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Moving Mondays: Results from the 7-Day Challenge

The 7-Day Challenge concluded yesterday, and I have to say it was EXACTLY what I needed.

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I’ll tell you right now that I veered off the challenge a bit. I refuse to say I cheated because that just suggests that I failed. I had coffee a few days, only a cup on each of those days. I had a tuna sandwich the night before it concluded, and I used bread, but aside from those moments, I did my best to adhere to the challenge.

At the end of the week, I lost EIGHT POUNDS.

Not as much as the 13 I lost when I first did the challenge last year, but I am VERY pleased.

Things I learned during these 7 days:

  1. Menu planning is crucial. I usually do grocery shopping on Fridays, and before Friday, I plan out the following week’s menu then make a shopping list to that menu. I always first think main meals, but it’s equally important to think about snacks and those “grabby foods” you reach for while watching TV or working on the computer because those little treats often pack a major punch in regards to calories, fats, sugar, and sodium.
  2. If you can get your workout in at the start of your day, do it. Not only was I more energetic the rest of the day when I walked in the morning, but also I felt accomplished before I did a lick of real-world work.
  3. Being kind to yourself is a MUST. This health journey is hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. We are often our worst critics during this process, and it is vital that we heap on the self-love. As soon as you wake up in the morning, you should be encouraging yourself, declaring victory over the day’s battles (to include the food and exercise battles). Throughout the day, you should be speaking positive words to yourself, and in the evening, as you’re assessing what worked and what didn’t work, you should still love yourself, congratulate yourself, and set goals for an even better tomorrow.
  4. Exercise matters. When I did this challenge last year, I was all into fitness. I was walking every day, doing various fitness videos, doing strength training. I was #TeamFitness. Which explains why I also lost 13 pounds that time. I ate pretty much the same this time as last time. Those five additional pounds lost last year had to happen from something, right? I’m thinking exercise.

I plan to continue this challenge… but with some modifications. I love bread, but I know I can’t attack it every day, but I won’t give it up completely. I need moderation. And that’s the key word: MODERATION. To get this journey back on track, I will need to focus on MODERATION and focus on more exercise.

Once upon a time, I was a newbie to all of this, and through habit, I learned to love, to crave working out and how it made my mind, body, and spirit feel.

I plan to get back to that space.

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Passionista Saturdays: Becoming FEARLESS

In the early part of January, my dear friend and PR guru Makasha Dorsey wrote a blog post titled 2015 – My Year of Freedom, and in that post she spoke of her ONE WORD for 2015 (FYI, freedom), and how she was going to fervently pursue freedom in all areas of her life.

The minute I read her post, I knew I needed to find me a word that would integrate with every area of my life.

Instantly, one arose: FEARLESS.

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Why fearless?

(more…)

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Faithful Fridays: Operation Jump-start JOY

As I was deep in reading Renee Swope’s A Confident Heart and Stormie Omartian’s The Power of a Praying Woman, I was sparked with an idea: to try for one day to bring all my thoughts, feelings, speech, and action into JOY.

Thus, Operation Jump-start: JOY was conceived.

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The notion of Jump-start: JOY is simple – the diligent, fervent pursuance of joy.

For me, and I know for others, how we think, feel, and speak play a large role in the things we do–in all areas of our lives.

I will admit that my thinking, my feeling, and my speaking often have me crashing and burning in regards to my actions, and I want to work fervently to make positive thoughts, feelings, and words part of my daily “food.”

So, today, Jump-start: JOY, from the time I wake up until I go to bed, I’m going to fervently pursue JOY in what I say and how I think, feel, and act. And wherever I slip, I will work quickly to make it through that slipup and get aligned with God’s word.

Already, in the four hours in which I’ve been up, I have experienced some interesting things. The biggest bane of my existence – driving – often provides me with enough joy stealing to last three or four lifetimes. Today, however, I had such a peace about me. Seeing the beautiful sky and having a humor-filled convo with my sister played major roles in that. When drivers did their crazy things, my world did not end, and I did not think it would end (which is normally how I go – something bad happens, I pick at it until it bleeds profusely, and anger and anxiety build to mass hysteria).

Just a few minutes ago, I had a moment that, I will openly admit, had me fuming mad. I was ready to give up Jump-start: JOY over it and was all set to cry and say, “Screw the day.” If I’m being honest, I will say I still feel that way, but I am leaning on God, realizing the world is still here and didn’t explode, and that things will right themselves.

It’s all a process, a step-by-step process. I’m moving one foot in front of the other, feeling out the ground, assessing myself, and taking another step into joy.

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Whatever Wednesdays: Provide Self-Love with #loveaday Messages

I love to write and always find writing to be very cathartic for me. A few months toward the end of 2014, I began feeling as if I needed some extra self-love in my life, and it seemed like a great way to do that was to write myself love notes every day.

I didn’t want to necessarily write book-length notes, and I knew that depending on the week ahead, this was highly likely, so I aimed to write short epistles to myself, little pick-me-ups to start my day.

Thus, the #loveaday notes were born.

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I bought a daily pill holder at a dollar store for, you guessed it, $1, and at that same dollar store, I purchased Post-its for cheap. The writing utensil? Well, I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to those, so I go all over the place for them. Sometimes, I write the notes with one pen, and sometimes, I breakout the colored pencils and pens and do some doodling on the notes.

My favorite time to create my #loveaday notes is on Sunday. I carve me out a bit of quiet time, grab my materials, and think about the upcoming week. I think about my to-dos and how I feel about all those things I have to do, and I ask myself this one question: What love will you need for the week to get you through it?

From there, I write seven short messages to myself, fold up each message, and then for fun, I open all the pill sections, shuffle up the notes, close my eyes, and randomly place the notes in the sections and close the sections. This way, there is almost a surprise in store each morning as I open a new love note to myself.

For me, the #loveaday notes are a WIN for several reasons.

#1 Who Doesn’t Need More Love?

With the daily grind of the day, we often don’t give ourselves enough time to even say HI to ourselves, to give that self-hug, that “everything is going to be OK.” With the #loveaday notes, I’m giving myself that love.

#2 Who Doesn’t Need Time to Reflect?

Because I have diligently been writing these notes for several months, I have carved out time on Sunday specifically for me to breathe and be. Just be. With myself, my life, my thoughts, and to think about what I need to keep me going. And on those days when it seems like the world is about to end? Well, let’s just say this time means an awful lot to me.

#3 Who Doesn’t Need More Creativity?

When I first started writing my #loveaday notes, I used the same pen, and I simply wrote a message. Now, these messages were still heartfelt, mind you, and were created to give me some self-love. As I continued with the notes, however, my creativity grew. I thought about different types of love messages I could write to myself. For example, some weeks, I focus on faith-based notes and on other weeks, I might look to a specific word – like my 2015 word FEARLESS – and write messages inspired from it. In addition, I have incorporated color (with the writing utensils) and doodling into my notes as well, which tap into my love of color and drawing and how happy those things make me.

#4 Who Doesn’t Want Good Memories?

The coolest thing about the #loveaday notes is that I can look back on the notes and see the love I gave myself. At the end of 2014, I looked back at over 100 notes and smiled.

As we are nearing the end of the first month of 2015 (where did the time freaking go!?), I already have almost 30 love notes to myself, and they spark me to continue giving myself LOVE. Below, you can see some of those January notes.

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If you decide to take up the #loveaday note writing, find me on Instagram, where I post my daily epistles, and tag me on your notes!

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