Category: mrsphatandnaptural

Slightly Guilt Free, Guilty Chocolate Chip Cookies: A Spin On The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Okay, let’s be honest, we only post our best selves on social media, but that is not truly all that what makes me who I am. So, that’s my intro before I admit that I fell off again with my fitness and health, but this time I truly felt no guilt. It got bad, I mean real bad. In my quest to satisfy this defying sweet tooth, I found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe! They were gooey, chocolate-ly, and super soft. Have you noticed how much I loved these cookies, yet?

One day I woke up and said, okay, enough is enough. I went out and purchased all of this healthy food and started back exercising, but I still had everything to make my good ole chocolate chip cookies. Now, if you’ve been following me you know that I don’t believe in depriving myself the foods that I enjoy, but I do believe in cutting back and hitting those calories with a hard punch of exercise. This isn’t the best method, but it works for me.

A week into being fit phatty again, the kids say “Mommy, we love your chocolate cookies, can you please make some?” How can I deny those cute faces? How can I also make those perfect cookies and not indulge. (Ok, I know it’s possible to make the cookies and not eat them, but I want some gooey cookies too!) I decided we will eat cookies tomorrow on cheat day.  If I am going to cheat myself and divert from my diet, I was going to do it with a little less guilt. How, you ask? With ground flax seed! Now, I won’t lie, I was very nervous that I was going to ruin the cookies, but I did it anyway. And you know what? No one noticed! 

Realistically, this does not make the cookie healthy, but it makes me feel less guilty! I do not recommend them as a healthy alternative, but it’s a nice cheat day snack. These cookies are small and delicious, and are about 120 calories per tablespoon. Which means you can burn off four of those cookies with about 25 minutes of using the kettlebell 🙂

This recipe is so simple, I asked myself why did I waste money buying processed cookie dough, when I could just make it from scratch!. It’s about 10 minutes for prep time, 9-12 minutes to cook, and 10 minutes to cool. I cook my cookies for only 9 minutes because I like them really soft, but if you prefer a crispier cookie, cook your cookies for 11 to 12 minutes.

Ingredients:

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 cup of dark brown sugar (packed)

1 cup of white sugar

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of salt

3/4 cup of melted butter

1 tbs of vanilla extract

1 tbs of ground flaxseed

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chip cookies

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda, and salt. Place mixture to the side
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Stir vigorously until it is well blended.
  4. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the sifted ingredients and ground flaxseed, mixing it well with the wet ingredients.
  6. Add the chocolate chips
  7. Grease your cookie sheet and place 1 tbs of cookie dough on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of room to allow the cookies room to spread.
  8. Cook cookies for 9 to 10 minutes (cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes if you want crispier cookies)
  9. Allow cookies to cool.
  10. ENJOY

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies. You can always store the cookie dough in the refrigerator for just a couple of days, if you’re not going to use it soon, go ahead and freeze it!

As stated before this is not a healthy alternative, but it comes with a little less guilt! Flaxseed has many benefits and I’m going to add it to a few more things! Shhhhhh, don’t tell my family!

If you try this recipe, let us know!! And if you think your recipe is healthier or better, let us know!

Until next time, catch you later!

  • The Fit Phatty

 

Picture Me Through The Blush Of Rose Gold

In just a few short hours I’ll be 44 years old. Somehow through God’s grace, I am an independent, confident, productive, wife, mother and grandmother. Yes, this still trips me out, because I know for sure most of it was not intentional on my part. I wish I had the foresight to have planned my life. I give those of you with those 5 and 10 year plans mad props. It took me a long time to have faith in my decision making ability, so I would have never trusted that I knew what I wanted. Even as a little girl, I spent a lot of time alone because I was always on punishment for one thing or another. Being chastised for everything made me fearful of making choices on my own. I actually use to tell myself that I wasn’t capable of making good choices. Not an easy road to be on.

This belief lead to me, just letting life happen to me instead of planning my steps. I was mostly reactive to what ever situations or choices others chose for me. Sometimes I had a good reaction, sometimes it was down right disastrous. I’m a very emotional being by nature, so a lot of my reaction were pure emotion. And if you know like I know, this was not going to turn out well. I had my first son as a teenager, and my second son in my early twenties. I had a decent job, but it just wasn’t going to take care of three of us. By the time I had my second son, I knew I had to make  changes in my life. It started with my deciding that I was know longer going to be held back by the negative Nellys in my head. I started writing down goals and figuring out how to work towards them. A few years ago I ran across an old journal, I had to laugh when I read the goals. All I wanted was to have a car, a job, and my own place. The funny thing is, those goals seem so low, but I don’t remember being excited or even acknowledging when I reached them. Somehow, I made myself believe those goals were nothing. To some they may not be, but for me obviously it was something I needed to focus on attaining. So at that very moment, I allowed myself to be proud. Even though it was 20 years later! I let go of thinking my accomplishments are nothing. I deserve to celebrate me.

I may have said this before, but by growing up without my mom in my life, I was determined to be the mom I didn’t have. Thank God He blessed me with the ability to be a good provider for my boys. I use to wonder if I was doing a good job, then one day I looked up and not only was I taking care of my 2, but I was also taking care of my little sister and brother, and many of my younger cousins from time to time.

In the role as caregiver, I began to put myself last again . Always thinking if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done. After many years of sacrificing myself for the greater good of the rest of the people around me, kind of made me sad. As I look back at my thirties, I realize I spent the entire decade depressed. Mainly because I wasn’t doing anything to feed my soul. Everything was for someone else. Part of my believed that I had to keep holding all the weight or everything would fall apart and I would be the blame. I can remember my husband telling me, that everyone else can afford to be happy because I’m holding all their misery. Lol, thank God for him. He was so right. I let go of being responsible for everyone but me. I deserve to be first. It’s ok to be a little selfish sometimes.

When I turned Forty I promised myself that I was going to take better care of me. I know it might seem a little late in the game, but you know what they say: better late than never. Today I am a mother of three, a wife, and a grandmother. It’s not easy to let old habits go, but everyday I seek God for guidance and direction. As I keep moving forward on this road to self love and acceptance, there are highs and lows. But just like that old saying says, I’m looking at life through ” rose-tinted glasses”. I chose to see the good in my life. I love the institution of love and believe love is the answer. Today I believe I am not only capable of making good decisions, but I’m equipped to teach others how to as well. Today I believe that I am the master of my own destiny. Today I believe that I am worthy to be celebrated. Today I believe that I am too important not to be a priority. Today I am seeking my golden life. As I approach my forty fourth year I believe all things are possible and are working together for my good!

Outfit dets: Satin Bomber ( Charlotte Russe) Blush Denim ( Lane Bryant)

Saying Farewell To Summer : My Summer Of Yes To Self

There is something about the hot days and bright colors of Summer that lends itself to endless promises of fun filled days and exhausting excitement! I know, I always think of vacations, easy living, quick meals, cold treats and tons of barbecues, brunches, and outdoor events that are just beaming with happy beautiful people, just enjoying life and living in pure joy! But is that really true? It can be if you say Yes to self!

This Summer I knew I wouldn’t be able to go on an epic vacation, so I made a conscious decision to enjoy my Summer Saturdays to the fullest. Instead of lamenting about what I couldn’t do, I chose to enjoy what I could. Believe me you, it wasn’t easy to watch my friends and family traveling to and from Aruba, Greece, Sol, even China and Dubai! I made the decision to live through them instead of being ungrateful for what I have. Yes, I embarked on epic vacation like experience for myself on my Summer Saturdays!

I spent most of my Summer 17 Saturdays hitting up free music festivals, going sight seeing, and flea market treasure hunting. I treated myself to a Mary J Blige concert. Yes, two days before the show, I looked up the tickets and saw that they still had seats for the MSG show. I texted my girls and they were more than excited to go. Normally I would have talked  myself out of going. Just because it wasn’t planned in advanced, but I’m so glad that I said yes to myself!   We had a ball, all three of us work hard and take great care of our families, but we rarely do something just for ourselves. Yes, Treat Yo Self!

I knew I had already purchased my ticket to TheCurvycon being held during New York Fashion Week, so I knew I had that to look forward to as well. Yes, being in the company of so many confident, beautiful, positive, curvy women and men is intoxicating! Yes, Find Yo Tribe!

I was invited to the New Jersey Hair N Beauty Expo as a special invited guest. The initial yes was to the invite. I was excited to be in the collective of all the New Jersey naturals from my area. Then wouldn’t you know it, I was asked to be on the panel, to answer questions about my natural hair journey, and to encourage and instruct new naturalists! Yes, I said Yes! Yes, To Yo Testimony!

So the calendar says it’s the start of fall, but the temperatures have been hotter this past week, than many of the days in our so called summer. We Say Goodbye to the season, but we don’t have to say the promise. Carry the feeling of seeking joy into to Fall by saying Yes To Self!

How did you spend your Summer? Did you do things that make you happy? Did you say Yes To Self? Let me know in the comments how your plan to say yes to yourself.

How Exercise Can Help You Get Out Of You Grey Zone: Combat Depression

We are often only taught about major depression.  That identifiable grey cloud that follows you everywhere you go. You know the heavy feeling in your arms and legs. Or the dark not wanting to get out of bed or can’t face the world type. But there are several other types of depression some of them are more mild but they still have an affect on your life.

Mayo Clinic defines depression as: A mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

 

About 2 percent of the American population has a form of depression that’s less severe than major depression, but is still very real. It’s called dysthymia.

 

Dysthymia is a type of depression that causes a low mood over a long period of time. It may last for a year or more. Most sufferers perform normally but just not optimally. Symptoms include sadness, trouble concentrating, fatigue, and changes in sleep habits and appetite.

 

This type of depression nearly  ruined my relationship. I went through a spell of depression for about  a year. But here’s the kicker – I had no idea I was depressed. The truth is, it just seeps in and becomes a part of you, before  you even know it. I didn’t feel sad or blue all the time, I was not crying uncontrollably, I didn’t miss milestones, nor fight myself to get out of bed. So how could I know that I was depressed? It wasn’t until I was on the other side of it that I realized what I had been delivered from. I started to realize that I hadn’t been myself.

While I was going through it, of course I could not see the effect that depression had on my relationship. Neither of us had any idea that I was suffering from depression, yet I was not myself and in return we were not who we once were.

 

Depression has left some residual effects, with many pieces to clean up, but one thing that has helped me is exercising. I began exercising for weight loss and eventually I realized without losing a significant amount of weight, that I was feeling much  better. Cardio always left me more energized and happier, but strength training is just a necessary evil (lol).

 

Although exercise was my catalyst to launch me out of the grey zone. Here are some other tips and ticks that can help to feed your soul:

 

  1. Unplug– Sometimes you just have to take a some time and let yourself destress from everyone. As a mom this isn’t always easy but you have to put yourself first so you can come back whole for everyone instead of giving them your half ass self.
  2. Day Dream– Allow yourself to remember the things you love and why. Imagine the possibilities of abundance God has for you. Create the biggest grandest vision of your life, and believe it’s available to you.
  3. Forget Perfect- This alone is freeing. Done is so much better than perfect, as long as you do the best you can do, allow yourself to be proud of your accomplishments. Remind yourself of your own natural  flawlessness and check out our post Born Flawless: Embrace Your Normal!
  4. Call A Friend- You can’t underestimate the effect a sound voice will have on your soul. Call a good friend that you can have a laugh with.
  5. Focus On A Hobby- Just the pleasure of doing something you love. Or learning something new will feed your body good vibes.
  6. Meditate- Sometimes I just do a quick 5 minute guided meditation. I pull one up on YouTube and lay down and breath.
  7. Get Moving- Even if you don’t have a gym membership, or have an hour to dedicate to a workout routine. Give yourself ten minutes and just dance or check out our post on 5 Yoga Poses To Get Your Day Going Right!

 

I’d stopped exercising for nearly a year and I noticed that I didn’t always feel as good, as I used too. But now that I am back at it, I realized the most important benefit of my exercise routine is my mental strength.

Let's jump into hump day right! 🙌🏾 Mid week motivation. My body has been doing some weird stuff these past three weeks, not too sure what's happen but I must adapt. The main thing that has thrown me off is the fact I'm barely eating. I decided regardless I have to. Taking care of my body is sooooo important, nothing to be taken lightly. Especially during this season where I am looking to lose weight and build strength. I'm doing my best to figure it out one day at a time! Some days are better than others but what matters is that I continually make an effort each and everyday! 😏 Don't let changes stop you from achieving your goals! When something changes, adapt and keep moving! 🏃🏾‍♀️Even better when you have a partner to motivate you! Tag teaming with my girl @evanssam89 #fitnessbuddies #lifewitjoy #healthyliving #afrogirlfitness

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One additional benefit of the added energy is a renewed optimism to rebuild my life. So sometimes, depression isn’t ugly, it’s just not pretty. Don’t get stuck in the grey zone.

 

We’d love to hear some of your tips to helps stay out of the grey zone!

 

As always Love from The Fit Phatty

 

Wisdom Wednesday : Are You Missing Your Blessing?

“And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:11-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sped through the creation story, never recognizing the blessing in divine order. God created fruit beating trees, vegetation, and plants yielding seed .i.e “food” days before there was anything living to eat the food. Three days before creating man,on the 6th day, and two days before creating the animals on the fifth day.

On the third day God provided provision. Before there was even a need. He had not yet created Adam and Eve yet he made provisions for them.

This is exactly the way God makes provision for us! Well in advance of our need, God has already provided the “food”. But how often are we speeding by the creation because it seems insignificant?

Or maybe we have a picture of what said blessing should look like, so we can’t acknowledge the blessing when it shows up, because it’s not packaged the way we think it should be.

Well, we know what happened to the last “people” that rejected a blessing because it didn’t appear they way they thought it should right? Ok then, enough said.

The challenge for us is to see the provision and care, even when it is different than we expect, because God is God, his ways are not like our ways, and His thought are higher than our thoughts.

First we must have faith. When we put your faith in Christ, God commissions himself to protect, provide, and care for us.

When you put your faith in Christ, the bible tells us we will have what ever we so desire. God always provides for his children, though often it is not in the way we expect or hope.

So as I bring this message to a close I leave you with the following scripture

Matthew‬ ‭7:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

And lastly, always seek God!

Born Flawless : Embrace Your Normal

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

First and foremost God loves you and

“You were born flawless”

Auntie Oprah likes to say babies come into the world trailing the breath of Angels. They know they are born flawless.

As we grow through life and experiences we get imprinted with images, encounters and other people’s  beliefs and  ideas which cause us to question our flawless-ness. These people who imprint their beliefs, and fears on our psyche, sometimes think they are doing us a favor.

I’m not just talking about tramatic or drastic things. Sometimes these are subtle consistant themes or words that we hear or are being told that slowly seep into our being. And before you know it, you and self doubt are old roommates!

Self doubt can hold you hostage. Usually there are two extremes. Either you exhaust your self trying to over compensate for your feelings of inadequacy. Or you become paralyzed with fear of failure and never step out on faith.

You end up standing by, questioning every thought and watching everyone else get what God has for them. Sometimes this can ever make you bitter, or worst yet, you become a hater! You hate on any and everything because you can’t find your joy. But all you have to do is realize that it’s you that holds your own self back!

How to have a totally awesome life 👉 ( old post same thoughts)

You need only to make a decision to seek your own happiness!

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” ~Unknown

Here are three steps to embracing your normal:

#1 The first step is to stop comparing yourself to others! Their normal is not your normal. Even identical twins are not completely the same. There is no other human being that has your specific gifts and talents. What God gave you is uniquely created to bring forth your purpose.

#2 Stop questioning yourself!  You are more than enough. Don’t let that imposter syndrome make you believe that,  what you have is not for you. Consider God’s grace. When you feel undeserving, that’s a reminder to be grateful! God’s Grace has shined upon you. Give God The Glory!

#3 Forget trying to be perfect! I’m not saying don’t do your best, but your best is as perfect as it gets. If you start taking the steps towards your dreams, have faith that God will magnify them. I remember as a young parent, I would have a certain vision in mind that I want to create for my children.  I’d  get as much as I could, but not the way I had envisioned. So in my mind,  I would immediately start thinking of apologies for not being good enough. And before I could open my mouth to apologize, they were thanking me and showing me how grateful they were.

So remember short, tall or bald, you are flawless! Big belly, flat booty,skinny legs, big legs, you are still flawless! Walk in your beauty and embrace your normal!

 

Love others as you love yourself, but you must first love yourself!

 

Let’s Celebrate Mrsphatandnaptural Turns 3!

Mrsphatandnaptural Turns 3 years old today! Whoo hoo! I may not be where some have risen to in 3 years, but I’m still here! Over these 3 short years I have found many new friends both online and in person. I’ve attended, held, and hosted many events. I’ve even traveled to 2 states that I had never been to for just to attend Plus Sized Fashion and or Natural Hair events. I’ve have also been featured on a few online sites, namely Essence.com.

Still I’d have to say the biggest “get” from the last 3 years of blogging has to be tapping into a supportive sisterhood that I didn’t even realize existed. They are an encouraging, loving, creative bastion of knowledge and experiences that I can’t seem to go a day without…( okay so I’m a social media junkie) lol. That aside I love being apart of this collective!

 

As I move forward with Mrsphatandnaptural some things will change. In the spirit of serving those who need what I’m cooking up, I will commit to staying honest, current, and open to God using me. I will continue to give you all the tips tricks and styles of the latest conversation. I will do the product reviews and include you into my battle with this belly! But I will also share with you my love for God and all things good for your soul!
Remember to celebrate yourself! And just know God doesn’t make any mistakes, and that includes you!

5 Yoga Poses To Start Your Day Off Right!

Starting your day off with a good positive vibe can change the entire trajectory of your day. Having a clear mind and a positive outlook will allow you to make better more informed decisions. Even when faced with difficult tasks, your reaction will be different , because you see things from a place of possibility and not defeat.

There are many stretches that will help you start the day and make you feel better. It is best to modify stretches until you are capable of performing each stretch without straining. I do each of these stretches for 30 seconds to a minute, and add in other stretches to get a full ten minutes of stretching.

1. Child’s pose:
This stretch helps relieve tension in the shoulders, back, and chest. It is noted that doing this stretch will help with lower back pain and is recommended for dealing with dizziness and/or fatigue.

Day 8 of the #blossomingyogichallenge hosted by @annnnnamaste aka @annnnnamou. Tapas, austerity, or discipline is the theme today, the pose #balasana aka child's pose. I am a go-go-go-er. Have been since childhood. I remember when I was 20sh and was working 2 jobs and I was taking 21 units in college, sleeping only 3-4 hours a night my mother said to me "Thea you're not wonder woman, and you don't have to be." I responded "You don't know I could be." Of course this was before Patty Jenkins version of Wonder Woman. My mother was right I wasn't an Amazonian nor a demigod. At that time I had a goal and I was working hard toward the goal which required me to play catchup in school so I could advance, I wound up really sick. l had pushed myself too far. I had no choice but to slow down. In American society we honor being busy, stopping, resting and just being is looked down upon. My tendency to go makes me a great #yogapreneur, but my hard learned ability to slow down makes me a better human. Also, a human that has vitality and quality of life. If I push to hard, I burn out. It takes work. Slowing down for me is discipline. I know for some others getting going, and follow through is where their discipline lies. It can be hard being a human. Join the challenge by taking a photo and tag @amandapomerantz @annnnnamaste. Use hashtags #blossomingyogichallenge #seatoftheteacher #embodyyogateachertraining . #tapas #passion #love #childpose #sitbackandrelax #keepitgoing #justbreathe #niyamas #yogafun #yogagram #yogaeverydamnday #yogaeverywhere #feelgoodunderyourownskin #wonderwoman #agni #selfdiscipline #yogaforall #yogaheals #amazonian #wonderwoman #chilllady #demigod #greekphilosophy

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2. The Cat-Cow pose:
This stretch duo is known to improve posture, balance, coordination. They stretch the back, neck, hips, and abdomen. Some suggest it creates emotional balance as well as relieve stress.

3. Corpse pose:
This is more of a mental stretch. By lying still with your body slightly stretched out you are lowering your blood pressure by relaxing the body. In this position your brain is calm and this is known to help combat fatigue, headaches, and insomnia.

4. Extended Triangle Pose:
This is a good hamstring stretch, especially before doing any strength exercising, or intense walking and/or jogging. This stretch also helps stretch the hips, groins, and chest. Doing this daily can help with lower back pain and sluggish digestion.

Thanks again to all who showed up at the @plannedparenthood fundraiser yesterday! It was great to connect and share individual experiences of the help that PP has offered us throughout our growing experiences. Even though there might be controversial issues, there is still way more positive and help that this organization provides for those of limited or no health insurance. I've morally supported them throughout my life even though I hadn't stepped foot into and actual building till this past December. I felt way more comfortable there than in any doctors office, quick and easy with no judgement. I hope they will continue to persevere through this administration in the coming years. Also congrats to Zuky R. on winning the @liforme giveaway mat! I will contact you with the email provided through eventbrite! Thank you to those who entered the giveaway! Top by @rainbeaucurves Leggings by @k.deer Mat by @liforme

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5. Legs up the wall pose:
This may be my favorite way to relieve stress. This stretches your legs, lower back, and pelvic floor. Doing this stretch will help increase circulation because your heart does not work as hard. This will also soothe swollen feet, ankles, and cramped legs.

There is no medical fact that states stretching will keep depression or stress away, but stretching will help you feel better physically and mentally, if done properly. Just like going to the bathroom in the morning, you have to make this part of you life. You can even do these before you get out of the bed! You know me, easy peezy! 😍 Give yourself 10 minutes of mental health time. Believe me it will pay off big!

Have you ever tried yoga? Let me know what’s your favorite stretches?

As always, Peace & Love

The Fit Phatty

Fit Phatty: 5 Tips To A Healthier You

We have all heard that being healthy has nothing to do with your weight. Even though the societal view is that fatter woman are undesirable and unhealthy. It’s all about the narrative that you allow to replay in your head…but I digress. I’ll save that conversation for another time. However some of us have to fight our fat on a daily basis. Between genetics, medical conditions, and lifestyle, it’s just not easy to be ” thin” or a healthy weight ( whatever that is for you) with out working at it. Try not to worry so much about having a flat tummy as having a healthy life. Aside from getting a surgery, or taking a prescription medicine, I will always have to employ tools to help me stay on track.

There will be set backs and fall offs, but always remember with health, every effort is a good effort! I’ve been on a weight yo-yo for majority of my life, (but I wish I was as fat as I was when I thought I was too fat!). It has not been easy to maintain the best healthy lifestyle. It’ so easy to fall into a pattern of not counting calories or exercising.  My biggest challenge of all is of course not eating bad. But my body tells me she’s wants a clean detox.  So I get back at it.

Here are my 5 ways that I get back in the fight with this fat!

1. Count those calories!
I use My Fitness Pal. It is really simple to set up an account with My Fitness Pal if you haven’t already done so! There is no pressure with the app, it’s all self-discipline. I get to keep track of my current weight and goal weight. By going day by day tracking my food and exercise practice (and the lack of exercise) My Fitness Pal then gives me an estimated number that I can weigh in a certain number of weeks if I maintain my day (good or bad). It’s good motivation.

2. Measure your food!
This is important to be able to keep track of your calories easily. If you don’t have a scale for food, buy one. I also use my measuring cup to measure food!
3. Don’t starve!

If you feel hungry, eat! There are good carbs out there! Instead of an unhealthy snack grab some nuts, a fruit, or even a baked sweet potato! Whatever you enjoy, keep track in your food diary.

 

4. Get moving! The more you move, the more calories you burn. Aim for at least 30 mins a day of cardio and strength training, and aim to walk around more. If you don’t join a gym you can exercise right at home using www.pinterest.com for work out ideas.

#Mood for the week! 🙌🏽Let's go!!!! #rp @abraham_mcdonald

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5. Invest in health!
Living a healthy lifestyle takes effort, but it is worth it. Purchase some hand weights and a few different exercise equipment for home such as a jump rope, resistance bands, ankle weights, kettlebell, etc. (even if you are a gym rat, keep equipment in the house.) You can even purchase bigger equipment such as a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, etc., on www.craigslist.org if you rather get it at a cheaper price!

Remember don’t  let the media or scale define you. You must love yourself at every stage of your life. Loving yourself means do not be so hard or yourself. There is a difference between discipline and punishment. And keeping a healthy body is the ultimate form of love.
Most importantly remember to rest. You burn calories in your sleep, but most importantly, you cannot run on fumes. Living a healthy lifestyle requires all of you, mentally, emotionally, and physically. It will be frustrating some days, and stagnant too. But keeping that body healthy is the main goal.

You rarely see bodies in this position, let alone a body that looks like mine. We're conditioned to think about how we look ALL the time, especially when taking photos. Truth is, our bodies fluctuate through the day & we'll look different in different lighting and different angles. It's SO draining trying to slim down a double chin, suck in your stomach or position your arms so they look smoother and slimmer. Photos are supposed to capture & to create a memory. They aren't supposed to be perfect and curated all the time. When I look back at this photo I'll remember feeling confident and worthy and loved. I'll remember feeling emotionally strong but vulnerable enough to allow my insecurities to fuel me. I'll also remember a body that has been able to carry me through the good times and the bad times, through the trauma & through therapy. A body that has protected me from others, but that has also protected me from myself. A body thats maybe "too much" or "too large" but a body that houses courage, kindness and love. And maybe all of those things are so strong and powerful that a bigger vessel is needed to carry them 💗 #iamenough

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Remember grab that water and cheers to health!