Category: BLOG

Stay Hydrated My Friends

Stay Hydrated my friends

 

I am, in my own way, trying to figure out the route to true hydration. I have struggled with the navigating my way through head hunger and physical hunger.

 

Head Hunger, in its simplest form is when you just ate but for some reason, you could still eat something else. It is when you are physically satiated and your body isn’t craving food but for some reason (whether your cubemate opens a bag of chips, you smell pizza or something triggers your senses) you want to eat something. Head hunger is the devil and it is the very downfall of many diet attempts.

 

Physical Hunger is when you feel yourself getting hungry after a significant amount of time has passed, since your last meal. It is hard to concentrate, time may feel like it is moving slower and you might be tripping your way into the HANGRY zone.

 

Now what does this have to do with being hydrated? I’ll tell you why. Most of the time you AREN’T hungry. What is happening, when you are experiencing head hunger……your body is actually telling you that you are thirsty. I know right! Let that sink in for just a sec.

Your body doesn’t necessarily have another line of communication to tell you that it is thirsty. Yeah, maybe your throat will get dry but ultimately, your body will soak up as much moisture as it can. You may not know this but your body is sucking the moisture out of the grapes that you are eating, the sandwiches, etc. You may wonder why you are eating more than usual? Welp, that is the culprit. Since you aren’t drinking enough water, your body is trying to get water from any source that it can.

 

Here are a few things to look for when it comes to dehydration:

  1. Your breath stinks?! Yup. when your mouth is dry, it becomes a host to many problems…..like bacteria!
  2. Stank Attitude. You may not know why but you are thinking of punching someone in the face and it could be for the dumbest reason. Something like they didn’t say hey to you, on their way to the breakroom. Or your husband put the remote on his side of the bed, knowing that he goes to sleep before you.
  3. You are backed all the way up. When your body doesn’t have enough moisture, especially your colon, it is going to try to retain as much water as it can. If your colon cannot get the moisture, it can’t move what it needs to move (like your bowels).
  4. You be crampin like a mother. I know that is weird to think that your body cramps when it doesn’t have enough water and you are dehydrated. You are lacking the magnesium, potassium and the electrolytes that help make your body function normally. Imagine getting a charley horse all over your body and the perfect remedy is just 8 glasses a day. Crazy right?

 

This list goes on to dig deeper into dehydration BUT let’s focus on preventative care. Water or Infused water is the way to get hydrated. I know you were thinking that I would bring up powerade or gatorade. I would because they have an excellent  source of electrolytes. I am not going to add them to the list because of SUGAR.

 

Here is an awesome list of how you can really get the best stuff from being hydrated.

  1. Your skin will thank you. It won’t look so dry and ashy. You can actually plump up your skin and glow (literally) from within
  2. You can go to bathroom without force or tears. With proper water flow, you are able to give your colon a break and you can poo as much as you want to. Yup! You can thank me later.
  3. You lessen the amount of UTIs in your future. You are literally flushing away the bacteria and other nasty stuff that is inside of you. Peeing more gets rid of that stuff and you aren’t sidelined and can enjoy more intimate time with your partner.
  4. You won’t feel as bloated. Now this is a tricky one because there are other reasons why you are bloated but drinking more water helps get rid of excess fluid. The fluid build-up is what causes feeling and being bloated. Drinking more water takes care of that and you won’t have to worry about fitting into those pants on certain days. You can just slide into your favorite jeans and keep it truckin.
  5. Your overall wellness will be better. I have heard that some people feel like they are a different person when they drink more water. They believe that their attitude improves and they are in better spirits. Think about it. We are a source of energy. Water releases toxins from your body. Imagine getting a really dope massage. What is the first thing your massage therapist tells you? She/he will say to drink water. If they are worth their salt, they will have some for you, after your session is done.

 

Here are some fun ways to level with your water intake, especially if you hate drinking water.

  1. Get fun water bottles.
    1. Infused water bottles are the cat’s pajamas. I am telling you. I have 2 different bottles. One from target and the other from God knows where. I use them because they are super cute but I get to enjoy fruit at any time. The best part is that I don’t have to worry about the calorie intake as much or at all.
    2. Check out these infused water bottles and tell me what you think:  https://uniklee.myshopify.com/products/infused-water-bottle

 

    1. Mess in A bottle
    2. Infused water PITCHER!!!! Woo hoo. This will save so many trips and fruit :Infused water pitcher in the house
    3. Lastly…….. When you just want to get your daily water intake out of the way, try a 3 liter water bottle. I found one on amazon. It comes in cool colors and a handle so you can tote it anywhere you like (even the bathroom).

3 liter water bottle

 

**** I forgot to add tea. It is a great source of  water intake and since it tastes so good. *****

 

Now that you have a good idea as to how to get started. Listen to your body. If you just ate and 2 hours have passed. If your stomach is growling and you are thinking you should grab a snack, listen to your mom for a change and drink some water first!

 

You probably aren’t hungry, just thirsty. Give it about 45 minutes and check-in with yourself to see if the hunger is still there. It probably won’t be and you just saved yourself unnecessary calories.

 

Comment below and let me know what kind of bottles you use to remain hydrated. Your input is important!

 

 

PCOS and My Hairy Chin

 

 

For so many years, I have tip toed, hop scotched and basically teetered around being officially diagnosed with PCOS. If you are reading this post, you may have it or someone in your family has it. PCOS is the devil!!! Lol

To be medically specific, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a diagnosis that sent me to my bed for days. It is a hormonal imbalance that can lead to infertility, excessive weight gain, hair loss AND extreme hair growth  in places like your chin, neck, pubic area, arms and torso. The hair will grow in the most inconvenient places but not your dadgum head. Annoying, I know.

 

Earlier this year, I was officially diagnosed with PCOS. It followed me for many years but I was able to evade the diagnosis by eating healthy and doing my best to manage my weight as best I could. After having gastric sleeve surgery, in 2013, I lost 92 pounds and was able to get my life together. I am still working on the weight loss/gain yo yo. Last October, I thought I was pregnant and it sent my body into a crazy whirlwind of emotions and physical changes. When I realized that I wasn’t, I went to my Dr. for further testing. After a few days, I got the results back and BAM! PCOS punched me on the chin. I had it and I wanted to do nothing but cry. All of my hard work went down the drain.

 

One of the side effects of having PCOS is Hirsutism; it’s the extreme hair growth that I mentioned earlier. After doing research and looking at the images that popped up, I realized that I had it all along. YEARS of me hiding this embarrassment became validated when I just gave in and realized that this is what I had. I used to spend hours plucking the hairs out of my chin and neck. Most would never know because I would apply heavy amounts of concealer on my neck and folks would be none the wiser. Welp, overtime, the concealer would make matters worse. I would breakout and then have to deal with ingrown hairs. I would spend even more time plucking the hairs and digging the ingrown hairs out of my face. It was a vicious cycle and I was determined to have smooth skin. That came at a price with hyperpigmentation. Now that the hair would be gone (for a day), I would deal with the heavy scarring . I just couldn’t win! I tried everything from shaving to using black soap AND nothing worked.

 

I just wanted the hair to be gone and feel like I am a woman and not a guy. I hated the fact that Hirsutism bit me in the rump. I wanted to laugh and kick my head back in peace. I didn’t want to occupy my thoughts with anxiety because I was so sure that people were looking at my chin. I couldn’t concentrate because I just knew that people could see this major flaw. They could see that I had this hair and how dare I not do anything about it. I hated how rough my chin felt and how grossed out I felt when someone would touch my face. I hated not feeling secure and that this cycle was started because I wanted to use NAIR on my chin. I wanted to be normal.

 

I did a bit of research and I reconciled my mind because I could get answers to help. Now, I wouldn’t be able to get rid of this annoyance at once BUT I could relieve the pain and the appearance of the hair.

 

If you are not in the mood to shave or use creams…….here are a few ideas to consider and send you on your way to a soft and hairless, sherpa-less chin/neck.

TO Start, let’s look at DIET and exercise.

I know, I know. Don’t punch me in the face. I know that you have heard all this ish before BUT it is true magoo. If you are eating greasy french fries and hamburgers, that stuff is going to have to leave your body somehow. Now, the grease can’t make your hair grow BUT it can promote pimples over your ingrown hairs. So not only are you dealing with the hair but the BUMPS!

a.If you eat right and sweat that crap out, it will ease the promotion of blackheads and bumps

b.With clearer skin, you can really take a good look at the hair and then figure out the next steps of treatment.

c. It helps with insulin resistance AND can keep you  off the (pre) diabetes track.

  1. Look at the vitamins you are taking, I used to take nature valley hair growth vitamins. I realized that since I have this hormone imbalance, it is enhancing this problem. The vitamins are working BUT since my body distributes the hair in certain areas of my body, it is creating MORE hair in those areas! Stop taking those vitamins if you are noticing more hair growth in the wrong areas, like your lip or breasts.
  2. Stop Plucking. Now, I would be a huge hypocrite if I said I don’t pluck from time to time because I do. I hate it but I am working on not plucking. It is working because I don’t have the amount of ingrown hairs that I used to have and I am a happy camper
  3. Would you kill me if I suggested trim the hairs? I have close friends and family that just take a pair of scissors and just trim the hairs. It’s not a bad idea. You can manage the appearance of the hairs and it helps you avoid hyper pigmentation. I also wanted to mention that when you trim the hair, you don’t have to deal with the hair becoming more coarse and noticeable. 
  4. Look into laser hair removal. Now, this is going to cost a pretty penny. Even though it isn’t the most cost effective, it is definitely the best option of aggressively controlling the growth amount and pattern of the hairs. You will get a 2 for 1 special while drastically reducing hair growth. Not to mention,  the hyperpigmentation goes away completely. You are going to love the smooth hair and after 6-9 sessions, you are free!  Ideal Image  is my favorite option. They work on caucasians and people of color! You can also go to groupon to look up laser removal centers. Personally, I would go with ideal image but if you want to try out a center without committing to the price tag, groupon is for you!

Consult your Dr.! This is a conversation to have with your Dr. They could prescribe medicine to help suppress the hair growth and if you are experiencing hyperpigmentation, you will be able to get the guidance for that as well.

Speaking of Doctors! I was doing a bit of research and found this great article on the Blackdoctor.org site where they explore the definition of Hirsutism and how to create a few home remedies to deal with your hair.

Check it out and tell me what you think.

Ain’t I A Woman: Making Unwanted Facial Hair Disappear

 

If this blog post was a trigger for you and you are wondering if you really have PCOS or hirsutism, feel free to peruse a few sites and do your research. Start by visiting one of my favorite sites that helped ease my anxiety: PCOS.COM

What Kind of Do Over Do you Want in 2017?

Don’t eat that! Don’t touch your face! Don’t call him back! Don’t, Don’t Don’t!!!!! What happened? all of last year, you did all the the things that either you told yourself you aren’t going to do OR other’s told you not to do it. It’s that very hyper focused, dudley do- right thought patterns, that send you to the moon.

You know exactly what I’m talking about. In my case, it was telling myself that I am not going to eat chips and I am going to exercise 4 -5 days a week. I told myself that I am going to read my bible more and curse less. I am going to call my friends more and be on social media, less. I made so many promises to get up in the morning and walk more; when I leave work, I was going straight to the gym. Over time, those good intentions, paved their way to me sitting on the couch. I sit on my couch, wishing my husband would go take a shower so I can eat another handful of chips. I would go on autopilot and my reality with come back into focus, after I have fallen asleep on the couch.

When I thought I was pregnant and found I wasn’t, I definitely fell back into old ways. I was hurting and I just stopped. I stopped working on myself and going after what I wanted. I turned to my couch like a fond- old memory and wrapped myself in the blanket of my dreams and wishes. I just stopped.

 

After I spent an entire year losing weight, it stopped and my weight gain began. I didn’t gain all of the weight I lost (for the 100th time), but it was noticeable to me and a few others. At the close of the year, I decided to get myself out of this funk and LIVE again. I want a do over! Don’t you? I did this the first time I was serious about losing weight and I am here again. Lets get after it!

 

I created 5 strategies to help jump start your good intentions and turn them into your reality.

 

  1. Don’t get rid of your social media vices. Just turn them into what you want to see. For example,  I deleted every IG page that had twerking, big bouncing curls, clothes I couldn’t afford and anything that made me feel insecure( except for issa, of course). Just because that instagrammer has 100k followers, doesn’t mean you should be 100k plus 1. If it is going to mess with your head, delete it. After you do that, replace that page with someone or something more positive. I did and my mind and heart feel so much better.
  2. Invest in a few books. invest in yourself and love the the things that go into your mind. I am currently reading a book that discusses habits. I realized that there are a few avenues I have to take, in order to create this illusive action.
  3. Learn your personality type. If you are the kind of person that needs to link up with others and have accountability partners, do it. If you keep trying to join groups and wonder why you never show up, maybe you should consider being the leader or lead yourself. Either way, learn who you are and what is right for you.
  4. Open your mouth. No matter how many times I fell, I had to share with my people, what I was feeling. Since I am an emotional eater, I have to combat that with talking. I realized that not everyone wants to hear my mess BUT the ones that love me…… do. Once I was able to get things off of my chest, I was able to see the forest for the trees.
  5. GOD-GOD-GOD. I believe that when I talk to GOD, he listens. When I do read my bible, I am reminded that there are people that are much worse off than I am and they started over. If you ever wanted a do over , why not start where a do over is never out of style.

What are some things you wish you could get a do over for and when are you going start over? I chose today!

 

Remember to stay perfectly perched

Ten Ten

Pick your friends like you pick your fruit

Some connections are made over drinks or bathroom breaks. For women, it is easy to connect, almost anywhere. My connection came from a friend at work; we talked about everything! He would tell me abut his wife and how ah-mazing she is. He spoke of the pain they experienced, after suffering through miscarriages and then the beauty of giving birth to baby girl. I prayed for him and his family, after learning that the baby was born a premie and was in the hospital. This baby has grown up to be beautiful but I know that through her parent’s she is going to walk through fire and she is going to tell everyone about how God is so good

Every time my bud would pass by and we would chat, it would circle back to his wife (naturally) and how great of a photographer she was back in GHANA. He mentioned that she had an Instagram page and grew a following & Blog. He mentioned that I should reach out to her, for a session. Since I was dabbling with a few ideas, I did.

Shooting with Dana was like having conversations with a friend. We talked about EVERYTHING; our love for our husbands, our hurts and our dreams. At the time, our shoot was for a business that I was starting. I was going to be a life coach and help women learn to forgive their bodies and create this life they were promised. I told her that I didn’t know what I was doing and the idea was fresh.Dana and I chatted for moments on that and THEN she stopped me.

She stopped me and said that I should start a blog and put my images on Instagram. she said that I need to share my story because there are women out there that feel how I felt. They needed me as much as I needed to be heard. I thought she was crazy. I felt stuck but inside of me were dreams and missions that were never experienced, because I never tried. I never tried because I was afraid. After talking to Dana, she made me feel like I could fly and that anything was possible, with the right direction.

After our shoot, I waited a few days for the pictures to come. I just knew that the way she made me feel is the way I would look . I opened the images and cried. I hated everyone of them. I even told her. I focused so much on my flaws. My rolls, spotty legs, breakouts, lumps and bumps. I hated seeing me. I didn’t see ME, the way she saw ME or how I felt, in the moment. I was so disappointed.I wasn’t disappointed with her but with me. I couldn’t believe what I was doing to me.That night, I reviewed the images over and over and over again. I began to look at the pictures from the experiences I had with her. I remember when we talk about love and travel. we talked about insecurities. we laughed a lot. we met strangers and created a story, behind it. I remember how she made me feel safe posing and when my hair disagreed with the wind, she brushed it back

( like a mom taking a picture of her kid on the first day of school).

we created moments together and she helped me own IT. I enjoyed shooting with her and now, when I look back, I cannot believe I shot my first shoot. I really can’t believe that I shot my first shoot with Dana, the most incredible mother, wife, blogger of LIVE BEAUTIFUL MAMA! You never know who is going to be in your life and for what reason. I do know that she was put in my life to gently remind me of what I have hidden. I had to thank her. I needed someone strong to put me in the right direction and for that, I am forever grateful. That shoot helped me open my heart to things I would have never acknowledged. When I stopped looking at a shoot for how it made me look BUT how I could make someone feel……it was a game changer.

Thank you Dana with LIVE BEAUTIFUL MAMA Because you are living life beautifully….. mama! 🙂
Be sure to follow her on iG see her visual storytelling, of being a wife-mother- photographer: livebeautifulmama and her professional photo page on IG : Danasferrerphoto

Remember to always stay Perfectly Perched
Ten Ten

This is your womb- Where a baby would be

                         qtq80-jousqq

October 3rd. Long, drawn out, busy, annoying day. I had work, meetings, things to do, phone calls to make, people to avoid and a honey to go home to.

I kept myself busy during the time that James travelled to California. I missed everything about him. I missed seeing his head bobbing in the window sill, as he plays his videogames. I missed seeing his shoes by the couch. I missed my toes touching his toes in the bed. I missed the way he would sleep but when I came in the bed. With his eyes closed, he would roll over and open his arms to me. It felt like how covers fit a bed or the pillow slid into the sham….we just fit- every time.

October 3rd was different. My boo came home! He was sitting on his side of the bed, all casual, just poised for me to leap onto him and kiss his face. I did. I loved how his eyes lit up when he saw me and he welcomed every wet kiss I could plant on his face; I missed his face. I missed my boo.

After taking a shower and telling him about my day, we just layed in the bed. He held me, rolled over and I held him. I rolled over and we are looking at each other, talking. Something was different. As we talked, I could feel his fingertips remembering the familiar routes on my body. Using his index finger, he circled his fingers around my belly button, up- between my breasts and then around my nipples. Listen! I was tyad! Didn’t I mention that I was tired?! I had a long day. I didn’t get home until 10. I felt like I could just close my eyes and sink into my dreams like a good book. When he touched my body, I sunk into him. I allowed him to explore my body and reunite my body to his eyes and touch. Something was really different this time. It was quiet. The room was dark. The ceiling fan was on and all I could hear were fast creaks in the fan and the rustling of the sheets on the bed. We melted into each other and the heat was turned all the way up. I felt like we were amebas; our body melded into and onto each other like pre-cut jigsaw puzzle. It was incredible. The way we made love was different than the times I would scream his name, bang the walls or throw it back like I knew what I was working with. This time, it was gentle and quiet. It was real. I wrapped my legs around his legs and whispered so quietly, that not even the walls could talk. It was just me. Him. the moment.

After he left himself inside of me, I laid there, shocked, to be honest. We weren’t trying to start a family just yet. I was still losing weight. He was making moves. We were on pace. I guess that we got so caught up in the moment, we forgot about agendas and weight loss programs. We forgot ourselves and that was that. I held, in my body, the possibility of a future pitter patter of feet running away from a bath. I held, hand painted construction paper- to be ordained on the fridge. I held, runny noses and poopie diapers. I held basketball tournaments, ballerina tutus. I held christmas morning and snowflakes.I held a possibility that I would give birth to a child that was born out of a moment; a moment where their mom and dad really missed each other and they had to connect. That moment was special.

I laid on the bed and could not move. I felt like if I did, it would have been a fleeting moment as quick as the length of a commercial. I got up anyway. I went to the bathroom and I sat on the toilet. The only thing I could think about was that I AM PREGNANT. I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t just see my reflection but all the fantasies and dreams……….turning into something more tangible; a reality.

I just knew that I was pregnant. As I laid in the bed, I imagined that the world was being created in my body. I imagined my own big bang situation happening. My body tingled. My stomach felt different. I felt different. I just knew that I was pregnant.

I lived my life and for two weeks, I felt changes in my body. My nipples grew to the size of vienna sausages; they tingled and hurt all the time. I was exhausted. I had headaches and peed all the time. I felt so sick; I even had to run to the bathroom a few times, at work. I was a wreck. I was a happy wreck because I just knew it. My body was confirming it and I just needed to pee on a stick to confirm it. I left work early and drove to target. I listened to my typical praise and worship. I just knew that God blessed me. I prayed for a sign to know that I was pregnant. After leaving target, I went to Fresh to Order and then home; I just needed a victory meal to celebrate the fact that I was going to be a mommy.

I peed on the stick, waited, with a smile on my face. I waited and waited and waited and then I looked. It was negative. When I saw that, the moments that I held in my womb leaked out like a small hole in a bottle of water. It wasn’t as noticeable at first because you thought it was condensation from the heat but it was there. That teeny little hole could stretch and then possibly, the water would just pour out.  I made excuses that I took the test too early, so I waited. Every morning, I was greeted with nausea and dizziness. My nipples still tingled and my head was throbbing off of my shoulders. These feelings would just keep my hope, alive. A few days would pass and I still felt like shit. I thought “surely, there is something going on with me. I took another test. waited. ……..negative. I consulted friends that were pregnant and confirmed  the early symptom feelings. I went down the WEBMD, Pinterest, rabbit hole and lost myself in the possibilities. I read about spotting, implantation symptoms, period while pregnant. What to expect while you are pregnant. I looked up variations of: period, sore nipples, headaches and every time, the early signs of pregnancy forums would pop up. From there, I just knew that I was pregnant. I took another pregnancy test, convinced this time, I was pregnant. It was negative.

My period was coming up and I just knew that I was going to miss it and then finally, it would show that I am not crazy but pregnant. Monday, I felt cramps but the forums assured me that it could still mean I was pregnant.  Tuesday, I cramped but I was sure that my period wouldnt come on the exact day (it varied sometimes).  It would come the day after, the day before or even two days would pass. I knew it would happen this time. Wednesday morning, I sprung out of bed and closed the bathroom door behind me. I needed a moment to myself, before I peed. I knew that I was going have the most amazing day. I sat down and used the bathroom. I wiped myself and I saw blood. I saw bright red, on a white napkin, blood. I gasped. I was legitimately stunned that I saw blood. I got dressed, kissed my husband goodbye for the day, got in my car and cried the entire way to work. Every time I felt a cramp or blood trickling out of my body, I wept. I felt betrayed. My body bamboozled me. This was the sign I prayed for. I prayed that God would send me a sign that I was pregnant. It just turns out that the answer was no and I didn’t want to accept it. I deserve an award and I am in the wrong profession. I faked pregnancy symptoms. What the hell????!!!

My period was weird. It was red, and brown. I had more clots than I saw in a long time. When I showered, I was pulling the clots out of me and every time they hit the tub, i released the  seeds of hope that were planted in my body. I was devastated. I felt alone. I felt like I was in the twilight zone because my body is telling me one thing and my body is telling me something else. My period lasted two days, this time. It just ended. I was freaked out. A day later, it started again but it was brown and then it ended. This dream, that we hadn’t considered or had on our radar, ended.

Sunday, my husband and I spent time with my mom. We chatted and laughed. She was cooking oxtail. I hate oxtail. As i’m in the kitchen, I am watching the steam pushing its way out of the pot. I felt the scent of the meat covering my senses like a mask. I was covered in the smell of oxtails and I thought I was going to blow chunks all over my mother’s just mopped kitchen floor. The feeling hit me again. The queasy, dizzy and lightheaded feeling. My hope ignited again. Surely, this meant that I am pregnant! Surely. I was nervous because now, thanks to WEBMED, I thought I had an ectopic pregnancy.

Monday morning, I made an appointment to see my doctor. I’m ready to know. I was sick of my co-workers whispering about me and not asking me directly, if I was pregnant. I was ready for the confirmation because at night, I could feel my husband, rub my stomach, as if he was telling our child to find its way to us. I was ready to know. It was time.

The day of my appointment, I was nervous. It was that feeling you have when you are going to be naked, in front of your lover, for the first time. Giddy, nervous, anxious, excited. That morning, I took another pregnancy test. I wanted to be aware of what I was walking into. It was negative. I fed into the last hope; the ultrasound. All day, I was sick. The smell of food made me want to sucker punch every person that was cruel enough to walk passed me with their chicken soup or beef stew. I wanted to set that place on fire. I didn’t, but I wanted to.

Driving to the appointment was weird. It was quiet. I missed my exit and had to turn around. I just wasn’t thinking. All I could think about were the moments where James and I laughed about who whispered what, when we were making love. I thought about the moment I saw his reaction when I told him that I have always wanted to have his baby. I thought the baby names he approved of and the look on my mom’s face, when she thought she was going to be NANA. I thought about the cute way I was going to tell my sister that she was going to be an aunt (she loves that stuff). My mind was full of nursery rhymes and baby bottles. It was full of preschool applications and kissing my baby’s little toes. I imagined what it would be like to smell the back of my baby’s neck. My mind was full.

qtq80-ZnCsav

When I went to the office, I filled out the information and waited. I hear my name being called and I am ushered to the back. I took another pee test. It was negative. To be honest, I didn’t give a shit. I already knew that. I was waiting on the ultrasound. That was going to be my answer, along with my blood test.

The Dr. walked in and hurriedly asked me questions about what was going on. He interrupted me a lot but I didn’t care. I figured that he would shut up, once I saw what was going on inside of me. He stuck that weird, dildo looking thing inside of me. I looked at the monitor and there it was……my uterus. The Dr. kept saying what a great uterus I have; I have a healthy uterus. He checked out my ovaries and yup, my ovaries were great. He noticed that I had a fibroid but it wasn’t anything to worry about. He then took that wand and pointed it to this area. He said, “ you see this spot here? This spot is where the embryo would be, if there was one. There isn’t”. That was the second time I gasped. This time, it was more of a grunt because I was trying really hard to swallow my disappointments. At that moment, all of the things I held onto were let go. The only thing I held was the notion that I could be a mother. That was that. The Dr. left, along with his nurse and I was left in the room to gather myself and my clothes.

Walking down the hallway of a gyno office is like the walk of shame. They know when the news isn’t good but they have to talk to you anyway. They talk to you without looking at you. They don’t want to acknowledge that they know. After I left, I sat in my car and cried. I thought I was done crying. I didn’t even want to go back to work. I didn’t. I went home, in silence. I texted my mother, with tears running down my face. I could only imagine her sad face. I knew she was sad for me. I knew that she would have wanted to take this pain from me. I remembered, as I was texting her, the friday where I spent the day with her. We had lunch, chatted and had a great time. We were in her room and I remembered crawling over to her and falling asleep in her lap. I’m not sure how long I was out, but I was out. When I woke up, I was still in her lap. She let me sleep there and didn’t move. That motherly love, never leaves you, apparently. I felt like her child. I am 34 and I fell asleep in her lap. That moment rose inside of me and sat at the forefront of my mind, as I am texting her that I am not pregnant.

When I drove home, in silence, I couldn’t tell you how I got home. I just did. “This is where a baby would be, but there isn’t” still rattled around in my brain.It’s ok. Maybe next time. I mean, how crazy would it be? How crazy would it be for the stars to align in a way where I would get pregnant on the first try? Yeah right. I have not forgotten that nothing comes easy to me, in my life. Nothing just works out easily. Why should this be any different.

I wish I was able to perk up and say “next time! I am going to be pregnant”. Right now, I just want to lay in my bed, rubbing an empty stomach and dreaming of a time where I held the possibilities, inside of me.

For now, I will err on the side of spiritual optimism later.  When I was out for a walk, I remember getting close to home and had a flash of something wonderful; the flash was of me taking a walk and rubbing my big, beautiful, pregnant belly. As I am living in this moment, I hear God say…..Not now, soon.

With every negative test, ultrasound, blood tests…..the only thing that gave me any semblance of comfort was “not now, soon”. It gave me a confirmation that it will happen, just not on my time. Right now, I will mourn the loss of something that didn’t happen. I will cry, lay dormant on the couch, eat whatever I want and hibernate. I continued to pray over my belly and thank God in advance for the opportunity to be a mother and carry a healthy child, safely.

I’m not sure if I have approached the acceptance of not being pregnant yet, but I am getting there. I will continue to remind myself of what I heard. “Not now, but soon”. “Not now, but soon”.”Not now, but soon…………….”

qtq80-q2ajvy

 

The Candy Vault Spa Review

What makes the heart of Edgewood, Atlanta?

I believe, it’s Jennifer and Shawna; the owners of The Candy Vault Spa.

shi_4711

As a partnership, they preserved the edgewood culture, by creating this marriage of our urban spirit and personality. By doing so, the Candy Vault Spa sheltered edgewood of the dreaded changes, like: gentrification, appropriation and the washing of a nation.

 

Being able to experience the grand opening of The Candy Vault, in edgewood, Atlanta, was uplifting. I felt as if I was watching the very re-creation of  the new “black wall street”, but this time……It’s WOMEN! It was ah-mazing. When I walked into the spa, my heart swelled with pride ,  when I saw that women were not only the owners BUT the technicians were people of color. The times are changing and the black girl magic is more than an idea but a reality.

dsc04228

 

Speaking with Jennifer and Shawna, made me realize, that this piece, I was set to write, is more. It’s more than an ah-mazing space, with highly trained nail technicians, homemade sugar scrubs,killer heels and elevated seating. This space exemplifies what it is like to build a community.

 

Interviewing the owners made me want to go out and build something great, like they did. When you walk into the spa, you will feel the love of her grandma. You will remember where you came from. You will remember where you are going.

 

Watching this spa as a trendsetter and innovator was intriguing. Their intention was to create an experience for their clients and show them the desire to see something different. They thought of everything; imagine getting your nails done and you walk out in the hottest heels in the market. You can show off your new pedicure and your stems. Absolutely Genius!!!!

shi_4812  dsc04159

As I made my way through the store, I saw how the owners acted. They were in sync. I could see that they are a great team. My feelings were confirmed when I asked them what their thoughts were about being partners and their answers were great. They believe in collaboration, respect and communication. With those intentions in mind, this spa is set to become more than one location but a franchise.

shi_4825

One rule of advice, that was given,  that rang truer than most:

“Go back to your roots. The objective is to take control of our narrative and recreate what you have and let black women know, you can reclaim what belongs to us”.

shi_4850

Wherever you are, visit and enjoy the experience of The Candy Vault Spa. You will feel the love of a grandmother, soft skin from fragrant scrubs and a community that will always be honored.

shi_4786

The Invisible Woman

Eyes closed. Mouth Shut. I am in pain. “What have I done? “What have I done?” are the thoughts that ping back and forth, in my mind, like a         game of table tennis. Every thought that said, “what have I done?” was served with “this is what you wanted, remember?”. To that, my reply was “is it? “

To be invisible is to feel like a walking, talking human being; a person that has feelings and a perspective that no one will ever see. To be invisible is to be someone that would stand in the middle of the room, filled with laughter, chatter and  just feel alone. People bounce up against you and don’t apologize because they didn’t see you and you didn’t say “ouch”. You brush up against them and mentally apologize for disrupting the notion that you aren’t there. To be invisible was to be me. Unseen. Unnoticed. Unimportant.

One would think that being 316 pounds creates attention, the kind of attention where people look at you and not through you. Nope. I felt like people saw a shoulder to cry on, someone to hold their purse while they danced, an ear to to bend when they are in need of comfort. What about being the one that  told fat jokes so that I could rob someone of the opportunity to do it first?

To be 316 pounds made me feel like I was made of cellophane. To be a size 26 meant that friends would go shopping without me. Men would say “ I would date you if you were smaller”. Ignorant courage, was assumed of the stranger, that thought it was ok to say “ you have such a pretty face”. Being 316 pounds,a size 26, with a pie face, would give the chick fila clerk, the permission to suggest a salad, when I foolishly asked what would she eat, if she were me. I will never forget that moment when the words darted out of her mouth and I tried to  read her face for remorse, where there was none. The moment where her associate tried to turn her head so that I wouldn’t see the shocked look on her face; the look that says “I was thinking the same thing but I would never say that out loud”. I will never forget the moment I pursed my lips to say “you’re right. I guess I’ll take that salad, after all.” I toiled with the idea of saying to that chick fila associate:   “why, so you can throw it up in the bathroom, after your done eating? You sickly, anorexic, pimpled faced 19 year old, super senior.”

I would have said, “maybe you should focus on making sure your teeth don’t corrode because it ages you, after awhile”.

UM,YEAH right. Am I nuts? That’s not me. Cellophane doesn’t speak back. Cellophane doesn’t have feelings. Cellophane takes the tray, carrying a salad that I didn’t want, to sit in a corner, alone and swallowing the lettuce along with my tears.

I was visible for all the wrong reasons. I felt I was visible, only when I had a role to play or when I had something interesting and insightful to say. I was visible for fleeting moments that were just long enough to make sure I had a pulse. When they were done with me, I would climb up the perch that was inside of my head and I would just sit there. I resigned myself to only observe the world and climb down when needed.

Year after year. Bite after bite. Climb after climb………up this perch. I would get the courage to lose weight. I was serious this time. “This time, I’m going to make it. I’m going to hit my goal”……I would tell myself and even others. It turned out that I would have less and less cheerleaders at the finish line, with every pound I gained. I lost myself. Question: how can I lose something I never had; my identity.

After a year of only losing 16 pounds from walking,zumba, half used bottles of hydroxycut, herbalife pills, green tea, water aerobics, salads, step aerobics and healing from past hurts. I gave up and accepted that I was going to be 300 pounds, forever. I would think to myself and say seriously? What was I eating? I was eating my future.

I always wanted people to see me. I mean really see me. I wanted to be seen as a sexy woman. Confident. Vibrant. Present. Driven. Someone that had a trusted opinion. Smart. Damnit, I just wanted someone to look at me and say, “I see YOU”. I accept you and you DO exist.

In 2013, after being denied 3x, I was approved for  gastric sleeve surgery. By the way, If I hear one more person say that I did it the easy way……….in my mind, will,  get punched in the face. Surgery, of any sort, is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  For clarity sake, if you found out someone had a baby through a surrogate or IVF, would you tell them that they did it the easy way? A journey to a need is personal and a walk you take alone. So keep your walk, on your side of the street.

Annnnnnyyyy way. I had the surgery and just like what I wrote earlier, my first thoughts were “what have I done?” I lost 92 pounds. If that statement ended with an exclamation mark. This piece would be over. It’s not.

I hated every minute of my journey because I wasn’t where I wanted to be. To boot, I was getting attention; the very attention that I dreamt of. The attention, after my weight loss, scared me and I didn’t think I deserved it. I wasn’t prepared to handle something I prayed over. Being seen/visible, without mental preparation, is like knowing your truth but you have no voice. It’s broken.

I gained 50 pounds. I started to inch back into my old habits. I started to go back on

auto -pilot. I was settling back on my perch, watching my life pass me by. Again.

Not this time and not on God’s watch. After yet, another breakdown over my weight, I went back the place where I started and I hit the reset button.

I fought collected drops of tears on my shirt. I nursed every painful memory until the memory was powerless. I made a decision to see myself in the way that GOD sees me. That was hard, actually. I was used to jumping through hoops. I didn’t have to do that with him. Once I surrendered and found my value in him, I then had a foundation. I then made a decision after a decision to see myself. Through every kleenex remnants that stuck to my moist cheeks, after crying. Through the pain of facing what I thought was emptiness. Through the courage to live in the moment and value myself- right here-right now. Through it all, I filled myself with validation. I laughed at my own jokes, I cried in public. I put one foot in front of the other. I opened my mouth and let the pain pour out like secrets from a toddler. I set myself free. Truly free indeed. Once I did that. People started to notice me. The compliments were different. The attention was different. It wasn’t about my body or my clothing style. People commented on me. They started to see me. Its because I had someone to show; the real me.

I am a person that still has hurts and has hangups. I still have moments of feeling overlooked. The difference now? I am cemented in the Love that GOD has for me. I am never alone. I am always wanted and I will always be seen. With that in mind, I have the courage to try again.

I was visible after all. I didn’t see it because the image I had of myself was settled so deep inside of myself……like one of those russian dolls. It just took the unscrewing of figure after figure, turn by turn, until the little doll that never saw the light of day was the strongest doll of them all. The layers of the doll were hollow and useful to protect me while I was young. Now that I am older, my doll maybe smaller but she packs a mighty punch.

I also realized, the people that have to take the time to pull the doll are apart, have to be patient enough to find the smaller doll. The ones that stop mid -way, were never meant to find me. The ones that just looked at the first layer and assumed there was nothing there, are to be avoided.Nor do they own me. However, the one that comes to where I am and has done the work to pull a part the shell, is the one that saw me all along. They knew what value I had along. It happened as soon as I knew that I was willing to share the very thing that I was hiding.

It turns out, I was never invisible. I finally gave myself permission and the  courage to live.
And so I did.

image-2

 

 

“Stripes, Bright Patterns, Bodysuits, OH MY!

Curvy girls don’t wear horizontal stripes. They don’t wear leggings. They don’t wear bathing suits. They CERTAINLY DON’T wear bodysuits. LIES, LIES LIES!!!! Read on as I explore the feelings of shopping out of your comfort zone and into your OWN!

 

     With every weight loss benchmark, I had these mental tick marks that would be checked off the “I could never do that” list. You know that feeling? The feeling where you can cross your legs, without using your hand to aid one leg over the other…… is one of the best-feelings-ever!

 

The feeling when you can sit in a chair and feel the space on boths sides……is the best-feeling-ever! No wait. Walking into a store, seeing something that you like and actually having the unmitigated gall to pick your size…….going to the fitting room……taking off your clothes……putting on that article of clothing ANNNNNNNNDDDD holy Sh$t, it fits!!!!! That is the BEST FEELING EVER!! Seriously, IT fits and you don’t want the moment to end; this feeling is different because you are not leaving the dressing room, in tears. You are leaving with that article of clothing, in your hand and straight to the cash register.

 

In the beginning, each time that you leave a store, there is that one article of clothing that you have been conditioned, to walk past and never-ever think of wearing. Can we talk about the feeling that you get when you get the nerve to actually see if they have it in YOUR size? Or the nerve you must have to actually walk to the fitting room and try that bad boy on????

 

When it happened to me, can I just tell you that my heart was pounding  out of my chest. I was paranoid that other people could see my sweat stains, from the major pool of liquid making its way down my face, down my neck and being absorbed into my clothing. The funny thing is, just recently, I marched into H&M and specifically asked for the area that had the bodysuits. I have passed the bodysuits all summer. I actually skipped over the online images of Khloe Kardashian showing that “milk does a body good”, in those bodysuits.

 

I listened to voice that was inside my head that said “They will see your back fat, in that”. I listened for the entire summer. I am not sure what happened, during SUMMER 16’, but there was a light switch that was purposefully turned on. During my anniversary trip, with my husband,  to Nashville, Tennessee, I just happened to find my way to the mall. I saw the H&M sign and had to see what they had in store. My timing was impressive because they were rolling out the fall collection and I walked right into it.2016-08-26-13-04-092016-08-26-12-31-23

 

I am not sure if it is the “new town, where nobody knows my name” or the fact that I got off of autopilot. I just knew that I had to get a bodysuit. I asked the associate where the bodysuits were and immediately went for the black one; I was feeling brave but not that brave. The associate said,” here is another one I think you might like”. “This one is in cream”. My initial reaction was “hell no!” what are people going to say? “My body isn’t exactly where I want it  to be”. I started to go back into my auto pilot mode and I stopped myself and said “screw it”. If I can jump out of an airplane, go ziplining, whitewater rafting and have surgery……clearly, I can wear a bodysuit; I can wear the bodysuit in Cream, too!   So, I did. I put the safe, black color back and snatched the cream one, before my mind got the better of me. I tried on the suit and NEVER-LOOKED-BACK. My back fat shows a bit, but  I am rocking this suit as if Khloe herself, handed it to me. I put the thoughts on mute and just went for it. Do you want that? What article of clothing are you wanting to wear, that would make you feel like you could walk through fire? I have got to hear about it!  Believe me. I get it and if you don’t, you will soon.

dsc_0663dsc_0788dsc_0642

 

In the meantime, I have created 5 strategies that will give you a push to wear what you want and flaunt it, in style!

 

  1. If you have walked passed that item more than 3 times and it is still on your mind……go to the store and try it on. If it doesn’t fit in the store. It doesn’t mean it is not for you. It just means we have to expand our search to the online gawds. www.hm.com/us;  www.forever21.com ; www.asos.com are great online resources, for curvy lady.  I know that going into the store and trying it on could feel good BUT having a package, with my name written all over it, makes me feel like it’s christmas-every time.
  2. Walk into the store and pick up 3 of the same item, just in different styles or colors.  If you are afraid that people are looking and judging(which they are not)…….Grab a 4th item that acts as a great partner to your clothes. I grabbed the bodysuit and a really cute high slit skirt. I walked straight to the fitting room and all was well.
  3. I believe that music and words heal. I shop with headphones. I like to listen to things that give me confidence and put me in a frame of mind that promotes courage and excitement. The music puts on blinders and I can focus on what I am trying to do.
  4. If you don’t want to shop alone or online, put out a call to the squad and let them know you are buying_________. You may want a support system to cheer you on. You might want to leave that friend that ALWAYS has to be brutally honest- at home. Yes she tells the truth. This time, let your body tell the truth and your friends boost the truth.
  5. Take a picture of yourself. Save it for your personal archive or post that ISH for the gram. Once you out yourself and promote this change; the ball is already rolling and you have to wear , like everyday.

 

dsc_0817

I just know that once you put that bodysuit (or whatever your choice is) on, there is going to be a shift. You are going to stop being the girl that a could never…….to girl that “did that”!!! You got this. Just know that I am in your ear, cheering you on and shouting “WHOOP WHOOP! Go Head SEXY MAMA”

 

Until next time- TATA

Tennielle

Loose Skin, Sinks Ships

Read on, as you learn that you are not alone and it is ok to be disappointed with the parts of your body that are not ideal. Please get comfortable in my experiences of dealing with the excess skin and then take advantage of the 5 strategies that helped me ease out of disappointment and into owning IT.

Flap,flap, flap, flap, flap…..do you hear that? It is the sound of your loose skin slapping your body as you do jumping jacks; jumping jacks of pain.

Having gastric sleeve surgery changed-my-life. I lost weight and felt like I could really see who  I really was. For example, when I wore clothes, I would graciously accept the compliments of “ you look so good” .“ I see you boo”. “Look how small you are”.

To the compliment giver, I smiled and would say thank you. In my mind, I would say, “if they only knew”. I would go home and take off the spanx, full back-support bra, tank top and shirt. I tried very hard to conceal the lie of what I really looked like. I stopped accepting the compliments and started telling people that I don’t deserve the compliment. Sadly, I LITERALLY took a “friend” into a bathroom and started disrobing; I had to PROVE that I was living a lie. Why? I have no idea. I guess, I just needed them to know that I wasn’t a fraud. All it did was make my skin, the constant topic of concern.

After a follow-up with my surgeon, I showed him my skin and the pictures of what I look like with all of my clothes. I remember reading his expressions to see if he was going to feel sorry for me or ……..actually, I don’t know why I surveyed his face? Maybe, I just needed him to see what I saw and acknowledge the disgusting truth of my loose skin. Every follow-up appointment ended with my issue with the loose skin. EVERY SINGLE ONE. It became an obsession.

I became hyper-focused on my skin, so much so,when in conversation, I would watch the person’s eyes dart to my arm whenever I raised it. I worked on how to pose, so that folks wouldn’t notice my flabby arms. I wore shirts that covered just enough skin, that it wouldn’t expose the truth. I avoided being touched, as best i could. I can’t tell you the hugs I missed out on. The high fives of celebration. The moments I couldn’t enjoy myself because I just knew that people were looking at my skin.

I have always wanted to wear short sleeved shirts at the gym, for kickboxing. I could never bring myself to it because I knew that with every jab…..my arms would whip around and creates ripples that could move mountains. I couldn’t concentrate on working out and making sure that folks weren’t looking at my loose skin. It was energy consuming. It would be ah-mazing if I had  $14,000. It would change my life if I could make love to my husband without a top. Better yet if we get lost in the moment and I would forget  the top,altogether. Nope!  I am too concerned with holding my jiggly parts. I am holding my jiggly parts so that he won’t have to see or hear the flapping skin. My attention is  out of the moment and silently I gave in to being a pillow princess; a-pillow-princess.

My husband has made me feel like I am the most beautiful woman in the world. He touches my body like a man who loves his woman. Sometimes, he fights to keep the light on, so he can look at me. I mean look at me. I hate every minute of it. In the dark, I am a size 10, with soft skin and a small waste. In my mind, when the light is on, I am a deflated pillsbury doughboy. I am unleavened yeast. I am Gumby that was left outside in the hot Atlanta sun. I am not present. It hurt him and it started to hurt the intimacy in our marriage. I tried everything; I tired from running to turn the light off first, from making sure I had the right shirt on or being satisfied with not making too much sounds, with my body.

 

My body-My body-My body. The notion and the absurdity that I didn’t acknowledge that, is strange, don’t you think? I remember actually apologizing to people for MY body. If my arm touched theirs in church, I would apologize. If someone put their hands on my arm, I would mentally apologize. I silently apologized for every moment someone brushed up against me, passed me or just if they saw my arms moving. I apologized. Isn’t that absurd?

img_7288

The more I thought about it. The more I realized that I can’t apologize for almost 24 months of ZUMBA, kickboxing, walking, running, cycling, weight training, dropping pant sizes and kicking ass. The more I thought about it, I realized that my body has carried me through a surgery, rapid weight loss, moderate weight gain, muscles, painful childhood memories, disappointments, hurts and hangups. I don’t remember the exact day but there was a day where I stopped apologizing for my loose skin. I didn’t say that I was totally ok with it, I just stopped apologizing for it. I decided to wear my arms out, in tank tops and sleeveless tops. I decided to live and because of that my life changed. The intimacy in my marriage changed. The openness the truth of who I am, changed. I made a decision that I am going to wear what I want because, the reality is….I am smaller, faster, stronger than what they see.  My body is what it is but I worked hard for the muscles that I have and GOT-Damn it, I’m going to show it; loose skin and all. No matter what. Make sure your curves are always poppin. You earned that right. I couldn’t keep this feeling to myself. I decided to share this with you.

img_7230Let’s change your life! I overcame the disappointment of loose skin, due to rapid weight loss and I created a few strategies to make through this and stop apologizing for not looking like what is expected. I assembled TOP 5 strategies of pushing through and owning my gumby curves.

To Start: 

Get Naked! Close all of the windows and start in one room, until you can venture out into the rest of the house. Get comfortable with YOUR body. Look at her. Look at the areas where there is more skin. Touch it, flap it around, do whatever you can to “humanize” your body AND not act as if it betrayed you. Laugh if you have to. Just try not to cry. Do this every chance you can, until the tears dry up and you can actually look at yourself with pride.

Follow the next steps….

  1. One day a week, wear a cute article of clothing that  you probably would have hesitated to wear. Now, it is up to you, if you want to wear it outside? That is up to you. Work on that. Just remember that the earth isn’t going to swallow you up. People may not even notice that this is a groundbreaking move. You are going to walk out, when you are ready, and rock it!
  2. Get support garments, until YOU decide not to wear them. I don’t think that there is an invention for arm spanx. I love SPANX but I don’t rely on it. Use the garments (if you want) to keep “things” secured.
  3. Remind yourself of what your body brought you through. If you like to journal, remind yourself of the times you exceeded a weight loss goal or a tough workout routine(crossfit or ……). Remind yourself that the magazines are just illustrations of what could be and not what is. Remind yourself that you are human and keep moving.
  4. Look into plastic surgery. If you are unable to live with the skin and really want to get rid of it. Consult a board certified plastic surgeon and go under the knife. If you are going to have surgery, make sure that you are doing it for you and not for more attention. Don’t do it to boost your self-esteem. Do it because it is getting in the way of the deadlifts that you are trying to do or that it is annoying, having to tuck your arm skin……into your sleeve. Do it for something like that. Your self -worth and value is not weighted by the skin. It is weighted by your determination.

In the meantime, Live!

img_7550-2img_7503

Comment below and let me know how this worked for you. Give the forum tips that have helped you deal with your excess skin. You know I love a good photo……show off your new body (with the excess skin or post surgery). You should be proud of who you are, right here and right now.

 

Meeting the Jiggle – Head on

How to realize that you are not alone when it comes to working out and then creating a strategy to NEVER feel that way again.

 

You are 300 pounds, it’s time to change your clothes for gym and the beads of sweat, begin to collect and congregate on the very top of your lip. You can hear your heart beating in your ear and the world goes on mute. As you walk to the very back of the of the most dimly lit area, you realize, it is near the shower stalls, where all the sexy-freely naked-long legged women are. As you watch them creating a parade line from the shower to their lockers, you realize that they are walking your way. They are walking in your direction, unbothered that you are standing there (still dressed). They continue on with their conversations, all the while wrapping their wet hair in a towel and putting on lotion, naked.

 

At one point, you realize that they don’t see you, even though you are standing in the same place……you aren’t there. so , what do you do? You take advantage of the moment and begin to suck in your stomach and make sure that your panties aren’t rolled up under your stomach and your sports bra is sliding under your current shirt. You are thinking, How the hell are you going to switch your real bra- for your sports bra and pray that the other women won’t see your back fat AND belly jiggle?? You drop your shorts on the floor and you have to bend over and pick it up. That’s when the sweat dampens not only your shirt but your desire to actually walk out of the locker room and get on the treadmill. You are frozen because you just know that you have now made yourself, visible.

 

Now that you are pantless and realized that you spent 20 minutes trying to change your clothes, you say “screw it”, put your head down, grab the pants and change. You act like you don’t care but you can tell, they are making fun of you or thanking God that they don’t have your body. You activate your go-to avatar, walk out of the locker room and into the gym. As a big girl, you resign yourself to only taking the classes that you think ,THEY believe you should take. So, you sign up for the safe classes, that are acceptable; ZUMBA, step class and the good ole’ aerobics.

 

I was there! You and I are the same person. I dreaded changing in a public area; I couldn’t fit comfortably, in the regular stalls. I dreaded working out and I felt so much anxiety over sweating in public. Funny story…..THAT IS WHY YOU ARE AT THE GYM. TO SWEAT.  SO SWEAT!!!

dsc_0430

 

 

When I had gastric sleeve surgery, I made a decision to be real with myself and feel present. I worked out like I never had before and it was scary as hell. I wore spanx under my gym clothes and did the minimal work because I didn’t want people to see the fat girl sweating. I stayed in the far back, corner and tried not to work out too hard. I didn’t want people to think that I  smelled bad. Hunty! When I had that surgery. I made a decision that I was going to make a fool out of myself, in order for me to LIVE! I went from being afraid of running on a treadmill, because my back fat would jiggle……..to running on the freakin treadmill. I went from being afraid of using the treadmill(period) because I feared that people would hear the treadmill’s sounds……..to turning up my headphones and running on the freakin treadmill. I worked my way up from Zumba to Kickboxing, 7 days a week. It worked! I got out of my head and into my body. I listened to what my body needed and I responded. Losing 92 pounds was was the most torturous experience of my life. But it was worth every tear, muscle ache, belly jiggle or thigh rub. I became stronger and I started to push myself, just a little bit more.

dsc_0450

 

As an Emotional Journey Strategist, I took my first hand experience, of workout anxiety and created a few workout hacks that helped boost my confidence and motivate me to work that thang! Wanna see it? Here it goes….

 

How to prepare for the workout and reduce anxiety/stress:

    1. Buy a pair of high waisted- performance -yoga pants. I relied on Old Navy and this awesome site: Not every time, but some times, I wear really cute tops. I found my favorite online TEE store: Tees in the trap. www.teesinthetrap.com Rainbeau Curves : www.rainbeau.com  to help me choose the right fit for my body. This site gave me the courage to peruse the cutest workout gear and not have to lean into the good ole’ black,color. I get the comfort of being able to go hard- on a work out, without fearing that my belly is going to be exposed. The high waisted compression leggings will keep your body in check and the areas you need dry….dry. You will thank me later.
    2. Get a nice pair of sneakers. I bought my first pair of sneakers from skechers! The shoes were roomy and conformed to my feet. My size 10, wide feet, finally found a home. www.skechers.com
    3. Prepare a gym bag.Change at work or at home. I devote about 15 minutes before I am to leave and I change. It is a freeing feeling when you are able change your clothes and walk out like a boss.
    4. Make sure you have a playlist with nothing but “ I am woman hear me roar”, “ I’m a sexy mutha…” songs. Make sure your phone is charged and your headset is working, perfectly.
    5. Sweet sweat! OMG. this is everything. I apply this to my stomach and back fat; it helps accelerate sweating, in all the right places. **Please refer to the directions before use. www.sportsresearch.com 
    6. Join one class that you can feel out. I took zumba classes and it was so much fun. It gave me the confidence to move my body and welcome the sweat. After that, I chose one class that would require me to stretch my fitness strengths. It took me months but I was in no rush. Now, I’m a kickboxing Boss!

dsc_0408dsc_0418dsc_0393

Good luck. I am so proud of you and you are going to rock your next workout!

 

Hello Beautiful!! Welcome to my blog

 

What do you do when you’re not good enough?

Open a magazine, I dare you. Look at all the skinny, perfectly-shaped women who stare at you with bright eyes, large smiles, and a glow that can only be seen in a movie. “They’re fake,” you tell yourself. And it’s true. A little airbrushing here and there, and you could be one of them. A sparkling jewel to be seen, admired, dissected, and forgotten. Those women are a dime a dozen, and yet you know each and every one of them by name, height, weight, and bust. They have everything, including your complete attention.

“It’s better than being me!” you scream at the top of your lungs into the mirror. The reflection staring back at you completely agrees. Your eyes go to the shapeless arms and folding stomach that you’ve been hiding under baggy clothes and sweaters. Then you glance at those hips, strategically held in place by a pair of jeans that you wish were three sizes smaller. “I’m not good enough,” you say, “and I’ll never be.”

IMG_7805I’m here to tell you a secret…you’ll never be good enough if you keep this up. It’s not that your expectations are too high or unrealistic; your expectations are in the wrong place. When most of us think about being good enough, we compare ourselves to other people. But what if the only comparison was between you and yourself?

I know that sounds crazy, but think about it. When was the last time you felt really good? Do you remember what made you feel this way? That moment, when you were confident and happy, should be your focus. Below, you’ll find a few things you can do right now to take the focus off your imperfections so you can concentrate on what makes you good enough.

Why I’m Good Enough Today

1) List at least one thing you like about yourself today.

2) Think about a time when someone complimented you. What did they say?

3) Put on your best outfit and take a selfie. Make sure you smile. Look how beautiful you are! 

4) Write yourself a love letter. 

5) Pick a day to celebrate you. Go get your nails done, send yourself flowers, or buy yourself something new.

IMG_7756img_7656

Being body positive is about you, not someone else. Pour into yourself every day and you’ll soon see a change.

Till Next Time,

Tennielle