump-start is to start.  Yes seems simple but can be super hard.  The biggest reason it’s so hard to do is your mind guilt trips you. So you play the start tomorrow game.  Tomorrow comes and you start the next day.  A week has passed and then before you know it a month, and then a year….You are still at the same weight or worse you are at the same weight.  So don’t start later, start now.

So if you are contemplating if you should start today, that answer is wrong its called start now.  You can really do a number on your psyche by literally listing everything wrong you ate.  Even if its 7pm you still have time to make better decisions.  Own your guilt.  Know you made a bad choice in what you consumed and literally make the very next decision better.  So instead of harping on the Snickers you ate, the next thing you consume could be a piece of fruit and some water.  It’s really that simple.  Don’t go and eat that donut after the Snickers and then say oh well what’s done is done.  You are in control of what you eat.  Trust me you want to master this now, before the holidays come in and by New Years you will be defeated making another New Years Resolution that you can be attacking now before 2018 even hits.

Here are a few tips in getting started right away:

  1. Own your food-write it down.  You can use a notebook or an app but write it down.  The more you own it and can see what damages you are doing the better at fixing it.
  2. Change what you are consuming right away.  Replace, replace, replace.  If you really love something so bad you feel that you must have it, than replace it with a much healthier version.  For some it may be taking a king size to a bite size and truly sticking to the smaller size.  Or it could be finding healthier ingredients to achieve the same purpose.  I have a sweet tooth so to combat that especially with things like ice-cream I choose Halo Top and add fresh fruit instead of chocolate candies and syrups, and only scoop out enough for a cup.  The replacement is to calm the sweet tooth but not having to eat all of the small pint in one sitting. Also not eating out of the Halo Top container helps me control the portion.
  3. Switch up your workouts.  I used to only rely on cardio, and cardio is good but adding weights and resistance is good too.  Variety also is necessary to achieve any goal.  Your body will get used to the same ole thing and if you switch it up, it tricks the body into performing at its best.  This is why you see people talk about leg day vs arms.  It’s all in the switch up.
  4. Get good music.  Yes music is life.  After while even with the shuffle feature you have to be able to make multiple changes to your workout music to get in done.
  5. Wear tighter clothes when you work out even if you can’t wear tighter clothes in real life.  When I first started Weight Watchers they instructed or at least my coach told us to wear form-fitting or tighter clothes.  The reason, you see every lump and bump.  If that don’t motivate you, nothing will.  Wearing bigger clothes only makes you look that much more bigger.  You can’t hide under baggy clothes.  So for the first few weeks I looked horrible but I was out of the plus size clothes that were drowning me anyway.  After time of wearing the clothes got so big I almost lost my pants at work and had to make a make shift belt.  That gave me a boost that was unbelievable and I kept on going.
  6. Get an accountability partner.  Mine is my girl Kyla.  She is a beast when it comes to working out.  I hope to be like her when I grow up.  In all seriousness, she literally pushes me because as she posts her videos and we video chat each other it reinforces the idea that for me to push past an excuse.
  7. Get Consistent-make the choice to love yourself enough to do it.  It may seem small but do it.  You are important for you not to fit in clothes, not just to look better, but because the world needs less of you in a better way.  Every time I left my Weight Watchers meetings, my coach would say, see less of you next week.  It wasn’t encouraging us to not come, it was encouraging us to bring less of ourselves the next week.  The classes have ended but I still have another fitness coach that comes and weighs me weekly.  This accountability is crucial for me to maintain.
  8. Know you can build in cheat days.  This is good so you don’t diet.  I am not for full dieting.  I am for healthier lifestyle changes.  At this point I know how many points I am eating for most of my items but I also know that every now and again I got to eat a little something I enjoy but just in smaller portions.  I realized that some people will throw caution to the wind when they have cheat days.  You can have in moderation what you want.
  9. Start now-I will keep saying this but the time to start is now.  For me now it’s almost the end of my day, I have been eating the things I needed to but lets say I hadn’t.  At dinner I can control what I ate, start with that since that would be my next meal.  Not stop at McDonald’s on my way home, get fries and start tomorrow.  Just make a change now!
  10. Change what you have around you.  Eating healthy is expensive. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t.  I could get me a 4 for $4 and be in hamburger heaven at Wendy’s but to go to Fresh Grocer and spend 20 on fresh veggies, fruit, etc.  I am always having to buy more to get more out of what I eat.  However the benefits out weights my debit card swipes.  If I add up my Starbucks trips over the years I could have been in model shape by now.
  11. Cut the excuse.  I can say its easier for me to work out during my lunch time because my gym is attached to my job.  However when that wasn’t an option I could use YouTube or my kids as weights.  Yes, you have to be creative but if you want to look different from its time to get moving and make it count. So if that means waiting for your family to go down to get down and get that work out in, do it.  If that means getting up at the crack of dawn, get it done.  Especially for those making excuses before the Winter comes.  All this fresh Fall air and not one workout will be done and then Winter comes and it’s too cold.  You will always have an excuse if that’s all you accept from yourself.  It’s too cold, too hot, your too tired, you don’t have time, you need a partner, you can’t do some of the workouts, you are too big, can’t do big gyms, can’t do little gyms, how about accepting that the only word that is lost in translation is YOU.  You can be your biggest cheerleader or your biggest hinderance.  Choose wisely

 

SO today, right now, make a decision. It only takes one step towards bigger steps.  It takes some moving things around but you can do it.  The sad part is if you learned how to eat better even if you didn’t work out, you would lose the weight you wanted to.  I mean not just changing a few things in your diet, but literally controlling how much or what you put in your mouth would change your life. I mean that in all ways….. Change RIGHT NOW!!

Image result for diet guilt

Menopause Woes

As many of you know, I had a full hysterectomy.  With that surgery it sent my body into menopause.   For the most part it has been bearable.  It has been 4 months since the surgery and I feel like I am just getting my body back.

So let me take some time to answer some questions that some readers have asked me regarding menopause:

  1. How long did the pain take to manage-I would say surgery wise that took about 3 weeks to heal.  This is the initial pain that anyone who has had any uterus surgery goes through.  It took about an additional 5 weeks to be able to move about without the pain being agitated during the healing process.
  2. Hot Flashes, are they controlled-I have to say I think not.  I even with the hormone therapy replacement the flashes occur several times a week.  It is annoying since before surgery I was a really cold person.  The flashes can be overwhelming.  I find myself stripping clothes off as soon as I get home.  When I am at work, I immediately need my fan or I am in the bathroom with cold water compresses.  However I will take it over bleeding every month.
  3. Sex after the fact was extremely hard in the beginning.  I waited a little longer than I was cleared.  It was painful and different.  I think now I am doing a lot better and feel like my drive hasn’t changed from before surgery, but to say it was just so freely a great experience after surgery would be lie.  Some women experience pan, dryness, and lose their desire to even have sex altogether.  Every woman is different.  Do not compare yourself to how you are reacting to another woman.
  4. Swelly belly-this is when no matter what you do, your body has told you how much you are doing is too much.  You still at times look like a woman who has had a fresh baby.  It’s annoying to say the least.  I have come to terms that this is apart of the process.  On days where my belly is normal, I celebrate with a great outfit.
  5. Mood Swings-they do exist but in my case I feel like its less than when I had a bunch of unruly hormones guiding me.  I think the combination of self-care and the even dose of hormones through the hormone replacement therapy patch which gives me a low dose over time has helped.  I have been better off emotionally.

Do I regret the surgery?

Absolutely not.  I am 100% on board with my decision.  For one physically I feel so much better.  I do not have to be on guard about if a period is going to come or not. I do not have to carry unnecessary clothes in case of an accident.  The lack of bleeding every month has decreased my previous diagnosis of anemia.  I will get my final results by end of the month, but the test I had a few months ago was already looking great.  I had already had my tubes tied before surgery so having more kids wasn’t in the cards.  My husband supported that decision and to be honest it was the most selfish giving decision I could give myself.  Shout out to the women who have had or will have the surgery or go through menopause naturally and unfortunately can’t or won’t experience motherhood.  I do not take that gift of motherhood lightly.  I do however love the fact that my sister in love is about to give me my baby fix this upcoming Spring.

I did what was best for my body.  I do not regret it for a second even with the worst flash, or tiredness or even the feeling of being overwhelmed comes over me and sometimes at the same time, I find myself taking a deep breath and thanking God that I am on the path of healing.

To other menopausal women both young and old who may be reading this thinking how much of a negative experience you may be going through, or think I may be going through, remember that every woman experiences this change in different ways. I could have healed faster than another, doesn’t make me normal and you weird.  What works for me may not work for you.  I would say that if you are going through menopause I would applaud you to find out what self-care looks like for you both before, during and especially afterwards.  Self care will refocus your thoughts as your body changes.  It’s like going through the awkward teenage phase all over again.  For some the changes in body odor, lost of hair or increase of hair, change in libido, lack of a period, or feeling like your body is experiencing a death from lack of having children even if children was never on your radar are all real experiences. How you navigate through will depend on you.  Do not allow anyone to push what you should do.  Always trust yourself and talk to your doctors.

One last thing is that going through menopause has made me realize that I can’t take my body for granted.  This is why I try to be mindful of if I am doing the things that I need to keep my body at the best shape of my life.

Menopause is a phase of life that women go through regardless if it’s naturally or surgically induced know my fellow women I am with you and I understand.

Sunday Message: Get What You Need 

So it’s no secret that I don’t always make it to church. I would love to be there every week and do make an effort, but life happens and sometimes we miss the mark. Today I was able to get into the building. Today was the 100 year celebration of the church and school. It was a lot of people today.  Standing room only type of crowd.

What I noticed most was this woman to my left who inspite of what everyone else was doing was tapping in for what she needed. Growing up I was always taught that if you can’t hear from the preacher, then maybe the choir will move you. If the choir won’t move you then maybe a greeting or hug will. I’ve been that woman in church today where life is going on but with tears streaming down my face I needed something more.  I don’t pretend to know what that woman was praying, crying, or seeking for what I do know is I get it.

In the world of wants there will come a time where you will have a need.  We all have had those times. You are no longer worried about the things that don’t matter as your mind and heart is bogged down that you shift your thoughts to only what you need. While you are in this mindset, you could care less who’s talking and why, who don’t like you or agree with you-you just have a need. Life has a way of humbling everyone to this place.  Like that woman, you get quiet, and the issues of your heart start to overflow.

Learn to tap into what you need more often. We are taught to be not be selfish but you will have to learn to have selfish moments. This is why women and mothers struggle with the balance of giving and pulling back. The struggle of the word no is important. Doing more for others who need to do for themselves, being a support to someone when you need support, giving your last and never being able to receive in your time of need are all examples of times when we have to learn to not always give in but find what we actually need.

Today you need a nap-take it. Today you need a break-take it. You need a bill paid and no money in sight but you can shift some things around and be a better steward of your finances. You need companionship but you really need to find out who you are, what you need and that will guide what you want. 

Like that woman who tuned the service out; tune out negative vibes, negative folks, even negativity that you bring to the table and focus!! This is why self-care and self-love is super important. Practicing this daily helps for when life knocks you down. You’re better equipped to be able to tap into your needs. When you’re off balance you have to be reminded of what’s important than if you had actually only focusing on the necessary things in life. 

Weekly Recap: Friday October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th.  Cue in the scary movie noise! I do not, let me repeat like scary movies but I am going to a scary movie premiere tonight for an amazing artist with Basement Bartle Productions; You Die First so y’all just pray my strength in the Lord.  I am a PK (preachers kid) to the bone and just recently got the courage to go out on Halloween night.  I know it sounds crazy but any of my other PKs would totally understand.

So let’s recap this week!

Personal Goals

This week has been fulfilling and tiring to say the least but that’s how life hits when you’re having fun, right?  Right. So as you know and should have read I spent one amazing weekend in Miami with friends.  I had the time of my life.  Read about it if you haven’t done so already.  However what I forget to say is that I also sprained my ankle. My husband says it happened while standing on tables dancing. I say let’s go with that if it will make it more interesting.  My dancing on table days are beyond over, but I did have a great time.

Shout out to my little brother who celebrated an amazing 29th birthday.  Yes he is my little brother even at 29.  He’s still my little baby boo and I wish him an amazing year as he ends his last years in his 20s.  Oh to be young again!

I was able to catch up on my dental appointment which as always is A1.  Which brings me to a few questions for my readers-its almost the end of 2017 and if you haven’t had the following (where applicable) you need to get on it:

  1. Physical/Check up
  2. Dental Exam
  3. Eye Exam
  4. Obgyn/Gyncological Exam
  5. Urology Exam
  6. Mammogram
  7. Blood work up
  8. Nutritionist
  9. All follow-up exams/appointments

Do not make an excuse.  Your health issues or potential ones you don’t know about doesn’t go away just because you don’t go and see about it.  Your health is your wealth.  Healthy bodies and minds are necessary to navigate in this world.  Often our failure to attack things head on prolongs our ability to fix it or get an answer.  So be vigilant and get those in your home and you care about to do the same.  I have a calendar to keep my family on track.  Everyone in my home after this month will be up to date with everything to end the year healthy.  Also if you believe in them get a flu shot especially for the elderly, the young, and those with compromised immune systems.

Blog Goals

So we had a busy week. I love blogging, it’s never a chore to me or for me.  I get asked how do you blog as often as you do, take care of you and your family, work a full-time job and still find time to socialize?  It’s called balance and perspective and saying no when I can’t do anymore.

This week we covered a lot, my blogs overwhelmingly positive, what is support, my Miami girls trip, the Blackish episode on postpartum, sexting, and finally keeping it clean-and it’s not what you think.  Catch up ToiTime

Upcoming Events

I have another 5k coming up in November.  So the training doesn’t stop.  I had to wrap my ankle and be creative with working out but I look forward to getting back into the gym and now the track with some fellow runners starting this weekend.  Won’t he do it?! I have been feeling heavy sitting during my lunch period.  It’s weird how I never wanted to be a gym rat until I became one, but gym really is life.

I also will be full swing into my blogiversary prep.  Can you believe it?  3 years is coming November 1st and we celebrate all month-long.  So be on the look out. I want to do it bigger and better every year.

Just like in the last update its time to shift into holiday mood. I have so many blogs on what to do during the holidays that I will be doing a lot of reposting and focusing more fresh blogs on the mental and emotional aspect of how to survive the holidays.  Fall and Winter are the crucial times for depression I want to make sure you are covered with ways to handle that and the anxiety that comes along with all of that over what sweater to wear and what not to drink at the holiday party.

So stick around. Follow me on Facebook 

Follow me on Snapchat as ToiTimeblog

Follow me on Twitter

 

 

 

Support

Happy Monday to you.  I’ve been missing in action and I stated that I would be. I’ll give all of the updates from my trip later this week. However I am back and back in the blog flow. I wanted to talk about this Monday is about support.

Support is the act of being there for a person. Support is supposed to be unconditional. If you have the right people in your life that show love without question it is an amazing feeling. Everyone in their own way wants to feel supported. Keep in mind that support in numbers may be super small. Support isn’t about a number but about quality of the support received.  

For me support looks different now that I have changed my perspective of what I thought it was supposed to look like. It’s no surprise that when I moved from my family, I wanted support to mimic what I had left.  Now on the real the man power of people I had readily available was scarce however I had to get to the point of learning that I could accomplish anything on my own. I felt after I learned that lesson slowly but surely my support system shifted.

I am not interested in people who just want to be a spectator in my life. The world can do that from a safe distance.  However to give someone a front row seat in my life who didn’t earn it makes no sense. I had to learn that through break ups with people, getting hurt, and disputes. I had to get to the point of realizing those who support you don’t mimic that negative behavior. So now although my circle is super small it’s occupied by the right people who have been tried and true and that I give the same level of support in return.  I couldn’t be a bad friend and expect to get superior friendship in return. Also with family yes they are supposed to be there no matter what but that’s not always the case either. Sometimes you have to love family from a far as well. I feel too with family you can’t take people for granted.  Treat people well. I can say that I haven’t treated people well, in return have lost friendships and relationships with family. If you have ever found yourself in this situation the best way is to change. You may not get the relationships back but if you treat others right you can find others to replace what you lost. A lost isn’t truly a lost unless you don’t learn from the situation. 

So to the group of folks who feel like there isn’t anyone in your corner, don’t wallow in what you don’t have. Do for you and in time those who are supposed to be there will be. Be honest about your mistakes. Learn from them and focus on what you need to do. I honestly know that the way life is set up if you try to drink water, workout, get healthy, be kick assed in your relationships, find your passion, and try to be your best version of yourself you won’t have time to do the extra things that don’t produce greatness. Stop wasting your time and energy into the things that will not get you to your next level.  People are always talking about a glow up but won’t grow up and be their best selves. 

Support real people. Be there like you want those to support you. Admit where you fall short. Be okay with making amends for where amends need to be made. Drink water, eat right, raise good kids, be a blessing instead of a headache and you will continue to grow!  

Weekly Recap: October 5, 2017

So let’s recap what has been going on in the last week.  I want to send a special love and prayers to all of the victims and their families of the Las Vegas shooting.  I can’t begin to imagine what families are doing to wrap their minds and hearts around all of this.  This is being called the worst shooting massacre of all time.  That is crazy that in 2017 we have people having the ability to get ahold of that much high artillery and murder.  I am not anti guns I am for some type of reforms to change.

Personal Goals

I want to think every single reader who read my two blogs from the past weekend.  I raised good money for the Light the Night Foundation as well as had good time in my 5k race.  That in of itself is a blessing.  This time last year I was overweight and miserable in my own skin.  This year through hard work I am keeping my weight under control and running more races.  Thank you for all of the support. It’s important for me to be transparent throughout this whole transformation.  Losing the weight on the outside isn’t anything compared to losing the weight on the inside.

Shout out to my kids’ school for celebrating 100 years opened.  They go to a Catholic school and in Philadelphia where schools are closing left and right, that is a huge ordeal.  My kids enjoyed being on live television and the celebration will continue into this month.

Blog Goals

We are still pushing content even with a busy life.  Won’t he do it.  I am gearing up for next month’s blogiversary.  Trying to continue securing prizes, etc and deals for my followers.  If you haven’t already it would be in your best interest to be following me on my ToiTime Facebook Page

This is where a lot of my updates will be.  I will not be making each update via a blog.  Announcements and things to watch will be on the page and you don’t want to miss a thing.  We gave away a lot of prizes last year as well as had discounts on great products to help set your new year up.  I try to focus on every area, single, married, parent support, weight, and job searches so that we can be a better version of ourselves.  So click the link, and follow along.

If you missed any of this week’s blogs than you missed about the Light the Night walk, the Sweat with your Sole 5/10K, how to ace your job review, adult but not grown, emotional health, an Ask Toi about being too positive and lastly about being grateful.  So as always you need to catch up at ToiTime

Upcoming Events

I will be traveling this weekend and am making myself limited.  I have set up on my Facebook page some alerts and things to be mindful of ahead of time.  I will be away on a girls trip that as always I will blog about.  In the meantime make sure you enjoy your weekend and if you are off for the Columbus Day holiday, remember to set your goals for the week.  The hustle doesn’t stop on vacation.  It gets stronger so there are more vacations to be had.

I am also still very much working out and getting my life.  I have a race in November to prepare for again and remember my small goals one being Halloween costume fitting.  Halloween is at the end of the month so I will be ready to slay this year.  No more crazy looks from last year.

As the holidays began to roll in I will give my suggestions on how to stay sane.  Another issue with the holidays is being booed up or if you’re being cuffed during cuffing season.  It’s a thing. Let me remind my married folks on a side note, please stop acting as if you don’t remember the days when you were missing the embrace of a fine woman or man.  Married folks kill me at times with their amnesia.  People want to be in a relationship but haven’t found one they want to invest in.  Let’s not look down on them because of that.

 

With that in mind I am leaving this blog here for your memory on this #TBT:

Oldie but goodie
Have a great weekend and more blogs to follow next week and we will start out with a Sunday message.  I missed last week because the pain in my legs was messing with me to the point where recovery was my only option!