20 Reasons Why

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African American Woman Holding a Weighing Scale - Isolated

 

After taking a job where I’m sitting most of the time and enjoying my share of peanut M&Ms that are plentiful in the office for the last three months, I gained a noticeable weight. This was on top of the fluffy winter jacket that attached itself to me.  Additionally, I called myself trying a low-carb diet and failed miserably.  It’s not to say low-carb diets don’t work.  In fact, anything can work if you commit to it.  It just wasn’t for me.   So at the beginning of May, I made a decision to enlist Medical Weight Loss as my accountability partner.  I’d been successful with them in the past so it was a no-brainer.  As of today, the last day of May, I’ve lost approximately 11 lbs.  Yay, me! As a motivator to stay focused, I created a list a long time ago of “Whys” for me.  They’re different for everybody but remembering why you’ve started something can certainly help you along the journey to get to where you’re going.  So, here’s my list:

1.  I like wearing what I want to wear.

2.  I like going to the store and everything I try on fits.

3.  I like looking really small on camera.

4.  I enjoy my body much better when I’m smaller.

5.  I feel healthier and I look healthier.

6.  I feel more confident when my weight is at 156 then 215.

7.  It reinforces my brand and I look more credible as an expert.

8.  I have too many clothes that I want to wear and I look so much better.

9.  I like my face at smaller size when I weigh less.

10.  I look taller.

11.  I don’t want to always have to wear Spanx.

12.  I look younger

13.  I can pull off so many styles.

14.  I move better when I’m lighter.

15. It’s less stress on my joints.

16.  I want to be an example to others.

17.  I want to look good in my wedding gown.

18.  I want to be able to model my own fitness wear.

19.  It makes getting dressed for work, dates, events soooooo much easier.

20.  It’s healthier for my heart and other organs.

I’m not advocating a certain size for everyone.  This is just my personal best and as I write in my book, “personal best is personal” and any other suggestions gets a juicy “KMA!” I stopped apologize for the person I want to be and the person I’m becoming.  It’s such a joy to walk in that liberty.  So, what’s your why for getting in shape and/or staying in shape? Drop me a line, I’d love to know.  Ciao, until next time!

Are You Ready To Fight?

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Laila Ali

The lovely Laila Ali

 

Are you ready to fight for what you really want? I know I am. However, I can’t keep using the same old blueprint that’s yielding me zero, zilch, nada results.  Looking back is advised when you need to re-evaluate what didn’t work and what probably won’t work now.  For example, I need to lose 25 lbs. and while I could go on a crash diet, I know in the past that simply doesn’t work in the long run.  I needed to evaluate what worked in the past and go back to that.  So I decided to go back to Medical Weight Loss and equip myself with points of accountability.  It’s one thing to be self-motivated but it’s another thing to make yourself accountable to someone which is what I needed.

After too many handfuls of peanut M&Ms, the scale was not showing a number I was happy with and I needed to do something fast. I talk about “Embracing the New Normal” in my book “Fit and Fab for Life.” Somehow, my normal that enabled me to lose 60 lbs seven years ago got lost by the wayside.  An erratic work schedule, bouts of unemployment, and boredom got the best of my fitness goals this past year but I was not satisfied staying there.  I promised myself that I was not going to fat and frumpy in my latter years.  So here’s what I did to get back on track.

  • I started weighing myself everyday.  I do this every morning before heading to the gym and I also stop by the clinic every day.  After this week, I will be only required to stop in three times a week and that’s OK because the accountability is what I need to be successful.

 

  • I started working out at the gym.  I’m a morning person and I prefer gyms to group classes.  Know your personality.  I don’t like being restricted by other’s schedules and when they’re teaching.  It doesn’t mean I will never take a Zumba class, kickboxing class or whatever else I might fancy, it’s just right now, this is doable.  I’ve committed to morning workouts which means I have to get up at 4:30 AM to be at the gym by 5:00 AM.  Once I’m back home, I shower, fix my lunch and head out the door.  I have a friend who has expressed interest in working out with me so we’ll see next week how that can be potentially helpful it can be to both of us.

 

  • I swore off peanut M&Ms.  Every day I walk past them at work and ignore every color in the rainbow.  It’s been almost two weeks now and truthfully I’m more committed to where I want to be versus a temporary fix.  The great thing is I’m armed with treats that take care of my sweet tooth so I’m good there.

 

  • I journal my food.  This is one of my least favorite tasks but this works wonders as it’ done in the past.  This will be especially important this weekend as I have a celebration of some sort for the next four days.  Can you say “Help?”

 

  • I forgave myself for messing up.  Yes, me the author of a fitness book whose principles actually work.  Staying stuck back at yesterday with my mistakes does not serve me well so I choose not to continually focus on what I could have done differently.  A positive mentality is necessary for success in any area of your life?

 

  • Re-reading “Fit & Fab for Life” by Francyne Walker.  As I said before, the principles work and it’s unproductive to reinvent the wheel.  I always have people suggesting ways others have lost weight and that’s great that they found something that works for them.  At the end of the day, you have to do what works for you and stick with it.  Starting something and trying it on for a microwave minute will not get you where you want to be.

These are just a few basic things I did to get back on track because my health is worth fighting for and yours should be too.  What’s holding you back from reaching your health and wellness goals? This scripture came to me this morning .  Psalm 46:5 – God is within her, she will not fall.  Maybe, I can help when you’re ready to fight.  Until next time. Ciao!

 

The Great Escape

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Photo by Piper Carter

With  so much going on in this current Presidential administration, one has to protect their mental sanity. Last weekend, I was scheduled to attend an event at the Robert Kidd Art Gallery. It was pretty much over when I finally made it there but I couldn’t resist checking out the art and photographs while I was there. Art galleries are the perfect escape from the non-stop barrage of bad news permeating our world. The gallery is located in Birmingham, Michigan across the street from the Townsend Hotel. 

You’ll recognize icons like Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. Rosa Parks, Tupac, Biggie and Jay-Z. Enjoy and ciao until next time! 

    
  

    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Keeping It Sew Simple 

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So I’ve finally decided to challenge myself and start something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and that’s learn how to sew. I’ve accumulated a pretty fantastic fabric stash since 2012, along with a sewing machine and a serger. I’m not ready to just give up without allowing myself to have some fun.  As much as I love social media, I’m really interested in acquiring new hobbies that take me offline. I’ve taken a couple of classes at Joann Fabrics but nothing beyond that. I’m tackling a super easy dress from Simplicity and I plan to take my time. I’ve picked a fabric I purchased from Hancock Fabrics a couple of years ago. 

  
Anyone that knows me, knows I love prints and I love dresses. This one has a cold shoulder which is so in right now. I typically like to throw on something quick and cute to run errands and this little dress will do the trick, paired with a cute little sandal. 

  
 I thought it might be overly ambitious to attempt to make something for Mother’s Day. I’m giving myself a week to finish this dress. And then we’ll go from there.  What new hobbies are you interested in exploring? Leave a comment and let me know. Until next time, Ciao Bellas! 

Weekend Recap

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Saturday was a super busy day for me.  After I got my eyebrows done, I proceeded to the Farmington Community Library to complete a project for a client. As I was entering the library, a young man asked if I wanted to learn more about Muslim history. I thought “why not?” There were several tables of interest. My first stop was to learn about hijabs. The assortment of hijabs caught my eye. I proceeded to have my name written in Arabic. I ended my mini-tour with a snack while I listened to the presenter talk in-depth about Muslim history and the Civil War, which was very interesting. This was a nice little detour before heading back downstairs to begin working. I took several pictures to capture the event.
  
  
  
  

  
  

The Art of Lip Service

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Kacey Kristen

KaceyKal & Kristen Noel Crawley

 

When beauty columnist Kristen Noel Crawley couldn’t find an all-natural lip mask, she decided to create her own.  After many trial and errors, she perfected the product that would deliver a kissable pout.  Her lip masks are natural and infused with collagen.  They work to smooth and plump flaky lips. I wear a lot of liquid lipsticks which tend to be drying so these are a welcome addition to my skin care regimen.  Fans of the pretty pink masks include Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thomas, celebrity makeup artists and Kim Kardashian West, “I love to use KNC lip masks before an event for my makeup prep. They keep my lips super soft and moisturized. Plus they’re so fun to use!” 

Crawley recently partnered with a young up-and-coming artist, KaceyKal.  He designed the packaging for the lip masks.  This collaboration came about after they connected on Instagram.  They recently launched the lip mask/pouch combo earlier this week.  We’re moving into the Summer months and these lip masks are sure to keep your lips soft and pucker-ready.  The lip masks come in packs of 5 for $24.99 and 10 for $39.99.  Go to kncbeauty.com and order yours today as the combo is available for a limited amount of time.  Ciao, Bellas!

 

 

The Naked Truth

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I found this YouTube video of  Tarriona “Tank” Ball, the singer from New Orleans-based group “Tank and The Bangas,” and it was beautiful.  It was raw.  It was inspiring.  It was brave. Despite her huge personality, It seemed that as she peeled off another layer of clothing, she became more in touch with her inner truth and revealed how she really felt being a big girl.  In this image conscious society, we dress to impress and our clothes can convey all kinds of messages to the receiver.  They cover our bodies like armor.  They serve as protection or shelter, from past traumas, if you will.  Sometimes we can get so caught up in the clothes, that we forget what and who is wearing those clothes.  Who are we really behind that fashionable façade?

As someone who is fashion and fitness conscious, her video challenged me to look inside myself and at myself minus the clothes.  Yes, having a fit body that meets my standards is important but what’s inside is just as important to understand who I am and what truths are lurking inside that need to considered.  We grow.  We evolve. We stretch. Sometimes baring the naked truth enables us to do this. Have you done this? Looked at yourself minus the clothes, the hair, the makeup, etc. and wondered who you really were? Don’t get me wrong, I love all those things that make me feel girly and pretty but I also never want to lose touch of my essence, my naked truth. Take a moment and check out her video and tell me what you think.

Ciao for now Bellas!

Met Gala 2017’s Best Dressed

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Halle

Halle Berry. Hallelujah!

So, I know I’m a couple of days late after the event but between finishing up two projects for paying clients and work, I still wanted to weigh in on the costume party of the year with my best-dressed picks.  On May 1, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors for the Met Gala, the annual invitation-only fundraiser to benefit the museum’s Costume Institute, and a launch party for its spring exhibition.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the new theme for its 2017 Costume Institute exhibition and Met Gala 2017: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons.” Opening on May 4, the show will be the first monograph show at the museum to focus on a living designer since its Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in 1983.

While this annual event indulges the attendees’ wildest imaginations and creativity, here are my favorites. For the sake of time, I didn’t bother to pick the worst-dressed because they were, well you know, “meh!”

zoe-kravitz-met-gala-2017

Zoe Kravitz is simply gorgeous with her perfect pixie and pink gown.

La-La-Anthony

LaLa Anthony is classy and risqué at the same time.

 

Rihanna MET

Rihanna is in full bloom.

Tracee Ellis MET

Only Tracee Ellis Ross can pull off a look like this.

Cassie and Diddy

Cassie and Diddy.

 

The Met Gala 2017

Serena Williams, baby bump and fiancé Alexis Ohanian

 

Zendaya

Zendaya, having fun as usual!

I’m With Her!

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Yesterday, I proclaimed that May is the month of miracles and manifestations.  We’re in the second quarter of 2017 and if you’re on track to meet some personal goals, awesome.  If you’re not, then what are you waiting for?  Take a moment to reassess what those goals are. Are they written down somewhere?  If not, write them down.  One of my main goals is growing professionally, creating shelter for my spirit, traveling and shrinking weight-wise.  This Winter was brutal and I was doing a lot of eating on the run and of course I know better.  So, now that my work has stabilized, I can better plan my workouts and my meals. So you could say I’m taking control.  When I’m off kilter health-wise, everything is off kilter for me.

Speaking of control, guess who’s making a comeback after having a beautiful baby boy and splitting from her fine hubby? Janet Jackson. Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty.  Check out her announcement below of her “State Of The World” tour.  I’m feeling inspired by her comeback and getting back to my old #fitandfabforlife self.  What about you?  Are you planning to go to the concert?  I’ve seen her in concert years ago and she puts on a phenomenal show.  I’m betting she’s about to get super tight and shed all those clothes she was wearing to cover up and possibly honor her husband’s wishes.  We’ll see.  It’ll be interesting to watch her as she moves into this next phase of her life as a 50-year old woman who doesn’t have to gave any “dambs!”

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