One year down… weight loss-chronicles

Welp a year has come. I have managed to keep my weight off and in addition I’ve managed to fight through the ups and downs along the journey. I’ve lost around 70 pounds to date but it wasn’t easy having to turn my back on dairy or indulging in my favorite comfort food in excess.

When I first began to lose weight it was more about me attempting to grab my life back. Here I was almost 36, out of shape, miserable in my own skin, and most importantly unhealthy. I have a fluctuating body type. So this simply means that I can go up and down at any given time if I’m not careful even with working out and eating right. To combat that I used the techniques that I leaned in my Weight Watchers class to change my relationship with food.

Depression

It’s one of the worse cause of weight loss to me as it’s more than size, it’s more of a mental road block. It can allow you to have knowledge of what you should do or even should be but it is one of the hardest things to “shake.” Depression had set in quite a number of times and I wore it proudly everyday in each outfit and every look. I tried to over dress. So I wore clothes that were too big. In my mind I needed to cover up my body so no one would see it or see me.

Big isn’t Always Better

Watch out for the big girl is a bomb club mix. Watch out for the big girl

It’s also how I felt I was being viewed by others. There isn’t one thing wrong with big and sexy if done right. I’ve seen some of the most empowering heavy set women who own their sexiness better than a girl on the runaway. However when you aren’t meant to be a certain size your ability to hold on to a sense of sexiness goes out the door. I tried to own it but couldn’t. I wasn’t supposed to be the size that I had gotten. All I did was complain, compare, and fall deeper in the hold of depression. I was over 200 pounds and I wasn’t pregnant as I was being described. I had let myself go.

Lows

We all who have been on a weight loss journey remember the days of counting calories or points. In the beginning you are super excited and then it wears off as you try to re-enter a normal life with normal eating habits. At least that’s what I thought. When I had a high it made me excited but those lows, were a bit much. Feeling like I couldn’t get it together made my low days that much worse. I found myself justifying my emotions as excuses to eat what I knew I shouldn’t have to deal instead of staying the course. The only thing that kept me was learning not to let these moments keep me there and is I had a donut or something bad earlier in the day I didn’t have to wait until the next day to reset.

Pictures Please

I took and continue to take pictures even on the days when my stomach peeks through. Having kids allows them to be great props. However it’s just another mechanism to cope. It was either use the kids or be the photographer and not have to be in the pics. When I first started losing weight I got folks saying why are you taking so many pics. Imagine another grownup asking another grownup why something that didn’t take anything away from them a series of questions?! The pictures are now and was then a way for me to see my progress. I always check the neck and face. I’ve had days when people’s comments seemed to get under my skin and I had to remind myself why I was losing this weight. It wasn’t for likes but more for me to like myself when I had no clothes on. It’s easy to dress your body type and blend, but to like what you see, naked and vulnerable isn’t.

Wardrobe Change

When I first lost weight I was scared, judge-mental and excited to get new clothes. I’ve had to take quite a few outfits back for still buying the clothes that wasn’t my size. Losing weight is great until you can’t lose the weight in your mind. Thank goodness for friends who literally pushed me away from the old size and into my new size. I struggle every time still with clothes. I’m stuck in the middle of yes grab the smaller size to Girl don’t show too much!

So yes I’ve got all kind of tips to help with weight loss but….. the reality is that the journey is up and down and good and bath. The best part isn’t just the weight loss but the ability to be able to be healthy inside and out. For the first time in my life between Surgery and weight loss I’m not anemic. All of my tests are normal. I’m not ashamed to step on a scale and I feel great!

So if you’re struggling with seeing others lose weight and feel like you can’t commit you may be in a situation where you won’t have a choice. You will have to push past bad habits, denying yourself of your wants, feeling defeated to days where after all of your hard work the scale just looks at you and doesn’t move. Whatever your journey presents know that you can do it! You can fall several times throughout but I would rather fall then drop out of my own race!

Take each day and moment at a time. Reset many times! Don’t fall apart as you make change your bad isn’t your worst. Work on portion control and definitely work with your doctor to eliminate or add what you need for your health concerns. Don’t get caught up in diet fads. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. It will look different even if you follow the same rules.

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Monday Madness

Happy Monday. I find when I say that I get so much backlash.  Already today I have been confronted by the “it ain’t no happy Monday.”  Or I got “I hate Mondays!” I get it. It’s hard to push through after having a few days off however if you are starting your Monday off with negativity you are essentially going to be the cause of your mood for the day. Yes your day can pick up but be in charge of the charge you put before you by attempting to do better with how you speak in your life and on your life.

I used to complain about any and everything. Nothing was good enough.  There was a reason to spew so much hate but I was super unhappy in my own skin that reality took a twirl when someone pointed it out to me. Changing it wasn’t smooth sailing but it definitely allowed me to see how much negative talk I was doing on a daily basis.  It’s draining. I know its only about Monday but that negative talk filters into other areas too.  The next thing you know you are talking about how bad you look, how bad you feel, how much you can’t stand whatever and then you aren’t in solution mode, but in just bad talk and nothing about that helps you.

Today take a step back from the negative talk and use Monday to set up your week. What didn’t you do well last week that YOU can change this week.  Do those things. Put your energy into positive movement. Negative is like having weights on your legs and expecting to run. You won’t, you can’t UNLESS you take the weights off and take flight!

Wellness Tuesday Check In

So I wanted to do a quick check in with everyone. I don’t know about you but I do know that the happiness I felt in the morning is starting to dwindle.  I still have joy but the tiredness from the day before and the fact that I am weaning my body off of caffeine for the last few weeks is starting to catch up to me. Say a prayer for me.  I have not had caffeine for about 3 weeks!

Normally when I feel like this I get rejuvenated by the fact that I know my workout is coming around noon but today I am making it my rest day.  Well I’m not my trainer is making it my rest day.  It feels weird not being active and I find that I try to substitute other things when I am not working out.  Nothing bad but little things.  So to relax and veg out makes me feel like I am going to possibly be more tired than I am now.

So with all of these thoughts and a little anxiety that I am feeling I thought I would share that.  I talked to several friends and they are already over today.  I am not alone, you are not alone.  The key will be in pushing through and channeling my thoughts. So please don’t take this as a complaint blog because its’ not. It’s about recognizing where I am and being okay with it until this feeling transitions. It’s okay to be uneasy.  It’s okay to be tired. It’s okay to feel blah but until an answer that is on your heart or mind comes, it’s also okay to keep moving forward and past how you feel!

Until this passes, keep pushing! Make the best of your Tuesday!

A Sister Roundup-Don’t Fall Off

Good morning all!

We should at this point have gotten our Valentine’s Day our of our systems and continue on showing love to the ones in our lives daily.  If you didn’t have the Valentine’s Day you wanted I get it, at this point, refocus from this one day and find ways to use self-care to get through.  You still have other days ahead that are going to need your attention.and dwelling on that one day past the 24 hours that followed means that you are allowing this to overtake you.

I wanted to do something different today to have a check in of sorts but instead of highlighting my highs and lows, let’s just talk about various aspects of our mental health.  One this has NOTHING to do with the allegations of mental abuse with the recent school shooting.  As much as I know mental disease played a part in it, I am one for calling a spade a spade and say that premeditated homicide is a different type of beast.  That is a blog for a different day.  However I send prayer and love to the community of Parkland and pray that with prayers, we have an action plan in place and sooner than later.  I am one for prayer but faith without works is dead, we need action.

Love Life

All of us regardless of where we are need to heal and have some closures in a few places.  Let me be clear that this has NOTHING to do with your tax status. A hurting heart will not heal from a wedding ring.  I know we have been conditioned to believe that marriage is the answer to love woes but it’s actually not. Marriage is like having a constant mirror walking around.  A lot of wounds that you haven’t dealt with will come up during marriage.  So if you are looking for marriage to complete you, this is misguided thinking.   It will not.  It will make you face yourself.  The issue with having someone to face yourself is that not all marriages are strong enough for the depth of junk that people bring into them. So I would suggest that you work on the things that you need before.

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Also there are some folks that would rather be single.  There is nothing wrong with that.  That’s not different then the folks that don’t want to be parents.  Your life, your choice.  Just be sure that wherever you want love not to go down the wrong path.  If you constantly see a pattern in whom you are choosing, don’t blame the people you dated, take accountability.  Remember self-care and self-love go hand in hand in your love journey it’s not something to attempt to do after you have entangled someone with you.  Also have a plan or list that you have in the back of your mind but make the non negotiable things that deal with character above physical in your mind especially if you are dating and looking.  I know women who have these laundry lists of their wants and needs and they are superficial to say the least.  Often times they don’t take character into play.  If you have a good-looking liar, you aren’t winning.  However you should be attracted to the person you are with.  So balance it!

Friendships/Sister Friends

I am in the process of weeding out a few bad apples. I find myself doing this often.  As I take accountability for my own actions one of the actions is my actions for friendships. It doesn’t matter how long I have been friends with them either.  Zero passes need to be given.  Since I have gotten older, my desires have changed.  With that some friendships were great for the phase of life I WAS in but not for where I am now nor for where I am headed.  With that in mind let’s cut away the leech friends.  The ones who have zero problems taking but do not ever give.  It’s not cool and as everyone is working on themselves the excuses has to stop.  You can have a million and one excuses but if you are out here being a bad friend, own it  and decide do you really want to change?  If yes then do so if not then be honest and let the friendship fizzle out.  Also friends shouldn’t get so comfortable that you take friendship for granted.  This means thank you, and please go a long way.  I think above all we have to remember that when we deal with others in general.  You’re not so much of my sis that you can forget that.

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We want to be connected but having bad connections is bad for your life in general.  Oh and be extremely leery of these friendship circles.  I was invited to one that I accepted because I know they are about building up.  But I declined one because it was really about selling stuff.  Listen, sis I love to shop but I am also on team savings too.  I want to help you build your brand but you can’t fill my inbox with let’s make money quick schemes and have me stay.  Not one time was it about praying, lifting another one up, or even about making sure everyone felt loved and secure.  I pass on these types all the time. This was one of the major pushes for cleaning up my social media.  I had way too many groups talking about helping that turned into everyone thinking they knew everything, let’s talk crap about another sister, or finding out the tea in someone’s life.  I got a healthy life, so I don’t have much time for the foolishness. I spend more time with solid relationships, my family, going to church, self-care and the gym that’s plenty for me.

Self-Care

What have you done this week for you?  Literally I found that I was super agitated more this week wondering if and why someone else hadn’t poured into me.  Totally selfish of me but it happened. One thing to note is never do anything for anyone and look for something in return.  The second thing that it showed me is that I lacked something that is within myself and I sought after that instead of wasting time being upset at someone else.  I have what I need inside of me. Do not tax others to do for you what you wont do for you.  It’s that simple.  Self care comes from various sources from free to lavish. You find where you can and what you can and you do it.  You really should be finding something you can do for you daily not just weekly.  If you have gotten to this Friday and can’t name one thing you did for yourself that made you better, than you have some catching up to do.  Ladies and gentlemen, self-care is not an option its a must.

Health

I can not stress enough getting ALL of your tests done.  Have you made an eye appt?  What about a gynecological exam?  No physical?  No follow-ups done either?  What in the real world are you waiting for?  You do realize that putting it off will not make anything go away?  Be vigilant about your health and what you want.  Be vigilant in making sure that you will be here in the future.  Go and be seen.  There is no reason to have something sneak up on you when we have the technology to do something about it.We need to make sure that our health is fully taken care of. How active are you?  How many hours a week are you putting into an active lifestyle?  Have you substituted the stairs for the elevators, maybe do a work out tape or a free YouTube exercise instead of constantly sitting in front of the television?  Maybe substituted a bad snack for a better healthier option?  Whatever you are not doing, let’s change that.  Let’s get up and move a bit.  Sitting is the new smoking so let’s end these bad habits and do it now.

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This has been an interesting week to say the least and remember it’s February so all the hoopla from the New Year’s wears off this month.  Don’t let the momentum stop you.  Renew your mindset and refocus on your goals.  Don’t let this super short month get you.  I know even with the flu it was hard to recommit but I did it and so can you.  Bad habits only last as long as you want them.  Good habits can do the same.  Make yourself a priority.

So I am hoping that with everything that is going on personally and professionally that you find a way to recommit to having the best life you can. No things aren’t perfect but you can have a better life if you make the right choices.  Sometimes those choices mean that you may need to say no, turn a few things off, say no to a few invitations and maybe even cut off a few along the way, but whatever it is that you need to do, do it and do it well!

 

Weekly Recap: January 19, 2018

Is anybody other than me still struggling with writing 2018?  I don’t know why I am but I am.  It seems so weird to say but we are all the way into the New Year. One of the things that I can’t wait to do is to continue to enjoy. I don’t want a lot of things I could have done, I want to look back and say I did.

Personal Goals:

I was able to finally book my solo trip. I had been debating if I was going to open this trip up to friends but I decided to do it on my own.  Everything in the world that I have read have all confirmed this trip.  Shout out to Demetria Lucas who I look up to so much who talked about tips on traveling alone recently.  This was after I had booked the trip.  Trips alone for me are something I want to add and luckily I can cross that off of my list for this year.  I will blog it once I am back but that wont be until April.  Just know where I will be going will be sun and heat.  I can’t stand this cold it’s getting on my nerves so in the mean time I will just envision myself there.

Shout out to my cousin Thalia who had the most amazing Sweet Sixteen.  It was great to be able to hang out with family to dance, drink, and eat.  Thalia is such a hard working young lady with the grades to prove it. I pray that as you continue in your walk that you get smarter, stronger, and make a beautiful mark in this world!

Go Eagles

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The Eagles won! That was a major game. Although we didn’t get to see the game, it was definitely great to hear that they had pulled the W! This weekend we will see if the Eagles has what it takes to make it to the Super Bowl!

As far as workouts I did the damn thing this week! I gave myself a rest day yesterday since I worked out everyday.  It feels good to know that I also have some fitness plans coming up in my weekend!

Shout out to my oldest daughter who got Peacemaker award at her school.

Blog Goals

Thank you to everyone who continues to read and support. It’s a blessing to do what you love.  If you have missed any blogs you may want to catch up ToiTimeBlog

This week we covered a lot of Ask Toi questions as well as talked on the life of Dr. King.  Today I even posted about a time where I was drowning in depression, self-pity, and etc and had to learn how to pull myself out of that.  So shout out to all of those who feel like there is only one string left and you are still holding on.  It doesn’t feel good in the fight but once you come out if you learn the lesson you can combat whatever comes your way applying some new-found skills!

What’s Coming Up for ToiTime?

One I’m continuing to crush these work outs and good eating.  What you eat is important as what you do with your body.  I am working on getting my runs aka 5K set for the year.  I also working on attending one blog conference this year as well.  So if you didn’t know we are traveling and doing more events this year.

In addition a new month is upon us, February.  The month of love. As always I plan to talk to my singles who seem to get missed in this month and give you some survival skills as this month takes a toll on those who desire to be with someone and are not.  It’s a real life feeling that when you have someone you tend to forget.

Also early this year I need to work on those ladies who want to shine a light on a part of their life that they overcame. I need women from all walks of life and backgrounds.  Don’t worry I do all of the work and all I need you to do is be open, willing and transparent.  I think so far I have written some honorable pieces. This will come out in March but I need to do all of my interviewing now.  If you are interested let me know by sending me an email to toitimeblog@gmail.com

 

Thanks, until next time-find something that you are passionate about or something that makes you happy and do it well!

Everything isn’t What it Seems

I want to highlight a few things.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, things on social media can look grande and be filled with so much smoke screen.  Yes that is how life rolls.  However keep in mind that everyone tries to put their best foot forward.  This is why the age of filters is so amazing. You get to hide behind real life scars and traumas.

The pic used in this blog if I uncovered it was great.  We were having the best ice-cream at one of my favorite spots.  Everyone is all smiling and seemingly happy.  We look like the model family. If I told you that I could still feel the pain of that day, would you believe me?  That was a hard day.  It was a few years ago and we were set to go to the African-American museum.  We were ready to go and our plans got diverted.  Why they got diverted I won’t speak on but I will speak to the nuggets that can be learned from that picture.

In it you see my husband all smiles.  He was under extreme amounts of stress trying to do the best he can.  I was depressed and I believe if I had gone back to work it was short-lived due to the fact that my youngest was nursing and wouldn’t take to a bottle and I had to take her to work with me.  That worked for a while until it was time to put her in daycare and then I had to stop working again because again she wouldn’t take to anyone but me and still no bottle, no cup, just me.

Here is what I know now AFTER that storm of life and what I wish someone had told me:

Dear Toi,

You are stressed out but a lot of your stress is coming from within.  You haven’t quite found your space, your voice, or what you want.  Maybe its the feelings of not quite making your mark in this world. Maybe its the time that you had to take off due to taking care of your kids and the guilt that you feel losing the independence of a working woman. You are fighting those around you but reality is the fight is in you. Use that negative energy not to worry about what others will think, but to know what you want.  Should you leave your husband because it was so rocky?  No! Leaving isn’t the answer. The answer isn’t in your husband. He will never make you happy.  Happy wife, happy life is a bunch of bologna.  You have to be a happy person, and work from that happiness.  You will have many more moments when you are ready to throw the towel in. Don’t stay for the sake of the kids.  They can’t heal you.  How about you deal with some of the let downs you face.  Get out and get a hobby.  Get out and get some fresh air.  Know that as a mom you are at your best when you take some time to practice self-care.  The kids will thrive better with you even if you had to walk alone.  Take a mental time out. Take a deep breath.  Do your hair, get dressed, put on a little make up because its going to be okay.  You don’t have to look a mess while you figure out your messed up life.  Your life is blessed you just have to use this time to rebuild.  Don’t worry down the line you figure it out. Down the line you don’t have to wait for your husband to go with you all the time.  If you like it go do it on your own. It doesn’t make you less married to do a few things on your own.  He isn’t and never was your source for everything stop giving him that power.  He didn’t ask for it. He was attracted to your hustle and your ability to keep it moving.  He saw that hunger in you, you got this!

Sincerely a stronger Toi

Lesson one: Happiness is YOUR job.  Not of your spouse or anything that you own.  Happy people don’t have it all they just know how to keep moving and make the best of their situations.

Lesson two: self-care is a daily thing. It is not okay to have meltdowns if you’re not going to use the meltdowns to get better. What have you done today that made you feel amazing? You should be doing all you can to make it feel like its your birthday everyday.  No one will celebrate you like you.

Lesson three: Marriage is beautiful when you put in work and your spouse does the same.  When that stops the marriage will have a pit stop.  You aren’t responsible for him/her you can only do what you want him/her to do.  Don’t say that because you have done one thing, this is in ALL areas.  No one can receive as much love and listening as you claim you give and treat that person badly.  Remember they need from you what THEY need not what you THINK THEY NEED!

Lesson four: dress up everyday. I don’t mean you have to be in heels, but if you want to knock the sloppy look, you have to get up and get dress and be present. Every time you zone out and don’t care you look it.  Don’t be mad at another woman who shows up and shows out. You both were supposed to.  Don’t say you don’t have the time or money. Admit you didn’t take the time! You can look fierce on any budget.  You can look fierce in pajamas if you want to.

Lesson five: get the hell out.  You can not live your best life cooped up in the house.  Get you a few dollars and go to a bookstore and have a ball, find some Groupons and live! Do more action than talking.  No one cares that you talk about a dream, the doers are finding ways to make the dreams a reality.

Lesson six: for my moms, there is no such thing as a perfect mom.  You don’t have to mirror everything you were taught.  You are in control of what you want motherhood to be.  Even if you grew up in the worst conditions, the dreams you wanted your childhood to be can be made with your own kids.  Be solid for yourself and them not perfect. Dance around the kitchen while making dinner. Make folding into a game.  Be there for your kids and most importantly be there for yourself! They are watching you!

Lesson seven: be okay to lose.  Take a chance on life and yourself. If you fail it won’t be in not making the mark, it will be in not taking the chance to make the mark.

I feel a Whole Lot Better

Today I had the honor of attending the Black Girls Run brunch where we celebrated our 2017 accomplishments of run, health, and fitness. Many of the women ran themselves from needing medication to control diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Some ran themselves into smaller versions of themselves and even ran past other complications as I did the same.

I posted on my personal Facebook how I was over 225 pounds this time last year. I was awarded for completing the 5k today! I still feels the chills of that race. That race although smaller in comparisons to triathlons or marathons signaled how I made a decision to be a better version of myself. I didn’t give up, trained, worked hard and completed that race!

When I was in high school and college I ran to reduce stress. I was already super active. My weight was never an issue. Shopping for clothes was a breeze until after college, life and my second child. With my first child I lost more weight than I gained and was already smaller than my pre-pregnancy weight before my 6 week check up. It’s the second child that I ate just to eat. Add the stress of moving, being a stay at home mom and laziness I didn’t drop the weight. I then lost weight at one point, got a new job and guess what? Got pregnant with the 3rd. I was devastated if I’m honest. Not at the new baby but because I wasn’t ready to embark on the journey because I didn’t feel I had attacked my emotional reasons for my eating.

Depression and not caring for myself led me to being over 225 pounds. I hadn’t seen that weight since being pregnant and here I was at this weight with no one to blame but myself. I kept saying after I would run into someone from my past and they would say Girl what happened that I would lose but I didn’t. I had a few older church members staring me down at almost 225 and instead of using it as a wake up call I just said well I’m still smaller then you. I was so misplaced. I should have been able to work hard instead of trying to compare myself to anyone else.

Fast forward to stepping on a scale at work at the end of 2016 and being humiliated. I had to come to terms that honey, I was big. I wasn’t pregnant and no longer nursing and there was no more excuses. It was hard! For the first month I struggled. It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror naked and saw the weight loss for the first time like wait, girl your little dimple is back! You do only have one neck that it became easier to push even when the workouts got harder.

Today at the BGR Brunch I’m like whew you saved your life! You took your weight back and gained confidence. You ran, enjoyed food right, and you worked and continue to work harder! So although I’m still toning my body and continuing to push myself, I’m grateful for meeting the women in BGR. Although they came at the middle of my journey they will forever hold a special place in my heart. I have yet to meet one mean member. On runs they push you. If they see you get tired, they encourage you to finish with no short cuts!

So as 2018 continues to show itself, I plan to work harder, eat well, travel, attend more events and step it up from the 5k to the 10k!! Why not?! I can do anything!!