Don’t Dim your Light

We hear this often yet we still do it or allow others to do it. It’s easy to live under the radar than to let your light shine. As A PK (preacher’s kid) we would sing this little light of mine. Than I remember them changing the words to this big light of mine. It’s important to know that your light is big no matter what you do in life. You matter. While you are out here shinning your light, don’t dim them either.

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I was on social media like I am often. A woman who had lost weight from eating clean, working out, etc made a video because she was receiving backlash from showing her progress. I was like why in the world are you dimming your light? She literally showed each stage which meant if there was a “hater” all they had to do instead of complaining was get off their do nothing and make changes for their own health and get their own progress. We know social media isn’t for common sense.  I was taken back. There are folks that would get mad at a woman getting her life together and shedding pounds. Mind you it was after the birth of her second child. Every woman knows how hard it is to lose “baby weight.” That however didn’t stop women especially from tearing her down.

So that bring me to life off the gram or off social media. How often do you quietly work in silence but when it comes to showing that progress we hide? I often have done it by layering up if it’s from clothes to layering and hiding behind modesty. There is a time and a place for all of it. Living unapologetically is the way and anything less is dimming. You can be great and sometimes its okay to let folks a glimpse into your happiness. There is nothing anyone can do to stop real joy. So don’t cover it up just because the ones who haven’t realized the investment into their own happiness. Don’t dim it just because a few folks will get mad at your progress. Don’t dim it just because the ones “still talking” but ain’t doing will get jealous. Let me do it all. Shine your light.

Someone needs to see you walking with your bright light. It gives courage to those who need to make change. It gives courage to those too scared and afraid to take that first step. For the few that will look down at you, there are 10 that will be encouraged. Don’t dim your light! Shine!

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Monday Motivation: National Weigh In Day

Good Monday morning to you. How are you working through your first week of the New Year? I am hoping your motivation is still going strong. I hope to use this platform to encourage you to live your best life. With that in mind, let’s talk about National Weigh In day and how that can be a great motivation for this fine Monday.

For one Weigh In day is about checking in on your weight. Although you can be any size that you want to be, we all know that a healthy lifestyle filled with balance is important. Skinny doesn’t always equate to health. Skinny folks can be super unhealthy. How you manage your weight will have an adverse affect on the quality of life that you lead. I know some folks that their weight prevents them from enjoying life. They can barely walk without catching their breath, can’t go to amusement parks, have a slew of health related illnesses that could be better managed or even eliminated. With that in mind, there has to be a way to be able to step it up.

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I have shared many times before about after the birth of my youngest who by the way will be 5 in a month, I struggled up and down with my weight. There is no such thing as baby weight once the baby is no longer a baby. We love to say that because its true having kids takes your body through it. It takes more than 9 months to restore your body back to pre-pregnancy weight. Beyond weight being an issue for me I found my body not responding to things the way I needed to. I was miserable. I wanted to wear my clothes better and everything was “when I lose weight, I would.” However many years later I still had this baby weight that was being compacted by depressive moods and unhealthy eating habits. I went to work and at  a health fair and almost busted out crying after realizing I was over 200 pounds. Regardless of BMI, I knew I wasn’t healthy. So after that devastating blow, I got into action. I changed my eating habits and on my own lost 20 pounds.  I decided I needed more support so I joined Weight Watchers and lost more weight until overall I had lost almost 60 pounds.

It felt great to see my feet. It felt great to be able to see my body change over time. It wasn’t a quick fix. It dropped it  over time and that is how I have been able to maintain it. I still do weekly weigh ins on myself. I still watch how I eat and the reasons behind it. I have had a few stressors happen in life and anyone who eats for emotional reasons know that you have to be vigilant about your emotional and mental health in order to forego eating for the wrong reasons which is usually the number one reason behind gain weight. Food doesn’t solve your problems. Food isn’t going to help you if eaten wrong.  It will make things in your body go left real quick. The freedom that I feel now that I have a healthy relationship would food is amazing.

How can this motivate your Monday?  Attack your weight head on. As devastating as it to see that number, get on the scale and find out where you are. Once you know the number, what is your plan? Do you need help? Can you change how you eat? The answer is yes you can. Meet with your doctors and get a physical. I did that right off the bat. Knowing my numbers and what I needed to do was great. My doctor supported me through my whole process. I was able to be honest and open with her and myself. That honesty helped me to get my life in check.

Beyond the Scale

What I learned in Weight Watchers is off scale victories. Sometimes that came in with how my clothes felt on me even if I got on the scale and didn’t see a big decline in my weekly numbers. I learned that my new bad wasn’t as bad as my worst. So when I found certain weeks eating more than one treat I didn’t beat myself up. Also getting my emotional and mental health in order actually helped me a lot further than counting points for chicken and any other food I ate. Eliminating things in my life that triggered me was key. Eliminating bad snacks from my sight and packing my food for my full day to prevent me from letting the fast food demon take over, was key.

Also what weight is on your heart? I attended counseling, a lot of it, over the past 2 years. I needed help to see people in a different light. I needed time to really get over some pain and hurt that I wasn’t doing a good job getting past. Anytime you find yourself snapping out, speaking out of a disrespectful tone, etc. its time to face the music. I did that and together I would say over the weight of a scale, I was able to conquer me.

What do you want to under control? What areas are you overweight in? Work? Relationships? Stress? Work on those areas. Work on yourself. Work on what you need to be successful!

Happy Monday! It hurts to be honest with yourself about the things that are weighing you down in all aspects of life, but its necessary to deal with and put a real life mirror up to the areas that you hide behind. Work though them and know it’s not an overnight process.  It’s going to take some time but you got to take your life back! You got this!

PS. I know going to the gym is scary but so is that number climbing up each week. If the gym gives you anxiety do work outs at home. There are cds or even YouTube that can assist you but you have to be vigilant to get them done. When you get home, don’t sit down. Get right into your gym clothes and do it before the “I’m too tired” to work out excuse takes over.  Dedicate and stick to a schedule and do not take NO for an answer!

Moments of Frustration Day

Today is Moments of Frustration Day. We all have gotten frustrated or upset over something. The key is to not allow this temporary moment allow you to make permanent decisions. This means in your frustration where you are more inclined to speak out of turn, practice the art of dealing with your issues before you spew things onto others. The fallout could be more than you wanted to take on.

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Let me give you an example, a husband and wife have situation where life throws a curveball.  They are upset and frustrated. Instead of being mad and finding a solution or taking a temporary step back, they say things to one another that damage each other. They do this so often that one or both may think it was no big deal. Little do they know that one of them has reached their breaking point. So now they aren’t interesting in reconciling as if nothing happened. They aren’t willing to move past the words this time and now their marriage is in a long-term mess. Our words have life and death attached to them.

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Moment of frustration can happen over anything. It doesn’t have to be a person. It could a circumstance as well. Do not allow yourself to take that leap into negativity where you find yourself unable to get out. I know life is hard. I have had too many times when things have happened where some of the issues were out of my control and some  were a direct correlation of what I had put out into the universe. End of day, how you respond to it matters. You can’t always make an excuse and hope for forgiveness when you speak out of context or out of character. You may not always get that back in return. You can attempt to take a mental time out. This may mean walking away and addressing something later on when you have had time to cool down. This is necessary at times. Remember when you were a kid for those who had time outs?  Those were times to teach you to cool off and think about the situation at hand. Adults need them too. You need to keep your cool and not do something that can cause mental, emotional, or physical harm to themselves or others around you. Think in the moments of frustration if you would be okay after you have calmed down with the outcome of your decision.  If no, then stop! Don’t keep talking. Don’t keep pushing. Don’t keep the same response that will dig you further and further into potential trouble.

If you find that in moments of frustration you have crossed the line, ask for forgiveness. Find ways to eliminate the crossing of the line to begin with. For instance if something is being said or done that is triggering me, I am more prone to ask for a few minutes. I am an arguer by nature. However some arguments and hitting below the belt I find is not worth the pain and the apologies later. So I work on what I need in those active moments.  I hope you can do the same.

 

Counseling Days

I know I am going to say a few things that may come off of a few folks.  Whenever it rains it makes me pull out my journals.  I have been in counseling on and off for a few years. So when rainy days it takes me back to that moment. I believe in counseling by licensed counselor.  I am not all for folks running to everyone with their issues.  The reason is everyone don’t have the license and mindset to rightly divide where a person is.  So it’s not that you can’t run to a friend, or a pastor but you just got to be careful.  I do love licensed pastors because they can be a jewel to the community having the spiritual understanding with the licenses can be super helpful. So for some they get so upset the second you say don’t run to the pastors. I didn’t say don’t I said be careful. It could be from my level of hurt that I am openly saying I am still working through since my old pastor tried it.  I will say is some folks will talk to you and then have their message be your life on Sunday. Some folks like to do that prayer list conversation and reality your life becomes the tea of the week.  So be careful. People are messy individuals in real life no matter what their title!

In counseling I noticed that my days that I would go in was on rainy days.  It wasn’t that many sunny days. It really could just be that during those times I noticed the rainy days because of the down place that made me go there in the first place.  I can admit that made a lot of sense.  However today’s rain made me pull a few lessons for my current life. Not that life has totally went left, but emotionally I really want to respond to those around me in the proper way even when my petty, smart assed mouth yes I said smart assed mouth is ever-present.  I really struggle with balanced my life in those regards.  I really am sweet but if pushed or provoked or I just want to let loose, I can and will and I know deep down in my heart, that life will not bring me any good down the line.  So I dusted off a few techniques so I could find the place where I needed to be.

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I was asked  in my Facebook message what reasons have I gone to counseling a few weeks ago and I acted like I hadn’t seen the message, but I seen it. I have gone initially for postpartum.  So a few years ago after the birth of my son, moving from one city to another and being a stay at home mom of 2 under 2 my life was under pressure and after almost calling the police at my fiancé at the time, I called me a counselor who saw me stat.  Ever since then I have gone for various things. If I feel triggered about something in my childhood, issues within myself, or issues with motherhood or being a wife, I stroll right down.  My last session was almost 2 years ago with a counselor in person.  I also have done some pick me up sessions with a mobile counselor meaning I call them and they say hey Toi, what’s going on how can I help.  I prefer in person counseling but it is hard to do with working full-time, and being a wife and a mother that the mobile counselor is what I rely on.  Now I don’t call every time something gets on my nerves. I only call if I feel like I am overwhelmed and reaching out to strategic friends and family who are not the cause in my head of the trigger doesn’t help, I will call my mobile therapist.  They are wonderful. Always warm, and if they are judging you it’s in their head and not out their mouths. They give you real life tips and they have been helpful to and for me.

Now growing up the general message was that you don’t share your business. I now know that is wrong information. You have to be strategic in who you share. If I am not comfortable and for me I choose male or female depending on what’s going on.  So shout out to my counselors because altogether they have been super bomb. Let me encourage a few of you who have never gone but are super on edge on if you should go.  Consider asking your insurance who to go to so it’s covered.  Watch your coins. Sometimes it ain’t free and you need to know that.  You can get services through your job at times.  Even them free 6 sessions can be the difference between bail money, suicide, a fight, or a mental meltdown.  Trust me-no shame at all.  If you know of someone in your inner circle who is getting counseling unless they tell you to give that information out to others its imperative to shut your mouth and let people be great.  I had that happen the first year that I went and someone super close to me told others how I was in counseling and taking meds at a time where I wouldn’t have shared the information with anyone.  I hadn’t even told my momma and two its super personal and set me to trigger even more. But counseling is necessary for those who need it. I honestly think that everyone can benefit going at least once.  Even the super happy folks have things inside of them that need worked out.

Benefits of Therapy

  • Having a 3rd party call you out without having a personal relationship
  • Healing whether mental or emotional healing
  • Consistent sessions give you something positive to look forward

Pitfalls of Therapy

  • Opens other wounds as you process
  • Emotionally down for about an hour after session and having to recover
  • If not taken serious or stopping too soon can make things work, so commit

The pitfalls aren’t anything that is super detrimental but needed to be said.  You may go to counseling and think you will leave skipping and jumping and that may not be the case. I have left therapy mad more times before because of the assignments given after you leave make you think.  That is what the counseling is supposed to do.  So be aware that its work.  It’s not a great high time like the movies show you.

The other day I wrote about national family day and then this week I felt like just unblocking folks, and walking in full healing I just wanted to be sure that it was for the right reason. I called my counselor and letting him/her know about it.  She was so happy about it but the reality is I have been walking in but these last steps of speaking openly about my family was super good for me even if no one else felt what I was trying to say. Not to say that no one does because I love reading your comments as well as your emails about some of the issues you may have had in your own family.  That made me feel good knowing that I wasn’t the only one who had to be tried in that area.  Also today the rain allowed me to write.  It allowed me to share with my therapist about a few things that transpired and helped me to find ways to be a help to those around me and not give into things I know will trigger me.  Also I find that a lot of techniques I end up practicing on those around me even if they don’t know I am.  But the results is the only thing I am looking for. I am looking to be the right that I want or need in my life.  I really don’t want to be a hinderance to myself and especially the ones I live with. If I am walking around mad, pissed off, yelling, testy, what will that do for anyone?  No!  So although I am not perfect I am very grateful for balance and attempting to balance me in all areas.  I am really not working towards perfection.  That perfect life for me just doesn’t exist.  However if I can balance things better than that works for me.

Shout out to all of you who like me are a work in progress and rely on therapy or ever had it to make you whole!

Better Breakfast Month

There are so many holidays in the month of September. I do think it’s a good idea that they whomever makes these days made better breakfast to be in September. It’s a good idea because it correlates to kids going back to school!

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We no that in the United States unfortunately some kids struggle with meals. This really ought not be but it is a reality for some. Breakfast is super important. As an adult it’s hard for me to concentrate when I’m hangry. (Angry + hungry) how much more for our children? I know some folks really can’t eat breakfast. I am not one of those people. I would encourage the non breakfast eaters to at least eat fruit.

Eating better starts with choices. Having a variety of choices comes down to being prepared. Instead of sugary foods invest in whole grain options. I would suggest prepping it ahead of time. Time is the biggest issue with breakfast.  Not having enough because the stress in the morning and trying to be on time sometimes clashes. I get that!It’s easier to grab on the go.  The same breakfast sandwiches you can purchase at a fast food place can be made at home. Invest in fruit. Invest in cereals with less sugar and be creative. You can have fresh fruit in your oatmeal or cereal as an alternative.Make the time to prepare things at night meaning packing bags can help cut down on time.  If you have lunch and breakfast prepared you can be more in charge with what you place in your body.  Often times we shove food into our body and grab food from vending machines because of not being prepared.  If you have a family if you mirror the change you want to see it makes it easier for others around you to align.  Not all food that is grab worthy is bad.  You can grab yogurt and eat that with some granola and fruit and have that be better than a sugary donut a diet soda.

Even if you say come on “I can’t do that,” commit to a few days a week of making healthier choices. Once you see how much better you feel it may be an easier to make that change stick!  The benefits of eating a better breakfast:

  • Better Concentration
  • Aids in weight los
  • Helps in portion control for the day
  • Better productive day

Can you step your game durng breakfast?  Give it a try!

I Will Now….

I have unfortunately been around a lot of people who have had life changing occurrences in their lives. It could be that they are sick, they were at the brink of death, or sadly have lost their life.  The one thing that resonates with all of them that NOW is the time to live.  They want to live their best life because their life is in a balance.  The time to live is everyday you wake up.

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No life isn’t perfect.  It’s not supposed to be but if you have a bucket list, don’t wait until your moments away from kicking the bucket to live. Live on purpose now.  What are you waiting for?  If there is a trip you want to take, start actively saving. How much will it cost?  Research all aspects of the trip.  What can you cut to get you there?  Is it a few Starbucks trips, or maybe it’s spending less on others.  Whatever it is, be active towards those goals.  Wake up every day with purpose.  Wake up with direction and desire to be better than the day before. Today is the best motivation you can get, start now to do what you need for you.

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You have life.  You are here for a purpose.  Don’t sit idle waiting for greatness to drop out of a sky, take control and crush your goal list!

 

 

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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