Gallery

Moving Even When You’re Grieving…

I never thought I’d suffer a loss like this a second time in my own family. We always think that we have more time; that there’ll be another tomorrow to say I love you to those who mean the most to your heart. I’m so angry and filled with hurt at the fact that yet again, I find myself in this position! What makes it worse is the fact that it was so unexpected and brutal in its finality. No “goodbye”, “I love you”, or even that simple hug that I often took for granted.

While I know I’m not the only one who has suffered multiple losses, I feel like no one “gets” what I’m feeling right now. All those little reminders around the house; the trinkets, the things left undone, they’re all just there!! Yeah, this is all part of the healing process but this time around it’s so much more difficult to accept and deal with. ย This is part of my therapy; to try and make sense of something that is extremely difficult to accept and explain; especially to the younger ones who have been left behind.

Today this is my reality. Even in my capacity as a health strategist, I can appreciate the irony of it all; no warning, simply a multitasking woman on the go and then, BAAM! Just gone! For anyone else who has experienced such a loss, I know your pain. For the rest? Even when you do everything right in terms of your fitness and health, bad things can still happen. My therapy is making sure no more women die because they took on too much and received too little for themselves!

If I succeed in nothing else it’s this, there IS NEVER a good enough excuse to put your health and fitness at the bottom of your list of priorities because you’re simply multiplying the risk of something catastrophic happening to your own health. That’s one lesson I can share with you in the midst of my struggle as one who is left with the aftermath.

Gallery

Yes, there is a cost…healthy too?

Contrary to what you might believe ,  there is a cost associated with everything in this life. whether it’s a nice shiny car, or even a smile, yes it will cost you something ; the question is what are you willing to pay for it?! It sounds somewhat cynical and jaded but the real truth is that ,  even something as intangible as a smile cost something, even if it’s not financial; it’s all about value and yes, personal development too!

Earlier this month I had an opportunity to briefly volunteer and attend a summit on food systems, sustainability and food insecurity, hosted by FoodTank. While it was largely informative and inspiring, this only served to drive home my earlier points-there is nothing more important than our health and wellness (i.e. mind,body, and spirit). Why? Without healthy, pesticide free food and by extension, good health, WE can achieve nothing of great value or worth.

wp-1479413714264.jpg

Access to healthy (and sustainably sourced) food, a.k.a. good nutrition, plus a regular fitness routine (i.e.various exercise regimes) form the foundation for a balanced, healthy and fulfilling life .The reality is that an unhealthy community or society, is ultimately doomed to unproductivity and death as its members succumb to illness and disease brought on by poor nutrition (i.e. obesity ,  diabetes, etc), inactivity and excessive stress.

I’m not saying that nutrition is the cure-all for all diseases, but it is, a critical weapon in our arsenal for staving off a number of illnesses, diseases and environmental stressors that severely limit both life expectancy and quality of life. Experience has shown me that the old adage,  “medicine after death” still remains true. It’s far better to prevent disease rather than be in a situation where pharmaceuticals (i.e. medication) are necessary and in some instances, rife with their own set of issues (i.e. “side effects). While I’m grateful for the pharmaceutical  breakthroughs to fight diseases etc, the truth remains that a healthy body (fueled and protected by pesticide free foods and phyto-nutrients, exercise, etc) is a far better option.

If you’re waiting for big Agra-business (a.k.a. CAFO’s, packaged food industries, etc) to put your health and wellness above their profit shares and share holders, it ain’t gonna happen! Bottom line? We need to become our own food (as well as health) advocates and educate ourselves  about where our food comes from, and not rely on the food industry to police itself. Food (what we consume) is intimately connected to our health and the health of the environment.

You might ask, who has time for all that “research”? The answer to that is, WE all do if we care about our health, eating foods that have been sustainably farmed (i.e. non-toxic farming practices, minimal use of pesticides, etc) and our environment. We’ve entered into and era whereby we no longer have the luxury of being ignorant about our food systems (i.e. the global climate crisis and food insecurity). It is way past time where we all need to fully engage with ourselves, our environment,  and our food systems if we ever hope to have healthy and fulfilling lives. Now that is true freedom to me !

img_0100

Gallery

Who’s afraid of the Devine feminine?

Today I. WAS. MOVED. I was moved by the current sociopolitical climate in our nation where the “debased”, inhumane and intolerant  can masquerade as “real talk” or “plain speaking”. I’m also appalled that “this” type of vocal violence seems to breed and stir up the subtle (and not so subtle) poison of bigotry, hate, and misogyny.

So what brought on my latest rant? It’s really quite simple-our current political race! I’m talking about the current climate that has been created by the notion that a woman has not only decided to run for president,  but she also has the nerve to be the woman who beat the embarrassment and pain of her husband’s peccadillos! Seriously? That’s what constitutes political discourse worthy of a presidential debate?!
REAL TALK? The TRUTH is that every second of every day women and girls are discriminated against, assaulted, and undervalued. Some of this has its origins in fear of the feminine, a false sense of “entitlement”, the belief that the feminine equals “lesser” and weaker (a.k.a. prey). The year is 2016, yet this global tragedy continues as “we” point fingers at one another claiming ignorance. Yes we’ve all heard about the countries and regions of the world where this treatment of woman and girls is the norm, obvious, and tolerated (i.e. “honor” killings, sex slaves, etc). But the sad truth is that we here in the West have our own special brand that we “dress up”  in “acceptable ” attire.

While in some instances  our “brand” may be wearing a different mask or appear more sophisticated  ( or simply better tailored to fit into our cultural infrastructure), we also carry the same shame of treating the feminine as other and by extension deem it worthy of “unworthy” treatment. We only need look at the inadequate statics for rape and sexual assault (i.e. under reported, or compromised evidence collection, etc) on the grounds of our U.S. college campuses, to get a small glimpse of this ugly truth we continue to shelter. Need a reminder? I’m sure many can recall the controversial Stanford University sexual assault case in which an unconscious woman was raped by a male student athlete (former swimmer). To add insult to injury, the offender was given what amounted to a slap on the wrist by the judge overseeing the case. 

Yet we tell our young girls, daughters, and sisters, that they are “free” to reach for the stars?  I say, bullsh**t people! Until we drag out bigotry, hate, and the intolerance lurking in the shadows, things will not only remain the same, they will get worse; especially for women and the rest of the “other”. 

Why are women so “incapable” of reigning over their own bodies and decisions? Why are “some” men determined to suppress and oppress women and those they deem inferior to them? I don’t really give a flying you-know-what! The bottom line is that there will always be predators and evil among us, but it is up to us to shine a light on the darkness and root it out. I have my own views of sexuality and gender but being the evolved Homo Sapiens that I am, I recognize that there is both beauty and balance in diversity, that I rule over no other human being, and WE ARE ALL EQUALLY valuable in this space. Let’s not hide the ugly motivations and machinarions beneath the guises of what constitutes “sociocultural”  definitions of gender and sexuality in “our versions of society.

I stumbled upon a powerful piece of art featured in a news publication entitled “Truth is Beauty” created by Marco Cochrane and his wife (both artists are associated with the Bliss Project). The work and the sentiment behind it were so powerful that I was moved at my very core. I had to speak about it and share my thoughts as another woman who stands in solidarity with any and all who have been oppressed, victimized and violated because they are “other” (only I’m the minds of the oppressor, I might add).

We ALL have a role to play on the world’s stage, and it’s time that we ALL say ENOUGH is ENOUGH, and NO it’s NOT ok to victimize others on YOUR altar of bigotry, misogyny and hate! That’s right! SAY NOTHING and the world will continue to ignore and tacitly enable this sickness, while this poison continues to whittle away at our humanity and civilization. In the words of Edmund Burke more than 100 years ago: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was that good men should do nothing”

As the caption states above there’s a “controversy ” surrounding the fact that it’s 1. A naked woman , 2. Located in a public space, and 3. Small minds will never be able to accept or wrap their heads around such a deep truth. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grasp what the artists are trying to convey to society at large:

I really don’t think there’s anything more to add to that rant, my fellow Homo sapiens…

Gallery

PAIN!

Today I want to talk about pain. There are different types and levels of pain, but today I realized that we are all going through various issues and even painful experiences in our lives. It’s NOT that I didn’t know this, it’s more like the power behind this truth hadn’t sunk in until today (meh, I’m thinking I did, but I needed to be reminded ). Today I was blown away by a woman’s confession to me on Facebook about how she has been struggling with weight gain, how she lost weight only to start gaining the weight once more. I’m going to skip the details and just say, DAMN!

There are so many people struggling with weight issues, body image, self-esteem (related to these same issues), and the boat-load of other crap that comes with it!๐Ÿ˜
Today? She’s now reaching out to me and taking those FIRST few difficult steps to freedom and empowerment. I feel so blessed to say SHE IS NOT ALONE and NEITHER ARE YOU!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‰ that’s why I am so emotional right now as I sit here and write and tell my story and share helping someone else CHANGE her life AND her story, because there are so many more narratives just like this; gut wrenching accounts of other women out there struggling in isolation and in some cases, shame, simply because they need some help and support!

THIS IS MY MISSION and MY calling; there a lot of women out there who are hurting who are suffering with physical setbacks coupled with weight gain, anxiety, depression poor health poor eating habits, unhealthy lifestyles and just all-around spinning on that hamster wheel!๐Ÿ˜ฅ
and so today I am moved to reach out even more women who are looking for someone who is authentic who is Sincere who is real who has gone through the same struggles on this fitness journey and so I want to pump in Courage I want to motivate every woman out there who is other secretly trying to do it all alone, to just STOP!๐Ÿšฆ STOP trying to do it all alone without support, feeling ashamed because you need some help. Bottom line?

WE ALL need a little help sometimes, and to those who say it’s “not that hard to do” YOU DON’T speak for everyone out there, so NOW WHAT?!DId, did, did i stutter?! EXACTLY! ๐Ÿ‘ŠReardless, im going to continue my journey and mission as I live the fit, reaching out to the rest of my “tribe” of women on the journey to health, fitness, empowerment and joyful authenticity.๐Ÿ™…
Moving along to speaking and connecting with all those in need of some knowledge, help, and encouragement because I RECOGNIZE that I am NOT alone on this adventure.๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿ˜ค Wow, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, time to move on to the next exciting phase as I continue the journey to achieving fitness in my body, spirit, and mind. I’m in it to win it, kick some ass doing it, embracing the ride๐Ÿš˜ and taking My Tribe along for the journey2๐Ÿ‘ฃ
image

In memoriam…Done with the past and on the future!

In memoriam…Done with the past and on the future!

Yes, really! It’s the Memorial Day Weekend and in the spirit of it all I say, “Good riddance to the past”! (that includes yesterday too๐Ÿ˜‰). Days like this just help me to put the past and the present in perspective-haven’t hit that fitness or life goal yet? Forget yesterday, and keep pushing forward until you get there! I’ve come to realize that no matter what I’m going through, the whole point is, I LITERALLY have to go THROUGH it in order to get to the otherside.

No one else can do it for me; just me, myself, and I ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ˜‰ While it’s true that you can “bring” a friend along for the journey, the hard truth is that YOU have to find that core strength within, that will help YOU push forward to the finish line.๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ’ช
As the saying goes, “you can take the horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink!” MY thoughts on that one, drink up, ’cause NOTHING will happen until YOU do!๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ‘ฃ
Here’s to the >>JOURNEY!
image

<<

Monday fitness goals…

Monday fitness goals…

Hmm so what’s the plan? Do some HIIT, yoga, hit the hiking trails real hard, head to the gym for some group exercise class (*yawn*), go for a run? Just WHAT? Aright, rant alert here! I’m so tired of the excuses as to why a large number of Americans are so unhealthy, stressed out, keeling over at their desks from being overworked, etc!! YES that’s ALL TRUE! But what’s also true is that we Americans are kings and queens of fear driven bondage-bondage to our employers, our jobs, and just plain old mediocrity! Sorry that smarts but I’M ALSO included in that sad number, so Baam!

We all have our issues, but at some point you have to be WILLING and COMMITTED to breaking the yoke around your neck and just crying out “enough IS enough”! Enough with being overworked and underpaid by employers, enough with being afraid of taking the risk of becoming your own boss, ENOUGH with living an unhealthy lifestyle-JUST ENOUGH! This is where I’M AT on my fitness and lifestyle journey; I’m done with working for someone else and his/her narrow assessment of my skills, gifts and potential and definitely DONE with being overweight and unhealthy! I look back this Monday and all I can say is, WOW! I’m finally doing it; stepping out and taking the risk to becoming my own boss, and literally controlling my own destiny, BOOMSIES!!

I love the NEW ME I’m becoming and I love the fact that there are other positive women out there pushing and supporting me on this journey! It’s HARD to get started but it’s definitely worth it, and here is where I end my little rant for now , ha haha! THIS is why I started this journey AND NOW it’s time to share that opportunity with other people who WANT and are WILLING to do the same for themselves and their families-DO IT because you know YOU ARE WORTH IT! Enough said and onward to the JOURNEY!

wp-1461773333888.jpg

picking up daisies…

picking up daisies…

So ONCE again I’m reminded why I need to be grateful to be alive AND on the pathway to good health and living life to the fullest! As I’ve mentioned before, I work in healthcare and I’m currently trying to finish my graduate program in this field; that aside, my past has created in me a passion for wellness and that of everyone around me ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t like to dwell on personal loss or tragedies, BUT when it comes to remembering how far I’ve come I can’t brush it aside. Today I met a someone today who made me THANKFUL to God that I’m on track to being the healthiest I’ve ever been AND MY OWN business to boot!! Woot, Woot! Boomsies!! As I think about this woman I met earlier today, I was nearly in tears (she was soo emotional and in tears) over the fact that today, April 17th 2016 marks the last day of chemo for her. Oh my good GOD, HOW do you respond to that? All I could do was say a prayer for her and leave her room before I started to cry my eyes out too because some years ago, my mom lost her battle with cancer and that still tears me up inside when I think about her ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’m still maddened and passionate about women’s health and access to health in a system where healthcare (the best treatments, trials, etc) are accessible mainly to the wealthy and or privileged! You can argue that we ALL have healthcare here in the U.S. BUT I SAY, THE QUALITY of THAT HEALTHCARE is just as IMPORTANT as the QUALITY ย of said healthcare. I say this because although we had health insurance IT FAILED my mom and ultimately contributed to her loosing the battle with cancer. Until WE become civilized enough to REALIZE that quality healthcare is a RIGHT and NOT A PRIVILEDGE , we ALL will experince unnecessary loss and quality of life.

That’s not to say that we as individuals do not bare responsibility for own health, WE DO, but it also must be equally accessible to ALL who need it! Which brings me back to this woman I met earlier today. Why was she soo emotional and WHY was I almost as emotional as she? It’s because WE BOTH recognized the personal and financial costs associated with battling such a deadly disease, and not only that, to come out relatively unscathed (financially speaking; as in not out on the streets because you lost your life’s savings trying to cover the costs of co-pays and other bills,etc).

THIS IS ONE of the main reasons I decided to change my life, my health, and my professional focus to fitness and mind-body wellness! As an old adage states “Prevention is better than cure” and “medicine after death, is the worst tragedy”. THIS IS WHAT MATTERS TO ME: PEOPLE, THEIR HEALTH, AND QUALITY OF LIFE!!! What a calling and a personal and passionate call to action people; and THIS is where YOU find ME. It’s hard yet rewarding, BUT what an AWESOME way to live life!!

I’m a team Beachbody coach, and this is my story….journeying to fitness, health, and renewed sense of purpose!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

 

P.s. here’s my day at the beach contemplating my place in the universe, he hehe…LIVE WELL!!
wp-1461008071326.jpg