Dating in it's own right can be very difficult. Meeting someone for the first time. Getting to know each other,
your likes, your dislikes. Wondering what to share. What to keep to yourself. When to share intimate details about
yourself and your life. All these questions pop into your mind. You want to tell them but at the same time you don't
want to scare them off. So what do you do?
There really is no right and wrong answer to this. It really is all up to you. But the
main question I always get asked is, "When do I tell someone I have a chronic illness? There are many answers to
this question. Some will tell you not to bring it up until things have gotten really serious. Others will tell you, you
should bring it up right away so there are no secrets from the beginning. So which answer is the right one?
In reality there is no "one size fits all" answer. It will always depend on you, the person you are dating, the
chemistry, how fast things are progressing, the list goes on and on. All I can tell you in this respect is, tell the
person you are dating when the time is right. Not when it is a socially acceptable time frame, but in YOUR own time
I am not saying to keep it a secret but at the same time I don't think, "hey could you pass the salt and by the
way I have a chronic illness", is exactly first date conversation material either. I do want to stress however, you
should never be ashamed or embarrassed of what you have or who you are. You are who you are.
Imperfectly perfect and there is no need to hide any part of you. However just like there are appropriate firsts
date conversation topics there is a time and place to bring something like this up. Of course if your disability or
illness is evident then, it is what it is. They either take it or leave it and if someone can't take you as you are, it is
better they save you the time of wasting valuable energy and effort on them.
If however you have more of an invisible illness then it goes without saying that this may be something you will
have to bring up. So when do you do it?
I have M. S. but I do not introduce myself by saying, " Hey, I am Stephanie and I have Multiple Sclerosis, nice to
meet you!" However I do not shy away from the topic either. The answer of when to share for me is when the time
is right and I think the person actually cares about me and my life. If the conversation naturally leads to the topic
then I embrace it.
It is not a secret that I have M.S. just like it isn't a secret that I am moody at times, can become irritable or burst
into childish giggles when I find something funny. It isn't a secret that I love to dance, write, spend time with my two
beautiful boys and I love long walk at the beach...etc etc. You get the drift. But I do not show up at a date with a list
of everything, every trait or quirky habit I have in tow. I wait until the conversation leads to the point in question
and then go with. Of course with me M.S. comes up pretty quickly since I did write a book on the topic and my
website and brand are all infused with M.S. advocacy. Nevertheless I don't mind it one bit! I love who I am and
whatever I have or whatever I have been through has made me who I am today and I love me!!
The saying, "love yourself, before you can love another" is true to it's very core! I have seen many
women sell themselves short due to self perceived flaws or what they believed were short comings, staying in bad
/toxic relationships way longer then they should have. Accepting bad behavior that no one should ever have to
endure and all because they believed they weren't pretty, good enough, deserving or worthy of love. I have seen
this in many women not only in the ones with chronic illnesses but I must say chronic illness does add a lot more
women into this category.
What many fail to understand is that everyone has flaws. No one is perfect. Yes, your perceived flaw may be
chronic and at times may make you feel low. But what of the selfish woman who only thinks of herself and no one
else? The gold digger, the psychopath, the pathological liars or cheats. People who murder and steal. Who hurt
others maliciously for no reason at all? These are real flaws!! At least there is usually medication or treatment to
help you with yours, these people remain as they are and most don't even care that they are this way!
A beautiful person inside and out with any type of limitation, whether physical, cognitive or emotional is still a
beautiful person. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it varies from country to country, state to state, person
to person. The key is to realize you are beautiful now! Not when society deems you beautiful, not when people tell
you that you are beautiful, you are beautiful now, just as you are! It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or how
they see you. The only thing that matters is how you see yourself. If you see yourself as beautiful and act as such
then the world will see you the way you see yourself.
Every man rates confidence as the most beautiful quality a woman can have. So be confident now! Do not
compare yourself to anyone. You were not meant to look like them. You were meant to look like you. Find the
beauty in yourself and others will see it too. So go out into the dating world and when the topic comes up, speak
about it. Not in a shy, embarrassed, hope you can accept me and this, kind of way but in a "I am amazing, so amazing
in fact, I have ____ (fill in the blank) and I not only live with it but I thrive through it and look sexy doing so!!" If you
find this difficult to say and it doesn't feel real, then just fake it till you make it!!
When you find the one you are meant to be with, your perfect fit. He will not see your chronic illness, your bad
habit of biting your nails or leaving the milk carton empty and putting it back into the fridge as shortcomings. He
won't see the flaws you see because he will be looking at you through the eyes of love. There is nothing more
beautiful then being around some one who accepts you just as you are! But in order to attain that, you have to
show the world who you really are. Fall in love with yourself and the rest will follow!
We got this! Let's go!!!! ;-)
No more procrastinating Mother's Day is THIS weekend!!
Have you been dragging your feet and waiting until the last minute to get your mother's
If so, that's OK because there is still time!!
Just in case you are drawing a blank on what to get and feel like time is running out,
here are 10 gift ideas that could help save the day:
10. Make her Breakfast in bed
One of the best (and inexpensive) ways to put a smile on your mom's face is giving her breakfast in bed.
Showing up at her house or waking her up in the morning with a great breakfast will definitely make her day. A
dish that Includes all of her favorite breakfast items. Adding a rose? Even better! This is a nice way of showing you
care. Let her feel like she is being taken care of for a change.
Being a Mom is one of the most difficult yet most rewarding jobs in the world. A lot of mothers get so used to
taking care of everyone else that they tend to put themselves in the back burner. Getting breakfast in bed is a great
way to take a load off your mom and at the same time make her feel loved and cared for.
9. Give her a month of "pre- made" meals
Take the load off of the cooking and worrying about making/getting dinner off her mind for a month. There
are many online services that have 1st month specials, like plated.com and hellofresh.com to name a few. Take
advantage of the reduced price! Sign up and have the meals sent to your mom. Check out this link for more
information on subscriptions.
If you want to make it even more special, precook all of the meals yourself. The time and love you put into the
preparation is sure to melt any mom's heart and make her feel extra love. Either way, she will love it because, come
on! Who wouldn't love having dinner on the table and not having to worry about a thing?! Sounds like heaven to
This is a tried and true classic! Almost every woman/mother I know loves jewelry! But this doesn't always
have to necessarily mean diamonds and rubies. If your wallet is tight and not diamond ready right now, you could
always get meaningful jewelry that represents something. An inside joke, a motivating word or even an engraved
endearment. At the end of the day most mothers are more concerned with the token of affection and the thought
put into the gift. So go get, make, or splurge on something pretty for your mother to wear around her neck,
wrist or ring and she will be reminded of your love every time she wears it.
7. Get her a subscription to her favorite Magazine!
It may seem out of the ordinary, but this is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Most mom's are usually too busy
worrying about so many other things, getting their favorite magazine usually seems like an unnecessary, almost
guilty luxury. They would much rather buy something for their kids, their significant others or even friends rather
than "splurge" on their favorite magazine, no matter how much they would love to have it. Add some roses/flowers
and a box of chocolate and you have a perfect last minute gift that will keep on giving all year long.
6. DIY gift
You may think you do not have the time or maybe even the talent to create something all by yourself and pass it
to your mother as a gift. But you will be surprised how many easy, fun and inexpensive things are out there that
you can do. Websites like Pinterest and youtube are great for ideas, directions and how to's for making your own
special gift. Like the vases above. Let's face it, if you put the thought, love and time into make ANYTHING sweet
for your mother, it is guaranteed to put a smile on your mom's face. Which is all we really want anyway.
5. Perfume or other beauty products
Similar to the magazines, beauty products for some mothers tend to fall on the bottom of the priority list. But
almost every woman has that one perfume, face cream or hair treatment which she loves and wishes she had but
never gets around to getting it.
Help her out and get it for her. If you aren't sure what her favorite scent is or what she likes, ask someone really
close to her. Still not sure? Never hurts to give her a month of beauty goodies right to her door. Websites like
ipsy.com Have monthly memberships for as little as $10 a month.
4. Personalized Mother's day coupons for future use
This one is kind of fun since you can get really creative with it. Plus it will come in handy so that your mom won't
have to nag you anymore asking you to get things done. She can simply pull out the coupon and request the service
provided on it. They have free printables you can get online, check them out here. We all know what our mothers
want us to do and always ask us to do but we keep putting it off. Let's save her the vocal chords and the stress of
continuously having to nag us by putting it on a coupon which could be given to us whenever she wants.
3. Beauty Mommy Makeover
Send your mom off to her favorite hair salon to get her hair, nails and maybe even makeup done. She will feel
pampered, loved and beautiful after it is all said and done.
With the huge pile of things on our to do lists, most mothers have no time to pamper themselves or revamp their
overall style and look. Let them get pampered and beautified. They will love you for it!
2. A Spa day
The ultimate pampering gift!! Who doesn't love a massage, spa treatment or to be completely and deliciously
pampered? There are many specials out there right now. Especially with Mothers day. So check out Groupon or
living social before you purchase, you may find a great deal yet.
1. Quality Time
No matter what you can and can't give your mother materialistically, there is always one gift that never fails. The
gift of your time and undivided attention. So whether you buy her something, take her out or make something for
her, don't forget to give her the most important thing of all...YOU! So turn off your phone, forget social media and
the thoughts of all the things you have to do tomorrow or later. Just sit down and clear your mind and whether
over the phone or in person...give your mother your undivided attention. This is her day not yours, so honor that
and give her the time she deserves on her day. After all, if it weren't for your mother, you would not have life.
Never forget that!
Now get going and get her something before Mother's Day!!
Wish you the best.
To all the Mothers out there, you are simply amazing!!
To all you single Mothers out there, You are a Superhero, Super star for doing double duty on your own and
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The dreaded "E" word is here. "Exercise"! We all knew it was coming and all this time we should have been prepping for it! By now if you have been following along with me you should have been sneaking activity into your daily routine. We should be between a minimum of 20 min and a max of 40 min. My goal was to add-on increments of 10 min each week until we reached somewhere between 30-40 min a day. You know, 1st week 10 minutes a day, 2nd week 20 minutes and so on. We should be striving for 3 times a week but preferably 5 times a week. The point was not necessarily the activity you chose but instead being able to ind blocks of time in your daily schedule. I want us to have a consistent time frame that works best for us to exercise. First thing in the morning works best for me. This way the day doesn't take its toll on me and prevent me from having the energy to work out. It's done and over with right away! For you it may be afternoons, evenings, and/or alternate time blocks on different days, whatever works.
Today we will focus on actual exercise. Slowly building a routine. Let's not get all crazy and all gun ho. Always remember it's not a race, it’s a marathon! Slow and steady...Let's go!!
The optimum workout schedule will of course depend on the age, sex and goal of each individual. But as I stated before I will keep it basic so that it can be a one size fits all.
For those who want to lose weight I suggest trying this schedule:
3 times a week cardio and 2 times a week strength. (Minimum 30 minutes)
If you are trying to bulk up then:
3 times a week strength and 2 times a week cardio.
Don't get too caught up on this. Just remember cardio is ANYTHING that gets your heart rate up and keeps it that way for a sustained amount of time, counts!
This could be running, dancing, hiking or even swimming. Find what is FUN for you and you will stick to it! Same for strength training. Hate weights? Take a boxing class! Can't afford it? Get a boxing video! Get creative in your workouts. Making it fun will make it easier to make it permanent.
Find your workout style and go from there.
Some people like going to the gym, some like walking or running? Tight on money get videos!! Go to the library abd borrow some if you don't want to purchase any! You get the point! NO EXCUSES!!
Take a quiz and find out your style:
Get a sneak peek of videos before you buy:
This is like Netflix for working out:
Where there is a will there is a way, so find YOUR way!
Want to save money? You tube workouts for FREE!!
No matter what you are trying to achieve, you should always include time for warming up, cooling down and stretching.
A lot of people do not have a well-rounded workout regimen. Women tend to avoid strength training and men seem to avoid cardio. We each need to do both. Women if you don't want to bulk up then do more repetitions of an exercise with lighter weights. Men don't over over look the cardio! You need this as well to really be in shape, just don't over do it if you aren't trying to lose weight.
No matter what the case, if you want to show definition you must FIRST burn the fat and THEN focus on strength otherwise the muscle will be hidden by the layer of fat around it. Point blank. There is no getting around this fact.
I do believe that there are workouts that are great and effective that are around 25 min but usually those leave you on your own for warm ups and cool downs. As long as you add these into your workout I don't see why it wouldn't work well for some. I also believe that anything over 60 min of working out is not only overkill but stressful for your body. This is my opinion and what I have read and learned on this seems to be true, nut I am not a doctor so it is not a fact just an opinion.
When you start working out especially if you are new to it. You should really consider getting supplements to help you. Proteins is not only for men. ladies! You need it too if you are working out. It helps you recover faster and gain better results. The key is to look for one that isn't high on calories and just consume less than those who want to bulk up. Men you already seem to know this but if you don't, in order to bulk up and add definition you will also need protein, a lot more than women too! With this said how you get the protein is up to you. You can eat eggs, meat or drink whey protein shakes. If you want to learn more on this check out:
Now one of my biggest problems when working out is recovery time. If I overdo it, it could wear me down and tire me out for the next couple of days. Also if one is new to working out recovery can also be an issue. What has been working amazingly for me to help prevent this is an great recover shake I drink it is a miracle worker and you can find it here:
I can not live without this I swear!
I am sure there are many other products out there but this is the one I chose. I only use 1 scoop instead of 2 and it works great. I notice I don't need as much time to recover using this.
Working out and achieving your desired results takes determination, persistence and knowledge. So here is some more resources:
For tips on how to get the energy to workout try these websites:
They have pre-workouts but for people like me that have issues sleeping I don't do well with them (they keep me up all night) but for some they work wonders!
Also check out what I use for more nutritional options to help me obtain my goal!!
Now let's get moving!!
It is funny how people just assume that since I am a motivational speaker and life coach that I just wake up happy every day. This is far from the truth. Happiness for those of us who are lucky enough to achieve it is a working process. I am human after all and as such I have my ups and downs. I have days that I am excited about everything and others where I wish I could just sleep through it all. That is just how life is. The difference is not on the situations and fluctuations of moods we all experience, it is on how we perceive and handle them. This is where I tend to stand out with my relentless optimism and determination to sustain the happiness in life I strive so hard to achieve. Happiness is a state of mind and like everything else that is worth it, it takes practice and discipline to maintain.
So what do you do when you are doing great with your routines and then one day you wake up and feel like saying, "the heck with it all this! It is just too hard!" What do you do? Do you quit and revert to old habits? Do you abandon all hope of ever achieving the goals you desire? I think we all know the "right" answer to these questions, but what you know and what you feel aren't always harmonious with each other.
This is where the "back up" plan intervenes and comes to your "rescue". The plans we put in place beforehand to uplift us in even the heaviest of moods. Favorite songs, activities or actions that hype us up. Our fall backs that never fail from motivating us to push through limits or barriers and break through emotional glass walls!! It's sort of like our "rocky" anthem or our workout playlist that helps us through that last rep instead of giving up.
The only way this works, is by being aware of what does it for you. When I am having a bad day, sometimes writing will take me out of my funk. Having readers who email me or contact me about my blog, keeps me motivated to keep this going. Having people who hold me accountable like my favorite cousin who is my workout buddy even though we live in different states is detrimental in keeping me going when I want to just give up and quit. You see everyone has moments when they want to quit or revert back to old ways. Everyone needs help, even those, like myself, who help others for a living, need help. I would not be where I am if it wasn't for my support system.
My cousin, my brother, mother, friends and confidants I depend on for advice, motivation and especially help! They all know who they are. This is what we all need in order to get to where we want to be. Being independent doesn't mean doing everything alone. It simply means not being reliant on any one person for everything. It means knowing the difference between when you need to do things on your own and being capable of doing so and knowing when to be strong enough to acknowledge those moments you need help and not be too proud to seek it. So for all of you who are always asking me, how I do what I do and how I got to where I am, this is my trick. My support system, My fall back plans, my songs, my gratitude journal, my favorite workout videos and sometimes just being silly with my friends or family. I have a ton of things I use to get my mood to where it needs to be. Whether it is a text to my cousin, my fabulous gal pals, or brother. Whether it is time alone to reflect, read my gratitude journal, meditate, workout or just play and be silly. Whether it is reading emails from readers or working with clients. Helping a stranger anonymously without seeking credit, volunteering or just realizing when all I need is a break for a day from it all. This is how I keep it all flowing. I have said it before and I will say it again, this isn't a race, it is a marathon. This isn't a fad we are trying to attain it is a life style change. So find your "back up plans" the more the merrier. Always keep that list growing since what may work one day may not work another and always be aware that your mind is ALWAYS working. The music you listen to, the movies/shows you watch, the people you surround yourself with, ALL have a subconscious affect on your mood. If you are feeling down, change any one of these things and you are sure to turn that frown upside down (corny I know, but true nonetheless.) Remember that the next time you are feeling blue. Watch a funny video, listen to a great song, remember the things you are grateful for. Do whatever works so that you will keep on keeping on.
Here are some of the things I use. It works for me, it may or may not work for you. But you get the concept. Use my examples and create your own back ups!! Let's keep this happiness flowing!! Let's GO!! :-)
(Yes! Jennifer, I had to add this video, It just ALWAYS makes me laugh!! LOL :-)
I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I hate the fact that I wake up tired. I drag through out the day and push myself through. Yes, I may look fine and yes, I can handle my life and most responsibilities but I do it with a deep determination that is incomprehensible to the regular person.
Just because I look great doesn't mean I am always feeling great. A lot of the things I do on a regular basis would tire most people out which means it is twice as tiring for those of us with M.S! Just because we go about our day without complaining every single minute does not mean every day is the same for us. Just like with everyone else we have good and bad days. But on my bad days I wish people could have a radar or something that let's people know..."today is not a good day to bother Stephanie". For the people who think that our fatigue is just laziness I would love to see you try to maneuver through one of our days feeling how we feel and doing what we do. Just because we push through and act strong doesn't mean that what we do is easy. Shit, half of the time I feel that they should have an award for what we managed to do on a daily basis considering how we may feel at times! Having Multiple Sclerosis is a fluctuation of energy, you just never know how much you are going to have on any given day. So understand when we cancel plans, adapt when we change our momentum, accept when we say we are tired and understand when we need to be left alone.
If we take short cuts, shop online or have things delivered, ask for help or outsource some of the things we need done, do not look at us with judgmental eyes or perceive us as slothful. Half of us can not sleep at night, have chronic pain or have some other reason why we cannot do what we chose not to do and to be frank, it is none of your business how we choose to do things!
I am tired of people looking at those of us with M.S. who look "normal" as they like to call it, and expect us to act like nothing is wrong and do more than we say we can handle. I am tired of the guilt trips and the people who try to push past our limits. You do not know the battles we fight or what we have to deal with. Just because you don't understand what we have or think we look "fine" doesn't mean we aren't afflicted with what we say we have. Half of the people out there in the world today with AIDS and HIV look "fine", there are people with cancer who look "fine", people with chronic pain, depression or eating disorders who also look "fine", but looking "fine" does not take away what they have.
Long story short do not underestimate the strength of someone with M.S. or have opinions of what we can or cannot do. No one knows our battles better than we do and every person with M.S. is different so learn to accept that. I do not care if you know someone with M.S. who runs miles or does flips and cartwheels!
We are individuals and have different capabilities and symptoms. Do not compare us to our past selves either. The person we used to be and the amount of things we used to be able to do have changed. We had to make our peace with that, as should everyone else in our lives. We do our best and that is all we can do. We all have unseen circumstances, situations, issues and things we deal with. We never know what someone else is going through and what they are handling in their lives so before we discriminate or say something about how someone else is behaving and what they are or aren't doing, maybe we should take this into consideration.
Instead of gossiping, judging or making fun of someone else's perceived limitations or weaknesses, how about we take the age-old saying of not saying anything if it's not positive, not being critical of others and being kind to everyone. We all have bad days no matter who we are, what our health, status or role in life is and on those days I know I hate to be bothered as I am sure we all do, so let's keep that in mind, be mindful of what we say and do around each other. Let's choose to be helpful instead of becoming yet another obstacle that has to be endured and maybe just maybe when it is our turn to deal with somethings others don't understand...they will return the favor. ;-)
If you are frustrated to share your story and comments below!
Love what you read or if you can relate, share the love and tell your friends!
If you have someone who doesn't quite understand what real fatigue is, have them read this as well! ;-)
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Happy New Years everyone! I hope the celebrations were great and/or your reflections were insightful. We have entered a brand new year and of course the resolutions are now in place. Whether your goal is to lose weight, finish school or pick up a hobby you always wanted to try, here are some sure-fire ways to make it happen!
Don't just aim to lose weight, have a specific number in mind of how much weight you actually want to lose. Don't just say you want to do better financially, figure out what doing better financially looks like to you. Does that mean being debt free? Having a certain amount of money in your savings account or more money left over after each paycheck? Financial stability may mean different things to different people so aim for a specific goal. Keeping your goals clear and detailed helps you come up with a better plan to achieve it. If you don't know exactly what you are aiming for, you could become overwhelmed or distracted since you aren't really sure where and how to get to where you want to be. So figure out your specific goals and write them down. Writing it down always helps to make it more concrete and gives us a sense of responsibility to get it done. Like making an unspoken agreement with the universe or just ourselves. If we want to take it a step further, we can make our goal public, post it in on face book, twitter or other social media. Tell your friends, this will also hold you accountable...hey what ever works right? :-)
Break down your big goals into doable chunks:
Breaking down major goals into smaller steps always helps to come up with a better game plan. This is why I find it best to sit down and actually reflect on the year that passed. I think about everything that worked well in my life and what areas I still need improvement on. Then I formulate some goals to get closer to my ideal life. So let's try sitting down and figuring out what major goals we want to incorporate into our lives this year. Then we can break those up into smaller chunks that could be done in a period of 3 months. I find 3 months works great since a yearly goal takes too long to see results and almost always becomes discouraging resulting in the lack of trying for it anymore. 3 months is short enough to make it easy to stick with and is also enough time to actually see results in whatever it is we are aiming for. So let's plan for one big goal list for the year, then let's break that down into smaller goals we could do quarterly and if we want to go even deeper we can break it down into smaller monthly goals and even weekly goals. For example if a big goal was to pay off a $10,000 debt before the end of the year then the quarterly goal would be to break that down into payable chunks for 3 months. there are 4 quarters in a year so that brings it down to paying off $2,500 every 3 months, divide that by 3 to get your monthly goal of paying off $833 and now we know that in order to achieve our yearly goal we have to pay $833 every month. But hopefully that is not the case since $10,000 is a lot of money and so is $833 every month. Which leads me to my next point...
Make your goals realistic and achievable:
While some people can afford to pay $833 towards only bills, not a lot of people can. Which is why breaking it down into a more realistic lower monthly payment would be a much better approach. Setting goals that are challenging yet won't overwhelm or over extend us will increase our likelihood of sticking to it and achieving it . Same for losing weight. They say the ideal rate of losing weight in a healthy fashion is to lose only 1-2 lbs a week. If we aim to lose 10 lbs a week or work out for 8 hours at the gym we are only setting ourselves up for failure. So let's keep our goals simple, doable and achievable so that we can actually stay motivated and get it done!
One of the reasons many of us do not succeed in accomplishing our goals is due to a lost of interest or becoming distracted by everyday life. This then results in our losing the motivation to continue pursuing our goals. But since we are the only ones who wanted and knew what we were aiming for we just brush it off and forget about it. One of the best ways to prevent this is to have accountability. Whether it is a trainer at the gym, a financial adviser we consult with or even a friend with similar goals we buddy up with, having someone or someway to be held accountable for what we are doing and the progress we are making will help us tremendously in staying focused on our goal. So let's partner up, get a coach, join a friend or even post it on social media. Sometimes just knowing others are watching and paying attention to whether or not we are keeping up with what we said we would do, is all it takes to give us that final push we need to keep moving! So let's set the intention for what we want, write it down clearly, formulate a plan and find a way to be held accountable
Believe in yourself
Change is hard and most of the time the resolutions we have for the current year are ones we have attempted to achieve in the past. So let's sit down and reflect on what did and did not work when we attempted to actualize it before, then let's try a different approach.
Even if this is something new we haven't tried to achieve in the past, we just need to keep in mind that whatever it is we are trying to change did not happen over night and as a result will not change over night either. Change takes time, determination and persistence. So if and when we have any set backs, we just need to dust it off and keep at it. If we only achieve half of our goal, we still need to celebrate and reward it, it brought us closer to where we want to go! Most of all we need remember to always believe in ourselves. Believe that change is possible, our goals are attainable and we deserve all the greatness and happiness we want in our lives. The only limits on attaining the goals we want to accomplish is the ones we set on ourselves. Like the saying goes, "where there is a will, there is a way"
Let's find the way to achieve our goals and start moving closer to the ideal lives we want and deserve!
Any ideas on how to make this year the best ever? Post it on the comment below!
Let's help each other have an amazing year!
We got this, Let's Go!! ;-)
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Time is flying by and the Holidays are near. The Christmas tree is shining brightly and the countdown for the New Years has begun. My determination is tested as the holiday lure and the seductive foods call my name and body into a state of laziness. Bringing about a strong desire for rest and play. The stakes are high as I question my ability to stay consistent on this goal I have set before the holiday haze, which now tempts to clouds my judgement. Thankfully I have made a loud and public declaration into the universe that I can no longer take back. I knew this would be one of the main benefits of having my goal put out there for all to see. It gives me a sense of duty and responsibly to see it through. Which ultimately benefits me, so for that I thank you silent readers...those of you out there, for giving me the ultimate blessing of helping myself by simply trying to help others :-)Let's get right to it! For the sake of keeping things fresh and interesting I will just give a quick sum up of activities.
Staying away from bed... consistent and going strong. Now that I see the benefits outweighing the temptation of slipping back to old habits of lounging in bed, this habit is def. here to stay! The meditation is also now a permanent thing in my routine, esp. since I am enjoy it
The self talk is being continuously observed although sometimes I do forget...keeping constant track of what you are thinking is harder than I thought. :-) As of now the meditation is teaching me to quiet the mind and the gratitude exercise of 3x a day is helping change my perspective into a more positive one. So let's keep that flowing.
Most important of all...LOOK GOOD! Wake up a little earlier if you have to! Pick out your clothes the night before...whatever it takes!!! This is important because we need to learn how to love ourselves NOW! Not when we lose 10 lbs or we tighten up our arms, get stronger, get muscles, lifts our asses up or whatever it is that makes you insecure. Look good now, feel good now and love yourself now! Now is the only time that is for sure. History has proven that even when we look our best we will still find flaws.
At least I know that this is true for me. Looking back at my younger years, I looked great, yet I still complained only to now wish I could get back to how I used to look then. Life is funny that way. So let's not become societies victims and fall into the hypnotism of what they try to say "looks good". YOU LOOK GOOD! You are uniquely and imperfectly perfect! Never forget that! If you want to compare and compete with someone do it with your previous self not others! Be the best version of yourself and always strive to continuously improve, while simultaneously loving yourself. (if you have the ability to do that right now consider yourself graduated and in no further need of this blog...congrats :-) for the rest of us..let the work commence!
Now for the dreaded feared exercise regimen. I won't bore you with a bunch of reasons of why you need to eat healthy and work out. We all know those reasons. Why beat a dead horse. I will however enlighten you to the fact that if you are unhappy with your weight or health. It is because you still don't want it enough. I know this is difficult to hear and of course there are those rare occasions where these things are out of your control and to those individuals I apologize and am not including you in this. But if you are of sound mind and health then there is always something you can do about your health and weight. The key is not drowning yourself in a ton of diet schemes or strenuous workout schedules. That isn't going to get you a lifestyle change, that will only get you to lose those 10 lbs before a wedding or special event. The key to being healthy is to make it fun. To fool yourself into believing that what you are doing is fun and not a workout.
Do you like to dance? then Dance! If you like to walk or swim or whatever...then do that. Don't fall into the hole of thinking that you have to do all these crazy things to get to where you want to be. Baby steps will take you to your ultimate goal. So that is your task. Find the baby steps that can help you with your health, weight and muscle tone. The key is to take the step, no matter how small. Because moving, even if slowly is still better than standing still! So our goal is to find 15 min 3x a week (minimum) to fit something into your schedule that brings your heart up. Work at your level. Not the level of anyone else. You got this! Forget the rest and what they are doing. This isn't a race, it's a marathon and in order to do a marathon you have to train...so let's train!! One step at a time. You can start with your diet and then sneak in the exercise. The key is to sneak in movement here, not what it is you are doing. We are trying to establish finding the time to work out and making it fun...We will focus on the details later.
Last but not least lets start with our to do list and always include 1-2 things that will get us to our dreams and goals. Dream big and it will come. Take the steps, even if small and your dreams will become a reality!
Staying out of the bedroom for the whole day is now a habit. I find that I actually get a lot more done and don't feel as lazy when I stay out of bed. It also seems to be working since I can proudly say that I am now falling asleep without any sleeping aids!! Which for me is great since I've had problems with sleeping and insomnia for as long as I could remember. I am not guaranteeing it will work for everyone but I can however say that it is def. worth a try. That is if you are having trouble in that department.
I can also now happily say meditation is also a habit that I actually look forward to. This is now my favorite part of the day. As of right now I am just doing it before I go to sleep but it is helping me a lot with my sleeping as well as my ability to relax and quiet my mind. So two birds with one stone! works great for me!
With full-time classes restarting soon and my ongoing my personal business starting to thrive, I suddenly feel a sense of urgency to get my to-do list and calendar down packed! After a recent fiasco with my email, calendar and appointments getting lost/forgotten, I have decided to dedicate some time today for this specific task. Now In my past posts I did mention the Franklin tasks app for a to do list, which I still love, but I am now changing from that one to Cozi. Cozi is another way of organizing everything in a manner that I feel may be more efficient for me. Although I still stay true to my word on Steven Covey being a "mastermind of the to-do list", I think Cozi is the more suitable option for me when considering my specific needs. I can however, still use the concept of Steven Covey and prioritize my lists by the roles that I want to emphasize in my life as well as scheduling time for the important things but also have a great organizational tool that I can sync with other members of my family. So I am making the switch today! I love it because it has EVERYTHING on there! From scheduling appointments, to making several to do lists, letting you journal (which you can also add pictures to your journal entries), giving you recipes and letting you send your shopping list/appointments to other family members, it just covers it all. They have too many features to list here but just know that I do feel it is definitely something you should look into if organization is something you seek! You won't regret it!
As for me, this is what I will be using from now on.
Another thing that I am experimenting with is 30 day pill organizers. I feel it might be a lot easier for me to have all of my meds and vitamins together +in a quick grab and go container. At the same time I feel that having to re fill them every single week takes too much time. I want to see if it is better to just devote one day of filling up a months worth of meds and vitamins so that I won't have to do it again for the month. Then I could refill them every beginning of the month. This way they are easy to grab and go which leaves me no excuses for not taking or forgetting to take them. I purchased this 30 day pill organizer on amazon for $17.95 but there are many out there to suit any style and need. Revolving Medicine Center
So for now I will implement these two changes and see how it goes. The workout/ eating portion is also now a focus for me. Especially since I gained a little weight over the holidays but doesn't everyone? Regardless of the case it is now time to get this portion up and running! The way I am going about it is in small time increments. For this week I will focus on upping my workout time from 10 to 20 min. As for the dieting portion I don't really like to diet. I feel the results one achieves from dieting is usually short-lived. I want to instead focus on healthier food choices and small changes. Like drinking 2% milk instead of whole milk, drinking more water and of course my ultimate favorite...using spray butter instead of actual butter! I will start with little things like this since I feel small and steady steps will lead me to long-lasting results!
However for those of you who do want to drop those pesky lbs. you gained during the holidays or you want to look great before a special event. A good, natural diet I learned about during my time in the military is a diet plan called, the military diet...catchy name right? :-)
you can check it out cut it is proven to help you lose weight for free, fast and naturally.
Just thought I would put that out there, just in case! ;-)
Now that we have started on our beauty and health regimen, let's proceed to the most important part, OUR BODIES!! Looking beautiful and having young skin means nothing if your body is falling apart! So let's break down body care!
The saying, "You are what you eat", is true. Unfortunately in a society with tons of fast food restaurants, long working hours and crazy schedules, we tend not to pay too much attention to this area of our lives. Well, at least most of us don't. We all know that we need to eat healthy but we don't always consider vitamins, minerals and things of that nature. So let's simplify this and look at the basic vitamins, foods and minerals our bodies need, your body usually needs some of the following to run at an optimum condition:
1. Vitamins/Minerals: Minerals come in 2 forms: macro-minerals (body needs in large doses) and trace minerals (Just a pinch is needed). Vitamins also have two forms which are Fat and water-soluble ones: Fat soluble ones stay in our body longer and are stored for energy use later on, when needed. Water soluble vitamins are absorbed right into our cells and when our body has more than it can use, it flushes it out on our bathroom breaks. :-)
There are many vitamins out there but for the key ones needed go to:
A lot of people know that taking vitamins is important but did you know that you can overdo vitamins as well?? If over consumed, fat-Soluble vitamins can become toxic. Vitamins A,D,E, and K are some examples of these types of vitamins. Of course most people do not purposely overdose on vitamins but it tends to usually happen when individuals blindly take several different multivitamins or convenient multi-packs, like the ones sold at GNC, at the same time. The vitamins that I found with a limited daily intake amount are:
vitamins: A: 3,000 Micro gram, D: 50 Micro gram, E: 1000 Milligram, C: 2000 Milligram
The B-complex group also had some limits: B-6 niacin: 35 Milligram, B-6: 100 Milligram, Fol-ate: 1000 micro grams
Over consumption of these vitamins have adverse effects. More Information:
Vitamin needs varies from person to person. There are some basic ones that we all need, like the ones listed above, but those with unique cases or different health statuses, myself included, can benefit from additional/different vitamins. Check out this website for a vitamin needs eval and see which ones are best for you.
Now what do we eat?
I will leave the dieting and in-depth meal planning of this journey for a little later. For now let's focus on the basic needs:
We have 5 food groups:
1. Fruits 2. Veggies 3. Grains 4. Dairy 5. Protein foods
Before even trying to concoct a diet plan let's just learn early, how much of each food group our bodies need to function at a healthy level.
All food intake will vary according to age, sex and weight of an individual. Since this can vary greatly I have included the span of measurements and the links to find out what you need specifically on a daily basis.
1. Fruits: 1-2 cups
2. Veggies: 1-3 cups
3. Grains: 1-4 ounces
4. Dairy: 2-3 cups
5. Protein foods:
This is what I found on www.Choosemyplate.gov regarding the serving sizes of protein:
"Select a variety of protein foods to improve nutrient intake and health benefits, including at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood per week. Young children need less, depending on their age and calorie needs. The advice to consume seafood does not apply to vegetarians. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans and peas, processed soy products, and nuts and seeds. Meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat."
So forget the diets and intricate meal plans. Let's start with getting the basic requirements we need and fit these portions of the 5 food groups into our daily diets and always drink lots of water!! 8 cups a day minimum!
One last note: Let's make flossing a permanent part of our daily routine. Teeth/gums play a larger part on our health than many think and we need a healthy mouth so that we can eat healthy! Don't think flossing is important? Go to these website to see if you're right! :-)
If you have excuses...I mean "reasons" why you don't Floss go here to see if they are valid reasons:
think that is enough information to marinate and chew on....literally! ;-)
Till tomorrow..happy munching!!
Let's start with the fact that I'm here thinking I need to start with the basics and I even go so far as to cover the fact that I should be medically sound and healthy in order to accomplish this goal, but I forgot the most important thing of all. I forgot to make sure that I was mentally ready. I have gone through so much in my life and I am only now realizing that even if I have a desire deep in my heart to be well-balanced and happy, I have to actually be ready for it. To accept that I deserve it, to believe it and I don't know if I am. I read in the soul secret a story of a girl who was gang raped and it affected her whole adult hood as well as the choices she later made in her life. Her rape resulted in her hating herself, hating men and not being aware of what love was or even if she believed it existed. She lived a life full of anger and hurt but was never willing to forgive. It wasn't until she did forgive that she could actually be happy. Forgiveness is at the root of all lasting change because it is what brings closure to the negatives and opens up room in your heart and life for the positives. Happiness cannot dwell with so much hurt, pain, regret, fear and anything/everything negative beside it, but this is by far the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn. Now as a student of what we now call the law of attraction, I have been doing the visualizations the vision boards and the asking with faith. But like in the book (soul mate secret by Arielle Ford) she states how you can draw what it seems you want with this but not necessarily what you need or what is best for you. The people you choose to surround yourself with are a reflection of what you think about yourself. If you are constantly with someone who bad mouths you or treats you bad then it reflects that you don't love yourself enough to demand respect. If you are unhappy it is because you are not giving yourself the self-love you need to be let yourself be happy.
Forgiveness...I don't know if I am able to do this so easily. Not to get into details but my whole life I have felt lost and unloved. I have spent my life trying to find a place to call home, a family to call my own only to have the little family I had turned against me with lies spread to save face. I have been beaten, abandoned, homeless, broken, raped, in need of protection and love for as long as I can remember. The only lessons I ever learned was how to be a doormat trying to gain approval where ever I could. I became numb over the years learning how to hide my discomfort and sadness while being sexually abused and by later masking my hurt and shattered insides in order to maintain peace for what I believed would be the best for everyone else. I felt at the time like I wasn't good or important enough to disrupt the happiness everyone else seemed to share just to seek protection for myself.
Yes, my life has not been an easy one but like they say in the "The secret by Rhonda Burns" That back story is just called my "so what" story. I can not change what has happened to me, I can however not let it break, define or restrict me. I have gone through what I went through to get me to where I am. There is no looking back from here. So today I will write a letter to myself and to my abusers and forgive them as well as myself for any pain, disappointments or wrong decisions I felt were made either by me or by another who hurt me. I will let myself revisit the pain and say what I felt I should have said then and even what I felt should have been said to me and then I will burn it! They say, "out with the old and in with the new" and we automatically start de-cluttering our homes. What we need to do is start de-cluttering our hearts and mind. To let go of all anger, regrets, resentments or whatever it is that keeps us limited. We need to forgive, forget, learn and grow from out past...not stay stuck living in it. So let's get to it!