Find Your Joy

Repeat after me: I am alive, not simply surviving. I find joy in each day.
To be alive is different than simply living. Living is quite simply a state of not being dead yet. To be ALIVE is to be active…lively…spry.

Simply waking up is NOT enough. Do not let this be enough for you. Wake up and create an awesomely full life. Despite your circumstances, there has to be something you can find some joy in. Life can get redundant. Your issues and obstacles will never quite go away. Bc just as soon as you navigate one thing, a different thing pops up. So the trick is learning to put things in their proper perspective. Recognize a test is simply in this moment. And anything (outside of death) is overcome-able.

Sometimes you have to put on some new lenses to adjust your perspective. Sometimes you might accidentally overlook some possible happiness by simply not seeing it. Perfection is a terribly high standard to base your happiness on. But as you progress thru your life, something is going well. Take some time to relish in the process of life…the small things. Many times the small pieces of happiness that you find, will add up to a bunch of JOY! Just look for it! And make it a good one…on purpose!

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Look in the Mirror and say, “I Luh You!!”


Repeat after me: “I love being ME unapologetically. I am simply awesome.”

Turn on the TV. Pick up a magazine. Check out social media for any reasonable amount of time. There will be some company or person reminding you that you are inadequate in some way, but they have the product or service that will help you get better. The fitness and beauty industries are billion dollar industries bc they create insecurities, then take your cash to help you “fix” them. It is a great cycle that makes a ton of money.

The only way to fight off the media bombardments of “why you are not enough”, is to fortify yourself with self love and build up your own self esteem. You gotta recognize that you are enough just the way you are. Yes, we can all increase our vitality and fitness, but you should want that for self…not bc outside forces have convinced you that you are lacking. Your only competition or comparisons should be to the You of Yesterday. Nobody else matters!

 

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Do Not Lose Yourself!

13767120_10209251196391164_3527532907079752689_oThis picture captures exactly what it means to be a wife and mom. From the beginning til the end of your day, you’re being pulled in everywhichaway. It’s life. We all come to terms with it.

Before I started my own family, I watched how some moms were handling their lives and their families. I took note of what I was and wasn’t gonna do. And for the most part I’ve stuck to the basics of my plan.

Things I wasn’t gonna do:
*Let myself go just bc I have kids
*Always put my kids first to the detriment of my health
*Run myself ragged…and look it
*Be the family’s martyr

Things I planned to do:
*Workout
*Eat fairly well (perfect gets stressful)
*Be an example for my family, especially any girls
*Game plan and execute like a boss
*Still enjoy my couple of indulgences like Starbucks and chocolate

We’ve all heard the saying that you have to put on your oxygen mask before helping anybody else. And this becomes especially true when you become a parent. Your life becomes a perpetual stream of putting out fires. So learn how to replenish yourself. If you give and give and give, you won’t have anything left for them or you. You’ll lose yourself. And what kind of lesson is that for your kids? Why would you basically show them that having them meant giving up on yourself? I never want any of my kids to think that they were my burden. I want them to see a mommy that loved herself and them and their dad. Bc it can be done. #mommyhood #fitwife#fitmom #planning #health #wellness #fitness

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Eff Beauty! Get Healthy!

I am a health and fitness advocate, not a beauty or fashion aficionado. People can be beautiful and fashionable, but not necessarily healthy and fit. When I start talking about health and fitness, especially to Black women there are some standard responses that I get:
I don’t wanna be skinny. (I never say that “skinny” is the goal.)
Skinny people can be just as unhealthy as big people. (I absolutely agree. That is why a particular size isn’t the goal.)
All sizes are beautiful. (I agree, but beauty and healthy are not the same thing.)
I don’t have time to workout. (None of us have the “perfect” schedule. But people prioritize what is important to them.)
Nothing is wrong with me. (You mean nothing has shown the manifestation of a problem. Many diseases don’t show themselves right away.)
My man likes me just the way I am. (Your man should want the healthiest version of “YOU”, so if he has an issue with you exercising and eating right, then there may be some other issues deep down…just sayin’.)
My kids [insert a “kid related” excuse]. (Life with a family will never slow down. You have to learn to still incorporate healthier behaviors.)

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If you get to the point where you push past your excuses and are ready to jumpstart a healthier and fitter life, I would say lace up your Nikes, throw on some tights, and get ta moving! But starting is a whole lot easier than keeping the momentum going. You should really take some time to evaluate your life, where you would fit your workouts in, what healthier versions of meals you want to try, and what events or obstacles may pop up. (Yes, you have to plan for obstacles, because if you don’t, the first challenge could throw you off your game.) So a few tips:
1. Are you a morning person or night owl? Do not try and change your nature. Workout when you have the most energy and how it makes sense for your life.
2. Pull out your calendar and put your workouts and meal prep sessions in. You seriously have to schedule these behaviors like you do anything else until it becomes second nature.
3. Quit putting everyone’s needs ahead of your own. If you are the healthiest version of you, you will be the most awesomest at every other position you hold.
4. If you seriously have no motivation, get a trainer. That’s what we get paid for. And if you pay attention to the workouts, after you get in a routine, you can strike out on your own.
5. Strategize week by week. All of our weeks can change. So recognize what events or holidays are coming up so that you can be prepared.
6. I know this is very cliche, but it is true. This is a lifestyle. If you don’t recognize that it will take some time before you see results, you may get frustrated. But if you know that it is a process, then you can celebrate your small victories as you work towards the long term goals.

I hope this at least gets you in a healthier mindset. A spoonful of consistency is better than nothing!!

Coach LQ

LQ is a mom, wife, personal trainer, and online coach. If you would like more info from her, please email her at firefitnesscoach@gmail.com

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Turn Up! It’s a Salad Party

Ok, I have a busy 15 month old toddler named Jeremiah or just J. So doing many things becomes a lil more challenging with this busy baby running around. He makes most tasks interesting…kinda like a built-in obstacle course. So it was beautiful day when I met a friend, Shari, with a child his age named Maya. AND they get along awesomely!

The other day, me and Shari decided we should hang out, chop some veggies, and make salads. (Like most cool moms do.) I chose one recipe, she chose another, and we bought the ingredients for our respective salads. We went to her place, let the kids play, put on some 90’s music, and the Salad Party was officially on!

Our babies played with toys, with her storage containers, and with each other. And we were able to get our chop on and finish these salads…bc in real life sometimes kids stop progress. Lol!

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Anyways the Salad Party will now be a thing for us…or a Snack Party…or whatever kind of party we choose. I just know that it’s awesome to have a way to be productive and let the kids hang out and play as well.

Oh, here’s the link with some salad recipes. http://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/mason-jar-salads#.fmGQWbmaD

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Balance Thru Yoga

I recently started doing yoga again a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t done it in over a year. Adding yoga back to my regimen has seriously helped bring balance to my life. Let me just tell you, I’m no yogi. I do not get into the poses perfectly. I don’t even know all the names of the poses. But what I do know is when I’m finished, even after just 20 to 30 min, I feel much better. The body-breath connection is so awesome once you learn to connect the two.

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I have an active 15 month old and I aim to workout everyday. So doing yoga, for me, accomplishes a few different things. I release stress (at least for that moment…lol). I’m able to center myself and prepare for the day. I feel like I’m releasing a bunch of negativity with each exhale. And then in regards with my body, I know that my body is inbalanced. This helps me with my stretching and lengthening the muscles, while challenging me in ways different from strength training. And breathing thru the moves help to release that muscle tension.

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Recognize that perfection isn’t the goal, progress is. You may never look as fluid as the instructor, and that is fine. Enjoy what your body allows you to do. And be grateful for your strength, even as you are working to get stronger and more flexible.

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Teach ‘Em Young

Before my child was even thought of, I was preparing my body and lifestyle to grow a healthy family. And now that he’s here, I’m certainly keeping with that standard. Kids today are developing adult diseases. They are being set up for the okie doke with bad habits early. But they are sponges. They can learn healthy behaviors just as easily as unhealthy ones. So it’s up to YOU to teach yourself, so that you can impart it to them. 

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Drinking smoothies is a regular thang!

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Exercise is a normal part of our day.

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Cooking and food prep is necessary!

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