Throw the Word ‘Diet’ Away!

So, month 2 of 12 is officially in session, so I have a question:

How many of us are still saying you’re going on a “diet”?

Don’t you truly just hate that word?? I know I do.  Every couple months or so, I would call myself going on a “diet”, and within about a week in, I would be  giving it up and saying “I QUIT” to the entire concept.  This was obviously not yielding any positive results.  That is excactly why about two years ago, I decided to stop calling any change I made to my eating habits a “diet”.  I just called it what it was; deciding what I was and was not going to eat anymore.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I referenced my eating habits as a diet, and that has made all the difference in how I feel about what I choose and choose not to eat.

Everyone has their own way of tackling the number 1 resolution of a new year; losing weight and eating better.  I found out the hard way a few interesting and critical things:

  • I can’t lose weight the same way everyone else does, and I have to make the gym fun for me
  • I am not going on a “chicken-brown rice- broccoli” diet of sorts, because it will piss me off and I’ll eat a pizza instead.

Instead of trying to lose weight like people I saw on TV or social media, and limiting myself to only 3 foods consistently everyday, what I decided to do was to implement simple, yet better habits about my health.  Right now, I am currently weeening myself back off red meat (which is very rare that I eat it anyway) and I am working on letting go of pork as well.  I promised myself to work out at least three times a week on strength training HIIT circuits.  I feel like the more  I implement things I enjoy doing, the more it will not feel like a chore or such an important  obligation that I don’t want to make a valid commitment to it.

Now, when I commit to a specific change in the way I eat, I also never count out the things I  love most; which was something I did before (totally elimiinate things I thoroughly enjoyed).  Now, I continue to eat things I love, but in moderation.

For example, I love Pepsi.  I don’t know if there is anyone or anything that will have me not like or stop drinking it.  In previous attempts at weight loss, I attempted to quit drinking Pepsi cold turkey, but it never worked and I found myself frustrated and just quitting.  Now, I have developed a new attitude towards weight loss and now, instead of quitting it cold turkey, I just drink it in moderation.

The overall lesson I learned from this experience is that your life is what you make it, and whatever you choose to do is your business.  If you don’t want to lose weight, then dont.  If you do want to lose weight, don’t make it a hassle.  Turn it into something you are going to enjoy doing; if not, you will never actually have fun or feel good about your weight loss.


Self-Care Sunday: Give Your Goal a “Why”

As we near the end of the first month of 2018, a lot of us are checking in with ourselves and making sure that our goals and intentions for 2018 are still in tact; while most of us have already fallen by the wayside at Week 2. While we all had lofty goals and everything sounded good on 1/1/18, by now I’m sure some of us may be slipping into old habits and forgetting why we set goals in the first place. One way we can overcome this hurdle, is by remembering one important question in all of this; “Why?”

“Why did you choose this goal over any others for the year to achieve? Why did you want this to be the one thing you focused on? Why did you want to succeed in this particular area in your life?” These are just a few of the questions that begin to build a foundation to finding out some fascinating information about yourself, and about the intentions you set in motion for your year ahead.

I am no stranger to this bad habit, and there have been many years that I have fallen into this self-inflicted trap; and by February, I was back to my bad habits. For 2018, I am trying to do things a little differently, and this year, I think one way to combat that first month of the year burnout, is to sit down with your list of goals and really dig glen to the root of why you made those goals in the first place.

If you have more than one, maybe they all tie into one common “why” for the 2018 year, or maybe you have different “why’s” for each goal; either way, each goal has an overall reason why you want to achieve it, and you have a right to yourself to find out what that is, and you owe it to yourself to commit to staying consistent with those goals.

Once you are able to really determine the why behind your overall goals, the mission for your life may appear a lot clearer to you, and also, your goal may seem a lot more important if you remember that there is actually a deeper reasoning behind all of this. You deserve to give yourself 100% effort towards working with achieving whatever you set out for yourself in order to make this a more positive and prosperous year ahead and sometimes it takes a little self-reflection to see that.

Asking yourself the question why also gives you the room to understand and know whether or not you need to alter or change your goals for the year. It’s never too late to make life changes, and sometimes you find that something you thought is for you, turns out to not be in your best interest after all. If that happens, you just have to learn to adjust your goals and put new ones in place. Life changes in an instant and nothing in this world I believe is meant to remain consistent. If things are meant to be changed then they can be changed and will be changed.

As we begin to dive into 2018, I encourage all of us to do some check-ins and definitely ask yourself the hard question of “why”. Find out why the goals we put forth are important, what will they do for our lives and how they will impact us positively. If they will not have any benefit to us, make some changes, but if they need to be modified, put forth the best effort into them that you can, because ultimately, you are the one striving to achieve them, and you want to be proud of the plan you put in place for yourself and what your were able to accomplish at the end of the year.

Self-Care Sunday Highlight: Yoga

This week’s highlight for self-care is something I’ve been adding into my fitness regimen lately; yoga! Lately, at

least two-three times a week, I’ve committed to doing at least 20-30 minutes of yoga.

A lot of people wonder what you can get out of yoga, or what the point of it is; well I’m here to tell you that it’s much more than stretching and holding specific poses. Yoga actually has some very deep and meaningful purposes for your mind, body and spirit that can be very beneficial to self-care.

Yoga, pet Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, is defined as the following:

  • a system of exercises for mental and physical health
  • a Hindu philosophy that teaches a person to experience inner peace by controlling the body and mind

There are several types of yoga practices and techniques that all serve different purposes. I have always gained a positive benefit from doing yoga after workouts and at the beginning of my workday, paired with meditation. I will admit, it’s been a while since I’ve done it, but my hope is to start back up pretty soon. It always helped me start my day with a clear and positive mindset and ready to accomplish anything!

Some of the benefits you receive from a regular practice of yoga are as follows:

  • Overall better flexibility and range of motion
  • Increased energy and mood
  • Muscle toning
  • Weight loss
  • Improves blood flow

Overall, if you’re into health and fitness and ensuring you keep yourself looking and feeling good, yoga is a good practice to keep in your routine! And it just makes you feel awesome!!

Self-Care Sunday Highlight: Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

I'm going to keep it simple this week and take a page out of one of my favorite podcast's books, The Friend Zone

For the wellness segment this week, Fran talked about how she began drinking 3 liters of water and raved about all the positive benefits just one extra liter of water gave her daily, since she was already drinking two liters a day.

This motivated me to highlight hydrating as a self-care topic for this week, because people be sleepin' on water, tho'. Lol.

For about as long as I can remember, I have been on a "gallon-a-day" kick; meaning yes, I drink at least 100-128 oz of water a day.  I feel like anything less now my body is not at it's best.  I knew that part of me becoming a healthier me began with increasing my water intake, so I took that and told myself that I would start drinking more water. There are certain formulas out there that tell you exactly how much you should drink based on your weight and body type, but so far based on how much I work out and everything, a gallon has pretty much kept me well hydrated throughout the day.

I also wanted to highlight a few of the benefits water has, because although sometimes you cannot see it, water does amazing things to your body if you pay close attention:

  • Clears up your skin

  • Cleanses your body of nasty toxins

  • Relieves fatigue and gives you an energy boost

  • Boosts your immune system

  • Relieves headache tension

Since the beginning of me drinking water, I've seen a great increase in all these things, and when I'm not getting enough water, I can tell. I feel tired, my skin looks washed out, and overall I feel very dehydrated.

Sometimes water is not my favorite thing to drink, but I know my body cannot live without it, so I make sure I keep my gallon jug with me, and anytime I need a thirst quencher, I tip it back and chug-a-lug!

So, this week, monitor your water intake. If you know you don't get enough water or don't think you're getting enough water, try to increase how much water you drink in a day and see how it changes your overall feeling after about a week.

Self-Care Sunday Highlight: Exercise 

This weeks highlight for self-care is one that not all of us may love, but know is very necessary; exercise! Lol!

                     Photo cred: Google 

Exercise is not only critical to improving your self-care, but it’s also beneficial for your overall health in general when paired with healthy eating habits!  Exercising is actually one of my favorite things to do now, and if I don’t start my day off with a good workout, I know my day is bound to not be the best it possibly can be.

Research shows that some of the most minimal amounts of exercise has the most benefits for your overall well-being.  Here are some examples of exercises you can do to as self-care techniques:

  • 20 minutes of walking a day
  • 20 minutes of aerobic exercise
  • 30-45 minutes of weight lifting 3 times a week
  • 20-30 minutes of yoga daily
  • 20 minutes of HIIT daily

These things and others are just small steps towards ways to enhance your daily self-care regimen.  This week, try incorporating something you enjoy doing into your self-care routine as it relates to fitness, as an effort to improve your overall health and well being!

Self-Care Sunday Highlight: Music

This week’s highlight for self-care is one of my personal favorites: music.

Image result for music images
Photo Cred: Google Images

Music is one of the most therapeutic things I utilize in my day-to-day life.  I can pretty much listen to any type of music, as long as it gives me good feeling vibes.  I have always loved music and the benefits it has on uplifting me to another place.  I have different playlists, and when I’m feeling a certain way, or looking to put myself in a certain mood, I lean on that specific playlist and it always helps me feel better.

Music is known to bring about the most powerful emotions and feelings when you listen to it.  I listened to a podcast once, where they described that the most pivotal moments in songs could release dopamine into the system.

Here are some of the ways that music can positively change your life:

  • Music is a method of therapy for depression
  • Music helps to reduce anxiety and calm you down
  • Music can help improve your motivation and concentration
  • Music is an overall mood stimulant.
  • Music boosts performance in activities (working, running, exercising, etc.)

This week, I challenge you to put together a playlist of your favorite songs; some of the songs that put you on cloud 9 and bring happiness to your day.  Use that playlist when you’re feeling down or not your usual self, and see if it helps bring you to a better place!!