Weekend Wisdom

Training for a fitness competition is no joke!

At 4:14 a.m. yesterday, I woke up feeling like this! 



Lazily I walked downstairs to get my much needed caffeine fix and to start my day. Friday was a long day.  With all the ordinary engagements, the day came and went. 

This morning, without even a glimpse of the sun, I was out of the bed at 5 a.m.  

Fourty-five minutes later, my eyes were stinking from the sweat dripping in my eyes.  





Saturday, March 21st, is showtime!

I already know that the upcoming and final week will be filled with nothing but tests.

A test of my self discipline.

A test of my heart.

A test of my fortitude.

A test of my confidence.

And more!   

But I will not Waiver.  How do I stay committed?   

I keep my eyes focused on the goal and infuse myself with positive wisdom.  Enjoy!













Happy Saturday and make it a great day!  The choice is yours!  🙂  




Press On

A year and a half ago, I never imagined my scrawny little back was capable of developing into this!

But with consistency, discipline, good nutrition, hard work in the gym, and help from a friend, I am amazed at the results.

Whatever your dreams, press on and please don’t give up. Remain steady, push beyond your comfort zone and you will sorely surpass your goals beyond your wildest dreams.  🙂

Sweet dreams!


He Went In Hard

Late December 2014, I received a random and unexpected text from a friend.  My friend was taking on a self-imposed 30 day challenge. His decision inspired a few others in our circle of friends to do the same.

The challenge was to merely live healthier for 30 days.  The goal was to avoid alcohol for the whole month of January and to eat healthier foods.

I don’t know what sparked his interest, but I was pumped and excited for my friend.  When someone makes a mindful choice to aim at living healthier (for whatever reason), I become overwhelmed with happiness. Why?  Because I know the benefits that await them. 🙂

Although working out was not part of the equation, I knew that if he remained committed for the entire month, he would certainly feel better, but also lose weight and inches.

My friend does not work out, but is active and rarely stays home.  He is active year around with sports and loves to travel. We also share an appreciation for good food.

He wanted to make better food choices, but he did not know how to do so, and that’s where I came into the picture.

I figure a big part of the obesity and unhealthy lifestyle culture in this country, is that people are unaware of the long-term effects that food has on the body and overall health.

Education should be ongoing and is vital to living in good health.

“When you  know better, you do better.”

At least that’s the premise from Dr. Maya Angelo and Oprah Winfrey.  I agree.

Year after year, I learn new facts about the food I consume, which I previously thought were good for me, and am forced to cut them from my diet.  And really, this is what the process is all about. Continue to educate yourself so that you can take a proactive approach to making smarter choices for you and your family.

While considering what kind of advice I would give him, I knew that I had to be realistic.  I needed to give him suggestions that he could manage and incorporate as part of his daily nutrition plan. The last thing he needed was to be overwhelmed by a long and complicated list of foods to eat and to avoid.

Lifestyle adjustments begin with small and subtle changes.  Studies show that taking on too much too soon can lead to failure, and failure was the last thing I wanted for him.

In addition to eliminating alcohol, my advice to him was to:

  1. replace soda and juice with lots water
  2. Avoid anything white (bread, flour sugar potatoes, sugar, etc…)
  3. reduce his sugar intake, i.e. sugar in coffee
  4. don’t skip meals
  5. eat breakfast (oats)
  6. plan meals
  7. When dining out, substitute cream sauces with tomato based sauces & replace fatty sides with extra vegetables.

He was open to trying new foods, which is half the battle of learning to eat better.  With the help of his girlfriend, he was delightfully overwhelmed with all kinds of new foods.   Here’s a list of some of the new food he incorporated into his diet.  It’s freaking amazing!

  1. Brown rice
  2. turkey burgers
  3. asparagus
  4. turmeric milk tea
  5. smoothies with kale, avocado, and almond milk
  6. zucchini spaghetti
  7. 1-2 gallons of water daily (he’s BIG guy)

He went in HARD and I love it!

Superbowl Sunday, the first of February was the official weigh in but, as soon as he took his coat off, I could see results. He lost inches in his midsection and his pants were unintentionally sagging.  Wow!

Without even incorporating an exercise program, he lost 14 pounds in January and 9 pounds the first week of February!

Most important to me is that my friend noticed his energy levels improved and ongoing joint issues improved.  He was flabbergasted by how changes in his diet improved how he felt.

Honestly, it’s no surprise to me but I am ecstatic that he has made the important connection between diet, nutrition, and overall wellness.  I’m doing cartwheels!  His attitude toward food is evolving…

from eating to feel full…

to eating to nourish the body…

Throughout the month, our group randomly checked in, via texts, to encourage, post meal pictures, and for daily and weekly progress reports.

Several friends in our group added exercise to the mix and experienced weight and/or inches loss.  Their journey to starting better lifestyle habits have begun. Yay!! I am so proud of all of them!  🙂

Developing new habits take time and “is not an all or nothing process.”

On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit. [1]

Contrary to popular brief, it takes more than 21 days to form a habit.  The 21 day habit myth evolved from  study done by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. Anyways, my friend is on his way to adopting new habits of improving his lifestyle. How do I know this?

Well, he decided to extended the practice of making better food choices in to February AND…. drum roll……  he is considering….

A gym membership!!!  I’m screaming this!!!!!!  

 It’s never too late…

You’re never too old…

You’re never too fat…

You’re never too far gone…

To take control and responsibility for your health. Start small, don’t quit, and go big!

You have what it takes!  🙂

Make it a great day!

 


On Hard Work

2015/01/img_3937.jpg

Good Morning!

I ‘d like to think that I live a colorful life– Trying new foods, being fearless by diving into new adventures… Even those that scare me a bit, not caring a bit about what folks think, taking calculating risks, generously giving from the heart, helping others improve the quality of their life and hall-assing from the status quo nonsense. Yep, that is me and without apology.

With a few hefty personal and professional goals ahead of me in 2015, I have much work to do. Roger Staubach’s quote resonated with me this morning and I realize that I need to shift priorities, establish a new balance between daily fitness, family, career, and fun.

Hmm… This shall be interesting and fun. Similar to bodybuilding, it is time to shift things up a bit. 🙂

Have a maaaaarevlous day peeps!



Tug-A-war In The Kitchen

Two weeks ago I cooked baked ziti for my family.  This week it’s authentic baked mac & cheese.

While they enjoy the dish and look forward to traditional meals, I feel like a heel for feeding it to them.

Some of the meal are loaded with the unhealthy fats.  Whenever possible, I substitute with “low fat” this, “low sodium” that, Non -GMO Verified, ingredients and more. So although, I do what I can to prepare healthy meals, mom and hubby are grown folks and I have no right to make them adapt to my eating styles. I can only encourage and educate them and hope they make healthier choices.

I had a moment while running through the aisle of Shoprite.  Lol!!  I like using the new smaller carts with two baskets; one on top and one on the bottom.  I was filling my cart with one gallon water jugs and got a glimpse of the contrast of the basket contents.

cart1There was no more low fat cheese; cheese was on sale.  They like the mac & cheese better with the whole milk. I can’t find whole wheat pasta in elbows. And the corn muffins, well, their delicious!  Lol!

cart2

Water. Chicken breast (I wish it were organic).  Flaxseed. Brown rice. Black Rice (new to me).  I don’t know what this black rice is going to taste like, but I’m always up for trying new foods.

mac and cheeseThey will be grubbin on a scrupulous (Yes, I tasted it…OMG! It’s delicious) pan of mac & cheese, while I experiment with great anticipation, a plate of hot fluffy black rice.  🙂

I could very easily eat the mac and cheese with dinner, but I won’t.  Why?

  1. Goals!  written-goalsIn 2015 I will compete again, so I’m on a mission.

  2. My body no longer appreciates the cheese, milk, and the pasta, so I’d rather not suffer through the consequences. Feeling bloated, gassy, and down right uncomfortable.
  3. I understand the health benefits of avoiding certain foods and eating clean, so all is good. 🙂

Best believe the next meal I cook for my fam is going to be healthier!  Lol!!  To help me (mentally) and them (health wise), I try to rotate and vary meals.

I have to go check on the black rice and finish cooking vegetables (broccoli and kale) for dinner.

Enjoy the day; make it a good one! 🙂