Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Single Mom AND Working Full Time? How Do You Make The Time To Work Out?

First things first.
I am a single mom
I can be unorganized.
I  tend to forget things... a lot.
I can be the queen of excuses and of procrastination.
I am NOT a morning person.

When I first started my lifestyle change (and I've started and restarted and restarted), I always came up with any and every reason why I couldn't or shouldn't work out.
 I need to go to bed early tonight. I'll just do it in the morning.
 *stays up late any way and when alarm buzzes at 4:45 am*
 I am too tired. I'll just hit snooze this one time then get up.
*snooze alarm goes off*
 I am still sleepy, I'll just do it tonight.
*changes time to 6:30 and goes back to sleep*

That is how it was everyday. Then I would be upset with myself for not just doing it.
I just felt like there were never enough hours in the day to exercise. But somehow others have the time, so I just told myself "You know what, I am a single parent that works full time as a Massage Therapist. I come home from work and picking up my little one from daycare, cook dinner for me and her, get Arianna fed, bathed and ready for bed, clean up the house, and do laundry if needed. By the time I have done all that, its 9pm or later. And I have to be at work by 8 am. And of course I have to socialize with my sister and her family since that is where me and my daughter are staying for now AND I must catch up on some of my favorite TV shows. Where does that leave ANY time for me to workout?"
Then every single time I looked in the mirror, try to get dressed, or even worse try to have a girl's night out, I didn't like what I was seeing, I didn't like the way my clothes fit. I didn't like that my girl friends look way better than I did. It was like they were oozing all this confidence, even if they really weren't. And me... just a fat girl that always TRIED to look cute but actually looked really gross and fat. They would get all this attention from guys (even if they didn't the attention) and I would just kinda hang out on the sidelines and not really talk to anyone but them. And if the rare occasion arose where someone did talk to me, the subject of my occupation came up then I got the wrong kind of attention since a lot of people connect massage therapist to a masseuse and happy endings... NOPE! I DEFINITELY DON'T DO THAT!
I know you might be thinking that I was really harsh on myself. But this is exactly how I felt and sometimes still feel but wait....

A lot has changed in me. I realize that there are more than enough hours in the day to work out. I realized that I can't have such negative self talk. I have to love my body and myself. That's why I want this change. For my health, self-confidence, self esteem and for my little girl. The thing is AM I WILLING TO MAKE THE TIME? and AM I REALLY THAT TIRED?

Now, I LOVE to workout early in the morning... before I think too much into it and give myself a chance to come up with an excuse. No one else is up at that ungodly time of morning (lol) so I have no interruptions. Downside: I don't get to pump up the music but oh well, there's an iPod for that:)

. I have WAYYYYYYY more energy than I ever thought I would. Somehow just by getting up, pushing play and having Chalene pushing me through my workout just pumps me up. By the time I am done, I have plenty of energy, I am always in a good mood afterward and plus I feel SOOO FREAKIN GOOD that I actually did it and not letting any stupid excuses come between me and my health and fitness goals. I can go on about my busy day without feeling guilty. Its AH-MAZ-ING!! But I understand that not everyone's hours are like mine. (I actually love my schedule, I just wish my workday started a little later or we finished up earlier) So scheduling your workout in the morning may not be whats best for you. Maybe an evening or night time workout is what will be best for you. Maybe around lunch time you have enough time. You have to figure out what works best with your life. Its helps to organize your day and find little shortcuts here and there to maximize your time and your life.

Now I am at the beginning of this journey but I am learning to love myself and my body more and more everyday. The more I feed her with the nutrients she needs, the better she feels and the better she will look. The more I push myself through my workouts, the better she will feel and the better she will look. Its a process. I know I will not see results overnight, but I am constantly progressing. Soon enough, everyone will be able to see all the work I am putting in paying off. And that day... will be the thing that pushes me and motivates me even more to keep going.

Monday, August 27, 2012

About Me

Hello There!!! My name is J'Wana and I am a single parent to an amazing little girl named Arianna, as well as a full-time Massage Therapist. Here is a little about myself.

My childhood was a lot different than most people. I am from Washington, DC. but I moved around A LOT!!. D.C., Maryland, Northern VA, Southern VA, Texas... I was all over the place. And no, I wasn't a military brat. Just had a tough life.  For as long as I can remember, I have been the chubby girl. I was always told it was baby fat and that it would go away once I got older. I remember during 7th and 8th grade, I was in pretty good shape. ( I was also walking and riding my bike to school and back which was 3 miles round-trip) But when 9th grade hit, that's when things really started to change. I was living in Southwest Virginia, small southern town of Marion, Va. Some of the food was different but OH SO GOOD!!! I didn't realize how the food and less activity would change my body, I really wasn't too concerned with it to be honest with you. I was a cheerleader in 10th grade and over the summer when we got our uniforms and had to try them on.... well I had the biggest size they had and it just barely fit me. But I also knew I had a big booty, even when I was smaller everywhere else. Nothing I was ashamed of but I still hated (not really hated but you get my point) all the skinny girls that didn't have any problem with their uniforms. But I figured that by the time we were done cheer leading for the year, I would have lost all the weight. WRONG! I had to get a job. My first job- WENDYS. As much as I loved (and still love) food, the last thing I thought about then was my health or fitness. So I worked hard and ate good and gained weight. As a matter of fact, all of my jobs while in high school were in the fast food industry, so its what I ate most of the time. I didn't realize what an impact this was making in my mind and body.

Jump ahead to after I graduated (2008-2009), I moved in with my two of my friends. We all worked at McDonalds. I don't need to explain further. Then I find out I am pregnant...

I had a cute little bump for a while. I was eating for me and baby. And while I ate plenty of healthy foods, ice cream and Chinese food were constants in my life. Next thing I know..

And I still had a good 6 weeks to go when this picture was taken. But where I wasn't gaining much weight everywhere else, I figured things would more or less snap back into place once I had my precious baby girl.

I breastfed and a lot of the weight came off. But her father went to jail when she was 13 days old. So I was a 19 year old new and single parent and then Postpartum Depression hit. Food was what made me feel better so I ate and ate and ate to ease the pain away. I ate until he got out of jail, then I ate more. The man I waited for, visited every weekend so he could watch his little girl grow even though it was only 15 min visits, he turned on me. He began sneaking around, stealing, and treating me like a dog. I got called every name in the book. So I ate more. When I finally worked up the courage to leave, he took my daughter and blockaded himself in the basement. I tried to get the door open and he said "You better stop before your FAT ASS breaks this door"....That broke me down to nothing. After a couple days of arguing, I finally got me and Arianna out of that house and away from him. But mentally and emotionally, every name he called me still stuck. He wasn't done with me yet and I wasn't done with my emotional eating. I was stressed out to the max trying to figure out what to do next. One day, I stepped on the scale and had to blink multiple time to make sure I was actually seeing the numbers I saw: 200lbs!! WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?! HOW?!! WHY?!!! 
My inner "Debbie Downer" was saying he was right, you are a fat ass and you have no importance in this world.

But I did mean something to someone, if no one else----ARIANNA!

So we moved to Washington DC and I enrolled at the National Massage Therapy Institute in Falls Church, VA. l! It was amazing but I still had to work so I got a job with my mom at IHOP.... Uh-Oh! The smells of pancakes, bacon, ham, potatoes. Who could resist? I sure couldn't and didn't. Work during the weekdays, school on weeknights, and then work during the overnight shift on the weekends. Those overnight shift were the worst. Whenever we were slow, I got one of the cooks to make me some NY cheesecake pancakes or some hashbrowns with cheese or some other ridiculously fattening thing that I wanted that night. Not good at all. And it all caught up to me!

Arianna and I both had check-ups with our doctor. They did a full physical on me since it had been a while since I had one. Blood work and all. About a week later, I get a letter from the doctors office, they wanted me to have a follow up appointment because my blood test came back abnormal. In bold letters I read PRE-DIABETIC.  What!! Diabetes runs in my family but ME, 20 years old... oh no not me I don't want diabetes. Something has to be done!...right?

But the truth is, I didn't know what to do and I was terrified. I knew what I needed to do and where I wanted to be but how do I get there?

I started getting stressed out again. Then one night I was up late, couldn't sleep and I was flipping through channels and I came across a Brazil Butt Lift commercial through Beachbody... those girls looked amazing. It looked like fun and thus something I would actually do so I ordered it. I thought "This is it, I am finally gonna get back in shape and be beautiful like the girls on the commercial"....

I have never been one with a great self-esteem. So when I got my BBL in the mail, I was so happy. I wanted to change the way I ate, change my life. I tore open the box and popped it in the DVD player. I didn't realized how tough it would actually be for me. But Leandro's energy and quite frankly, his accent (which I love haha) kept me going and boy was I sore!

I told my mom that with my pre-diabetic status, I needed her to buy better and healthier food. She made the joke that just because I have to eat healthy, she didn't have to, which actually hurt my feelings. It would be good for her, me and Arianna. She would buy me salad, and then everything else she always bought so not much changed except for a bag of salad mix. I remember one day I went and bought a juicer and took it upon myself to do some grocery shopping. I got ground chicken and turkey instead of pork and beef. I got loads of veggies and fruit, granola, greek yogurt. I mean I think I did good. As she watched me put the food away, she commented "I hope you plan on eating all that because it sure doesn't look appetizing". I went to cook dinner (which may or may not have been spaghetti) with the ground chicken and she looked at me with a disgusted look on her face and said. " You're gonna use that?!"... How could I eat right if every time I make a good decision, she had a comment that made me want to just say screw it? The only thing that kept me from giving up completely were the people on the Team Beachbody website. One thing I wanted out of the website was a friend and coach that had been in the same boat as me as far as the amount of weight that I needed to lose and the struggles I've had. One of my buddies Janet told me she had an amazing coach named Rachel that had went from 301 to around 130 IN A YEAR!! She sent me a link to Rachel's profile. I sent her a buddy request and we started to talk. We have some much in common and her wise and caring words stuck with me. I needed her as my coach. And I made her my coach. This was the beginning... Little did I know, unexpected depression and excuses were heading my way.

D.C. wasn't what I expected, I wasn't happy there. I really started to miss Marion, VA. Yeah, it's a small town with not a lot to do, but it is a good place to raise kids, not too much crime, and its the place I lived the longest that I can remember of my whole life. I wanted to go back. I ended up stopping BBL and ordered Turbo Jam. When I got it, once again I tore open the box and put it in the DVD player. In comes Chalene, smiley, blond, perky Chalene. I didn't know what to expect from this woman but I ended up loving her. She is so motivational during her workouts, reminding you that all the motivation, all the energy is in your head. You can keep going! You can push harder! I enjoyed TJ a lot, but still ended up giving up on that as well, but Rachel continued to check in on me even after my posts to the challenge group and TBB website had stopped. I feel like anyone else would have just given upon me, figured I was just a waste of time. But she didn't and I am forever thankful for that. Through my talks with Rachel, I realized that I couldn't keep giving excuses for me not taking the step forward, pushing play and eating right. This is in my hands. My body, my health, my life is in my hands. I want to be around for my beautiful little girl for a very long time, but if I don't take care of myself now, that won't happen. I also realized that I wanted to become a Team Beachbody coach. If I could do for someone else what Rachel did for me, it would make me feel so good. I want to help people with their health & fitness. As a Massage Therapist, I am love to help people with their pain and make them just feel better in general and I am supposed to tell my clients know how important it is for them to exercise, eat right, and drink plenty of water. I want to be a model of that, not the one saying "Do as I say, not as I do." SO I MADE A DECISION...

Despite what anybody else may have wanted me to do, I moved back to Marion, I am working as a Massage Therapist, just became a Team Beachbody coach and restarting my Turbo Jam & Brazil Butt Lift. I will eat right, exercise at least 5 days a week and drink plenty of water.

No. I don't have the results that everyone wants to see. I am at the beginning of my journey as many people are. I now have all of Beachbody watching and waiting. Watching, Waiting and thus Motivating me to transform my body and mind into the person, the mother, the role-model for my daughter that I want to be.

My goal as a coach is to change another's life while molding, changing and sculpting my own. If I can just reach one person, then that's great! But if I can reach many.... WOW! That would be a blessing!

Watch me during my journey or join me with a journey of your own. 

Just don't give up, don't let anyone hold you back or tear you down. Know that this life is yours. This body is yours. If you are unhappy with any of it, change it.