I started my fitness journey at the end of 2020, November to be exact. I had recently just came out of a long term relationship, single mom-raising my four year old son- who was diagnosed with autism, working full time, getting back into the swing of things during a National Pandemic. I just wanted to find some positivity within myself during so many life changes, and ultimately wanted to feel better about myself in every aspect, mind body and soul. I wasn’t always are confident, ambitious and motivated as I am now. Trust me, it has not always been rainbows and butterflies- more like taking everything in my past and using it to fuel me. I spent some time looking at myself in front of the mirror and decided to get raw and very personal with my inner self, self-reflection, accountability, digging deep and searching for me. I knew eventually I would have to make some changes and get out of my comfort zone. Truth is, I’ve always loved myself but I also doubt myself, in so many situations. I was determined to change that. Once I started focusing on my health and wellness everything in the past was in the past, it was as if I hit a life restart button. Ultimately it all came down to me vs. me, and I was determined to become better than I was yesterday.

Routine savvy:

I have learned throughout my journey that what works for me may not work for you, and what works for you may not work for me and that is totally okay! I think one of the most unique things about a routine is that it is hand crafted by you, and only you. Once you find what does work with you and for you, stick to it and make adjustments as needed. Learning your new routine may cause you to change in many different ways such as, not engaging or entertaining toxic environment’s, setting boundaries, losing touch with friends who aren’t exactly on the same page as you, and that is 100% okay. It might cause you not to think the same way you once did. It may bring you to surround yourself with positive people who have similar goals as you, and similar outlooks on life as well. Some will be inspired, and some will be intimidated. There will be people, maybe friends who try to talk fear into your plans when you are discussing them. 1. Keep your plans quiet, just do the work. 2. They will talk fear because it scares them, don’t let them scare you. Sometimes the most hate you get during your journey can come from your inner circle, where the support should come from. Some people may tell you you’ve changed but in reality you are doing what is best for you. Some people in your life come with an expiration date, meaning everyone is not meant to be in your life forever and you’ll realize as you are moving to your next level that you can’t take everyone with you, specifically those who are not ready to go to the next level with you. My advice is work on yourself for as long as you need, and at the end if you still want to check on those “friends” I can tell you, they are probably still doing what they were doing before you took time for yourself. Then there are some people who are truly inspired by you but do not know where to start. I always educate and inform as much as I can because I remember how I once felt. Once I started getting serious about what I wanted is when and where I realized who I was as a woman, and who I wanted around me to celebrate my journey. Any unwanted stress, negativity, judgement was not welcome.

Prioritizing time:

I struggled with time management all my life, and when it came to my goals and lifestyle that’s where I started to learn how everything would fit together. They say “If you want something bad enough, you’ll make time for it” With 365 days in a year, seven days a week, and 24 hours in a day how could I have time? Trust me, I made time. I had a vision in my head and I was not stopping until I got there. I started at about 225 pounds and was determined to get to 180. For about three months straight every day Monday through Friday I woke up at 5am, got to the gym by 545am did cardio for 40 minutes, came home by 645am, got ready for the day, woke my son up at 730am fed him, dressed him, brought him to school, went to work, got out, dinner with my son which was usually a 95 Nutrition meal, worked out in my basement, showered, went to bed and repeat FOR THREE STRAIGHT MONTHS.  All discipline, and no distractions. To this day, my friends and family know boundaries are a big deal to me, and so is my time. My apple watch was my best friend lol I was determined every day to hit every goal. According to my watch I specifically remember one time I had 60 calories to burn in 10 minutes before the day was over, so my best friend let me out of her car so I could run down the street and accomplish my daily goal. I WAS THAT DEDICATED. I started one on one personal training with a good friend of mine who is a professional boxer, every Saturday morning I would enter the gym, and leave covered in sweat, red cheeks, out of breath, legs feeling like Jell-O as I slithered to my car, and during the week group I attended training at a woman’s only gym.  Every workout I would question myself saying “Is it even worth it” especially on the Jacobs Ladder. Time went on, I refused to weigh myself for a while, but I knew I felt different and in a good way. One day I finally decided to weigh myself and saw 175 pounds!! 5 pounds less than my goal. I was ecstatic!! I also remember trying on jeans, I am not a jean person but I figured “why not? Let’s just see!” I brought in a 10 and 8 and both were slightly big on me!! Again, BEYOND HAPPY- last pair of jeans I bought were a size 16!! It was the littlest things that would make me feel like ‘Wow I did that!” Let me make something clear, I know I am throwing a ton of numbers at you, and I learned numbers aren’t always everything it’s how you feel, how your confidence shines when you worked so hard for something. At that point I was into running, I would run the track by my house and bring my son to run with me, one day I hit one mile in 15 minutes, when it would typically take me 17 minutes, I wanted to get to under 15 so every day I would run that track until I got to 1 mile in 13 minutes. That was a huge accomplishment!!! I try to keep my son as healthy and active as I can, that includes watching what not only I eat but what he eats, making sure we go for walks, or play outside as much as we can. Once I hit my goal, I knew it was time to set more and more goals. I started weight lifting, doing workouts that were once far out of my comfort zone. I noticed myself getting faster, stronger, and more confident. I have had people walk past me in public and stop to say ‘ wow I didn’t even recognize you” I never really believed I looked that different until I held a picture up to me from previous years when I was unhealthy, and that’s when I realized how far I came.

Beware of your surroundings:

 I am sure you’ve heard that saying before, but I am talking about food LOL There have been times where I am at a family party, or its “Football Sunday” and we all know the “716” (in my opinion) has the most scrumptious food. One thing about me, I am a “foodie” another thing about me, I learned to take full accountability. Now, I am never going to tell you not to eat the cheesecake, sponge candy, pizza, wings, drink the seltzer, and have a shot of Titos because I sure have before LOL in moderation but I am going to take 100% accountability when I feel like garbage the next day because I knew/know I shouldn’t have indulged. Everyone deserves a treat, and again, we (well I) live where all the treats are located. Food balance was another struggle for me. However, I learned to adjust and learned healthier options. I started buying my meals pre-made meals consistently from 95 Nutrition, and getting my household on track with them as well. I would say THAT was my biggest switch and best. Going from struggling and eating take out and fried foods to healthy nutritious meals was a big switch but I benefitted greatly.

The woman I was before I started my journey is, and always will be who motivates the woman I am now. I had to become stronger mentally physically and emotionally in every aspect of life and I am forever grateful for every high and every low. Without the knowledge and courage I learned I wouldn’t be here today. I always say “Consistency is key” and I am a firm believer in if you start something and you’re passionate about it, keep going. The results will eventually show. At the end of the day it is your journey, your story, and you have the power to create each and every chapter. As for me, just know I’m working hard, a little quieter than I previously, but I’m working and still chasing all my goals.