Pay attention to the things you are naturally drawn to.
They are often drawn to your path, passion, and purpose in life.  Have the courage to follow them.
-Ruben Chavez

I am at conflict.  Like really feeling some kinda way.

Only two weeks into my journey, I promised myself that I would not to turn into a wacky extremest.  Hmm…  I am the only person in my household on this vegan trip.

No one is interested in a plant-based diet, so I have to cook two different meals, which isn’t new for me.  Right before I started training for my first figure competition, I began to eat clean (avoiding processed foods), so I cooked “clean” meals for me and regular meals for my family.

If you are not vegan, please; keep reading!  I am not trying to gross you out or offend you. I am sharing my private thoughts…that’s all.  You might have initiated some kind of change in your life and are facing a struggle with its execution.

To shift our behavior to more positive behavior requires some level of self-awareness and self-regulation (factors of emotional intelligence). Efficiently being aware of and managing our emotions can guide our thinking and our actions through the muddle and eventually achieve our goals. That’s what this post is about… me sharing my private thoughts with you and while sorting through conflicting emotions.  If this post helps one person, then it is worth my time and effort.

This blog is devoted to sharing insight on how to improve Health & Wellness (HW).  The food and beverage we consume impacts our physical, mental and overall well-being.

Chicken drumsticks

Ugh!

Anyways, while seasoning a pan of drumsticks for my peeps, all I could see where thousands of ill-health chickens squashed together in coop.

Then there’s the realization of the sheer volume of antibiotics and other chemicals that were injected… the thoughts produced feelings of guilt.  Yes. Guilt!

Why guilt?  Because I do the grocery shopping and cooking for my family.  If I prepare plant-based meals, they will be annoyed with me.

My 15-year-old son ain’t trying to eat plant-based…period.  Hubby and mom.  They enjoy meat too.

Knowing more about the effects of meat on the body, makes me feel bad.  I feel like I’m feeding them chemicals and contributing to future health problems.  I have to figure how out how to manage my unsettling emotions without passing judgment for their dietary choices. After all, other vegan family members have never judged me for sucking chicken off a bone or for eating a half dozen shrimp saturated in butter.  I’m merely trying to keep things in perspective.

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Private Thoughts Of A Transitioning Vegan


“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
-Patanjali

 

May 17th is rapidly creeping up on me. Six months ago, the date of the competition seemed like years away.  But today signifies that only three weeks remain until show time.

The week’s highlight was seeing the first version of my competition suit. It arrived by mail on Wednesday. I ripped the envelope open as if it were a special delivery from Oprah!

Like a kid, I was giddy and eager.  My seamstress lives over 2 ½ hours away in another state. We haven’t met in person, but thanks to technology we’ve had in-depth conversation about my suit. Her eye for quality fabric and intricate details is impeccable. I’ve seen her work firsthand and know that I put my trust into the right person.

This pic does the suit no justice as it is, but the quality of the fabric and the details of the stitching is amazing.  I cannot wait to see the completed suit!
This pic does the suit no justice as it is, but the quality of the fabric and the details of the stitching is amazing. I cannot wait to see the completed suit!

Thursday I tried on the suit. Eye popping!! Though I wasn’t quite ready for what I saw. Yikes! Cheeks and crack! Umm… baby’s got back and need more fabric in the rear.  I can’t bring myself to post those pictures.

All the nuances of figure competing are completely surprising to me.  As a little girl, I didn’t compete in pageants, cheer leading, or any of the girly stuff. I played football, wrestled, and fist fought my boy cousins—none of which required me to be on a stage. The tricks of looking good on stage is remarkable.

It turns out; my suit was too big and needed a few adjustments. I am still getting use to the idea of walking on stage wearing a skimpy two piece suit. But I am ready! Lol!

Friday I mailed the suit back to my seamstress for final alterations. Final alterations include the addition of a multitude of crystals and other delicate changes that will make me feel very special when I hit the stage.

I had to take a week off from the 30 minutes of daily cardio training because my weight loss was occurring too fast. Look at the numbers:

♥ March 31st – 147 lb.

♥ April 7th – 145.2 lb.

♥ April 14th – 142.9 lb.

♥ April 21st – 140.2 lbs.

At this rate of weight loss, I would have well surpassed my competition weight goal. Years of fitness training and daddy’s genetics have kept me relatively lean, so with minimal intensity, I can quickly drop weight.

This week, my training was limited to weight training. I missed the cardio, but remain focused on the goal.

Counting and winding down is more about increased intensity and momentum. This is a source of inspiration for me. Patanajali’s quote epitomizes the core essence of my project (fitness challenge).   It has been greater than a physical transformation.  My approach to fitness will never be the same.

My passion for running has shifted and my desire to lift weights has expanded. Wow! I never thought I’d utter such words. Post competition, I face determining how to balance my love for CrossFit and my urge and the need to throw up weights at the gym.

No, I am not going to stop running all together, but I doubt that I’ll ever return to running 40-60 miles a week that I typically do during the summer.  My body looks and feels better now than it did before the weight training regimen.  Amazing!

48 feels really good!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

A Sneak Peek


To my surprise, a few years ago at a Halloween party, I was encouraged by two incredibly fabulous and inspiring women to compete in a figure competition.   Although fit, I was flattered, but never did I image myself competing on that level, let alone strolling across a stage in a itsy bitty bikini.  I also knew that my time was limited and I couldn’t make the commitment, so I graciously declined.

What is figure competition?  It is a body building competition where women are judged on their physique.  Judges look for muscle symmetry and definition, so intense training and a strict diet are key.

Because I didn’t really know anything about figure competition and the idea piqued my interest, I decided to attend the event as a spectator.

Since then, I’ve been to a couple of competitions.  I was amazed by how these woman, especially the ones over 40 sculpt their bodies to perfection.  I also noticed the absence of black woman on the stage.  Hello!  Where are the sistas at?  Sparse, to say the least!   I was disappointed.

Curiosity led me to YouTube, fitness magazines, and other internet resources.  The pictures and videos posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, are jaw dropping.  The more I looked, the more engrossed I became.

My emotions have cultivated from having “a general interest” to an “intense yearning” to discover how I can transform my body into a lean and muscular skeletal work of art.   Yeah!  I said “work of art.”  After all, creating art in any medium requires time, patience, consistency, creativity, attention to detail, and commitment.  The result, as in any piece of work, is amazing!

So officially I am in pursuit to uncover amazing!   Project FitCom14 is underway.  LOL!  For the record, I am TERRIFIED!!!   When I imagine myself strolling across the stage in 4-inch heels and a two-piece swim suit, goose bumps cover my body and my stomach knots up.

Like a jury deliberating for a verdict, I have given careful consideration to this challenge.   What are the pros and cons?  How much time is required?  What are the costs?  How will the training affect my family?  Who will I train with? The list goes on and on.

While I am on a quest to uncover amazing, other factors played a key role in my decision.

  1. Life is precious and short.  I have this need to constantly challenge myself, but ten years ago, I certainly didn’t vision myself partaking in a competition of this nature.   With each accomplishment, a new challenge must lie ahead.  Down the road, I would hate to have to ponder, “What if I had tried?’
  2. Fitness is my lifestyle and my passion; so I always make that part of my “me” time.  Too many women, especially black women, slight themselves of their own interests and of taking good care of the body, mind, and spirit.  Women make sacrifices for their family, but not for their own happiness.  Over time, resentment and regret can seep into our soul and our spirit. I can support my family best by maintaining overall health and wellness.   At my best, I am a better listener, more patient and understanding, and can better deal with the daily challenges in life.
  3. Lead by example.  Recently an unsuspecting phone call from my 24 year-old daughter plastered a huge smile on my face.

Shaina:                 “Mom, what do you eat?

Me:                        “Healthy Food.”

Shaina:                 “I know that, but what kind of food?

Me:                        Laughter!  (This child has lived with me all her life.  She just moved in June.  What the heck was she doing  when I was slaving in the kitchen?)  I shook my head and laughed some more

Our exchange went on for a few minutes because I was trying to figure out why my daughter had a sudden shift and interest in “eating healthy.”  That is definitely not her thing.  Finally she laughed and confessed,

“You’re an inspiration!  OMG!  I saw that picture you posted on Facebook”

I almost fell over!  LOL!  “Oh that!”  She’s NEVER said those words to me before.  I posted a picture of my hair growth progress, but my shoulder drew  more attention than my hair growth.  Here’s the picture.

This pic is supposed to highlight my natural hair growth.  Instead my shoulder attracted the attention!  LOL!

This pic is supposed to highlight my natural hair growth. Instead my shoulder attracted the attention! LOL!

Seriously, I’m so happy that my daughter  is taking an active interest in her health.  If I can inspire, encourage, and help others see value in caring better for themselves and possibly save a life along the way, then my efforts are worthwhile.

So, on September 27, 2013, I made the commitment to compete in my first figure competition. Future posts will include my progress.   Ooooooh!  More goose bumps!!

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Project FitCom14 Is Officially Underway!


Clearly it’s been a minute since I’ve posted.   Any he-how… this is a quick one.  Guilt from infrequent posts have led me to blog this morning.

 Image

Obviously this is not the most inspiring or effective writer’s space, but it’s where I’m currently blogging –folding clothes–supervising my son who is supposed to be sorting through his toys (like I’m supposed to be doing laundry)—washing clothes—poppin my fingers and shaking my booty to Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”.   Hubby surprised me with tickets to see Beyonce’s, Mrs. Carter’s show last night!  I had a blast; Mrs. Carter did her thang!

 

 

Multi-tasking!

Multi-tasking!

Why haven’t I posted?   Simply because the past month, I’ve either procrastinated, became distracted by CrossFit, floating in my pool, attending to sleep needs, and enjoying the blazin 90+ degree temps at the Jersey Shore.   All equates to falling off the wagon of discipline.

The truth is that as a working mother of a young child and wife of 25-years, at the end of the grinding school year I need a break.  I need and use the first month of my summer vacation to unwind and re-charge.  The rule is:

     Do whatever I feel like doing.

Eleven months out of the year, I  run a tight ship playing a plethora of roles, so it won’t kill my family when I slack on everything for a month…or so.

As a little girl, mom taught me how to fold linen... very nicely.

As a little girl, mom taught me how to fold linen… very nicely.

Sorting laundry

Sorting laundry

Just a few of many toys.... YIkes!!
Just a few of many toys…. Yikes!

They're cute but must go!

The bugs on the wall are cute but must go!

My son’s bedroom is overdue for a remodel.   Check out the bug theme!! LOL!!  At soon-to-be 11, I think…    Ah… I know that he’s outgrown the theme.  I don’t even want his friends going to his room for fear of them laughing at his “kiddy” themed room.

This morning is the start of sorting through old and broken toys.  Some we’ll give away, others will be trashed.

I really must go now but wish you a FABULOUS Friday and thanks so much for visiting!

Write And Multitask: Is It Possible?