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A few things I have learned on my weight loss journey…..

I have trigger foods. Some of those foods include pizza, cookies, chocolate cake, biscuits, and cheese. Anything that is in this family of foods I cannot resist. I either have to have a little and give the rest away or not have it in the house at ALL!!

I have to substitute foods and make certain health foods taste like the foods that I crave. This was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

I had to use the same energy that I used to obtain my MSW in studying all things fitness. Losing weight and being healthy had to become my passion. I studied hours of how to videos on youtube, fitness tutorials, and healthy food suggestions. The same passion and drive I used to work hard and graduate with a 3.8 GPA. I had to learn to harvest that energy towards my health goals.

Celebrate small achievements!! Every pound lost I made an appoint to tell someone and accept the pat on the back. So far I have lost 48 pounds, so that is 48 times I have randomly told someone (Tamar, My Mom, Tunnesia, Stacy or Tanya) that I lost another pound. These people mean the world to me and for every pound lost I received some positive affirmation from them it helped to motivate me.

Keeping a journal really does help you on the days you don’t feel like getting out of the bed or the couch. There are times when I am so tired I didn’t feel like going to the gym but the ability to look back and track my weight loss and GAINS have helped  motivate me to stay on track.

Sometimes it ok not to get off the couch. There are days that it was not realistic that I was going to make it to the gym. Juggling many hats, relationships, and responsibilities can be very hard and tiring. There are days that I didn’t get off the couch because I didn’t want to and THAT IS OK!!

My body gains weight before dropping weight. I have read that weighing yourself everyday can drive you crazy and frustrate you and sometimes it did. BUT for ME it is like Christmas morning to wake up and see the pound or two that came off because I busted my butt in the gym the night before.

A workout doesn’t have to be in the gym. The hardest part to me is finding balance between working daily, spending time with my husband, daughter, and still find time to socialize with my friends. I have learned to include them possible on my journey. My daughter likes to ride her bike and I needed to exercise, so letting her ride her bike at Mohegan park while I walked beside her just made sense. I didn’t feel guilty for ignoring her to work on me and we each were able to get our needs met.  I applied this same concept to catching up with my friends. It wouldn’t be uncommon that they would get a random text or call asking them to meet me at the gym or a park.

I am a strong woman and I am proud of myself. One motivator for me was finishing school and finding a job as a therapist. I wanted to be my own and best client. I talk about behavior change in group like it is so easy. I wanted to coach, train, and counsel myself to a healthier life.

Transitioning from relaxed to natural is not just a physical transition but a mental transiton as well!

After talking to one of my best friends today about her decision to go natural, giving her pep talks and positive encouragement it occurred to me that transitioning from relaxed to natural is not just a physical transition. In the journey of rediscovery of natural hair she is going to have to first mentally prepare to learn how to properly care for her hair, deal with the possible negative feedback from society about not conforming to stereotypical ideals of beauty, and lastly what if she herself doesn’t even like her natural hair??? So the ending advice I gave her was she is going to have to learn to fall in love with herself including her natural hair. That she is beautiful and can wear a mop on her head and she will still be beautiful. She is going to have to really sift through her mind and discover the inner reasons she is having so much anxiety about going natural and define what beauty (outer and inner) means to her. And only she can do this not one can do it for her. Once she falls in love with every part of her natural self she will no longer be held back by things that once gave her so much anxiety.

I wanted to highlight another beautiful woman that holds the spirit of empowerment and confidence. Meet Alina, 20, ”I like to be curvy. I like to workout to enhance my naturally curvy self. So weird how I used to associate being super thin with being feminine” Go Girl!! Your right women are naturally beautiful and we should work with our natural selves!!

Quick and simple dark chocolate peanut butter cups. When I am craving something sweet I make this and have a simple sweet mostly natural snack in about 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

Natural Peanut Butter

Dark Chocolate Chips 50% Cocao or higher

Agave Nectar light

* Cocao is not the same as Cocoa. Cocao has not been processed and still contains most of its health benefits and antioxidants.

* Light agave nectar is not just light in calories it is also light because it  can blend easily with other products for the desired sweetening affect without changing the products flavor.  In other words there is no after taste like you would find in honey.

Method:

In a small sauce pan pour about ¼ cup of chocolate chips and let it begin to melt on low.

Once chocolate chips have begun to melt add about one large mixing spoon full of peanut butter and mix together.

Add agave nectar to taste for desired sweetness.

With a spatula add to baking cups.

Put in freezer for about 20 minutes

ENJOY!

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