Did you say…wedding?

imageI can’t believe life has gotten away from me for so many weeks. I have a feeling many people end up in this same exact boat. Work, kids, family, groceries, errands, date nights, girl nights…everything culminates into a spiraling life that seems endlessly busy and out of control.

In the mist of living this free yet chaotic life, I received a phone call from a dear friend whom was very excited that she is getting married and asked me to be her bridesmaid! Of course I said yes and was extremely excited to participate…until I realized in the mist of my chaotic life I may have gained a few lbs. I had only been wearing spandex type clothes which allow you to grow without concern and I have not logged any intake in MONTHS. Ugh. Not good.

I promptly go to my closet to try on structured clothes. My jeans were the first thing I attempted to pull over my butt however they didn’t even go over my thighs. Not good. Next I went to my scale…OHHHHHHH… NOT. GOOD.

I don’t have time to be frustrated with myself or disappointed in my actions because this is a part of life. Sometimes you need to get a slap in the face or reality check of sorts to draw attention to a part of your life that may not be at 100%. My “slap” is this glorious wedding!

Embrace life’s reality checks and wake up calls- don’t ignore or avoid them. I am taking immediate action by concentrating on the foods and liquids entering my body, logging my food intake accurately & increasing my daily exercise from 45 mins to an hour! Cheers to new beginnings (again)!

Another year, another resolution?

20151226_182654~2So the New 2016 Year is upon us. This year came much faster than previous years! Matter of fact, it came so quickly that I didn’t begin thinking about my goals of 2015 until this morning (January 3rd, 2016). I rolled out of bead extremely early and dug thru my drawer of what nots until I found the piece of paper that I scribbled my 2015 resolutions on. Hmmmmm…. 1) Create healthy lifestyle goals for my fitness classes every new session 2) Exercise 4-5 days a week for at least 45 mins a session 3) Save enough cash to put 20% down on a home 4) move into my well described dream home. 5) Start a blog

To my surprise, every thing I wrote down and visualized came to past! Matter of fact,I was so into accomplishing my goals of 2015 the year flew by! Extra shifts teaching yoga, cutting back monthly expenses, taking a few extra chunks of my husband’s bonuses…getting up super early to squeeze in that workout…all these moments on my life led to a better me.

Every year I hear the chatter of hundreds of individuals confirming or denying the importance of declaring resolutions and at the end of the day- the choice is up to the individual. My choice is to continue my journey of being a better me and stating these goals clearly now! What does it hurt? I’m taking my 30 mins to visualize where I want to be, who I want to be and why I want to be the person I describe. More knowledgable, giving, sincere, financially responsible, a great mother, wife, daughter and most definitely my attempts to be the healthiest version of me! Cheers to the New Year!!

Importance of Daily Mantras & Meditation for weight loss

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We all have busy days. Most people I know open their eyes after their night’s sleep and immediately “plug in” to life by checking e-mail, calendars, Facebook, the news, Twitter, Instagram, and every voicemail, missed call and text. After gaining this wealth of information a plan is often strategized as to how we can accomplish the many task at hand whether it’s to use our lunch breaks to run errands or stay late at work to get ahead of that pressing work project. Some of us make plans for the entire week- especially if a love interest is involved planning to wear that skirt or nice shirt to a particular event to grab so & so’s attention because you know that is the skirt or shirt you look great in.

Planning is a great tool which I never want to minimize however your day can be sharper, more organized and filled with the confidence & happiness of a kid on their birthday by investing in yourself first by saying a daily mantra & meditating for 5 minutes. You have to clear your mind and set your intentions everyday to be the best person you can possibly be.

Mantras are like medicine for your soul. It is a word or series of words repeated several times for affirmation. By repeating this phrase or mantra we allow its meaning to seep into our subconscious which help shift our negative habits and patterns into positive ones.

Examples of mantras are “I am worthy of love”, “I am a beautiful smart person”, “Love” , “Hope” , “Happiness” , “Health” or even ” I am a person who makes great consistent choices.” My mantra I used daily when needing to incorporate more water and cleaner food choices into my life was (and sometime currently is) “Purity.” When I want to accomplish a new running distance I may say “I can achieve what my heart and mind believe” or simply “strength”, “speed” or “distance.”

Meditation is a mental exercise using breathing techniques, mantras, or simply silence to reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness. Meditation is a stress reducer, can improve your health by strengthening your immune system, help improve your sleep, slow aging, create a base for emotional stability, and bring you to a happier place.

By creating a sound mind you can set your intentions for the day which ultimately can lead to reducing erratic eating or stress eating, gaining control of your life, creating a clear plan of the person you are and intend to be. Use mantras and meditation to put your heart, mind, and soul in the same place of calm and clarity. Start your day off everyday with self love and positivity.

Never say “It’s Only…”

imageRecently I had one of the participants in one of my classes come up to me after class explaining she felt defeated. “Oh! Candace!! I’ve been watching my food intake, working out consistently, drinking my water, reduced my refine carbs/sugars, and even drastically reduced my weekend beer intake! I’ve been on my lifestyle change journey for almost 2months! I can’t believe I’ve only lost 12lbs! I just can’t believe it! I feel like I should have atleast list 20lbs! ***frustration in her eyes***

I absolutely did not reply that day. I couldn’t. It is frustrating to me personally when people cut their progress and hard work down. 12 lbs is A LOT of weight to lose. Shoot! A half of a pound is a lot of weight to lose. Even not losing weight and creating a great habit or gaining muscle is a HUGE success! I promptly went home, found my ankle weights I like to strap on to get a extra boost when I walk, made them 6 lbs per ankle and threw them in my fitness bag.

The next class I had this same participant put on these ankle weights for the entire next class without much of an explanation. I watched her struggle through some of the exercises she did last class with ease. At the end of the class she asked why I did this and I explained to her that this represented the weight she had lost and the importance of not minimizing her achievements. We are all on a journey of enriching and changing our lives for the greater good. Appreciate the journey. Some days you will do amazing. Other days you will not do as well as you could have. Realize this is a lifestyle without a “finish line.” Celebrate what you do well. Just the effort of trying to be a healthier you is better than the prior days of you without the knowledge or persistence of this you.

My African American hair and working out

imageSo! Here we are discussing a very touchy topic! You know…The whole topic with African American women not working out due to their hair being damaged or ruined. It is a serious concern. I have several friends who refuse to do any activity which involves getting their hair wet. No swimming, no saunas, no sweating. Period.

I have never let my hair become a reason to neglect physical activity. Don’t get me wrong! I don’t swim. I hardly sit in saunas, and I take extra precautions while working out to keep my hair as nice as possible. Two years ago I decided to go natural and to wear my hair in protective styles. Currently I wear braids. Not the braids that take 12 hours to put in and are braided from the top to bottom. While searching searching different braids on the internet about a year ago, I decided to go with Kinky Twist. They go in quickly and can be removed even quicker! I look nice every day and have now come to the point where I do my hair myself.

While working out and showering I always wrap my hair with some type of scarf and co-wash my hair as needed.

My hope is that everyone finds a solution that works for them. Physical activity is so important in the grand scheme of life!