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“Paying” for Beauty?

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Nordstrom 2016 Beauty Event goodies!

The Oakbrook Nordstrom Fall 2016 Beauty Trend Show hit the ball out of the park in terms of creativity and content (at least for the most part). As a savvy skin care shopper, Nordstrom is near the top of my list when it comes to product availability, style, customer service, and bang for my buck! Who’d have thunk it? A major department store that gives the customer luxury experience as well as price points for all? They did it right this time when so many major retailers are doing it wrong with such things as “restrictive” coupons, misguided marketing campaigns (a.k.a. bait and switch) poor customer service, and anything less than the luxury experience they claim (i.e. Macy’s).

However, let’s get back to the positives and all that was right in terms of showcasing the Fall 2016 Beauty Trends and the awesome fun-filled experience for the woman who knows what she wants-Nordstrom Oakbrook Center, ya did good! While I don’t always comment on these types of events, this time Nordstrom pulled off a creative event in which most went away satisfied (a dramatic improvement over the Spring 2016 Beauty event) having had the luxury experience that we all need a little of from time to time.

This past weekend was all about being the #PhenominalWomanIBe and appreciating myself as a woman. I often tell my clients, “if you are an empty well, there is nothing you have to give to others”; this is so true and unfortunately too many of us think that if we keep being “super woman” others will eventually find us worthy! That’s an untruth many woman tell themselves as they struggle at the “crossroads” of their lives, trying to find contentment as they spin on that hamster wheel going nowhere. I hate to break it to you my sisters, but if YOU do not see the value and unique beauty that YOU bring to this earth, there are few who will see that special essence that you carry within.

I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade or pander to the negative; I’m only stating a simple truth that comes when you realize that a healthy and balanced life requires that you set boundaries (protecting and respecting your inner core). Ultimately, you must grow comfortable in your own skin, realize that you can’t please or be everything to everyone, and take care of both your physical and mental health. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m a skin care freak and as such I’m always looking for new tips, tricks and all things natural for maintaining healthy radiant skin.

So what did I DO this past weekend? Well, this #SkinCareFreak was on the hunt,  and I decided not to miss out on attending Nordstrom’s Fall 2016 Beauty Trend Show in at the Oakbrook Mall (Oakbrook, IL)!😘💄 That’s right ladies, my “crew” and I camped out at the Oakbrook Mall in the wee hours of 4am to get first dibs at the beauty trend items (anti-aging, renewal, replenishment, hydration, etc) coming into the season. Needless to say, it was all about protection for the winter, fragrance and yes, cosmetics!💄🙌🏽

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Early bird gift!

As a health and fitness strategist, I believe in creating working strategies for the “WHOLE” woman; not just shedding the unhealthy weight and relationship with food, but also helping EVERY woman appreciate herself and all of the quirks and imperfections that make her uniquely beautiful in her space. In other words, attending this beauty event was not just about checking out the latest in skin care, but about making sure I did what was necessary to “do me”!  That is not to say that one needs ALL these things to feel good about oneself; but what I am saying is, there is something inherently therapeutic about treating yourself to some “me” time, reorienting yourself, and ultimately getting in balance!

Bottom line? A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling great and loving what you see when you look in the mirror! Get fit, healthy, and change the way you see yourself by growing and developing on the inside out!Blessings!😘

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Getting it right, for YOU!

I’ve since arrived at the conclusion that when it comes to weight loss, fitness, and over all toning and conditioning, every woman’s body responds differently. I’m always amazed at all the lies and downright hurtful gimmicks aimed at women! Dang IT! We women seem to be the targets of a lot of negative media and social attacks! Part of it stems from the larger problems within our society that are currently being stirred up and played out on the  socio-political stage.

Given all the shifting undercurrents we are being subjected to as well as marketing aimed at all of our insecurities, it’s no wonder that women across the board are more stressed, overwhelmed and feeling pressured to not just fit every role created for us, but to also live up to standards that have little or no basis in reality! Don’t even mention those that are being forced upon us by segments of society that seek to strip women of all the socio-political gains we have fought for over the years. Am I pissed and ticked off? Duh!! Yes! WHY  you might ask? Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that “THIS” whole “THANG” (forced social, political, and gender roles) has to do with power and “WHO” gets to wield it over some one else.

It’s unfortunate that we still still live in a world and society where there are those among us who seek to subjugate, control and dictate to other human beings simply because “they” will it to be so. I’m on a rant today because we WOMEN are still forced to deal with this crap in the 21st century while the other segment of the population glibly marches on with their “special” privileges. NOW, with that context nailed down, add to the mix an unhealthy body image, a skewed relationship with food, etc-EXACTLY! A life out of balance and on that hamster wheel going nowhere! 

The most obvious signs of imbalance for us women tends to be an unhealthy image of our bodies (or ourselves in general), weight gain, insomnia, and so forth. How do get off that crazy train? STOP! Do some real soul-searching and then, make a DECISION, get a PLAN, and then, take ACTION! I never said it would be easy, but you’ve got to come to the realization that YOU are WORTH IT! Why we women struggle with self-worth is NOT a hard thing to figure out when you look around the media and society in general. Hmm, I never saw myself as the proverbial feminist before but if that means, NO more trying to please everyone, NO more trying to fit some one else’s ridiculous image of the ideal woman (i.e. shape, color, size, personality, behavior, etc), and DEFINITELY  NO more “trying” to dictate my biology, THEN F***KING SIGN ME THE HELL UP!!

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, “back to the regular programming”, ha-ha! Bottom line, we women need to stop beating up ourselves about what we see in the mirror or how others perceive us, and just focus on our individual truths, places that need growth (and do what needs to be done to get there), realize that we need to put our health and fitness at the top of our own lists (because if you’re unhealthy there is nothing you can do for anyone else if you’re dead!), and engage in those things that will bring BALANCE and FULFILLMENT to our lives. Now, that IS my “WHY” when people ask me about why I do what I do, but the real question is, WHAT’S YOUR’S? ARE YOU finally FED UP and sick and tired of being sick and tired??

LET’S GET YOU STARTED ON YOUR JOURNEY TO THE REAL YOU!>>BOOK YOUR FREE CLARITY SESSION NOW<<

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Stumped?

It’s another Monday,  another week, and one more autumn in sight. I don’t know about you, but while I’m still grasping on to the last rays of summer, my heart can’t help but beat a little faster at the thought of autumn and all the goodies it will bring.  Yeah I know it’s going to be a bit “crispy” and the days will grow shorter, but what’s important is the C.H.A.N.G.E.!

Don’t you just feel like change is in the air? Like an air of expectation is just hovering around you, waiting for you to get a clue? Yes, I was feeling a little bit like I was trapped on that, dare I say it? Wow,that hamster wheel going NO where! I don’t know how I got on it, and I’m stumped at the fact that I’m just finally arriving at the realization  that I’ve been on it these last few weeks.

All that dissatisfaction, pent-up frustration and malaise I was feeling? Now THAT, was my inner self chomping away within and urging me to wake up! Some how, I had allowed personal and health challenges to whittle away at my focus, determination and passion! Damn! What a scary reminder to ALWAYS be vigilant in staying the course and to take care to both nourish and focus on your objective; regardless of whether it’s health, family or carrier oriented.

Okay, now that I’ve had my wakeup call, it’s time to ditch the malaise of that hamster wheel, flex some muscle, and get perspective! I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that my eyes are wide open, the adrenaline is pumping, and now? Well, I’m UNSTOPPABLE! I wonder though, who else is out there feeling “stumped” about where she (or he) is on life’s journey, at the crossroads and trying to get health and fitness, in balance?

All I can say is, welcome to the journey and embrace the change…

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#TGIF: Time to, relax, relate and release!

So it’s Friday and, WHAT? Well, it should mean or translate into a powering down, reconnecting with our inner selves, and releasing (letting go) of the stresses of the week, and the past. LET IT GO! Hanging on to regrets and that old dead “woulda, coulda, shoulda” only leaves you with a sense of failure, frustration and an inability to focus on reorienting yourself so that YOU can achieve your goals.

That’s not to say that reflection isn’t necessary or that regret is all bad; what I am saying these things have their own place within the context of a well-balanced life. If we don’t reflect (in a constructive manner) on where certain things went wrong in the past, we are more likely to repeat those same mistakes. In a similar manner, if we are incapable of feeling regret (again, within the proper context), that speaks to a lack of personal development or growth as well as a lack of emotional depth.

All of that aside, knowing when to a “system shutdown” is part of living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Remember, “fitness” and “health” applies to more than just the physical; it’s also about the mental and emotional aspect of who we are as individuals.

Experience has taught me that the fitness journey is more than weight loss, eating clean, exercise, etc. It’s about the mental and emotional components of who we are, coming in to balance and alignment as part of living a healthy and fulfilling life.My advice? Take the weekend to get outside, break away from technology, connect with the earth (a.k.a. get some nature / outdoor therapy) and decompress! Blessings on the journey…👣

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The beauty of the nut: The health benefits of eating seeds & nuts

wp-1470397805840.jpgThe research bears it out (even if I had not arrived at this conclusion from my own fitness journey); there are huge gains to be made from consuming seeds and nuts as part of a healthy diet. As one who has a fair share of basic anthropology and archaeology course work (background in biological anthropology) I’m far from surprised that some of the same food sources in early human history, have shown themselves to have been beneficial within the context of health. As outlined in serveral journals (follow this >>link<< for researched benefits of adding nuts and seeds to your diet) , while they do contain a significant source of fat (the “good” variety, i.e monounsaturated fats) they are also extremely nutrient dense.

A key take away from my own personal research and experience (i.e fitness journey) is to always ensure that you incorporate a variety healthy nutrient sources into your diet. Yes our bodies need fat just not the crap at your local fast food, wannabe be “restaurants”. There are no substitutes for healthy meal planning  and food choices.You want to lose weight, get fit and healthy? Then you have to be willing to do the work, educate yourself about your food and where it comes from, AND live the healthy lifestyle! This is the reality of maintaining your health and fitness AND to sustain those achievements,  YOU must maintain it. A good guide to eating healthy is provided by the >> CDC<<,  but you can’t rely on one source of information to access the information you need to “fight” the “food wars”, YOU must get engaged in the food production process yourself (i.e. advocate for clear labels on food items, support organic and local farmers, etc).

Now that I’ve said and done my part, what about you?..👣

 

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All YOUR pieces…

Now that my last rant is over, it’s time to dedicate some time to “reflection”  and the meat of the matter. Skeptic that I am, when ever someone tells me about some “miracle” weight-loss pill, diet or “beverage ” I just start to mentally bang my head against ANY hard surface and say,  SERIOUSLY?!

I mean this stuff is like a “dungus”! You know, that cross between crap and fungus? Yeah, that stuff.😐 There’s really no shortcut to a healthier, stronger you and ANY one who claims there is such a “cure” is literally lying his/ her ass off. Just sayin’😎 maybe I watch way too much late night television,  and definitely too much sci-fi AND Game of Thrones , BUT,my level of  amazement just goes right up when I  think about the crap that is being pushed on people who are desperately seeking a solution to their health care crisis-a life or death situation.

It’s heart breaking to see such misery and defeat in the eyes of soo many women ( in case you haven’t figured it out yet, my passion is women’s health 😉) who “think” they are trying a product, or cure all, only to waste their money on some snake oil being pushed by some famous person who by the way, has NEVER actually used the product.

The bottom line is, first, ACCEPT all of YOU plus your imperfections (and baggage) and then connect with the support and guidance that will get you on track with your health and fitness.  So to recap: Make a DECISION, PLAN, and take ACTION! Without these three things you’re literally on a hamster wheel going no where.

For everyone in my “fit tribe” of women (fitness accountability group), the understanding is that WE are ALL on this fitness journey together, encouraging one another to stay the course to achieving fitness, stating healthy, and living a fully empowered life! 👊 I’m just a quirky,  eclectic sci-fi chick leading my tribe to fitness, health, freedom and self-empowerment.

 I’ve gotta say, oh how sweet this journey and what a relief to be free from the constraints and expectations of people who don’t know the struggle or understand the feminine power that comes from self-acceptance and the “DECISION” (making that decision to change your health and life)…blessings on the journey 👣

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About those fitness gadgets…

DO. YOUR. RESEARCH. I can’t say it enough! At the end of last year, I decided to give in to  the “pressure” and bought a fitness tracker called moov; NOT a good idea on further reflection and PERSONAL experience!😜 why? Because even though I did my research (I thought I did enough, but then not so much), I failed on one crucial point; the point being, DID I REALLY need a gadget for tell me what I already knew?!

The truth is, no I didn’t. Add to that the app associated with the moov tracker was, buggy, and essentially inadequate,  AND to top it off? It fell apart and was lost ( yeah, the wrist band was crappie! 😬),  I think I’ll be A LOT more discriminating when it comes to 1. whether I actually need a particular gadget, 2. it’s functionality and third, it’s over all usefulness for my particular needs.👊

Now that I’m done with my rant about useless technology  (at least those that fail to live up to the hype) I’m off to get a new pair of cross-trainers, hahaha! 😜 Blessings on the fitness journey y’all.😉👣…

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Body Talk…

So you’ve finally decided to dive in, accept the challenge, join the fit tribe, get your program in gear and now you’re…OFF! Well before you get too comfortable, I’m going to put a little damper on your personal party by injecting a bit of reality! I’m not trying to throw you off, i’m simply trying to give you ONE powerful tip as you embark on this lifetime fitness journey.

A lot of times it is so easy to get into a routine and then set our minds on auto-pilot; you have the right program for your fitness level (at least you think you do), your nutrition plan is all worked out, BUT you are MISSING one component that can make or break you (in terms of whether or not you succeed or quit and fail). What is that one COMPONENT? It’s called listening to your B.O.D.Y! That’s right, engaging in a physical self-check of how different parts of your body are responding to your workout routines will go a long way toward helping you avoid injuries and possible failure.

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Sunday free for all!…

Working on the weekends is soo NOT my favorite thing to do especially when the sun is calling, the temperature is rising, and…need I say more? It’s not that I mind per se, it’s just that summer is my hands down, shake your booty to the summer sounds, FAVORITE season!😎🎋☀️ Why? It’s because summer means life, adventure, connecting with nature and other people, UHH! It’s so hard to explain, but I just love it, ha haha.

Speaking of seasons, THIS is a brand new one and it’s time to reflect, decide, plan and ACT on all those good things I’ve been ‘planning” to do since the beginning of the year; HA HA! I don’t know about you, but if I stop MOVING, I STOP DOING and that my fellow travelers, IS NOT GONNA BE MY STORY! I’m just saying, it took me a while to get my groove back (mind, body, spirit) and I KNOW how HARD that struggle can be along the fitness journey. Think about it; I went from having my health and fitness in the dumps, being terribly insecure, having body image issues, etc, to where I am NOW and finally enjoying this “colorful” adventure.⚒👣

That’s not  to say I’ve hit everything on my list of to-dos, it just means that I’m in it to win it, get ready to fuel up for the next ride and GO, go, go! I KNOW I have a purpose and passion here on this “terra fIrma” and I am equal to the task! What about you? Still sitting on life’s sidelines? Hoping for a clue to help you regain your own personal power? Reclaim YOUR BODY and FITNESS? Contrary to what you may have seen on the Sci-fi channel, reality tv, and the like, there is no magical “A HAH” moment or chanting involved in CHANGING YOUR life.😜👁💡n

That’s right, the Stars will not realign themselves for your benefit, nor will the universe alter it’s current path of expansion; the ONLY thing you need to know is, YOU     Have to ACT. There you have it, the big hairy monster in the closet-FEAR of the unknown, of stepping outside the comfort zone, coloring outside of the lines! WOW! Ain’t it glorious though? Didn’t know you had it in you; huh? Boomsies on the journey2 y’all!…👣

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PAIN!

Today I want to talk about pain. There are different types and levels of pain, but today I realized that we are all going through various issues and even painful experiences in our lives. It’s NOT that I didn’t know this, it’s more like the power behind this truth hadn’t sunk in until today (meh, I’m thinking I did, but I needed to be reminded ). Today I was blown away by a woman’s confession to me on Facebook about how she has been struggling with weight gain, how she lost weight only to start gaining the weight once more. I’m going to skip the details and just say, DAMN!

There are so many people struggling with weight issues, body image, self-esteem (related to these same issues), and the boat-load of other crap that comes with it!😐
Today? She’s now reaching out to me and taking those FIRST few difficult steps to freedom and empowerment. I feel so blessed to say SHE IS NOT ALONE and NEITHER ARE YOU!👍😉 that’s why I am so emotional right now as I sit here and write and tell my story and share helping someone else CHANGE her life AND her story, because there are so many more narratives just like this; gut wrenching accounts of other women out there struggling in isolation and in some cases, shame, simply because they need some help and support!

THIS IS MY MISSION and MY calling; there a lot of women out there who are hurting who are suffering with physical setbacks coupled with weight gain, anxiety, depression poor health poor eating habits, unhealthy lifestyles and just all-around spinning on that hamster wheel!😥
and so today I am moved to reach out even more women who are looking for someone who is authentic who is Sincere who is real who has gone through the same struggles on this fitness journey and so I want to pump in Courage I want to motivate every woman out there who is other secretly trying to do it all alone, to just STOP!🚦 STOP trying to do it all alone without support, feeling ashamed because you need some help. Bottom line?

WE ALL need a little help sometimes, and to those who say it’s “not that hard to do” YOU DON’T speak for everyone out there, so NOW WHAT?!DId, did, did i stutter?! EXACTLY! 👊Reardless, im going to continue my journey and mission as I live the fit, reaching out to the rest of my “tribe” of women on the journey to health, fitness, empowerment and joyful authenticity.🙅
Moving along to speaking and connecting with all those in need of some knowledge, help, and encouragement because I RECOGNIZE that I am NOT alone on this adventure.👊😤 Wow, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, time to move on to the next exciting phase as I continue the journey to achieving fitness in my body, spirit, and mind. I’m in it to win it, kick some ass doing it, embracing the ride🚘 and taking My Tribe along for the journey2👣
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