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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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!!

Grab a Bag

So yesterday I didn’t get a chance to blog. Okay, so I just didn’t.  Mainly because I was having a bad day and secondly after having a bad day I just wanted to go to sleep.  So let me tell you how this day had me about to grab my gym bag and no not to hit the gym but to swing.

Anyone who has ever been in a fight, when a girl grabs her bag that means she’s about to suit up to do some damage.  That was how I felt because I was all in my feelings.  All week I was super excited to see my doctor for my appointment. I was ready to see all the positive from a year ago.  Now it was positive until we got on the topic of my belly and this past surgery.  I guess because losing the weight isn’t an issue the issue is more the swelly belly.  I love when I wake up and I am all the way on.  Belly looking flat flat and my body looking good in my clothes.  UNTIL, the day I wake up and look like I was carrying a secret love child and then I am not feeling it.  Well during my appointment I was seen by a male student who I tried to explain how I felt and he gave me the most distant stare.  I was looking like really, engage, care, offer tips, do something but NOPE! He just stared at me like I had 3 breasts.

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Let’s back it up to earlier in the day I had to professionally tell someone off.  I consider myself to be queen of the go off but in certain arenas you have to behave accordingly. Well I did that until the other person went left and I had to bring them back to reality.  So I was still fuming from that interaction, the student doctor was blind and not getting it, and the night before I had gotten into an argument with my husband over trash.  Yes over a trash can-lawd save all the trash cans lids in our community Jesus! So at this point I am at take my earrings off mood.  So I did what any responsible adult would do, I just took a deep breath rolled my eyes at the student doctor, and waited for my doctor to come in.  As soon as she saw me she said what’s wrong.  I put my husband on hold, put the student doctor on hold, put the day on hold, and told her how I felt about all of this process since the surgery. I don’t think I had verbally talked about it until yesterday.  Yes I blogged about it and mostly on the physical stuff but now its been 3 months and a little over 2 on these hormone replacement therapy patches and I needed to let it out.  This was my chance.  This was the time.

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I told her the truth. I felt emotionally fine.  I didn’t feel like I had gotten out of control these days.  However there are some days when I will get a rash, or itch so bad that I want to peel my own skin off.  The swelly belly and having to be super extra careful of what I consume is a lot. I feel like there is an inward pressure from myself to get my belly back down and hope it stays down.  This is an ongoing battle that NO ONE told me about when I talked about the surgery.  She smiled and gave me a hug.  She explained about the belly swells is my body’s way of saying cut back.  Not just on what I eat, but what I am doing.  Cut back.  She said that I have artificial hormones that is making me feel emotional even though I think I am fine.  The belly is not permanent.  The weight is not an issue.  She let me know that I am still healing.  In my head, I should be over this by now.  However sadly I am not.  She also let me know that the hormones is the culprit for the belly and that is normal to go up and down for about a year.  A year I really was hoping that was a myth that I heard about before.  But nope its like having a baby they say come back to work in 6-8 weeks but it can take up to a year to get your life back under control.

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So the student said he didn’t see that it was troubling me. He based that on the fact that the scale showed the great weight loss from the year before.  I talked to him about different cues he can take even from a difficult patient like I had been.  I told him scale victories are awesome but I am also looking for off scale victories too.  I met with my grumpy intruder that I had to set straight and they apologized to me.  Reality is they were dumping their issues on me like I was attempting to do in the doctor’s office.  The difference between me and the doctor is that the doctor’s office was a safe place and on me that could get you a two piece and a biscuit and I ain’t talking food.

I had to go home, not pick up the kids and get myself together. I went into full busy mode and finally I was able to relax.  I was able to get it together. I’m still going to continue to do all the things I have been doing.  But I guess I will have to be a little less strict on myself and let myself heal through the belly swell, and eventually all things will come into place.  So if you see me in the streets and my belly is a little big just smile don’t worry the next time you see me it may or may have decided to do its thing.  Who knows!

Fall Workout/Weight Goals

So Fall is going to be here in a few days.  Yes. So I can stop hearing all of those complaining folks talking about relax.  Nope now you can go and relax.  Let people live. Let the Fall lovers have their time I don’t want to have to Kanye anyone over my favorite holiday but I will.  I digress. Anyway with the Fall fast approaching I have made some new Fall work out/weight loss goals that I believe will help others too.  Fall is the beginning of cuffing season as well as it’s the comfort food season. People will start making pies, cookies, mac and cheese, and before you know it 10 pounds have snuck up on you.  To combat the heavier weight problems I have made up my personal goals that takes the edge off of everything.

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I am breaking all of the Fall holidays into smaller goals.  My overall goal is to maintain the weight I am in and by New Years not have to make a lose weight goal. Yes that means being at my goal weight and keeping it off.  That in itself is a full-time goal.  However if I look at the whole goal it may be too intimidating so here is how I am breaking up my goals.

September Goal

I have a walk and a 5K at the end of the month.  So all month-long, I have been working out.  I started out 3 days a week but as the month quickly ends I have been hitting the gym EVERYDAY.  This means when I am sick, when the weather is gloomy, nothing is stopping me from the workout.  This has helped as I have noticed how much stronger I have gotten.  This will help me on the run as I do not want to be the last one running.  I want to be able to come out of that race with pride.  I also have a girls trip the first weekend in October.  Because of the closeness of the dates I will be good to go as I know I will indulge in some food that weekend too.  My hope is we do a lot of walking.  If not I will have to do like I do at home on the weekends and work out with the things that are around us.  No I could care less if it’s just one weekend. I worked out just fine when I went to Chicago for my birthday so this girls trip will be no different.  I woke up when others was sleep and did what I had to do.

The only issue I am facing is that with my hysterectomy surgery I find the swelly belly thing to be irritating.  It happens that when you do too much your belly swells.  I can wake up with a flat belly and by end of day or if I work out too much which I do everyday now I look 2 months pregnant. It’s annoying but I will work right through it until I heal fully and that stops.

October Goal

This goal is to look good in my Halloween costume.  Now please note yes I have already ordered it, have it and it fits. That isn’t the issue. It is making sure I look great in it.  Last year I was a girl Mario Brother.  It was cute but wearing it in the plus size section had me feeling super upset.  I looked like I was squeezed into it at that.  OMG.  Not this year.  I am going to be looking sleek and refined in my costume.  I ordered and have a medium and that in itself coming from a size 14 to a 8 is a blessing.  I will share my photos when Halloween comes.  I am not knocking plus size women, however I know for a fact that is not the size I was supposed to be.  Last year I was being lazy, and eating just to eat.  I wasn’t working out like I should have and the result was easily seen.  So this year I will be stepping out and looking like I should.

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November Goal

Thanksgiving is on the rise. I have already put in my holiday orders with my baker. Seriously I have.  I will be baking things on my own but there is something nice when you can take the edge off and pay someone else and get good stuff to share at the holiday luncheons and dinners.  That isn’t even adding all of the great holiday and winter drinks that I have recipes for, others make, and are going to be advertised….So now that my bakery orders are all in order I want to be able to not look like the turkey this year.  Have you ever looked at holiday pictures and been like Lawd, why didn’t someone tell me I looked like that?  I have and that will not be me this year.  I will look cute and ready to eat and not like I ate already and need to be pushing the vegetable truck this year.  I seriously love the way clothes fit on me now.  I have been able to remove the big clothes out of my closet and I have gotten a few cute pieces.  Once you get a dose of confidence after seeing your hard work, its hard to think about going backwards.

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These 3 goals will keep me until Christmas.  This Christmas I want to wear a cute Christmas pajama.  Christmas pajamas is always a serious thing.  Actually all of the holiday pajamas is a serious thing. I already ordered the kids Halloween pajamas and have them hanging in their closet.  I am not one for last-minute anything.  With that in mind the whole family always wears cute pajamas I just always snap the kids only.  Not this year I will be in the pictures with my cookies in tow.  I do not plan to stop eating my favorites. I plan on eating them in moderation.  A little, not the whole thing of anything. I have been really good with portion control and during the Fall when it gets colder I plan on keeping it hot in what I do and how I look this Fall.

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So your goals may not mimic mine but as you can see you can make monthly goals.  We all need something we can attain to.  For me its making sure I continue to look great as the holidays start to roll in.  Having a monthly goal and something I can work towards works for me.  It takes the edge off of the whole I want to have a great end goal of going into the New Year right and keeps me accountable.  Plus you know all of the get togethers, fall parties, potlucks, are all destined to try to take me out but I am aware of it all and ready to knock them out with some healthy dishes to share.

Health is Wealth, Follow up to Probiotics-Make a Decision with Guest Blogger S.L. Efua Joe

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8 Weeks: Gym didn’t kill me

Well the day has been rainy and I really wanted to just relax on my lunch break and that’s code for read magazines and eat.  However when I looked at my calendar and thanked the Lord for allowing me to finally get to 8 weeks post surgery, I got super excited. Then I got really sad when I saw I have less than a month to get in shape for a 5k and a walk that I have in the same weekend in September.  I started to get anxiety as if I wouldn’t be ready in time.  I decided that instead of worrying about it, it was time to get in the gym.  So I did and I didn’t die.

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I really wanted to wait until next week but then I thought about my whole mantra I have lived by which is not to put it off.  So I tied my hair until a bun, put my sweat bands on and headed in the rain to the gym.  The whole time I wanted to make a turn and roll out but I kept going.  At first I was super intimidated.  I was like girl you ain’t ready, just work on something productive and you will feel just as good.  Then I thought about today being national failures day and I was like naw, I got to keep on going.  I got in the gym and stretched and then got to work.  Let me say that I have done some exercises towards the end of my surgery but its a whole other ball game when you’re in the gym.  I wanted to take things slow but the reality is that even when I took sports in high school slow doesn’t always motivate me so I played a game with each song to push myself and change the intervals while doing cardio.  Until tomorrow with a new song line up, I can’t wait to crush it again.

So all in all I have to say I hope that getting back into the swing of things will boost my energy.  I have noticed that every 2 day I have to go to bed before 9pm.  I can’t go much longer than two days before I feel like someone hit me with a car even with taking all of my vitamins.  So maybe that will change but 2 months later a few weeks taking them and I am no longer on go all the time.  My hormones have finally leveled out.  The night sweats have decreased and so has the hot flashes.  That is a blessing let me tell you.  I still carry my fan with me I refuse to be out here and not prepared that’s for sure.

A lot of the issues that I had prior to surgery has gone away.  I am super happy to feel like I am a healthy woman again.  Finding out that a lot of this needed to be corrected years ago has been hard as I pushed to have these things done but not by the right doctor who would listen.  So now with the right doctors in place, life has gotten so much easier.

So I look forward to a few things.  As the year is in its last quarter or very close to it, I have some fitness goals yet to work on.

  1. Maintain my weight
  2. Ability to choose the costume for Halloween I want.  Last year although cute, I felt like an over sized Mario Brothers (female version) with sausage arms.
  3. Not look like I am the mini turkey for Thanksgiving (won’t see my sausage arms in this year’s pics)
  4. Get to the New Years with an awesome little number (dress) even if I don’t go anywhere.  You know if my husband and I don’t go out I throw a mean family party. I’ll be the flyest in-house mom ever.
  5. To be able to look back on this year and know my goal for 2018 won’t be to lose any weight but to maintain it.  You know the years prior I would make a goal and never work at it, never achieve it, but it was a “goal” I had in the back of my mind since surely my body didn’t do the work to get there.

So ladies and gentleman thank you all for rocking out with me during this hysterectomy journey.  All of the ups and downs have all been worth this moment of clarity and health. Be vigilant about your health and complete your goals!