January 23, 2018

Your SLOW, Super-Efficient Guide to A Better Body

Happy New Year!  You’re probably wondering, “Why would anyone want a slow guide to weight loss”?  In my experience I’ve learned slower is better.  Every time I’ve tried to lose weight on a quick time schedule, I’ve gained it back shortly thereafter or have gotten discouraged with my results.  I am so sick and tired of the, “transform your body in 21 days, 6 weeks, 90 days, or lose up to 2 pounds a week eating this/taking this” gimmicks!  Some of them do work but let’s face it…most of us are not going to count calories, points, or take diet pills for the rest of our lives.  Nor are we going to go cold turkey and cut out all sweets, sugars, caffeine, pastas, breads, and fast foods to become full-fledged vegetarians or vegans.  But we can take the best of the good stuff and transition at a slower pace.

Well this year is my year, and I’m doing it without a gimmick!  Instead of giving myself a hard and fast goal, I’ve decided to stop using methods I know are not going to be lifelong habits.  One personal trainer gave me the best and most reasonable goal that almost anyone can achieve….aim to add a pound of muscle a month.  One cheat meal a week is also okay as long as you eat relatively healthy the rest of the week. My goal is to add 15 pounds of muscle.  I started in August.  So by the end of 2012, I should have accomplished my goal.

I believe adding muscle at a realistic pace will yield longer-lasting results.  Since muscle burns calories even when not working out, I know my weight will take care of itself.   With the timeline gone I can focus on developing a healthy diet.  My desire to eat shrimp scampi, chicken fettuccini alfredo and garlic bread can be quenched as my cheat meal.  Since I’m not tracking my calories or points, I no longer get discouraged if I have a few slip ups.

If you are obese or haven’t worked out in a while, you should check with your doctor before starting an exercise or diet regime.  If you’re good and ready to rock, here are my 5 tips for your slow, super-efficient guide to a better you!

  1. Change your eating habits first.  Changing your eating habits and working out at the same time will make you miserable.  As you deprive your body of junk, you’re going to crash.  Putting your body though the stress of exercise and junk food deprivation is a lot to handle at once.  You are likely to stop working out and go back to eating crap because you are miserable.  Start eating healthier at least 21 days before you start working out.  WATER IS YOUR FRIEND!!!
  2. Work out every other day.  Cardio twice a week and lift weights twice a week.  You should be sore and the day off will help your body heal.  A day’s rest is all you need.  Do not confuse fatigue with a weak will, or pain for soreness.  Inability to push through the soreness will cause you to quit.  That is the biggest mental hump to get over…know that you are not tired.  You are just weak mentally and you want to give up.  Stay at it!  Pushing through an injury is another thing…so listen to your body.  If you over extended something or strained something, stop lifting until the pain subsides.  If it is in the lower back or knee, see a doctor.  If you are already active or athletic, cardio should be done at least three times a week and weight training every other day.  Aim for five days a week.
  3. Change your workouts every six weeks.  Your body is smart and it adapts to repetition in about four weeks.  You should not be doing the same thing every time you go to the gym.  You need to introduce the body to something new.  After a six week period you can increase your workout days and combine lifting and cardio on the same day.
  4. Increase your weights, your intensity and your reps every six weeks.  If you want to increase strength, increase your weights.  If you want to increase muscle tone, increase your repetitions.  If you want to burn more calories, start and end with 15 minutes of cardio on your weight training days. Increase your cardio intensity on cardio days as well.  You should not be at the same pace you were six weeks ago.  If you do not increase your intensity, you will be doing nothing but maintaining your current fitness level.
  5. Revisit your diet after 3 months.  Have you eliminated fried foods?  Have you stopped eating canned foods?  Are you eating foods high in fiber and vitamins?  Are you avoiding foods high in saturated fat, processed sugar (anything ending in ‘rose’) and sodium?  If not, change your diet again.  Now that your body is used to working out, a change in diet won’t be as drastic.  Furthermore, working out is now a part of your day and you love going to the gym.  This next crash won’t get the best of you!

I started monitoring my progress in November and will post comparison pictures in February.  Wish me luck!

Reflections – 2011

Mood - Grateful

Today I cried hard, harder than I have in a long time.  I cried tears of joy and pain, happiness and hurt.

I cried today because as I was washing dishes a bouquet flowers were delivered to my door.   Attached was a note with words of encouragement.  No one has ever done something so thoughtful for me before.  I was moved to tears and to write this reflection.

Looking back on the past year  I moved out-of-state with no job, got a job, quit a job for a higher paying job, lost the new job before I started but was able to get another job.  I met a great guy and he broke my heart.  I learned some family secrets should stay secret.  I’ve accepted the fact that I may have to adopt or foster and that I may be single for the rest of my life.  And I still have some medical issues I need to overcome.  So I needed to cry today.

You see, in spite of all that I’ve been through this year I’m still standing.  I get up each morning knowing today will be better than yesterday.  I have another opportunity to right all my wrongs, to try new things, to love and to laugh.  Life is a gift and I am utterly grateful for it.  I’ve been losing friends to prison and the grave since I was a kid, knowing in each instance it could have been me.  I know that if it wasn’t for God having mercy on me I wouldn’t be here to tell my story.  Where would I be without His unmerited favor?  He’s a miracle worker.  He makes a way out of no way.  He inspires me to keep pushing .  He’s given me the strength not only to carry my own burdens but the burdens of my loved ones as well.  And because I carry that responsibility and that strength,  quitting is not an option.

I cried today because I am happy to see 2011 go.  I had an eventful year.  But I know my events have made me stronger and more prepared for 2012.  I’m not claiming or decreeing anything because what is mine will be mine, good or bad.  But I am walking in rejuvenated faith. In spite of this past year’s events He still gave me much to smile about.  Life isn’t without its downs.  It’s not always fun or fair or easy. Each obstacle is an opportunity for character building and I’m grateful to be in the land of the living to experience it all.   When things get tough it’s good to know that  just like my fresh bouquet of flowers, when I least expect, it my Lord and Savior will be there.  Here’s to 2012.

New Year’s Resolutions for Women

Courtsey of Olga Tremblay

Okay ladies, here’s your top five resolutions:

  1. Keep your legs closed.  Yes it’s 2012 and we live in an anything goes society.  Despite what you think and what they say, men are still old fashioned.  Of course they are going to lie to you so they can hump it and dump it!  Men want to feel like you were waiting for them and that they’ve found something of value.  I’m not saying men won’t accept your circumstances because with age life will take you in all types of directions.  What I am saying is that you have to value yourself.  No one knows your worth better than you.  Don’t give your goodies away just because you feel like having sex.  Control yourself.  Best believe if you give it to him too easily, he’ll be wondering who else has had it just as easy.  His insecurity in you will be the root of emotional, mental and physical problems in the future.  If there is a future.
  2. Stop saying “I’ma do me”.  This is the most ridiculous thing that can come out of a woman’s mouth.  This phrase is just reverse psychology and a flat out lie.  You say it because you want to free yourself from being a slave to an unfaithful man.  You are pretending like you want to see other men out of rebellion and hurt.  Even if you start to have fun dating around, the cheater is the true object of your affection.  So stop lying to yourself and using clichés to mask your allowance of being cheated on.  You’re in love with someone who doesn’t love you back.  “It is what it is”!
  3. Stop playing the victim.  I’m not talking about being molested, raped or physically attacked. Those things are not in your control (the healing process is though).   I’m talking about giving all you have to a loser, abuser or user.  He had nothing when you met him.  He doesn’t have reliable transportation, a steady source of income, or even a plan.  He always comes to your house because he doesn’t have his own place.  NEWSFLASH: you don’t have a man, you have a child.  If the situation is reversed, you’ve allowed him to be your daddy because you bring nothing to the table.  In these types of relationships one person has too much control and the other becomes a possession.  If you allow someone to take advantage of you in any given scenario they will.  You are not a victim; you are a doormat.  Loving the wrong man will definitely knock you down.  Staying down is your choice.
  4. Learn what true beauty is.  I don’t care how much makeup you put on or how fly your wardrobe is.  You could be a natural beauty, have hair down your back and have a banging body.  If you lack intelligence, self-respect, and ambition it will show.  If you are selfish, vain, angry, conniving, condescending, pessimistic or always in the middle of someone else’s drama you will be too preoccupied with your own mess to be a woman of worth. Real men do not chase ignorant, classless, insecure, loudmouthed women.   They’ll sleep with you, but nix the notion of wifey.   As a grown woman you should know how to cook.  Your house should be clean and you should have your own interests so that you are not clingy.  You should not be consumed with morphing yourself into the ideal woman for your man.  Strive to be better for YOURSELF.  Eat right and take your behind to the gym if you hate the way you look.  That man saw your gut, no butt, no breasts, pimples, or flab prior to getting with you yet he still did.  The only person that has a problem with it is you!  Insecurity smoothers a relationship.  If you lack confidence in who you are as a woman, your beauty will fade faster than Kim K’s marriage.
  5. Learn how to be single.  This is tough for us women because we were created to nurture and love.  Unfortunately at times our nurturing, loving nature works against us.  We stay too long and deal with too much because we don’t want to be alone.  Well guess what?  Being single is not being alone.  Being single is taking the time to grow, to heal, to explore and expand.  Put some of that nurture and love into yourself.  When you are comfortable with being single, you are not in need of anything.  You will enjoy life and be at peace with who you are.  You will create an aura that is attractive and enticing because the joy inside of you will glow.  Take time to heal before moving into another relationship.  Carrying past hurts into new relationships makes you look attached to your previous mate.  No one wants to date your past.  When you are content with single life you will make better choices for yourself.  You know that you keep great company and no one should be in your space making you feel less fabulous than you really are.

New Year’s Resolutions For Men

Stockbyte via Goggles Images

Tradition has it that when a new year begins, we should resolve to change something about ourselves to become better people.   I thought of 3 unfiltered, unadulterated resolutions for men and 5 for women (sorry ladies).  The men are up first.   In 2012, I hope you resolve to:

  1. Tell the truth in your romantic life.  Women are tired of the “I didn’t want to hurt you” or “I didn’t have my dad” excuses. You are an adult and are accountable for what you do despite how you were raised.  You treat women the way you do not because of your upbringing, but according to your own selfish desires.  You want options.   It makes you feel good about yourself as a man to know you can go back to where you once laid your hat.  You don’t feel like being honest because you really don’t want to explain yourself, and you feel like the truth may get you voted off the island.  Women won’t break if you tell them the truth.  Most women are big enough to handle whatever you throw at them, give or take a few tears.  You might stand a better chance of reconciling if you’re honest rather than leaving them hurt from your fade-away tactic or cheating.   Heck, these days some women will accept whatever arrangement you put on the table.  At least give them the option of deciding if they want to deal with it.
  2. Grow a pair.  There are too many men out there who are unwilling to take certain jobs because they don’t respect the type of work available or just don’t want to work.  Then you wonder why women belittle you or don’t know their place.  It’s because they’ve been forced to take YOURS!  Real men don’t shy away from responsibility and don’t let their egos hinder them from taking care of business.  Be a provider in your home, at the very least a partner.  If you’re in between jobs, make home life easier by helping out domestically.  Women respect men who bust their behinds for their families.  Nothing is beneath you when it comes to maintaining your household.
  3. Learn how to lead.  Men have a special, unique function in the world.  To be an effective leader you first need to know how to follow.  Throughout history prolific leaders submitted themselves to a higher calling and led selfless lives.  Today’s men lack that type of sacrifice.  They wear eggshell armor because they stand for nothing, trying to maintain their manhood with no substance to stand on.  Men, your ability to lead will come from your ability to follow.  Your ability to follow will come from the values and morals in which you hold dear.  When you stand for something other than yourself it is easier for women to support, trust, and stand behind you.   No matter how strong and intelligent women are, they want you to be stronger and more intelligent.  At the end of the day a woman wants a man she can admire and support.  If she makes you feel otherwise, it’s probably because you have failed at one or more of these resolutions.