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!!

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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.

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 

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Ask Toi: Your blogs are overwhelming with too much positivity, are you like this daily?!

Yes and no. I am human. I have bad days and good days. I can be up emotionally up and ready to take on the world one minute and having to be put on the prayer list to get out of the bed the next. 

Positivity is overwhelming when you only focus on the low moment. I have so many goals that I’m working on that even in the busy days I get extremely overwhelmed myself. My husband is probably the only one who sees my lowest moments. They can be small to severe. He’s a trooper. We’ve been together and as a team he knows what to say to snap me back. I also push to be positive. The world has enough negativity that I try not to add more to it. 

I also have expressed that I’ve suffered from depression. I have been in my past on medication during post partum and I’ve gone to professional counseling. I was taught the tools to come out of a negative jam. Also honesty is the best policy. See the way my life is set up I don’t have time to wallow.  But I get how you would be overwhelmed. You are looking through the lens of your own life and try to measure. Don’t do that. We have different paths. You have no idea what things I’ve been through to get to where I am. Never compare what you think you see. I’ve learned this the hard way. You will be super disappointed if you do. 

This is why I blog. So you can change the lens and direct it from the inside out and not the other way around. Try writing what it is about your life that you don’t like. Put it on paper than write what your grateful for. Then make a plan for each thing that you are struggling with and then work your plan. In doing this alone you won’t have time to focus on others. People including me will be in your rearview mirrow instead of in front of your windshield. Change your perspective!!! 

It’s a good thing to be overwhelming positive if I could describe what my life was like years ago, it might scare you!! 

Emotional Wellness Month

There are so many things going on.  Look on the “What’s Coming Up” section on this site for all of the month observances.  With the shocking Las Vegas shooting that took place October 2, 2017 it is more important for us to develop some sense of emotional health.

Emotional health doesn’t always mean that your life is in order.  Most times it may be the exact opposite.  However in order to have your wits about you, you have to take time to get your emotions in check in order to proceed with your goals.  So how does one get their emotional wellness in order?  Here are a few ideas on how to maintain good emotional health:

  1. Know what your triggers are.  Triggers are things that automatically send you into a tail spin.  These triggers can come from loved ones, yourself, or strangers.  They are words that are said, vibes that are given, and actions that take place that make gets you all kinds of upset or off your game.  Know them and try your hardest to avoid them.
  2. Watch your company.  Sometimes its in our company that we end up finding ourselves in the worst situations.  Not everyone means you well.  Once you realize this it will not always be easy but it will be necessary to make sure that you weed out those who no longer serve the bigger picture in making sure you are healthy from the inside out.
  3. Watch how you talk?  Did you know that you can speak things into your life without even knowing it?  It’s true there is power in your tongue so be careful how you speak to yourself, you are listening. This morning I had the cutest outfit but because swelly belly came out today I was thinking oh no I look ugly, fat, etc I had to change how I felt and speak the correct words.  I do not need all of that negativity to follow me throughout the day.
  4. Say no-this is powerful.  The two letters in NO can make people back off and up.  If you are asked to do something that you will complain about later, than don’t do it.  It’s like someone asked you for a ride but you don’t want to.  You give them the ride in the thought of being nice, but others around you has to hear about how you didn’t want to, how they didn’t give gas, etc.  Saying no will not harm you or them. They will find another way.  You do not need to be the one who does everything for everyone.
  5. Take a time out-I say this with every self-care, self-love piece that I write but its true.  You need a time out to regroup and gather your thoughts.  There is something that will enlighten you when you learn to take some time to yourself.  This doesn’t mean it will be an entire day but if you can take it.  Sometimes it may be a few moments.  It reminds me of the times I have to lock my bathroom door to prevent my kids from just walking in.  Sometimes I am in there having a snack I don’t want to share, saying a do not kill prayer, or just reading a magazine without interruption.  Take a break.
  6. Turn off electronics.  I love my phone and laptop, but there are times I have to say no and not even engage.  The way social media works, it can bombard you at a moment’s notice.  A social media tune out is necessary to connect with others or those around you.

Your emotional health is just as important as your mental and physical health.  Having hurt and pain follow you and yet you are doing nothing about it makes no sense.  Tap out so you can tap in.  Go see a psychiatrist if you need it.  Go speak to an unbiased 3rd party if you need it.  Deal with past hurt and pain so you and the people in your present and future won’t have to deal with what you won’t heal.  Confront some things.  Sometimes we think things are no big deal but I know for experience, bottled pain is the worst pain.

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I had a friend recently share about her failing marriage and the concept of loving safely.  People think that because your life from the outside looks perfect and you have things that you are in a lovingly safe environment. That could be furthest from the truth. Many hide from emotional abuse and do not speak up for themselves.  God forbid if you are being financially abused on top of that and this is why so many stay in situations because they see no way out.  Please make sure that you are loving safely.  Loving safely no matter who you are with, or what your life looks like.  Deal to heal.

I Need My Legs Back; Black Girls Run

So today was the day. I completed a 5k with the Black Girls Run organization. So what is Black Girls Run anyway?

Well it’s an organization that was founded in 2009 by Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks-Rocha. The premise is to encourage African-American woman to live a healthy lifestyle. They wanted to be able to combat obesity that plagues the African-American community most.  It is open for all but it definitely encourages African-American women to make health and fitness a priority. There are many chapters all over and membership is free. To find out more about Black Girls Run click on the link and get active. 


This weekend was their Sweat with your Sole conference and 5/10k race and brunch. This also included New York best seller author, Luvvie Ajayi as the keynote speaker. Women from all over came together in the pursuit of fellowship, fitness and fun. 


So Black Girls Run is an organization that made sense to me. I have to admit before finding them by chance on Twitter, I had no idea that they existed. I of course am on a challenge to get healthy and I am finding I gravitate towards those who share in that same interest. Let’s be real for a second, outside of when I was in track and field since junior high school, I haven’t found a group of runners to connect with. It’s not shade it’s fact. Running is and has always been my heart. It was how I stayed slim and trim in college. My freshman dormitory was behind the gym and I found myself there often. When I graduated college I would run here and there but then dropped off the running map as I had my oldest daughter. Like I’ve said before my youngest is 3 what I had on my body was beyond baby weight. It was laziness, lack of commitment, and over eating.


One day a few months ago I was talking to my husband about how I needed to branch out and socialize more. However with that I didn’t just want to have any old friendships. I found a way to fuse both. Keeping me accountable in my everyday life and stepping out of my comfort zone. If you have been following me you know that I’ve been pushing myself out of the I can’t mentality. It hasn’t been easy but its definitely worth it.

For the last two months on my own I have been training for this 5k. This means pushing myself to the gym to do cardio and weights. This mean denying over indulgence of any one thing. Working hard and seeing what my body can do. I am happy to admit that it showed me that I can finish in 39 minutes and 17 seconds!! Won’t he do it?! Now let me just say I had no time goal. To be honest I only had a finish mentality and don’t embarrass myself or my family.


Last night I did a cancer walk that was in Lancaster Pennsylvania. I then got up at 4am and traveled back to Philly to complete this race. Shout out to my parents who made sure I was up and ready to hit the road. Some asked me why? One it’s about making a commitment. It was about not making an excuse once I saw that the two events were close together. It was also about not letting any form of anxiety have me back out. So I did both events back to back. 

Was I scared to race? No. Nervous yes but not scared. When I ran out and cleared the first half of the race I was feeling good. However to finish it seemed as if the finish line was so far away that I wouldn’t make it. I kept going. My legs felt like spaghetti noodles.  However as I finished I wanted to shout. I wanted to Tootsie Roll if my legs would have cooperated. But I was proud as hell.  They played Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow at the beginning of the race and by chance my own playlist played it again as I ended.  No better feeling in the world.  



It didn’t matter that my legs feel like mush. It mattered to me that I set a goal and achieved it. It mattered that my kids were able to know that when I say I’m going to do something that I follow through.  As a mom I am able to keep myself up and show them how to keep health as a priority.  I definitely plan to be active with the Philadelphia chapter. I plan to keep this going. I do have another 5k in November. So I will continue to train and in the end I’ll keep myself lifetime fine in the process. Sounds like a win to me!!

Ear Muffs

I respond to things that I am passionate about.  The things that affect my here and now or my and my kids future.  I respond to the petty things of the world sometimes and have to remind myself constantly to use ear muffs.  No my ears aren’t cold but they need to be shielded.  Sometimes we yell ear muffs to our kids and they know that means cup them ears mommy or daddy needs to express adult content.

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For adults the same technique sometimes needs to be used.  You are in control of what you entertain.  You are in control of what you allow to get into your spirit.  You’re an adult.  You have the ability to end the things that no longer serve you.  You have the ability to say no to images, sounds, and social media that do not line up with preserving you.  You have a right not to argue and debate a fool who will not listen to anything you or anyone else has to say.  You can be pulled in but as an adult you control the stops in your life.  You have to be willing to look wrong sometimes.  You have to be willing to look off when someone wants to engage you and you know it will lead no where.

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Even on social media. I told you about the time I allowed myself to be pulled into a debate.  Even though I felt I was being targeted or the person was saying things about my kids for one, I still had a right to end it early and deal with that person face to face. So you have the same power.  You have to evoke ear muffs to shield the very things that will cause you to be upset.  Anything that takes space in your mind that has you thinking of it for more than an hour that isn’t something centered around making you better, putting food on your table, getting you that much closer to your destiny-cut it off.  Disengage on social media, stop hanging around the family and friends who do not mean you well, stop arguing with your mate and getting no where, find another job so every day you aren’t crying in the parking lot or miserable at your place of employment. Control the parts of your life that you can.  Trust me I have been in that place before.  It tears your spirit down.  Activate your ear muffs so you can hear what you need to do, where you need to be, and how you are going to get there.  You don’t have time to entertain things that don’t build you.