Posted in Encouragement, Lifestyle

4 Things I Left Behind in 2019

It might be too late in January to say Happy New Year but it’s early enough in the year for me to share with you some things in my life that I left behind in 2019. Check them out…

My response to the question”Do you drink?” The answer to this question will always be yes. I will no longer fumble my words for an answer that says, “I drink, but not that often”, as though I need to explain that.

Trying to fit into old clothes that I’ve outgrown. I have a grown woman body that I damn proud of. I’m done with the obsessing over the number on the scale or my dress or pants size. I will continue to be fitness focused, limiting my sweet treats, and engaging in exercise that I enjoy as often as possible. Whatever clothing doesn’t fit my current size will be replaced with new clothes. That’s the whole purpose of all the inventory at retail stores!

Telling Men that I’m not interested in a relationship. It was eight months after my husband passed before the reality of being single really hit me. He was my friend, my lover, my husband for 10 years. I’ve been out of the single game for quite a while. So when started having conversations with men I was trying to be clear that, at this stage of my life, being widowed after 10 yrs, having a teenage son to raise, I wasn’t trying to jump into a relationship. What I didn’t know was those words were communicating to them that I just wanted to have sex with them. 😩 Noooooo. I’m interested in engaging in interesting conversation, taking in a movie, going to breakfast or dinner with a nice guy. IF our chemistry leads to sex, then it does. BUT, that’s not my first intentions. Interestingly, a male friend brought this distinction to my attention. Now I say, “I’m interested in dating that could lead to a long term, serious relationship.”

Spending time with men that I don’t thoroughly enjoy. Ever heard of rebound sex or relationships. Well I’m my life, I’ve had both! Married the man and had two children, who are the joy of my world. However, I learned my lesson. And, now, I’m this time of singleness and being a real grown woman of 44 years old, I’m not hanging out with any man that I don’t thoroughly enjoy. Enough said!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Inspiration, Lifestyle, People

Wellness Wednesday: Marathon Anyone???

Who in the world would want to run a 26 mile race? Quite a few people, judging from all the participants on my FB timeline with #freepmarathon in their posts. This past weekend, my birthday weekend, was the annual Detroit Free Press Marathon event.

detroit marathon

The first time I saw this event with my own eyes was on my birthday about 5 or 6 years ago. My husband had gotten me room at the Holiday Inn to enjoy a quiet night of writing. On check out day is when I saw the crowd of people and learned what was going on.

It wasn’t that day that I considered participating. That day came when I came across women in my personal circle, people at or near my fitness level making the decision to do it and training for the big day. A few of them accomplished their goal this year!

My father participated in a marathon once.  He trained hard for it. As a little girl watching him jump rope in our backyard and complete his Saturday morning with an impressive backward jog down our street, I didn’t know that’s what he was preparing for. Matter of fact, I don’t even know when he actually did it. He wasn’t the kind of dad that shared stuff like that with his kids. What I do remember him telling me years later was that one time was all he needed. Just to say he did it.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to train that hard to do something only one time. Then again, I could never fathom running 26 miles. Interestingly,  I have since learned that the event consists of more than 26 mile race. There are events for everyone at all fitness levels: full marathon, marathon relay (a team of 2-4 complete designated sections of the race), 1/2 marathon, 5K, and a Family Fun Run. There’s even a race for people with disabilities.

Now that’s something I can put on my bucket-list. What about you? Do you want to run a marathon (or some other race event)? What’s your plan to make it happen?

You know…you must have a plan, right?

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health

Wellness Wednesday–Year End Weight Loss Update #2

Down 2 lbs!

I’m so happy to announce that. Ramping up my exercise game to include 2-3 days of power walking has done the trick. Enlisting the help of my neighbor has made a difference too. This past Saturday I was laying in bed considering my options for the morning:

1. Go walking by myself (my neighbor had a personal training session scheduled that morning–more on that in a minute)

2. Go to my coffee spot to write, walking afterwards

3. Get up and enjoy the quiet of the house while my husband and son remained asleep

Before I reached a decision I received a text from my neighbor:

Are we walking this morning?

I’d like to say that if she hadn’t texted my I might have decided on one of the last two options and ended up missing my walking opportunity as the rest of my day was pretty busy.

Awesome exercise buddy, right? Well… unless she goes rogue. Lol!

Apparently I re-lit the fitness fire of my neighbor friend and she’s just jumping feet first into her own fitness program. Since we started walking together, she’s contacted her personal trainer and started back this week.  Already she bailed on me for one of our walks because she was meeting her trainer the next morning.

But to her credit, she hasn’t completely bailed. She still hits me up for a walk in between her sessions. Plus, she’s invited me to go with her. I doubt I will, though. I’m not one for personal training sessions. Especially those that cost per month because I wouldn’t be going that frequently. Not to mention I already pay a monthly gym membership (albeit $10).

Anyway, I expect we’ll still keep each other going. And if things continue as they have been, we’ll walk together once or twice a week. That works for me. Plus, I’ll always be grateful for her showing me just how fast I can walk around my apartment complex. In the cold too!

Considering myself on target with a good exercise regimen, my next challenge is baking for the next and last holiday of 2016–Christmas. In 10 years, at least, no holiday has been void of one of my homemade deserts (cream cheese pound cake being the favored). But after the pounds my daughter and I packed on during Thanksgiving, I have to decide on a healthy alternative. This should be interesting…

Stay tuned! Looking forward to more lost pounds. Oh yeah!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

P.S. Follow me on Instagram @naturallylajeff

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fitness, Health, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday: End of Year Weight Loss Journey Update #1

Dum dum da dum…

thanksgivingfitness

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving and I have…news to report. Can’t quite call it good or bad news. More like smack dab in the middle news.

The week before the holiday I sent out an SOS of sorts to my neighbor friend to buddy up with me on exercising. She jumped at the offer. Within minutes of my text, she responded with, “Sure, do you want to start tomorrow?”

No, I thought to myself, but I texted back. “Sure!”

We’ve been on it ever since. That first day we did 20 mins of Tae Bo with Billy Blanks. Whew! Hadn’t done that in about 15 yrs. But I had to make it through. Couldn’t let my neighbor, who is at least 10 years my senior show me up.

For the rest of that week we walked a lap around our apartment complex and increased it to two laps the next week.

According to my analog scale, I dropped 1-2 lbs. That’s the good news!

Then came the holiday: dressing, crescent rolls, and the cake. Really, it was the cake that did me in.

The Saturday after the holiday I decided to check out the damage. If not for the walking that I did with my neighbor over that weekend, I would have surely gained more than the few pounds that I’d lost the previous week.

That’s the bad news. I’m right back to where I started two weeks ago.

Could be worse, though. Right?

What’s awesome is that today is Monday–me and my neighbor’s regular walking day. I’m looking forward to walking those 2 laps (maybe 3) around the complex.

What’s even BETTER??? There’s no more cake!

First shot at pineapple layered cake 


My perfect cream cheese pound cake.
P.S. I need some healthy desert alternatives. Please post ideas in the comments below.

Til Next time…

Naturally Yours,

L.A. 
 

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday: My Favorite Workout Spot

I’m going to be there every day at the same time for the same amount of hours. No matter how busy I get, there’s always time for fitness–I’m mandated to take at least a 30 minute lunch.  And it’s the only place that I can go where there’s no option to be anywhere else. 

Yep, you guessed it. My workplace is my favorite spot to work out. Even more so since I was finally granted the accomodation of a standing workstation. It’s a shame the company doesn’t provide them to all employees just because they’re better for you, but that’s for another post.

These here are so me:


I recently stopped exercising in private. Until a few weeks ago I kept my equipment–hula hoop, Dumbbells, yoga mat–in an empty office area. Then I realized I wasn’t using them as much I wanted to. Why? Honestly, sometimes I don’t feel like leaving my desk. Now I don’t hula hoop at my desk. That would be insane! God help me if I had a private office because I certainly would. In the meantime, thought, I do perform dumbbell exercises, lunges, squats, ab exercises, and I walk every chance I get: bathroom breaks, water runs, coffee runs, going to the prober and fax, talking to coworkers. By the time I leave work, I’m over the halfway mark to my 15k step goal! 

That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. No matter how many times my daughter tries to convince me that I can fit the gym into my schedule, I will continue to get it in at work. If by chance I get to the gym or do some increased physical activity after work, it’s just the cherry on top!

What’s your favorite place to exercise? Share in the comments below.

P.S. If you like these posts please subscribe and share with your friends.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday: Diversify Your Workout

The experts say your body needs to be challenged with increased duration and/or intensity of exercises. I believe that to be true but I change up my routine more so to keep from being bored. If I’m bored, I won’t stick to it.
While walking is the main staple in my exercise arsenal, I diversify by:

1. Walking malls that include stairs and ramps

2. Attend Zumba class (when I’m in a funky dancing mood and don’t dripping in perspiration.)

3. Attend hula hoop fitness class. I was elated to find a class practically around the corner from me. It’s on Sunday’s so I can only attend once or twice a month when I’m not on ministry duty at my church.

4. Do apprx 2 wks worth of those 30 challenges (squats, abs, arms)

5. Pilates and/or Yoga (I prefer Pilates but need them both equally)

6. Stretching

Only thing missing from the above list is strength training. I’ll talk more about my challenges with this beast on my next wellness post.

How do you diversify your workout. Share in the comments below. Like and share the post!

Til Next Time,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday: My Weight Watchers Results

 

Welp…my Weight Watchers session came to a lackluster end last week.

4.4 lb total lost

Nothing to write about but I’m encouraged enough to give it another try. Why? Because I’m no quitter! I can and will lose this stubborn 20 lbs.

Don’t worry. I’m not beating myself up too much for my little 4.4 lbs. After all, it’s better than I did 5 yrs ago when I tried Weight Watchers when I was only trying to lose 10-15 lbs. If memory serves me correctly, those end results were like a 1-1.5lbs.

But you can’t attain a goal without a strategy. Here’s mine:

  1. Renu Herbs Detox Trio- After listening to Gospel sensation Yolanda Adams rave about the results of Robin Anthony’s Detox Trio body cleanse products for the last few years, I finally did the tax-refund-thing-to-do and splurged on some products. I’ve been wanting to do a detox for quite some time but have been put off by some of the requirements like…not eating. I don’t do well with plans that don’t include eating throughout the day. However, with this detox trio,  I do have to eat as clean as possible and for the last couple of days I’ve been doing okay.
  2. Weekly weigh in WITHOUT looking at the results. Sounds like it defeats the purpose, right? Well, my experience with Weight Watchers was every week that I lost, I followed with a small decrease the following week. SMH for real. On our group’s Facebook page one member posted that she didn’t look at her results until the end of the 12 weeks. And she lost a whopping 14lbs! Maybe that method will work for me. In fact, when I’d lost weight in the past, I did it without weighing myself weekly, preferring a bi-weekly schedule.
  3. Making small changes  week at a time. Right now I’m working on not eating after 7pm. Also, at work, I’m drinking a 1/2 cup of coffee instead a full. Future plans include reducing beef to once a week, increasing fish, and going totally organic for fruits and veggies. The cleanse is helping me with that.
Our next session starts next week and I’m confident that I’ll have already lost 2-3 lbs from our last weigh in with the small changes I’ve already made. Plus the cleanse. I feel it working!
No worries. I’ll keep you posted. If you have any suggestions for small changes I can make, post them in the comments below. Share your progress or struggles, too. We can help each other.
Til next time,
L.A.
Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness  Wednesday(Thursday)–Setting Goals & Managing Expectations

img_7298

Haha…thought I wasn’t going to give you my week 3 weight watchers update??? I know you’ve been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for it.

Down 2.6 lbs!!! Pretty awesome, right? I’d say so, especially considering I didn’t starve myself or ramp up my exercise regimen. Not only that…but I ate pizza all weekend before the weigh-in, although I didn’t overdo it. So what do I think attributed to this weight loss? Honestly, increased water consumption. The day before and the day of the weigh-in, I consumed every bit of the recommended 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water. Prior to that, I was dinking water everyday but not keeping track of how much. Plus, once I got home, I was usually done for the day. This water bottle solved that problem.

water bottle

And I know for sure that before I wasn’t getting the proper amount because with this bottle I have to start drinking pretty much when I get home and usually need the 16 oz when I get home. Today marks day 5 since I’ve been getting the amount that I need–okay, I missed one day of the entire amount but still…you get the point.

The best thing about my weight loss for this week is that it helped me achieve my January goal! I don’t want to get too personal with y’all–not yet anyway :)–but my goal was to lose 3 lbs this month. “Why not five? Why not ten?” You may want to know.

I wanted to be reasonable with myself. I’m not brand new to this program so I knew that it was a likely possibility that I was going to gain in between the first and the last weigh-in for January. Some might say I set myself up for failure but I say the opposite. The overall goal is to lose weight. How much I lose is up to me and what I’m willing to do to make it happen.

Life is really hectic right now. My husband has a chronic illness and I’m needed at home for physical and emotional support. So I’m not in a place where I can schedule 3-4 days in the gym. Honestly, I don’t even want to. The last thing I want to do is start a workout program that I’m not going to commit to long-term because that leads to weight gain once that activity stops.

It’s important to set goals and manage expectations according to your own lifestyle and preferences. What someone else is willing or able to do may not work for you or be what you want to do. For example, a friend of mine participates in a very intense workout program. The kind that makes you say, “Arrgh!”

intense expression

Nope, not for me! LOL! I’m more interested in…

yoga

My focus is on the 80% of that 80/20 makeup we hear so much about regarding weight loss (80% food, 20% exercise). Time for exercise fluctuates over time, depending on what’s going on in life, but eating is continuous. If I can get that under control, I’ll hit my ultimate goal in due time, which may not be during this 12 wk weight watchers program.

And I’m okay with that. I increased my desired weigh loss for this month by a couple of pounds and I can’t wait to achieve it on February 29th. Stay tuned for updates.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Health, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday–Benefits of Tracking

Weight Watchers: Beyond the Scale–Week 2

scale with feet

The excitement from the first week rolled into nervous anxiety for this week’s weigh in. First, I feared the dip that I mentioned in my last post about slacking off during this week and picking up some of the weight I’d lost during the previous week. Well, I guess my mind wasn’t set firm enough on achieving this goal. I gained 1 lb. Granted, I could say that those 1 lb may have been the weight of the clothes I was wearing—a long cow neck sweater. Maybe. However, when I look back over the pages I’ve been jotting down my daily food intake since the beginning of the year, I know different. In the two days before this weigh in, I indulged in cake. A few days before that, I had a scoop of ice cream (NOT low fat or light) on a cone. And the weekend before I wasn’t as prepared with ideas for fun healthy weekend food and ended up with Chinese food. To my credit, though, I did abstain from the fried rice but my beef and broccoli, soaked in gravy, I’m sure didn’t help.

I say all of that to confirm the importance of tracking with any goal that you’re trying to accomplish. Most of you already know of all the different apps and online tools available for tracking but just in case you need some suggestions, here’s a list of the best ten. But for those who don’t always want to be regulated by your phone or computer a good ‘ole fashion notebook always does the trick too.  I do both. What I like about logging in my notebook is that I’m free to not bother with ounces, cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc. I simply want a reminder of what I ate. My memory isn’t so bad that I don’t remember how much of it I ate.

notebook

Lack of categorization is the biggest advantage for tracking in a notebook. Sometimes you just want to write it down. On one page I write down what A.M. exercise I had a chance to do before leaving for work. Lately I’ve been doing seated waist twists with my 8lb medicine ball. This morning I did a few minutes of hula hooping and 15 kettle (15lb) ball swings (whew! on the latter). Shortly after arriving at work I write my breakfast down, and then follow that with whatever exercise I do during the day. Next is lunch, snack, and then dinner. Near the bottom of the page, I jot down any money that I’ve spent during the day (yes, I’m tracking that too).

Keeping track of what I’m putting in my mouth is helping me become accountable for the numbers on the scale or judging from how my clothes are fitting. I definitely recommend some form of tracking to keep you on track on whatever you’re trying to improve in 2016.

Are you a tracker.? Share your preferred method.

 

Posted in Encouragement, Health, Inspiration

Wellness Wednesday’s-It’s the Same Gallon

My husband was recently diagnosed with a lung disease. In order to increase his life expectancy, his doctor recommends a lung transplant BUT in order to get on the list he has to lose a considerable amount of weight. Losing any amount of weight–beyond the vanity weight of 5 to 10 lbs–is quite the challenge when your medical condition prevents you from doing vigorous excercise.

So what does his ever so helpful wife suggest???

“Honey, you should work on drinking a gallon of water a day?”

He looked at me ever so lovinginly and replied quite animatedly, “I ain’t drinking no damn gallon of water! That’s crazy!”

We both cracked up laughing. Even through this challenge of his illness, this man can still make me bust a gut laughing.

After we recovered from our laughing fit, I replied, “Well, honey, you you can interchange that gallon of juice you drink in a day with a gallon of water. It is the same gallon.” 😉

   
 
Reluctantly, he conceded the point. And we agreed that he can start with 1/2.

Sometimes small changes can seem big until you look at them comparatively to something else you do.

Naturally Yours..in Health,

L.A.